President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Meeting of the heads of state of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (update, transcript is now complete)

May 16, 2022

CSTO summit

Taking part in the meeting, timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Collective Security Treaty and the 20th anniversary of the organisation, were the heads of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

The main focus of the summit was on key issues of cooperation within the CSTO, topical international and regional problems, and measures to further improve the collective security system.

During the meeting, the leaders signed a Statement of the CSTO Collective Security Council (CSC) in connection with the 30th anniversary of the Collective Security Treaty and the 20th anniversary of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation. They also signed a resolution of the CSTO CSC to award the participants in the CSTO peacekeeping mission in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, good afternoon!

I am glad to welcome you all in Moscow.

At the suggestion of our chairman, and today Armenia chairs the organisation, we gathered in Moscow, because this is where 30 years ago the Collective Security Treaty was signed, and 20 years ago, on the basis of this Treaty, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation was created.

This means we have two anniversaries almost on the same day: on May 14 and 15 in 1992 and 2002, respectively. I congratulate you on this.

I hope that the organisation, which has become a full international structure over the years, will continue to develop, even through difficult times. I would like to note in this context that both 1992 and 2002 were difficult times; they never end.

The organisation plays a very important role in the post-Soviet space – a stabilising role. I hope that in this sense its capabilities and influence on the situation in our area of responsibility will only grow.

Here I would like to finish my welcoming remarks and give the floor to the Chairman [of the CSTO Collective Security Council], the Prime Minister of Armenia.

Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan: Thank you, Mr Putin.

Colleagues, I would like to welcome all of you!

I would also like to add my congratulations on the two anniversaries the President of Russia noted. The Treaty on Collective Security was signed on May 15, 1992, and the decision on establishing a Collective Security Treaty Organisation was made on May 14, 2002. We meet today partly in commemoration of both anniversaries.

I suggest we express our views on these anniversaries and on the current situation as always – in alphabetic order. Please hold your comments to 3 to 5 minutes – this is the open section.

Afterwards, we will sign the documents that are ready for signing, and will then continue our discussion behind closed doors.

I give the floor to the President of the Republic of Belarus. Go ahead, please.

President of the Republic of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko: Mr Pashinyan, dear friends!

I will talk a bit longer than usual since I am the first to speak, and the current situation deserves attention.

Today’s meeting is taking place in a difficult time, as the President of Russia has just said – a time of repartitioning the world; the unipolar international system is irretrievably receding into the past, but the collective West is fiercely fighting to keep its position.

Anything goes, including actions in the zone of responsibility of our organisation: from NATO’s sabre rattling at our western borders to a full-scale hybrid war unleashed against us, primarily against Russia and Belarus.

NATO is aggressively building its muscles, drawing Finland and Sweden into its net, countries that only yesterday were neutral. This is based on the attitude, “those who are not with us are against us,” and, hypocritically, NATO continues to declare its defensive nature. The truly defensive and peace-loving position of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation is in contrast to this background.

The United States is building up its military presence on the western flank of the CSTO, its military infrastructure is being upgraded at an accelerated pace and many NATO exercises are taking place. The large-scale exercise, Defender Europe 2022, the likes of which we have not seen before, are now being held on the territory of 19 European countries, in part, near our borders in Poland. You can guess for yourselves whom they are defending themselves against.

Until now, there is a force of about 15,000 military personnel stationed at the Belarusian-Polish border, which were deployed there last year under the pretext of a migration crisis, in addition to the troops that are stationed there permanently. Last year, 15,000 troops, mostly Americans, were redeployed. The migrants left that area a long time ago, but the troops are still there. The question is why?

Clearly, no country is posing any threat to NATO today. Moreover, an additional force of over 10,000 military troops was brought there to reinforce the alliance’s eastern flank with 15,000 troops already deployed in Poland and the Baltic countries as part of the US armed forces’ Atlantic Resolve and NATO-allied Enhanced Forward Presence. For perspective, seven or so years ago, there were 3,500 troops in this location (addressing the CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas) on your watch, now there are about 40,000 troops right on the territory of Poland and the Baltic states. And I am not talking about Ukraine yet.

Our military interaction within the framework of the Union State of Belarus and Russia, and Belarus’ membership in the CSTO, are the very stabilisers that have a certain sobering effect on the hotheads on the other side of the border. This shows that if it were not for this, I am afraid that a hot war would already be underway in Belarus. By the way, they tried to do this in 2020.

Today, there is no more pressing or important issue than the Ukraine conflict. Since 2014, all of us have been assisting in every way possible in resolving it. In principle, all of us sitting at this table are ready to do this even now and in any format.

Clearly, Ukraine was fomented, incited and fed nationalism and Nazism. We saw that in Odessa, when people were burned alive. Ukraine was fed Nazism, Russophobia and weapons. They used every approach to poison it.

After the election in Belarus in August 2020, regarding interaction with us, Belarus, Ukraine completely succumbed to the West. We have constantly experienced unfriendly actions from our southern neighbour for over two years now.

Ukraine proactively imposed sanctions on us even before the West, including the Americans. Ukraine was the first to do so. Remember? Their airspace was closed, then railway service, and then they began to train militants and send them to Belarus and ship weapons across the border. Everyone knows that. Provocative actions were carried out with Ukrainian drones conducting reconnaissance missions in Belarus’ airspace.

The facts indicating a threat to our national security are indisputable. This is exactly why we were absolutely right to activate the support mechanism in the framework of our alliance with Russia.

Belarus paid attention to the unjustified growth of the Western military presence in Ukraine and the region as a whole even before the start of the Russian special military operation. We talked about this more than once and warned that a conflict was looming. We expected the West, primarily the US, to accept Russia’s proposal to enter into talks on security guarantees. This process will start eventually in the foreseeable future but what will remain of Ukraine and our region by this time is a big question.

Right now, we are seeing that the West, including Washington, is only interested in prolonging the conflict as much as possible. This is why Ukraine is being flooded with weapons. The goals are clear: to weaken Russia as much as possible by miring it in this war. The flames may reach beyond it – we are seeing this, too. If this is the idea, likely nobody will be able to sit it out.

Currently the most dangerous trend in Ukraine are the attempts to partition the country. Thousand-strong units have already been formed to enter Ukraine in the guise of peacekeepers to “protect” it.

Unity and solidarity among like-minded people are particularly important at a time when norms and principles of international law are being completely ignored. The CSTO member states displayed such solidarity and support in January of this year in a time of trial: you remember the events in Kazakhstan. By acting rapidly when needed, we graphically demonstrated to the entire world our close allied relations and the capacity of our organisation to ensure the security of its members. Nobody in the West even dared think about interfering in this situation because we are stronger together.

But is it possible to claim today that the members of this organisation are really united and bound by ties of solidarity and support as before? Recent events suggest probably not. This is from our perspective, and I may be wrong. But it is enough to recall the ban imposed by some of our CSTO partners on the flights to their countries by national airlines of other CSTO members.

The concepts of unity and solidarity are not always enough, given the brutal, rabid sanctions pressure by the consolidated West. Unfortunately, this is clear from the voting in international organisations.

With the tacit agreement of our partners, Belarus and Russia are being vilified and expelled from international organisations against all laws of international life, just on a Western whim. Yes, you, CSTO members are subjected to pressure – tough and unprincipled pressure – but this is where collective, mutual support is so helpful. We may not exist tomorrow if we do not unite as soon as possible, if we do not strengthen our political, economic and military ties.

Our enemies and detractors are systematically degrading our strongholds and allied ties, and we ourselves are partially helping the West in this regard. I am sure that if we had acted as a united front right off the bat, the hellish, as they say, sanctions would be out of question.

Look how united the European Union is when it votes or acts, and how strong its intra-bloc discipline is. It applies automatically even to those who disagree with its decisions. This begs the question: What is keeping us from using this bloc resource? We need to follow their example. If divided, we will simply be crushed and torn apart.

Back in January, I said that the main goal of certain external forces is to undermine stability and to disrupt the evolutionary path of development throughout the post-Soviet space. They started with Belarus, then the infection spread to Kazakhstan, and now it is Russia’s turn, as we see, and problems are being created in Armenia as well. Make no mistake, no one will be spared.

It is absolutely clear that, without united pushback from the CSTO allies and other integration associations in the post-Soviet space, the collective West will ratchet up its pressure.

What do we need to do to reinforce the CSTO in this unprecedented situation at hand? Off the top of my head, I can visualise the following top-priority steps, which are many, and the President of Tajikistan covered them at length when he talked about the challenge facing that region.

The first is to strengthen political interaction and coordination of the CSTO member states. It is important to improve the efficiency of the foreign policy and security consultation mechanism. We need to speak more often on behalf of the CSTO on international platforms so that its voice and position can be seen and heard, and this voice and position must be united as they are in the West.

Let our foreign ministers consider how best to go about this, and where. Let them think about our political response to a new wave of NATO expansion in light of the intentions declared by well-known states.

We must work out in advance the CSTO position on this matter and make our interests known to the international community. We must act as one in this. Russia should not be alone in voicing its concern and fighting the attempted NATO enlargement.

The second point is to increase the effectiveness of efforts to counter challenges and threats in the information space, including the fight against fake news and disinformation. It is clear that we are facing a hybrid war, the main part of which is an information war.

In order to counter this, we should make the most of the 2017 CSTO Agreement on Information Security Cooperation and actively promote the CSTO on social media, which our Western opponents intensively use, in order to effectively respond to fake news and planted information. Moreover, we need to think seriously and, perhaps, follow China’s policy in the information confrontation, especially on the internet.

Relevant tasks should be assigned to all foreign ministries, special services and the CSTO Secretariat.

Third, there is a clear need to strengthen the forecasting and analytical component in the CSTO Secretariat’s work. I am sure that there are similar departments in the UN, the European Union and NATO. It might be worth considering creating a unit responsible for analysis and strategic planning at the CSTO Secretariat. I think the Secretary-General needs to study this issue.

Fourth, it is worth thinking about combining the potential of the analytical centres of the CSTO member states and forming a network of these centres to assist in the development of conceptual documents on current issues on the international agenda.

Dear friends,

I am offering such seemingly simple proposals at these extremely difficult times because we may not immediately agree on more complex ones. Therefore, these may be the first steps, but we need to go further and deeper, as we used to say in the past

Colleagues,

Everyone understands that the historical era that existed before is ending, and there will be no return to the previous international order. We cannot allow the creation of a new international architecture without us, while the West is already planting false stories and holding talks about it.

I believe that the CSTO should firmly strengthen its status in the international system of checks and balances. The organisation has a powerful collective potential for further progressive development, but it depends only on us today, it is up to us, how effectively the CSTO will use this potential and whether it will continue to exist in the next 10, 20 or 30 years.

After Armenia, the CSTO chairmanship will rotate to Belarus. In addition to the promising areas of work outlined above, we are already seriously considering new proposals aimed at the further development of our organisation, and you will learn about them in the near future. We hope for maximum support and constructive work from all of you, our colleagues. We have no other choice.

Sorry for such a long speech.

Thank you for your attention.

Nikol Pashinyan: Thank you, Mr Lukashenko.

I will give the floor to President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev: Mr Pashinyan, colleagues!

First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to President of Russia Vladimir Putin for organising this anniversary summit of the Collective Security Council. It is true that our summit today is distinct in marking two CSTO anniversaries.

Over the years our organisation has proven to be an effective mechanism of multilateral cooperation with serious potential for further development.

Once the CSTO was established, a reliable system for collective security was built in the vast expanse of Eurasia. The main goals are to strengthen peace and stability as well as international and regional security, and protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of its member states.

The CSTO’s permanent working bodies operate successfully; there are various formats for close cooperation and interaction. The CSTO’s authority, law enforcement and peacekeeping potential are being strengthened.

We focus on countering international terrorism and extremism, illegal drug and weapons trafficking, and illegal migration. In this context we attach great importance to the developments in Afghanistan. The unstable situation there as well as the unrelenting activity of armed groups on the territory of Afghanistan continue to threaten the security and stability of our states. I believe the CSTO must consider every potential threat while paying even more attention to ensuring the security of the southern borders of Central Asia.

In the mid-term, developing the organisation’s peacekeeping potential is an unconditional priority. Active work is underway in this area. CSTO peacekeeping forces have been created and are being improved every year; a plan is being developed to equip them with modern weapons, equipment and special tools.

As you know, the institute of Special Representative of the CSTO Secretary-General for peacekeeping has been established, at Kazakhstan’s initiative. This means that all the necessary tools have been created, and we suggest that it is time to set the goal of getting the CSTO involved with the United Nations’ peacekeeping activities.

This step would promote the legal status of the CSTO and ensure the organisation’s participation in international peacekeeping operations.

Colleagues,

Our assessments of the CSTO’s development and common view of the current aspects of international and regional security underlie the anniversary statement of the Collective Security Council. I would like to thank Armenia for its productive chairmanship and Russia for its timely initiative to hold this forum.

Thank you for your attention.

Nikol Pashinyan:Thank you, Mr Tokayev.

Next to speak is President of the Kyrgyz Republic. Mr Sadyr Japarov, please, take the floor.

President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Japarov: Good afternoon.

Mr Putin, Mr Chairman of the CSTO Collective Security Council Nikol Pashinyan, Messrs heads of state,

I am happy to meet with you in hospitable Moscow.

I would like to begin with congratulations. First, I want to extend my congratulations to our fraternal peoples on the 77th anniversary of the Great Victory. On May 9, many thousands of people across Kyrgyzstan took part in the Immortal Regiment march carrying the slogans “Eternal Glory to the Heroes” and “Nobody Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Forgotten.” The republic holds this holiday sacred, as it epitomises the defeat of Nazism and Fascism by the Soviet people and invariably pays a sincere tribute to the memory of the heroic deed of our fathers and grandfathers.

Second, I want to extend my congratulations to all of us on the 30th anniversary of signing the Collective Security Treaty and the 20th anniversary of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation. We fully support the political statement to be adopted today in connection with these two historic dates.

The international events taking place in recent years show that the strategic decisions taken to ensure shared and collective security from Brest to Vladivostok were right.

At the same time, I am pleased to note that throughout its existence the Collective Security Treaty Organisation has fulfilled the responsible mission assigned to it and developed as an institution, with its potential becoming ever stronger. In this connection, I would like to express my gratitude to CSTO Secretary-General Stanislav Zas, all his predecessors in the post and the CSTO Secretariat staff for their loyal service in the interests of the security of the Organisation’s member states.

Colleagues,

The current international situation does not offer cause for optimism, in terms of both global security and the world economy. Threats to security and military and political tensions have come too close to the borders of the CSTO zone of responsibility. Attempts are being made to interfere from the outside in the internal affairs of the CSTO member states.

For example, earlier this year we had to help a CSTO member state get out of a security crisis it had unexpectedly found itself in. Our response was quick and effective. I fully support the decision to award participants in this peacekeeping mission.

The situation at the southern borders of the CSTO remains alarming, primarily due to the unhindered activities of radical religious terrorist groups in some Afghan provinces. The external sponsors of these groups have far-reaching plans for Central Asia. I think we should keep focusing our attention and analysis on the Afghan issue. It is necessary to carry out an entire package of political-diplomatic and military-technical measures to ensure security in this area. At the same time, it is important to provide humanitarian aid for the Afghan people. Our fellow countrymen are among them.

Colleagues,

We are seriously alarmed by the sanctions war. The Kyrgyz economy has not yet recovered from the coronavirus pandemic, and now the sanctions are already creating a threat to food and energy security, macroeconomic sustainability and social stability.

Under the circumstances, we must discuss and draft a common approach to alleviate the consequences of sanctions and prevent the deterioration of the socioeconomic situation in our countries. We will soon have an opportunity to do so at the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council and the First Eurasian Economic Forum in the city of Bishkek.

Colleagues, I hope for your personal participation as heads of your delegations, in which I am asking you to include heads of sectoral ministries and business structures.

In conclusion, I would like to congratulate you again on the Day of the Great Victory and the two anniversaries of the Collective Security Treaty.

I sincerely wish you and the friendly nations of the CSTO peace, stability, wellbeing and prosperity.

Thank you for your attention.

Nikol Pashinyan: Thank you, Mr Japarov.

I am giving the floor to President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.

Mr President, go ahead, please.

Vladimir Putin: Friends and colleagues,

I will agree with the previous speakers – indeed, in the past few decades, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation has become considerably stronger and won a well-deserved reputation as an effective regional defence structure that ensures security and stability in the Eurasian space and reliably protects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its member countries.

Importantly, cooperation in the CSTO has always been built in the spirit of true allied relations, on the principles of friendship and neighbourliness, respect and consideration of each other’s interests, mutual assistance and support. The same principles guide our cooperation in the current difficult situation.

The CSTO’s successful peacekeeping operation, held in Kazakhstan in January 2022 at the request of its leaders, showed the maturity of our Organisation and its real ability to adequately withstand acute challenges and threats.

The contingent of the collective CSTO forces, sent into Kazakhstan for a limited period of time, prevented extremists, including those directed from abroad, from seizing power and helped to quickly stabilise the internal political situation in the republic.

The use of peacekeeping forces at the request of the Kazakhstan leadership was the first operation of this kind in the CSTO’s history. The operation revealed the strong points of practical cooperation between our military structures and security services, and, at the same time, showed what we should work on to improve it.

Today, we will sign a joint statement reaffirming, taking into account the experience gained, among other things, during the afore-mentioned operation, the resolve of our states to continue acting as partners in different areas of military and defence development, and building up our coordinated actions in the world arena.

At the same time, it is quite logical that our current high-priority task is to further improve and streamline the work of the CSTO and its governing bodies. We will also provide the collective CSTO forces with modern weapons and equipment, we will enhance the interoperability of their troop contingents, and more effectively coordinate the joint actions of our military agencies and secret services.

We streamline the relevant operations all the time during CSTO exercises, and we are set to expand such exercises. This autumn, there are plans to hold an entire series of joint CSTO exercises in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. I am confident that these measures will boost the combat readiness of our states’ military agencies and improve their coordination, as well as increase the entire peacekeeping potential of the CSTO.

We also believe that the CSTO should continue its efforts to counter terrorism, drug trafficking and organised crime. Law enforcement agencies of our countries interact rather effectively in this field, so as to prevent the recruitment of people and to neutralise the resource potential of international terrorist organisations.

Efforts to maintain biological security also require the most serious attention. For a long time, we sounded the alarm about US military biological activity in the post-Soviet space.

It is common knowledge that the Pentagon has established dozens of specialised biological laboratories and centres in our common region, and that they are by no means merely providing practical medical assistance to the population of the countries where they are operating. Their main task is to collect biological materials and to analyse the spread of viruses and dangerous diseases for their own purposes.

Now, during the special operation in Ukraine, documentary evidence was obtained that components of biological weapons were developed in close proximity to our borders, which violates the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, and possible methods and mechanisms were worked out to destabilise the epidemiological situation in the post-Soviet space.

In this regard, we count on our colleagues supporting the earliest possible implementation of Russia’s initiative to operationalise the designated CSTO council. Once again, I would like to note the importance of close coordination between CSTO members in matters of foreign policy, coordinated actions at the UN and other multilateral platforms, and promotion of common approaches to the multiplying international security issues.

In this context, it is important to build up cooperation with our “natural” partners in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Commonwealth of Independent States. By the way, we think it would be appropriate and correct – we will discuss this – to grant the CIS observer status in the CSTO.

I would like to highlight our priority task of jointly defending the memory of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, the feat of our peoples who saved the world from Nazism at the cost of enormous and irreparable sacrifices, and to counteract any attempts to whitewash the Nazis, their accomplices and modern followers.

This is extremely important particularly now, when monuments to the heroes liberators are being barbarously demolished in a number of European countries, laying flowers at memorials is forbidden, and cynical attempts are being made to rewrite history, while praising murderers and traitors and insulting their victims, thus crossing out the feats of those who selflessly fought for Victory and won the war.

Unfortunately, in our neighbouring country, Ukraine, neo-Nazism has been on the rise for a long time now, to which some of our partners from the “collective West” turn a blind eye, and thus actually encourage their activities. All this goes hand-in-hand with an unprecedented surge in frenzied Russophobia in the so-called civilised and politically correct Western countries.

Indeed, we hear, and I hear people say that extremists can be found anywhere, which is true. Extremists are everywhere and one way or another they are leaving their underground hideouts and make themselves known. Nowhere, though – I want to underscore this – nowhere are Nazis being glorified at the state level and not a single civilised country’s authorities are encouraging thousands of neo-Nazi torchlight processions with Nazi symbols. This is something that is not practiced anywhere. But unfortunately, this is happening in Ukraine.

The expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance is a problem that, in my view, is being created in an absolutely artificial manner because it is being done in the foreign policy interests of the United States. Generally, NATO is being used, in effect, as the foreign policy tool of a single country, and it is being done persistently, adroitly, and very aggressively. All of this is aggravating the already complex international security situation.

As for the expansion, including the accession of two prospective new members, Finland and Sweden, I would like to inform you, colleagues, that Russia has no problems with these states. No problems at all! In this sense, therefore, there is no direct threat to Russia in connection with NATO’s expansion to these countries. But the expansion of its military infrastructure to these territories will certainly evoke a response on our part. We will see what it will be like based on the threats that are created for us. But generally speaking, problems are being created from nothing. So, we will respond to it in a fitting manner.

Apart from everything else, apart from this interminable policy of expansion, the North Atlantic Alliance is emerging beyond its geographical destination, beyond the Euro-Atlantic area. It is increasingly active in trying to manage international issues and control the international security situation. It wants to wield influence in other regions of the world, but its actual performance leaves much to be desired. This certainly demands additional attention on our part.

In conclusion, I want to reiterate that Russia will continue to contribute to deepening relations of strategic alliance with all CSTO member states. We will do our best to improve and develop effective partner cooperation within the CSTO and, of course, we will support the Armenian chairmanship’s ongoing work in this area.

As for Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, we will certainly discuss this, and I will inform you in detail about its causes and the current combat effort. But, of course, we will do this behind closed doors.

Thank you for your attention.

Nikol Pashinyan: Thank you, Mr Putin.

President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon is our next speaker. Please go ahead.

President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon: Colleagues,

First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Collective Security Treaty and the 20th anniversary of the creation of the CSTO.

I would like to thank the President of Russia for convening today’s meeting dedicated to these milestone events that are important for all of us. Anniversaries are a good opportunity to reflect on the path traveled and the development of the CSTO and to identify prospects for multilateral cooperation seeking to strengthen the common collective security system in light of new realities.

Over the period under review, the CSTO has established itself as an important factor in strengthening peace and ensuring regional security and stability. The organisation’s successful peacekeeping mission earlier this year clearly showed it.

We have created an extensive legal framework, the necessary working and coordinating bodies, as well as mechanisms aimed at fulfilling the organisation’s goals.

In practice, due attention is paid to strengthening and consolidating mutual trust within the CSTO. The CSTO’s international ties are expanding. Last year, we completed the ratification procedure and launched the institutions of observers under the CSTO and the CSTO partners as part of the Tajik chairmanship.

Field and command-staff exercises are conducted on a permanent basis, and measures are being taken to supply modern weapons and military equipment to the collective security system’s forces and means. All this helps maintain a high degree of combat readiness, mobility, training and skills of command and service personnel for bringing joint solutions to common tasks.

Today, the CSTO is an important platform for equal dialogue and cooperation between member states in all three basic dimensions: political interaction, military cooperation and joint efforts to counter modern challenges and threats.

The CSTO Collective Security Strategy to 2025, which reflects the principles of our interaction in the mid-term, is an important document that is guiding our organisation along its own path of development. Our common assessment of the state and development prospects of the organisation is reflected in a joint statement that we will adopt following the summit.

Notably, today we are facing no less important tasks to strengthen our common security. Given the manifold growth of challenges and threats to security, we will have to step up joint efforts to strengthen the Organisation’s potential and capabilities.

For example, we can see that negative factors have been accumulating in Afghanistan over the past 40 years, and they have worsened the military-political and socioeconomic situation in that country. In this regard, the CSTO needs to be prepared for various scenarios on the southern borders.

Tajikistan plans to continue to actively contribute to ensuring common security in the organisation’s regions of responsibility.

Thank you.

Nikol Pashinyan: Thank you very much.

Colleagues, I will now speak in my national capacity, if I may.

First of all, I would like to thank the President of Russia for hosting the anniversary CSTO summit in Moscow and the warm welcome. Of course, our organisation’s anniversary is also an excellent occasion to sum up the intermediate results and to discuss prospects for the further development of our organisation.

The President of Belarus raised important questions about interaction between the CSTO member countries and touched on, frankly, rather problematic issues. In general, there are a lot of positive developments in the history of the CSTO, because in reality it was, is and will be the most important factor in ensuring security and stability in the region.

But, as we see, we are discussing not only anniversary-related issues at this anniversary summit, because the situation is fairly tense in the CSTO area of ​​responsibility. I want to touch on some of the issues that the President of Belarus mentioned.

Regarding voting by the CSTO member countries, this issue does exist, indeed. Often, our voting is not synchronised, but this is not something new. This has been typical of our organisation for a long time now. Armenia has repeatedly raised this issue, and we have repeatedly discussed it in the regular course of business. Clearly, this issue needs to be further discussed as well.

With regard to interaction as well as response and rapid response mechanisms, this is also a critical issue for Armenia, because, as you are aware, last year on these days, Azerbaijani troops invaded the sovereign territory of Armenia. Armenia turned to the CSTO for it to activate the mechanisms that are provided for in the Regulations governing the CSTO response to crisis situations of December 10, 2010 which is a document approved by the Collective Security Council. Unfortunately, we cannot say that the organisation responded as the Republic of Armenia expected.

For a long time now, we have been raising the issue of sales of weapons by CSTO member countries to a country that is unfriendly to Armenia, which used these weapons against Armenia and the Armenian people. This is also a problem.

Frankly, the CSTO member countries’ response during the 44-day war of 2020 and the post-war period did not make the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian people very happy, but I want to emphasise the special role played by the Russian Federation and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin personally in halting the war in Nagorno-Karabakh.

I would like to reaffirm that Armenia remains committed to the trilateral statements of November 9, 2020. I am referring to the trilateral statements by the President of the Russian Federation, the President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia, as well as the trilateral statements of January 11, 2021 and November 26, 2021.

I think it is critically important to sum up the results, but Armenia, as a founding member of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, is committed to the organisation’s further development and considers it a key contributor to stability and security in the Eurasian region, as well as the security of the Republic of Armenia, and is positive about providing its full support for the organisation’s further development.

Now I give the floor to CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas so that he tells us about the documents that we are going to sign.

CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas: Mr Chairman, members of the Collective Security Council,

First, I would like to thank you for today’s meeting devoted to the CSTO’s anniversary. Twenty years is not such a long period for an international organisation. However, it has traversed a very long road during these years – from the formation of the idea of collective defence to the well-established, multi-faceted international organisation that it is today.

Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you, heads of state, on the anniversary and to thank you for your hard work on establishing, developing and strengthening our organisation. I am saying this because, of course, all this would have been impossible without your constant attention and support.

You have an analytical review of the CSTO activities over 20 years of its existence in your folders on the table. This review was prepared at the instruction of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan. Incidentally, our work on this review was very interesting and useful. On the eve of such great anniversaries, we tried to look back at the path travelled and to assess the CSTO’s status. We developed a good feeling that stayed with us: We have reasons to be proud.

The mechanism of foreign policy coordination is functioning well in the CSTO format. Using this mechanism, we form the consolidated position of our states on urgent regional and global issues. That said, I agree with the President of Belarus that this is clearly not enough these days. We should not avoid answers, consolidated answers to the most pressing issues.

We have developed cooperation with international regional organisations and their relevant structures. We have preserved and, importantly, are cultivating the principle of prioritising political and diplomatic means to achieve CSTO goals. This is, probably, one of the main pillars of our organisation.

Over these years, we have considerably built up the CSTO’s

military capacity. We are upgrading the structure, equipment and training of the bodies in charge of managing and forming a collective security system.

We consider the formation of a uniform system for training personnel, management bodies and troops an important achievement of the CSTO. Of course, the highest form of this system is embodied in the planned joint miscellaneous exercises that we hold every year.

We created and are developing an effective mechanism to counter modern challenges and threats, such as drug trafficking, illegal migration, international terrorism, and crime using information technology. To this end, joint emergency and preventive measures are taken and special operations are carried out regularly. The results prove their relevance and effectiveness.

The formation of a collective biological security toolkit is nearing completion. This topic was raised today, and I think we will return to it.

An important place is occupied by the CSTO crisis response system. Considering the first practical experience gained in Kazakhstan in testing this system, it probably makes sense that today we will also consider issues of improving the crisis response system.

The further development of our organisation will be carried out taking into account your decisions and instructions – I am grateful for today’s initiatives and instructions – and based on the plan for implementing the CSTO Collective Security Strategy until 2025.

By the way, next year we need to start preparing the initial data to develop a new CSTO Collective Security Strategy for the next period, 2026–2030. It is high time, and the situation now is significantly different than it was five years ago. This also means a lot of work to be done, and it probably requires that our countries join analytical forces.

Mr Chair and members of the Collective Security Council,

The following two documents have been submitted for your consideration and signing: a draft statement of the CSTO Collective Security Council on the 30th anniversary of the Collective Security Treaty and the 20th anniversary of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation; and a draft decision of the Collective Security Council “On awarding participants in the CSTO peacekeeping mission in the Republic of Kazakhstan.”

The draft decision recognises the most distinguished participants in the peacekeeping operation. Six members of our militaries, including commander of our peacekeeping mission in Kazakhstan, Colonel General Andrei Serdyukov, are recommended for the CSTO honourary badge, I and II Class, for their skillful leadership, preparation and conduct of this operation, and a number of military personnel are recommended for the medal For Strengthening Collective Security for active participation and selflessness in this operation.

The documents have passed the necessary approval procedure, have been adopted by the statutory bodies and are ready for signing.

I would ask you to consider and support these two documents.

Thank you.

Nikol Pashinyan: Colleagues, I propose to move on to the signing of the documents.

The World’s Future Hangs In The Balance: Erdogan Will Decide

15 MAY 2022

The World

On the one side, the U.S.-and-allied side, stands Davos, the Bilderbergers, the Trilateralists, and the rest of the “Washington Consensus,” the view of the U.S.-and-allied side, that America should control the world; and, on the other side stands the United Nations side, the view that neutral and internationally democratically based and neutrally applied international laws should instead control the world, without favoring America’s, or any other country’s, billionaires.

By Eric Zuesse

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse’s next book (soon to be published) will be AMERICA’S EMPIRE OF EVIL: Hitler’s Posthumous Victory, and Why the Social Sciences Need to Change. It’s about how America took over the world after World War II in order to enslave it to U.S.-and-allied billionaires. Their cartels extract the world’s wealth by control of not only their ‘news’ media but the social ‘sciences’ — duping the public.

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan will decide the future of the world; and, on Friday the 13th day of May in 2022, he gave his first indication of what that decision will be — that it will be for a global future of hope for international freedom and democracy, and against a global future of ever-increasing concentration of wealth and power into fewer and fewer hands. In this, his first statement on the subject, he spoke actually in favor of the world’s public, against the world’s aristocrats (or ‘oligarchs’, as The West’s billionaires refer to billionaires who are not in the richer Western countries).

This key decision, upon which the world’s future now depends, will be between a continuing erosion of the significance of international law (which laws come from the U.N. and its agencies) and a proportionate increase in what the U.S. Government calls “the rules-based international order,” in which America’s Government increasingly controls (and even sets) those “rules” that will replace international laws; versus a future in which what erodes will instead be the U.S. Government’s international power to control the world in its own (billionaires’) favor, and, so a future that correspondingly benefits the global public (the very people who suffer from the aristocracies’ — especially America’s aristocracy’s — increasing control over the entire world). On the one side, the U.S.-and-allied side, stands Davos, the Bilderbergers, the Trilateralists, and the rest of the “Washington Consensus,” the view of the U.S.-and-allied side, that America should control the world; and, on the other side stands the United Nations side, the view that neutral and internationally democratically based and neutrally applied international laws should instead control the world, without favoring America’s, or any other country’s, billionaires. 

Here is how the Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning U.S. President Barack Obama, in a speech that he delivered to America’s future generals, at West Point Military Academy, on 28 May 2014, stated the U.S. Government’s position on this matter, which is the key issue concerning international relations, and the global future: 

The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come. … Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us, and governments seek a greater say in global forums. … It will be your generation’s task to respond to this new world.

He was telling his military that America’s economic competition, against the BRICS nations, is a key matter for America’s military, and not only for America’s international corporations; he was saying that U.S. taxpayers fund America’s military at least partially in order to impose the wills and extend the wealth of the stockholders in America’s corporations abroad; and he was saying that the countries against which America is in economic competition are “dispensable,” but that America “is and remains the one indispensable nation.” So, ONLY America is “indispensable”; all OTHER nations are not, in that view. Not even America’s ‘allies’ — such as Germany, France, Japan, etc. — are. All of them are “dispensable. This, supposedly, also (and most especially) authorizes America’s weapons and troops to fight against countries whose “governments seek a greater say in global forums.” In other words, Obama was saying: Stop the growing economies from growing faster than America’s. 

There is a word for the American Government’s supremacist ideology: it is called “neoconservatism.” The general phrase that describes it is “imperialist fascism.” (Neoconservatism is purely America’s imperialist fascism.) Imperialist fascism (of ANY sort) is exactly what America’s President FDR had invented and intended the U.N. to terminate permanently by creating the United Nations to be an international democracy of nations outlawing any and all imperialisms, but FDR’s immediate successor, Truman, instead chose to continue imperialist fascism, but this time for America itself to become the all-encompassing global power. (He was the original neoconservative.) America quickly became the imperialist-fascist power; and, it has remained so even after the Soviet Union ended in 1991 — in fact, that event super-charged America’s fascist imperialism. And Obama super-super-charged it, by his February 2014 coup that grabbed Ukraine on Russia’s border, as a launching-pad from which Russia will ultimately be attacked.

Like another neoconservative, though of the opposite political Party, John Bolton, famously said: if the U.N. headquarters building “lost ten stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.” America’s Presidents and Congresses are bipartisanly neoconservative, almost 100% in favor of ceaseless increases in the control that America’s Government has over the world. They are happy that the U.N. has become little more than a talking-forum.

That brings us to the present.

On 13 May 2022, Reuters headlined “Erdogan says Turkey not supportive of Finland, Sweden joining NATO”, and reported that

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday it was not possible for NATO-member Turkey to support plans by Sweden and Finland to join the pact, saying the Nordic countries were “home to many terrorist organisations”.

Finland’s plan to apply for NATO membership, announced Thursday, and the expectation that Sweden will follow, would bring about the expansion of the Western military alliance that Russian President Vladimir Putin aimed to prevent by launching the Ukraine invasion.

“We are following the developments regarding Sweden and Finland, but we don’t hold positive views,” Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul.

Irrespective of how he might define “terrorist organizations,” what he really was saying there is that Turkey, as a member of America’s NATO military alliance against Russia, will veto the proposed addition to NATO (i.e., to its Article 5, which obligates every NATO member-nation to attack and join in conquering any nation that attacks ANY nation that is a member of America’s NATO military alliance) of Finland, which has the second-nearest border to Moscow (only a 7-minute missile-flying-time away), which is second ONLY to Ukraine (which is just a 5-minute missile-flying-time away from Moscow), as being the Russia-bordering nation that would pose the biggest danger to Russia if added to NATO. 

By Erdogan’s siding with Putin, not Biden, on this, the most crucial decision in international relations in our time, Erdogan would be standing firmly WITH the nations that the super-imperialist fascist Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama derisively referred to as being not merely “dispensable” but also as being the “rising middle classes [who] compete with us, and governments [who] seek a greater say in global forums” — Erdogan was siding there AGAINST the mono-polar U.S. global empire, and FOR the multi-polar global community of independent nations under international law (NOT “the rules-based international order” in which America’s Government increasingly controls, and even sets, those “rules” that would replace international law). 

NATO’s Article 10 states that:

The Parties may, by unanimous agreement, invite any other European State in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area to accede to this Treaty. Any State so invited may become a Party to the Treaty by depositing its instrument of accession with the Government of the United States of America. The Government of the United States of America will inform each of the Parties of the deposit of each such instrument of accession.

Turkey, according to Erdogan on May 13th, will veto not only Finland but also Sweden.

NATO’s Article 5 states that:

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.

If the United States Government succeeds in its (ever since 25 July 1945) ceaseless drive ultimately to replace the U.N. by itself (America) as being the ultimate source of “the international order,” then ONLY America’s billionaires will possess real seats at the international tables where the fates of nations and of their respective publics are being determined. Perhaps Erdogan is finally throwing in his lot with Russia, China, Iran, and the other nations that are standing opposed to imperialistic fascism, and in favor of the international democracy of nations that FDR had hoped would follow in World War II’s immediate wake (but which Truman made neutered and devoid of any real power). No other NATO-member-nation’s leader has, thus far, been so bold as to have announced that his nation will vote in NATO against Finland’s bid to join NATO.

Erdogan’s rationale for his statement, and the extent of his commitment to it, weren’t made entirely clear in that statement, but, in any case, his statement on the matter, at that time, was strong enough to cause America’s international propaganda-agency, RFE/RL, to headline “Turkey’s Erdogan Says He Opposes NATO Membership for Sweden, Finland”, and to allege that “Ankara risks a backlash from its NATO partners over its opposition to Sweden’s and Finland’s membership.” Certainly, there would be a “backlash” from Biden, who, after all, heads the only ‘indispensable’ country.

However, on May 14th, Reuters headlined “Exclusive: Turkey ‘not closing door’ to Sweden, Finland NATO entry, Erdogan advisor says”, and revealed that this matter was merely a negotiating ploy by Erdogan, to get the Kurdish separatist organization, PKK, which is called “terrorist” by Turkey, outlawed in Europe too. Erdogan has no principled position regarding the U.S. Government’s taking over the entire world, but instead is using the issue of Finland and Sweden being allowed into NATO as a lever to force those two countries, and all of the EU, to outlaw the PKK. This internal Turkish matter, not the world’s future, is what motivates him; and he is using the NATO-expansion question in order to force other countries to assist Turkey’s Government to crush the PKK, against which Turkey has been fighting for decades.  

President Putin of Russia: speech on Red Square Victory Parade

May 09, 2022

Victory Parade on Red Square

President of Russia – Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Federation Armed Forces Vladimir Putin attended a military parade marking the 77th anniversary of Victory in the 1941–1945 Great Patriotic War.

Overall, 11,000 personnel and 131 units of military equipment were engaged in the parade.

* * *

Address by the President of Russia at the military parade

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Fellow Russian citizens,

Dear veterans,

Comrade soldiers and seamen, sergeants and sergeant majors, midshipmen and warrant officers,

Comrade officers, generals and admirals,

I congratulate you on the Day of Great Victory!

The defence of our Motherland when its destiny was at stake has always been sacred. It was the feeling of true patriotism that Minin and Pozharsky’s militia stood up for the Fatherland, soldiers went on the offensive at the Borodino Field and fought the enemy outside Moscow and Leningrad, Kiev and Minsk, Stalingrad and Kursk, Sevastopol and Kharkov.

Today, as in the past, you are fighting for our people in Donbass, for the security of our Motherland, for Russia.

May 9, 1945 has been enshrined in world history forever as a triumph of the united Soviet people, its cohesion and spiritual power, an unparalleled feat on the front lines and on the home front.

Victory Day is intimately dear to all of us. There is no family in Russia that was not burnt by the Great Patriotic War. Its memory never fades. On this day, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the heroes march in an endless flow of the Immortal Regiment. They carry photos of their family members, the fallen soldiers who remained young forever, and the veterans who are already gone.

We take pride in the unconquered courageous generation of the victors, we are proud of being their successors, and it is our duty to preserve the memory of those who defeated Nazism and entrusted us with being vigilant and doing everything to thwart the horror of another global war.

Therefore, despite all controversies in international relations, Russia has always advocated the establishment of an equal and indivisible security system which is critically needed for the entire international community.

Last December we proposed signing a treaty on security guarantees. Russia urged the West to hold an honest dialogue in search for meaningful and compromising solutions, and to take account of each other’s interests. All in vain. NATO countries did not want to heed us, which means they had totally different plans. And we saw it.

Another punitive operation in Donbass, an invasion of our historic lands, including Crimea, was openly in the making. Kiev declared that it could attain nuclear weapons. The NATO bloc launched an active military build-up on the territories adjacent to us.

Thus, an absolutely unacceptable threat to us was steadily being created right on our borders. There was every indication that a clash with neo-Nazis and Banderites backed by the United States and their minions was unavoidable.

Let me repeat, we saw the military infrastructure being built up, hundreds of foreign advisors starting work, and regular supplies of cutting-edge weaponry being delivered from NATO countries. The threat grew every day.

Russia launched a pre-emptive strike at the aggression. It was a forced, timely and the only correct decision. A decision by a sovereign, strong and independent country.

The United States began claiming their exceptionalism, particularly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, thus denigrating not just the entire world but also their satellites, who have to pretend not to see anything, and to obediently put up with it.

But we are a different country. Russia has a different character. We will never give up our love for our Motherland, our faith and traditional values, our ancestors’ customs and respect for all peoples and cultures.

Meanwhile, the West seems to be set to cancel these millennia-old values. Such moral degradation underlies the cynical falsifications of World War II history, escalating Russophobia, praising traitors, mocking their victims’ memory and crossing out the courage of those who won the Victory through suffering.

We are aware that US veterans who wanted to come to the parade in Moscow were actually forbidden to do so. But I want them to know: We are proud of your deeds and your contribution to our common Victory.

We honour all soldiers of the allied armies – the Americans, the English, the French, Resistance fighters, brave soldiers and partisans in China – all those who defeated Nazism and militarism.

Comrades,

Donbass militia alongside with the Russian Army are fighting on their land today, where princes Svyatoslav and Vladimir Monomakh’s retainers, solders under the command of Rumyantsev and Potemkin, Suvorov and Brusilov crushed their enemies, where Great Patriotic War heroes Nikolai Vatutin, Sidor Kovpak and Lyudmila Pavlichenko stood to the end.

I am addressing our Armed Forces and Donbass militia. You are fighting for our Motherland, its future, so that nobody forgets the lessons of World War II, so that there is no place in the world for torturers, death squads and Nazis.

Today, we bow our heads to the sacred memory of all those who lost their lives in the Great Patriotic War, the memories of the sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, grandfathers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends.

We bow our heads to the memory of the Odessa martyrs who were burned alive in the House of Trade Unions in May 2014, to the memory of the old people, women and children of Donbass who were killed in atrocious and barbaric shelling by neo-Nazis. We bow our heads to our fighting comrades who died a brave death in the righteous battle – for Russia.

I declare a minute of silence.

(A minute of silence.)

The loss of each officer and soldier is painful for all of us and an irretrievable loss for the families and friends. The government, regional authorities, enterprises and public organisations will do everything to wrap such families in care and help them. Special support will be given to the children of the killed and wounded comrades-in-arms. The Presidential Executive Order to this effect was signed today.

I wish a speedy recovery to the wounded soldiers and officers, and I thank doctors, paramedics, nurses and staff of military hospitals for their selfless work. Our deepest gratitude goes to you for saving each life, oftentimes sparing no thought for yourselves under shelling on the frontlines.

Comrades,

Soldiers and officers from many regions of our enormous Motherland, including those who arrived straight from Donbass, from the combat area, are standing now shoulder-to-shoulder here, on Red Square.

We remember how Russia’s enemies tried to use international terrorist gangs against us, how they tried to seed inter-ethnic and religious strife so as to weaken us from within and divide us. They failed completely.

Today, our warriors of different ethnicities are fighting together, shielding each other from bullets and shrapnel like brothers.

This is where the power of Russia lies, a great invincible power of our united multi-ethnic nation.

You are defending today what your fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers fought for. The wellbeing and security of their Motherland was their top priority in life. Loyalty to our Fatherland is the main value and a reliable foundation of Russia’s independence for us, their successors, too.

Those who crushed Nazism during the Great Patriotic War showed us an example of heroism for all ages. This is the generation of victors, and we will always look up to them.

Glory to our heroic Armed Forces!

For Russia! For Victory!

Hooray!

Laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Russia marks Victory Day with Red Square parade (PHOTOS)

May 9, 2022

Newest tanks and ballistic missiles were among the military hardware on show

Up to 11,000 soldiers marched through Moscow’s iconic Red Square on Monday, followed by more than 100 armored vehicles, as Russia marked the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany and its allies in World War II.

The Red Army’s fight against Nazi troops is known as the Great Patriotic War in Russia, and May 9 is one of the country’s most revered holidays.

“It is our duty to cherish the memory of those who vanquished Nazism,” President Vladimir Putin said as he kicked off the parade. He added it was crucial “to stay vigilant and do everything so that the horror of a global war would never be repeated.”

Russia marks Victory Day with Red Square parade (PHOTOS)
Military vehicles participate in Victory Day parade in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2022. © Evgeny Odinokov / Russia

Up to 11,000 soldiers marched through Moscow’s iconic Red Square on Monday, followed by more than 100 armored vehicles, as Russia marked the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany and its allies in World War II.

The Red Army’s fight against Nazi troops is known as the Great Patriotic War in Russia, and May 9 is one of the country’s most revered holidays.

“It is our duty to cherish the memory of those who vanquished Nazism,” President Vladimir Putin said as he kicked off the parade. He added it was crucial “to stay vigilant and do everything so that the horror of a global war would never be repeated.”

The parade in Moscow took place amid Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, which was launched in late February.

The marching columns represented all branches of Russia’s armed forces. They included elite airborne troops, military police, national guardsmen, Cossacks, and cadets.

The vehicles were led by the historic T-34-85 tank, which was used extensively by the Red Army during the war.

They were followed by Typhoon-K armored jeeps with Okhotnik (Hunter) remote-controlled turrets.

© Alexey Mayshev / Sputnik

Kurganets-25 armored infantry fighting vehicles were equipped with the newest Epokha (Epoch) weapons module that allows them to destroy targets with guns and rockets.

The tank column included the state-of-the-art T-90M Proryv (Breakthrough) main battle tanks.

© Alexander Nenemov / AFP

Russia showcased its S-400 air defense missile systems that are capable of striking airborne targets at the range of up to 250km (155 miles). They were followed by the Yars thermonuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles that can travel 10,000km (6,213 miles).

© Alexey Mayshev / Sputnik

The traditional flyby by military aircraft was canceled at the last minute due to bad weather. The Defense Ministry was planning to have the Il-80 command plane fly over Red Square for the first time since 2010. The aircraft has been dubbed ‘the doomsday plane’ by the media because it is designed to coordinate decisions during a nuclear war.

Flybys were also canceled in St. Petersburg and other cities.

READ MORE: Russia marks victory over Nazi Germany with major military parade (FULL VIDEO)

Related Videos

The speech of the Russian President during the military parade on Victory Day

No Putin ‘apology’ to Israeli PM found in Kremlin transcript

Tel Aviv earlier claimed that President Putin apologized for the remarks of his foreign minister, in which he suggested Adolf Hitler may have had ‘Jewish blood’

May 06 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett during their meeting, in Sochi, on October 22, 2021. (Photo by Yevgeny BIYATOV / Sputnik / AFP) (Photo by YEVGENY BIYATOV/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)

ByNews Desk

Moscow did not explicitly confirm or deny a claim made by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on 5 May, in which he said that Russian President Vladimir Putin apologized to him for the controversial comments made by the Kremlin’s top diplomat earlier this week.

Bennett claimed that during a phone conversation with Putin, the Russian leader had offered an apology over a claim by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Adolf Hitler possibly had “Jewish blood.”

Hours later, the Kremlin issued a statement that included the full content of the conversation, making no mention of an apology.

Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov also commented on this, saying that the conversation that took place between the two leaders was “exactly as disclosed” in the official statement.

Peskov did not directly affirm the absence of an apology in the Kremlin statement he referred to, opting for a more subtle approach.

“The [Israeli] prime minister accepted the apology of President Putin for comments by Lavrov and thanked him for clarifying the president’s view of the Jewish people and the memory of the Holocaust,” Bennett’s office said on 5 May.

Ties between Moscow and Tel Aviv have soured significantly since the start of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine.

On 4 May, the spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, said that Israeli mercenaries have been fighting side by side with the Ukrainian neo-Nazis from the Azov Battalion.

“There are mercenaries from Israel fighting alongside the extremist Azov Brigade … Israel will not be able to ignore this, especially with the presence of videos and materials documenting this,” Zakharova told Sputnik.

She also said that this collaboration could not be happening without Israel’s knowledge, and that Tel Aviv was aware of footage documenting the situation.

On the same day, the Kremlin welcomed an official delegation from Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, led by the deputy head of the organization, Musa Abu Marzouk.

Recent reports indicate that Israel is also considering an increase in its military support to Ukraine, at the request of the US.

Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements and Moscow’s recognition of the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.

At the time, Russian President Vladimir Putin said one of the goals of the special military operation was to “de-Nazify” Ukraine.

The Removal Of Imran Khan and the Popular Push Back. How Pakistan Helped Foster “The War on Terrorism”

May 07, 2022

Global Research,

By Michael WelchJunaid S. Ahmad, and Prof Michel Chossudovsky

All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the Translate Website” drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version).

Visit and follow us on Instagram at @crg_globalresearch.

***

“I am saying to you today, that for the first time, Pakistan’s policies won’t be for the few rich people, it will be for the poor, for our women, for our minorities, whose rights are not respected. My whole aim will be to protect our lower classes and to bring them up.”

–  Imran Khan, 2018 election campaign speech [1]

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/Rph1tf60Fnph/

Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

In the early hours of April 9, the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi, faced a no-confidence motion in the country’s National Assembly resulting in his removal from power. This was the first time ever that an official of his stature was removed in such a manner. [2]

What makes this move so geopolitically significant was the unique significance of this state as a square on the tabletop of the grand chessboard between the United States, and Russia and China.

On the one hand, Pakistan has traditionally used the country’s military and the intelligence services, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), as partners. Over the course of the last twenty years, the Islamic State was a leading local site from which to launch air and ground operations in favor of America’s War on Terrorism. And as Michel Chossudovsky wrote back at the time of the infamous September 11th terrorist attacks, the ISI played a key role in acting as a “go-between” between the CIA and the Islamic jihadists in Afghanistan going back to 1979. This would in large part lead to the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union. [3][4]

On the other hand, Pakistan has gained partners both in Russia and in China. There was a vital 1100km gas pipeline project between Lahore and Karachi in which the goods would be provided from Russia. And in November of 2014, Russia and Pakistan signed a defense cooperation pact followed by a military-technical cooperation agreement all of which would serve toward “Strengthening of mutual trust and international security, counter-terrorist and arms control activities.” [5][6][7]

And then there was China’s “One Belt One Road” initiative, which would ultimately help undermine dependence on the Strait of Malacca and building a conduit between China and West Asia and the Middle East. [8]

These alliances have been tightening under the new leader Khan. On the same night Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized the Ukraine intervention, Khan had been meeting with him to discuss a wide variety of subjects including economic and energy cooperation. He did not announce a formal disapproval of the intervention in Ukraine then, nor did he do it when he returned home. [9][10]

Did Khan then cross the rubicon and slot himself in the bad books of Washington? Maybe it’s a coincidence, but in the lead-up to the National Assembly vote of no confidence, Prime Minister Khan cited the following quote of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu as evidence the U.S. was behind this move:

“If Prime Minister Imran Khan remained in office, then Pakistan will be isolated from the United States and we will take the issue head on; but if the vote of no-confidence succeeds, all will be forgiven.” [11]

Was this yet another plot of regime change by the United States? And how would the people coming out in unprecedented number in support of their removed Prime Minister prevail in his return to power? We will examine these questions on this edition of the Global Research News Hour.

In Part One of our series, we will talk to Professor Junaid Ahmad, who has a background in Pakistan about the details of the coup, the reasons for Khan to go, and the resulting push back from the people of Pakistan. And in our second half hour, we present a repeat broadcast from October of 2012 of an interview with Professor Michel Chossudovsky, founder/director of the Centre for Research on Globalization. His talk mostly deals with Afghanistan and 9/11, although he touches also on Pakistan’s then pivotal role in the military-intelligent quagmire surrounding the whole affair.

Junaid S. Ahmad teaches Religion, Law, and Politics and is the Director of the Center for the Study of Islam and Decoloniality. He is a regular contributor to Global Research.

Michel Chossudovsky is the author of thirteen books including The Globalization of War: America’s Long War Against Humanity (2015), and the international best America’s “War on Terrorism”  Second Edition (2005). He is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Center for Research on Globalization. 

(Global Research News Hour Episode 354)

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/Rph1tf60Fnph/
Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM out of the University of Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca .

Other stations airing the show:

CIXX 106.9 FM, broadcasting from Fanshawe College in London, Ontario. It airs Sundays at 6am.

WZBC 90.3 FM in Newton Massachusetts is Boston College Radio and broadcasts to the greater Boston area. The Global Research News Hour airs during Truth and Justice Radio which starts Sunday at 6am.

Campus and community radio CFMH 107.3fm in  Saint John, N.B. airs the Global Research News Hour Fridays at 7pm.

CJMP 90.1 FM, Powell River Community Radio, airs the Global Research News Hour every Saturday at 8am. 

Caper Radio CJBU 107.3FM in Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia airs the Global Research News Hour starting Wednesday afternoon from 3-4pm.

Cowichan Valley Community Radio CICV 98.7 FM serving the Cowichan Lake area of Vancouver Island, BC airs the program Thursdays at 9am pacific time.

Notes:

  1. ‘Imran Khan’s speech in full’ (July 26, 2018), Al Jazeera;https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/7/26/imran-khans-speech-in-full
  2. No-Trust Motion: Imran Khan Becomes First Prime Minister To Be Voted Out Of Power (April 10, 2022), The Nation; https://nation.com.pk/2022/04/10/no-trust-motion-imran-khan-becomes-first-prime-minister-to-be-voted-out-of-pow/
  3. https://asiatimes.com/2021/05/pakistan-leans-towards-giving-us-military-bases/
  4. https://www.globalresearch.ca/september-11-2001-the-crimes-of-war-committed-in-the-name-of-911/5311561
  5. https://cscr.pk/explore/themes/trade-economics/pakistan-russia-china-emerging-coalition/
  6. https://www.ilaan.com/news/gas-pipelines-to-be-laid-from-lahore-to-karachi
  7. https://dsm.forecastinternational.com/wordpress/2019/05/03/russia-and-pakistan-a-new-arms-deal-on-the-horizon/
  8. https://cscr.pk/explore/themes/trade-economics/pakistan-russia-china-emerging-coalition/
  9. https://www.gulftoday.ae/news/2022/02/24/pakistan-prime-minister-imran-khan-in-russia-to-meet-putin
  10. https://www.globalresearch.ca/regime-change-islamabad/5776219
  11. https://www.globalresearch.ca/pakistan-pivot-russia-ouster-imran-khan/5777970?utm_campaign=magnet&utm_source=article_page&utm_medium=related_articles

The original source of this article is Global Research

Copyright © Michael WelchJunaid S. Ahmad, and Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2022

For the weekend: May 9th, The Real Story Behind D-Day (and current rumors)

May 06, 2022

Please visit Andrei’s website: https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/
and support him here: https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=60459185

Sitrep: Russia is too slow, and other canards

May 06, 2022

Source

by Saker Staff

Looking back at the bigger picture, i.e., Russia is too slow, and other canards:

February 21 president of Russia Vladimir Putin signed a decree to recognize the independence of the DPR and LPR and promised to support the republics. On February 24, President Putin announced a special military operation in Ukraine in response to the appeal of the leaders of the republics of Donbass with a request for help.

The President stressed that Moscow’s plans do not include the occupation of Ukrainian territories. Since that time, an operation has been underway on the territory of Ukraine to denazify the country and liberate the civilian population from the Kiev regime.

So that is a refresher on what the focus and objectives are of Russia’s SMO.  Keep this in mind in your commenting.

“Reach Out and Touch Someone”

Highly recommended by Andrei Martynov, Larry Johnson tells us exactly what this means:

A common theme marshaled to “prove” that Russia is failing in its war with Ukraine is that Russia failed to quickly take Kiev and, in fact, was forced to retreat from Kiev. In addition, the military analysts that populate the cable news channels in the United States insist that the Russians are bogged down and not making the rapid progress they (the Russians) expected.

This is nonsense. I defy anyone to show me one statement by Putin or the Russian General Staff where a specific timeline was established or identified. This is a construct of western military analysts who do not have access to Russia’s military plan and are projecting their own wishful thinking as “evidence” of a flailing Russian military.

Russia is not sitting on its haunches licking its wounds. Rather than send troops against fortified positions, Russia continues to hit targets throughout Ukraine with precision missiles. Here is the activity reported on May 4:

  • Russia attacked railway substation in Pyatihatki with a high-precision missile;
  • Russia attacked railway substation in Tymkove with a high-precision missile;
  • Russia attacked railway substation in Volovets with a high-precision missile;
  • Russia attacked railway substation in Lviv with a high-precision missile;
  • Russia attacked railway substation in Pidbirtsi with a high-precision missile;
  • Russia attacked military assets of the AFU near Protopopovka with a high-precision missile;
  • Russia attacked military assets of the AFU near Novaya Dmitrovka with a high-precision missile;
  • Russia attacked military assets of the AFU near Sandjeika with a high-precision missile;
  • Russia attacked military assets of the AFU near Krysino with a high-precision missile;
  • Russia attacked military assets of the AFU near Volnyansk with a high-precision missile;
  • Russia attacked military assets of the AFU near Novoalexandrovka with a high-precision missile.

Larry goes further with a video of a bombardment of Mykolaev aka Nikolaev explaining the  “reach out and touch someone” strategy and explaining that if you think that enduring this kind of shelling is inconsequential, then you have no appreciation of the limits of human endurance to such a sustained barrage.

Russia is reaching out and touching someone with each of their actions!

Read the whole thing and seriously revise the canard of ‘Russia is moving too slow’.  Take a note of The Ukrainian supply lines (just about non-existent), the economy, and the nature of the Russian ground strategy.  He says:

“… I am offering an alternative explanation for Russia’s ground strategy. They are under no deadline. They are not going to send their military units into head-on assaults and risk unnecessary casualties.

And they are going to bomb Ukrainian units relentlessly until they surrender or are destroyed. Time is on Putin’s side.

https://sonar21.com/the-russian-timeline-critique-in-the-ukraine/embed/#?secret=AgLVS7pwxz#?secret=PKt2oDXnk4

Russia is raining a curtain of steel:

Then we will look at another westerner commenting on the Russian strategy.  Brian Berletic is a marine and he has published for many years from the east.  He explains what Russia is doing now on the ground by saying they are raining a curtain of steel.

A summary:

The US and its allies spent 8 years building up the military the Ukraine had at the beginning of Russian military operations in February 2022. This Ukrainin military failed to prevent Russian forces now from shaping the battlefield in Donbas creating the conditions for Ukrainian forces there to be cut off, encircled, and systematically destroyed.

After 8 years – this was the best the US and its allies could do to prepare Ukraine. Despite the urgent (reported) flood of weapons and money into Ukraine now along with remedial training programs – nothing now can be done better or quicker than over the past 8 years – Russia is removing Ukrainian combat capabilities off the battlefield faster than the Ukraine and its allies can replace or regenerate it.

https://odysee.com/$/embed/russia-makes-slow-steady-progress-in/2737cb0027898b0bd79446cd194f86d223c5960b

For detail of the past 24 hours, fierce fighting is still taking place.

Take a look at the Readovka report:  https://readovka.news/news/96041
Yandex will give you the best translation.

There is much FUD being spread about the Red Babushka.  Please be very careful what you read and watch, as the last video is a propaganda of the Ukies.  We wait!

Ukrainian fighting forces are fierce but they have some help:

One of the fighters of the nationalist battalion who laid down arms told about combat drugs used by Ukrainian fighters to suppress fear and lower the threshold for pain. These drugs were supplied to them by volunteers.

💬 “…I can tell you about some medication called Ephedrine, supplied by volunteers to our unit. We used this drug just before the fight, after that we lost the feeling of fear, we could calmly go into battle, being afraid of absolutely nothing…”

https://t.me/mod_russia_en/1356

Another canard needs some debunking.  RT (bless their socks!) had a headline that Putin apologized for Mr.Lavrov’s comments on Jewishness.  And this is being passed around (by our own FUD delivering colleagues) as how bad Mr. Putin is.  Well, here is the readout.  Confirm for yourselves, there is no apology there. http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/68356

And it would be a good thing to question all the various announcements and pronouncements on new weapons being supplied to the Ukraine.  Frequently the announcement and the presser are done to the applause of the collective west, but the weapons never make it.   Ukraine is not getting the 40-year old Gepard tanks as it was promised.  Reason, no ammo.  Switzerland makes ammo for these, but they cannot supply to conflict zones.  (Or perhaps, they have none?).

Russian Sanctions on Europe: Gonzalo Lira II

May 06, 2022

Gonzalo Lira : commentary on the decree that Vladimir Putin signed as follows:

Executive Order on retaliatory special economic measures in connection with unfriendly actions of certain foreign states and international organisations

The President signed the Executive Order On Imposing Retaliatory Special Economic Measures in Connection with the Unfriendly Actions of Certain Foreign States and International Organisations.

May 3, 2022

13:00

This Executive Order was signed in order to protect the national interests of the Russian Federation in response to unfriendly actions, which contradict international law, undertaken by the US, and joined by other foreign states and international organisations, and aimed at illegally depriving the Russian Federation, its citizens and legal entities of their property rights and/or restricting their property rights.

The Presidential Executive Order says federal and regional government authorities, other government authorities, local self-government bodies, and organisations and individuals under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation shall operate on the premise that special economic measures are to be applied to certain legal entities, individuals and organisations under their control, starting on the day the Executive Order comes into force.

The document introduces a ban on government authorities at all levels, as well as organisations and individuals under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation, implementing agreements (including foreign trade contracts) with legal entities, individuals and organisations under their control that are subject to the special economic measures, and on executing obligations under existing agreements (including foreign trade contracts) to individuals under the sanctions where such obligations are not satisfied or are partially satisfied.

The Executive Order also bans conducting financial operations whose beneficiaries are individuals under sanctions.

In addition, the document imposes a ban on exporting products or raw materials manufactured or extracted in Russia when they are delivered to individuals under sanctions, or by individuals under sanctions to other individuals.

The Government has been instructed to approve the list of individuals under sanctions within ten days and define additional criteria for transactions whose implementation and obligations shall be banned under the Executive Order.


https://www.bitchute.com/embed/U8qy1hSVUKdO/

Empire of Lies Eager to Receive Mr. Sarmat’s Business Card

April 29, 2022

Source

The only antidote to propaganda dementia is served by sparse voices of reason, which happen to be Russian, thus silenced and/or dismissed.

By Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and widely cross-posted

Especially since the onset of GWOT (Global War on Terror) at the start of the millennium, no one ever lost money betting against the toxic combo of hubris, arrogance and ignorance serially deployed by the Empire of Chaos and Lies.

What passes for “analysis” in the vast intellectual no-fly zone known as U.S. Think Tankland includes wishful thinking babble such as Beijing “believing” that Moscow would play a supporting role in the Chinese century just to see Russia, now, in the geopolitical driver’s seat.

This is a fitting example not only of outright Russophobic/Sinophobic paranoia about the emergence of peer competitors in Eurasia – the primeval Anglo-American nightmare – but also crass ignorance about the finer points of the complex Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership.

As Operation Z methodically hits Phase 2, the Americans – with a vengeance – have also embarked on their symmetrical Phase 2, which de facto translates as an outright escalation towards Totalen Krieg, from shades of hybrid to incandescent, everything of course by proxy. Notorious Raytheon weapons peddler reconverted into Pentagon head, Lloyd Austin, gave away the game in Kiev:

“We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.”

So this is it: the Empire wants to annihilate Russia. Cue to War Inc.’s frenzy of limitless weapon cargos descending on Ukraine, the overwhelming majority on the road to be duly eviscerated by Russian precision strikes. The Americans are sharing intel 24/7 with Kiev not only on Donbass and Crimea but also Russian territory. Totalen Krieg proceeds in parallel to the engineered controlled demolition of the EU’s economy, with the European Commission merrily acting as a sort of P.R. arm of NATO.

Amidst the propaganda dementia cum acute cognitive dissonance overdrive across the whole NATOstan sphere, the only antidote is served by sparse voices of reason, which happen to be Russian, thus silenced and/or dismissed. The West ignores them at their own collective peril.

Patrushev goes Triple-X unplugged

Let’s start with President Putin’s speech to the Council of Legislators in St. Petersburg celebrating the Day of Russian Parliamentarism.

Putin demonstrated how a hardly new “geopolitical weapon” relying on “Russophobia and neo-Nazis”, coupled with efforts of “economic strangulation”, not only failed to smother Russia, but impregnated in the collective unconscious the feeling this an existential conflict: a “Second Great Patriotic War”.

With off the charts hysteria across the spectrum, a message for an Empire that still refuses to listen, and doesn’t even understand the meaning of “indivisibility of security”, had to be inevitable:

“I would like to emphasize once again that if someone intends to interfere in the events taking place from the outside and creates threats of a strategic nature unacceptable to Russia, they should know that our retaliatory strikes will be lightning fast. We have all the tools for this. Such as no one can boast of now. And we won’t brag. We will use them if necessary. And I want everyone to know about it – we have made all the decisions on this matter.”

Translation: non-stop provocations may lead Mr. Kinzhal, Mr. Zircon and Mr. Sarmat to be forced to present their business cards in select Western latitudes, even without an official invitation.

Arguably for the first time since the start of Operation Z, Putin made a distinction between military operations in Donbass and the rest of Ukraine. This directly relates to the integration in progress of Kherson, Zaporozhye and Kharkov, and implies the Russian Armed Forces will keep going and going, establishing sovereignty not only in the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics but also over Kherson, Zaporozhye, and further on down the road from the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea, all the way to establishing full control of Nikolaev and Odessa.

The formula is crystal clear: “Russia cannot allow the creation of anti-Russian territories around the country.”

Now let’s move to an extremely detailed interview by Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev to Rossiyskaya Gazeta, where Patrushev sort of went triple-X unplugged.

The key take away may be here: “The collapse of the American-centric world is a reality in which one must live and build an optimal line of behavior.” Russia’s “optimal line of behavior” – much to the wrath of the universalist and unilateralist hegemon – features “sovereignty, cultural and spiritual identity and historical memory.”

Patrushev shows how “tragic scenarios of world crises, both in past years and today, are imposed by Washington in its desire to consolidate its hegemony, resisting the collapse of the unipolar world.” The U.S. goes no holds barred “to ensure that other centers of the multipolar world do not even dare to raise their heads, and our country not only dared, but publicly declared that it would not play by the imposed rules.”

Patrushev could not but stress how War Inc. is literally making a killing in Ukraine: “The American and European military-industrial complex is jubilant, because thanks to the crisis in Ukraine, it has no respite from order. It is not surprising that, unlike Russia, which is interested in the speedy completion of a special military operation and minimizing losses on all sides, the West is determined to delay it at least to the last Ukrainian.”

And that mirrors the psyche of American elites: “You are talking about a country whose elite is not able to appreciate other people’s lives. Americans are used to walking on scorched earth. Since World War II, entire cities have been razed to the ground by bombing, including nuclear bombing. They flooded the Vietnamese jungle with poison, bombed the Serbs with radioactive munitions, burned Iraqis alive with white phosphorus, helped terrorists poison Syrians with chlorine (…) As history shows, NATO has also never been a defensive alliance, only an offensive one.”

Previously, in an interview with the delightfully named The Great Game show on Russian TV, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had once again detailed how the Americans “no longer insist on the implementation of international law, but on respect for the ‘rules-based world order’. These ‘rules’ are not deciphered in any way. They say that now there are few rules. For us, they don’t exist at all. There is international law. We respect it, as does the UN Charter. The key provision, the main principle is the sovereign equality of states. The U.S. flagrantly violates its obligations under the UN Charter when it promotes its ‘rules’”.

Lavrov had to stress, once again, that the current incandescent situation may be compared to the Cuban Missile Crisis: “In those years, there was a channel of communication that both leaders trusted. Now there is no such channel. No one is trying to create it.”

The Empire of Lies, in its current state, does not do diplomacy.

The pace of the game in the new chessboard

In a subtle reference to the work of Sergei Glazyev, as the Minister in Charge of Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasia Economic Union explained in our recent interview, Patrushev hit the heart of the current geoeconomic game, with Russia now actively moving towards a gold standard: “Experts are working on a project proposed by the scientific community to create a two-circuit monetary and financial system. In particular, it is proposed to determine the value of the ruble, which should be secured by both gold and a group of goods that are currency values, to put the ruble exchange rate in line with real purchasing power parity.”

That was inevitable after the outright theft of over $300 billion in Russian foreign reserves. It may have taken a few days for Moscow to be fully certified it was facing Totalen Krieg. The corollary is that the collective West has lost any power to influence Russian decisions. The pace of the game in the new chessboard is being set by Russia.

Earlier in the week, in his meeting with the UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, Putin went as far as stating that he’d be more than willing to negotiate – with only a few conditions: Ukrainian neutrality and autonomy status for Donbass. Yet now everyone knows it’s too late. For a Washington in Totalen Krieg mode negotiation is anathema – and that has been the case since the aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine meeting in Istanbul in late March.

So far, on Operation Z, the Russian Armed forces have used only 12% of its soldiers,10% of its fighter jets, 7% of its tanks, 5% of its missiles, and 4% of its artillery. The pain dial is set to go substantially up – and with the total liberation of Mariupol and the resolution one way or another of the Donbass cauldron there is nothing the hysteria/propaganda/weaponizing combo deployed by the collective West can do to alter facts on the ground.

That includes desperate gambits such as the one uncovered by SVR – Russian foreign intel, which very rarely makes mistakes. SVR found out that the Empire of Lies/War Inc. axis is pushing not only for a de facto Polish invasion to annex Western Ukraine, under the banner of “historical reunification”, but also for a joint Romanian/Ukrainian invasion of Moldova/Transnistria, with Romanian “peacekeepers” already piling up near the Moldova border.

Washington, as the SVR maintains, has been plotting the Polish gambit for over a month now. It would “lead from behind” (remember Libya?), “encouraging” a “group of countries” to occupy Western Ukraine.

So partition is already on the cards. Were that ever to materialize, it will be fascinating to bet on which locations Mr. Sarmat would be inclined to distribute his business card.

By restricting Moscow’s moves, Erdogan is playing Russian roulette

April 27 2022

If closing part of Turkish airspace to Russian planes is an indication of Ankara’s new direction, it may prove fatal for Turkey across several fronts.

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Abdel Bari Atwan

Turkey’s decision to close its airspace to Russian military and civilian aircraft bound for northern Syria surprised many observers. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s announcement of this decision to Turkish journalists during his Latin America tour raised many questions about its future implications for Russian-Turkish relations.

It is unlikely that this decision may have been one of the outcomes of a Turkish-American deal following discreet contacts between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his US counterpart Joe Biden to clamp down on Russia. Unlike his predecessor Donald Trump, Biden believes that it is difficult to achieve regional security without Turkey, which is an original member of NATO. And so the deal between the two countries included expanding economic cooperation and meeting Turkey’s defense needs, particularly in the advanced F-35s, Patriot and THAAD missile systems.

There are several explanations for Ankara’s decision. The first is that the US exerted pressure on Turkey after it became evident that the Russians commanded the battle of Mariupol and other southeastern Ukrainian areas from the Russian airbase of Hemeimim in northern Syria – from which strategic strikes were carried out against Ukrainian forces.

A second possible explanation is that Erdogan succeeded in improving his country’s relations with Washington, taking full advantage of the desperate US need for regional allies in NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine.

But where one loses, another gains. On the back of the surprise Turkish decision, Tehran cleverly offered to allow Russian aircraft to use Iranian airspace to reach naval and air bases in northern Syria. While these flight times may be longer, there are instant benefits for the two countries, especially Iran, which has now further enhanced its strategic relations with the Russia-China axis. Iran has not been ambiguous: since the outbreak of the Ukrainian military crisis, it has failed to condemn Moscow’s actions and has stood quietly in the Russian trench.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been generous with his Turkish counterpart. He forgave Erdogan for his 2015 mistake when Turkish air defenses shot down a Russian Sukhoi plane that allegedly penetrated Turkey’s airspace near the Syrian-Turkish border for a few seconds. It took a series of expansive Russian punishments for the Turkish president to apologize in all languages, including Russian, for the mishap.

Putin has showed understanding, and even patience, over the Turkish occupation of areas in northern Syria, contrary to the wishes of his staunch allies in Damascus. However, Ankara’s latest decision to establish a ‘Russian no-fly zone’ will not be so easy to forgive, especially if followed by further measures such as banning the passage of Russian military vessels through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits to the Mediterranean, in accordance with the Montreux Agreement.

This remains an option in light of the rapid – if stealthy – improvement in Turkish-US relations. But choosing to align with Washington on Ukraine also risks racking up Russian-engineered military, political, and economic costs for Turkey, one year out from the country’s pivotal elections.

Further aligning with the US also means Erdogan will not be able to continue playing his carefully crafted role as a “neutral” mediator in this crisis, and host the upcoming summit meeting between the Turkish and Ukrainian presidents.

Turkish aspirations to expand trade cooperation with Russia to $100 billion dollars per annum will also be impacted, and the sale of further Russian S-400 missile defense systems to Turkey will be unlikely. More seriously, Russia may respond by developing or expanding relations with the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and supporting its operations in Turkey.

Politically speaking, the Russian military operation in Ukraine is a matter of life and death for Putin. Therefore his response to Ankara’s belligerent moves are likely to be decisive and could possibly play out on several fronts:

  • The Syrian front: To keep the balance in Russian relations with Turkey, Putin strongly opposed the Syrian leadership’s desire to invade Idlib to eliminate the jihadist terror groups based there and restore territorial control back to Damascus. While Moscow’s position may not yet change, renewed, intensive Russian military operations in Idlib will lead to an increase in Syrians fleeing to Turkish territory, which already hosts over 3 million Syrian refugees.
  • Strengthening Russian-Iranian relations: This will have a negative impact on Erdogan’s regional ambitions – especially in West and Central Asia – taking into account that China, which forms the third and strongest arm of this budding alliance is a full-fledged member of this troika.
  • The Arab Front: Turkey’s desire to improve its relations with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other Persian Gulf and Arab states may be hindered in light of the rapprochement of these countries with Russia and China, which coincides with the breakdown of their relations with their traditional American ally. There is much the Russia-Iran-China (RIC) alliance can do in West Asia to unsettle Ankara’s relations within the region. It is worth noting that Riyadh has not yet responded to Turkish diplomatic outreach, significantly on the closure of the file of the state-sanctioned murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Erdogan’s leadership in recent months has been characterized by confusion and volatility. Recent political developments include Ankara’s unpopular improvement in ties with Israel, its gradual involvement in the Ukraine crisis, and its warming relations with Washington. These come at a critical time, not only amid a nation-wide economic crisis but also a year before presidential and legislative elections that pose a serious threat to Erdogan’s reign.

President Putin may have decided initially to overlook Turkey’s sale of the Bayraktar drones that have arguably contributed in the deaths of some 2,000 Russian soldiers in Ukraine, and reluctantly accepted its role as an intermediary in the crisis. At the strategic level, though, it will be difficult for him to tolerate Turkey’s accelerated bias toward the west.

It is true that Turkey is a regional power, and militarily strong, but it is also true that the US-led camp toward which it is tilting is in decline, torn apart by divisions, and failing dramatically in its economic sanctions regime against Russia. Furthermore, this camp is facing an alliance of two super-powers, a nuclear third (India), and a fourth on the way (Iran), together comprising more than half of the world’s population.

President Erdogan’s gamble with Russia is risky and may backfire, at just the wrong time.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

President Putin and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres: Meeting

April 27, 2022

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/68287

April 26, 2022

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr Secretary-General,

I am very happy to see you.

As one of the founders of the United Nations and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Russia has always supported this universal organisation. We believe the UN is not simply universal but it is unique in a way – the international community does not have another organisation like it. We are doing all we can to support the principles on which it rests, and we intend to continue doing this in the future.

We find the expression of some of our colleagues about a world based on rules somewhat strange. We believe the main rule is the UN Charter and other documents adopted by this organisation rather than some papers written by their authors as they see fit or aimed at ensuring their own interests.

We are also surprised to hear statements by our colleagues that imply that some in the world have exceptional status or can claim exclusive rights because the Charter of the United Nations reads that all participants in international communication are equal regardless of their strength, size or geographical location. I think this is similar to what the Bible reads about all people being equal. I am sure we will find the same idea in both the Quran and the Torah. All people are equal before God. So, the idea that someone can claim a kind of exceptional status is very strange to us.

We are living in a complicated world, and, therefore, we proceed from reality and are willing to work with everyone.

No doubt, at one time the United Nations was established to resolve acute crises and went through different periods in its development. Quite recently, just several years ago, we heard it had become obsolete, and there was no need for it anymore. This happened whenever it prevented someone from reaching their goals in the international arena.

We have always said that there is no other universal organisation like the United Nations, and it is necessary to cherish the institutions that were created after WWII for the express purpose of settling disputes.

I know about your concern over Russia’s military operation in Donbass, in Ukraine. I think this will be the focus of our conversation today. I would just like to note in this context that the entire problem emerged after a coup d’état staged in Ukraine in 2014. This is an obvious fact. You can call it whatever name you like and have whatever bias in favour of those who did it, but this was really an anti-constitutional coup.

This was followed by the situation with the expression of their will by the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol. They acted in practically the same way as the people living in Kosovo – they made a decision on independence and then turned to us with a request to join the Russian Federation. The only difference between the two cases was that in Kosovo this decision on sovereignty was adopted by Parliament whereas Crimea and Sevastopol made it at a nationwide referendum.

A similar problem emerged in south-eastern Ukraine, where the residents of several territories, at least, two Ukrainian regions, did not accept the coup d’état and its results. But they were subjected to very strong pressure, in part, with the use of combat aviation and heavy military equipment. This is how the crisis in Donbass, in south-eastern Ukraine, emerged.

As you know, after another failed attempt by the Kiev authorities to resolve this problem by force, we arrived at the signing of agreements in the city of Minsk. This is what they were called – the Minsk Agreements. It was an attempt to settle the situation in Donbass peacefully.

To our regret, during the past eight years the people that lived there found themselves under a siege. The Kiev authorities announced in public that they were organising a siege of these territories. They were not embarrassed to call it a siege although initially they had renounced this idea and continued military pressure.

Under the circumstances, after the authorities in Kiev actually went on record as saying – I would like to emphasise that the top state officials announced this in public – that they did not intend to fulfil the Minsk Agreements, we were compelled to recognise these regions as independent and sovereign states to prevent the genocide of the people living there. I would like to reiterate: this was a forced measure to stop the suffering of the people living in those territories.

Unfortunately, our colleagues in the West preferred to ignore all this. After we recognised the independence of these states, they asked us to render them military aid because they were subjected to military actions, an armed aggression. In accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter, Chapter VII, we were forced to do this by launching a special military operation.

I would like to inform you that although the military operation is underway, we are still hoping to reach an agreement on the diplomatic track. We are conducting talks. We have not abandoned them.

Moreover, at the talks in Istanbul, and I know that you have just been there since I spoke with President Erdogan today, we managed to make an impressive breakthrough. Our Ukrainian colleagues did not link the requirements for Ukraine’s international security with such a notion as Ukraine’s internationally recognised borders, leaving aside Crimea, Sevastopol and the newly Russia-recognised Donbass republics, albeit with certain reservations.

But, unfortunately, after reaching these agreements and after we had, in my opinion, clearly demonstrated our intentions to create the conditions for continuing the talks, we faced a provocation in the town of Bucha, which the Russian Army had nothing to do with. We know who was responsible, who prepared this provocation, using what means, and we know who the people involved were.

After this, the position of our negotiators from Ukraine on a further settlement underwent a drastic change. They simply renounced their previous intentions to leave aside issues of security guarantees for the territories of Crimea, Sevastopol and the Donbass republics. They simply renounced this. In the relevant draft agreement presented to us, they simply stated in two articles that these issues must be resolved at a meeting of the heads of state.

It is clear to us that if we take these issues to the heads of state level without even resolving them in a preliminary draft agreement, they will never be resolved. In this case, we simply cannot sign a document on security guarantees without settling the territorial issues of Crimea, Sevastopol and the Donbass republics.

Nevertheless, the talks are going on. They are now being conducted online. I am still hoping that this will lead us to some positive result.

This is all I wanted to say in the beginning. I am sure we will have many questions linked with this situation. Maybe there will be other questions as well. We will talk.

I am very happy to see you. Welcome to Moscow.

(In his remarks, the UN Secretary General expressed concern over the situation in Ukraine, while emphasising the need for a multilateral world order based on the UN Charter and international law. Antonio Guterres also presented the two proposals he had put forward the same day during his meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. These proposals concern humanitarian matters, including humanitarian corridors, in particular, for Mariupol residents, as well as setting up a humanitarian contact group in which the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Russia, and Ukraine would work together to discuss the situation in order to make these corridors truly safe and effective.)

Vladimir Putin: Mr Secretary General,

Regarding the invasion, I am well-versed in the documents of the International Court on the situation in Kosovo. In fact, I have read them myself. I remember very well the decision by the International Court, which states that when fulfilling its right to self-determination a territory within any state does not have to seek permission from the country’s central government in order to proclaim its sovereignty. This was the ruling on Kosovo, and this is what the International Court decided, and everyone supported it. I personally read all the comments issued by the judicial, administrative and political bodies in the United States and Europe – everyone supported this decision.

If so, the Donbass republics, the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic, can enjoy the same right without seeking permission from Ukraine’s central government and declare their sovereignty, since the precedent has been created.

Is this so? Do you agree with this?

(Antonio Guterres noted that the United Nations did not recognise Kosovo).

Vladimir Putin: Yes, of course, but the court did. Let me finish what I was saying.

If there is a precedent, the Donbass republics can do the same. This is what they did, while we, in turn, had the right to recognise them as independent states.

Many countries around the world did this, including our Western opponents, with Kosovo. Many states recognised Kosovo. It is a fact that many Western countries recognised Kosovo as an independent state. We did the same with the Donbass republics. After that, they asked us to provide them with military assistance to deal with the state that launched military operations against them. We had the right to do so in full compliance with Chapter VII, Article 51 of the UN Charter.

Just a second, we will talk about this in a minute. But first I would like to address the second part of your question, Mariupol. The situation is difficult and possibly even tragic there. But in fact, it is very simple.

I had a conversation with President Erdogan today. He spoke about the ongoing fighting there. No, there is no fighting there; it is over. There is no fighting in Mariupol; it has stopped.

Part of the Ukrainian armed forces that were deployed in other industrial districts have surrendered. Nearly 1,300 of them have surrendered, but the actual figure is larger. Some of them were injured or wounded; they are being kept in absolutely normal conditions. The wounded have received medical assistance from our doctors, skilled and comprehensive assistance.

The Azovstal plant has been fully isolated. I have issued instructions, an order to stop the assault. There is no direct fighting there now. Yes, the Ukrainian authorities say that there are civilians at the plant. In this case, the Ukrainian military must release them, or otherwise they will be doing what terrorists in many countries have done, what ISIS did in Syria when they used civilians as human shields. The simplest thing they can do is release these people; it is as simple as that.

You say that Russia’s humanitarian corridors are ineffective. Mr Secretary-General, you have been misled: these corridors are effective. Over 100,000 people, 130,000–140,000, if I remember correctly, have left Mariupol with our assistance, and they are free to go where they want, to Russia or Ukraine. They can go anywhere they want; we are not detaining them, but we are providing assistance and support to them.

The civilians in Azovstal, if there are any, can do this as well. They can come out, just like that. This is an example of a civilised attitude to people, an obvious example. And anyone can see this; you only need to talk with the people who have left the city. The simplest thing for military personnel or members of the nationalist battalions is to release the civilians. It is a crime to keep civilians, if there are any there, as human shields.

We maintain contact with them, with those who are hiding underground at the Azovstal plant. They have an example they can follow: their comrades-in-arms have surrendered, over a thousand of them, 1,300. Nothing bad has happened to them. Moreover, Mr Secretary-General, if you wish, if representatives of the Red Cross and the UN want to inspect their detainment conditions and see for themselves where and how medical assistance is being provided to them, we are ready to organise this. It is the simplest solution to a seemingly complex issue.

Let us discuss this.

Mr Putin at the expanded meeting of the Prosecutor General’s Office Board.

April 25, 2022

At the expanded meeting of the Prosecutor General’s Office Board. Photo: RIA Novosti

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prosecutor General, colleagues,

Earlier this year, we celebrated 300 years of the Russian Prosecution Service, once again emphasising its significant role in the history of the Fatherland, the development of our society and the building of the foundations of a rule-of-law state.

During the annual expanded meeting of the Prosecutor General’s Office Board today, we will sum up the results of your work in 2021, considering the current situation, and will discuss objectives for the short and long term.

I should note that over this latest period, the prosecution bodies have maintained positive momentum with respect to a whole range of key performance indicators. Prompt intervention by prosecutors helped to protect the social rights of over 1 million citizens, including paying almost 20.5 billion rubles in wage arrears.

Prosecutors of different ranks receive members of the public, showing a higher effectiveness rate. The number of appointments increased by more than 11 percent last year, exceeding 1 million people. Statistics show that the majority of issues reported by people were resolved. The Prosecutor General personally took charge of the most critical cases.

Here is what I would like to say in this connection. There are a number of appeals filed by our citizens concerning the issues they raise regularly but which often take years to resolve – this is what we must focus our attention on. I would like to say that prosecutors’ efforts on a specific issue are not always effective for objective reasons or because of [the lack of] funding or because of the regional and local authorities’ policies. Nevertheless, members of the prosecution service must work together with regional and municipal teams, involving the federal authorities to deal with the essential aspects of the problems each particular person is facing. I ask you not to take a formal attitude to these matters, limiting your work to reporting on the prosecutor’s response measures taken, but to really work towards the settlement of problems at the given level.

Next, it is largely thanks to your contribution that the number of unjustified inspections of businesses has decreased. You have cut short the propaganda of extremism in the information space and the illegal activities of some NGOs.

The prosecution agencies must continue improving their performance in the key areas, giving more attention to the protection of legitimate civil rights and freedoms, including social and labour rights.

Of course, I simply must mention the unprecedented sanctions pressure the Western countries have put on Russia over recent years. As all of us are aware, this pressure increased after we launched the special military operation to support the Donbass people’s republics.

The Government and our regions are taking large-scale measures to support the citizens of Russia, and we must ensure the uninterrupted operation of these social protection mechanisms at all levels. I am referring, in part, to the timely transfer of pensions, payments and benefits to low-income and large families, and the enhancement of employment assistance programmes.

In this connection, I would like to ask prosecutors, acting within the framework of their authority, to develop a special system to oversee compliance with laws during the implementation of support measures for people and all the key, socially-oriented programmes.

The state is also there to support the key manufacturing sectors, which employ millions of people in our country. The Russian economy has everything it takes to operate in a stable and uninterrupted manner in this new reality.

At the same time, it is the freedom of entrepreneurship and flexible business mechanisms that ensure that the market gets the goods it needs, help mitigate deficits and smooth out price surges. I would like to urge you to make sure that all the rights of entrepreneurs are complied with and to create a business-friendly environment for them.

However, if someone abuses their monopoly or engages in behind-the-scenes price-fixing, both the anti-trust watchdogs and the prosecutor’s office must respond in a timely and concise manner.

Russian businesses have been acting with a lot of dignity these days. Many small and medium-sized companies have yet to recover from the pandemic, but they are now facing new barriers related to the aggression against Russia, which took on the form of sanctions. In fact, aggression through sanctions – this the only way I can define what it is going on. In this situation, we need to do everything to support Russian businesses and use all the available means to this effect, including by reducing the administrative burden.

Of course, there are spheres that require inspections, especially on matters affecting people’s lives and health. In all other situations, we decided to declare a moratorium.

We need to let Russian businesses and those of the foreign companies who continue, against all odds, performing their obligations in good faith, work in peace. We need to shield businesses from excessive, unjustified and unnecessary controls. We have all the instruments we need to do this.

Of course, we must be firm in curbing any impairment of rights of businesses receiving state support or preferences. The system to support entrepreneurs must operate in all clarity and create a business-friendly environment.

Colleagues,

I would like to specifically discuss the tasks facing the prosecution agencies and the entire law enforcement sphere in connection with the special military operation in Donbass and Ukraine.

The special operation has exposed multiple violations of international law by Ukrainian neo-Nazi groups as well as foreign mercenaries. We are referring to extreme atrocities such as killing civilians, using people, including children, as human shields, and other crimes. Flagrant provocations against our Armed Forces, also with the use of resources such as foreign media and social networks, also require a thorough investigation.

At the same time, it is also necessary to suppress any crimes on the territory of the Russian Federation in the most decisive manner. This morning, the Federal Security Service thwarted a terrorist group that planned to attack and assassinate a well-known Russian television journalist. They will definitely deny this now, but the facts and evidence are irrefutable.

In this regard, I would like to say the following. To our surprise, high-ranking diplomats in Europe and the United States are urging their Ukrainian satellites to use their resources to win on the battlefield. Our partners in the United States are using such strange diplomacy – diplomats are even calling for this. But as they realise that this is impossible, they try to achieve a different objective instead – to split Russian society, to destroy Russia from within. But here, too, there is a hitch; this hasn’t worked either. Our society has shown maturity and solidarity; it supports our Armed Forces and supports our efforts to ensure Russia’s ultimate security and help the people living of Donbass. This actually means support for our people living in Donbass. So when they failed to achieve their information goals – they continued to fool their citizens of course, using their monopoly position in their countries’ information space and in some other countries, but they failed here, on the territory of Russia – they switched to terror, to arranging the murder of our journalists.

In this regard, it should be noted of course that we know the names of all the Western handlers, of all members of Western services, primarily the CIA, who are working with Ukrainian security agencies. Apparently, they are giving them such advice. This is their attitude towards the rights of journalists, towards the dissemination of information; this is their attitude towards human rights in general. All they care about is their own rights, some cherishing imperial ambitions, others holding on to their colonial past in the old-fashioned way. But this will not work in Russia.

I am asking the Investigative Committee of Russia, and all investigative bodies to record such crimes in detail, to identify their masterminds and perpetrators, to initiate criminal cases and bring them to trial, as they should. Prosecutors and investigators should carefully study these and all other facts, collect the necessary evidence to make a case, which should be used in court proceedings, including at the international level. Let me emphasise that such evidence should be accumulated for all the crimes committed by neo-Nazis and their accomplices, starting with the coup d’état in Kiev in 2014, which paved the way for civil war, bloodshed and violence in Ukraine.

Next point. We should pay special attention to people arriving to Russia from Ukraine, from the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. As of today, they number nearly one million, including over 100,000 children. People who had to leave their homes are not always in possession of the documents needed to get material aid, medical support, and to enrol children in schools or kindergartens. I urge the Prosecutor General’s Office to render these people legal assistance and protect their rights, including by reviewing their applications within the shortest possible timeframes. It is hard for these people, help them.

Colleagues,

As before, coordinating the law enforcement agencies in the fight against crime remains among the absolute and most important tasks facing the prosecution service. Yes, the fact that an almost 100-percent solve rate has been achieved with regard to the gravest crimes can be described as a good result.

But the statistics are not so good as far as the solve rate for thefts and fraud is concerned. I discussed this in detail at the Interior Ministry’s board meeting in February. I would like you to offer proposals on how to change the situation and improve the solve rate for these crimes.

The prosecutors should also be more proactive in fighting extremism. It is important to consolidate the positive results achieved in this area and put a firm stop to any actions directed at interfering in Russia’s internal affairs from the outside, destabilising our society, and fomenting xenophobia, militant nationalism and interfaith enmity. And, of course, it is necessary to respond without delay to any instances of spreading on the internet radical ideologies and false information that provoke violations of law and order or preparations for illegal actions. They are often organised from abroad, and this is done in different ways, with either information or money coming in from those parts.

As before, protecting the rights of minors is among the priorities of the prosecution agencies. It is necessary to follow more closely and impose more severe punishments for crimes committed against children and adolescents, as well as to take additional measures to radically reduce the number of offences in this area, including pre-emptive and preventive measures.

Next, we should focus on checking how the federal budget funds are spent, primarily funds allocated for federal and national projects, as part of our fight against corruption. But, of course, we should not forget about the municipal level and the regional level, and also keep an eye on the funds spent to fulfil the state defence order and develop the defence industry.

You should pay close attention to some other important areas, including skilled support for government cases in court, environmental protection and management, and oversight of compliance with the rights of inmates of detention facilities.

I am confident that the prosecutors are well aware of the scope and importance of the tasks facing their agency and will do all they can for their effective implementation.

Colleagues, I want to thank the heads and the personnel of the prosecution service for their dedicated work.

I wish you new, significant achievements. Thank you very much.

بضع دقائق في رأس الرئيس بوتين


الخميس 21 نيسان 2022

ناصر قنديل

يقول أحد الجنرالات المخضرمين العارفين بقوانين الحرب والذين شاركوا في صناعة بعض من معاركها، إن ثلاثة قرارات اتخذها الجنرال فلاديمير بوتين تحتاج شجاعة استثنائيّة يصعب أن يمتلكها قائد عسكريّ أو سياسيّ، الأول هو قرار بدء الحرب في ظروف جيوسياسية شديدة التعقيد. فالرئيس بوتين كان يعلم أنه يدخل غمار حقل شوك مليء بالمفاجآت والاحتمالات ليس ما جرى إلا بعضاً منها. وقرار الحرب على أوكرانيا يعادل عام 1961 قراراً أميركياً بغزو كوبا، بينما الظروف ليست معكوسة، فلا روسيا هي أميركا الستينيات القوة التي يمكن لأحد مواجهتها، ولا أوكرانيا هي كوبا المحاصرة والضعيفة. والثاني هو قرار تفعيل الأسلحة النووية ورفع جاهزيتها الى مستوى التأهب، وهو قرار يعادل الاستعداد لدخول حرب نووية، لم يسبق أن فعله أحد آخر، حتى أميركا والاتحاد السوفياتي في مرحلة النزاع حول الصواريخ السوفياتية في كوبا وما عرف بأزمة الخنازير بقيا على مسافة من مثل هذا القرار. والقرار الثالث هو إعلان الانسحاب من المحور الرئيسي للهجوم الروسي الذي استهدف العاصمة كييف، وكان على مقربة من قلبها، واتخاذ القرار من طرف واحد بما فيه من مخاطرة بالاضطرار للعودة لاسترداد المناطق التي تم الانسحاب منها بكلفة أعلى، وما فيه من فرص للخصوم لتصويره هزيمة للجيش الروسي واعترافاً بالفشل، هو قرار يصعب على قادة عسكريين وسياسيين كثيرين اتخاذه.

التجول الافتراضي لبضع دقائق في عقل الرئيس بوتين يبدو رحلة مغرية، لمحاولة استكشاف ما يدور في عقل هذا الرجل الذي تدور على طاولته وبين يديه، خرائط العالم الجديد، وتتوقف على تواقيعه مصائر الكثير من السياسات والحسابات والحروب. وهذا التجول الافتراضي هو حصيلة حوار ممتع للتداول في الفرضيات التي وضعها الرئيس بوتين لدى رسم سياق حربه واتخاذ قراراته، جرى مع صديق خبير بطريقة تفكير الرئيس الروسي من جهة، ومتابع لتفاصيل السياسات الدولية والحروب المعاصرة، وصراعات الطاقة والجغرافيا السياسية المندلعة منذ مطلع القرن الحادي والعشرين، من جهة مقابلة، وتبدأ الرحلة من السؤال الأهم، ماذا يريد الرئيس بوتين، وماذا يخشى؟

تبدأ الخلاصة الأولى بالاكتشاف الخطير، وهو أن الرئيس بوتين لا يخشى الحرب النووية وهو واثق من كسبها إذا اندلعت، وهو يعتقد أن الخوف منها سيتسبب بالذعر السياسي ودفع أثمان بلا طائل تحت شعار تفاديها. وأن الحرب النووية اذا كانت ضمن خطة الطرف الغربي المقابل فسيكون دفع العبودية الكاملة ثمناً لتفاديها هو الطريقة الوحيدة لاستبعادها، واذا لم تكن ضمن مشروع الغرب، فإن الاستعداد لها وعدم خشيتها لن يدفعا بالغرب نحوها، بل سيجعلانه مستعداً للتفكير بجدية وعقلانية، باستحالة الجمع بين تفاديها وممارسة الهيمنة والعبودية على العالم دولاً وشعوباً، ورفض الأخذ بمعايير موحدة لمقاربة القضايا الدولية الشائكة والمتراكمة، والتي تشكل علاقة الشرق بالغرب أهمها، ومحورها الرئيسي، ولذلك فإن الرئيس بوتين حسم أمر عدم الخشية من الحرب النووية مبكراً واتخذ الاستعدادات العسكرية وغير العسكرية التي تتيح له الخروج منها منتصراً، معتبراً أن هذا هو أقصر الطرق لمنع وقوعها، وأنه التعبير الأسمى عن الحس الإنساني بالسعي لتفادي الخراب الذي ستحمله للعالم. وهذه القناعة هي التي كانت وراء إنفاق مئات مليارات الدولارات على تطوير الأسلحة الاستراتيجية التي لم يكشف الا عن القليل منها، لكن الغرب يعرف ويعترف بأن روسيا للمرة الأولى تسبقه على هذا الصعيد بعشر سنوات.

إذا كان الأمر الأول هو ما لا يخشاه الرئيس بوتين فما الذي يخشاه؟ الذي كان يخشاه الرئيس بوتين، هو أن ينجح الغرب بصياغة مواجهة ذكية تفكك العلاقة بين مستويات الحرب الثلاثة، المستوى الأوكراني – الأوكراني ومحوره التعامل المنصف قانونياً وإنسانياً وثقافياً ولغوياً مع الأصول الروسية، لأن هذا هو محور قضية دونباس، العنصرية المبنية على هوية غربية شوفينية تجاه كل ما يمت لروسيا بصلة بالدم او الدين او اللغة. والمستوى الثاني هو المستوى الإقليمي، ومحوره التوازن الأمني في أوروبا بين روسيا ودول الناتو، وكانت رسالة موسكو لطلب الضمانات الأمنية من واشنطن، تتضمن عرضاً وافياً لمضمون عناوينه، وقضية أوكرانيا وانضمامها للناتو كانت رأس جبل الجليد في هذا الملف. والمحور الثالث هو مستوى العلاقات الدولية وسعي روسيا لنظام عالمي جديد متعدد الأقطاب صرح المسؤولون الروس مراراً عن فهمهم له وسعيهم إليه. وهذا المحور هو الإطار الحاضن عملياً وسياسياً واستراتيجياً لكل تفاصيل وسياقات الحرب الأوكرانية من الزاوية الروسية. ويعتقد الرئيس بوتين أنه لو نجح الغرب بفك التشابك بين هذه المحاور، فبادر عبر الحكومة الأوكرانية بإعلان الانفتاح العملي على مقتضيات إنهاء الحقبة العنصرية بحق ذوي الأصول والمتعلقات الروسية، وشجع على التفاوض حول حياد أوكرانيا، كترجمة طبيعية للتسليم باستحالة ضمها إلى الناتو، لنجح بحرمان روسيا من المنصة التي وفرتها الحرب للهم الاستراتيجي الأول لروسيا وهو إعادة صياغة العلاقات الدولية، ولنجح الغرب بمحاصرتها كقوة إقليمية وحرمانها من فرصة لعب دور القوة الدولية العظمى، التي تستحيل هزيمتها، كما تقول وقائع ما بعد حزمات العقوبات الأشد قسوة، وأزمات الطاقة والغذاء التي تدق أبواب العالم من أوروبا أولاً.

الحصيلة الأولى للجولة أن الرئيس بوتين يعتبر أنه نجح بفرض تفادي الحرب النووية بوضعها خياراً حاضراً على الطاولة، وأن الغرب تصرّف بحماقة وغباوة سهلت عليه مهمة جعل النظام العالمي الجديد محور الصراع، بعدما زاد الربط بين محاور الصراع الثلاثة، فبدلاً من تفكيك السياسات العنصرية بحق ذوي الأصول والمتعلقات الروسية في أوكرانيا قام بعولمة العنصرية ضد الروس عبر ما حملته كل العقوبات الغربية، بصورة استنهضت الوطنية الروسية إلى درجة غير مسبوقة تحت الشعور بخطر التهديد، وجعلت حربهم الوجودية هي الحرب التي يخوضها بوتين، ولو كانت الأثمان اعلى كلفة عما هي الآن بالأرواح وظروف المعيشة، والروس دفعوا ملايين الأرواح وعمران مدنهم كلها تقريباً لاجتثاث عنصرية مشابهة مثلتها النازية التي ستحتفل روسيا بذكرى النصر عليها قريبا، وبدلاً من التشجيع على حياد أوكرانيا يتحدث الغرب عن ضم دولتي فنلندا والسويد المحايدتين إلى الناتو، وبدلاً من تحييد قطاعي الطاقة والعملات كنقاط ضعف غربية كان يجب عدم كشفها، ذهب الغرب الى الملعب الذي يرغب به الرئيس بوتين لمنازلة الغرب وهو ليس إلا في نقطة البداية بعد.

قرار بدء الحرب وقرار تفعيل السلاح النووي كانا ترجمة لهذا الفهم، وقد تحققت هذه الأهداف، وقرار الانسحاب من محيط كييف ترجمة للاطمئنان بأن المحور الثالث للحرب، أي مستقبل العلاقات الدولية، صار هو العامل الحاسم، فمن الخطأ المساهمة بمنح البعد الأوكراني من الحرب أبعد مما يستحق، والحرب لم تعد الا منصة مفتوحة لأسابيع أو شهور او سنوات، حتى يتحقق الهدف، وهو ولادة نظام عالمي جديد. ومدة الحرب يقررها مدى مواصلة اوروبا محاولة الجمع المستحيل بين مصالحها الجوهرية والتبعية لأميركا، وما تظنه واشنطن لعبة عض على الأصابع تنتظر من يصرخ أولاً، هي في الحقيقة لعبة لحس مبرد، فيها طرف يلاعب لسانه بالمبرد ويتلذذ بطعم دمه، كحال أوروبا، ومن يعض على الإصبع الأوروبي هو الأميركي وليس روسيا. وروسيا تعض على الإصبع الأميركي من بوابة قدرة أوروبا على التحمل، وقدرة أميركا على تخيل مستقبلها دون أوروبا، وموعد الصراخ الأوروبي قريب، ومثله موعد الصراخ الأميركي. في عقل الرئيس بوتين معادلة، مرتاح لمسار الأمور وفقاً للخطة والتوقيت المقررين، ومستعد لكل الاحتمالات، لكن يصعب على الكثيرين فهم معنى ذلك بسهولة، إلا عندما يراهم يجلسون الى طاولة التفاوض لمناقشة ما هو أبعد من أوكرانيا والأمن الأوروبي وأمن الطاقة، لرسم قواعد جديدة للعلاقات الدولية تثق موسكو ويثق الرئيس بوتين أن مكانة موسكو فيها ستكون حاسمة ومقررة.

Pakistan PM Accuses US of Funding “Conspiracy” to Topple His Gov’t

April 11, 2022 

By Staff, Agencies

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan accused an unnamed “foreign power” – in a clear reference to the United States – of funding a “conspiracy” to topple his democratically elected government.

Addressing a large rally in the capital Islamabad on Sunday, Khan said the “foreign power” sent millions of dollars to opposition parties to launch a no-confidence vote against him in the parliament.

Khan, who had formed a coalition government after winning the election in 2018, said he was the subject of a “foreign conspiracy” aimed at dislodging his government and that “funding was being channeled into Pakistan from abroad.” 

A no-confidence motion has been tabled in Pakistan’s National Assembly, with days of debates expected to start next week before the vote. The opposition needs a simple majority to oust Khan, after which a new prime minister would be chosen by the parliament.

“We have been threatened in writing but we will not compromise on national interests,” said Khan, who met with Vladimir Putin in Moscow on February 24, the same day the Russian leader ordered a military operation in neighboring Ukraine. 

Before that, Khan visited Beijing in January, defying US President Joe Biden’s call for a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics.

“The money is from abroad and the people that are being used are ours [Pakistan’s]. Some of them unknowingly, and some knowingly, are using this money against us,” the prime minister said.

“Attempts are being made to influence our foreign policy from abroad. We have been aware of this conspiracy for months. We also know about those who have assembled these people [the opposition parties] but the time has changed. This is not the era of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto,” he said, referring to the former prime minister of Pakistan who was allegedly threatened by former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger over the country’s nuclear program.

Bhutto’s government was toppled and he was hanged by the military in 1979.

“This is the era of social media. Nothing can be hidden. We will not accept anyone’s dictation. We will have friendships with everyone but we will not submit ourselves to anyone,” Khan said.

“Attempts are being made through foreign money to change the government in Pakistan. Our people are being used. Mostly inadvertently, but some people are using money against us. We know from what places attempts are being to pressure us. We have been threatened in writing but we will not compromise on national interest,” the Dawn newspaper reported.

Khan then splashed a letter and said it would prove his point. “I am placing the case of Pakistan’s independence before you. The letter I have is proof and I want to dare anyone who doubts this letter. I will invite them off the record. We have to decide for how long we will have to live like this. We are getting threats. There are many things about the foreign conspiracy which will be shared very soon.”

“The nation wants to know who the man sitting in London is meeting with and whose directions the characters based in Pakistan are following? I am revealing the proofs we have. I cannot talk more in detail because I have to protect the interest of my country. I cannot talk about anything that harms my country. I could have told you about it. I do not fear anyone but I care about Pakistan’s interest,” he stated.

The ‘All or Nothing’ Wars

April 11 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Alastair Crooke 

The radical stance the West is taking against Russia is risking bringing down the whole economic system with which it has imposed its dominion over the planet.

The ‘All or Nothing’ Wars

These ‘wars’ are becoming viewed in the West as existential — ie. ‘all or nothing’ events — and their scope is widening.  Why wars in plural?  Well, the Ukraine military clash is coming to its climax; the war over Russia’s radical shifts in the global monetary order is sending western states into a speechless whirl; Europe stands at the brink of economic abyss; and the Russia-China ‘war’ to re-engineer the global ‘rules’ is coming to a head too (albeit travelling on a slightly slower train).

The West’s PSYOPS war however, truly stands in a class of its own. The wall of toxicity swelling, rising and crashing down onto the shores of Russia represents a sea-storm, such as we never before have seen.  Its’ intent plainly is to blacken President Putin beyond ‘evil’, to make of him such a twisted satanic demon, that any sane Russian oligarch will rush to replace him with a more compliant, Yeltsin-like figure.

Only it isn’t working.  The western officials behind the PSYOPS ‘curtain’ do not know when to stop. They pull levers harder and twiddle the dials ever higher until the outpouring of visceral hatred directed at everything Russian has created the opposite effect: not only is Putin more popular, it has launched a fierce backlash in Russia against the West in toto. 

The net effect then has been precisely to drive the Ukraine issue into an existential Manichaean nightmare. Headlines are written in the Anglo-world that ‘the war is all or nothing’:  If Putin is not defeated (in the sense of utterly vanquished in battle), the West simply cannot survive.

The problem of the West driving things to such a light or darkness ‘all or nothing’ climax, is that it also risks being ‘nothing’.  For clearly, there can be allowed no talking with ‘evil’ demonic forces: No political dialogue therefore.  All or nothing.

Then, derived from the casting of this confrontation in such binary good/evil terms is the obvious corollary that the rest of the world must be subjected to a Grand Inquisitorial mechanism to uncover, and then force, heretics to recant any lapse in their support for Ukraine versus Russia, or face the stake.  Inquisitors are spreading around the globe: Euro-recalcitrants are first (the Orbàns); Pakistan, India, Turkey, Gulf States, etc., etc. follow. 

Only again, it isn’t working.  The non-West scents in the air a weakening empire that is faltering; flailing-about, like Hercules descending armed with his sword into Hades (the underworld) to fetch out the three-headed dog Cerberus, one of whose heads spreads human fear about what lays waiting for us, around the next corner.  (Fear indeed is rising.)

And this is what is driving that fear behind ‘all or nothing’: The radical shift presaged by Russia’s insistence on receiving payment in roubles (for now, only in respect of gas supplies), and by an already resurgent rouble, now linked to gold and commodities.

By playing both sides of the equation: i.e. linking the rouble to gold, and then linking energy payments to the rouble, the Bank of Russia and the Kremlin are fundamentally altering the entire working assumptions of the global trade system (i.e. by replacing evanescent dollar trading, by solid commodity-backed, currency trading), whilst at the same time triggering a shift to the role of gold back as a bulwark underpinning the monetary system. 

If a majority in the international trading system begins accepting roubles for commodity supply, this could propel what Wall Street guru, Zoltan Pozsar, foresees being the death of the petro-dollar and the rise of Bretton Woods III (i.e. a new world monetary order).

The World is watching intently.  They can see the landscape shifting.  When the collective West seized all the foreign exchange reserves of the Central Bank of Russia, the latter decreed that Russian sovereign reserve holdings in Euros, dollars, and US Treasuries were no longer ‘money good’.  They were valueless as ‘money’ with which to pay debts to foreign creditors.  

The message was plain enough: If even a prominent G20 state can have its reserves cancelled at a flick of the switch, then for those who still hold ‘reserves’ in New York, take them elsewhere (whilst the going is good)! For tomorrow’s trading currencies will be commodity-backed, and not in constant dollars.

Of course, of those watching another aspect (market oil prices) most closely will be China (with its huge gold reserves), and the large crude producers who will perceive that Russia’s actions – if they stick – could lead to Russia not only wresting gold price determination away from LBMA and COMEX (bullion exchanges) but who knows, in combination with other producers, a wresting of oil price determination away from US commodity exchanges too?

In a very real sense, the West senses existential danger. We are not talking just de-dollarisation, but something more fundamental. The western financial system consists of an inverted pyramid of highly-leveraged paper money ‘instruments’ (many known as derivatives), resting on the tiniest bottom, apex-base of the inverted pyramid.  This is termed ‘inside money’.  

It is of magnitudes greater than its collateral undergirdings at its base — sometimes called ‘outside money’. Outside money represents something real: oil, gas, energy, food, metals, etcetera. Collateral that is real.

Take the outside money away from the base of the upturned pyramid … and (potentially), crash.

Well, this is what is happening. Putin is whisking Russian gas away from under the pyramid by insisting that the entire payment process, and collateral value, stays within the rouble sphere. And, if many other states follow suit, and extend it to more commodities … Crash.

The irony is that the West brought this on themselves. Putin didn’t do it. They did it. They did it when the Russo-phobic Washington ‘hawks’ stupidly picked a fight with the one country – Russiam – that has the commodities needed to run the world, and to trigger the shift to a different monetary system — an alternative system, anchored in something other than fiat money, backed by nothing but the Federal Reserve’s ability to print dollars ad infinitum. 

And then they destroyed the ‘full faith and promise’ of the US Treasury to commit to contractual payment – by stealing the Russian reserves. 

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Fabricating Putin Quotes, Banning Paraplegic Athletes to Undermine Russia: How Low Can the West Go?

April 10, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Rick Sterling 

There has been massive and widespread publicity about Ukraine. It is a simple Hollywood script:  Ukraine is the angel, Russia is the devil, Zelensky is the hero and all good people will wear blue and yellow ribbons. 

Fabricating Putin Quotes and Banning Paraplegic Athletes to Undermine Russia: How Low Can the West Go?

Mobilizing a population to vilify and hate a targeted enemy is a tactic that leaders have used since before the dawn of human history, and it is being used to demonize Russia and Vladimir Putin in the current conflict. If we want to join the march to war, we can join the hate fest.  But if we want a more objective and honest assessment of events, we must rely upon facts that our government and its cheer-leading mainstream media are not anxious for us to view. 

In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, all things Russian are being punished. Russian athletes, including paraplegics, are barred from international sports competitions. Century-old Russian writers and musicians such as Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky are being removed from bookshelves and concerts. Even Russian bred cats are not exempt. 

If such actions are justified, why was there no such banning of US athletes, musicians, or writers after the US invasion of Iraq?  Moreover, why are so few people outraged by the bombing and killing of 370,000 Yemeni people?  Why are so few people outraged as thousands of Afghans starve because the United States is seizing Afghanistan’s national assets which were in western banks?   

Why Ukraine?

There has been massive and widespread publicity about Ukraine. It is a simple Hollywood script:  Ukraine is the angel, Russia is the devil, Zelensky is the hero and all good people will wear blue and yellow ribbons. 

Maintaining this image requires propaganda to promote it, and censorship to prevent challengers from debunking it. 

This has required trashing some long-held western traditions. By banning all Russian athletes from international competition, the International Olympic Committee and different athletic federations have violated the Olympic Charter which prohibits discrimination on the basis of nationality. 

Censorship

The West prides itself on free speech yet censorship of alternative viewpoints is now widespread in Europe and North America. Russia Today and other Russian media outlets are being blocked on the internet as well as cable TV. Ironically, numerous programs on RT were hosted by Americans, for example, journalist Chris Hedges and comedian Lee Camp. The US is silencing its own citizens.  

Censorship or shadow banning is widespread on social media. On April 6, one of the best informed military analysts, Scott Ritter @realScottRitter, was suspended from Twitter. Why?  Because he suggested that the victims of Bucha may have been murdered not by Russians, but rather by Ukrainian ultra-nationalists and the US and UK may also be culpable. 

The 2015 Netflix documentary titled “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom” deals with the Maidan (Kiev central square) uprising of 2013-2014.  It ignores the most essential elements of the events: the management provided by the US and the muscle provided by ultra-nationalists of the Right Sector and Azov Battalion. The attacks and killing of Ukrainian police are whitewashed away.  

By contrast, the 2016 documentary “Ukraine on Fire” provides the background and essential elements of the conflict.  It is not available on Netflix and was banned from distribution on YouTube for some time. 

Most people in the West are unaware of the US involvement in the 2014 Kiev coup, subsequent US funding and training of ultra-nationalist and Neo Nazi battalions, and the eight-year war in eastern Ukraine resulting in fourteen thousand deaths. 

Sensational Accusations 

Backed by US and UK intelligence agencies, Ukraine knows the importance of the information war. They make sensational accusations that receive uncritical media coverage. When the truth eventually comes out, it is ignored or buried on the back pages. Here are a few examples: 

– In 2014, eleven civilians were killed in eastern Ukraine when an apartment was hit in rebel-held territory.  Ukraine tried to blame Russia even though no bombs were coming from Russia and the population is ethnically Russian. 

– At the beginning of the current conflict, Ukrainian President Zelensky claimed that soldiers on Snake Island died heroically rather than surrender. Actually, all the soldiers surrendered. 

– Ukraine and western media claim a maternity hospital in Mariupol was bombed by Russia. Evidence shows the hospital was taken over by Ukrainian military forces on March 7, two days before the bombing on March 9.  

– The latest sensational accusations are regarding dead civilians in Bucha, north of Kiev. Again, there is much contrary evidence. The Russian soldiers left Bucha on March 31, the mayor of Bucha announced the town liberated with no mention of atrocities on March 31, the Azov battalion entered Bucha on April 1, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry published a video of  “Russian” atrocities on April 3. 

In most cases, western media does not probe the accusations or use simple logic to ask if they make sense.  However in the case of Bucha story, the NY Times had to acknowledge they were “unable to independently verify the assertions by Ukraine’s Defense Ministry.” 

Self Censorship 

In addition to actual censorship, there is widespread self-censorship. Instead of reading what the Russians are saying, western political “analysts” engage in outlandish amateur psychology and speculation. With no factual basis, they speculate about what Putin wants and his mental state. 

This is convenient if one does not want to deal with real issues and arguments. 

Most western analysts and journalists are afraid or unwilling to read or listen to what the Russian leaders say. That is unfortunate because those speeches are more clear and direct than those from western politicians who rely on public relations, spin, and platitudes.   

Fabricating quotes 

Ignorance of Russian foreign policy is such that Truthout online magazine recently published an article that contains a sensational but completely invented quote from Putin. It says,

Putin here is clear enough: “Ukraine has no national rights that Russians are bound to respect. Prepare for reunification, reabsorption, or some other euphemism for subaltern status with Mother Russia.”

Putin said no such thing and any moderately knowledgeable person would recognize this to be fake. 

When I emailed the co-author, Carl Davidson, asking where the quotation came from, he admitted inventing it. This is significant because the statement goes to the core of what the conflict is about. Is Russia trying to absorb all of Ukraine? Do they intend to occupy Ukraine?  Anyone who reads the speeches of Putin and Lavrov, such as here and here and here, knows they do not. Davidson’s fabricated quote suggests he has not read the speeches himself.

Ukraine in the Global Context 

The article with the made-up quote contends that “Putin is part of a global right-wing authoritarian movement that seeks to ‘overthrow’ the 20th Century.”  This analysis is close to that of the US Democratic Party, which sees the major global division being between “authoritarianism” vs “democracy”.   

It is highly US-centered and partisan, with Putin somehow lumped with Trump. It is also self-serving, with US Democrats as the embodiment of “democracy”.  It is completely contrary to a class analysis. 

This faulty analysis has major contradictions. It is well known that Biden is unpopular. Biden’s latest approval rating is under 42%. It is less well known in the West that Putin is popular in Russia. Since the intervention in Ukraine his approval rating has increased to over 80%.  

Also largely unknown in the West, most of the world does NOT support the Western analysis of the Ukraine conflict.  Countries representing 59% of the global population abstained or voted against the condemnation of Russia at the UN General Assembly. These countries tend to see US exceptionalism and economic-military domination as a key problem. They do not think it helpful to demonize Russia and they urge negotiations and a quick resolution to the Ukraine war.  

Cuba said, “History will hold the United States accountable for the consequences of an increasingly offensive military doctrine beyond NATO’s borders which threatens international peace, security and stability…. Russia has the right to defend itself.” 

South African President Ramaphosa blamed NATO saying, “The war could have been avoided if NATO had heeded warnings from amongst its own leaders and officials over the years that its eastward expansion would lead to greater, not less, instability in the region.”

The Chinese representative said, “The final settlement of the Ukraine crisis requires abandoning the Cold War mentality, abandoning the logic of ensuring one’s own security at the expense of others’ security, and abandoning the approach of seeking regional security by expanding military blocs.” 

Many western anti-war movements are critical of Russia’s invasion. Others, such as the US Peace Council, see the US and NATO as largely responsible. However they all see the necessity of pressing to stop the war before it gets worse.  

In contrast, the western military-industrial-media complex is fueling the war with propaganda, censorship, banning, demonization and more weapons. It appears they do not want a resolution to the conflict. Just as they supported NATO pushing up against Russia, knowing that it risked provoking Russia to the point of retaliation, they seem to be pushing for a protracted bloody conflict in Ukraine, knowing that it risks global conflagration.  Yet they persist, while crying crocodile tears.  

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Day 35 of the Russian SMO in the Ukraine – a “naysayers special”!

March 31, 2022

How many of you remember the endless stream of warnings that “Putin works for Schwab” or “Putin is in bed with Netanyahu”, he will “sell out the Donbass” and he is “bluffing” about sanctions.

Then came the ultimatum.  They dismissed it.

Then came the Special Military Operation (SMO).  They dismissed it.

Then came the news that Russia would sell gas to hostile states only in Rubles.  They dismissed it.

See, for them, there are only two options:

  1. Putin is a Davos/Bilderberger/CFR/WEF/etc. agent
  2. Putin is bluffing

So let me ask you all: with a eight year track of being wrong, every time, why would you listen to these clowns?

I mean, seriously, not only are they wrong, but they are using all the talking points of US PSYOPs.  Some do that in the name of freedom, democracy, and their love for the pure and Nazi-free Ukraine they support so much, others do that in the name of Holy Russia and their desire to overthrow Putin to replace him with… … somebody better.

Having spent YEARS debunking their nonsense, I now wonder, with Putin saying this:

Will they finally admit that they were wrong?

NOPE!

Why not?  Because for them ANY victory, even just a perceived victory, for Russia is not a victory for Russia, but a victory for that “evil Putin” which they hate with all their hearts.  Besides, they much rather have bona fide Nazis prevail than Russia.  For the Empire of Lies, Nazis are SOBs, but they are “our SOBs”.  Nothing new here.

Russia beat the initial economic sanctions in exactly the time frame predicted by Putin.  But the naysayers chose to either deny or dismiss this.

Now the Ruble is back on its pre Feb 24th position, but they won’t consider that as relevant.

Then there are those who still believe that the Nazis are winning.  On all fronts.  Well, here is today map and you decide for yourself who is winning and who is losing:

Especially for the alternatively gifted, here is a breakdown of what is going on according to Scott Ritter:

1/ Big Arrow War—a primer. For all those scratching their heads in confusion, or dusting off their dress uniforms for the Ukrainian victory parade in Kiev, over the news about Russia’s “strategic shift”, you might want to re-familiarize yourself with basic military concepts.

2/ Maneuver warfare is a good place to start. Understand Russia started its “special military operation” with a severe manpower deficit—200,000 attackers to some 600,000 defenders (or more). Classic attritional conflict was never an option. Russian victory required maneuver.

3/ Maneuver war is more psychological than physical and focuses more on the operational than on the tactical level. Maneuver is relational movement—how you deploy and move your forces in relation to your opponent. Russian maneuver in the first phase of its operation support this.

4/ The Russians needed to shape the battlefield to their advantage. In order to do this, they needed to control how Ukraine employed it’s numerically superior forces, while distributing their own smaller combat power to best accomplish this objective.

5/ Strategically, to facilitate the ability to maneuver between the southern, central, and northern fronts, Russia needed to secure a land bridge between Crimea and Russia. The seizure of the coastal city of Mariupol was critical to this effort. Russia has accomplished this task.

6/ While this complex operation unfolded, Russia needed to keep Ukraine from maneuvering its numerically superior forces in a manner that disrupted the Mariupol operation. This entailed the use of several strategic supporting operations—feints, fixing operations, and deep attack.

7/ The concept of a feint is simple—a military force either is seen as preparing to attack a given location, or actually conducts an attack, for the purpose of deceiving an opponent into committing resources in response to the perceived or actual actions.

8/ The use of the feint played a major role in Desert Storm, where Marine Amphibious forces threatened the Kuwaiti coast, forcing Iraq to defend against an attack that never came, and where the 1st Cavalry Division actually attacked Wadi Al Batin to pin down the Republican Guard.

9/ The Russians made extensive use of the feint in Ukraine, with Amphibious forces off Odessa freezing Ukrainian forces there, and a major feint attack toward Kiev compelling Ukraine to reinforce their forces there. Ukraine was never able to reinforce their forces in the east.

10/ Fixing operations were also critical. Ukraine had assembled some 60,000-100,000 troops in the east, opposite Donbas. Russia carried out a broad fixing attack designed to keep these forces fully engaged and unable to maneuver in respect to other Russian operations.

11/ During Desert Storm, two Marine Divisions were ordered to carry out similar fixing attacks against Iraqi forces deployed along the Kuwaiti-Saudi border, tying down significant numbers of men and material that could not be used to counter the main US attack out west.

12/ The Russian fixing attack pinned the main Ukrainian concentration of forces in the east, and drove them away from Mariupol, which was invested and reduced. Supporting operations out of Crimea against Kherson expanded the Russian land bridge. This phase is now complete.

13/ Russia also engaged in a campaign of strategic deep attack designed to disrupt and destroy Ukrainian logistics, command & control, and air power and long-range fire support. Ukraine is running out of fuel and ammo, cannot coordinate maneuver, and has no meaningful Air Force.

14/ Russia is redeploying some of its premier units from where they had been engaged in feint operations in northern Kiev to where they can support the next phase of the operation, namely the liberation of the Donbas and the destruction of the main Ukrainian force in the east.

15/ This is classic maneuver warfare. Russia will now hold Ukraine in the north and south while its main forces, reinforced by the northern units, Marines, and forces freed up by the capture of Mariupol, seek to envelope and destroy 60,000 Ukrainian forces in the east.

16/ This is Big Arrow War at its finest, something Americans used to know but forgot in the deserts and mountains of Afghanistan and Iraq. It also explains how 200,000 Russians have been able to defeat 600,000 Ukrainians. Thus ends the primer on maneuver warfare, Russian style.

Now none of that is very advanced or exotic.  And if a US Marine (!) can understand that, so can anybody else with a basic educated and common sense.  Unless, of course, you have an ideological agenda which prevents you from accepting reality.

I might drop by later again, this is definitely a day full of events.

Andrei

PS: and, yes, the Russians will still continue to negotiate and talk with everybody.  Get used to it!

Putin sets ruble-for-gas payment deadline

March 31, 2022

Video here

Ramzan Kadyrov speaking about the negotiations with Ukraine

March 30, 2022

Please make sure to press the “cc” button to see the English captions!

and, just in case the Ministry of Truth decides to block that video on YouTube (they did so with the original one, calling it “hate speech” which makes me conclude that Nazis are now a protected minority, but whatever), here is the BitChute version:

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/qtzAYx5jsTBO

%d bloggers like this: