Tuesday morning headlines (a little change of tone or not?)

January 25, 2022

A few more links here, and amongst the many similar to yesterday’s, I decided to single out some possibly different ones:

NATO member will withdraw troops in event of war with Russia – president

Russia may not be poised to invade Ukraine – Pentagon

Germany has ‘betrayed’ Ukraine – Kiev mayor

No threat of immediate Russian attack on Ukraine – EU

Oleksiy Danilov informed about the results of the NSDC meeting

Zelensky to Ukrainians: Everything under control, no reason to panic

Ukraine urges calm, saying Russian invasion not imminent

Of course, this selection is very one-sided, there are many more headlines every bit as bad the ones yesterday, so let’s not make too much of this.

Also, please remember that in 08.08.08 Saakashvili made a speech promising peace to South Ossetia just HOURS before the Georgian forces attacked!

But what this does show, is that there is a “narrative chaos“.

Actually, this is just the tip of a much bigger iceberg.  The fact is that Russia’s ultimatum has created chaos in the so-called “united West” pitting some part of the deep state elites against others.  That, by itself, is already a very good outcome.

Another good outcome is the laughable idea to send a few thousands US troops to “defend Europe” within five days.  Why is is laughable:

  • a few thousand troops make no difference
  • bringing them to the EU is not enough, you then have to prepare them and deploy them for combat; that would take much longer.
  • If a Ukie attack is limited to the LDNR, it will take about 24 hours to stop it.  It would take Russia less than a week to destroy the Ukie military.  By the time the first US jarheads land in Germany or Poland, it will all be over.
  • Finally, what does adding several thousands solider from a military which has never fought in defense of its homeland and never won a war since WWII do to “deter Russia” anyway?

Next, I strictly personal opinion about Russian forces in Cuba/Nicarague/Venezuela/etc.

As Andrei Martyanov recently commented, western military moves are all about PR.  Russian military moves are all about war.  From a PR prospective, deploying Russian missiles in Cuba or Venezuela might look like a good idea, but from a military point of view?

Does anybody remember that the USSR had several brigades defending the Soviet missiles in Cuba?  Why, because Cuba is as close to the USA as Estonia is to Russia, and that means that deploying forces right across the US border puts that force at a huge risk of US preemptive attack.

Next, while Cuba is the most stable of them all, it is a fact that thanks to decades of subversion, attacks, sabotage, coup attempts and the like, countries like Nicaragua or Venezuela are inherently unstable (again, by no fault of their own).  Placing weapons like, say, the Iskander complexes there would not only expose them to attack, but even possibly to capture.  Some will say that Russia can send forces there to defend them.  In theory – yes.  But in practice?

Such a deployment would be both risky and very very expensive.  Also, what if the US decides not to invade Cuba/Venezuela/Nicaragua but to blockade it.  Does the Russian military have the means to breach a blockade many thousands of miles away from Russia?  Nope, she does not.  Neither her Navy nor her Aerospace forces have the means to engage in a struggle for naval/air superiority against the USA in the Caribbean.

It would be much safer, quicker and cheaper to use her submarines and long range aviation to threaten both US coasts, the one in the Atlantic and the one in the Pacific with cruise and ballistic missiles, including hypersonic ones.  I won’t even mention the Poseidon underwater drones which could completely wipe out both US coasts.

Interestingly, the RAND corporation is posting articles which strongly suggest that the US and the West are deluding themselves about how war between Banderastan and Russia would look.  Check these out:

U.S. Military Aid to Ukraine: A Silver Bullet?

Ukraine Needs Help Surviving Airstrikes, Not Just Killing Tanks

Okay, RAND is RAND, so they will never challenge the official narrative about Russia as the evil aggressor, but this shows, yet again, that there is some very serious disagreements inside the US ruling elites.

I will conclude today with 4 photos under the heading “one image is worth 1000 words”:

This is the Russian minister of defense:

These are Russian soliders

This is the Ukie minister of defense:

This is, according the The Times, the soldiers civilians which will deter/defeat the Russians

Reach your own conclusions 🙂

Andrei

PS: if you understand Russian, here is some good info on the woman created above.

The Other Side of the Story: Russia’s view on Geopolitics, War and Energy Racketeering

January 21, 2022

by Nash Landesman

The following is an exclusive interview with Russian Duma deputy, Yevgeny Fyodorov, a high-ranking conservative, nationalistic lawmaker in President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party. He has been Chairman of the Committee on Economic Policy of the State Duma and a member of the Advisory Council of the President of the Russian Federation. Below we discuss war with Ukraine, principles of sovereignty and geopolitics, the ongoing energy battle, the nuclear option, and the reestablishment of the Soviet sphere, all within the context of US ambition and Russian counter-strategy.

INTRO:

Atop the unipolar priority list lies the looming Russian “threat” of providing European consumers with affordable, dependable heating and cooking gas at stable long-term contract terms amidst the dead of winter. Only America and its’ “allies”/ [subordinates/collaborators] can halt this menace by supplanting cheap Russian gas piped from relatively short distances with much more expensive, technically-complex US liquid natural gas shipped from across the Atlantic, capitalizing on America’s shale revolution while stamping out Russian influence in Europe—killing two birds with one stone. (Although at least twenty-nine multibillion dollar regasification intake terminals have been built across Europe under US pressure to import its supplies, a new Russian pipeline threatens to render them sunk costs).

The Russian pipeline would “pose an existential threat to European energy security,” states one US sanctions bill, implying that the very notion of energy security outside of US/EU auspices is the threat itself. Washington is trying to block this development, using various means that now include the threat of war under any pretext.

Since Soviet times as much as 80% of Europe’s Russian gas imports traversed Ukraine— but lately those flows have since slowed to a trickle, due to Washington’s eight-year proxy war in Donbas, NATO expansion, Kiev’s tendency to syphon Russian gas and not pay its bills, and other factors. It is little wonder Moscow is scrambling to establish alternate routes avoiding third-party generated instability.

This year European gas prices rocketed to record highs, adding fuel to Russian ambitions to circumvent its’ now-hostile neighbor with its’ latest project, the recently- completed $11 billion natural gas pipeline, Nordstream 2, running under the Baltic sea direct to Germany, crucially evading land transit states subject to external control.

Nordstream 2 could be a major geopolitical boon to both Russia and Germany, helping the latter achieve the energy independence it would need to take steps to chart an independent course and/or remove US occupation troops from its territory, still present under the NATO umbrella since WWII.

Despite the pipeline’s recent completion, the European Commission has delayed (indefinitely) the certification required in order for Russia to start pumping gas. Whether Moscow will go ahead and do it anyway remains up in the air.

What is clear is that US counter-strategy is a patchwork of threats, hysterics and racketeering. As Richard Morningstar, former US diplomat and founding director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Centre, bluntly put it, “I think Nord Stream 2 is really a bad idea…If you want to kill the [US-based] LNG strategy go ahead with Nord Stream [2]”.

The pipeline also undermines an interrelated, long-developing, radical globalization scheme—an internal EU gas market established under the European Energy Charter that’s designed to dismantle Gazprom by preventing Russia from owning or controlling its downstream energy assets.

Large land transit states like Ukraine help to ensure that Russia obey the rules. But after withdrawing from the aforementioned treaty in 2009, Russia has struck bilateral gas deals with states like Hungary and Belarus, enraging Washington and Brussels. Now Nordstream 2 would symbolize the ultimate affront to the internal energy market architecture as it involves Europe’s most powerful nation, Germany, with no transit states in-between.

(Berlin has been left in the cold ever since caving to pressure to phase-out its nuclear capacity and cease domestic coal production). The pertinent question is: on whose outside supplies will Berlin come to depend? Europe’s future may hang on the answer.

Ex-German chancellor Angela Merkel supported the pipeline, her foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, along with the Austrian Federal Chancellor, Christian Kern, complaining, “The draft bill of the US [sanctions regime] is surprisingly candid about what is actually at stake, namely selling American liquefied natural gas and ending the supply of Russian natural gas to the European market. We cannot accept the threat of illegal extraterritorial sanctions…involving Russia, such as Nord Stream 2, [which] impacts European-American relations in a new and very negative way.”

Detractors, meanwhile, insist that a pipeline avoiding Ukraine would give Russia more leverage over its weaker neighbor, despite the implied detachment, a piece of double-think requiring little to no explanation.

Nevertheless, one hard-headed member of Russia’s Duma explains what’s really going on, from Moscow’s view, and what’s truly at stake in this developing saga.

INTERVIEW:

Q: How does EU policy affect European states’ energy consumption?

Yevgeny Fyodorov

A: The alternative to our natural gas is, of course, importing US LNG, which is much more expensive. The crucial interested parties in our piped gas are Europe and especially Germany. The key question arises from the fact that the EU wants absolute control over the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline. They want to control everything. The principle of competition of nations is involved. Russia is also interested in full control over those gas supplies; it helps Russia to fulfill its obligations. We welcome no third party to play this game as an outside controller over the pipeline.

Hence the Germans’ position: they support Nordstream 2 because it provides for their gas balance and they understand that otherwise they will lack gas. Nord Stream 2 is a kind of “magic wand” for Russia because it helps Germany to get a stable gas supply and sign long-term contracts. Otherwise they will need to keep temperatures in their dwellings very low. If the EU refuses to certify Nordstream 2, Europe will freeze. It would be like shooting its’ own leg.

The position of Europe is this: give us all transport routes and gas fields—but it contradicts the Russian principle of state sovereignty. So Russia won’t agree to it. Our position is simple: we supply gas, you can either take it or not. We aren’t going to sort out your domestic problems.

Q: What are the impediments to gas flowing through the recently-completed Nordstream 2 pipeline?

A: Blocking Nordstream 2 is a result of pressure from the Americans. There we need to understand common sense. What is the Americans’ interest? It is a very basic interest. There is no economic profit in LNG supplied from the US. The interest of the US is that they are generally against German economic independence and independent resouces. Yes, we have American military troops in Germany, Germany is being controlled by the US. In case Germany becomes too independent it will simply throw away American control. This is how history works. Of course, this is why the Americans are against NS2. Not just because of the competition with their LNG, but also because of US Anti-German policy. They dislike that Germany would gain a new level of economic independence; such level which would allow Germany to get rid of American control.

It’s clear that the U.S. wouldn’t like European countries, particularly Germany, to become more powerful. So, the U.S.’s geopolitical interest consists in Germany not being able to solve its problems with gas supply beyond U.S.’s influence, without the influence from Ukraine, Poland etc… As a result Americans opposed Nord Stream 2 from the very beginning. It’s obvious. Because it’s one thing when you control a few countries and manipulate them and it’s absolutely different thing when Germany will get a regular gas supply and will be independent of the US. It’s the position of the US and it’s clear and understandable.

The position of Germany: it needs a reliable gas supply and independence. The position of Russia: to earn money for its gas supply. With every coming year, Germany will become more and more sovereign\independent and one day American troops will be withdrawn from its territory. I’m sure one day Germany will raise the question of withdrawal of American occupation troops from their land. You know, these troops were simply renamed from occupation troops into NATO’s troops. It’s in the interests of German people and at some point Germans will do it. Russia will definitely help them, not in a military way but by creating geopolitical foundation of free nations.

And now another question: the situation in the European Union. European regulations/treaties/charters/energy packages were adopted not by Germany but by the EU and which are greatly influenced by the U.S. They created the so-called energy packages … If EU countries had signed long-term contracts, there wouldn’t have been any price increase. They could have agreed on $300 per cubic meter for many years ahead. But without these contracts the price rocketed to $1000, harming Germany and other European countries.

A: How does the issue of sovereignty come into effect?

What’s the main motivation of any nation? Sovereignty and freedom. And if there are any occupation troop on their land, it’s anything but freedom. That’s why any nation will demand occupation armies to leave their country even if at present they don’t talk about it openly because of the propaganda. Germany is moving in this direction. It’s a normal process. A Unipolar world is neither normal nor legal in the historic context. Either there is one Empire, like the Roman Empire of Alexander the Great, or the world is multi-polar. There is no other option.

Today’s unipolar world is volatile. And Americans understand this. They have two options: either to create a colonial empire (but aren’t powerful enough to do it) or accept\embrace the multi-polar world model. They are guided by the rules of competition among nations according to which everyone is everyone’s enemy. That’s the way people live in the world. All the wars were caused by this. The logic is: you’re the most powerful and the rest are suppressed by you. Everyone is suppressed by you, not only major enemies like Russia, but allies as well. They are allies because American troops are on their territory but not because they love America.

Q: Why does the U.S. still insist on gas transit through Ukraine?

A: Another play is the game with Ukraine, where we still talk about keeping gas supply transiting through it. Nobody (in Russia) refuses to transit via Ukraine. But the talks and wishes are about the substantial profit Ukraine will obtain from transiting our gas over its’ territories. The Americans will continue to insist that Russia must finance its’ own war with Ukraine, until NS2 will start to function; until Russia manages to exclude Ukraine from financing its’ military actions with Russian money [via transit fees amounting to billions of dollars per year].

Frankly speaking there is a particular part of Ukraine that refused to follow the orders of the newly- emerged power in Kiev, who occupied power in 2014. The new undersea pipeline (NS2) shouldn’t involve a third party like what we have to deal with in the case of Ukraine. Our undersea pipeline is more convenient for Europe. It is clear that when the Ukraine pipeline was constructed in the middle of last century there were no underwater pipeline technologies. Now this new technology has emerged thanks to scientific progress.

Q: What are the economic implications of this energy battle?

A: Let’s look at this question from the viewpoint of science, history and geopolitics. What is the American dollar? The American dollar is a world currency. Let’s look at some figures: the American dollar turnover in the world is 40%, the euro turnover is 40% whereas the ruble turnover is only 0.18%. So, the ruble turnover is 400 times lower than that of the dollar or euro. The ruble doesn’t exist on the global scale.

Americans have built their consumption at the expense of the world dollar. Estimates show that Americans consume 4 times more than they produce on their territory. The situation in Russia is quite the opposite. Russia produces 4 times more of the global GDP than it consumes. As a result Russia is a contributor to the world economy while the US is a vermin\parasite. These are merely figures\data, nothing personal. So, the dollar is of great importance to the Americans.

The dollar requires worldwide jurisdiction – Anglo-Saxon law – because currency is worthless if it’s not supported by juridical system. Hence comes the mechanism of the world jurisdiction, the unipolar world as a vertical authority. According to Putin, “one power center means one decision-making center”. What’s Russia’s interest? To restore the ruble, which will allow Russia to immediately control 6% of the world currency turnover. And I’d like to remind you that at present we control only 0.18%. In the long run, taking into account that Russia has 1\3 of the world’s resources, we expect this figure to reach 1\3 of the world turnover. We want to have the right to print out currency.

Q: Do the aforementioned issues implicate a pivot to Asia?

A: There is a policy of reducing dependance of EU countries on Russian gas. We are ready to sell our gas to EU countries. But we see EU legislation creates harm to Europe, eg. Now the natural gas price jumped to $900 per 1000 cubic meters. But those are internal problems; they should be able to set up their legislation so that it will not harm their economy. Concerning Chinese – Russian relations and natural gas supply to China, the supply will continue to grow.

This is about geopolitical and economic profitability. There are certain issues that lead to this. Russia and China have a common goal: to establish sovereignty. I reiterate one figure for economists: in the world economy the USD and the Euro comprise 80% of the world economy. The Russian ruble comprises one twentieth of 1% of global reserves. Hundreds of times less. Naturally that is unfair and illegal. And we will carry on politics which will result in the situation where the Russian ruble will equal Russia’s economy and resource export capability. And China will be our ally.

Q: What is the general position of European states, notwithstanding EU internal market legislation?

A: Who is the enemy of American unipolar world? The enemy of any unipolar world, including the American one, is national thousand-year-old states\countries, like Germany, France, etc… because such countries don’t want to be given orders. France has been independent for more than 1000 years.

They don’t need any bosses in Brussels, let alone in Washington. So the policy of the US is to subdue them. The US has been trying to achieve this goal, firstly, by assisting in EU creation and by Mediterranean wars which led to millions of refugees who break French, German etc… national regimes. That’s the goal. Why did America bomb Libya, Syria? Why were they involved in the coup d’état in Egypt? It’s clear that they wanted to destroy national thousand-year-old states, which leads to economic destruction.

Q: What do you make of the de-Russification laws in Ukraine?

A: It is occupational tool intended to limit and prohibit the Russian language in Ukraine. The character and basic feature of Russian nation is that it is cultural people with big history. And the Russian language is a very important factor in consolidating and uniting multiple smaller nations.

In the territory of Ukraine, as Ukraine itself is not a legal state from the position of International Law. So in Ukraine outside extranational parties. First of all, the US and their allies carry out the politics to stop the process of reestablishment of the joint united Motherland within it’s 1945 borders. In turn the reestablishment process in many parts of the Soviet Union is being carried out by all interested parties.

From this fact emerges the conflict within Ukraine. This conflict could only be resolved by establishment of one single united state of Ukraine and Russia. Otherwise, it will never be resolved and will last forever. Actually, the reunion (of Ukraine and Russia) will definitely happen one day, is my strong belief. All serious leading experts understand that. The situation (between Russia and Ukraine) is still not regulated in accordance with the procedures guiding the liquidation of the Soviet Union. That is most important to understand. To say it in rough words, the situation with Ukraine and Crimea is prolonged and delayed until today. These are the roots of conflicts and arguments with Ukraine about Crimea and Donbass and Lugansk, and with Moldova, Transdniestria, Georgia, Abkhazia, etc…

Q: How does Russia view subversive actions in nearby states like Belarus, for example?

A: As an attempt to intrude by a third party into territory of an internationally recognized state entity, a joint Motherland within 1945 borders. Actually, we will react to intrusion into any other country, not only Belarus. Russia will use shield and defense tools. Defense tools we have include nuclear weapons, to protect and secure our borders and keep them safe and contain safely our nuclear weapons, and using those nuclear weapons. In other words, should America enter the territory of Belarus, our nuclear missiles are targeted at London, Washington, New York and other cities. The US will continue to manipulate Ukraine and Belorussia to oppose Russia. They will utilize the issue of unregulated state borders [see today: Kazakhstan] between these countries as a lever against its’ competitor and opponent, Russia.

Q: Do you feel that America’s missile bases in Eurasia are directed towards Russia?

A: We don’t ignore the reality that the US has installed missile bases throughout Eurasia. And the [US] State Department was saying that they will form new military nuclear bases there, including in Asian countries. Please understand this is very simple story. Russia plans to engage its nuclear weapons not against those countries where it was launched against Russia, but against the mastermind cities where the decisions were made. To be exact, it is Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and other American cities. Please fully understand, in case American nuclear weapons are launched from, eg. Taiwan, or Poland, the response will hit New York or Washington.

Q: Please elaborate on the EU’s long-unfolding internal gas market/energy treaty packages.

A: Sure. European policy was to reject long-term contracts. This policy was to start a competitive war in which, as they said, the price would be reduced as a result of competition. And here lies their error of judgment. Competition works only if there is excess supply.

But taking into consideration the post-Covid economy boost of China and Asia [among other factors], there hasn’t been any excess supply. As a result the EU failed. [higher prices, however, have increased demand for US LNG imports, perhaps implying that Russia’s plan backfired, playing into America’s hands]. Those who signed long-term contracts didn’t suffer at all. Some French companies, for instance, didn’t lose anything. They even benefited from this. So this price increase is the EU’s fault. What Russia wants is just to earn money for its produce. Russia thinks like this: if we don’t sell gas in Europe, we could sell it in China.

Q: What is the situation surrounding US negotiations with Germany regarding Russian energy?

A: Look: Who is more important: the supplier or the consumer who pays money? Surely, it’s the consumer. So, who is the main player in this situation: Germany or Russia? Germany. That’s why the U.S. opposes Nord Stream 2 by negotiating with Germany, not Russia. Germany is the main player here. So, the U.S. exerted pressure on Germany. And Germany, in its turn, tried to compensate by offering to invest in Ukrainian system, hydrogen etc… The negotiations regarding Nord Stream 2 were conducted between Germany and the U.S. but not between America and Russia.

Q: How do offhand events, like the “Russiagate” fraud, the alleged Navalny poisoning, hysteria surrounding Russian troop buildup along the Russian-Ukrainian border, etc… influence public opinion?

A: Russia is constantly blamed and there are two reasons why. Firstly, Russia doesn’t have influence on its own information sphere; it doesn’t have the necessary technology. Even Russia’s social networks, television are American. Mass media in Russia are beyond Russia’s jurisdiction. Russia doesn’t have “weapons” in the information sphere. Besides it’s very convenient to put all the blame on Russia in order to solve one’s own domestic problems. It’s common practice.

Q: Is the EU’s energy Treaty Packages/Charter unfeasible?

A: The EU’s energy packages are based on market excess supply. What I mean is they get gas supply from everywhere, from the U.S., Asia, Norway, and Russia. Europe wants to get the lowest price due to the competition between these suppliers. It only works providing there is excess supply due to different reasons, including transport logistics [plus Russia’s allegedly withholding supply from the market for leverage in Nordstrream 2 negotiations]. So it was a wrong strategy. I have only one question here: was this strategy was wrong because they are fools in Brussels or because they just played along with Americans? I think the latter. The situation got out of control: it led to price increase. Now they don’t know how to handle it.

Q: Will Russia accept the terms and conditions of these energy packages?

A: While drawing up this energy package (and it took years), they didn’t anticipate post-Covid syndrome which changed the situation globally. But Russia’s position is very simple. We support sovereignty. Historically, the concept of sovereignty in the Russian word is a priority. We respect the sovereignty of others. Russian position is simple: here is gas, you can either take it or not. We aren’t going to change your own internal regulations.

Q: How does US and Russian geopolitical strategy differ?

A: We have a different geopolitical strategy. The U.S. strategy is to support dollar turnover in the world. The U.S. domestic economy is dependent on external dollar. Hence 800 (military) bases abroad.

The strategic historical policy of Britain and later America – the so called “gunboat policy, is creating conflict zones and supporting both conflicting parties with the aim of controlling the situation. That’s the U.S. policy. It originates from the American principle of nation building. Russia’s policy is exclusively managing our own business. We are a country of defensive\protective policy. The only exception was the USSR with its Marxist ideology of world revolutions. But it was a temporary exception and it was rejected by Russia.

Q: Do you regard ecological complaints from Poland as a part of the American scheme?

A: Sure. Poland is under U.S. control. If Americans remove this control, it will be gained by Germany. But it’s not in the U.S. interests, so they use Poland and Ukraine. They tried to control Belarus but failed. It’s a clash of strategies. The American strategy is “divide and rule.” Americans want to divide Russia in order to get supplies separately from the Siberia, Ural. But since Russia has nuclear weapons, this plan won’t work out for them.

Q: Would Russia like to restore something like the USSR?

A: The priority here consists in re-establishing legal outcomes, in restoring something that was violated illegally. If a country is divided legally, they have the right to do so. For example, the Czech Republic and Slovakia decided to split. If they did it legally, that’s not a problem. But if it’s illegal, it should be revoked. Do you feel the difference?

As for Yugoslavia one should scrutinize the legitimacy of its division. What are the relations between international and internal\domestic laws? International law doesn’t interfere with domestic laws. A country can be destroyed\divided only by its own laws. If internal Yugoslavian laws were broken while dividing Yugoslavia, then this country should be restored. For the same reason Americans insist on Serbia recognizing Kosovo. Because Americans are well aware that until Serbia recognizes Kosovo’s independence, Serbia and Kosovo can’t be considered legally divided, no matter how many American (military) bases are located in Kosovo.

Without any doubt, the Soviet Union’s dissolution was illegal. By the way, from the viewpoint of law, it wasn’t dissolved because no republic, except for the Baltic States, took the decision to leave the Soviet Union. The republics decided on the state sovereignty but any union consists of sovereign states. So, it doesn’t mean the dissolution of the union.

Q: Who controls Russia’s Central Bank?

A: You must understand how our Central Bank works. The Central Bank is the Depositary of IMF and secures and answers for worldwide USD circulation and includes part of Russian territory. So the Central Bank is part of USD circulation. The Russian Ruble is a derivative of USD and Euro circulations. The Ruble emission is carried out proportionally to part of export deals, as part of USD and Euro income as a result of such operations. So, the Central Bank policy and ruble policy does not reflect the Russian economy at all. It just shows our export potential. So we understand we need reforms to nationalize our currency exchange system and Central Bank. And reforms would create a ruble currency bulk inside Russia in correlation with exports. Similar to what the ECB and Forex are doing. We plan this reform.


Nash Landesnan has written for a number of publications. He can be contacted at NashLandesman1@gmail.com.

كيف أحبط بوتين خطة أميركا في كازاخستان وجعل أوكرانيا وبولندا ساقطتين عسكرياً…؟

السبت 8 يناير 2022

 محمد صادق الحسيني

كل ما أعدّه له الغرب والرجعية العربية خلال سنوات وصرفوا عليه المليارات تبخر بين ليلة وضحى على يد فلاديمير بوتين!

فخلال أقل من 24 ساعة تمكن بوتين من إحباط أخطر عملية أميركية كانت تقضي بإحراق آسيا الوسطى والقوقاز انطلاقاً من كازاخستان!

 فقد استطاعت موسكو نقل أكثر من 20 ألف جندي الى هذا البلد المترامي الأطراف، ونجاحها بضرب الثورة الملوّنة المدعومة أميركياً والمموّلة سعودياً والسيطرة على مفاصل البلاد السياسية والإدارية والجغرافية، ما جعل بوتين ينجح بإخراج بايدن من اللعبة بخفي حنين ويخرج من كازاخستان خالي الوفاض، لا يملك في القمة الافتراضية المنتظرة بينه وبين نظيره الروسي في ١٠ الشهر الحالي سوى خيبة الأمل والذلّ والانكسار بعدما كان بايدن يريدها ورقته الرابحة المضمونة…

جو بايدن الذي كان قد أخفق تماماً في جرّ غريمه على المسرح الدولي فلاديمير بوتين إلى فخ اجتياح جيب أوكرانيا رغم كثرة الضجيج الإعلامي والتحشيد الاستخباري والعسكري على حدود الأمن القومي الروسي.

فكان قرار الدولة العميقة في واشنطن ان ذهبت للعمل بالخطة «ب» في إطار إشغال روسيا بمسرح عمليات أوسع وإبعادها عن تجميع قوى الشرق الصاعدة.

وهكذا تكون روسيا من الآن حتى ذلك اليوم قد نجحت في تفكيك كلّ الوحدات الإرهابية المدرّبة في القواعد التركية والمموّلة خليجياً، والقضاء عليها وتدميرها على امتداد البلاد الكازاخية.

ما يعني موسكو قد أحبطت عملياً أخطر مؤامرة كانت قد أعدّت لها واشنطن وأدواتها منذ سنوات لكازاخستان كما تقول مصادر مطلعة اقتضت نزول من تمّ تدريبهم وإعدادهم جيداً الى الشارع في أكبر بلاد آسيا المركزية الحاضنة للأمن القومي الروسي.

انّ نجاح هذا الإنزال الروسي المجوقل يحمل في طياته دلالات واسعة واستراتيجية في غاية الأهمية لواشنطن والناتو.

فالعملية جرت بسرعة فائقة تمّت السيطرة فيها على مساحة تفوق مساحة كلّ أوروبا، وفي بلاد أكثر تعقيداً من أوكرانيا وبولندا اللتين باتتا عملياً لقمة سهلة على الابتلاع والهضم بالنسبة لموسكو لو قرّرت ذلك في الجولات المقبلة من النزال مع الغرب، ما يجعل واشنطن تحت الصدمة الكبرى الآن وهي تشاهد خططها تتهاوى أمام عيونها من جديد كما حصل في سورية ولكن هذه المرة كلمح البصر!

فالمعروف انّ كلّ الأدوات المنفذة للخطة الأميركية كانت جاهزة عبر توظيف أحزاب ومنظمات مجتمع مدني ومجموعات مستعارة من دول الجوار (مقرّها اوكرانيا) مع غرفة العمليات المشتركة في الما ـ اتا في قبضة الروس!

وبهذا يكون قد سقط سيناريو إشعال «ربيع عربي» معادٍ لموسكو كان يهدف الضغط عليها لتقديم تنازلات للغرب او الانزلاق الى العنف والتورّط بالدم الكازاخي، للذهاب بالبلد الى مسار الثورات الملوّنة.

 وكازاخستان الدولة الأهمّ للحلف الروسي الآسيوي للأمن والدفاع المشترك وإحدى مقرات تأمين حشد الأسلحة الاستراتيجية الروسية، كانت البداية التي افترضها الغرب للتسلل الى الصين والى الجمهوريات المسلمة بما فيها المنضوية تحت الاتحاد الروسي.

وهي الدولة الكبرى بمساحة تزيد على 3 ملايين كم2 التي تحاذي كلّ الجنوب الروسي تقريباً بطول حدود مشتركة مع روسيا يبلغ 7664 كلم، وتحاذي الصين شرقاً وشمالاً ايضاً…

وكازاخستان الدولة الغنية بالنفط والغاز وبالمعادن الكثيرة ومنها اليورانيوم كذلك.

 تمكنت موسكو عملياً من إنقاذها من أخطر عملية هجوم غربي مسلح في أقل من ٢٤ ساعة من خلال تسيير جسر جوي فائق السرعة والتسليح جعل الناتو مبهوتاً وفاقداً لزمام المبادرة تماماً!

وهكذا تكون موسكو عملياً قد أحبطت مؤامرة نقل كازاخستان من ضفة الى ضفة أخرى من خلال استخدامها ديناميكية دفاعية عالية جداً ذكرت العالم بعملية كوسوفو وصربيا عندما سيطر الروس على مطار بريشتينا في العام 1999 ما دفع يومها قوات الناتو للتقهقر عن البوسنة وصربيا حتى يومنا هذا…

ويعزو المتابعون نجاح الخطة الروسية للإنزال الجوي في كازاخستان الى علم القيادة الروسية العليا جيداً بما كانت قد خططت له القيادة المركزية الأميركية، المتمركزة في قطر، يوم نقلت آلاف من عناصر داعش، من كلّ من سورية والعراق منذ العام 2017، بعد هزيمتهم على بوابات الشام وبلاد الرافدين على يد جيوش محور المقاومة وانعدام إمكانية معاودتهم القتال بشكل جبهوي (أيّ على شكل جبهه قادرة على شنّ عمليات عسكرية واسعة).

وكيف انّ عمليات النقل لهذه المجموعات، كانت قد جرت بتمويل سعودي قطري، وأنها قد بلغت ذروتها بعد هزيمة داعش في العراق أواخر العام المذكور.

حيث تمّ نقل ما لا يقلّ عن 12 الف عنصر الى شمال أفغانستان وبدأ تسريبهم من يومها الى داخل الجمهوريات الآسيويه السوفياتية السابقة وبينها كازاخستان .

وقد وجد هؤلاء قواعد حاضنة لهم في تلك البلدان، وذلك من خلال 18 ألف منظمة غير حكومية، تموّلها السعودية، في تلك الدول .

ويبلغ تعداد أفراد هذه المنظمات، القادرين على حمل السلاح والمدرّبين والمجهّزين جيداً حسب مصادر محور المقاومة، ما يزيد على 280 ألف فرد .

وما حصل خلال الأيام الماضية، من فوضى ونهب وسلب وتدمير الممتلكات الخاصة والعامة، إنما كان بإشراف غرفة عمليات أميركية «إسرائيلية»، مقرّها مدينة المآ ـ اتا، العاصمة الاقتصادية لكازاخستان.

ـ وقد تشكلت هذه الغرفة من 22 ضابط عمليات أميركي وستة ضباط استخبارات عسكرية «إسرائيلية» و16 ضابط استخبارات تركي، كما استخدمت في تنفيذ العمليات مجموعات مدرّبة على تنفيذ عمليات تخريبية «خلف خطوط العدو/ قوات خاصه أو صاعقة»، كانت حكومة أنقرة قد درّبتهم وأعدّتهم في قواعدها التركية وأرسلتهم بشكل ممنهج ومنظم الى داخل البلاد في تنسيق تامّ مع حلف الناتو.

ولكن مرة أخرى كانت موسكو لهم بالمرصاد وقد بدأت بإفشال العملية عندما تمكّن الجيش الكازاخي بدعم روسي واضح من استعادة السيطرة على مطار المآ ـ تا، الذي كان يُفترض ـ حسب الخطة ـ ان يتحوّل الى مركز لاستقبال الامدادات العسكرية الآتية من الدول التي تدير الجميع .

هذه المعرفة السابقة للخطة الغربية الرجعية هي التي دفعت الرئيس الكازاخي الى اتخاذ إجراءات ميدانيه فورية وحاسمة، ودعوته الى تفعيل دور منظمة الأمن والتعاون، التي تضمً كلاً من روسيا وكازاخستان وروسيا البيضاء وأرمينيا وطاجيكستان الى نشر قوات مشتركة، ما وضع الارضية والإمكانية العملية لحسم الهجوم المعادي وتدمير البنى التحتية لذلك التنظيم .

ـ وكان وصول طلائع القوات المساندة، من الدول المذكورة أعلاه، وعلى رأسها روسيا، هو الذي وضع حداً لعمليات التهريب والفوضى وقطع دابر المؤامرة وقضى عليها في مهدها .

ـ خاصة أنّ هذه القوات كلفت على الفور بحماية المؤسسات والمباني الحكومية والمنشآت الاستراتيجية الكبرى.

ـ وهذا يعني حماية الدولة الكازاخية ومنع سقوطها وتقسيمها وتحويلها الى قاعدة ارتكاز لتنفيذ عمليات أميركية «إسرائيلية» ضدّ كلّ من روسيا والصين وإيران .

ذلك لأنّ المعلومات المؤكدة التي توافرت لدى القيادة الروسية كانت تفيد بأنّ واشنطن وعواصم الناتو كانت تعدّ عملياً لنقل هذا السيناريو قريباً الى موسكو وطهران تحت عنوان الخطة «ج» فور الانتهاء من السيطرة على كازاخستان!

لكن الجميع في دول منظمة شانغهاي كان مستعداً ويقظاً هذه المرة لإسقاط المؤامرة تماماً، ومنع حلم المخطط الأميركي ومنفذيه، الذين باتوا مصابين بالعمى الاستراتيجي والتكتيكي، من التحقق وجعل أدواته تغرق في عملية استنزاف لا تعرف كيف تخرج منها !

الدلالة الأهمّ في ما حصل خلال الساعات الماضية يمكن تلخيصه بأنّ موازين القوى الاستراتيجي بين واشنطن وموسكو قد تغيّر لمصلحة الأخيرة وقواعد الاشتباك بين الشرق والغرب تغيّرت، وانّ أوكرانيا وبولندا باتتا ساقطتين نارياً.

وبهت الذي كفر.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

فيديوات متعلقة

مقالات متعلقة

Putin: Annual Press Conference

December 23, 2021

At the time of posting this is still ongoing.  Mr. Putin takes the podium at time marker 36:58 and proceeds directly to Q&A.  A transcript will be available but will take some time.

Update:  Completed after 3 hours and 56 minutes.  The president fielded the questions of 44 people, focusing on both domestic and international issues.

Why U.S. Security Talks With Russia is Invite to Hall of Mirrors

December 22, 2021

Finian CUNNINGHAM
Former editor and writer for major news media organizations. He has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages

Finian Cunningham

Washington and its partners are the problem. Any engagement being offered to Moscow is an invite into a hall of mirrors while on the outside the threat continues to lurk.

The United States and Russia appear to have reached an agreement to hold talks early in the new year to avert the mounting security tensions over Ukraine. But Moscow must be realistic. The talks will yield little to offset confrontation.

Russia last week unveiled a comprehensive set of proposals for security guarantees from the United States and the NATO military alliance. It called for no eastward expansion of NATO or deployment of U.S. strike weapons in countries bordering Russia. Moscow warned if there was not a reasonable reciprocation over its stated “red lines” then counter military measures would be taken instead. Such measures may include deployment of nuclear weapons in Belarus which Minsk has agreed to facilitate.

The combined Russian move seems to have gotten Washington’s attention. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said this week that a forum for talks had been agreed by the Biden administration and that negotiations would begin sometime during January.

However, getting Washington’s attention and the latter actually listening are two different things. And, unfortunately, the signs are that the United States is not taking Russia’s existential security concerns seriously nor is it capable of framing the situation accurately.

While appearing amenable to holding early talks with Russia on the security stand-off over Ukraine, nevertheless the Biden administration is still provocatively blaming Moscow as the cause of the entire problem. The State Department continues to accuse Russia of “aggression” towards Ukraine and insists that Moscow must “deescalate” the tensions as a condition for any forthcoming talks to be productive.

Furthermore, the Biden administration is continuing its supply of weapons to the anti-Russian regime in Kiev as well as threatening to deploy economic sanctions in concert with the European Union that are designed to cripple Russia.

In other words, the security talks that Washington appears to be willing to hold with Russia in the coming weeks are not based on proper respect nor on a premise of genuinely trying to resolve security concerns. The United States is persisting in peddling its distortion that Russia is to blame when the opposite is true. It is the United States and its NATO allies who are weaponizing the Kiev regime to foment dangerous tensions with Russia. It is the U.S. and its partners who are threatening and aggressing Russia, not the other way around. That distortion is in itself provocative.

There’s another reason why talks with the United States under current circumstances are doomed to yield little progress towards sustainable peace.

The Biden administration says that it will engage with Russia on its security proposals. But, and this is the giveaway, in consultation with NATO allies and partners. That will ensure that Washington’s scope for reciprocating with Moscow is blinkered by the lowest denominator of Russophobia among NATO partners.

The Kiev regime is backed by Poland and the Baltic states who have all condemned any “concessions” to Russia. Polish President Andrzej Duda after meeting with Ukrainian and Baltic counterparts this week declared that NATO should step up military forces and sanctions to “prevent Russian aggression”. Duda accused Russia of “blackmailing” Europe.

Given this array of gross distortion about the source of tensions in Ukraine and Europe generally – Russia is incriminated, rather than the U.S. and its NATO war machine – it is futile to expect any dialogue between Washington and Moscow to produce a badly needed reduction in confrontation and a modus vivendi.

The U.S. and NATO are plying Ukraine with lethal weapons and military advisors. This week, Russia’s Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu claimed that over 100 American private mercenaries were preparing some sort of false flag provocation in the Donbass region with chemicals. Ukraine is being set up for a proxy war in the well-worn U.S. modus operandi of Syria and other nations where covert dirty war was inflicted by the American imperialists and their European accomplices.

Alongside that, the NATO forces continue their large-scale buildup of forces, battalions, and strike weapons near Russia’s borders. And the jackals in NATO, like Poland and Baltic states, are howling for blood.

Yet, the Biden administration continues to insult common intelligence by accusing Russia of aggression and demanding that it must de-escalate for talks to proceed – talks, that is, that will be limited by the input of the most Russophobic mindsets in NATO as well as the unhinged anti-Russia regime in Kiev.

Russia has superb diplomats. They are more than capable of wiping the floor with U.S. and European counterparts when it comes to legal argumentation and logical reasoning. But even the most formidable diplomats can’t vanquish a falsified framework that is loaded like a gun to the head.

The signs are that Russia is being lured into a trap. Washington and its accomplices are not serious about respectful negotiations to resolve security problems. Washington and its partners are the problem. Any engagement being offered to Moscow is an invite into a hall of mirrors while on the outside the threat continues to lurk.

Russia may be better off using different tactics for more effectively communicating its concerns.

By this author

Washington’s Crime and Punishment

December 18, 2021

By Dmitry Orlov and posted with permission

Just yesterday Russia Foreign Ministry published a couple of documents that people have been struggling to interpret ever since, to little useful effect. I would like to offer my own explanation of what these documents mean, which will probably differ a great deal from most other explanations you are likely to hear. Time will tell how close they are to the truth; for now, I am happy to simply add to the spectrum of ideas that are available to it.

The two documents describe in detail what Washington must do to avoid the consequences of breaking its verbal agreement entered into with Mikhail Gorbachev to not expand NATO eastward toward Russia’s borders—essentially, to freeze NATO forces where they were in 1997, before NATO expanded farther east. The documents also address other aspects of de-escalation, such as removing all US nuclear weapons from foreign territory and confining US forces to waters and airspace from which they cannot threaten the territory of Russia.

One line of explanation, most recently expressed in Washington and elsewhere, is that these documents are a negotiating gambit (not an ultimatum), to be discussed privately (to avoid complete loss of face by the US) and in consultation with NATO members and partners, plus, maybe, the European Union, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, Amnesty International and Greenpeace (to avoid making their combined irrelevance apparent to all). I agree that there is little to be gained from public discussions; after all, Moscow has already achieved the required bombshell effect through the public release of these documents and in forcing Washington to acknowledge their receipt and to consent to “negotiations”.

I disagree that there is anything to be negotiated: these documents are not intended to be used as a starting point for negotiations; they are an invitation for Washington to acknowledge and remedy its transgressions. Washington broke the deal it made with Moscow not to expand east. It could do so because in the years following the breakup of the USSR Moscow was too weak to resist and run by people who thought it possible for Russia to integrate into the West, perhaps even to join NATO. But that era has ended some time ago and the collective West now has to put its collective toes back behind the red line—whether voluntarily or not—and that is the only thing yet to be determined. That is the only choice to be made: stand down voluntarily and make amends or refuse and be punished.

I also disagree that this choice—between making amends and accepting punishment—has anything to do with the EU, or NATO, or various “members” or “partners”. Moscow has no relationship with NATO, seeing it as a mere piece of paper that grants Washington rather questionable legal authority to deploy its military forces in countries around the world. Moscow has some vestigial diplomatic representation with the EU, but doesn’t see it as important and concentrates on bilateral relations with EU members. As for its Eastern European neighbors, the Ukraine is, viewed from Moscow, a US colony and thus entirely a US concern, Poland can go and partition itself again (or not), and, as far as those tiny yet politically annoying statelets of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, so sorry, but the Russian army is equipped with binoculars, not microscopes.

The choice, really, is between facing an increasing risk of a nuclear exchange between two nuclear superpowers—one that is rapidly fading in strength and one that is growing stronger all the time—and reducing that risk as much as possible. Only the two nuclear superpowers need to come to an understanding; everyone else can simply do as they say so that nobody gets hurt. In the case of the Europeans, they should be quite interested in doing so (if they still know what’s good for them) because NATO’s eastward expansion has left them with huge nuclear target signs painted all over them which they would do well to try to remove. Not only that, but NATO’s encroachment on Russia’s borders has increased the risk of a nuclear confrontation breaking out accidentally: all those nuclear-armed bombers, ships and submarines could make a wrong turn somewhere and then—kaboom!—no more Europe.

You might think that those bombers and ships and submarines must loiter around Russia’s borders in order to “contain” Russia, but this is false. Russia does an acceptably good job of containing itself, and the little territorial disputes that are likely to crop up here and there periodically are certainly not going to be solved by increasing the risk of nuclear war. The Russian Federation has land borders with over a dozen countries, most of which have Russian citizens living on both sides of them, and that makes land disputes inevitable, but none of them will ever be worth blowing up the planet over.

You might think that NATO forces need to show activity and act dangerous in order to justify their existence and their ridiculously bloated defense budgets. Also, if they didn’t get a chance to be threatening toward Russia, they might become despondent and just sit around drinking, doing drugs and having gay sex, and that would be bad for morale. (But then what’s wrong with a little gay sex between consenting off-duty gender-ambiguous servicepersons?) I’d think that these are all rather minor, if not trifling, concerns, considering that what’s on the other side of the scale is the risk of a planetary conflagration.

You might also think that Washington’s eastward expansion is not a crime because, you see, Gorbachev failed to get its promise not to expand east committed to in writing. Well, let me offer you a tiny insight into the inner workings of Russian civilization. If you enter into a verbal agreement with the Russians, break it, and then taunt them by saying “But you didn’t get it in writing!” you have just made the problem much worse for yourself. We all make mistakes and must sometimes break our promises, in which the proper course of action is to be contrite, apologize sincerely and offer to make amends. If, instead, you claim that the promise is null and void because a certain piece of paper cannot be located, then you have compounded your dishonorable conduct with willful disregard and have singled yourself out for exemplary punishment. This punishment may be slow to arrive, taking decades, perhaps even centuries, but you can be sure that you will be punished eventually.

Once upon a time Moscow was weak and Washington strong, but now the balance has shifted in Moscow’s favor and the time for Washington’s punishment has finally come. The only remaining question is, What form will this punishment take? The one proposed by Moscow is in the form of submission to public humiliation: Washington signs the security guarantees drafted in Moscow, drags itself back to its kennel and lies quietly like a good doggo licking its balls to console itself. And that’s the more pleasant alternative, a win-win sort of thing, offered in good faith.

The less pleasant alternative would be, I can’t help but imagine, much less pleasant, very confusing and quite dangerous. Think about Poseidons—undetectable nuclear-powered torpedos—endlessly cruising in thousands of feet of water off the continental shelf along the US coasts, ready to wash them off with entirely accidental and perfectly deniable tsunamis, their sporadic pings causing the Joint Chiefs of Staff to soil their diapers every time. Think about NATO planes, ships and submarines quietly going missing for no adequately explored reason, their crews later turning up on some faraway beach very drunk and wearing Speedos in the colors of the Russian flag. Think of hypersonic something-or-others periodically doing zigzags in low Earth orbit over the US mainland, causing every cable TV channel to broadcast Russia Today and causing CNN’s talking heads to explode in impotent fury.

I would think that, in their own enlightened best interest, right-thinking Americans, regardless of party affiliation or lack thereof, would want to clamor for their elected representatives to quit making any more trouble and to just sign the damned security guarantees! But that’s just my own, private opinion.

Please support my writing at https://subscribestar.com/orlov or https://patreon.com/orlov

Russian draft documents on legal security guarantees from the United States and NATO

December 17, 2021

This document is in six sections.

  • The first is a preamble.  It is from ColonelCassad and is a machine translation.  This would form a necessary overview and is a description of the current situation.
  • The second is Russian Deputy FM Ryabkov’s special video briefing in Moscow and contains some incisive Q&A
  • The third is a short press release
  • The fourth is a proposed draft treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States of America on security guarantees
  • The fifth is a cohesive complement to the draft treaty and is an agreement on measures to ensure the security of the Russian Federation and member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).
  • The sixth is Jen Psaki’s initial response as reported by RT

We await the Saker’s Analysis in the next few days.

Preamble

The Russian Foreign Ministry presented a draft Russia-NATO agreement, which in fact sets forth in writing the security guarantees desired by Russia, which in fact is what was not done when Gorbachev liquidated the Soviet bloc.
Thus, the following text presents Russia’s vision of the current state of Russian-NATO relations and the vector of their desired correction in a way that would be beneficial for Russia.

Bilateral relations between Russia and foreign countries and regional organizations

Russian-NATO relations are in a protracted crisis. The decisions of the 2018 NATO summit in Brussels confirmed the line of military-political “containment” of Russia. The long-term course of building up NATO’s coalition capabilities to create troop groupings and further improve military infrastructure near our borders has continued.

The military presence and the bloc’s forced development of military infrastructure in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states is consistently increasing. The number and intensity of military exercises of the alliance and its member countries have increased significantly, for which additional contingents of troops and heavy military equipment of NATO countries are being transferred to the regions bordering Russia.

Sweden, Finland and other partner countries are more and more actively involved in the military activities of the alliance. Advanced command and staff units are being formed, the decision was made to create new joint commands of the coalition forces – in Norfolk (USA) to ensure safety of transport corridors in the North Atlantic and Arctic regions, in Ulm (Germany) on the management, planning and logistics for the organization of military transport in Europe. Pentagon plans for forward storage of military equipment in the CEE and Baltic states have been announced. Groups of ships patrolling the waters of the Baltic Sea were strengthened. The number of visits and duration of stay in the Black Sea of naval ships of non-Black Sea alliance countries, primarily of the USA, has increased. NATO Navy continues to patrol the air space of the Baltic Sea with increased strength, and “interception” sorties are carried out even when there have been no violations from the Russian side. The missile defense complex in Romania is deployed. A similar facility is planned to be commissioned in 2020 in Poland. Of particular concern are the plans for permanent deployment of U.S. troops there and the recent agreements to increase the American contingent, which jeopardize the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act, one of the few remaining documents meant to ensure military stability in Europe.

Gradually but systematically, the effective European security architecture and the norms of international law are being destroyed. The abandonment of key agreements that ensure military restraint, with the tacit agreement of most members of the alliance – the situation around the New START treaty is a vivid example here – is fraught with the development of a new arms race, a throwback to the principles of the confrontation era.

Of course, such NATO military preparations cannot remain without our adequate response.

The continuing dragging of the Balkan countries into NATO and the desire to “drive” them into the bloc at any cost confirms the invariability of the course taken to recklessly expand its geopolitical space. Disregard of legal norms and opinion of a considerable part of the population in closing the issue of state name of Northern Macedonia, forcing Bosnia and Herzegovina to join NATO, creating “Kosovo army” with connivance of the “Force for Kosovo” only aggravate already existing contradictions and seriously destabilize the situation in the region.

The unilateral decision of NATO to suspend practical cooperation with Russia on military and civilian lines also remains in force. At the same time, NATO countries do not show readiness to discuss Russian proposals on de-escalation of tensions and prevention of military incidents, handed to them at the May 31, 2018 Russia-NATO Council meeting. These proposals include resuming dialogue on the military line (starting with expert consultations) to discuss issues of mutual interest and concern to Russia and our partners; taking measures to reduce military activity along the line of direct contact between Russia and NATO (the Baltics, There has been no reaction from NATO so far.

All these actions are fraught with long-term destabilizing consequences for both regional and entire Euro-Atlantic security.

Despite the unfriendly steps taken against us, Russia has no intention of getting drawn into the senseless confrontation imposed on us.

We continue to firmly believe in the strategic commonality of aims with all the States and organizations of the Euro-Atlantic region to maintain peace and stability and to counter common threats to security – international terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, drug trafficking and piracy. We remain convinced that there is no real alternative to mutually beneficial and broad pan-European security co-operation on the solid basis of international law.

Russia’s position remains unchanged – our country is ready to develop relations with NATO on the basis of equal rights in order to strengthen comprehensive security in the Euro-Atlantic region. The depth and content of such relations will depend on the alliance’s reciprocal readiness to take Russia’s legitimate interests into account.


The video is forwarded to start playing at the start point at 21:47


17 December 2021 13:36

Press release on Russian draft documents on legal security guarantees from the United States and NATO

During the December 15, 2021 meeting at the Russian Foreign Ministry, the US party received a draft treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States of America on security guarantees and an agreement on measures to ensure the security of the Russian Federation and member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

The US party was given detailed explanations regarding the logic of the Russian approach, as well as the relevant arguments. We hope that, the United States will enter into serious talks with Russia in the near future regarding this matter, which has critical importance for maintaining peace and stability, using the Russian draft treaty and agreement as a starting point.


17 December 2021 13:30

TREATY BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION ON SECURITY GUARANTEES

Unofficial translation

Draft

The United States of America and the Russian Federation, hereinafter referred to as the “Parties”, guided by the principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations, the 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the 1975 Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as the provisions of the 1982 Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes, the 1999 Charter for European Security, and the 1997 Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Russian Federation,recalling the inadmissibility of the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations both in their mutual and international relations in general,

supporting the role of the United Nations Security Council that has the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security,

recognizing the need for united efforts to effectively respond to modern security challenges and threats in a globalized and interdependent world,

considering the need for strict compliance with the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs, including refraining from supporting organizations, groups or individuals calling for an unconstitutional change of power, as well as from undertaking any actions aimed at changing the political or social system of one of the Contracting Parties,

bearing in mind the need to create additional effective and quick-to-launch cooperation mechanisms or improve the existing ones to settle emerging issues and disputes through a constructive dialogue on the basis of mutual respect for and recognition of each other’s security interests and concerns, as well as to elaborate adequate responses to security challenges and threats,

seeking to avoid any military confrontation and armed conflict between the Parties and realizing that direct military clash between them could result in the use of nuclear weapons that would have far-reaching consequences,

reaffirming that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, and recognizing the need to make every effort to prevent the risk of outbreak of such war among States that possess nuclear weapons,

reaffirming their commitments under the Agreement between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on Measures to Reduce the Risk of Outbreak of Nuclear War of 30 September 1971, the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas of 25 May 1972, the Agreement between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Establishment of Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers of 15 September 1987, as well as the Agreement between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Prevention of Dangerous Military Activities of 12 June 1989,

have agreed as follows:

Article 1

The Parties shall cooperate on the basis of principles of indivisible, equal and undiminished security and to these ends:

shall not undertake actions nor participate in or support activities that affect the security of the other Party;

shall not implement security measures adopted by each Party individually or in the framework of an international organization, military alliance or coalition that could undermine core security interests of the other Party.

Article 2

The Parties shall seek to ensure that all international organizations, military alliances and coalitions in which at least one of the Parties is taking part adhere to the principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations.

Article 3

The Parties shall not use the territories of other States with a view to preparing or carrying out an armed attack against the other Party or other actions affecting core security interests of the other Party.

Article 4

The United States of America shall undertake to prevent further eastward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and deny accession to the Alliance to the States of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

The United States of America shall not establish military bases in the territory of the States of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, use their infrastructure for any military activities or develop bilateral military cooperation with them.

Article 5

The Parties shall refrain from deploying their armed forces and armaments, including in the framework of international organizations, military alliances or coalitions, in the areas where such deployment could be perceived by the other Party as a threat to its national security, with the exception of such deployment within the national territories of the Parties.

The Parties shall refrain from flying heavy bombers equipped for nuclear or non-nuclear armaments or deploying surface warships of any type, including in the framework of international organizations, military alliances or coalitions, in the areas outside national airspace and national territorial waters respectively, from where they can attack targets in the territory of the other Party.

The Parties shall maintain dialogue and cooperate to improve mechanisms to prevent dangerous military activities on and over the high seas, including agreeing on the maximum approach distance between warships and aircraft.

Article 6

The Parties shall undertake not to deploy ground-launched intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles outside their national territories, as well as in the areas of their national territories, from which such weapons can attack targets in the national territory of the other Party.

Article 7

The Parties shall refrain from deploying nuclear weapons outside their national territories and return such weapons already deployed outside their national territories at the time of the entry into force of the Treaty to their national territories. The Parties shall eliminate all existing infrastructure for deployment of nuclear weapons outside their national territories.

The Parties shall not train military and civilian personnel from non-nuclear countries to use nuclear weapons. The Parties shall not conduct exercises or training for general-purpose forces, that include scenarios involving the use of nuclear weapons.

Article 8

The Treaty shall enter into force from the date of receipt of the last written notification on the completion by the Parties of their domestic procedures necessary for its entry into force.

Done in two originals, each in English and Russian languages, both texts being equally authentic.

For the United States of America                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           For the Russian Federation

17 December 2021 13:26

AGREEMENT ON MEASURES TO ENSURE THE SECURITY OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION AND MEMBER STATES OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION

Unofficial translation

Draft

The Russian Federation and the member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), hereinafter referred to as the Parties,

reaffirming their aspiration to improve relations and deepen mutual understanding,

acknowledging that an effective response to contemporary challenges and threats to security in our interdependent world requires joint efforts of all the Parties,

determined to prevent dangerous military activity and therefore reduce the possibility of incidents between their armed forces,

noting that the security interests of each Party require better multilateral cooperation, more political and military stability, predictability, and transparency,

reaffirming their commitment to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the 1975 Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, the 1997 Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between the Russian Federation and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the 1994 Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security, the 1999 Charter for European Security, and the Rome Declaration “Russia-NATO Relations: a New Quality” signed by the Heads of State and Government of the Russian Federation and NATO member States in 2002,

have agreed as follows:

Article 1

The Parties shall guide in their relations by the principles of cooperation, equal and indivisible security. They shall not strengthen their security individually, within international organizations, military alliances or coalitions at the expense of the security of other Parties.

The Parties shall settle all international disputes in their mutual relations by peaceful means and refrain from the use or threat of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

The Parties shall not create conditions or situations that pose or could be perceived as a threat to the national security of other Parties.

The Parties shall exercise restraint in military planning and conducting exercises to reduce risks of eventual dangerous situations in accordance with their obligations under international law, including those set out in intergovernmental agreements on the prevention of incidents at sea outside territorial waters and in the airspace above, as well as in intergovernmental agreements on the prevention of dangerous military activities.

Article 2

In order to address issues and settle problems, the Parties shall use the mechanisms of urgent bilateral or multilateral consultations, including the NATO-Russia Council.

The Parties shall regularly and voluntarily exchange assessments of contemporary threats and security challenges, inform each other about military exercises and maneuvers, and main provisions of their military doctrines. All existing mechanisms and tools for confidence-building measures shall be used in order to ensure transparency and predictability of military activities.

Telephone hotlines shall be established to maintain emergency contacts between the Parties.

Article 3

The Parties reaffirm that they do not consider each other as adversaries.

The Parties shall maintain dialogue and interaction on improving mechanisms to prevent incidents on and over the high seas (primarily in the Baltics and the Black Sea region).

Article 4

The Russian Federation and all the Parties that were member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as of 27 May 1997, respectively, shall not deploy military forces and weaponry on the territory of any of the other States in Europe in addition to the forces stationed on that territory as of 27 May 1997. With the consent of all the Parties such deployments can take place in exceptional cases to eliminate a threat to security of one or more Parties.

Article 5

The Parties shall not deploy land-based intermediate- and short-range missiles in areas allowing them to reach the territory of the other Parties.

Article 6

All member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization commit themselves to refrain from any further enlargement of NATO, including the accession of Ukraine as well as other States.

Article 7

The Parties that are member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization shall not conduct any military activity on the territory of Ukraine as well as other States in the Eastern Europe, in the South Caucasus and in Central Asia.

In order to exclude incidents the Russian Federation and the Parties that are member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization shall not conduct military exercises or other military activities above the brigade level in a zone of agreed width and configuration on each side of the border line of the Russian Federation and the states in a military alliance with it, as well as Parties that are member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Article 8

This Agreement shall not affect and shall not be interpreted as affecting the primary responsibility of the Security Council of the United Nations for maintaining international peace and security, nor the rights and obligations
of the Parties under the Charter of the United Nations.

Article 9

This Agreement shall enter into force from the date of deposit of the instruments of ratification, expressing consent to be bound by it, with the Depositary by more than a half of the signatory States. With respect to a State that deposited its instrument of ratification at a later date, this Agreement shall enter into force from the date of its deposit.

Each Party to this Agreement may withdraw from it by giving appropriate notice to the Depositary. This Agreement shall terminate for such Party [30] days after receipt of such notice by the Depositary.

This Agreement has been drawn up in Russian, English and French, all texts being equally authentic, and shall be deposited in the archive of the Depositary, which is the Government of …

Done in [the city of …] this [XX] day of [XX] two thousand and [XX].


White House responds to Russian security proposalsThe US “will not compromise” on NATO expansion, the White House reiterated on Friday, following proposals from Russia outlining how it believes Moscow and the West can deescalate ongoing tensions in the east of Europe.

“We have seen the Russian proposals. We are discussing them with our European allies and partners,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told journalists onboard Air Force One on Friday when asked about the Russian documents.

She added that the US won’t accept the idea of stopping NATO expansion in Europe, despite what Russia wants.

“We will not compromise the key principles on which European security is built, including that all countries have the right to decide their own future and form policy free from outside interference,” she said.

Moscow sees the expansion of NATO towards its border as a critical threat to its national security, based on the bloc’s confrontational stance toward Russia.

A verbal promise not to move the organisation to the east was given to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev during negotiations on the reunification of Germany. Those assurances were memory-holed after the dissolution of the USSR. In 2017, declassified US documents backed up Moscow’s version of events.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, meanwhile, said that the potential dialog should include the alliance’s concerns and Ukraine’s point of view.


The Putin-Modi Summit Was a Global Geostrategic Game-Changer

December 09, 2021

The de facto Russian-Indian hemispheric-wide “balancing” alliance that was agreed to during this week’s Putin-Modi Summit is one of the most significant diplomatic developments this century thus far. It’s truly a global geostrategic game-changer because of the irreplaceable role that it aims to play in the ongoing US-Chinese New Cold War.

By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

The Globally Significant Summit

Russian President Putin’s visit to New Delhi to meet with Indian Prime Minister Modi was a geostrategically game-changing development in the context of the ongoing New Cold War. The “Partnership for Peace, Progress, and Prosperity” that both sides agreed to amounts to a de facto alliance in all but name and builds upon their 1971 “Treaty of Peace, Friendship, and Cooperation” from exactly half a century ago. This 99-point document aims to align both Great Powers’ Eastern Hemispheric-wide “balancing” acts in order to maximally optimize their impact on shaping the dynamics of the emerging Multipolar World Order. It can be regarded as among the most important diplomatic developments of this century thus far and will likely remain relevant for decades.

Background Briefing

The author outlined the contours of their complementary grand strategies in the following pieces:

* 16 May 2020: “The Prospects Of Russia And India Jointly Leading A New Non-Aligned Movement

* 17 February 2021: “Why Structural Realists Are Wrong To Predict That Russia Will Help The US Against China

* 7 October 2021: “Towards Bi-Multipolarity

What comes next is an oversimplified summary of the insight shared above.

Complementary “Balancing” Acts

Basically, Russia and India both aspire to “balance” the consequences of the primarily US-Chinese New Cold War, though they’ve thus far been going about it in different ways: Russia aligned closer to China while India did the same to the US. The mutual suspicions of each other’s grand strategic intent that this prompted were finally resolved earlier this year. Russia and India realized that they can do more if they coordinate their policies. This explains clause 93 of their reaffirmed partnership pact which declares that “The sides agreed to explore mutually acceptable and beneficial areas of cooperation in third countries especially in the Central Asia, South East Asia and Africa.”

The ”Neo-NAM”

That policy informally amounts to an attempt to organize a hemispheric-wide network of “non-aligned” states that share Russia’s and India’s interest in “balancing” between the US and China. In other words, it’s the prototype of the “Neo-NAM” that the author wrote about in May 2020 for the official journal of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO, which is run by the Russian Foreign Ministry). As he explained in the Indian military publication Force two months ago, this is aimed at enabling both Great Powers to flexibly adapting to the constantly changing geostrategic circumstances of the New Cold War through what’s described as their “bi-multipolarity” vision.

Russia’s Indo-Sino “Balancing” Act

It’s crucial to clarify that Russia has no intentions of infringing on China’s interests even if some in India might secretly wish that it would or could at least be tricked into doing so. Rather, the Eurasian Great Power understands that it has the responsibility to play an irreplaceable role in pragmatically managing tensions between its fellow BRICS and SCO partners in order to counteract the US’ incessant attempts to divide and rule them. Moscow appears to have accepted that if this rivalry won’t go away for some time, then the Kremlin must seek to ensure that it doesn’t lead to another Galwan-like conflict which could escalate into an all-out conventional war in the worst-case scenario.

“Military Diplomacy”

With this in mind, Russia is practicing what can be described as “military diplomacy”, or the use of military means to achieve political ends. In this case, it’s exporting equally strategic and high-quality arms to rivals China and India in order to maintain the balance of power between them with a view towards subsequently encouraging them to settle their disputes through political means instead of military ones. This contrasts with the American practice of “military diplomacy”, which attempts to give its preferred partner in any pair of rivals the military edge in order to encourage aggressive attempts to resolve existing disputes in a unilateral way instead of via a series of political compromises.

RIC

The Kremlin’s calculation is that if India is going to arm itself to the teeth anyhow, then it’s better for it to do so with Russian arms than American ones. While China might understandably feel uncomfortable with India’s massive military buildup, it seems to quietly prefer for this to be aided by Russia than the US if it’s seemingly inevitable. That could in turn enable Moscow to more effectively manage Washington’s pernicious divide-and-rule influence over New Delhi and thus hopefully stabilize Eurasian affairs. Proof of this concept in practice was seen late last month during the Russia-India-China (RIC) Foreign Ministers meeting that went ahead despite existing Chinese-Indian tensions likely due to Russia’s mediating role.

New Cold War Dynamics

China doesn’t believe in posing zero-sum choices upon its partners like the US does, but it’ll increasingly be compelled by the New Cold War’s American-influenced hyper-competitive dynamics into accepting that third countries are being pressured to choose between Beijing and Washington. This could place those states in very challenging positions since their cooperation with China is mutually beneficial yet they also fear the US’ Hybrid War wrath if they don’t submit to America’s demands to distance themselves from the People’s Republic as evidenced by the high-profile example that Washington is trying to make out of Ethiopia after its principled refusal to do so.  

The Geopolitical “Pressure Valve”

What’s urgently needed is a “pressure valve” for providing such countries with a so-called “third choice” whereby they can hopefully strike a balance between both superpowers without inadvertently offending one or the other. Therein lies the grand strategic significance of the Neo-NAM that the author proposed be jointly led by Russia and India. The first-mentioned is perceived as close to China while the second is seen as closer to the US, yet they’ve nevertheless proven their strategic autonomy through the latest Putin-Modi Summit. Russia continues to arm India to the teeth despite China’s concerns while India continues purchasing Russian arms despite the US’ sanctions threats for doing so.

Hemispheric Reach

Their declaration of intent to cooperate in third countries across Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa significantly involves the greatest theaters of rivalry in the US-Chinese New Cold War and can thus enable these two Great Powers to maximally optimize their complementary hemispheric-wide “balancing” acts. There’s also the chance that they’ll expand their cooperation to include West Asia considering the close relations that they each enjoy with Iran, “Israel”, and the UAE. When one remembers that they also pledged to work closer together in the Russian Arctic and Far East regions, it can be seen that their de facto “balancing” alliance truly encompasses the entire Eastern Hemisphere.

The European Dimension

While it might not have much of a direct impact on Europe in Western Eurasia, it does indeed have a very influential one when it comes to its indirect consequences. The North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC) between them through Iran and Azerbaijan aims to facilitate EU-Indian trade via Russia while the possible expansion of the Vladivostok-Chennai Maritime Corridor (VCMC) to include the Northern Sea Route (NSR) through the Arctic for connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans could achieve this economic end through maritime means for complementing the NSTC’s mainland component.

Towards A Russian-American “Non-Aggression Pact”

Some skeptics might question the political viability of Russia facilitating EU-Indian trade (whether through mainland or maritime means) considering the heightened tensions between Moscow and the West, but it’s here where they should contemplate the intention behind the last two Putin-Biden Summits. They’re aimed at responsibly regulating their rivalry so that they can ultimately reach a so-called “non-aggression pact”. This outcome would be mutually beneficial since it would enable the US to redirect more of its military and other resources to the “Indo-Pacific” for more aggressively “containing” China while restoring EU-Russian relations for improving one another’s struggling economies.

The US’ Anti-Russian “Deep State” Faction

This scenario remains dependent on the Biden Administration’s ability to manage the anti-Russian faction of the US’ permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) that’s trying to sabotage those two’s hoped-for “non-aggression pact” by leveraging its network of influence in the Baltic States, Poland, and Ukraine in order to provoke another East-West crisis. Right now, its anti-Chinese rival is predominant with respect to formulating the US’ grand strategy as evidenced by the last two Putin-Biden Summits. This change in the US’ “deep state” dynamics was former US President Trump’s most enduring legacy and was inherited by Biden as was just argued.

Concluding Thoughts

Back to the topic of this analysis, the de facto Russian-Indian hemispheric-wide “balancing” alliance that was agreed to during this week’s Putin-Modi Summit is one of the most significant diplomatic developments this century thus far. It’s truly a global geostrategic game-changer because of the irreplaceable role that it aims to play in the ongoing US-Chinese New Cold War. It’s of the highest importance that observers acknowledge this emerging reality in order to formulate the most effective policies for their countries to adapt to it. The Russian-Indian axis is now one of the most important in the world and will likely remain so for decades, perhaps even for the rest of the 21st century.

Did a major shift finally happen between the USA and Russia?

December 07, 2021

The western media is writing with a uniformity and discipline which goosestepping SS on a parade could envy them: Joe Biden delivered a “stern warning” to Putin: don’t invade the Ukraine, or else… (see herehere or here).

Since Russia has no intention, need, or even capability (as currently poised) to “invade” the Ukraine we can be certain that Biden will make his best impersonation “sheriff squinting eyes at OK Corral” (US Presidents like to do that to look “tough” and, therefore, “presidential”) and declare that he single-handedly stopped a Russian invasion on the Ukraine!  He is SO MUCH “tougher” than Trump, right?

Fine.  Whatever.

That is a small price to pay to avoid a full-scale (or even limited) war.

This will be an obvious PR stunt, which won’t even help Biden very much, but in his tough (disastrous, really) situation, anything he can present as even a semi-success is worth saying and doing.  “So – I stopped Putin!” was the best Biden could hope for.

This, however, still solves nothing on substance (yet?).

However, there are clear signs that substantive talks did take place (length of the conversation, experts present, tone following the meeting, etc.)

First, both sides agreed to “further consultations” on the “expert level”.

Furthermore, the US side has declared “we still do not believe that President Putin has made a decision” to “further invade” the Ukraine.  So in spite of all the (hilariously ridiculous) “secret maps” posted by the western media (see here or here), the folks in charge in the Biden White House seem to be singing to a different tune (so far?).

Good!

Then there is this: considering that Putin has officially drawn “red lines” and that Biden has officially declared that he will recognize no red lines – what is it exactly which the mentioned “experts” agreed to “further consult” each other about?

The answer is quite obvious, I submit: precisely these red lines!

CNN’s version of a macho “if” 🙂

It is now clear that the Biden Administration’s official position about hellfire, brimstone, sanctions from hell, and all the rest of the threats and insults which the US has made will actually be acted upon only IF Russia invades the Ukraine.

IF!

In other words, what if Russia does not invade (which she won’t), then no more sanctions???

We can be sure that the War Party (which I define as follows: the entire US media, the Neocons, the MAGA-GOP gang in Congress, the “non-Biden gang” inside the Democratic Party, the US energy sector, the US MIC, the entire US “deep state”, the Israel lobby, the Ukie lobby, the UK lobby, the Polish lobby, etc.) will present that as a huge, galactic, “concession” and even “betrayal” by Biden who “caved” to Putin The Evil Communist KGB Thug.

[Sidebar: the hysterics of the War Party about Gen Milley or Biden’s decision to leave Afghanistan have proven beyond reasonable doubt that the these folks have now fully adopted the line which the Dems held during the 4 years of the Trump Administration and that they will now at least try to fabricate some “Russia-gate v2” to win the next elections.  There is no honor among thieves and they *all* sure are thieves!]

Here is what the War Party will focus on: what exactly could US and Russia experts even be negotiating about?

Until today, the US officially treated Russia was a “regional power” with her “economy in tatters“, “a gas station masquerading as a country“, a non-entity to whom the Empire had absolutely no need whatsoever to pay attention to, nevermind negotiate with!

And now, negotiations???

Negotiations, by definition, imply first, that both parties approach the negotiations as equals and, second, that both parties are willing to engage in a mutually beneficial give and take.

If not, they are not called negotiations, they are called ultimatums.

And by all signs, Biden presented Putin with no ultimatums whatsoever.

“Worse” (at least from the War Party’s point of view), is the fact that Biden has so far called Putin 3 times, met him once, and requested today’s video conference.  That is for at least five times that the sole hyperpower and world hegemon and leader of all democracies have reached out to “killers” in the Kremlin and asked for talks.  Five times.

Asked (nicely and politely)

For talks (as equals)

Five times (and promised more)

That is huge and absolutely unprecedented since at least twenty years, if not since the fall of the USSR!

Obama, assuming he is currently sober, must be in tears 🙂

It gets even more amazing next.

According to the British, Biden has promised to call the following western leaders to brief them about his negotiations with Putin:

  • The UK
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy

Did you notice who was not even mentioned?

Well, Poland and the Ukraine for starters!

This goes to show that whatever the official propaganda line is, at least *somebody* in the White House understands that there is a “real Europe”, the Europe that matters, and then there is the “European kindergarten” which matters nothing (I won’t even mention the 3B+PU clowns).

Later, Sullivan tried to do some damage control and declared that Biden would speak with “Ze” on Thursday.  But what could Biden tell “Ze” other than give him tons of verbal reassurances and zero guarantees?

Finally, it is noteworthy that the US side did not promise to accept the Ukraine in NATO (they made the usual oblique statements about “open doors” instead) and the US has even reaffirmed the Minsk Agreements (which, de facto, and possibly even de jure, might create the basis for a disavowal of any Ukie attack on the LDNR).

Again, this is good.  The less power the EU Kindergarten has, the less they are likely to force the agenda and draw the adults in the room into a (possibly nuclear) war.

Good!

There is also bad news, of course: the 3B+PU clowns all understand that perfectly.  For them the choice is stark and, indeed, possibly even existential (via self-destruction only, of course): either war or we become irrelevant in the eyes of the collective West.

So the next two questions are:

  1. What will the 3B+PU do about this next?
  2. What will the US do when the 3B+PU does something about it (with the full support of the War Party in the USA!)?

Frankly, I cannot call this one, there are way too many unknowns to make any predictions.

The fact that substantive negotiations have finally replaced the USA’s “unilateralism” (I am being polite here) is a major development and a good one.  But that, at best, is just a first step.  US politicians are notorious for saying A when negotiating with the Russians and non-A as soon as their media excoriates them for being “weak”.

Alas, what needs undoing or, at least, transforming, is three decades of self-defeating western stupidity!

Will that happen? I don’t know.

Over the next couple of days, we will hear a lot of statements, from all sides, many of them categorical.  I suggest that we wait for a little and then revisit the issue again later in the week.

Andrei

PS: big, very big stuff happening between Russia and India and Russia and China; this is crucial to get the full picture of what is going on right now.  I propose to also revisit that later in the week.

Lukashenko’s Russian Nuke Proposal Should Prompt NATO To Finally Pay Attention

2 DECEMBER 2021

Lukashenko’s proposal should hopefully prompt NATO to finally pay attention to Russia’s legitimate security concerns. The bloc cannot continue expanding eastward in violation of the oral obligations that it made to Moscow at the end of the Old Cold War not to advance past the then-recently reunified German frontier.

Belarusian President Lukashenko earlier said that he’d allow Russia to place nuclear weapons on his country’s territory if NATO moved their own into Poland or elsewhere near his state’s borders. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov elaborated that this was said in reaction to the West’s “reckless policy” of countenancing the placement of such strategic arms in that part of Europe. This isn’t mere speculation either but was suggested by NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg in response to the possibility of Germany’s new coalition government requesting that the American ones that it currently hosts be withdrawn. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov added that “our Western colleagues should stop and think of their own actions” after the security scandal that Stoltenberg provoked.

Lukashenko’s proposal should hopefully prompt NATO to finally pay attention to Russia’s legitimate security concerns. The bloc cannot continue expanding eastward in violation of the oral obligations that it made to Moscow at the end of the Old Cold War not to advance past the then-recently reunified German frontier. President Putin, being the constructive and pragmatic leader that he is, suggested that some kind of deal might be brokered with NATO sometime in the future in order to ensure this. His announcement is consistent with the author’s prediction that the upcoming Biden-Putin Summit (which will most likely be a virtual one) will largely focus on Eastern Europe. It would also align with both Great Power’s ongoing efforts to responsibly regulate their rivalry, which began during last summer’s summit.

The greatest challenge in this respect is the subversive role being played by Poland, Ukraine, and the Baltic States. These five countries feel that their interests are being “sacrificed” for the sake of reaching a “new normal” between Russia and the US-led West. As evidence of this, they point to the US’ waiver of most Nord Stream II sanctions earlier in the year and what they claim is the comparatively blind eye that Washington is turning towards what they describe as Moscow’s so-called “hybrid warfare” against them through the ongoing Eastern European Migrant Crisis. It must be remembered, however, that Nord Stream II is a completely apolitical energy project while the second-mentioned issue owes its origins to the US-led West’s wars against majority-Muslim countries and its anti-Belarusian sanctions.

Coupled with Kiev’s false fearmongering about a supposedly inevitable “Russian invasion”, which is being amplified by those anti-Russian elements of the American “deep state” (permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies) which also want to sabotage any incipient Russian-US rapprochement, the end effect has been that tensions have unprecedentedly spiked in the region. While it’s extremely unlikely that Russia will initiate any hostilities in Ukraine, it’s much more probable that Kiev might be encouraged by anti-Russian US “deep state” elements and its regional partners to launch an “Operation Storm”-like ethnic cleansing campaign in Donbass in order to prompt a Russian response.

Chaos In Eastern Europe Doesn’t Serve Putin’s Interests Unlike What CNN Claims”, the author noted late last month, yet there’s no denying that there are powerful forces that are manipulating perceptions in order to make it seem otherwise as part of their subversive goal that was just described. These same forces would like nothing more than for the US to transfer its nukes from Germany to Poland in order to indefinitely put an end to Washington’s ongoing negotiations with Moscow aimed at responsibly regulating their rivalry. Should Poland and its regional allies succeed in exacerbating regional tensions to the point of provoking another Russian-US crisis, then the strategic situation will worsen for everyone.

By contrast, if they fail in their respective efforts, then the strategic situation will improve for everyone. This includes those five countries too, which are regrettably too blinded by delusions influenced by their “negative nationalism” vis-à-vis Russia to realize that everyone would be better off if Russia and the US agreed to a “new normal” for responsibly regulating their rivalry. It was against this increasingly tense context that Lukashenko proposed hosting Russian nukes in response to the possibility of Poland first doing the same with the US’. Ryabkov clarified that “We are not going in this direction”, yet Russia nevertheless could in theory should the worst-case scenario transpire. Hopefully NATO will finally pay attention to Russia’s legitimate security concerns after Lukashenko’s remark so that doesn’t happen.

By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Possible motives for a provocation against Russia

NOVEMBER 25, 2021

A lot of commentators have pointed out that the West really does not want a full scale war with Russia because this would, at best, be a suicidal proposition.  True.

But there are some specific interests in the West which very much want to raise tensions as high as possible.  Today I will list just a few: (partial list)

The US energy sector

The energy sector is deeply concerned about Biden’s “green” rhetoric, combined with the fact that OPEC+ countries are not obeying US demands about prices.  Also, US shale gas is expensive.  Should a war happen between Russia and the Ukraine, it would also certainly completely derail Russian energy exports to the EU which, in turn, would create a very high demand for US energy in Europe (and worldwide).  This is an old US goal in Europe, to force the EU to purchase US energy even though Russian can provide it for a much better price

NATO

That one is simple: NATO has no raison d’être, but now NATO leaders can claim to be the only thing standing between the good, freedom loving EU countries and Putin’s hordes.

“Biden” option one

Biden’s ratings are almost as bad as Zelenskii’s.  If an anti-Russian provocation is executed and Russia has to openly intervene in the Ukraine, Biden can become a “wartime President” and he can wave the flag which will hopefully distract from his immense internal problems and make him look more “presidential” (which in US parlance means “more willing to use force”).

“Biden” option two

Say no provocation takes place and with time, all this hysteria eventually fizzles out.  Then Biden can claim that “he showed the Russkies who is boss” and “America’s” resolve “deterred and contained the Putin”, etc.  That would be like a mouse claiming that it deterred a sleeping bear from attacking it.  The proof?  Well, the evil bear did not attack, did it?  So what more proof do you need?

“Biden” option three

As I have mentioned in the past, there are signs that the US has farmed out the Ukraine to the Europeans, which in turn means that should a shooting war happen, and its outcome is not in doubt, “Biden” can say “we tried to help the Ukraine as much as we could, more than anybody else, but they cannot expect us to go to war with Russia to support them”.  In other words, letting “Ze” lose a war against Russia is a very elegant way to get rid of “Ze” and to blame the current full-spectrum chaos in the Ukraine on him, while deflecting any criticisms of the USA.

UK+EU politicians

UK and EU politicians have been faithfully parroting all the anti-Russian propaganda and now they are stuck in their own ideological corner: they hate Russia, but they need Russian energy.  This dilemma could be “solved” by a short but nasty war which would powerfully re-polarize the EU against Russia and, therefore, fully and totally place the EU in the iron grip of the USA.

US MIC

That one is obvious: the bigger and scarier the Russian boogeyman is, the more the peace-loving USA can be spend on “defense”.  And remember that the goal of US “Congresspersons” (love that newspeak!) is not to contribute to a sane US foreign policy, but to get re-elected.  That, in turns, means that keeping the US MIC up and running, a real financial bonanza for a country otherwise is terrible economic shape, is one of the best way to get reelected while projecting the image of a “patriotic” elected official.  Ted Cruz anybody?

The US deep state

The US deep state has always hated Russia and has always fanned the flames of hysterical russophobia.  The Neocons play a major role here, but they are far from being the only ones, it is quite clear that, besides the White House, the deep state also runs the Department of State, the CIA and the Pentagon.

The 3B+PU

It is now clear that the 3B+PU attempted to overthrow Lukashenko, and that they failed.  How to better conceal the magnitude of this failure from the general public than to have a short and ugly war against Russia, especially since the 3B+PU fully understand that Russia will never attack them first.  Here I have to make a special mention of Poland which currently feels like a giant, standing as they do, on the shoulders of the USA.  For them, it is a win-win situation: if Russia is defeated, they get to proclaim themselves the best soldiers in the history of the universe, if Russia wins, then they can declare themselves the most victimized nation on earth.  Either way, both option are a salvific manna from the heavens for Polish nationalists (who otherwise are in trouble with the EU).

‘Ze’

Zelenskii’s ratings are even worse than Biden’s.  Most of his former allies have turned against him and unless something very dramatic happens, his political future is pretty much zero, he will be lucky if he manages to escape the Ukraine on time, that is before somebody decides to take direct action against him (lots of different interests in the Ukraine are now openly and deeply hostile to ‘Ze’).

The British military/security establishment

The Brits have imperial phantom pains and they feel relatively safe, being far away from the Russian-Ukrainian line of contact.  They also feel that it is quite unthinkable to imagine that Russia would dare to actually strike at a British ship/aircraft or, even less so, at a location in the UK.  That latter belief is quite mistaken, by the way, because the Russians also realize that should they, say, sink a UK ship, or even hit a military facility in the UK, the latter would have two basic options:  1) do nothing by themselves and ask Uncle Shmuel for protection 2) counter-strike against Russia themselves, which would only expose themselves to more Russian counter-strikes.  If this sounds like a losing strategy to you, it is because it is.  But for the country of Litvenenko, Skripal, Bellingcat, and “highly likely” reality is never an impediment to action.  Besides, it really appears that the UK is run by a mentally deranged Prime Minister surrounded by petty bureaucrats and a senile Queen.

The folks nostalgic for the good old days of the white, western, empire

That’s folks like Josep Borrell and all those who wanted a unipolar world, run by the West, of course, where no country could dare defy the rule of the Single World Hegemon (don’t matter which country, as long as it is a western one).  These folks are the ones who need to get whacked, hard, by the Russian military every century or so.

In truth, there are many more groups in the West who want some kind of war, some want it quick and small, others want it bigger, while others want to stop the escalation just short of actual war.

As always, what happens next will be the result of of the sums of the many vectors influencing that outcome: each party will pull towards its interests as much as possible, and the sum vector of all of these unofficial foreign policies will result in what many of us will call “US foreign policy”, in spite of the fact that as such, no such policy exists (other than a sum of these different vectors).

Lastly, is the Putin-Biden being canceled?

Yesterday Psaki said that she was not aware of any preparations made for a summit between Biden and Putin.  Also, a quick look at the calendar makes me wonder: between the upcoming Summit for Democracy, Dec 9th-10th, and the period between the western holiday season (Dec 24th – 1 Jan) the time available to organize such a summit is shrinking quickly.  Following the initial announcement, the rhetoric in both Russia and the USA about such a summit has become much more vague as if both sides now appear to have second thoughts about this.

And if that summit is planned for sometime in January, then this just leaves more time for the Ukronazis to come up with any provocation they like.  If that happens, then any summit would the scrapped sine die anyway.

We can still hope that this summit will take place, and that would be an effective way for “Biden” to show to “himself” and his enemies (the other factions of the US power structure) that he, “Biden”, is still in control.  A bad peace is always preferable to a good war.  But with so many western interests vested into such a war, I am not very optimistic.

Andrei

Russian options in a world headed for war

November 18, 2021

Russian options in a world headed for war

The world is headed for war and has been headed that way for quite a while now.  Several times, just at the brink, the West decided to pull back, but each time it did that its ruling elites felt two things: first, the felt even more hatred for Russia for forcing them to back down and, second, they interpreted the fact that no shooting war happened (yet) as the evidence, at least in their minds, that standing on the brink of war is a pretty safe exercise.  And yet, a major shooting war is quite possible in any of the following locations, or even in several simultaneously: (in no specific order)

  1. US-China war over Taiwan
  2. AngloZionist attack on Iran
  3. A war involving the 3B+PU against Belarus
  4. A war between the Ukraine and the LDNR+Russia
  5. A NATO-Russian war in the Black Sea region
  6. A resumption of a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan

As we can see, all of these potential wars could potentially involve Russia, either directly (3,4,5) or indirectly (1,2,6).

Today, I want to look at Russian options in the direct involvement cluster of wars 3, 4 and 5.

The first thing which I think is important to note here is that while the Ukraine has no prospects of becoming a NATO member country, some NATO member states have already taken the following steps to turn the Ukraine into a de facto NATO protectorate:

  1. Full and unconditional political support for the Nazi regime in Kiev and any of its actions
  2. Minimal economic support, just enough to keep the Nazis in power
  3. Minimal delivery of weapons for the Ukronazi forces
  4. Deployment of small NATO contingents inside the Ukraine
  5. Lot’s of Kabuki theater about “we will stand with you forever and no matter what

I have already discussed the 5th point here, so I won’t repeat it all here.  The important point in the list above in #4, the deployment of a small force of UK, Swedish, French, US and other NATO units into the Ukraine.  Such small forward deployed forces are referred to “tripwire forces” whose mission is to heroically die thereby triggering an automatic (at least in theory) involvement of their country of origin into the war.

Before going any further, I think I want to share with you a list of axiomatic facts:

  1. Russia cannot be defeated militarily by any combination of forces.  For the first time in centuries, Russia is not playing “catching up” with her western foes, but is actually ahead with both her conventional and her nuclear forces.  The Russian advantage is especially striking in her conventional strategic deterrence capabilities.
  2. The West, whose leaders are quite aware of this fact, does not want an open shooting war with Russia.
  3. The 3B+PU block wants a war at all costs, both for internal and for external political reasons.
  4. In a war against the Ukraine, Russia will have several counter-strike options in which she would not need to drive even a single tank across the border

The first three are rather uncontroversial, so let’s look at the 4th point a little closer.  Let’s begin by looking at Russian counter-attack options against the Ukraine.  Roughly summarized, here are what I see as the main possible options for a Russian counter-attack against the Ukraine:

  1. Protecting the LDNR in its current borders (line of contact) by a combination of a no-fly zone, missile strikes against Ukie C3I, the use of EW to disorganize the Ukie forces and very targeted strikes (from inside Russia) against key HQs, ammo/POL dumps, etc.
  2. Giving cover to the LDNR forces to fully liberate the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
  3. Giving cover to the LDNR forces to fully liberate the Donetsk and Lugansk regions and the creation of a land corridor towards the Mariupol-Berdiansk-Crimea area.
  4. Giving cover to the LDNR forces to fully liberate the Donetsk and Lugansk regions and the creation of a land corridor in the Mariupol-Berdiansk-Crimea area and then the liberation of the Ukainian coast along the Kherson-Nikolaev-Odessa axis.
  5. The liberation of all the lands east left bank of the Dniepr river (including the cities of Kharkov, Poltava, Dniepropetrovsk, Zaporozhie and others).
  6. The liberation of the entire Ukraine

In purely military terms, these are all doable options.  But looking at this issue from a purely military point of view is highly misleading.  But first, about the NATO tripwire force.

US/NATO commanders are not too bright, but they are smart enough to understand that in case of a Russian counter attack these forces would be wiped out, thereby potentially involving all of NATO in what could potentially be a huge, continental war.  That is not what they want.

So the real purpose of this tripwire forces would be to create a powerful enough anti-Russian hysteria to transform the (currently disorganized and deeply dysfunctional) West into a single, united, anti-Russian block.  In other words, this tripwire force presents a political challenge to the Kremlin, not a military one.  This being said, we need to look a a number of absolutely crucial non-military factors.

  1. Whatever territory Russia liberates from the Nazi forces she will have to rebuilt economically, protect militarily and reorganize politically.  The more territory Russia liberates, the most acute these pressures will become.
  2. It has been 30 years already since the Ukraine set a course on becoming an anti-Russia, and there is now an entire generation of thoroughly brainwashed Ukrainians who really believe in what the Ukronazi media and “democracy” or “civil society” promoting propaganda outlets have been telling them.  The fact that many of them speak better Russian than Ukrainian does not change fact that in the least.  While the Ukies cannot stop the Russian military, they sure can organize and sustain an anti-Russian insurgency which Russia would have to suppress.
  3. Economically, the Ukraine is a black hole: you can throw whatever you want at it, in any amounts, and everything will simply disappear.  The notion of “economic aid to the Ukraine” is simply laughable.
  4. The Ukraine is an artificial entity which never was, and ever will be, viable, at least not in her current borders.

For these reasons I submit that it would be extremely dangerous for Russia to bite-off more than she can chew.  As the best (by far) political analyst of the Ukraine, Rostislav Ishchenko, said in an interview last week: “Putin cannot save the Ukraine, but he sure can ruin Russia [if he tries]” – and I totally concur with him.

Whatever legal pretense can be wrapped around a Russian liberation of the Ukraine, the reality is that whatever land Russia does liberate, she will then own and have to administer.

Why would Russia want to reimpose law and order inside a black hole?

Then there is this: while historically Ukrainian are nothing but “Russians under Polish occupation”, the past 30 years have created a new, very different nation.  In fact, I submit that we have witnessed a true ethnogenesis, the birth of a new nation whose very identity is russophobic at its core.  Yes, they speak Russian better than Ukrainian, but speaking the language of your enemy did not prevent the IRA, ETA or the Ustashe from hating that enemy and fighting him for decades.  In many ways, the modern Ukrainians are not only are non-Russians, they are anti-Russians par excellence: I think of them as Poles, with vyshivankas instead of feathers.

Crimea was solidly pro-Russian in all its history.  The Donbass was initially rather happy to form part of the Ukraine, even in the early post-Maidan period when protests were organized under Ukrainian flags.  Those flags were later traded for LDNR/Russian flags, but only after Kiev launched a military operation against the Donbass.  And the further you go west, the clearer this distinction is.  As one LDNR commander once put it, “the further west we go, the less we are seen as liberators and the more we are seeing as occupiers“.

The crucial point here is this: it does not matter what you, or I, or anybody else thinks about the constituent parts of the new Ukie national identity, we can laugh about it all we want, but as long as they take it seriously, and enough of them do, then this is a reality we cannot simply overlook or wish away.

The other point which is often overlooked is this: the Ukronazi Banderastan has already mostly collapsed.  Yes, in central Kiev things look more or less normal, but all the reports from the rest of the country point to the same reality: the Ukraine is already a failed state, totally de-industrialized, where chaos, poverty, crime and corruption are total.  The same is becoming true even for Kiev suburbs.

When I observe at how slow the Russian efforts to reorganize (really, fix) Crimea are, by no fault of the Russians, by the way, I recoil in horror at the thought of what it would take for Russia to re-civilize and re-develop ANY liberated part of the Ukraine.

Russia is typically compared to a bear, and that is a very good metaphor on many levels.  But in the case of the Ukraine, I see Russia like a snake and the Ukraine like a hog: the snake can easily kill that hog (by venom or by constriction), but that snake cannot absorb that dead hog, it is just too big for it.

But here is the single most important fact about this entire situation: the Ukie Banderastan is dying, most of its body is already necrotic, so there is absolutely no need for the Russian snake to do anything about it at all (other than retreating into a corner ready to strike, in a coiled position, and loudly hiss: “attack me and you are dead!“.  Putin already said that much.

Still, what if?  What if the Nazis, egged on by their “democratic” patrons, do launch an attack?  At that point Russia will have no other option but to strike, using her standoff weapons (missiles, artillery, long range cruise missiles, etc.).  Since we can safely assume that the Russians have been rehearsing exactly such a counter-strike we can expect it to be swift and devastating.  Targets list will include: advancing Ukie forces, airbases and any aircraft (manned or not) taking off, any Ukie boat approaching the area of operations, communication nodes, supply dumps, roads, bridges, fortified positions, etc.  That is a lot of targets to be hit at once, but hitting them at once is also the safest and most effective method to quickly achieve the immediate goal of stopping any possible Ukie advance on the LDNR.  This initial phase would last under 24 hours.

[Sidebar: modern warfare is not WWII, you won’t see thousands of tanks and a clear frontline but, rather, you will see strikes throughout the strategic depth of the enemy side, intense maneuver by fire and the use of battalion tactical groups]

Should that happen, it is likely that NATO forces would move into the western Ukraine, not to “protect” it from a Russian attack which will never come, but to break off as much of the Ukraine as possible and take it under control.  The pretext for such a NATO move would be the destruction (partial or full) of the tripwire force.  NATO might also declare its own no-fly zone over the western Ukraine, which the Russians will have no need to challenge.  Finally, the West will happily unite against Russia, and sever all economic, diplomatic and other ties to “isolate and punish Russia”.  Let’s not kid ourselves, this would hurt the Russian economy, but not in a manner sufficient to break the Russian will.

Then will come the big question: how far should Russia go?

I am confident that this has already been decided, and I am equally confident that Russia will not follow the options 4, 5 and 6 above.  Option 1 is a given, we can take that to the bank (unless the LDNR forces alone are enough to stop a Ukie attack).  Which leaves options 2 and 3 as “possibles”.

So here I want to suggest another option, what I would call the “southern route”: while the line of contact between the LDNR and Banderastan can be pushed somewhat further west, I do not think that Russian forces shuold liberate any of major cities in the central Ukraine (Kharkov, Poltava, Dneipropetrivsk, Zaporozhie, ).  Instead, I think that they ought to envelop these forces by a move along the coast as far as all of Crimea (up to Perekop) and maybe even up to, but not into, the city of Kherson.  Of course, in order to achieve this, it would be necessary to bring a large enough force into the Voronezh-Kursk-Belgorod triangle to force the Ukrainians to allocate forces to their northeast.  The Russian Black Sea Fleet could also conduct operations all along the Ukrainian coast, including near Nikolaev-Odessa to force the Ukies to allocate forces to coastal defenses, thereby easing the load on the Russian forces moving towards Kherson.

[Sidebar: let’s be clear here, the LDNR forces along cannot conduct such a deep operation without risking envelopment and destruction.  That operation can only be executed at a relatively low cost by the Russian armed forces, including the Black Sea Fleet]

In such a scenario, Belarus could turn into a “silent threat from the north” which would further forces the Ukies to allocate forces to their northern borders, making the latter feel like they are being enveloped in strategic pincers.

What about Odessa?

Odessa is a unique city in many ways, and is population is generally pro-Russian.  It is also a city which would have a tremendous economic potential if managed by sane people.  However, Odessa is also a symbolic city for the Nazis, and they have placed a great deal of effort into controlling it.  Thus, Odessa is one of the few cities in the Nazi occupied Ukraine which could rise up against their occupier, especially while the Russian forces move along the coast towards it.  Here is where Russia could, and should, get involved, but not by taking the city WWII style, but by backing and supporting pro-Russian organizations in Odessa (primarily by using her special forces and, when needed, the firepower of the Black Sea Fleet).

What would the outcome of such a war look like?

One the down side, the West would unite in its traditional hatred for Russia, and economically Russia would hurt.  That is not irrelevant but, I submit, this scenario is already in the making and even if Russia does absolutely nothing.  Hence, this inevitable reality ought to be accepted by Russia as a condition sine qua non for her survival as a sovereign nation.

In military terms, the Poles and their Anglo masters would probably “protectively liberate” the western Ukraine (Lvov, Ivano-Frankovsk).  So what?  Let them!  There is no penalty for Russia from this.  Besides, the hardcore Ukronazis will then have to deal with their former Polish masters now fully back in control – let them fully “enjoy” each other 🙂

What about the rump Banderastan (we are talking about the central Ukraine here)?? It would end up being in even a worse shape than it is today, but Russia would not have to pay the bills for this mess.  Sooner or later, an insurrection or civil war would take place, which would pit one brand of Ukies against another, and should either one of them turn towards Russia or the liberated parts of the Ukraine, Russia could simply use her standoff weapons to quickly discourage any such attempts.

So how close are we to war?

Short answer: very.  Just listen to this recent press conference by Lavrov.  And its not only Lavrov, a lot of savvy political commentators and analysts in Russia are basically saying that the issue is not “if” but “when” and, therefore, “how”.  I think that the straw that broke the Russia’s patience’s camel back is the suicidal way in which the real (historical) Europeans have allowed the 3B+PU to set the agenda for the UE and NATO.  Oh sure, if NS2 goes ahead, as it still probably will, the Russians will be happy to sell energy to Europe.  But in terms of agency, the only power Russia is willing to talk to is the United States, as witnessed by the recent visits of Nuland and Burns to Moscow.  Let’s make one thing very very clear here:

Russia does not want war.  In fact, Russia will do everything in her power to avoid a war.  If a war cannot be avoided, Russia will delay the onset of that war as far into the future as possible.  And if that means talking to folks like Nuland or Burns, then that is something the Russians will gladly do.  And they are absolutely right in that stance (not talking to the enemy is a western mental disorder, not a Russian one).

As I have been saying for almost 2 years now, the Empire is already dead.  The USA as we knew them died on January 6th.  But the post Jan 6th USA still exists and, unlike the Europeans, the US ruling classes still have agency.  Just look at clowns like Stoltenberg, Borrell, Morawiecki or Maas: these are all petty bureaucrats, office plankton of you wish, which might have the skills to run a car rental agency, maybe a motel, but not real leaders that anybody in the Kremlin will take seriously.  You can hate Nuland or Burns all you want, but these are serious, dangerous folks, and that is why Russia is willing talk to them, especially when the request for such negotiations have been made by the US side (the Russians can’t really talk to clowns like Biden or Austin, which are just PR figures).

One thing needs mentioning here: the people of the rump-Banderastan and what will happen to them.

Actually, I think that the Ukraine is totally and terminally unsalvageable and the only good plan for anybody still living there is to do what millions of Ukrainians have already done: pack and leave.  Since most of the unskilled Ukrainian labor force lived in the western regions of the Ukraine, they will naturally prefer moving to the EU to work as cabbies, plumbers, maids and prostitutes.  Likewise, since most of the skilled Ukrainian work force comes from the southern and the eastern Ukraine, they will either be content with being liberated by Russia or they will move to Russia to work as engineers, medical doctors, IT specialists or even construction workers.  Russia has a need for such culturally close and qualified work force and getting jobs (and passports) for them will be a no brainer for the Kremlin.  True, what will be left of this post-Banderastan Ukraine won’t be a pretty sight: a poor, corrupt, country whose people will struggle to survive with lots of silly political ideas floated around.  But that won’t be Russia’s problem anyway while the main threat to Russia, a united Banderastan becoming a NATO training polygon right across the Russian border, will simply evaporate, dying on its own toxic emissions.  And if more Ukrainians want to move to Russia (or the free Ukraine), then the LDNR and Russian authorities will be able to decide on a case by case “do we wants these folks here or not?“.  Those Ukrainians who have remain real Ukrainians will be welcome in Russia while the Ukronazis will be denied entry and arrested if they still try.

Addendum: the two powers with imperial phantom pains and dreams of war

I am, of course, talking about the UK and Poland, two minor actors who compensate for their very limited actual abilities with a never-ending flow of vociferous declarations.  Mostly, they are just “playing empire”.  Both of these countries know exactly that they once were real empires and why they are pretty irrelevant today – they blame much of their own decay on Russia and hence their dream is to see Russia, if not defeated, then at least given a bloody nose.  And, of course, standing on the shoulders of the USA, both of these countries think of themselves as giants: they sure act the part very great gravitas and pomp.

Finally, their leadership is degenerate enough (inferiority complex compensated by a narcissism run amok) to lack even the basic common sense of wondering whether poking the Russia bear is a good idea or not.  More than any other NATO members, these yapping countries need a good smackdown to bring them back to reality.  Whether this smackdown will come in the form of some incident in the Ukraine or whether that will happen elsewhere is impossible to predict, but one thing is sure: the UK and Poland are (yet again!) the two countries which want, I would even say, need, a war with Russia more than anybody else (example one, example two).  I find it therefore rather likely that, sooner or later, Russia will have to either sink a UK/Polish ship or shoot down a/several UK/Polish aircraft which will show to the world, including the Brits and the Poles, that neither the US, nor NATO nor anybody else is seriously going to go to war with Russia over the Empire’s underlings.  Yes, there will be tensions, possibly even local clashes, and tons and tons of threatening verbiage, but nobody wants to die for these two hyenas of Europe (Churchill forgot to mention one), and nobody ever will.

Conclusion: war on the horizon

Right now, we are already deep inside a pre-war period and, like a person skating on thin ice, we wonder if the ice will break and, if it does, where that will happen.  Simply put, the Russians have two options:

  • A verbal push back
  • A physical push back

They have been trying the former as best they can to do the first for at least 7 years if not more.  Putin did trade space for time, and that was the correct decision considering the state of the Russian armed forces before, roughly, 2018.  Trump’s election was also God-sent for Russia because while Orange Man did threaten the planet left and right, he did not start a full-scale war against Russia (or, for that matter, Iran, China, Cuba, Iran and the DPRK).  By late 2021, however, Russia has retreated as far as she could.  The good news now is that Russia has the most modern and capable military on the planet, while the West is very busy committing political, cultural and economic suicide.

According to US analysts, by 2025 the USA won’t be able to win a war against China.  Frankly, I think that this ship has already sailed a long time ago, but that semi-admission is a desperate attempt to create the political climate to circle the wagons before China officially becomes the second nation the USA cannot defeat, the first one being, obviously, Russia (I would even include Iran and the DPRK is that list).  Hence all the current Anglo posturing in the Black Sea (which is even far more dangerous for US/NATO ships than the China Seas) is just that: posturing.  The main risk here is that I am not at all convinced by the notion that “Biden” can rein in the Brits or the Poles, especially since the latter are both NATO members who would sincerely expect NATO to protect them (they should ask Erdogan about that).  But, of course, there really is no such thing as “NATO”: all there is the US and its vassal states in Europe.  Should the two wannabe empires trigger a real, shooting war, all it would take is a single Russian conventional missile strike somewhere deep inside the continental USA (even in a desert location) to convince the White House, the Pentagon or the CIA “get with the program” and seek a negotiated solution, leaving the Brits and the Poles utterly disgusted and looking foolish.  I don’t think anything else can bring those two countries back to a sense of reality.

So yes, the war is coming, and the only thing which can prevent it would be some kind of deal between Russia and the USA.  Will that happen?  Alas, I don’t see any US President making such a deal, since however is in power is accused by the other party of “weakness”, “being a Russian asset” and all the rest of the flagwaving claptrap coming out of all the US politicians, especially in Congress.  One possibly mitigating factor is that the US politicians are also dead set on confrontation with China, including during the upcoming Olympic games, and if these tensions continue to escalate, then the US will want Russia to at least not represent a direct threat to US interests in Europe and the Pacific.  So maybe Putin and Xi can play this one together, making sure that with each passing day Uncle Shmuel gets even weaker while Russia and China get even stronger.  Maybe that strategy could avoid a war, at least a big one.  But when listen to the verbiage coming out of the UK+3B+PU, I have very little hope that the nutcases in Europe can be talked down from the edge of the precipice.

Andrei

Lukashenko must go and Russia and Belarus must truly unite

NOVEMBER 15, 2021

Lukashenko must go and Russia and Belarus must truly unite

If there is one thing which is obvious for all to see is that the EU and NATO hold one language against Belarus and another against Russia.  For example, the EU has just agreed to impose a 5th package of sanctions on Belarus, but their official statement does not mention Aeroflot, Russia, or Putin by a single word.  Of course, western politicians make all sorts of noises and grandstanding statements about Putin and Russia, but that is just that – hot air.  They can bark at Russia all they want because they know that Russia does not care one bit about noise, especially since the Russians fully understand that there is nothing that the West could do, even theoretically, against Russia, as she is simply too powerful.

Ditto for economic sanctions.  The EU has banned overflights by Belavia, but it has not touched Aeroflot (yet).  Why not?  Simple, because Russia could simply close her airspace which is currently the most expensive airspace on the planet, as it links Europe to Far East Asia.

Belarus, in sharp contrast to Russia, still remains weak, mostly because of Lukashenko’s incompetence and lack of vision.  All he cares about is remaining in power, which also means that he does not want Belarus to be truly incorporated into Russia, lest he loses his status of “King of Belarus” or whatever he fancies himself to be.

Now I submit that becoming part of Russia is not only the best solution to all of Belarus’ problems, it is the only solution.  By the way, that outcome is exactly what the western ruling elites are desperately trying to avoid, because they all realize that once Belarus becomes a part of Russia, say as an autonomous Federal subject, the party is over for the EU which won’t be able to touch Belarus – not economically, not politically and most definitely not militarily.

It is important to keep in mind that Polish, German, or Lithuanian military forces are a joke, at best they can have (small) parades, and shoot at unarmed civilians.  But even taking on “just” the Belarussian military alone (without any Russian help) is not an option for them: there is no comparison between a Polish solider (or a Lithuanian one, for that matter) and a Belarusian one, it would be like comparing perfumed and fluffy show-dog with a wolf.  Numbers here matter a lot less than the quality, training, and determination of the soldiers on both sides.

Still, shooting a Belarusian border guard and shooting a Russian paratrooper are two very, very different propositions, and the folks in the West know that.  So far the Poles have only shot blanks or in the air, at least they say so, but if their current defenses are breached, or if a bullet flies across the border, the violence will ensue, that is inevitable.  Right now, this is even likely.

I have to repeat myself: I have exactly *zero* trust in Lukashenko who, in my opinion, cares only about himself and remaining in power.  Belarus claims to want to be an “allied state” to Russia, but has not even recognized Crimea as part of Russia!  Right now, Belarus is, de facto, a Russian parasite, a freeloader country, run by a megalomaniac which needs to be replaced with a person the Kremlin can trust or, even better, with a person whose role would cease to be so important simply because Belarus and Russia would be truly and fully unified.

In the past, Lukashenko has zig-zagged even more than Erdogan, and his current pro-Russian stance is only due to the fact that the dimwits in the EU have tried to overthrow him one time too many, so now he is angry and wants to make them pay.  But irrespective of how stupid EU politicians are, Belarus is in no condition to take on the entire EU by itself, so at the end of the day, it is Russia that will have to bail Belarus out (yet again!).  Personally, I find that unacceptable.

Furthermore, objectively, right now the Poles and the Belarussians both have the same interest: to try to make the most out of this crisis.  The Poles by proving how tough, courageous, and generally heroic they are in the defense of the sacred borders of the EU, the Belarussians by showing how cold-hearted and evil the Poles are.  And for all the media attention to the 3-4 thousand people at the Polish border, this is a tiny number compared to the much larger numbers which cross into the EU every day or cross from France into the UK.  In other words, this is completely and totally a manufactured pseudo-crisis.  And the main beneficiary from this circus is the Poles who, from being the black sheep of the EU suddenly have turned into the heroic “defenders of the European realm from the Russia Asiatic hordes” at exactly zero risk for them.  That needs to change.

As for the Russians, they are now forced to politically back Belarus in a crisis that in no way benefits Russia.  And when Lukashenko makes (totally empty) threats to cut off the Russian gas lines to Poland, he is objectively helping the Western propaganda about Russia wanting to use her energy to blackmail Europe.

Finally, Belarus could bring a lot of good things to Russia, including a very (pro-)Russian population, a strong military, plenty of high-tech industries, and a good place to deploy forces to protect Kaliningrad.

By remaining separate, Belarus and Russian gain nothing, they both only stand to lose on many levels.

The good news is that the Belarusian and Russian militaries are already deeply integrated, but that integration needs to be SHOWN, and the best place to show it would be right at the Polish border.  Again, pull back all the Belarussian border guards and replace them with a single regiment of Russian paratroopers and that alone will RADICALLY change the tone and actions of the West.

That would be the proverbial “tripwire force” which would absolutely terrify the Poles and the rest of the clowns who are playing at this “pretend-almost-war” on the border with Belarus (including 600 Brits, and assorted Germans and French units).

So my solution to this entire crisis is simple: fully unify Russia and Belarus.  The only thing preventing this today is Lukashenko, so this process has to begin by getting rid of him.

Andrei

Note about the current naval operations in the Black Sea

NOVEMBER 14, 2021

Note about the current naval operations in the Black Sea

There is a lot of speculation about the current US/NATO operations in the Black Sea region.  I would like to offer the following bulletpoint comments about what I believe is going on.

  • If we add up all the US+NATO forces involved in this operation, they fall far short of what would be needed for an attack on Russia.  Thus, in purely military terms, this is just a Kabuki theater, not a real threat to Russia.
  • Both the Russians and the US commanders know that.
  • The intended audience is the Ukrainian population whom the following “message” is sent: “we are here, we are invincible, we got your back, and if you happen to get into an open conflict/war with Russia, we will protect you“.  Of course, not such commitment is formally made, only implied.  This is an exact repeat of what happened in 08.08.08.
  • At the same time, the hysterical warmongering in the Ukie media is going absolutely through the roof, these folks are now seriously considering not only “liberating” the Donbass and beating the crap out of the Russian military, some even want to “liberate” some Russian territory.  These idiots actually very much look forward to a war against Russia!

Those interested in the details can check my previous entry on this topic here: http://thesaker.is/why-i-see-a-war-in-the-donbass-as-almost-inevitable/

Next, we have to always keep in mind the following crucial fact: the USA does not have what it takes to attack Russia.  In purely conventional (non nuclear) terms, the US+NATO do not have the numbers needed in Europe to conduct any semi-successful attack against Russia.  For example, if any US destroyer launches its (old and slow) Tomahawks towards Russia or Russian forces, this launch will be instantly detected and hypersonic missiles (or, alternatively, underwater torpedoes) will get to the USN ships even before the Tomahawks get anywhere near their intended targets.  This is especially true for Crimea where Russia deployed a very modern and integrated air defense system capable of firing many more missiles than the USN ships can launch.  If the US wanted to really attack Russia, then it would take them many months to prepare itself for such a huge undertaking.

The US Americans are not stupid, they know that, and they have zero need for such a situation.

In theory, a “thin” forward deployed force can also serve as a “tripwire”, but not in this case: why would the Russians ever feel the need to sink ships which present no military danger and which they can always destroy in minutes?

Likewise, folks at the Pentagon know that even if they launched a massive attack on Russia, especially a nuclear one, the USA would cease to exist in just a few hours.

Again, both the Russians and the US Americans know that.

And, again, the intended audience are the clueless Ukies which now are preparing for a “crushing victory over Russia”.

This is why I don’t see any circumstances under which the US would deliberately attack Russia (though a mistake or a quick escalation is always possible) and that is why I see a Ukie attack/provocation as inevitable (the Ukronazis in Kiev really have nothing at all to lose).

BTW – the EU is also gearing up for such a situation, already demonizing Russia even more than it has for the last decades.  The 3B+PU are in full martial hysteria mode, especially the Poles who realize that triggering a war involving Russia is pretty much their last chance to remain of some relevance to the real Europe.  And since Uncle Shmuel is putting pressure on the Europeans to fall in line, there are really very few European politicians who dare oppose the current verbal escalation against Russian (and Belarus).

Finally, the situation around Belarus is very dangerous indeed, as any local violence could quickly involve both Belarussian and Polish forces (along with a few NATO tripwire units).  In that case, the adults in the room (Russia and the USA) would need to very quickly intervene to contain the situation and de-escalate.  Since I do not believe that the US wants a war with Russia, I think that this is exactly what both sides would do.

So where are we headed?  In my opinion, towards a crushing Russian military victory over whatever the Ukies throw at her followed by a no less crushing US political victory over the EU and Russia.  The Ukies will be used as canon-fodder and they will lose some territory again (thereby getting rid of a population which hates them and which will never vote for the Ukronazis).  The EU will have to fall in line behind Uncle Shmuel and the ruling classes of the Empire will finally get what they wanted all along: a very tense confrontation with Russia which they will then exploit to keep the Europeans nice and subservient.  That is also the last option available to the Empire to shut down NS2.

Putin has announced that he will not order any special Russian military exercises in the Black Sea (which the MoD suggested).  He did that for two very good reasons, one official one not so much:

  • Official reason: we are the good guys, so we will de-escalate as much as possible
  • Real reason: there is not need for any maneuvers at all, every US/NATO ship/aircraft is already tracked and the Russians can sink (or shoot them down) from their current position and state of alert.
The USN task force as seen on the displays of the Admiral Essen frigate

Besides, the US ships are already shadowed by the missile cruiser Moskva and the Admiral Essen frigate anyway, along with several advanced diesel-electric multi-purpose submarines.

The Kremlin is working very hard on trying to de-escalate all this, but it takes two to tango.  The party which has the most to lose from all this would be the EU, but it is run by pliable and incompetent politicians who have no understanding, no vision and no spine.  They won’t make a difference.

As for the people of the Ukraine, who will really lose more than anybody else, they have shown almost no ability to fight the Nazis in power.  If anything, a state of war would make it even EASIER for the Nazis to deal with any and all opposition.

Hope dies last, and maybe some behind the scenes discussions between the USA and Russia can defuse the current standoff, but I am not very hopeful here.  At least we know that the US and Russia are talking to each other on the highest levels, which is by definition preferable to a shooting war.

We have been on the brink in the past, will we cross over this time around?

I honestly don’t know.

Andrei

The Taliban, 9/11, the Empire, MAGA eastern wet pampers

September 09, 2021

The Taliban, 9/11, the Empire, MAGA eastern wet pampers

by Andrei for the Saker Blog

Most of you must have heard it: the Taliban will organize a major celebration on September 11th to mark the liberation of Afghanistan from the US occupation and the creation of the new Afghan government.  The Russians and the Chinese have been invited.  As are the Pakistanis.  Not sure about Iran (do you know?)?

The Afghan government could be called a “GITMO government” since 5 members are former GITMO hostages and one, the head of security/intel, is still on the FBI most wanted list.

Needless to say, the Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11.  As for Bin-Laden and al-Qaeda they were somewhat involved, but only as “patsies”.

But the US government declared that the Taliban guilty and invaded Afghanistan.

Twenty years later, the Taliban are in total control and the US has probably executed one of the dumbest, worst and generally immoral military operation in history.  And 20 years later, the US was totally defeated.  Not by Russia.  Not by China.  Not by Iran.  Not even by Venezuela.  By the Afghans, after 20 years of warfare and trillions spent.

I have to agree with a Russian analyst who recently declared that “no, this is not even a “regular/normal” imperial collapse, this is the worst and most shameful imperial collapse in history”.

I fully concur.

As for what the Taliban will do this Saturday, it can’t even be called “spitting in Uncle Shmuel’s face”.  It’s even more than that.  Maybe we could speak of “urinating into Uncle Shmuel’s face” or some other even ruder metaphor showing both the total and utter contempt in which the Taliban hold not only the USA but the entire AngloZionist Empire AND somehow express the magnitude of the humiliation inflicted upon the USA.

I lack the words to come up with a suitable metaphor.

Can somebody come up with something sufficiently powerful?

Also, and especially for the MAGA folks out there:

CNN has reported that the entire “Ukie plan” to kidnap Russian PMCs was organized by the CIA and botched by the Ukies.  The harcore Ukronazis are now accusing CNN of either being “duped by the FSB” or even for being used by Putin personally.  Or both.

Anyway, what this goes to prove that Trump approved a clear terrorist attack against Russia.  Either that, or he did not even know about it, which might be worse…

And you guys are seriously discussing his possible comeback?!?!

Get real!

I saw an interesting poll somewhere (sorry, don’t remember where exactly) which shows that 49% of US Americans feel safer than on 9/11 20 years ago and 41% feel less safe.

And that is the real outcome of this monumentally evil and stupid Neocon plan.

After 20 years of warfare, pompous self-aggrandizement, many thousands dead and maimed and trillions spent.

Nothing will ever wash off this shame from the awareness of folks in Zone B and even many in Zone A.

Finally, today the Ukronazis shelled the Donbass again, with howitzers and mortars.  They were aiming at a water pumping station, miss and wounded/killed a couple.  Either way, this is a warcrime.  The Russians have declared that they have the designation of the unit which fired and the name of the commander who gave the order.

Which is all very predictable, since 1) US officials just visited the Ukraine 2) the CNN story is a HUGE scandal in the Ukie Rada and 3) Zelenskii is desperate to show that he might still be useful to the USA.

As for the Poles, they are fearing Russian invasion, so they put bared wire (I kid you not!) along their eastern border.  Which remind me of a Russian joke: a man walks down the street minding his own business, when he sees a woman on a balcony screaming “help! he wants to rape me! help!!!” from the top of her lungs.  The man looks up and says, “ma’am, calm down, I have no interest in you whatsoever and you are on the balcony while I am in the street” to which the woman replies, “yeah, maybe, but I can come down!“.

The Russian military is engaged in some large and serious, not fake, military maneuvers: 200’000 soldiers in both Russia and Belarus.  Hence all the wet pampers in eastern Europe (especially in Poland – the “hyena of Europe” always was a cowardly animal).

The Poles have even predicted the date of the Russian invasion: tomorrow (not a joke)

I have terrible news for Poland, the Baltic statelets and the Ukraine: nobody in Russia has any need for you, or your land.  Nobody.  Oh, and, for your information: “defenses” like walls, barbed-wires or even trenches cannot stop a modern military, such crap would not even slow the Russians down.

Summary: both Biden and Zelenskii might get impeached or otherwise removed.  That’s won’t solve anything for the US or the Ukraine, but sheer magnitude of their incompetence and stupidity makes such an outcome quite possible.

Not even in my most wildest and craziest dreams could I ever have imagined such a quick and total collapse of the Empire and of the USA.  I have to pinch myself several times a day, each time I get the news 🙂

Cheers

Poland & Ukraine, Not Afghanistan, Were the First US Allies to be Abandoned by Biden

August 26, 2021

By Andrew Korybko
Source: OneWorld

The writing was on the wall this entire time that Biden was actually implementing a fair share of Trump’s foreign policy vision related to trading away his “allies” interests in pursuit of the “greater good” connected to more actively “containing” China in the Asia-Pacific.

The world is talking about the next US allies to be abandoned by President Biden after he shamefully hung his Afghan ones out to dry during America’s panicked retreat from the country. Some commentators believe that Ukraine might be next, but in reality, it and Poland were actually the first US allies whose interests were betrayed in pursuit of the so-called “greater good” despite Biden’s promises that he wouldn’t conduct his country’s foreign policy in the Machiavellian way that Trump did. I’ve been chronicling this for some time, but for those who haven’t closely followed my work over the past few months, here are my most relevant analyses accompanied by a concise summary of each:

* 8 April: “Why Does Ukraine Want War?

Ukraine provoked hostilities in Donbass in a desperate attempt to remain relevant to the new US administration at the behest of some of the anti-Russian members of its permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) who wanted to sabotage Biden’s behind-the-scenes outreaches to Russia.

* 14 April: “Poland Must Wake Up To The Threat Of German Hybrid War

Germany has been actively working as America’s “Lead From Behind” proxy for overthrowing the conservative-nationalist Polish government through Hybrid War means connected to Berlin’s backing of its neighbor’s Color Revolution movement.

* 24 April: “What Explains The Latest De-Escalation In Donbass?

Russia didn’t fall for the trap laid out for it by hostile elements in the American “deep state”, though considerable credit for this somewhat surprising de-escalation also goes to Biden since he didn’t make matters worse like many predicted that he would at the time.

* 2 June: “Poland’s Counterproductive Foreign Policy Is Responsible For Its Present Predicament

Poland was shocked by Biden’s decision to waive most of the US’ Nord Stream II sanctions, but it should have seen this coming since the moment he stepped into office and actively begun diversifying its foreign policy instead of remaining entirely dependent on America’s “good graces”.

* 11 June: “Towards Increasingly Complex Multipolarity: Scenarios For The Future

I predicted that the US would “compromise” on the interests of some of its allies like Poland and Ukraine in pursuit of the “greater good” of pragmatically repairing relations with Russia so as to focus more of its efforts on actively “containing” China in the Asia-Pacific.

* 15 June: “How Serious Are Poland’s Grand Strategic Disagreements With The US?

It then became increasingly obvious that Poland and the US have some irreconcilable grand strategic differences that far surpass their common military interests vis-a-vis Russia, but the aspiring Central European hegemon had yet to make any decisive moves to recalibrate its foreign policy in response.

* 24 June: “Polish-US Missile Defense Co-Op Is A Strategic Smokescreen

To preemptively thwart Poland from doing anything dramatic that could bolster its strategic independence, the US went ahead with their prior “missile defense” plans, which served the purpose of keeping Poland in its clutches and also misleading that country’s leadership into thinking that the US was still their “trusted” ally.

* 12 July: “Former Polish PM Tusk Ridiculously Alleged A Kaczysnski-Putin Conspiracy

Germany proxy Donald Tusk escalated the Hybrid War on Poland by claiming that the country’s viciously Russophobic grey cardinal was secretly Russian President Putin’s puppet, which preemptively thwarted his target’s plans to claim the same about him following his return to the country to lead the Color Revolution.

* 15 July: “It’s Time For A Polish-Russian ‘Non-Aggression’ Pact In Belarus & Ukraine

In the face of such increased Hybrid War pressure against it, the most pragmatic thing that Poland could do is clinch a so-called “non-aggression” pact with Russia in their overlapping “spheres of influence” in order to focus more of its security services’ efforts on defending itself from the joint US-German regime change campaign.

* 19 July: “Poland Should Follow Ukraine’s Lead By Using China To Balance The US

As unexpected as it was for most observers to acknowledge, Ukraine’s US-controlled puppet government actually began making serious moves to use China as a “balancing” force against America, which should have inspired Poland to follow suit as a means of showing the US how dissatisfied it is with the ongoing Hybrid War.

* 26 July: “The US-German Hybrid War Against Poland Is Intensifying

Poland’s lack of resolve in defending itself from the joint US-German Hybrid War only served to embolden its nominal “allies” to intensify their regime change campaign, which threatened to make matters much worse for its beleaguered conservative-nationalist government.

* 29 July: “The West Is Pressuring Poland & Russia Due To Their Conservative-Nationalist Values

Poland and Russia are interestingly in the same boat vis-a-vis the West since the latter is pressuring both of them due to their conservative-nationalist values, which Warsaw has yet to realize and thus explains why it’s still in a state of shock after its so-called “allies” so decisively turned against it.

* 13 August: “Ukrainian Ethno-Fascism vs. Russian Multiculturalism

Ukraine’s response to America’s strategic betrayal of its interests hasn’t been to pragmatically explore a possible rapprochement with Russia like it should have done if its leadership had any wisdom but to counterproductively double down on its Russophobic policies.

* 12 August: “Unexpected Trouble In The Three Seas States Might Cause Them To Rethink Their Policies

The combination of US-German Hybrid War pressure and the unexpected migrant crisis coming from Belarus might finally cause Poland to rethink its self-defeating regional policy of functioning as America’s anti-Russian puppet after receiving literally no rewards for this role nor relief from the regime change pressure upon it.

———-

Having indisputably established that Poland and Ukraine were the first US allies to be abandoned under Biden, it’s now time to talk a little bit more about the latter’s predicament. President Zelensky plans to finally meet his American counterpart at the end of the month, but many observers are wondering why it’s even taken so long. One possible reason other than the US leader’s deliberate mistreatment of his country’s ally is that he’s simply embarrassed because of the slew of scandals connecting him to that country such as the Burisma one with his son Hunter and Biden’s bargain with Poroshenko to fire former General Prosecutor Shokin who was investigating the first-mentioned scandal.

Biden also wanted Zelensky to bend over and accept that America was “compromising” on Ukraine’s interests as part of the “greater good” related to repairing relations with Russia in order to more actively refocus the US’ efforts on “containing” China. The Ukrainian leader understandably felt betrayed by Biden and began to lose faith in America’s reliability as an ally, which explains why his country started reaching out more to China lately. Even so, nothing that Kiev might do can fully protect its interests if Washington cuts a deal with Moscow over Eastern Ukraine like some commentators now speculate might be in the cards as part of their gradual rapprochement.

As for Poland, it too has been caught with its pants down by Biden’s pragmatic deal-making with Russia and also doesn’t have any realistic means to defend its interests in response to them being “traded away” by the American leader. Unlike Ukraine whose conservative-nationalist values are supported by the US because they take the extreme form of ethno-fascism that can be weaponized to keep Russian influence there at bay, the Polish government’s comparatively more mild values are seen as a threat to the entire Western project because of the possibility that they can influence other EU members and thus undermine the US’ plans to have Germany’s liberal-globalist ideology dominate the continent in order to control its countries by proxy.

Poland and Ukraine are therefore at America’s mercy. Their interests were betrayed by their “ally” even before Biden abandoned his country’s Afghan “allies”. Observers should become more aware of this fact since it shows that nobody should have been surprised by what just happened in that South Asian country. The writing was on the wall this entire time that Biden was actually implementing a fair share of Trump’s foreign policy vision related to trading away his “allies” interests in pursuit of the “greater good” connected to more actively “containing” China in the Asia-Pacific. It remains to be seen how much more “collateral damage” the US’ “allies” will suffer as a result of this policy, but there’s no longer any denying that such a Machiavellian policy exists.

Article by Vladimir Putin ”On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians“

July 13, 2021

Article by Vladimir Putin ”On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians“

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/66181

July 12, 2021

During the recent Direct Line, when I was asked about Russian-Ukrainian relations, I said that Russians and Ukrainians were one people – a single whole. These words were not driven by some short-term considerations or prompted by the current political context. It is what I have said on numerous occasions and what I firmly believe. I therefore feel it necessary to explain my position in detail and share my assessments of today’s situation.

First of all, I would like to emphasize that the wall that has emerged in recent years between Russia and Ukraine, between the parts of what is essentially the same historical and spiritual space, to my mind is our great common misfortune and tragedy. These are, first and foremost, the consequences of our own mistakes made at different periods of time. But these are also the result of deliberate efforts by those forces that have always sought to undermine our unity. The formula they apply has been known from time immemorial – divide and rule. There is nothing new here. Hence the attempts to play on the ”national question“ and sow discord among people, the overarching goal being to divide and then to pit the parts of a single people against one another.

To have a better understanding of the present and look into the future, we need to turn to history. Certainly, it is impossible to cover in this article all the developments that have taken place over more than a thousand years. But I will focus on the key, pivotal moments that are important for us to remember, both in Russia and Ukraine.

Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians are all descendants of Ancient Rus, which was the largest state in Europe. Slavic and other tribes across the vast territory – from Ladoga, Novgorod, and Pskov to Kiev and Chernigov – were bound together by one language (which we now refer to as Old Russian), economic ties, the rule of the princes of the Rurik dynasty, and – after the baptism of Rus – the Orthodox faith. The spiritual choice made by St. Vladimir, who was both Prince of Novgorod and Grand Prince of Kiev, still largely determines our affinity today.

The throne of Kiev held a dominant position in Ancient Rus. This had been the custom since the late 9th century. The Tale of Bygone Years captured for posterity the words of Oleg the Prophet about Kiev, ”Let it be the mother of all Russian cities.“

Later, like other European states of that time, Ancient Rus faced a decline of central rule and fragmentation. At the same time, both the nobility and the common people perceived Rus as a common territory, as their homeland.

The fragmentation intensified after Batu Khan’s devastating invasion, which ravaged many cities, including Kiev. The northeastern part of Rus fell under the control of the Golden Horde but retained limited sovereignty. The southern and western Russian lands largely became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which – most significantly – was referred to in historical records as the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Russia.

Members of the princely and ”boyar“ clans would change service from one prince to another, feuding with each other but also making friendships and alliances. Voivode Bobrok of Volyn and the sons of Grand Duke of Lithuania Algirdas – Andrey of Polotsk and Dmitry of Bryansk – fought next to Grand Duke Dmitry Ivanovich of Moscow on the Kulikovo field. At the same time, Grand Duke of Lithuania Jogaila – son of the Princess of Tver – led his troops to join with Mamai. These are all pages of our shared history, reflecting its complex and multi-dimensional nature.

Most importantly, people both in the western and eastern Russian lands spoke the same language. Their faith was Orthodox. Up to the middle of the 15th century, the unified church government remained in place.

At a new stage of historical development, both Lithuanian Rus and Moscow Rus could have become the points of attraction and consolidation of the territories of Ancient Rus. It so happened that Moscow became the center of reunification, continuing the tradition of ancient Russian statehood. Moscow princes – the descendants of Prince Alexander Nevsky – cast off the foreign yoke and began gathering the Russian lands.

In the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, other processes were unfolding. In the 14th century, Lithuania’s ruling elite converted to Catholicism. In the 16th century, it signed the Union of Lublin with the Kingdom of Poland to form the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Polish Catholic nobility received considerable land holdings and privileges in the territory of Rus. In accordance with the 1596 Union of Brest, part of the western Russian Orthodox clergy submitted to the authority of the Pope. The process of Polonization and Latinization began, ousting Orthodoxy.

As a consequence, in the 16–17th centuries, the liberation movement of the Orthodox population was gaining strength in the Dnieper region. The events during the times of Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky became a turning point. His supporters struggled for autonomy from the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

In its 1649 appeal to the king of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Zaporizhian Host demanded that the rights of the Russian Orthodox population be respected, that the voivode of Kiev be Russian and of Greek faith, and that the persecution of the churches of God be stopped. But the Cossacks were not heard.

Bohdan Khmelnytsky then made appeals to Moscow, which were considered by the Zemsky Sobor. On 1 October 1653, members of the supreme representative body of the Russian state decided to support their brothers in faith and take them under patronage. In January 1654, the Pereyaslav Council confirmed that decision. Subsequently, the ambassadors of Bohdan Khmelnytsky and Moscow visited dozens of cities, including Kiev, whose populations swore allegiance to the Russian tsar. Incidentally, nothing of the kind happened at the conclusion of the Union of Lublin.

In a letter to Moscow in 1654, Bohdan Khmelnytsky thanked Tsar Aleksey Mikhaylovich for taking ”the whole Zaporizhian Host and the whole Russian Orthodox world under the strong and high hand of the Tsar“. It means that, in their appeals to both the Polish king and the Russian tsar, the Cossacks referred to and defined themselves as Russian Orthodox people.

Over the course of the protracted war between the Russian state and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, some of the hetmans, successors of Bohdan Khmelnytsky, would ”detach themselves“ from Moscow or seek support from Sweden, Poland, or Turkey. But, again, for the people, that was a war of liberation. It ended with the Truce of Andrusovo in 1667. The final outcome was sealed by the Treaty of Perpetual Peace in 1686. The Russian state incorporated the city of Kiev and the lands on the left bank of the Dnieper River, including Poltava region, Chernigov region, and Zaporozhye. Their inhabitants were reunited with the main part of the Russian Orthodox people. These territories were referred to as ”Malorossia“ (Little Russia).

The name ”Ukraine“ was used more often in the meaning of the Old Russian word ”okraina“ (periphery), which is found in written sources from the 12th century, referring to various border territories. And the word ”Ukrainian“, judging by archival documents, originally referred to frontier guards who protected the external borders.

On the right bank, which remained under the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the old orders were restored, and social and religious oppression intensified. On the contrary, the lands on the left bank, taken under the protection of the unified state, saw rapid development. People from the other bank of the Dnieper moved here en masse. They sought support from people who spoke the same language and had the same faith.

During the Great Northern War with Sweden, the people in Malorossia were not faced with a choice of whom to side with. Only a small portion of the Cossacks supported Mazepa’s rebellion. People of all orders and degrees considered themselves Russian and Orthodox.

Cossack senior officers belonging to the nobility would reach the heights of political, diplomatic, and military careers in Russia. Graduates of Kiev-Mohyla Academy played a leading role in church life. This was also the case during the Hetmanate – an essentially autonomous state formation with a special internal structure – and later in the Russian Empire. Malorussians in many ways helped build a big common country – its statehood, culture, and science. They participated in the exploration and development of the Urals, Siberia, the Caucasus, and the Far East. Incidentally, during the Soviet period, natives of Ukraine held major, including the highest, posts in the leadership of the unified state. Suffice it to say that Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev, whose party biography was most closely associated with Ukraine, led the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) for almost 30 years.

In the second half of the 18th century, following the wars with the Ottoman Empire, Russia incorporated Crimea and the lands of the Black Sea region, which became known as Novorossiya. They were populated by people from all of the Russian provinces. After the partitions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Russian Empire regained the western Old Russian lands, with the exception of Galicia and Transcarpathia, which became part of the Austrian – and later Austro-Hungarian – Empire.

The incorporation of the western Russian lands into the single state was not merely the result of political and diplomatic decisions. It was underlain by the common faith, shared cultural traditions, and – I would like to emphasize it once again – language similarity. Thus, as early as the beginning of the 17th century, one of the hierarchs of the Uniate Church, Joseph Rutsky, communicated to Rome that people in Moscovia called Russians from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth their brothers, that their written language was absolutely identical, and differences in the vernacular were insignificant. He drew an analogy with the residents of Rome and Bergamo. These are, as we know, the center and the north of modern Italy.

Many centuries of fragmentation and living within different states naturally brought about regional language peculiarities, resulting in the emergence of dialects. The vernacular enriched the literary language. Ivan Kotlyarevsky, Grigory Skovoroda, and Taras Shevchenko played a huge role here. Their works are our common literary and cultural heritage. Taras Shevchenko wrote poetry in the Ukrainian language, and prose mainly in Russian. The books of Nikolay Gogol, a Russian patriot and native of Poltavshchyna, are written in Russian, bristling with Malorussian folk sayings and motifs. How can this heritage be divided between Russia and Ukraine? And why do it?

The south-western lands of the Russian Empire, Malorussia and Novorossiya, and the Crimea developed as ethnically and religiously diverse entities. Crimean Tatars, Armenians, Greeks, Jews, Karaites, Krymchaks, Bulgarians, Poles, Serbs, Germans, and other peoples lived here. They all preserved their faith, traditions, and customs.

I am not going to idealise anything. We do know there were the Valuev Circular of 1863 an then the Ems Ukaz of 1876, which restricted the publication and importation of religious and socio-political literature in the Ukrainian language. But it is important to be mindful of the historical context. These decisions were taken against the backdrop of dramatic events in Poland and the desire of the leaders of the Polish national movement to exploit the ”Ukrainian issue“ to their own advantage. I should add that works of fiction, books of Ukrainian poetry and folk songs continued to be published. There is objective evidence that the Russian Empire was witnessing an active process of development of the Malorussian cultural identity within the greater Russian nation, which united the Velikorussians, the Malorussians and the Belorussians.

At the same time, the idea of Ukrainian people as a nation separate from the Russians started to form and gain ground among the Polish elite and a part of the Malorussian intelligentsia. Since there was no historical basis – and could not have been any, conclusions were substantiated by all sorts of concoctions, which went as far as to claim that the Ukrainians are the true Slavs and the Russians, the Muscovites, are not. Such ”hypotheses“ became increasingly used for political purposes as a tool of rivalry between European states.

Since the late 19th century, the Austro-Hungarian authorities had latched onto this narrative, using it as a counterbalance to the Polish national movement and pro-Muscovite sentiments in Galicia. During World War I, Vienna played a role in the formation of the so-called Legion of Ukrainian Sich Riflemen. Galicians suspected of sympathies with Orthodox Christianity and Russia were subjected to brutal repression and thrown into the concentration camps of Thalerhof and Terezin.

Further developments had to do with the collapse of European empires, the fierce civil war that broke out across the vast territory of the former Russian Empire, and foreign intervention.

After the February Revolution, in March 1917, the Central Rada was established in Kiev, intended to become the organ of supreme power. In November 1917, in its Third Universal, it declared the creation of the Ukrainian People’s Republic (UPR) as part of Russia.

In December 1917, UPR representatives arrived in Brest-Litovsk, where Soviet Russia was negotiating with Germany and its allies. At a meeting on 10 January 1918, the head of the Ukrainian delegation read out a note proclaiming the independence of Ukraine. Subsequently, the Central Rada proclaimed Ukraine independent in its Fourth Universal.

The declared sovereignty did not last long. Just a few weeks later, Rada delegates signed a separate treaty with the German bloc countries. Germany and Austria-Hungary were at the time in a dire situation and needed Ukrainian bread and raw materials. In order to secure large-scale supplies, they obtained consent for sending their troops and technical staff to the UPR. In fact, this was used as a pretext for occupation.

For those who have today given up the full control of Ukraine to external forces, it would be instructive to remember that, back in 1918, such a decision proved fatal for the ruling regime in Kiev. With the direct involvement of the occupying forces, the Central Rada was overthrown and Hetman Pavlo Skoropadskyi was brought to power, proclaiming instead of the UPR the Ukrainian State, which was essentially under German protectorate.

In November 1918 – following the revolutionary events in Germany and Austria-Hungary – Pavlo Skoropadskyi, who had lost the support of German bayonets, took a different course, declaring that ”Ukraine is to take the lead in the formation of an All-Russian Federation“. However, the regime was soon changed again. It was now the time of the so-called Directorate.

In autumn 1918, Ukrainian nationalists proclaimed the West Ukrainian People’s Republic (WUPR) and, in January 1919, announced its unification with the Ukrainian People’s Republic. In July 1919, Ukrainian forces were crushed by Polish troops, and the territory of the former WUPR came under the Polish rule.

In April 1920, Symon Petliura (portrayed as one of the ”heroes“ in today’s Ukraine) concluded secret conventions on behalf of the UPR Directorate, giving up – in exchange for military support – Galicia and Western Volhynia lands to Poland. In May 1920, Petliurites entered Kiev in a convoy of Polish military units. But not for long. As early as November 1920, following a truce between Poland and Soviet Russia, the remnants of Petliura’s forces surrendered to those same Poles.

The example of the UPR shows that different kinds of quasi-state formations that emerged across the former Russian Empire at the time of the Civil War and turbulence were inherently unstable. Nationalists sought to create their own independent states, while leaders of the White movement advocated indivisible Russia. Many of the republics established by the Bolsheviks’ supporters did not see themselves outside Russia either. Nevertheless, Bolshevik Party leaders sometimes basically drove them out of Soviet Russia for various reasons.

Thus, in early 1918, the Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic was proclaimed and asked Moscow to incorporate it into Soviet Russia. This was met with a refusal. During a meeting with the republic’s leaders, Vladimir Lenin insisted that they act as part of Soviet Ukraine. On 15 March 1918, the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) directly ordered that delegates be sent to the Ukrainian Congress of Soviets, including from the Donetsk Basin, and that ”one government for all of Ukraine“ be created at the congress. The territories of the Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic later formed most of the regions of south-eastern Ukraine.

Under the 1921 Treaty of Riga, concluded between the Russian SFSR, the Ukrainian SSR and Poland, the western lands of the former Russian Empire were ceded to Poland. In the interwar period, the Polish government pursued an active resettlement policy, seeking to change the ethnic composition of the Eastern Borderlands – the Polish name for what is now Western Ukraine, Western Belarus and parts of Lithuania. The areas were subjected to harsh Polonisation, local culture and traditions suppressed. Later, during World War II, radical groups of Ukrainian nationalists used this as a pretext for terror not only against Polish, but also against Jewish and Russian populations.

In 1922, when the USSR was created, with the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic becoming one of its founders, a rather fierce debate among the Bolshevik leaders resulted in the implementation of Lenin’s plan to form a union state as a federation of equal republics. The right for the republics to freely secede from the Union was included in the text of the Declaration on the Creation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and, subsequently, in the 1924 USSR Constitution. By doing so, the authors planted in the foundation of our statehood the most dangerous time bomb, which exploded the moment the safety mechanism provided by the leading role of the CPSU was gone, the party itself collapsing from within. A ”parade of sovereignties“ followed. On 8 December 1991, the so-called Belovezh Agreement on the Creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States was signed, stating that ”the USSR as a subject of international law and a geopolitical reality no longer existed.“ By the way, Ukraine never signed or ratified the CIS Charter adopted back in 1993.

In the 1920’s-1930’s, the Bolsheviks actively promoted the ”localization policy“, which took the form of Ukrainization in the Ukrainian SSR. Symbolically, as part of this policy and with consent of the Soviet authorities, Mikhail Grushevskiy, former chairman of Central Rada, one of the ideologists of Ukrainian nationalism, who at a certain period of time had been supported by Austria-Hungary, was returned to the USSR and was elected member of the Academy of Sciences.

The localization policy undoubtedly played a major role in the development and consolidation of the Ukrainian culture, language and identity. At the same time, under the guise of combating the so-called Russian great-power chauvinism, Ukrainization was often imposed on those who did not see themselves as Ukrainians. This Soviet national policy secured at the state level the provision on three separate Slavic peoples: Russian, Ukrainian and Belorussian, instead of the large Russian nation, a triune people comprising Velikorussians, Malorussians and Belorussians.

In 1939, the USSR regained the lands earlier seized by Poland. A major portion of these became part of the Soviet Ukraine. In 1940, the Ukrainian SSR incorporated part of Bessarabia, which had been occupied by Romania since 1918, as well as Northern Bukovina. In 1948, Zmeyiniy Island (Snake Island) in the Black Sea became part of Ukraine. In 1954, the Crimean Region of the RSFSR was given to the Ukrainian SSR, in gross violation of legal norms that were in force at the time.

I would like to dwell on the destiny of Carpathian Ruthenia, which became part of Czechoslovakia following the breakup of Austria-Hungary. Rusins made up a considerable share of local population. While this is hardly mentioned any longer, after the liberation of Transcarpathia by Soviet troops the congress of the Orthodox population of the region voted for the inclusion of Carpathian Ruthenia in the RSFSR or, as a separate Carpathian republic, in the USSR proper. Yet the choice of people was ignored. In summer 1945, the historical act of the reunification of Carpathian Ukraine ”with its ancient motherland, Ukraine“ – as The Pravda newspaper put it – was announced.

Therefore, modern Ukraine is entirely the product of the Soviet era. We know and remember well that it was shaped – for a significant part – on the lands of historical Russia. To make sure of that, it is enough to look at the boundaries of the lands reunited with the Russian state in the 17th century and the territory of the Ukrainian SSR when it left the Soviet Union.

The Bolsheviks treated the Russian people as inexhaustible material for their social experiments. They dreamt of a world revolution that would wipe out national states. That is why they were so generous in drawing borders and bestowing territorial gifts. It is no longer important what exactly the idea of the Bolshevik leaders who were chopping the country into pieces was. We can disagree about minor details, background and logics behind certain decisions. One fact is crystal clear: Russia was robbed, indeed.

When working on this article, I relied on open-source documents that contain well-known facts rather than on some secret records. The leaders of modern Ukraine and their external ”patrons“ prefer to overlook these facts. They do not miss a chance, however, both inside the country and abroad, to condemn ”the crimes of the Soviet regime,“ listing among them events with which neither the CPSU, nor the USSR, let alone modern Russia, have anything to do. At the same time, the Bolsheviks’ efforts to detach from Russia its historical territories are not considered a crime. And we know why: if they brought about the weakening of Russia, our ill-wishes are happy with that.

Of course, inside the USSR, borders between republics were never seen as state borders; they were nominal within a single country, which, while featuring all the attributes of a federation, was highly centralized – this, again, was secured by the CPSU’s leading role. But in 1991, all those territories, and, which is more important, people, found themselves abroad overnight, taken away, this time indeed, from their historical motherland.

What can be said to this? Things change: countries and communities are no exception. Of course, some part of a people in the process of its development, influenced by a number of reasons and historical circumstances, can become aware of itself as a separate nation at a certain moment. How should we treat that? There is only one answer: with respect!

You want to establish a state of your own: you are welcome! But what are the terms? I will recall the assessment given by one of the most prominent political figures of new Russia, first mayor of Saint Petersburg Anatoly Sobchak. As a legal expert who believed that every decision must be legitimate, in 1992, he shared the following opinion: the republics that were founders of the Union, having denounced the 1922 Union Treaty, must return to the boundaries they had had before joining the Soviet Union. All other territorial acquisitions are subject to discussion, negotiations, given that the ground has been revoked.

In other words, when you leave, take what you brought with you. This logic is hard to refute. I will just say that the Bolsheviks had embarked on reshaping boundaries even before the Soviet Union, manipulating with territories to their liking, in disregard of people’s views.

The Russian Federation recognized the new geopolitical realities: and not only recognized, but, indeed, did a lot for Ukraine to establish itself as an independent country. Throughout the difficult 1990’s and in the new millennium, we have provided considerable support to Ukraine. Whatever ”political arithmetic“ of its own Kiev may wish to apply, in 1991–2013, Ukraine’s budget savings amounted to more than USD 82 billion, while today, it holds on to the mere USD 1.5 billion of Russian payments for gas transit to Europe. If economic ties between our countries had been retained, Ukraine would enjoy the benefit of tens of billions of dollars.

Ukraine and Russia have developed as a single economic system over decades and centuries. The profound cooperation we had 30 years ago is an example for the European Union to look up to. We are natural complementary economic partners. Such a close relationship can strengthen competitive advantages, increasing the potential of both countries.

Ukraine used to possess great potential, which included powerful infrastructure, gas transportation system, advanced shipbuilding, aviation, rocket and instrument engineering industries, as well as world-class scientific, design and engineering schools. Taking over this legacy and declaring independence, Ukrainian leaders promised that the Ukrainian economy would be one of the leading ones and the standard of living would be among the best in Europe.

Today, high-tech industrial giants that were once the pride of Ukraine and the entire Union, are sinking. Engineering output has dropped by 42 per cent over ten years. The scale of deindustrialization and overall economic degradation is visible in Ukraine’s electricity production, which has seen a nearly two-time decrease in 30 years. Finally, according to IMF reports, in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic broke out, Ukraine’s GDP per capita had been below USD 4 thousand. This is less than in the Republic of Albania, the Republic of Moldova, or unrecognized Kosovo. Nowadays, Ukraine is Europe’s poorest country.

Who is to blame for this? Is it the people of Ukraine’s fault? Certainly not. It was the Ukrainian authorities who waisted and frittered away the achievements of many generations. We know how hardworking and talented the people of Ukraine are. They can achieve success and outstanding results with perseverance and determination. And these qualities, as well as their openness, innate optimism and hospitality have not gone. The feelings of millions of people who treat Russia not just well but with great affection, just as we feel about Ukraine, remain the same.

Until 2014, hundreds of agreements and joint projects were aimed at developing our economies, business and cultural ties, strengthening security, and solving common social and environmental problems. They brought tangible benefits to people – both in Russia and Ukraine. This is what we believed to be most important. And that is why we had a fruitful interaction with all, I emphasize, with all the leaders of Ukraine.

Even after the events in Kiev of 2014, I charged the Russian government to elaborate options for preserving and maintaining our economic ties within relevant ministries and agencies. However, there was and is still no mutual will to do the same. Nevertheless, Russia is still one of Ukraine’s top three trading partners, and hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are coming to us to work, and they find a welcome reception and support. So that what the ”aggressor state“ is.

When the USSR collapsed, many people in Russia and Ukraine sincerely believed and assumed that our close cultural, spiritual and economic ties would certainly last, as would the commonality of our people, who had always had a sense of unity at their core. However, events – at first gradually, and then more rapidly – started to move in a different direction.

In essence, Ukraine’s ruling circles decided to justify their country’s independence through the denial of its past, however, except for border issues. They began to mythologize and rewrite history, edit out everything that united us, and refer to the period when Ukraine was part of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union as an occupation. The common tragedy of collectivization and famine of the early 1930s was portrayed as the genocide of the Ukrainian people.

Radicals and neo-Nazis were open and more and more insolent about their ambitions. They were indulged by both the official authorities and local oligarchs, who robbed the people of Ukraine and kept their stolen money in Western banks, ready to sell their motherland for the sake of preserving their capital. To this should be added the persistent weakness of state institutions and the position of a willing hostage to someone else’s geopolitical will.

I recall that long ago, well before 2014, the U.S. and EU countries systematically and consistently pushed Ukraine to curtail and limit economic cooperation with Russia. We, as the largest trade and economic partner of Ukraine, suggested discussing the emerging problems in the Ukraine-Russia-EU format. But every time we were told that Russia had nothing to do with it and that the issue concerned only the EU and Ukraine. De facto Western countries rejected Russia’s repeated calls for dialogue.

Step by step, Ukraine was dragged into a dangerous geopolitical game aimed at turning Ukraine into a barrier between Europe and Russia, a springboard against Russia. Inevitably, there came a time when the concept of ”Ukraine is not Russia“ was no longer an option. There was a need for the ”anti-Russia“ concept which we will never accept.

The owners of this project took as a basis the old groundwork of the Polish-Austrian ideologists to create an ”anti-Moscow Russia“. And there is no need to deceive anyone that this is being done in the interests of the people of Ukraine. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth never needed Ukrainian culture, much less Cossack autonomy. In Austria-Hungary, historical Russian lands were mercilessly exploited and remained the poorest. The Nazis, abetted by collaborators from the OUN-UPA, did not need Ukraine, but a living space and slaves for Aryan overlords.

Nor were the interests of the Ukrainian people thought of in February 2014. The legitimate public discontent, caused by acute socio-economic problems, mistakes, and inconsistent actions of the authorities of the time, was simply cynically exploited. Western countries directly interfered in Ukraine’s internal affairs and supported the coup. Radical nationalist groups served as its battering ram. Their slogans, ideology, and blatant aggressive Russophobia have to a large extent become defining elements of state policy in Ukraine.

All the things that united us and bring us together so far came under attack. First and foremost, the Russian language. Let me remind you that the new ”Maidan“ authorities first tried to repeal the law on state language policy. Then there was the law on the ”purification of power“, the law on education that virtually cut the Russian language out of the educational process.

Lastly, as early as May of this year, the current president introduced a bill on ”indigenous peoples“ to the Rada. Only those who constitute an ethnic minority and do not have their own state entity outside Ukraine are recognized as indigenous. The law has been passed. New seeds of discord have been sown. And this is happening in a country, as I have already noted, that is very complex in terms of its territorial, national and linguistic composition, and its history of formation.

There may be an argument: if you are talking about a single large nation, a triune nation, then what difference does it make who people consider themselves to be – Russians, Ukrainians, or Belarusians. I completely agree with this. Especially since the determination of nationality, particularly in mixed families, is the right of every individual, free to make his or her own choice.

But the fact is that the situation in Ukraine today is completely different because it involves a forced change of identity. And the most despicable thing is that the Russians in Ukraine are being forced not only to deny their roots, generations of their ancestors but also to believe that Russia is their enemy. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the path of forced assimilation, the formation of an ethnically pure Ukrainian state, aggressive towards Russia, is comparable in its consequences to the use of weapons of mass destruction against us. As a result of such a harsh and artificial division of Russians and Ukrainians, the Russian people in all may decrease by hundreds of thousands or even millions.

Our spiritual unity has also been attacked. As in the days of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, a new ecclesiastical has been initiated. The secular authorities, making no secret of their political aims, have blatantly interfered in church life and brought things to a split, to the seizure of churches, the beating of priests and monks. Even extensive autonomy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church while maintaining spiritual unity with the Moscow Patriarchate strongly displeases them. They have to destroy this prominent and centuries-old symbol of our kinship at all costs.

I think it is also natural that the representatives of Ukraine over and over again vote against the UN General Assembly resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism. Marches and torchlit processions in honor of remaining war criminals from the SS units take place under the protection of the official authorities. Mazepa, who betrayed everyone, Petliura, who paid for Polish patronage with Ukrainian lands, and Bandera, who collaborated with the Nazis, are ranked as national heroes. Everything is being done to erase from the memory of young generations the names of genuine patriots and victors, who have always been the pride of Ukraine.

For the Ukrainians who fought in the Red Army, in partisan units, the Great Patriotic War was indeed a patriotic war because they were defending their home, their great common Motherland. Over two thousand soldiers became Heroes of the Soviet Union. Among them are legendary pilot Ivan Kozhedub, fearless sniper, defender of Odessa and Sevastopol Lyudmila Pavlichenko, valiant guerrilla commander Sidor Kovpak. This indomitable generation fought, those people gave their lives for our future, for us. To forget their feat is to betray our grandfathers, mothers and fathers.

The anti-Russia project has been rejected by millions of Ukrainians. The people of Crimea and residents of Sevastopol made their historic choice. And people in the southeast peacefully tried to defend their stance. Yet, all of them, including children, were labeled as separatists and terrorists. They were threatened with ethnic cleansing and the use of military force. And the residents of Donetsk and Lugansk took up arms to defend their home, their language and their lives. Were they left any other choice after the riots that swept through the cities of Ukraine, after the horror and tragedy of 2 May 2014 in Odessa where Ukrainian neo-Nazis burned people alive making a new Khatyn out of it? The same massacre was ready to be carried out by the followers of Bandera in Crimea, Sevastopol, Donetsk and Lugansk. Even now they do not abandon such plans. They are biding their time. But their time will not come.

The coup d’état and the subsequent actions of the Kiev authorities inevitably provoked confrontation and civil war. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights estimates that the total number of victims in the conflict in Donbas has exceeded 13,000. Among them are the elderly and children. These are terrible, irreparable losses.

Russia has done everything to stop fratricide. The Minsk agreements aimed at a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbas have been concluded. I am convinced that they still have no alternative. In any case, no one has withdrawn their signatures from the Minsk Package of Measures or from the relevant statements by the leaders of the Normandy format countries. No one has initiated a review of the United Nations Security Council resolution of 17 February 2015.

During official negotiations, especially after being reined in by Western partners, Ukraine’s representatives regularly declare their ”full adherence“ to the Minsk agreements, but are in fact guided by a position of ”unacceptability“. They do not intend to seriously discuss either the special status of Donbas or safeguards for the people living there. They prefer to exploit the image of the ”victim of external aggression“ and peddle Russophobia. They arrange bloody provocations in Donbas. In short, they attract the attention of external patrons and masters by all means.

Apparently, and I am becoming more and more convinced of this: Kiev simply does not need Donbas. Why? Because, firstly, the inhabitants of these regions will never accept the order that they have tried and are trying to impose by force, blockade and threats. And secondly, the outcome of both Minsk‑1 and Minsk‑2 which give a real chance to peacefully restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine by coming to an agreement directly with the DPR and LPR with Russia, Germany and France as mediators, contradicts the entire logic of the anti-Russia project. And it can only be sustained by the constant cultivation of the image of an internal and external enemy. And I would add – under the protection and control of the Western powers.

This is what is actually happening. First of all, we are facing the creation of a climate of fear in Ukrainian society, aggressive rhetoric, indulging neo-Nazis and militarising the country. Along with that we are witnessing not just complete dependence but direct external control, including the supervision of the Ukrainian authorities, security services and armed forces by foreign advisers, military ”development“ of the territory of Ukraine and deployment of NATO infrastructure. It is no coincidence that the aforementioned flagrant law on ”indigenous peoples“ was adopted under the cover of large-scale NATO exercises in Ukraine.

This is also a disguise for the takeover of the rest of the Ukrainian economy and the exploitation of its natural resources. The sale of agricultural land is not far off, and it is obvious who will buy it up. From time to time, Ukraine is indeed given financial resources and loans, but under their own conditions and pursuing their own interests, with preferences and benefits for Western companies. By the way, who will pay these debts back? Apparently, it is assumed that this will have to be done not only by today’s generation of Ukrainians but also by their children, grandchildren and probably great-grandchildren.

The Western authors of the anti-Russia project set up the Ukrainian political system in such a way that presidents, members of parliament and ministers would change but the attitude of separation from and enmity with Russia would remain. Reaching peace was the main election slogan of the incumbent president. He came to power with this. The promises turned out to be lies. Nothing has changed. And in some ways the situation in Ukraine and around Donbas has even degenerated.

In the anti-Russia project, there is no place either for a sovereign Ukraine or for the political forces that are trying to defend its real independence. Those who talk about reconciliation in Ukrainian society, about dialogue, about finding a way out of the current impasse are labelled as ”pro-Russian“ agents.

Again, for many people in Ukraine, the anti-Russia project is simply unacceptable. And there are millions of such people. But they are not allowed to raise their heads. They have had their legal opportunity to defend their point of view in fact taken away from them. They are intimidated, driven underground. Not only are they persecuted for their convictions, for the spoken word, for the open expression of their position, but they are also killed. Murderers, as a rule, go unpunished.

Today, the ”right“ patriot of Ukraine is only the one who hates Russia. Moreover, the entire Ukrainian statehood, as we understand it, is proposed to be further built exclusively on this idea. Hate and anger, as world history has repeatedly proved this, are a very shaky foundation for sovereignty, fraught with many serious risks and dire consequences.

All the subterfuges associated with the anti-Russia project are clear to us. And we will never allow our historical territories and people close to us living there to be used against Russia. And to those who will undertake such an attempt, I would like to say that this way they will destroy their own country.

The incumbent authorities in Ukraine like to refer to Western experience, seeing it as a model to follow. Just have a look at how Austria and Germany, the USA and Canada live next to each other. Close in ethnic composition, culture, in fact sharing one language, they remain sovereign states with their own interests, with their own foreign policy. But this does not prevent them from the closest integration or allied relations. They have very conditional, transparent borders. And when crossing them the citizens feel at home. They create families, study, work, do business. Incidentally, so do millions of those born in Ukraine who now live in Russia. We see them as our own close people.

Russia is open to dialogue with Ukraine and ready to discuss the most complex issues. But it is important for us to understand that our partner is defending its national interests but not serving someone else’s, and is not a tool in someone else’s hands to fight against us.

We respect the Ukrainian language and traditions. We respect Ukrainians’ desire to see their country free, safe and prosperous.

I am confident that true sovereignty of Ukraine is possible only in partnership with Russia. Our spiritual, human and civilizational ties formed for centuries and have their origins in the same sources, they have been hardened by common trials, achievements and victories. Our kinship has been transmitted from generation to generation. It is in the hearts and the memory of people living in modern Russia and Ukraine, in the blood ties that unite millions of our families. Together we have always been and will be many times stronger and more successful. For we are one people.

Today, these words may be perceived by some people with hostility. They can be interpreted in many possible ways. Yet, many people will hear me. And I will say one thing – Russia has never been and will never be ”anti-Ukraine“. And what Ukraine will be – it is up to its citizens to decide.

The Nakba and the Polish Law

 BY GILAD ATZMON

1589885470.jpg

by Gilad Atzmon

Source: Almayadeen.net

Israel seems upset by a new Polish law that sets a 30-year deadline for Jews to recover seized property. The legislation is yet to be approved by Poland’s senate, yet Israeli officials already refer to it as the “Holocaust law.” They insist that it is ‘immoral’ and ‘a disgrace.’

Last week Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid insisted that the bill “is a disgrace that will not erase the horrors or the memory of the Holocaust.”

The Nakba and the Polish Law

I fail to see which part of the legislation interferes with the memory and the horrors of the holocaust. I actually think that the crude attempt to squeeze billions of dollars from Poland in the name of a human tragedy may have a detrimental impact on this historical chapter and the way it is memorized.

The Poles didn’t approve of the Jewish ‘State’ interfering with their internal affairs. On Friday, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki hit back at Lapid, stressing, “I can only say that as long as I am the prime minister, Poland will not pay for German crimes: Neither zloty, nor euro, nor dollar.”

Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs echoed Morawiecki’s position, arguing that Lapid’s comments were misguided. “Poland is by no means responsible for the Holocaust, an atrocity committed by the German occupant also on Polish citizens of Jewish origin.”

During the weekend, the crisis seemed to escalate. On Sunday, Poland and Israel summoned the other’s ambassador for meetings as the rift between the two countries didn’t seem to subside.  

I am not in a position to judge what is right and who is wrong on restitution matters. Suppose the Polish new legislation is “a horrific injustice and disgrace that harms the rights of Holocaust survivors and their heirs,” as Lapid says. In that case, we should also expect Lapid to vividly support the Palestinians, their right of return, and their right to be compensated for the colossal crimes committed against them in 1948 and thereafter. 

In 1948, more than 700,000 Palestinians (the vast majority of indigenous Palestine) were ethnically cleansed by the newly born Jewish State. This catastrophic racially driven crime (that included a long list of massacres) is called the Nakba. It took place less than four years after the liberation of Auschwitz. 

During the 1948 war and shortly after, young Israel wiped out Palestinian cities and villages. It then used legislation to prevent Palestinians from returning to their homes and applied any possible means to plunder their properties, dispossessing those few Palestinians who clung to their land. Yet, Israel never admitted its original sin of ethnic cleansing. 

Applying to a moral cause, Israel claims to represent Jewish demands for restitution in Poland. I wonder, shouldn’t the same rule be applied to the Palestinians? Shouldn’t Israel put the same moral law into play and acknowledge the Palestinians’ right to their land, villages, cities, fields, and orchards?

While in Poland, it was Nazi Germany that brought a disaster on the county’s Jewry. In Palestine, young IDF and Jewish paramilitary groups committed colossal crimes against the indigenous population. While Nazi Germany ceased to exist in 1945, the IDF is still with us. The Labour party (which formed the first Israeli government directly) is still active and is even a member of the current governing coalition. The Likud Party, being the offspring of the Irgun and the Stern Gang (both complicit in some of the most brutal massacres in Palestine), is, by far, the biggest party in the Israeli Knesset. The Israeli and Zionist institutions that were responsible for the 1948 crime have never ceased to exist. They have never owned their crimes, let alone repented. 

Holocaust survivors have been compensated by different means for the crime that was committed against them by Europeans. Israel benefitted from a large reparations deal with the German government. The Palestinians, however, are still living in open-air prisons and refugee camps, subject to blockades and constant abuse.    

The time is ripe for Israel to own up to its horrendous past. By now, Israel should accept that the Palestinian cause is not fading away or evaporating into thin air. If Israel seeks to reconcile with the region, it must first apply to itself that moral code that it demands Poland to follow. 

Donate

What Just Happened in the Ukraine?

THE SAKER • APRIL 25, 2021 

Before we look into what just happened in the Ukraine, we need to first recall the sequence of events which lead to the current situation. I will try to make a short summary (skipping a lot of details) in the bullet-point style:

  1. Whether Ze initially intended to stop the war in the eastern Ukraine we don’t know, but what we do know is that he failed not only to stop it, in many ways his policies were even worse than Poroshenko’s. This might be the well-known phenomenon of a supposedly “pro-peace and happiness” politician being accused of being “weak” and thus not “presidential”; this politician has to show his “strength” is “patriotism”, that is acting recklessly on the external front. We see that from putatively “liberal” politicians such as the Dems in the USA and Labor in Israel. Historically, “liberals” are the most common war initiators. Ze showed his weakness almost from day 1, and the Ukronazis immediately seized this opportunity to engage in a massive multi-level campaign for war against Russia. This resulted in:
  2. A quasi-official repudiation of the Minsk Agreements and Steinmeier Formula by Kiev, followed by a sharp increase in bellicose statements and, most crucially a large scale move of forces (including tanks, heavy artillery, MLRS and even ballistic missiles!) towards the line of contact. At the same time Ukronazi politicians began making statements saying that a) the Ukrainian army was capable and willing to “liberate” all of the “Russian occupied” Ukrainian land thus, including both the Donbass and Crimea b) that Russia was going to attack the Ukraine anyway and c) that the consolidated West had to help the Ukraine because only the Ukrainian forces were keeping the asiatic drunken Russian hordes from over-running not only the Ukraine, but even the rest of Europe. Since the Ukraine simply has no agency, this begs the question of the US (and, to a lesser degree, the UK) rationale was for these moves. It is quite simple:
  3. Force Russia to openly intervene to protect the population of the Donbass from the inevitable genocide which the Ukronazis would have meeted out to the population of the LDNR.

How good was this plan? I would argue that it was a very solid plan which, for the USA, meant a win-win situation. Here is how it should have gone:

First, the Ukrainian forces would attack the LDNR, probably along three axes: one between the city of Gorlovka and Donetsk, one frontally attacking Donetsk proper, not to invade the city, but to tie down LDNR forces in protection of their capital, and one in the south with the aim of reaching the Russian border. This way, the LDNR defenders would have to defend their capital while, at the same time, risking envelopment on two axes. Remember that the LDNR has no strategic depth (Donetsk is practically on the frontline) and that the LDNR defenders could not trade space for time.

I have seen some “experts” saying that since the Ukrainians have laid down a very large number of mines they are clearly not going to attack since they would lose time – and possibly men – to cross these minefields. First, there is no way of knowing if these mines are real or fake (many mines also have a timer anyway) but, second, more crucially: an attacking force always wants to concentrate in one specific location of the line of contact, which means that the attacking forces has to not only attack, but also protect herself from enemy counter-attacks: minefields are very effective at providing this sort of protection. The “defensive” moves can, and do, in reality, form an integral part of any offensive plans.

Of course, The Big Question was this: could the LDNR forces stop the Ukronazis? There are those who say that yes, and those who say no. Rather than suggesting an answer, let’s look at both of these outcomes:

Option 1: the LDNR forces successfully stop the Ukrainian invasion:

That would be, by far, the best outcome for Russia, but for the LDNR this outcome, while better than a defeat, would probably result in a lot of deaths and destruction. We know that both the Ukrainian military and the LDNR forces have been profoundly reformed and restructured since 2014. Crucially, the LDNR forces went from being self-organized and disparate militias to a conventional military force capable of operational level combined arms operations. Would that be enough to stop a larger Ukrainian force? Possibly. But this is by no means certain, not only because war is an unpredictable thing to begin with, but also because we really have no way of knowing how well the Ukrainian military was reformed. If what they got was the same type of “training” as the Georgians in the years leading up to 08.08.08 then there is a good cause to doubt it. LDNR leaders, however, did not engage in bravado and silly flag-waving and they took the threat very seriously, which tells us that they were by no means certain of what might happen next. Now let’s look at option 2:

Option 2: the LDNR defenses eventually collapse in one or even several locations:

What if the LDNR forces failed to stop the Ukrainians? At this point, Russia would have absolutely no choice but to intervene to save the people of the Donbass (more than half a million of which already have Russian passports!). I won’t discuss here the options a LDNR+Russia counter-attack would have or how much Ukronazi-occupied land Russia could or should liberate (that is not the topic here). In this case, two things are absolutely certain:

  1. Russia would comprehensively defeat any combination of Ukrainian forces.
  2. The US/NATO would declare a state of quasi war with Russia and create something similar to the Berlin Wall along whatever line of contact would result from a Russian counter-attack.

In this scenario, the biggest loser would, of course, be the Ukraine. But the next loser would be Russia, because instead of “just” dealing with a nutcase Nazi regime next door, Russia would now face a hysterically paranoid and russophobic consolidated West. At the end of such a war, Russia would face something similar to what happened at the end of the Korean war: a ceasefire followed by decades of tensions.

The big winner would be the USA: its main instrument for the colonization of Europe (NATO) would finally find itself a purpose in life (stop the Russians, of course), NS2 and other cooperation between the EU and Russia would all but totally freeze, making the European economy non-competitive against the US, and the US MIC would have a great time selling very expensive, if not very effective, military hardware to all the the European countries. And that strategic US victory would not cost the US a single soldier! What’s there not to like about this?

Well, for Russia this would be a very bad outcome. Yes, Russia has the means to take on both the US and NATO militarily, but politically and economically, this would hurt Russian interests, not critically, but substantially.

Then, there is this: the Ukraine is a thoroughly deindustrialized failed state, worse than many African countries. While there was a lot of window-dressing going on both inside the Ukraine and in the West’s legacy media, the COVID pandemic and its horrible consequences inside the Ukraine became impossible to conceal or deny, especially to the Ukrainian people themselves. Right now, the entire Ukraine is like a vase in a store: if you break it, you own it and you must fix it. Even if we exclude an outcome where the Russian tanks stop at the western borders of the Ukraine and take a middle-of-the-road option where the Russians stop at the Dnieper river, this would have huge consequences for the Russians, including:

  1. The frontline between the Ukronazis and the LDNR+Russian forces would be massively stretched becoming much longer, yet every kilometer of that line of contact would have to be protected. This begs the question: protected by whom?
  2. The Russian side would suddenly inherit several large cities (Chernigov, Kharkov, Poltava, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhia, Mariupol, Berdiansk, etc.). Not only would the Russians have to clear these cities from Ukrainian insurgents and stay-behind forces, but Russia would also have to rebuild them and feed a population much larger than the current population of the LDNR.
  3. The Russian economy simply cannot bear the burden of what is currently a Nazi run Ukraine which has turned into a massive black hole sucking in huge ressoures and never letting anything leave (except emigrating Ukrainians). At best, Russia is currently investing billions of rubles to rebuild Crimea (which the Nazis always hated and neglected – except to build themselves mansions on the Black Sea) while barely keeping the LDNR afloat.

It is the consolidated West (US+UK+EU) which destroyed the Ukraine, and the Russians will capitalize on this by making the West responsible for fixing what it broke, and that won’t happen since the EU does not have the means to do it right now while the USA is not directly threatened by this situation and thus has no reasons to intervene beyond making sure that the regime in Kiev remains a) rabidly anti-Russian and b) totally under the control of the USA.

Thus, neither option 1 nor option 2 were desirable for Russia. So Putin created option three.

Putin’s option 3:

In response to the seemingly unstoppable escalation towards war was something nobody in the West expected: Putin used the pretext of regularly scheduled military exercises to quickly and dramatically increase the Russian capabilities near the Ukraine: Russia moved two Armies (58th and 41st) and three Airborne Divisions (7th76th and 98th) towards Russia’s western regions (including Crimea). The Russians also moved almost their entire Caspian Flotilla into the Black Sea. More Russian warships entered the Black Sea through the Bosphorus. Next, all six advanced 636.3 type diesel-electric submarines (possibly the quietest on the planet, at normal cruising speed they produce less noise than the surrounding environment, turning them into acoustic black holes) went on patrol. Finally, Russia deployed her coastal defense missile systems Bal and Bastion, turning the entire Black Sea into a Russian shooting range). And, crucially, Russia did all that very publicly, in broad daylight, officially announcing her military moves and not even bothering with any type of camouflage or deception.

To those ignorant of military realities this looked like Russia was “threatening the Ukraine”. This is absolute nonsense. All Russia needs to do to threaten the Ukraine is to remind the Ukrainians that Russian long range weapons are enough to obliterate the Ukrainian military and that Russia can use these standoff weapons without moving any forces at all. No, the real object of these Russian moves was not the Ukraine, but the West itself, especially any western force crazy enough to decide to enter the war and militarily help the Ukraine. Why? Here again, I will offer my view of how this situation might have evolved:

  1. First, the Ukrainians attack the LDNR. LDNR forces take the initial blow and try to contain the Ukrainian advance.
  2. The Russians declare a no-fly zone over the area of operations and strikes the advancing Ukrainian forces with her formidable firepower. The outcome here is not in doubt.
  3. NATO+EU nations decide to intervene, say by sending several Polish battalions into the Ukraine. US+UK forces conduct reconnaissance operations by flying near (or even over) the line of contact and by sending special forces. After a few warnings (or not), the Russians decide to shoot down one of these intelligence aircraft or drones. The West decides to “show solidarity” by engaging in cyber-attacks against Russia, imposing even more sanctions and by airlifting even more forces into the Western Ukraine.

At this point, the US+NATO+EU and Russia would be at the brink of a major war. But here is the crucial thing: by moving two armies and three airborne divisions (a huge force, way bigger and more capable than any combo of NATO forces!) so quickly Russia, proved to NATO that she can quickly achieve a huge numerical advantage anywhere any NATO force might decide to attack. Conversely, no NATO nation has the ability to concentrate its conventional forces so quickly and on any point along the frontline.

Comparing force sizes is engaging in “bean counting” and is useless. It really does not matter very much how big a force is, what matters is the force ratios along key sectors of the FEBA or the front (assuming there is a “front”, which sometimes does not really exist) and at a specific moment in time.

Also, keep in mind that, unlike most western airborne forces, Russian airborne forces are fully mechanized, they even have some tanks, plenty of armored vehicles, their own artillery and an ability to move very very quickly (remember the Rusbat in Bosnia going to Pristina almost overnight?). Western airborne forces are attack forces designed to enforce the western imperial hegemony worldwide, so they have to be much lighter. The Russians have no need to send airborne forces across the border, they need them to defend Russia and to be deployed within less than about 1000km from the main Russian forces. Thus, Russia “sacrificed” their strategic mobility of her airborne forces to give them a tactical and operational mobility and firepower which western airborne forces can’t even dream about. So what could these three divisions do in the context of a Ukrainian attack?

Well, they could do what they are mostly designed to do, deploy behind enemy lines, destroy (or hold) strategic targets (like bridges, power stations, missile bases, etc.) hold some strategic location or present a threat from the rear to the Ukrainains. But that overlooks the major reform the Russian AB forces have undergone. They are also really high mobility and high readiness forces which, for example, could be deployed to protect the Russian peacekeeping force in Transnistria (such a move would also be protected by the long range fire capabilities of both the Black Sea Fleet and the Russian Aerospace Forces). Russian AB units could also be deployed in the Ukrainian rear to create chaos and disrupt the Ukrainian supply lines. Finally, any Polish force threatening to intervene could be quickly attacked and destroyed. Again, that would enrage the Western politicians, and it is at this moment that the Russians could move her armies across the border to show that any combo of western forces would be annihilated. This would leave the West only two options: fold or go nuclear. And going nuclear does not seem to be an option the West wants to exercise, hence folding would be the only viable option. So far (things might change in the future, who knows how crazy NATO can act?).

Finally, Putin spoke directly to the West in his speech before the Federal Assembly when he said:

The meaning and purpose of Russia’s policy in the international arena – I will just say a few words about this to conclude my address – is to ensure peace and security for the well-being of our citizens, for the stable development of our country. Russia certainly has its own interests we defend and will continue to defend within the framework of international law, as all other states do. And if someone refuses to understand this obvious thing or does not want to conduct a dialogue and chooses a selfish and arrogant tone with us, Russia will always find a way to defend its stance.

At the same time, unfortunately, everyone in the world seems to be used to the practice of politically motivated, illegal economic sanctions and to certain actors’ brutal attempts to impose their will on others by force. But today, this practice is degenerating into something even more dangerous – I am referring to the recently exposed direct interference in Belarus in an attempt to orchestrate a coup d’état and assassinate the President of that country. At the same time, it is typical that even such flagrant actions have not been condemned by the so-called collective West. Nobody seemed to notice. Everyone pretends nothing is happening.

But listen, you can think whatever you like of, say, Ukrainian President [Viktor] Yanukovych or [Nicolas] Maduro in Venezuela. I repeat, you can like or dislike them, including Yanukovych who almost got killed, too, and removed from power via an armed coup. You can have your own opinion of President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko’s policy. But the practice of staging coups d’état and planning political assassinations, including those of high-ranking officials – well, this goes too far. This is beyond any limits.

Suffice it to mention the admission made by the detained participants in the conspiracy about a planned siege of Minsk, including plans to block the city infrastructure and communications, and a complete shutdown of the entire power system in the capital of Belarus! This actually means they were preparing a massive cyberattack. What else could it be? You know, you cannot just do it all with one switch.

Clearly, there is a reason why our Western colleagues have been stubbornly rejecting Russia’s numerous proposals to establish an international dialogue on information and cyber security. We have come up with these proposals many times. They avoid even discussing this matter.

What if there had been a real attempt at a coup d’état in Belarus? After all, this was the ultimate goal. How many people would have been hurt? What would have become of Belarus? Nobody is thinking about this.

Just as no one was thinking about the future of Ukraine during the coup in that country.

All the while, unfriendly moves towards Russia have also continued unabated. Some countries have taken up an unseemly routine where they pick on Russia for any reason, most often, for no reason at all. It is some kind of new sport of who shouts the loudest.

In this regard, we behave in an extremely restrained manner, I would even say, modestly, and I am saying this without irony. Often, we prefer not to respond at all, not just to unfriendly moves, but even to outright rudeness. We want to maintain good relations with everyone who participates in the international dialogue. But we see what is happening in real life. As I said, every now and then they are picking on Russia, for no reason. And of course, all sorts of petty Tabaquis are running around them like Tabaqui ran around Shere Khan – everything is like in Kipling’s book – howling along in order to make their sovereign happy. Kipling was a great writer.

We really want to maintain good relations with all those engaged in international communication, including, by the way, those with whom we have not been getting along lately, to put it mildly. We really do not want to burn bridges. But if someone mistakes our good intentions for indifference or weakness and intends to burn or even blow up these bridges, they must know that Russia’s response will be asymmetrical, swift and tough.

Those behind provocations that threaten the core interests of our security will regret what they have done in a way they have not regretted anything for a long time.

Putin very very rarely threatens, but when he does, people listen because they understand that his warnings are never a bluff and that when he promises something he has the means to realize his threat (in this case, 2 Combined Arms Armies and 3 Airborne Divisions, all backed by Russian long range and hypersonic weapons and, if all else fails, by the most modern and robust nuclear triad on the planet). As for what would be a Russian “red line”, Putin decided to deliberately leave this point ambiguous only saying that “I just have to make it clear, we have enough patience, responsibility, professionalism, self-confidence and certainty in our cause, as well as common sense, when making a decision of any kind. But I hope that no one will think about crossing the “red line” with regard to Russia. We ourselves will determine in each specific case where it will be drawn.” The point of this strategic ambiguity is to leave the West guessing when it is safe to make a move and when not. This very simply maximizes the deterrent effect of the rest of his speech.

And, today, the Russians have “clarified” that the Kerch strait are not close to traffic, not even Ukrainian traffic. “All” that Russia did was to declare some exclusion zones for military exercises purposes, but traffic under the Crimean Bridge remains open. Right. And how long will it take Russia to (truly) re-close that strait? Minutes. This unspoken threat is primarily a threat to the Ukrainians, showing them how easy it would be for Russia to sever their lines of communications should they threaten Russia.

Yes, Putin did win this round quite elegantly, without a single Russian soldier dying. But the problem is that this undeniable Russian success really solves nothing. All the causes which led the Ukronazi regime to bring the entire region to the edge of the abyss are still present. Inside the Ukraine nothing has changed and, if anything, things are even worse: total censorships of opposition TV channels, political persecutions (including torture and kidnappings), the same warlike rhetoric. The economy in in shambles and Ukrainians are emigrating by the millions (both to Russia and to the EU), the Nazi deathsquads continue to enjoy total impunity, and, of course, the total COVID catastrophe (the West gives the Ukies lethal weapons to use against Russian, but no vaccine, and way more people are dying from COVID in the Ukraine than are dying at the frontlines! These are “European” and “Western” “values” at work…)

Sure, it does appear that a combination of European reservations and the risk of the members of the ruling elite in Kiev to be physically eliminated by Russian strikes, possibly combined with a realization by the “Biden” Administration that a total blow-up in the Ukraine would strain US-European relations (there will be plenty of blame to go around) resulted in the current perceived deescalation.

Sadly, and in spite of the current reprieve, some kind of war between Russia and the Ukraine is still probably inevitable. Right now, the bulk of the Russian forces are returning to their normal areas of deployment, with, probably, some staying. We can also be sure that the Russians will have a major after action review to find out what went wrong and what needs to be changed. As a result, next time around, the Russian will move their forces even faster.

But what about the US, it’s NATO proxies and the Ukronazi regime?

The US is still scrambling to try to retake control of an international situation which has clearly gone totally out of hand for the wannabe world Hegemon. Even more importantly, the internal situation of the USA is truly critical with many very serious crises occurring simultaneously. Yes, there is also a lot of window-dressing in the US media, but most people see and know what is really going on. Which means that the US is as weak as it is unstable. Finally, judging by the low intellectual abilities of US decision makers, we should always expect something silly or even dangerous, or both, from this Administration for and by Woke-freaks (especially since “diversity” has now completely replaced “competence”).

NATO and the EU are in a bind. While some countries go “totally insane” (the Czech Republic and the usual 3B+PU) others are desperately trying to keep things together (Germany). As for the regime in Kiev, it is barely holding on to power and has no other options left than doubling down over and over and over again. Crucially, the junta in Kiev will continue to blame Russia for absolutely everything and anything (about 99% of what the Ukie political class does nowadays is hate on Russia and threaten to defeat Russia militarily).

None of that qualifies as “peace” in any meaningful sense of the word (people die everyday, almost all of them civilians). Worst of all, the same causes can only lead to the same outcomes, and there is very little anybody can do to change this. Thus, at best, what we are seeing is only a reprieve. But as long as a gang of Neo-Nazi thugs continues to hold power in Kiev, war will be a quasi inevitability. True peace will only come when the Ukronazis are either dead, or jailed or back in Canada. Until then there shall be no peace, only degrees of war.

Russian official statements about counter-actions to US sanctions

Russian official statements about counter-actions to US sanctions

16 April 202119:28

Foreign Ministry statement on measures in response to hostile US actions

The latest attack by the Biden administration against our country cannot go unanswered. It seems Washington is unwilling to accept that there is no room for unilateral dictates in the new geopolitical reality. Meanwhile, the bankrupt scenarios for deterring Moscow that the US myopically continues to pursue only promise to further degrade Russian-US relations.

In this context, the appeals from across the ocean to refrain from escalation and essentially accept this attempt to talk to us from a position of strength sound hypocritical. We have repeatedly warned and demonstrated in practice that sanctions and any other pressure will never succeed and will only have dire consequences for those who dare attempt such provocations.

We will introduce the following countermeasures in response to anti-Russian sanctions in the near future:

  •  Employees of US diplomatic missions will be expelled on a reciprocal basis in numbers proportional to the actions taken by the US authorities against Russian diplomats.
  • Incidentally, we noted how quickly Warsaw played up to the US administration by demanding the departure of three Russian diplomats from Poland. In turn, five Polish diplomats will be expelled from Russia.
  •  The US Embassy’s practice of using short-term trips by State Department staff to support the functioning of diplomatic missions will be restricted. The issuance of visas to them will be reduced to a minimum: up to 10 people per year on a reciprocal basis.
  •  In strict conformity with the Vienna conventions on diplomatic relations and Russian law, including the Labour Code, measures will be taken to discontinue completely the practice of US diplomatic missions employing citizens of the Russian Federation and third countries as administrative and technical staff.
  •  The bilateral 1992 memorandum of understanding on open ground is declared invalid due to systematic violations of rules for trips in the Russian Federation by employees of US diplomatic missions.
  •  Plans are in place to halt the activities in the Russian Federation of American foundations and NGOs controlled by the Department of State and other US government agencies. These consistent, long-term efforts will be brought to an end, all the more so since the United States shows no intention of scaling back its systematic subversive efforts underpinned by a wide array of laws.
  •  Obviously, this very tense situation objectively requires the ambassadors of our countries to be in their respective capitals to analyse developments and hold consultations.

These steps represent just a fraction of the capabilities at our disposal. Unfortunately, US statements threatening to introduce new forms of punishment show that Washington is not willing to listen and does not appreciate the restraint that we have displayed despite the tensions that have been purposefully fuelled since the presidency of Barack Obama.

Recall that after a large-scale expulsion of Russian diplomats in December 2016 and the seizure of Russian diplomatic property in the US, we did not take any response measures for seven months. We responded only when Russia was declared a US adversary legislatively in August 2017.

In general, compared to the Russian diplomatic missions in the United States, the US Embassy in Moscow operates in better conditions, enjoying a numerical advantage and actively benefitting from the work of Russian citizens hired in-country. This form of disparity frees up “titular” diplomats to interfere in our domestic affairs, which is one of the main tenets of Washington’s foreign policy doctrine.

Incidentally, soon the Foreign Ministry will publish on its website the names of eight incumbent and former high-ranking US officials and other figures involved in drafting and implementing anti-Russia policy. They will be permanently banned from entering the Russian Federation. This is our equivalent response to the sanctions against Russian officials that the US blacklisted last month.

Now is the time for the United States to show common sense and pull back from this confrontational course. Otherwise, the US will face a host of painful decisions, for instance, an order for US diplomatic missions to reduce personnel in Russia to 300 people. This will establish real parity at bilateral foreign offices because the US quota of 455 employees still includes the 155 people sent to the Russian Permanent Mission to the UN in New York. However, this has nothing to do with our bilateral mission.

There are also other options. Of course, we realise that we are limited in our ability to squeeze the Americans economically as they have us. However, we have some resources in this respect and they will also be used if Washington chooses to follow the path of spiraling sanctions.

None of this is our choice. We would like to avoid further escalation with the US. We are ready to engage in calm and professional dialogue with the US in order to find ways of normalising bilateral ties. However, the reality is that we hear one thing from Washington but see something completely different in practice. There must be no doubt – not a single round of sanctions will go unanswered.

We have obviously heard President Joe Biden express interest in stable, constructive and predictable relations with Russia, including a proposed Russian-US summit. When this offer was made, it was received positively and is now being considered in the context of concrete developments.

Press release on a ban on entry of certain US citizens into the Russian Federation

In response to the sanctions against Russian officials imposed by the US administration on March 2 of this year, the following incumbent and former US high-ranking officials and figures complicit in pursuing the anti-Russia policy, are denied entry to the Russian Federation:

  1. Merrick Brian Garland, United States Attorney General;
  2. Michael D. Carvajal, Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons;
  3. Alejandro Nicholas Mayorkas, United States Secretary of Homeland Security;
  4. Susan Elizabeth Rice, Director of the United States Domestic Policy Council, former US Permanent Representative to the United Nations and National Security Advisor;
  5. Christopher Asher Wray, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation;
  6. Avril Danica Haines, Director of US National Intelligence.

In addition, entry is denied to John Robert Bolton, former National Security Advisor to the United States President, former US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and Robert James Woolsey Jr., former director of the US Central Intelligence Agency.

In view of the unprecedented complications in Russia-US relations provoked by Washington, it was decided to deviate from the usual practice of not making public the response measures taken by the Russian side.

%d bloggers like this: