More Gonzalo Lira: No More Lies, No More BS

May 21, 2022

And this is the real issue:

And a little real history and situation today, that would be fine to discuss at a barbecue and probably not at a formal summit.

WHY Sanctions have FAILED against RUSSIA – Inside Russia Report

May 21, 2022

A lovely conversation detailing how the ordinary Russian adapted to sanctions.

Obama’s Infowar Czar Admitted That The Global South Supports Russia’s Special Operation

21 MAY 2022

Source

By Andrew Korybko

The Global South has been victimized by the US-led West for centuries, which is why its people instinctively distrust whatever their talking heads say and are thus much more trusting of the Russian interpretation of events by default.

Time Magazine published a surprising article by Richard Stengel, who previously served as Obama’s Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs from 2014-2016, which can casually be referred to as the US’ infowar czar. Titled “Putin May Be Winning the Information War Outside of the U.S. and Europe”, this former diplomat raised the alarm that the US-led West’s information warfare campaign about Russia’s ongoing special military operation in Ukraine isn’t winning hearts and minds across the Global South like it was expected to do. To the contrary, the majority of humanity supports Moscow’s military-strategic goals.

The US’ former infowar czar doesn’t attribute responsibility for this to the West’s manipulative perception management campaign about Russia that incorporates a mix of facts, fake news, and wishful thinking but instead ridiculously blames what he describes as those countries’ so-called “unfree internet”. According to Stengel, governments like India’s and Turkey’s censor the media by only airing Russia’s interpretation of events while completely ignoring Ukrainian President Zelensky’s. He doesn’t mention, however, that one of CNN’s US intel sources admitted that every one of his public appearances is literally an “information operation”, or in other words, pure propaganda.

Moving along, Stengel then rants about what he considers to be Russia’s “top-down, clumsy, and slow” messaging to international audiences, totally ignoring that it’s this exact same style of messaging that he criticized that the Global South is so receptive to. He also ironically tried to discredit Russian media’s fact-checking of US-led Western Mainstream Media’s fake news about their country but inadvertently ended up discrediting his own civilization’s such efforts against Moscow. In Stengel’s mind, Telegram is also one of the primary reasons why Russia’s messaging has been so effective across the Global South, principally because its voices can’t be censored like Facebook and Twitter censored RT and others.

Put another way, Stengel hates Telegram because it won’t do the US-led West’s political bidding by participating in their infowar against Russia by censoring that country’s voices and thus manipulating its users by depriving them of alternative sources of information that challenge his side’s claims. That’s exactly the stance that one would expect a US infowar czar to take since his side’s unipolar liberal-globalist worldview is inherently totalitarian. The Global South is well aware of this after its people have been victimized by the US-led West for centuries, which is why they instinctively distrust whatever its talking heads say and are thus much more trusting of the Russian interpretation of events by default.

The majority of humanity, not the US-led West, has always been the true cognitive battleground, whether regarding the Ukrainian Conflict or whatever else that civilization is spewing propaganda about. Its perception managers rarely realize this though since they’re so indoctrinated by their discredited fascist-supremacist ideology of “American/Western Exceptionalism” that they wrongly assume that their people are the only ones that actually matter in the world. That’s never been the case nor will it ever be, but it’s still surprising when influential figures like Stengel publicly acknowledge this since it’s a de facto admission that their infowar campaigns are systemically flawed from the get-go.

Not only are they wrongly directed towards their captive Western audience, described as such since they’re deprived of consuming Russian media due to their governments’ censorship of it, but the odds are also against them since the much more important audience across the Global South already doesn’t trust them due to their experiences over the centuries. This objectively existing and easily verifiable observation strongly suggests that the US-led West will never win the real infowar against Russia for hearts and minds across the Global South, which is why Obama’s infowar czar is panicking. Stengel knows that the war is lost but he just can’t bring himself to admit it.

Nevertheless, it’ll likely continue being waged despite the impossible odds of it ever attaining victory. That’s because it’s extremely profitable for the many who participate in it. Any attempts to curtail funding for this campaign would likely be met with false claims that it’s “unpatriotic” to give up or that those suggesting this might be so-called “Russian agents”. The anti-Russian hysteria that reverberates across the US-led Western echo chamber is so crazy right now that nobody can imagine it calming down anytime soon, if at all. For that reason, one can easily predict that it’ll continue and will thus remain the profitable slush fund for its participants that it’s always been even though it’ll never succeed in winning.

Israel Just Utterly Humiliated The Alt-Media Community

21 MAY 2022

By Andrew Korybko

Source

The artificially manufactured euphoria rush generated by believing the false report about Syria allegedly being allowed to use the S-300s was followed by a cold slap of reality after Israel once again struck the Arab Republic exactly a week later and thus discredited all those who shared this fake news.

Those in the Alt-Media Community (AMC) who shared last week’s fake news report from Israel’s Channel 13 alleging that Russia finally allowed Syria to use the S-300s to defend itself from the Jewish State’s attack last Friday were just utterly humiliated by that entity after it once again struck the Arab Republic. Sputnik cited reports stating that only two projectiles were shot down over the Syrian capital yesterday while six made impact and resulted in at least three deaths at the Damascus airport.

Anyone who believed that Syria was finally allowed to employ the S-300s now has nothing to say since it’s obvious that those systems weren’t used during the latest attack. In hindsight, the fake news report about them supposedly being activated last Friday might have been part of a clever perception management operation designed to discredit those in the AMC who gleefully picked it up and prematurely celebrated what they imagined was the end of Israel’s strikes against Syria.

To explain, nobody should ever trust any reports from Israel about the S-300s since it has blatantly ulterior motives for manipulating the public about these systems. The AMC is always skeptical of that entity’s claims, yet it inexplicably accepted its latest report as credible simply because it finally told them what they’ve been so desperately wanting to hear for years. Simply put, Israel played to their confirmation bias in order to get otherwise reputable outlets and figures to spread its fake news.

Upon them falsely preconditioning their audience into expecting that the next Israel attack will likely result in the downing of its jets, the Jewish State decisively struck Damascus airport in order to hammer a nail in the coffin of those outlets’ and figures’ credibility. It knew very well that not only were the S-300s not used last time, but that even if they were, its state-of-the-art jets could easily evade those outdated systems if Syria dared to fire them and could likely destroy them too if it really wanted to.

Few in the AMC paid attention to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov – who also doubles as the Russian Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa and is thus recognized as the Kremlin’s most authoritative diplomatic source on events in those parts of the world – when he informed the audience of the Russia-Islamic World: Kazan Summit 2022 on Thursday that his country’s deconfliction mechanism with Israel was still working at all levels.

This high-level diplomat meant to inform his prestigious Muslim guests from across the international Islamic community (Ummah) that they shouldn’t have any expectations about Russia ever allowing Syria to employ the S-300s since that would violate the terms that it agreed to with Israel in September 2015 just before the onset of Moscow’s anti-terrorist campaign in the Arab Republic. It was basically an indirect response to Channel 13’s fake news that was intended to manipulate the AMC.

The problem with the AMC, however, is that its gatekeepers at the very least always ignore “politically inconvenient” facts and at worst viciously attack those who share such by smearing them as “Zionists”, “foreign agents”, and the like in order to deter their members from listening them. Just like the Mainstream Media (MSM) manipulates its audience, so too does the AMC, except this time it ended up getting manipulated by its Zionist nemesis after inexplicably granting credence to its latest fake news.

The artificially manufactured euphoria rush generated by believing the false report about Syria allegedly being allowed to use the S-300s was followed by a cold slap of reality after Israel once again struck the Arab Republic exactly a week later and thus discredited all those who shared this fake news. Not only did they actually discredit themselves from the get-go by laundering Zionist propaganda as truth simply because it conformed to their wishful expectations, but then Israel twisted the knife by striking it again.

Yesterday’s attack proved once and for all that the S-300s were never used for the first time ever exactly a week ago otherwise it would naturally follow that they’d have been used to defend against the latest attack targeting the Damascus airport. It’s also unbelievable that they’d only down two of the eight missiles like Sputnik reported and thus only have a 25% interception rate if someone wants to pretend that they were used, not to mention that the attacking jets remained unscathed yet again.

Nevertheless, now that many previously reputable outlets and individuals sacrificed their integrity by laundering Zionist propaganda over the past week, many might be influenced by their egos into sticking to the script and churning out literal conspiracy theories to explain the latest attack. This will likely include the overused “5D chess” conspiracy theory claiming that “everything is part of the plan” that they insist President Putin has for one day “nuking Israel” or whatever, which many in the AMC believe.

Other conspiracy theories might claim that Syria possibly downed the attacking jets and/or intercepted more than just 25% of the incoming missiles. In any case, whatever those outlets and individuals who laundered last week’s Zionist propaganda claim about the latest attack, it shouldn’t be believed by anyone since they already lied and might now simply be trying to “save face” after Israel utterly humiliated them.

The lessons to be learned from this incident are several. First, the AMC is practically no different from the MSM when it comes to manipulating their audience. Second, the only real difference between those two is the side that they support: the AMC backs the non-West while the MSM supports the US. Third, both employ fake news to manipulate their audiences. Fourth, they never take responsibility for lying. And fifth, this will never stop since both have vested interests in upholding their false narratives.

Blinken Plays With Fire With Morocco and Algeria. Can Trump Stop This Crazy Arms Race and Prelude to War Though?

May 17, 2022

By Martin Jay

Source

The more the West pours money into the Ukraine, the more the UN and its member states have to bang on this drum which is really the worst setback Morocco could imagine over the incendiary subject of Western Sahara.

Lavrov’s visit to Algiers to shore up support for Ukraine war has shown how ineffective and dangerous Blinken’s moves are in the region. Some might argue he is making an already dangerous situation between Morocco and Algeria worse.

Is the Biden administration looking to start a war between Algeria and Morocco? At first glance, this may seem a little far-fetched as a scenario but it’s a valid enough question when you study the movements and statements of its diplo supremo Anthony Blinken. Just recently, the secretary of state jetted into Morocco for a few hours to pay his respects to the kingdom’s dapper foreign minister, before swiftly leaving to visit Algeria, Morocco’s arch enemy based on the latter’s support for the Polisario movement in the disputed Western Sahara. Leading up to the final days of Trump’s period in the White House, the former president signed a decree officially acknowledging (by America) Morocco’s claim that the disputed territory is a legitimate sovereign part of the kingdom. Until that point, relations between Algeria and Morocco were icy, but cooperative.

Biden has always opposed this move by Trump but is limited in what he can do to turn it around. On the one hand, Morocco has always traditionally had good relations with Washington and he doesn’t want to be the first president to jeopardise that; on the other though, his own political views are at odds with the idea of a country colonising another one regardless of the circumstances and is aligned to what many in the United Nations would prefer: some sort of democratic diligence to decide the outcome, probably a referendum.

In the summer of 2021, eight months after Biden took office, the Algerians decided that the situation needed a radical rethink, confident that a dithering Biden wasn’t going to overturn the Trump decision, neither on paper nor in gesture. The Algerians cut off one of its two gas pipelines which crossed Morocco territory before it reaches Spain causing mayhem as this pipeline effectively allowed Madrid to sell on to Morocco natural gas.

Six months later, the worst possible thing for Rabat, which was hoping to exploit the Trump decision, happened. The Ukraine war began, which for Morocco, was not good news as, quite apart from wheat imports being affected, it shifted backwards a more modern idea beginning to emerge that the Rabat elite had about occupied countries around the world. The Moroccan upper classes were beginning to think that the world was getting used to them – East Timor, Taiwan, West Bank and Gaza, Kashmir, Transnistria, Northern Cyprus – and that with the help of the U.S., the Western Sahara would slowly but surely metamorphosise into Moroccan Sahara. Perhaps it would take a generation. But it was a wait worth waiting for, the mindset in Rabat believed. Occupations hadn’t become cool as such; more that people are becoming dumber, media sloppier and the UN sensationally ineffective – an organisation most associate with sex scandals and corruption rather than being an international arbiter of disputes which it once was during the reign of Morocco’s Hassan II (who made the decision to incorporate Western Sahara into Morocco proper in 1975 when it was abandoned by its former colonial power Spain).

But the Ukraine invasion by Russia has sparked a new impetus in the UN, breathing new life into the once somnolent ‘no colonisation’ mantra. And the more the West pours money into the Ukraine in a blatant attempt to topple Putin, the more the UN and its member states have to bang on this drum which is really the worst setback Morocco could imagine over the incendiary subject of Western Sahara, or Moroccan Sahara if you like.

Biden can’t save the situation, that’s clear. But to some, it may seem that he is actually making matters worse. He wants to keep good relations with Rabat (he may even think that the king can fund his next presidential bid in 2024) but he desperately needs to find both a solution to the Trump problem and to get Algerians on board with the delusional idea that America can crack the hegemony whip and Algeria will stand to attention and show some respect. The visit at the end of March to Algiers was a clear example of how deluded the Biden administration is in this part of world and how its own meddling threatens to take the crisis between Algeria and Morocco to a new level. The visit was hilariously mistimed and misjudged in that Blinken actually believed that with an endearing speech he could actually just win over the Algerians, who would presumably just throw their relationship with Russia in the bin, give Europe more natural gas and basically stop backing the Polisario militants in Western Sahara.

If none of this were to happen but just merely a silence would follow, perhaps Biden could have salvaged some political gravitas out of it. But in the event, it had the opposite effect. The Algerians merely cranked up their relations with Russia to the next level and within merely 48 hours, there were even reports circulating on social media that Moscow would help Algeria’s support for the Polisario. The preposterous suggestion by Blinken triggered a response by the Algerians who immediately contacted Moscow and – presumably – invited Sergei Lavrov to come to Algiers on 10th May, calling for more investment from Russian companies and talking up the 3bn dollars of trade between the two countries. They also reduced their gas sent to Spain in their second pipeline by 25% as an act of solidarity with Russia, presumably.

This reaction by Moscow and Algiers puts Morocco in a very difficult position as it realises that Biden’s people do not have the diplomatic skills to find a compromise which puts the Western Sahara dossier in a place where Rabat is happy, finds a solution to cooling tensions and getting a sensible energy deal from Algeria for both Europe and Morocco. None of the above, Anthony but thanks for trying. Whether Morocco’s foreign minister Nasser Bourita likes to admit it or not, he, like most of Rabat and the Palace are all standing in line with the Gulf Arab states, waiting for 2024 when Trump comes back for the great reset. Everything that the blithering Blinken touches seems to turn toxic blinding everyone near to him. He is arguably the most dangerous man in U.S. politics who belongs to a different period in time when the U.S. really was the sole superpower and could wield such power around the world. Pity the Moroccans who are charmed by his diplomatic endearments and refinements. They will soon learn that strong words often don’t come from a strong stomach.

Michael Hudson: Interview with RT – Transcript

May 21, 2022

Source

Michael Hudson’s interview with RT – May 19 2022.

Peter Scott, RT anchor: Joining us now is Michael Hudson, economist and author of “Super-Imperialism” and the recently-published “Destiny of Civilization”. Welcome to the programme, Michael.

Michael Hudson: It’s good to be back.

PS: Let’s say all these European programmes like the REPOWER Programme come into effect, how do you expect the EU standing to be on the stage after that?

MH: Well, the EU standing will be squeezed economically. It was trying to be a powerhouse in the world economy but in the last month the euro has been declining steadily against the dollar and it’s on the way to one dollar per euro. That’s because it’s having to pay much foreign exchange for energy, for food, for weapons. It’s shrinking in terms of other economies.

PS: Where do you think the EU’s standing will be in relation to powerhouses such as China?

MH: Well, it’s obviously out of the game. Instead of putting its own interests first, it’s really putting the US interests first. It’s acting more like a satellite of the United States than trying to its own destiny. The whole plan of the EU 20 years ago was to get rich by investing in Russia, investing in China and a mutual exchange. And now it’s decided to stop that. The US has absorbed Europe. The war in Ukraine is a war by the US primarily to pull Europe into the US orbit, prevent European transactions with Russia or China. So Western Europe is being left out, while Russia, China and Eurasia are going with the rest of Asia. Europe is simply going to be left behind. It’s losing its export markets, it’s being squeezed and -as you just mentioned- it’s pushed up the retirement age because it’s spending its budget on replenishing American military arms instead of investing in industry as it had been doing since 1945.

PS: You did indeed write that Europe has ceased to be an independent state. You’ve almost mentioned that the United States wanted to sever EU trade ties with Russia and China. How exactly did you get to that conclusion and do you think that this alleged US plan is succeeding?

MH: Well, I simply read the speeches of President Biden and his team. They’ve said that China is America’s number one enemy. If you’re going to call a country your number one existential enemy, you’re not going to be increasing your trade and mutual dependency with it. And it’s already insisted that its allies sanction -meaning boycott- Russian sports not only of oil and agriculture but of titanium, helium and all of the other exports that Russia has been making.Europe jas been following US directions not to have contact with Russia and without contact with Russia it’s not going to have contact with China because China sees that Europe is going to do exactly what it’s been doing to Russia.

PS: Obviously as a result of this current situation, for many years now, Russia and China have been growing closer diplomatically and economically. How do you see a global shift in power evolving over the next 5, 10 years or so?

MH: The current war is dividing the world into two parts. There’s going to be a US dollar area of the US, Europe and its satellites. And there’ll be a multipolarity; there’ll be a group of Russia, China together and basically they will be making their proposal of a different way of organising the world economic affairs to Africa, Latin America and other Asian countries. And other Asian countries, Latin America and the global south will see that it can get a better deal with Russia and China than it can get with the United States.

PS: On the flip side of that coin, one could argue that the existing situation, world order, has only been cemented by this war. You see NATO more aligned than ever, you see Europe more aligned than ever. You see Finland and Sweden on the brink, perhaps, of joining NATO. What would your response to this be, Michael?

MH: This integration of Europe into the United States sphere is like the new Berlin Wall. It’s isolated the US from the whole rest of the world. So instead of a victory for the United States it’s self-isolated itself because US strategists have realised that they’re losing the economic war with China, Russia and the whole group of emerging nations. All they can try to do is hold on to Europe as their one source of income to exploit from Europe what it can no longer get from any other country.

PS: As well as being a war on the ground, this is obviously an economic war. You yourself have noted that Nord Stream 2 (the gas pipeline from Russia to Germany) was one of the first victims of this crisis. To what extent are we now seeing an international conflict for energy resources? We obviously have the EU now weaning itself off Russian energy, the US trying to fill that gap to a certain extent with LNG. Then we have Russia now selling oil to India and China.

MH: The important thing about Russian oil being sold to India is that they’re sold in roubles, they’re no longer in dollars. The entire oil trade is now de-dollarised. It will be in roubles, in Chinese Yuan and in other currencies. But the dollar will be left out. The whole idea of dollar diplomacy, of the dollar’s free ride and monetary imperialism has ended.Everyone thought it would take 10 years for Russia, China and other countries to break away. Yet the United States itself has broken away from the other countries by grabbing the foreign exchange reserves of Afghanistan, Venezuela and now Russia. Nobody is going to trust to transact oil, trade and invest in dollars anymore because the United States can simply grab whatever money they want from countries that don’t agree to turn over their economic surplus to American investors and American traders. The United States has isolated itself. It’s shot itself in the foot.

PS: Talking of currencies, Russia is currently the most sanctioned country in the world but the rouble has recovered to way before pre-war levels. To what extent do you think the sanctions imposed on Russia by western countries have negatively impacted the countries imposing them?

MH: It’s certainly been very positive for Russia. The first sanctions were imposed on Russian agriculture like cheese from Lithuania. So now Russia produces its own cheese. When you sanction a country, you force that country to be more self-reliant on its own productions. President Putin has already said that now he’s going to be investing in import substitution. If he can’t buy imports from the United States now he’ll set up factories in Russia to produce themselves. There’s no reason Russia cannot do this and be its own industrial power. It doesn’t need the West. But the West still needs Russia. You mentioned Europe doing without Russian oil, and instead getting US liquefied natural gas. But it doesn’t have the ports to import that natural gas. It will have to spend $5 billion to build ports. It will take many years for this. What are Germany and Europe going to do for the next few years? Are they going to let their pipes freeze in their houses? So that their pipes break and flood the houses? Will the factories slow down? Already German fertiliser companies have closed down because they can’t get gas and it’s going to be years before they can get gas. Without fertiliser how are the Germans going to make their agricultural yields sustainable? Well, they won’t be. So Europe is going to increase its food deficit. It’s going to increase its energy deficit. It’s basically committing suicide on behalf of the Americans. I don’t know how long the political system of Europe can go along with leaders who represent America instead of their own national interests.

PS: As inflation and consumer prices keep rising in the US – Joe Biden maintains that it’s all Russia’s fault. Does it look like American taxpayers are buying that story, though?

MH: The press is very one-sided here. I think a lot of people are buying the story because Russia has not been very good on public relations here. The reality is, for instance, that in Ukrainian food exports, Ukraine cannot export its grain because Ukraine itself has mined the Black Sea. If you have mines that are going to block up ships in the Black Sea, that means insurance companies aren’t going to be willing to insure ships carrying the grain. All of this is blamed on Russia but Russia didn’t put the mines there – Ukraine did. But right now there is such a race hatred of Russians, that Americans are indeed buying it all and Russians are being blamed for everything. Such a thing happened when WW1 broke out. I live in Forest Hills in NYC and German families here had to change their name -away from a German name- and pretend to be Swedish or something else. Families like Donald Trump’s family had to pretend to be Swedish not German. There was such an anti-German family. Then you had the Japanese being interned in camps in WW2.So American society is a hate-filled society and the American empire is really an empire of hatred and antagonism. The way they look at the world is ‘Us vs. Them’ and Russia is the new ‘Them’.

PS: The seizing of Russian economic assets – hundreds of billions of dollars – in the West has certainly become a controversial precedent. Moscow has called it theft. What sort of impact has this situation had on the US economy and the dollar itself, as a global reserve currency?

MH: No impact at all on the US economy as such. If Russia loses the $300 billion that was stolen, it will be a great victory for Russia. That’s because what America has said is that no country’s savings in the United States are safe. Any country that denominated its trade in US dollars, any country that invests in the United States, if you don’t have your government follow American dictates, then we can simply grab your money -like we grabbed Russia’s money, Afghanistan’s money, Venezuela’s money. So the act against Russia has been essentially the US destroying foreign faith in the US economy and the safety of the US government. For the last 75 years, the US dollar and US Treasury Bills, loaned to the US government, bonds, have been the safest investment in the world. Now they’re the most risk investment. So what this means is that the American economy has decoupled itself from the Asian economy, from the Latin American and African economies. The Americans have decoupled and yet America is not self-sufficient. It relies on foreign countries, especially China and other Asian countries, for its industrial exports and it relies on Russia for much of its helium, titanium, iridium, palladium… all of these exports which it’s not going to be getting anymore. So America has basically committed trade suicide and economic suicide. Russia seems to have lost the $300 billion but on the other hand it now gets to compensate itself with all of the foreign investments that are in Russia, that it’s picking up, and its position in the world affairs as a trustworthy economy has gone way, way up relative to the United States.

PS: Russia, China and India are among the countries which are now calling for a new, multi-polar world order – without a strong reliance on the US and its allies. Does that seem like a realistic scenario to you?

MH: Well, the crisis is going to come this summer. Now that you have oil and food prices and shipping rates go way up, you’re going to have Latin America, Africa and much of Asia have tremendous balance-of-payment deficit. These balance-of-trade deficits for oil, food and shipping are going to go hand-in-hand with huge foreign debts denominated in dollars for foreign bond holders and foreign banks. Something is going to give. What will probably give is massive debt defaults against American bondholders and against American banks.At this point, Russia, China and their allies can say, “We can create parallel institutions in the world. We can create our International Monetary Fund to give you credit. We can create our own World Bank to promote actual, positive developments and not dependency on the United States exporters. So the US policy has driven other countries into the Eurasian orbit of China, Russia, Iran will be joining, India will be along, Indonesia. All these countries now will have something that they never had before; they have their own critical mass. They can deal with each other and be self-sufficient. They don’t need the dollar anymore. That’s what makes today different from the 1970s when the third world countries and the non-aligned nations tried to create a new international economic order but couldn’t. They didn’t have enough scope in their economies. Now they have enough scope that they don’t need America. You’re going to find the rest of the world rushing away from the dollar area, leaving only Europe as part of the United States economy at great sacrifice of its own living standards.

PS: Which countries do you think are gaining the most from the ongoing political and economic turmoil?

MH: I don’t know if you can say win. I’d say Russia and China will be the big winners. Russia already is because the American sanctions against Russia have forced Russia to do something that it could have done half a century ago. It’s forced Russia to create its own consumer goods industry, its own industrial take off. Russia can now build its own plants, equipment and factories and hire its own labour to produce what it was buying from Europe before. So it won’t need Europe anymore. Europe has lost the Russian market. Without the Russian market, I don’t see where Europe can grow because the United States won’t let European goods into it. The United States is protectionist. Europe will be squeezed and ultimately it will end up moving into the Russian and Chinese orbits but it will take years of suffering before that occurs.

PS: There’s a lot of talk on Western unity but it’s clear that there’s an economic price for this. Will the pain see countries follow Hungary and Serbia and say, enough is enough, we’re done with this.

MH: Western unity is a one way unity. Western unity is the United States telling other countries, “Do what we tell you to.” If other countries don’t do what America tells it to, they’re treated like the enemy. Like Hungary has been treated as an enemy. There’s talk of how to punish Hungary. The Americans have no idea how to offer something to attract other countries to it. All the United States can do is, “We can bomb you if you don’t do what we say. We have nothing positive to offer you. We have no trade options to offer you. We have no investment to offer you that will not siphon off your income. All we can do is bomb you and threaten you and sanction you and try to hurt you.” That’s the only way the United States and now Europe can relate to the rest of the world. That’s a poisoned relating. It’s a way guaranteed to drive the rest of the world away.

PS: Looking to a time after the war. What do you think the relationship between the US and Russia, or the EU and Russia look like?

MH: Permanently hostile for 20 years until Europe collapses and until the United States goes into a long depression. There is no rapprochement. There will be no settlement because the United States industrial economy can only make military arms. The only thing the United States can offer other countries is bombers and military arms and weaponry. Not anything to raise the living standards. The situation in the United States will be one of increasing hostility towards the rest of the world. The great threat is that it will say, “Well, we’re just going to blow up the world.”The people who are in charge of US policy think that way, they’ve been thinking that way for 20 years. I’ve worked with these people before and they really are willing to blow up the world if they can’t turn the other world into dependencies. That’s a real danger for the rest of the world and it’s forcing it to withdraw from the US orbit. I think it was Henry Kissinger who said that, “To be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but. “To be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal.” Well, the US friend who’s really in danger is Europe. The enemies are going to do OK because they’re at least friends with each other.

—o0o—

Also take a look at more information that Michael Hudson supplied to us.  It is not on the main page and can only be found via the All News Button.

Russia Rewrites the Art of Hybrid War

May 20, 2022

Hybrid War is being fought predominantly in the economic/financial battleground – and the pain dial for the collective West will only go up.

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

The ironclad fictional “narrative” imposed all across NATOstan is that Ukraine is “winning”.

So why would weapons peddler retrofitted as Pentagon head Lloyd “Raytheon” Austin literally beg since late February to have his phone calls answered by Russian Defense Minister Shoigu, only to have his wish finally granted?

It’s now confirmed by one of my top intel sources. The call was a direct consequence of panic. The United States Government (USG) by all means wants to scotch the detailed Russian investigation – and accumulation of evidence – on the US bioweapon labs in Ukraine, as I outlined in a previous column.

This phone call happened exactly after an official Russian statement to the UN Security Council on May 13: we will use articles 5 and 6 of the Convention on the Prohibition of Bioweapons to investigate the Pentagon’s biological “experiments” in Ukraine.

That was reiterated by Under Secretary-General of the UN in charge of disarmament, Thomas Markram, even as all ambassadors of NATO member countries predictably denied the collected evidence as “Russian disinformation”.

Shoigu cold see the call coming eons away. Reuters, merely quoting the proverbial “Pentagon official”, spun that the allegedly one-hour-long call led to nothing. Nonsense. Austin, according to the Americans, demanded a “ceasefire” – which must have originated a Siberian cat smirk on Shoigu’s face.

Shoigu knows exactly which way the wind is blowing on the ground – for Ukrainian Armed Forces and UkroNazis alike. It’s not only the Azovstal debacle – and Kiev’s all-around army breakdown.

After the fall of Popasnaya – the crucial, most fortified Ukrainian stronghold in Donbass – the Russians and Donetsk/Luhansk forces have breached defenses along four different vectors to north, northwest, west and south. What’s left of the Ukrainian front is crumbling – fast, with a massive cauldron subdivided in a maze of mini-cauldrons: a military disaster the USG cannot possibly spin.

Now, in parallel, we can also expect full exposure – on overdrive – of the Pentagon bioweapons racket. The only “offer you can’t refuse” left to the USG would be to present something tangible to the Russians to avoid a full investigation.

That’s not gonna happen. Moscow is fully aware that going public with illegal work on banned biological weapons is an existential threat to the US Deep State. Especially when documents seized by the Russians show that Big Pharma – via Pfizer, Moderna, Merck and Gilead – was involved in several “experiments”. Fully exposing the whole maze, from the start, was one of Putin’s stated objectives.

More “military-technical measures”?

Three days after the UN presentation, the board of the Russian Foreign Ministry held a special session to discuss “the radically changed geopolitical realities that have developed as a result of the hybrid war against our country unleashed by the West – under the pretext of the situation in Ukraine – unprecedented in scale and ferocity, including the revival in Europe of a racist worldview in the form of cave Russophobia, an open course for the ‘abolition’ of Russia and everything Russian.”

So it’s no wonder “the aggressive revisionist course of the West requires a radical revision of Russia’s relations with unfriendly states.”

We should expect “a new edition of the Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation” coming out soon.

This new Foreign Policy Concept will elaborate on what Foreign Minister Lavrov once again stressed at a meeting honoring the 30th Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy: the US has declared an all-round Hybrid War on Russia. The only thing lacking, as it stands, is a formal declaration of war.

Beyond the disinformation fog veiling the application of Finland and Sweden – call them the Dumb and Dumber Nordics – to join NATO, what really matters is another instance of declaration of war: the prospect of missiles with nuclear warheads stationed really close to Russian borders. Moscow already warned the Finns and Swedes, politely, that this would be dealt with it via “military-technical measures”. That’s exactly what Washington – and NATO minions – were told would happen before the start of Operation Z.

And of course this goes much deeper, involving Romania and Poland as well. Bucharest already has Aegis Ashore missile launchers capable of sending Tomahawks with nuclear warheads at Russia, while Warsaw is receiving the same systems. To cut to the chase, if there’s no de-escalation, they will all eventually end up receiving Mr. Khinzal’s hypersonic business card.

NATO member Turkey, meanwhile, plays a deft game, issuing its own list of demands before even considering the Nordics’ gamble. Ankara wants no more sanctions on its purchase of S-400s and on top if be re-included in the F-35 program. It will be fascinating to watch what His Master’s Voice will come up with to seduce the Sultan. The Nordics engaged in a self-correcting “clear unequivocal stance” against the PKK and the PYD is clearly not enough for the Sultan, who relished muddying the waters even more as he stressed that buying Russian energy is a “strategic” issue for Turkey.

Counteracting financial Shock’n Awe

By now it’s evidently clear that open-ended Operation Z targets unipolar Hegemon power, the infinite expansion of vassalized NATO, and the world’s financial architecture – an intertwined combo that largely transcends the Ukraine battleground.

Serial Western sanctions package hysteria ended up triggering Russia’s so far quite successful counter-financial moves. Hybrid War is being fought predominantly in the economic/financial battleground – and the pain dial for the collective West will only go up: inflation, higher commodity prices, breakdown of supply chains, exploding cost of living, impoverishment of the middle classes, and unfortunately for great swathes of the Global South, outright poverty and starvation.

In the near future, as insider evidence surfaces, a convincing case will be made that the Russian leadership even gamed the Western financial gamble/ blatant robbery of over $300 billion in Russian reserves.

This implies that already years ago – let’s say, at least from 2016, based on analyses by Sergey Glazyev – the Kremlin knew this would inevitably happen. As trust remains a rigid foundation of a monetary system, the Russian leadership may have calculated that the Americans and their vassals, driven by blind Russophobia, would play all their cards at once when push came to shove – utterly demolishing global trust on “their” system.

Because of Russia’s infinite natural resources, the Kremlin may have factored that the nation would eventually survive the financial Shock’n Awe – and even profit from it (ruble appreciation included). The reward is just too sweet: opening the way to The Doomed Dollar – without having to ask Mr. Sarmat to present his nuclear business card.

Russia could even entertain the hypothesis of getting a mighty return on those stolen funds. A great deal of Western assets – totaling as much as $500 billion – may be nationalized if the Kremlin so chooses.

So Russia is winning not only militarily but also to a large extent geopolitically – 88% of the planet does not align with NATOstan hysteria – and of course in the economic/financial sphere.

This in fact is the key Hybrid War battleground where the collective West is being checkmated. One of the next key steps will be an expanded BRICS coordinating their dollar-bypassing strategy.

None of the above should overshadow the still to be measured interconnected repercussions of the mass surrender of Azov neo-Nazis at UkroNazistan Central in Azovstal.

The mythical Western “narrative” about freedom-fighting heroes imposed since February by NATOstan media collapsed with a single blow. Cue to the thunderous silence all over the Western infowar front, where no mutts even attempted to sing that crappy, “winning” Eurovision song.

What happened, in essence, is that the creme de la creme of NATO-trained neo-Nazis, “advised” by top Western experts, weaponized to death, entrenched in deep concrete anti-nuclear bunkers in the bowels of Azovstal, was either pulverized or forced to surrender like cornered rats.

Novorossiya as a game-changer

The Russian General Staff will be adjusting their tactics for the major follow-up in Donbass – as the best Russian analysts and war correspondents incessantly debate. They will have to face an inescapable problem: as much as the Russian methodically grind down the – disaggregated – Ukrainian Army in Donbass, a new NATO army is being trained and weaponized in western Ukraine.

So there is a real danger that depending on the ultimate long-term aims of Operation Z – which are only shared by the Russian military leadership – Moscow runs the risk of encountering, in a few months, a mobile and better weaponized incarnation of the demoralized army it is now destroying. And this is exactly what the Americans mean by “weakening” Russia.

As it stands, there are several reasons why a new Novorossiya reality may turn out to be a positive game-changer for Russia. Among them:

  1. The economic/logistics complex from Kharkov to Odessa – along Donetsk, Luhansk, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, Kherson, Nikolaev – is intimately linked with Russian industry.
  2. By controlling the Sea of Azov – already a de facto “Russian lake” – and subsequently the Black Sea, Russia will have total control of export routes for the region’s world-class grain production. Extra bonus: total exclusion of NATO.
  3. All of the above suggests a concerted drive for the development of an integrated agro-heavy industry complex – with the extra bonus of serious tourism potential.

Under this scenario, a remaining Kiev-Lviv rump Ukraine, not incorporated to Russia, and of course not rebuilt, would be at best subjected to a no-fly zone plus selected artillery/missile/drone strikes in case NATO continues to entertain funny ideas.

This would be a logical conclusion for a Special Military Operation focused on precision strikes and a deliberate emphasis on sparing civilian lives and infrastructure while methodically disabling the Ukrainian military/logistics spectrum. All of that takes time. Yet Russia may have all the time in the world, as we all keep listening to the sound of the collective West spiraling down.

Andrei Martyanov: Feeling Sitrepish on May 20

May 20, 2022

Andrei Martyanov talks about a very important issue almost buried in the other issues.  That is the Global Conflict which he describes as the west against the global community coalescing around Russia and China now. 

On the Saker Blog, Andrei Raevski called it Zone A and Zone B, we can simply call it the west against the rest.

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

So How Serious is Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Romance?

May 20, 2022

Source

By Cynthia Chung

In the history of civilization, Politics has more often than not, been a matter reduceable to the question of “whose side are you on?

Granted it is not an easy affair to discern what most-nearly approaches truth in the fog of “the present.” Hindsight is 20/20 they say, although that is also not entirely true, for the interpretation of history is just another battlefield, albeit in much slower motion.

In a world of increased division, where we are told there is only black or white, the best we mere “civilians” can hope for is to not get hit by the crossfire. However, that is becoming increasingly harder to do.

It is not a matter of holding “opinion” any longer, it is about upholding a “conviction,” not earned with your own personal scrutiny and research, but by your “faith” in such a conviction and the authorities who shape it.

Increasingly, it does not truly matter what the “facts” are, but the question of “whose side are you on?

If that is what “reality” has been reduced to by those forces controlling the state, then any enemy to those forces controlling that state will be a villain, regardless of their actions, regardless of their ideology; and any ally to those forces controlling that state will be a hero, regardless of their actions, regardless of their ideology.

And thus, in our shaped reality of today, what makes a “Hero” or a “Villain” will be determined by the simple question “whose side are you on?

If this is troubling to you, I suggest we do a little exercise together. Let us dare to discern the “facts” for ourselves. Only then, will we cease being mere cheerleaders for a team; only then, can we qualify ourselves to ask in all honest sincerity, “whose side are we truly on?”

Are Nazis Now the New “Good Guys”?

There is a bit of mixed messaging that has been going on, especially in the last few weeks. Are there significant numbers of Nazis in Ukraine and are these “bad” or “good” Nazis in the context that they are fighting the Russian “invaders”?

In one breath we hear the counter, how can there be Nazis in Ukraine when there is a Jewish President calling the shots? In another breath we hear Facebook is now allowing users to praise the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion while they are fighting Russians. In yet another breath we hear, well its complicated, Ukrainian Nationalism should be considered at the forefront of any debate, even if it overlaps with Nazi ideology.

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On Feb. 27, 2022, Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland held a scarf bearing the slogan “Slava Ukraini,” meaning “Glory to Ukraine,” with the “Blood and Soil” colors of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) (who collaborated with the Nazis during WWII and massacred thousands of Jews and Poles).

She then proceeded to post this picture onto her Twitter account (replacing it hours later with a picture of her without the “Blood and Soil” scarf) and accused her detractors of “reeking of Russian disinformation”. This controversial picture of Freeland was reported by Canada’s National Post.

According to Freeland’s press secretary, this was just another case of a “classic KGB disinformation smear… accusing Ukrainians and Ukrainian-Canadians of being far right extremists or fascists or Nazis,” which is a confusing statement on multiple levels.

It is not clear how this is a case of “Russian disinformation,” since the picture is indeed authentic, Freeland does not deny this. And she is indeed holding a “Blood and Soil” emblem, which originated with the Nazis, clear for everyone to see. Lastly, it is confusing as to why the Canadian government seems to be unaware that the KGB no longer exists. Are they also under the impression that the Soviet Union still exists?

Not irrelevant in all of this is the fact that Freeland’s grandfather was the chief editor of a Nazi newspaper during WWII in Galicia and that she is indeed aware of this and apparently unapologetic. Whenever she is questioned about this, she does not deny anything, but simply blames such a focus of inquiry on Russian disinformation with the intent to “destabilize Western democracies.” That is, it is not a question of what is one’s historical or ideological background, but a question of “whose side are you on?

Interestingly, it was the Canadian newspaper “The Globe and Mail” who reported this story, titled “Freeland knew her grandfather was editor of Nazi newspaper,” thus, not a Russian publication last time I checked. And upon whom did they base such information? None other than Freeland’s own uncle, John-Paul Himka, who is now professor emeritus at the University of Alberta.

According to the Globe and Mail, Freeland was aware for more than two decades that her grandfather Michael Chomiak, was the chief editor of a Nazi newspaper that vilified Jews and supported the Nazi cause.

Globe and Mail writes:

“Krakivski Visti [Krakow News] was set up in 1940 by the German army and supervised by German intelligence officer Emil Gassert. Its printing presses and offices were confiscated by the Germans from a Jewish publisher, who was later murdered at the Belzec concentration camp.

The article titled ‘Kravivski Visti and the Jews, 1943: A contribution of Ukrainian Jewish Relations during the Second World War’ was written by Ms. Freeland’s uncle, John-Paul Himka, now professor emeritus at the University of Alberta.

In the foreword to the article, Prof. Himka credits Ms. Freeland for ‘pointing out problems and clarifications.’ Ms. Freeland has never acknowledged that her grandfather was a Nazi collaborator and suggested on Monday that the allegation was part of a Russian disinformation campaign.

In 1996, Prof. Himka wrote about Mr. Chomiak’s work for Kravivski Visti, a Ukrainian-language newspaper based in Krakow that often published anti-Jewish diatribes including ‘certain passages in some of the articles that expressed approval of what the Nazis were doing to the Jews.’” [emphasis added]

Oddly, Freeland helped to edit and clarify Prof. Himka’s article discussing her grandfather as the chief editor of a Nazi newspaper, however, refused to acknowledge her grandfather’s role publicly and accused any reference to this as part of a “Russian disinformation campaign.” According to this topsy-turvy logic, Freeland’s uncle, Prof. Himka is part of this “Russian disinformation campaign,” and she is guilty of providing assistance to this “Russian disinformation campaign,” all to ruin her political career and “destabilize Western democracies.”

Freeland also told her uncle, Prof. Himka, which is included in his article, that according to her father, her grandfather Michael Chomiak was also working to some extent with the anti-Nazi resistance. However, Prof. Himka was unable to verify this information, which he described as “fragmentary and one-sided.”

This past April, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova delivered an explosive response to Chrystia Freeland’s recent obnoxious efforts to ban Russia from all international organizations and financial institutions, revealing the real sort of work Freeland’s grandfather was in the business of. You can read the full speech here.

Then there is the strange case of NATO tweeting in celebration of international women’s day, this past March 8, a picture of a female Ukrainian soldier wearing the Black Sun symbol which is tied to Nazi occultism, and Satanism. NATO wrote in their post “All women and girls must live free and equal,” sending a very mixed message. NATO also ended up taking down their picture of the Black Sun symbol.

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The timing of Freeland and NATO’s twitter posts are most strange. It also begs the question, why post something at all if you are just going to delete it? Is this just a matter of not being aware of such things, or is it a matter of certain groupings getting increasingly bolder and unapologetic as to where their true allegiance lies? Has Chrystia Freeland or NATO undergone any real questioning or backlash for such public displays? Not really.

Fact Checking the “Fact-Checkers” on Ukraine

Before we go through the situation of Ukraine today, I wanted to share with you a very relevant story of how the CIA buys News.

Udo Ulfkotte was a well-known German journalist and author of numerous books. He worked for 25 years as a journalist, 17 of which were for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), including his role as editor. In his 2014 book “Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys News,” Ulfkotte goes over how the CIA along with German Intelligence (BND) were guilty of bribing journalists to write articles that either spun the truth or were completely fictitious in order to promote a pro-western, pro-NATO bent, and that he was one of those bought journalists.

In an interview, Ulfkotte describes how he finally built up the nerve to publish the book, after years of it collecting dust, in response to the erupting 2014 crisis in Ukraine stating:

I felt that the right time had come to finish it and publish it, because I am deeply worried about the Ukrainian crisis and the possible devastating consequences for all of Europe and all of us…I am not at all pro-Russia, but it is clear that many journalists blindly follow and publish whatever the NATO press office provides. And this type of information and reports are completely one-sided”. [emphasis added]

In another interview Ulfkotte stated:

it is clear as daylight that the agents of various Services were in the central offices of the FAZ, the place where I worked for 17 years. The articles appeared under my name several times, but they were not my intellectual product. I was once approached by someone from German Intelligence and the CIA, who told me that I should write about Gaddafi and report how he was trying to secretly build a chemical weapons factory in Libya. I had no information on any of this, but they showed me various documents, I just had to put my name on the article. Do you think this can be called journalism? I don’t think so.

Ulfkotte has publicly stated:

I am ashamed of it. The people I worked for knew from the get-go everything I did. And the truth must come out. It’s not just about FAZ, this is the whole system that’s corrupt all the way.” [emphasis added]

Udo Ulfkotte has since passed away. He died January 2017, found dead in his home, it is said by a heart attack. His body was quickly after cremated, thus preventing any possibility of an autopsy from occurring. His book has been made pretty much impossible to find available for purchase at this point.

Today’s situation concerning media reporting on Ukraine does not seem to be any different, if anything, it is much much worse.

To bolster support for the Ukrainian military, Kiev has churned out a steady stream of sophisticated propaganda aimed at stirring public and official support from Western countries.

Ukraine’s propaganda strategy earned it praise from a NATO commander who told the Washington Post, “They are really excellent in stratcom — media, info ops, and also psy-ops.” The Post ultimately conceded that “Western officials say that while they cannot independently verify much of the information that Kyiv puts out about the evolving battlefield situation, including casualty figures for both sides, it nonetheless represents highly effective stratcom.”

Dan Cohen for Mint Press News writes:

“Key to the propaganda effort is an international legion of public relations firms working directly with Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to wage information warfare. According to the industry news site PRWeek, the initiative was launched by an anonymous figure who allegedly founded a Ukraine-based public relations firm…

According to the anonymous figure, more than 150 public relations firms have joined the propaganda blitz.

The international effort is spearheaded by public relations firm PR Network co-founder Nicky Regazzoni and Francis Ingham, a top public relations consultant with close ties to the UK’s governmentIngham previously worked for Britain’s Conservative Party, sits on the UK Government Communication Service Strategy and Evaluation Council, is Chief Executive of the International Communications Consultancy Organisation, and leads the membership body for UK local government communicators, LG Comms.”

Thus, Ingham who has been a member of the UK government and continues to have very high-level connections within the British government, is playing a leading role in shaping how the Ukraine war is being represented.

Dan Cohen provides a thorough explanation of how these “PR firms” have been responsible for reporting and spreading fabricated news and that even when such reports are found conclusively to be untrue, they continue to use them nonetheless. These PR tools include propaganda graphics, which are created in order to encourage radicalisation and promotion of ultra-nationalist identity; using xenophobic and racist language (not just to Russians), outright praise of Ukrainian neo-Nazis as heroes, the idolisation of Nazi affiliated Unit-B leader Stefan Bandera, and the encouragement of violent acts against other individuals (see Cohen’s article for examples).

Why would someone like Ingham be involved in something like this? Well, if you have already read my paper on “How the Ukrainian Nationalist Movement was Bought and Paid for by the CIA Post WWII”, you will see that this is just a continuation of a several decades-long script.

If you have ever wondered who is behind the omnipotent “fact-checkers”, in the case of StopFake who have self-described themselves as such, they are funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) aka the fully-rogue department of the CIA, the Atlantic Council, the International Renaissance Foundation (funded by Open Society Foundation’s billionaire George Soros), the British Embassy in Ukraine, the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the German Marshall Fund, among others.

StopFake was hired by Facebook in March 2020 to “curb the flow of Russian propaganda” but was found to be employing multiple figures closely tied to violent neo-Nazis. This has, however, not deterred Facebook from continuing to work with StopFake.

At the end of the day, it does not seem to matter how many times these arbiters of truth are found to be wrong, for US officials have already admitted that they are literally just lying to the public about what is going on in Ukraine.

So How Serious is Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Romance?

Interestingly, the Atlantic Council itself acknowledges it is quite serious, in an article published in 2018 titled “Ukraine’s Got a Real Problem with Far-Right Violence (And No, RT Didn’t Write This Headline).”

Josh Cohen for the Atlantic Council writes [links are from the original article]:

It sounds like the stuff of Kremlin propaganda, but it’s not. Last week Hromadske Radio revealed that Ukraine’s Ministry of Youth and Sports is funding the neo-Nazi group C14 to promote “national patriotic education projects” in the country…”

Yes, you read right, C14 along with the Azov Battalion has been training children, with encouragement and funding by the Ukrainian government via Ukraine’s Ministry of Youth and Sports under the title “national patriotic education projects”, including in terror tactics.

Josh Cohen continues [links are from the original article]:

“Since the beginning of 2018, C14 and other far-right groups such as the Azov-affiliated National Militia, Right Sector, Karpatska Sich, and others have attacked Roma groups several times, as well as anti-fascist demonstrations, city council meetings, an event hosted by Amnesty International, art exhibitionsLGBT events, and environmental activists. On March 8, violent groups launched attacks against International Women’s Day marchers in cities across Ukraine. In only a few of these cases did police do anything to prevent the attacks, and in some they even arrested peaceful demonstrators rather than the actual perpetrators.”

After the March 8 2018 attacks against International Women’s Day marchers, Amnesty International wrote “Ukraine is sinking into a chaos of uncontrolled violence posed by radical groups and their total impunity. Practically no one in the country can feel safe under these conditions.”

Josh Cohen writes:

“To be clear, far-right parties like Svoboda perform poorly in Ukraine’s polls and elections, and Ukrainians evince no desire to be ruled by them. But this argument is a bit of “red herring.” It’s not extremists’ electoral prospects that should concern Ukraine’s friends, but rather the state’s unwillingness or inability to confront violent groups and end their impunity.” [emphasis added]

However, we heard it, straight from Yevhen Karas’s mouth, the leader of Ukraine’s neo-Nazi group C14, what determines who holds power in Ukraine has never really been about polls and elections.

As the famous “f*ck the EU” tape revealed to the dumbfounded world, the Ukrainian people don’t actually have a say in who runs their government. After the so-called “Revolution of Dignity” where Ukrainians literally died for “democracy,” the US went on to “influence” the roster of the newly formed Ukrainian government, specifically around members of Svoboda and Pravyi Sector (Right Sector) who held five senior roles in the new government, including the post of deputy prime minister.

But neo-Nazis have not just been receiving western support in the political sphere.

Just this past October, as a reaction to her failed diplomatic visit to Russia, Victoria Nuland, according to French journalist Thierry Meyssan, went ahead and “imposed” Dmytro Yarosh onto President Zelensky. On Nov. 2, 2021, President Zelensky appointed Dmytro Yarosh (leader of the neo-Nazi affiliated ultra-nationalist paramilitary group Right Sector 2013-2015) as Adviser to the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

This is the very same Dmytro Yarosh who has been on Interpol’s “wanted list” since 2014.

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Neo-Nazis have also received ongoing training by the CIA, British SAS (Special Air Service) as well as other NATO countries such as Canada since at least 2014. This training has continued despite Russia’s entry into Ukraine, which has been confirmed by The TimesOttawa CitizenCTV News, and Radio Canada.

The Canadian government has attempted to deny any knowledge of training neo-Nazi militants in Ukraine and have made the claim that they are not responsible for verifying who they are in fact training, but that this is the responsibility of the Ukrainian government. However, such claims of ignorance fell through when the very neo-Nazis they were training went ahead and posted pictures on their social media accounts, showcasing their neo-Nazis badges identifying them as such, plain for everyone to see.

On the same day as the untoward NATO tweet on International Women’s Day of a Ukrainian soldier with the Nazi Black Sun occult symbol, photographs appeared on NEXTA’s twitter feed showing the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion receiving training by instructors from “NATO countries” on how to use NLAW grenade launchers.

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The badge on the sidearm is that of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion

The ultra-nationalist Right Sector have also appeared in the field with UK-made NLAW launchers.

UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told the House of Commons on March 9 that “as of today, we have delivered 3,615 NLAWs [to Ukrainian forces] and continue to deliver more. We will shortly be starting the delivery of a small consignment of anti-tank Javelin missiles as well.”

For a full list of all the weapons sent to Ukraine since 2014 by all involved countries, refer here.

For those especially adamant that neo-Nazis are not “officially” a part of the Ukrainian army, you should be informed that the Azov Battalion is part of Ukraine’s National Guard, and thus, yes it is officially part of Ukraine’s military.

Andriy Biletsky, the Azov Battalion’s first commander and later a National Corps parliamentarian previously led the neo-Nazi paramilitary organisation “Patriot of Ukraine,” and once stated in 2010 that it was the Ukrainian nation’s mission to “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade… against Semite-led Untermenschen [subhumans].”

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In 2019, the Soufan Center, which tracks terrorist and extremist groups around the world, warned:

The Azov Battalion is emerging as a critical node in the transnational right-wing violent extremist network… [Its] aggressive approach to networking serves one of the Azov Battalion’s overarching objectives, to transform areas under its control in Ukraine into the primary hub for transnational white supremacy.

The Soufan Center described how the Azov Battalion’s “aggressive networking” reaches around the world to recruit fighters and spread its white supremacist ideology. Foreign fighters who train and fight with the Azov Battalion then return to their own countries to apply what they have learned and recruit others.

In 2014, Newsweek published an article titled “Ukrainian Nationalist Volunteers Committing ‘ISIS-Style’ War Crimes.” Is this an indication of how both the Azov and ISIS have received their funding and training from the very same sources? Hmmm.

NATO has recently gone so far as to make a short film honoring the Baltic Nazi collaborators the “Forest Brothers.” The NATO film lionises the “Forest Brothers,” former Waffen SS fighters who voluntarily collaborated with the Nazis, as anti-communist heroes.

Dovid Katz, a leading historian and anti-Nazi investigator condemned the NATO film for rewriting history:

By going beyond turning a blind eye to the worship of pro-Hitler forces in Eastern Europe…[NATO] is crossing the line right into offering its moral legitimization of Nazi forces such as the Latvian Waffen SS.” [emphasis added]

David Ignatius, the Washington Post columnist and reliable voice of the US intelligence apparatus, noted that even prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, “the United States and NATO allies [were] ready to provide weapons and training for a long battle of resistance.”

This is the very same David Ignatius who was once President of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) (aka specialists in color revolutions), who arrogantly stated in a 1991 interview that “a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA…The biggest difference is that when such activities are done overtly, the flap potential is close to zero. Openness is its own protection”.

I guess the NED has had a change of heart on “openness is its own protection.”

Jeremy Kuzmarov for Covert Action Magazine writes in an article titled “National Endowment for Democracy Deletes Records of Funding Projects in Ukraine” [links from the original article]:

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED)—a CIA offshoot founded in the early 1980s to advance “democracy promotion” initiatives around the world—has deleted all records of funding projects in Ukraine from their searchable “Awarded Grants Search” database.

The archived webpage captured February 25, 2022 from 14:53 shows that NED granted $22,394,281 in the form of 334 awards to Ukraine between 2014 to the present. The capture at 23:10 the same day shows “No results found” for Ukraine. As of right now, there are still “No results found” for Ukraine…

The erasure of the NED’s records is necessary to validate the Biden administration’s big lie—echoed in the media—that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was ‘unprovoked.’” [emphasis added]

Who will suffer the most in this plan for a long battle of resistance? The Ukrainian people.

If Putin’s top reason for going into Ukraine is to “denazify” the country, and the CIA, NATO and co. are persistently “nazifying” the political and military components of Ukraine, you can see how this is making a situation for peace in Ukraine impossible, and that it is the CIA and NATO that are to blame for this.

You can also understand how Ukraine’s entry into NATO was unacceptable merely by its geographic location (the distance between Ukraine’s border and Moscow is 450 km), however, add in the fact that NATO is involved in the promotion of neo-Nazi militants in Ukraine and that now both Sweden and Finland have also expressed a desire to join NATO (with no referendum since democracy is officially dead in Cold War 2.0) and we have ourselves a real sh*t storm.

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However, this is not just a threat to Russia. The reality of the situation is that Ukraine has been in a civil war these past 8 years, though the western media refuses to acknowledge this very important fact.

Ivan Katchanovski, Professor of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa, told MintPress:

People who take at face value the Western media coverage would have a very distorted perception of the Ukraine conflict and its origin… They omit or deny that there is a civil war in Donbas even though the majority of scholars who [have] published or presented concerning this conflict in Western academic venues classify it as a civil war with Russian military intervention. The Western media also omitted that recent ‘unity marches’ in Kharkiv and Kyiv and a staged training of civilians, including a grandmother, were organized and led by the far right, in particular, the Neo-Nazi Azov [Battalion].”

Robert Parry from Consortium News writes [link is from original article]:

On Sunday, a Times article by Andrew E. Kramer mentioned the emerging neo-Nazi paramilitary role in the final three paragraphs…In other words, the neo-Nazi militias that surged to the front of anti-Yanukovych protests…have now been organized as shock troops dispatched to kill ethnic Russians in the east [of Ukraine] – and they are operating so openly that they hoist a Swastika-like neo-Nazi flag over one conquered village with a population of about 10,000.

Burying this information at the end of a long article is also typical of how the Times and other U.S. mainstream news outlets have dealt with the neo-Nazi problem in the past. When the reality gets mentioned, it usually requires a reader knowing much about Ukraine’s history and reading between the lines of a U.S. news account.” [emphasis added]

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In the above image which outlines the population distribution of ethnic Ukrainians and Russians within Ukraine, you can understand how an ultra-nationalist view that identifies as solely ethnic Ukrainian would be a catalyst for a civil war.

The people of Donbass have understandably asked for independence from Ukraine, yet the Ukrainian government has refused to allow this nor intervene for a peaceful resolution. What does this mean? The war can only end when one side is fully dead.

Not only is it publicly known that the US and NATO have been funding and training neo-Nazis, but they have also been supplying a massive supply of arms (as previously mentioned). It got to such a point where in 2018, Congress had to ban the United States from sending further arms to Ukraine militia linked to neo-Nazis, specifically mentioning the Azov Battalion. For some reason this ban was to only last for three years thus it is apparently fair game now?

But you may say, what about Russia’s crimes against the Ukrainian people, aren’t they far worse than even vicious neo-Nazis? Namely the bombing of the Mariupol theater and the Bucha massacre. Thorough journalistic investigations have already been done on the former, which can be found here, that conclusively shows the bombing of the Mariupol theater was a false-flag.

As for the Bucha massacre, there has been no evidence presented as of yet that conclusively proves who committed this atrocity, there have only been assertions. Recall that the chemical attacks in Syria were also full of assertions, to which investigative journalist Seymour Hersch wrote a report titled “Whose Sarin,” which conclusively proved that the popular assertions being pushed by the Obama government in their attempt to incriminate the Syrian government, were in fact false. Rather, it was pointing to the fact that the actual terrorists were the ones using sarin on the Syrian civilians, who were receiving American and co. funding and arms.

Unfortunately, time is of the essence in investigating crimes such as these, and despite the outcries of the inhumanity of such events, there is always heavy foot-dragging if not outright dismissal over an official and neutral investigation of such crime scenes. Why is this?

Russia has asked the UN Security Council for an investigation and to discuss the Bucha massacre. China has also called for an official investigation into this and has received backlash for withholding blame until all facts are known. However, an official investigation has been repeatedly refused. Why? This should be the official protocol for such matters.

Instead, the response to this was for the UN to suspend Russia from its human rights body. Thus, not only denying an official investigation, but denying Russia a voice in responding to the matter.

The disturbing elephant in the room in all of this, is that the Azov Battalion has already been found guilty of similar atrocities against its own Ukrainian people, which has been thoroughly investigated by Max Blumenthal and Esha Krishnaswamy and which can be found here (warning there is graphic content).

The Azov Battalion has also been found guilty of purposefully putting Ukrainian citizens in jeopardy by positioning their artillery and military in residential areas and buildings, including daycares and hospitals, to which even the Washington Post had to acknowledge in their misleadingly titled article “Russia has killed civilians in Ukraine. Kyiv’s defense tactics add to the danger.

However, these are not simply “defense tactics,” they are blatant war crimes that are recognised as such by international law. These war crimes are publicly acknowledged to be going on, causing the deaths of a significant number of Ukrainians. Just to be clear here, during times of war, to which the Washington Post also acknowledges, Ukrainian soldiers and weaponry are legitimate targets for the Russian military. It is not Russia that is committing the war crime here, it is the Ukrainian government. They have literally been caught using their own people as human shields.

Does this still sound like a patriotic nationalist movement for the welfare and sovereignty of the Ukrainian people?

According to an interview with Scott Ritter, former US Marine Intelligence Officer, the Russian military have made it clear that they are using “Syrian tactics” in Ukraine.

Scott Ritter explains, the Russian military’s tactic in Syria was:

“…to surround urban areas where these jihadists had been gathered, terrorizing the population, surround them and give them the opportunity to evacuate on buses with their security guaranteed by Russian military police. A soft approach that protected civilians, that protected civilian areas.”

It was this tactic that allowed the Russians along with the Syrian army to defeat ISIS and other terrorist affiliates. Today they only occupy the Idlib province. These terrorists who remain would not have been possible without Turkish support. This initiative to rid Syria of ISIS was something that the United States has clearly never been interested in supporting.

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In the image on the left the red and largely the blue represent the region controlled by terrorists, or as Obama liked to call them “moderate rebels” in the year 2017, in the image to the right the purple and grey represent the region controlled by terrorists in the year 2021. The green is the United States and co.’s illegal presence in the country.

Interestingly, when the Russians entered Syria to combat the terrorists at the behest of the Syrian government, this was also called a “Russian invasion” by certain quarters of western media. However, it was not the Russians who bombed Syrian cities to the ground, that was the good ol’ US of A.

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In the same interview, Scott Ritter stated that these very terrorists who have been stationed in Idlib are now being brought into Ukraine:

“…[Zelensky] has opened the door for illegal warriors, the mercenaries from Europe…the exploiters of conflict…[and] they brought in the jihadists…they brought in the people..[who] ostensibly want to kill Russians…It’s a poison pill…now we are going to have these jihadists, who are being armed by the way with javelin missiles and stinger missiles. Imagine what happens when a bunch of bloodthirsty jihadists take these weapons into Europe. Would you like to be the German Chancellor driving on a highway knowing that up in the hills could be a jihadist hit-team armed with javelins?…This is literally the worst kind of decision-making ever to put that much weaponry into Ukraine in an uncontrolled fashion. Even before the jihadist came in you were giving it to neo-Nazis who can’t surrender. They can’t surrender because they will be killed, rightfully so. So what do desperate people do when they can’t surrender and they don’t die? They run away with the weaponry they have. They’ll be burying it, making caches, falling back on it, continuing the futile resistance and in their anger to the West they’ll lash out at the West…that is how global terrorism is born.”

How is this in the best interest of anyone’s welfare in Europe, let alone Ukraine? It isn’t.

In November 2015, a UN resolution was brought forward condemning the glorification of Nazism. Of the total 126 member states, 53 countries including member nations of the European Union abstained from voting, four countries voted against the resolution: Canada, Palau, the United States, and Ukraine.

Why do you think that is?

Zelensky: the Enigma

Many have been especially confused as to how Ukraine can have such a serious neo-Nazi problem, when they have a Jewish President.

There is something you should know about the position of “President” of Ukraine since 2014, in a country where neo-Nazis have been made more confident than the mafia ever was, that they literally cannot be touched since they have the direct backing and protection of the United States and NATO.

When President Poroshenko (June 2014 – May 2019) negotiated the Minsk agreements in September 2014, he agreed, with Germany and France, to the special autonomous status of Donetsk and Lugansk, and that under this special condition, they would stay part of Ukraine.

According to an interview[1] with Scott Ritter, this was unacceptable to the neo-Nazis who threatened Poroshenko’s life, if such a thing were to be implemented.

The Minsk agreements were never put into action. Instead, Ukraine entered a civil war that has gone on for 8 years and continues to this day. The Minsk agreements were officially expired on February 21st, 2022, the same day that the State Duma of Russia passed a bill officially recognizing Donetsk and Lugansk as independent states. This ultimate rejection by the Ukrainian government was a clear indication that their war against Donbass would be escalated.

The situation with President Zelensky is no different.

In October 2019, President Zelensky (who assumed office in May 2019), had a recorded face-to-face confrontation with the militants from the Azov Battalion, who had launched a campaign to sabotage the peace initiative called “No to Capitulation.”

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Kyiv Post translated the conversation as such:

“’Listen, Denys [Yantar], I’m the president of this country. I’m 41 years old. I’m not a loser. I came to you and told you: remove the weapons. Don’t shift the conversation to some protests,’ Zelensky said, videos of the exchange show. As he said this, Zelensky aggressively approached Yantar, who heads the National Corps, a political offshoot of the far-right Azov volunteer battalion, in Mykolaiv city.

‘But we’ve discussed that,’ Yantar said.

‘I wanted to see understanding in your eyes. But, instead, I saw a guy who’s decided that this is some loser standing in front of him,’ Zelensky said.”

The Kyiv Post continues in their article, that this reaction by President Zelensky received a strong backlash from certain quarters of Ukraine:

“Andriy Biletsky, head of National Corps and the Azov Battalion, threatened Zelensky on his YouTube channel that more veterans would head to Zolote if the president tried to evict them from the town. ‘There will be thousands there instead of several dozen,’ he said…

Singer Sofia Fedyna, who is a lawmaker with the European Solidarity party of former President Petro Poroshenko, which has 27 seats in parliament, was particularly aggressive in her response. She issued physical threats against Zelensky.

‘Mr. President thinks he is immortal,’ she said in a video shared on Facebook. ‘A grenade may explode there, by chance. And it would be the nicest if this happened during Moscow’s shelling when someone comes to the front line wearing a white or blue shirt.’

Zelensky has previously visited the front line dressed in civilian clothing, rather than military fatigues.”

Thus, the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion publicly threatened Zelensky if he were to intervene on attempting to negotiate peace and end Ukraine’s civil war.

However, this is not the full story.

President Zelensky is also backed by Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, who sponsored Zelensky’s rise to presidency, not just with his presidential campaign, but also in the tv show “Servant of the People,” that Zelensky literally “play-acted” as President for three seasons, which ran from November 16th, 2015 to March 28th, 2019. Zelensky was elected president of Ukraine less than two months after the last episode, on May 20th, 2019.

Former President Poroshenko even publicly called Zelensky “Kolomoisky’s puppet” during the presidential campaign.[2]

Kyiv Post reports:

“For years, Zelensky’s company has produced shows for Kolomoisky’s biggest TV channel, 1 + 1. In 2019, Kolomoisky’s media channels gave a big boost to Zelensky’s presidential campaign. After, Zelensky’s victory, Kolomoisky kept up his relationship with the president, nominating over 30 lawmakers to Zelensky’s newly established party, and maintaining influence with many of them in parliament.”

Since Zelensky’s presidency, Kolomoisky has been able to secure control over a significant portion of Ukraine’s energy sector, including Ukrnafta and Centrenergo, as well as Burisma Holdings.

2012 study of Burisma Holdings done in Ukraine by the AntiCorruption Action Centre (ANTAC) found that the true owner of Burisma Holdings was none other than Kolomoisky.

Recall the Joe and Hunter Biden scandal over Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian gas company. The Bidens ties with Kolomoisky and the situation of Ukraine today is not a coincidence.

In the 1990s, Kolomoisky set up PrivatBank, which quickly grew to be one of the biggest financial institutions in Ukraine.

In 2016, Ukraine nationalized PrivatBank from Kolomoisky and his business partner, Gennadiy Boholiubov. A U.S. Justice Department civil forfeiture complaint from December 2020, said the two men “embezzled and defrauded the bank of billions of dollars.” [emphasis added]

There is also the matter of the Pandora Papers, which has confirmed that Ukrainian oligarch Kolomoisky was funneling millions of dollars in concealed assets offshore. Zelensky was also implicated in this. And what this of course also means, is that the City of London is tied into all of this.

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Kolomoisky has a notorious history of being a literal “raider” of Ukrainian companies, as confirmed by Harper’s Magazine, and Forbes.

Forbes reports:

Bogolyubov and Kolomoisky fostered strong reputations as corporate raiders in the mid-2000s, becoming notorious for a series of hostile takeovers. Hostile takeovers Ukrainian style, that is, which often included the active involvement of Privat’s quasi-military teams.

Kolomoisky, who is Jewish, is also a funder of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion since it was formed in 2014, which has been confirmed by ReutersNewsweek, and Aljazeera.

He has also bankrolled private militias like the Dnipro and Aidar Battalions and has personally deployed them to protect his financial interests.

In other words, Kolomoisky is funding the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion who have been fighting Eastern Ukrainians for these past 8 years, and thus has been directly fueling the civil war in Ukraine. One of the reasons for this, is that Donbass is a region with many natural resources, especially for the energy sector, to which Kolomoisky would very much like to be in possession of. This could only occur with the extermination or occupation of the people of Donbass.

Interestingly, this past Victory Day (May 8th), First Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky’s interview was cut short on Sky News when he brought up that Zelensky shared on his Twitter account for Victory Day the insignia of the Nazi 3rd SS Panzer Division Totenkopf.

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After years of civil war, the city of Mariupol has now been liberated. Do you think the people in the West will ever hear about this?

Where do We go from Here?

Well, let me put it this way. The United States and NATO know they cannot defeat Russia or China in a direct war, hence all of these proxy wars these past several years under the guise of “War on Terror.” As David Ignatius honestly expressed, their desire is for a long-drawn war. This is because they believe that they can bankrupt Russia and/or set the stage for internal unrest and eventual coup. However, things are clearly not going as planned.

What has been greatly underestimated in this situation is 1) China’s solid alliance with Russia, 2) that Russia is the most resource abundant country in the world to which Europe is dependant on, and 3) the economic brilliance of Sergey Glazyev.

Russia’s rouble has also not tanked as expected. In fact, it has actually grown stronger than ever.

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Alasdair Macleod for Goldmoney writes:

Keynesians in the West have misread this situation. They think that the Russian economy is weak and will be destabilised by sanctions. That is not true. Furthermore, they would argue that a currency strengthened by insisting that oil and natural gas are paid for in roubles will push the Russian economy into a depression. But that is only a statistical effect and does not capture true economic progress or the lack of it, which cannot be measured. The fact is that the shops in Russia are well stocked, and fuel is freely available, which is not necessarily the case in the West.

The advantages for Russia are that as the West’s currencies sink into crisis, the rouble will be protected. Russia will not suffer from the West’s currency crisis, she will still get inflation compensation in commodity prices, and her interest rates will decline while those in the West are soaring. Her balance of trade surplus is already hitting new records.”

It is the West who has miscalculated in all of this, and it is their economy that will utterly tank from this “long-drawn” war these oligarchs have been having wet dreams about for God knows how many years.

We have done this to ourselves. And if we truly want to correct the matter, we should first have the respect to admit the truth in our complicity to much of the world’s woes during this Cold War period. Those of us who have lived in abundance, in comfort, and security, should take the first step to speak out and say no more to the rest of the world living in starved war-torn agony.

We must stop caring for ourselves first at the expense of all else. We must start caring for others first and foremost and acknowledge the crimes that have been committed in our name. Only then can we truly have the humility to see that the solution has been in front of our face the whole time.

If we fail in this, the western world will not be able to sustain itself for much longer economically. And when it falls, what sort of people do you think you will be surrounded by after all these years of supporting fascism under your very nose?

The author can be reached at cynthiachung.substack.com

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYm8pDrIXBg minute 19:33 
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXgli7TpINw Minute 0:49 

Sitrep Operation Z: The Ukrainian fighters’ will to resist is deteriorating fast

May 20, 2022

Source

by Saker Staff

Khodakovsky’s (commander of Vostok Battalion) noted that they have +1,800 prisoners of war in custody. Another 80-90 surrendered over the past 24 hours and the estimate is that a few hundred is still in the hole.

It is visible! It is palpalable! Morale in the both the Armed Forces of the Ukraine as well as in the general society is dropping like a stone. Soldiers are laying down their weapons, surrendering or simply try to walk home after Azovstal, because the fairy tale, the fantasy of proud and committed nazi soldiers bravely resisting, has shattered. The will to resist from the Ukrainian side is crumbling fast.

These are just a few and reports of Ukrainian forces surrendering are many and increasing.

  • 11 servicemen of the 25th airborne brigade and 17 soldiers of the 54th mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine voluntarily laid down their arms and went over to the side of the DPR – Yevgeny Poddubny 2022-05-18 https://t.me/greatrussia1/8253
  • We are now witnessing the breakdown of Ukrainian forces in the Donbas. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdKWfPLO_Emwqd8HnTOeJkw/community?lb=UgkxXrkzaSFo2aE_q38cwwpgE-XuCwsIT1SC
  • The period of disintegration of the Ukrainian army has begun.  https://voenhronika.ru/publ/vojna_na_ukraine/period_raspada_ukrainskoj_armii_nachalsja_2022/60-1-0-12136
  • We are now witnessing the breakdown of Ukrainian forces in the Donbass.  http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2022/05/they-are-getting-message_18.html
  • RusVesna Reports: There is a mass surrender of Ukrainian soldiers in the LNR against the backdrop of the surrender of the Azov militants from Azovstal: “We want to live,” says a serviceman of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
  • … they were sent to go on the offensive, despite the fact that the commanders had already fled, abandoning their subordinate soldiers. The remaining Ukrainian servicemen surrendered because they “wanted to live”. https://t.me/EurasianChoice/13843
  • War correspondent Yevgeny Poddubny reports that in the DPR, twenty servicemen of the 95th Airborne Assault Brigade of Ukraine voluntarily laid down their arms and surrendered.
  • During the night, five more servicemen from the 95th Air Assault Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine surrendered to the DPR forces.
  • The prisoners said that the command recently used them as ordinary infantry, which was tasked with “being in the trenches and trying to hold back the offensive.”
  • In the trenches, from where the Ukrainian paratroopers surrendered, at least three dozen of their colleagues died, who could not withstand the attacks of artillery and armored vehicles, and then collided with an assault unit of the special forces of the allied forces of the DPR and the Russian Federation. The survivors refused further resistance and raised the white flag.

We can fill a page or two with similar reports.

The rule of thumb is that if you have a competent fighting force of say 600 ‘bayonets’, and 200 walk off the job, either by attrition or by surrender or by simply going awol, the fighting force cannot fight any longer. Yes, they can do a lot of damage still, and as many reports of surrenders as there are, unfortunately, there are as many reports of these forces willy nilly firing on villages and towns, taking over houses and larger structures (schools, hospitals) and hiding behind civilians and non-combatants where Kadyrov’s special forces take them out in brutal hand to hand combat while these combatants torture the civilian inhabitants.

It remains a hard and bloody grind. Yet, cauldrons are forming and the Russian forces continue the grind, day by day, and night by night. Here are some sketches of what looks like four forming now. Cauldrons https://t.me/russianhead/3173

It seems that these settlements have truly now been liberated by Russian forces/LPR National Militias over the last 24 hours as part of the offensive from Popasnaya:

  • Vladimirovka
  • Tripolye
  • Khamyshevaka
  • Vrybovka
  • Zolotoe.

At least in this area of the Lugansk People’s Republic the Ukrainian defense lines are crumbling.  Shoigu confirms:

Shoigu gave an overview of the situation:

Opening speech by the Russian Minister of Defence, General of the Army Sergei Shoigu, at the Russian Defence Ministry Board Session  (https://t.me/mod_russia_en/1749)📑Key points

🔻About the special military operation

▫️ The liberation of the Lugansk People’s Republic is nearing completion. The Ukrainian Armed Forces, trying to delay the advance of Russian troops, are not letting local residents out of cities and towns and are using them as human shield.

▫️ Suffering defeat on the “ground”, the Kiev regime seeks to achieve at least short-term successes in certain areas, passing them off as major ones.

▫️ On the eve of Victory Day, the Ukrainian authorities made an adventurous attempt to seize Snake Island. This dubious action turned out to be a complete failure. Any provocation in the future would be severely dealt with

▫️ The blockade of the Azovstal plant continues. Nationalists blocked inside the plant are actively surrendering. To date, 1,908 people have laid down their arms.

▫️ The Russian Armed Forces are doing all they can to prevent civilian deaths. More than 1,377,000 people have been evacuated to Russia from dangerous regions of the people’s republics, as well as from Ukraine, since the beginning of the special military operation.

▫️ I would like the personnel for their professionalism, courage and heroism in accomplishing the tasks set by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief.

🔻On the situation in the Western strategic direction

▫️ The situation in the Western strategic direction is characterised by growing military threats near Russia’s borders. Over the past eight years, US strategic bomber flights in Europe have increased 15-fold. American ships with guided missiles have entered the Baltic Sea on a systematic basis.

▫️ Finland and Sweden have applied to join NATO. Tensions continue to rise in the Western Military District’s area of responsibility. Adopt adequate countermeasures.

▫️ By the end of the year, 12 military units will have been formed in the Western Military District. The ongoing organisational measures are synchronised with the supply of modern weapons and military equipment to the troops.

🔻On equipping the Aerospace Forces and the Navy with medium- and long-range unmanned aerial vehicle systems

▫️ Unmanned aerial vehicles are actively used by the Armed Forces for a wide range of missions. Over the past 10 years, their flight intensity has increased sevenfold and their annual flight time has risen 23-fold. Since 2015, unmanned aerial vehicles have been monitoring almost all of Syrian territory around the clock.

▫️ During the special military operation in Ukraine, UAVs conduct aerial reconnaissance and carry out selective point-blank strikes against enemy targets in dense urban areas, preventing damage to civilian infrastructure and civilian casualties. Information obtained from UAVs is transmitted in real time to consumers. This enables troops to react quickly to changes in the situation and act as effectively as possible.

▫️ The army and navy continue to receive modern systems with unmanned aerial vehicles for operational purposes.

▫️ Strategic UAVs are expected to be delivered in the near future. Their use will save pilots and significantly reduce the cost of reconnaissance and firing missions by reducing the consumption of ammunition and the resource of aircraft.

Let’s take a quick look at the battlefield through the eyes of the intrepid reporters at Readovka:

The topic of the day was the surrender of the touted “Azovstal hero” radical Sviatoslav Palamar with the call sign Kalina. Our sources reported in the morning that the “manure” was already (https://t.me/readovkanews/34318) in Rostov-on-Don. By evening, however, a video appeared online (https://t.me/russianonwars/701) in which “Kalina” himself was broadcasting that the 85th day of the war was going on, and that he and his command were still at the Azovstal plant. He also talked about some kind of secret special operation. Some authors ironically say that it is most likely a sex change operation.

⚔️ The situation on the fronts remains tense, but the successes of the Allied forces are hard to ignore:

▫️ On the Kharkov front, losses in manpower, equipment, and concentration by Ukrainian forces are beginning to be felt. Today ours were able to liberate (https://t.me/russianonwars/691) Ternovaya near the Russian state border.

▫️Izium front – fighting near Krasny Liman, where up to 1,500 enemy soldiers are under threat of being surrounded. Heavy fighting is going on in the woods near the village of Dolgenkoye.

▫️The Lugansk front is becoming a black mark for the Ukrainian army. Even the commanders on the ground themselves are already telling the top military leadership about the lack of heavy equipment and the incompetence of some leaders. So the 3rd battalion of the 115th brigade of the AFU refused (https://t.me/voenacher/18972) to go into battle near Severodonetsk. Meanwhile, our forces are developing a grandiose offensive from Popasna in several directions – it is not for nothing that they fought so hard for this bridgehead for almost a whole month. It is reported that Allied troops from the north of the city entered (https://t.me/boris_rozhin/49516) Viktorovka, to the south they took (https://t.me/boris_rozhin/49498) Troitskoye, to the northeast they half-cleared Toshkovka, and to the west they are fighting for Pilipchatino. There is also information that our paratroopers have liberated (https://t.me/boris_rozhin/49523) the village of Vladimirovka, near Soledar, and Wagner’s “music” has liberated Tripillya. In fact, all this work that has been done guarantees tight fire control of our artillery over the Soledar-Lisichansk highway. The storming of Severodonetsk does not stop either – the fighters go into battle from three directions at once.

▫️On the Donetsk Front, fighting is taking place near Novoselovka-2 and Novobakhmutovka, as well as on the outskirts of New York – the Avdeevka cauldron continues to “forge”, the front is pushing further away from Gorlovka.

▫️ In Mariupol, more than half of the garrison in bunkers left Azovstal (https://t.me/readovkanews/34327). This was reported by the head of the DNR Denis Pushylin. More than 2,000 heavily armed fighters have now surrendered (https://t.me/readovkanews/34329).

▫️The Southern Front appears to have taken an operational pause to bring in reserves and strike assets. “Courtesies” are being exchanged between artillerymen on both sides.

💣 Our border territories have once again been hit by chaotic Ukrainian shelling. This time it was (https://t.me/readovkanews/34319) the village of Tetkino in the Kursk region, where, according to the governor, one person was killed by shrapnel. In the evening, there was another report from Kursk region that AFU fired mortars at (https://t.me/readovkanews/34397) the villages of Alekseevka and Dronovka.

🚀Air Arrivals. Yasinovataya again received (https://t.me/RtrDonetsk/5970) strikes on civilians by the AFU. They also reached (https://t.me/RtrDonetsk/5953) the settlement of the mine named after them. Lenin. The Petrovsky district of Donetsk was also shelled (https://t.me/readovkanews/34326). There was air defense work in Kherson.

👁From interesting things: swastikas, prayers and pagan rituals – Azov people, who in a hurry left the base near Mariupol, abandoned (https://t.me/readovkanews/34361) all their nationalist paraphernalia on it

👁It’s no secret that stopping the supply of weapons and ammunition to the AFU on the front line is the main task of our army. We found (https://t.me/russianonwars/692) on the net a list of large ammunition depots in the central part of Ukraine, which is definitely worth “calibrating”.

The grind will continue and so will the reconstruction. The Russian government has now created a special office responsible for the restoration of the liberated territories of the Ukraine, says the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Marat Khusnullin.

It is interesting to note also if you read the Russian MoD early morning report, the numbers of military targets being hit, are increasing.  Notable this morning is: 17 Ukrainian Smerch multiple-launch rockets intercepted near Topolskoe, Malaya Kamyshevakha, Snezhkovka in Kharkov Region and Chernobaevka in Kherson Region.

We close with two wonderful reports on the Azovites where the meme: ‘I laughed my Azov’ took root.

Translate this one for sure. It is the journalist Steshin who was on the spot and probably still is.  https://www.kp.ru/daily/27393/4588115/

That is it for today. Enjoy your discussion and be careful with the Ukie propaganda. It is everywhere.

“Iran Ready to Mediate in Ukraine War, Determined to Reach Strong Agreement in Vienna”

 May 21, 2022

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian expressed Tehran’s readiness to mediate in the war in Ukraine and contribute to peace and security.

In a telephone conversation on Friday, the Iranian top diplomat and the EU Foreign Policy Chief Josef Borrell talked about the latest developments in the Vienna talks aimed at removing anti-Iran sanctions and the most important international developments.

Pointing to the Ukraine crisis, Amir Abdollahian said Tehran has always expressed its opposition to the use of war, including in Ukraine.

He referred to his talks with the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine in recent months, announcing Iran’s readiness to support peace and security and act as a mediator.

Iran invites both warring sides in Kiev and Moscow to negotiate and to end the war, he said, as quoted by Tasnim news agency.

Tehran believes that the only way out of the crisis is focusing on diplomacy and dialogue, the top Iranian diplomat added.

Amir Abdollahian also noted that Iran has never adopted double standards towards crises in Yemen, Afghanistan, Ukraine or other countries.

He further referred to the recent visit that EU Deputy Foreign Policy Chief Enrique Mora paid to Tehran, saying a series of initiatives were reviewed during the trip.

The Iranian FM reiterated the seriousness of Iran about reaching a strong and lasting deal in Vienna, saying Tehran has the goodwill and the necessary determination to reach an agreement.

He thanked Borrell and Mora for their constructive efforts in this regard.

For his part, the EU foreign policy chief put emphasis on Iran’s initiatives during the Vienna talks, saying, “We are now on a new path of continuing dialogue and focusing on solutions.”

“We are determined to continue our efforts in constant touch with Tehran and Washington to bring their views closer together,” Borrell added, the Foreign Ministry’s website reported.

He also noted that he is optimistic about reaching a good deal.

The EU foreign policy chief further thanked Iran for its efforts to resolve the Ukraine crisis, saying Iran’s efforts to invite the two sides to dialogue and to propose a truce are signs of Tehran’s goodwill.

“Unfortunately the two (warring) sides accuse each other of lacking the required will for talks and under such circumstances, reaching peace will be difficult,” he concluded.

SourceIranian media

Gonzalo Lira: There Is No “Open Corridor” Through West and Central Ukraine

May 20, 2022

Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Moscow, May 18, 2022 (Extensive)

May 20, 2022

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1813888/

Table of contents

  1. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to attend BRICS Foreign Ministers’ meeting
  2. Sergey Lavrov’s participation in the 100 Questions for the Leader project at the Yevgeny Primakov Gymnasium
  3. Update on Ukraine
  4. Involving minors in Ukrainian nationalist formations
  5. Statement by Western leaders accusing Russia of cyberattacks against the Ukrainian communications infrastructure
  6. EU allegations of Russia’s “responsibility” for global food insecurity
  7. Biological warfare research in Ukraine
  8. Closing Canada’s CBC bureau in Moscow
  9. Situation at the JCPOA reactivation talks
  10. The situation in the Republic of Moldova
  11. Russia’s stance on Cyprus settlement
  12. Growing terrorist activity in Burkina Faso and neighbouring countries
  13. Desecration of Soviet military graves in Gdansk
  14. Desecrating a memorial to Generalissimo Alexander Suvorov’s comrades who died when crossing the Alps in 1799, in the Shollenen Gorge (Switzerland)
  15. 13th International Economic Summit Russia – Islamic World: KazanSummit 2022
  16. 2nd Kostomarov Forum
  17. Eurasian Economic Forum in Bishkek

Answers to media questions:

  1. Russia’s withdrawal from the Council of the Baltic Sea States
  2. The transportation of grain from Ukraine
  3. The death of Al Jazeera journalist
  4. Calls for “regime change” in Russia
  5. Ukraine’s decision to nationalise Russian banks’ property
  6. Russia’s reaction to Finland and Sweden’s decision to join NATO
  7. Mass shooting in the United States
  8. Russian diplomats working in new conditions
  9. Russia’s reaction to the Western embargo on Russian energy exports
  10. Finland’s economic losses
  11. The future of Ukrainian militants who surrendered at Azovstal
  12. Situation with individuals detained in Ukraine
  13. Russia’s stand on NATO membership for Ukraine and Finland
  14. Russia’s response measures to Finland’s NATO membership
  15. Exchange of prisoners in Ukraine
  16. The possibility of Russia-Ukraine talks
  17. Trilateral working group
  18. Meeting of the Armenian-Azerbaijani commission on border delimitation and border security
  19. Acts of vandalism in Nagorno-Karabakh
  20. CSTO response to developments in Afghanistan
  21. Escalation in the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous region of Tajikistan

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to attend BRICS Foreign Ministers’ meeting

On May 19, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will attend a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the BRICS countries via videoconference.

The ministers will review global and regional issues, as well as the problems of maintaining peace and security and settling acute international conflicts. They will focus on coordinating the approaches of the BRICS nations at key multilateral platforms and intensifying cooperation in countering new challenges and threats.

The ministers will review the BRICS strategic partnership in three key areas – political, economic and humanitarian – in the context of preparing for the upcoming 14th summit of the association.

At the initiative of the Chinese Presidency in the Council of Foreign Ministers, a separate session will take place in BRICS-plus format with the participation of the foreign ministers from a number of developing nations.

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Sergey Lavrov’s participation in the 100 Questions for the Leader project at the Yevgeny Primakov Gymnasium

On May 23, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will meet with students at the autonomous non-profit general education organisation Yevgeny Primakov Regional Gymnasium as part of the 100 Questions for the Leader project.

The project represents a special format for trustworthy conversations held by students with famous politicians and outstanding representatives of science, art and sports. It provides a priceless experience for direct dialogue between the rising generation and today’s leaders.

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Update on Ukraine

The special military operation continues in Ukraine. As Russian leaders have said more than once, it is going according to plan, and new territories are being freed from the Nazis every day.

The Ukrainian military personnel and militants in Azov nationalist units that entrenched themselves in the underground bunkers of the Azovstal Plant, began to surrender in Mariupol this week. According to the Russian Defence Ministry, 959 Ukrainian nationalists, including 51 with severe wounds, have laid down their arms over two days. They receive medical aid at the Novoazovsk hospital in the DPR, and the rest were sent to a pretrial detention centre in Yelenovka in the suburbs of Donetsk. Indicatively, on May 17, this centre was shelled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine with multiple launch rocket systems (MLRSs). The Kiev regime has always treated its citizens like this, and this case was no exception.

Russian leaders had repeatedly stated that resistance was senseless and announced the opening of humanitarian corridors for militants and Ukrainian military personnel to leave the Azovstal Plant after laying down their arms. They were urged to stop the hostilities. In the meantime, the Kiev regime was doing all it could to prevent civilians, military personnel and militants from leaving the plant. Why? They were brainwashing the public.

It was Russia that urged the UN to look into this situation and persuade the Kiev regime to let people walk out. Later, Russia organised humanitarian corridors in cooperation with the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross. I would like to emphasise that the initiative on announcing and opening these corridors was ours.

The wounded troops are provided with professional medical help. This fact is being turned upside down and misrepresented in the Ukrainian and international media. Remember the footage showing how the militants and the Armed Forces of Ukraine treat POWs in Ukraine? Everyone saw it. It horrified many, others pretended not to have seen it. Russian POWs were shot to death by militants from the nationalist units that became part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Russia has adopted a different approach. You see footage showing professional help being provided to the wounded [Ukrainian troops]. It is not being provided “for show.” It is provided to real individuals regardless of their background. Humanitarian law is not just something we abide by; it is of fundamental importance for us. No one should have any doubt about this.

According to Ukrainian POWs, the military leadership of Ukraine forbids the troops to retreat or surrender. Their key goal is to destroy as much civilian infrastructure as possible in order to leave behind uninhabitable ruins and make it hard to restore peaceful life. This is not our messaging, but the testimony received from the Ukrainian side over the past weeks.

The nationalists, who have long been using the tactics of ISIS terrorists, do not hesitate to use kindergartens, schools and hospitals as ammunition depots and strongholds. They are not hiding this. They take pictures inside preschools or with preschool buildings in the background to show how they fight there. The civilians are not allowed to evacuate. They are forcing people to leave their apartments so that they can set up firing positions there. They are driving people to basements that are used by militants or as weapons depots. The other day, Ukrainian nationalists began to bring in ammunition and deployed air defence systems on the grounds of the Odessa film studio. The territorial defence force militants go door-to-door in order to identify residents who do not accept the nationalist way of thinking. They are taken away to unknown locations and there’s no information about the fate of many of them.

Earlier, the Zaporozhye administration banned the evacuation of civilians under the pretext of security. All attempts by the citizens to leave the city in private vehicles and on foot are stopped by the territorial defence militants at checkpoints. Those who resist are subjected to physical violence. Their vehicles are seized and they are sent back on foot.

On May 16, Ukrainian nationalists used the Smerch MLRS to attack Kherson’s residential areas. There are no Russian troops in Kherson, which the Ukrainian side is well aware of. This means they specifically targeted civilians in retaliation for supporting Russia’s actions. This is yet another war crime committed by the Kiev regime. Fortunately, all 10 missiles have been intercepted by Russian air defence systems.

Unfortunately, we do not see the international organisations, Western countries or their media respond to the criminal methods used by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. To be sure, it’s because there is no response. Moreover, the Western countries continue massive arms supplies to the Kiev regime. We consider this as direct support for neo-Nazis and an effort to make the fighting last as long as possible. We cannot ignore the fact that Western weapons are used to kill Russian troops and shell Russian territory.

Arms deliveries are running into the billions of dollars which is comparable to military budgets of large states. The United States, Great Britain, France, Canada, Poland and the Baltic countries are doing the most to arm Kiev. Washington alone sent $3.8 billion worth of military equipment to the Kiev regime which is close to the military budgets of Austria, Portugal and Finland. The US Congress is considering a proposal to provide another $40 billion in “aid”, including about $25 billion worth of military equipment. This is half the military budget of Germany and France. I would like to draw the attention of the US public not so much to the size, which is comparable with the military budgets of other countries, as to the needs of the American people. They can put these funds to good use. If this money were sent as subsidies, aid, or sponsorship related in some way to humanitarian aid, one would understand it. But money is being sent to the Kiev regime for it to kill and to continue this phase of the crisis.

More and more weapons abandoned by the Armed Forces of Ukraine are becoming the spoils of war for the People’s Militia of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics and the Armed Forces of Russia. These include Javelin and NLAW ATGMs, Starstreak and Stinger MANPADS, Bayraktar drones, Switchblade loitering munitions, Skynet Longbow EW systems, CAESAR and PzH 2000s self-propelled and M777 towed howitzers.

EU, US and UK officials keep saying that “victory must be achieved on the battlefield,” that “Russia must sustain a strategic defeat” and “cannot be allowed to win.” All these statements, in addition to the trade and economic blockade that has in effect been imposed on our country and the hybrid war unleashed against it, prove once again that the Western countries are waging war against Russia in Ukraine and that Ukraine itself and its citizens are an expendable resource for them. Our Chinese partners used the expression “cannon fodder.”

In their information war, the Western countries resort to outright lies. They are trying to accuse our country of creating a global food shortage. We commented on this many times. Each time we cite facts, figures and other information that cannot be refuted. But nobody is trying to refute them. Western-spread lies are not supposed to be refuted. They are too absurd to comment on. It is forgotten that crisis phenomena in the world food market are linked with the West’s accumulated mistakes and miscalculations in macroeconomic, energy and agricultural policy. The coronavirus pandemic has contributed as well. In the middle of 2020, Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme David Beasley warned about the threat of “famines of biblical proportions.” Unilateral Western sanctions exacerbated this trend. So, millions of people will have to go hungry because of the geopolitical ambitions, egotism and stupidity of the collective West.

At the same time, we are seeing a striving of the Western curators to take out of Ukraine everything that may be of some value. This is also a repetition of history of 80 years ago. Hundreds of grain carriers are crossing the Ukrainian border on the way to Europe. The Kiev regime has organised massive daily exports of agricultural products to Europe in exchange for weapons by road and rail, as well as by river on the Danube to Romania via the port of Ismail.

Think of what is happening. Against the backdrop of statements by the collective West about the imminent famine (the Kiev regime is supposed to trust the West), the leaders of Ukraine are getting rid of food products. Ukrainian citizens need them now. The Armed Forces of Ukraine also need them since the Kiev regime is not going to stop hostilities. However, food products are being sent abroad instead. Where to? To NATO countries. The Ukrainians receive weapons in exchange for these products so that they can continue killing themselves. This is not Nazism. This are even more terrifying maniacal ideas that are even worse than the misanthropic concepts applied to the population of Ukraine, Russia and the rest of the former USSR in the middle of the 20th century.

These are tremendous amounts of grain, maize, oil crops and livestock animals. On May 10 of this year, US President Joseph Biden said that Washington was thinking about ways of exporting from Ukraine 20 million tonnes of grain, supposedly with a view to reducing prices in the world markets. You know how much the United States and the White House care about the needs of hungry people in Africa and Asia, how much they want all people in the world to live a better life, eat well and be wealthier. We know this bewitching American pacifism and striving to do good for everyone. But this is not the case. This is about robbing Ukraine, its citizens and military of the last things they have. Washington obviously is not concerned about what the Ukrainians will be left with after this feast. Ukrainian citizens did not believe us 10 years ago and five years ago. Maybe it’s time to wise up. To realise that they are being deprived of the last things they have. Food products, grain – the results of their labour – are being taken out of the country. When we were in school and university, we were told that the fascists and Nazis hauled away Ukrainian natural soil by railway and this was presented as the supreme manifestation of their hatred for Soviet citizens. Now the logic is even more gruesome – Ukrainian citizens are being deprived of the fruits of their labour at a time when their country is engaged in hostilities.

For our part, we are paying close attention to the humanitarian situation in the liberated areas and facilitating the restoration of peaceful life. Russian military are clearing Ukrainian mines in cities and farming lands. People in the DPR, LPR and a number of regions in Ukraine have already been supplied with 20,000 tonnes of basic necessities, food products, medications and medical devices.

We regret that the United States, Britain and several European countries are supporting and sponsoring those who are preaching in Ukraine the ideas of aggressive nationalism and neo-Nazism. They continue supplying the Kiev regime with arms and robbing the Ukrainian people. However, these efforts will not change the situation.

As the Russian leaders said more than once, Russia will achieve the goals of its military operation on denazifying and demilitarising Ukraine, defending the DPR and the LPR and removing the threats to its own security.

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Involving minors in Ukrainian nationalist formations

As the nationalist formations of Ukraine continue to be driven out of Donbass, new facts have come to light which confirm the involvement of children in these hate-crazed units. We have repeatedly stated that right-wing radical organisations operating under the patronage of the Kiev regime have systematically spread extremism among minors in order to embed the ideas of militant nationalism in Ukrainian society.

Neo-Nazis from Azov began large-scale recruitment of children back in 2015 when, upon the initiative of the National Corps leader Andrey Biletsky, they set up the Youth Corps’ “children’s camps.” In 2015, they took in children aged 9 to 18 and since 2016, 7 to 18.

A military youth wing called National Squads was formed at the National Corps in 2018. Hundreds of young people over the age of 14 joined it. The instructors from Azov taught them how to fight the “enemies of Ukraine,” including with firearms.

The specialised Youth Corps’ needs are covered by the Ukrainian state budget. Does that sound familiar? In 2019, organisations associated with the National Corps received $17,000 to hold events for children and youth. We see it. And we know what kind of values people with Azov insignia on their sleeves and nationalist and neo-Nazi symbols are teaching ​​young people. There are training camps for teenagers such as Azovets, Bukovynets, and Dnepryanin in different parts of the country. Teenagers were lured through social media and messengers.

Eyewitnesses are saying that neo-Nazis from Azov do not limit themselves to “children’s camps” and have expanded their group by bringing aboard minor orphans which fact is corroborated by the situation at the Piligrim orphanage in Mariupol. Azov worked closely with the children from this orphanage training them in combat, including sharp shooting, during eight years beginning in 2014. Reportedly, in 2014, children from Piligrim helped the Ukrainian army dig trenches outside Mariupol and build checkpoints later in October. Residents of Mariupol say that during the events of February-April 2022, the Respublika Piligrim Children’s Rehabilitation Centre was the headquarters of the territorial defence, where militants from Azov and other radical groups were based. There’s video evidence showing that teenagers from Piligrim took part in the hostilities on the side of the neo-Nazis, and also set fire to civilian homes.

“The neo-Nazi Ukrainian group Azov-operated Piligrim orphanage in Mariupol is a prototype of Ukraine that the Nazis wanted to build and what it would inevitably become if it were not for the special operation by the Russian Armed Forces,” Alexey Selivanov, former (until 2014) Advisor to the Defence Minister of Ukraine and Deputy Head of the Main Directorate of the Interior Ministry for the Zaporozhye Region, said. This is what someone who served in the Armed Forces of Ukraine had to say.

According to Selivanov, Piligrim can stand in for all of Ukraine, and the orphanage, in which children were converted into militants, is a clear confirmation of the fact that something drastic had to be done with this Ukrainian project.

These facts clearly show that Ukraine violated its obligations under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child concerning the involvement of children in armed conflicts. When ratifying this international treaty in 2005, Ukraine declared that the minimum age for voluntary (on a contract basis) enlistment into national armed forces was 19.

We call upon relevant international organisations, such as the UN and the OSCE, as well as the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, to pay special attention to Kiev’s involvement of children in criminal neo-Nazi organisations and spreading of radical ideas among minors.

There is no need to pretend that in a surge of patriotism these children went to the barricades in February 2022. They have been trained to make war for many years. And the militants of the nationalist battalions are the ones who did it.

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Statement by Western leaders accusing Russia of cyberattacks against the Ukrainian communications infrastructure

The West continues its attempts to portray Russia as a cyber-aggressor. We perceive the recent statements, made on May 10, 2022, by foreign policy agencies of the United States, the United Kingdom and their allies in precisely this context. These statements accuse Russia of launching cyberattacks against the Ukrainian communications infrastructure in February 2022. Predictably, they did not provide any evidence. As usual, they follow their favourite “highly likely” logic.

Western capitals think of themselves as supreme rulers of cyberspace. They rubberstamp accusations that have nothing to do with reality. They probably believe that they will also get away with this anti-Russia provocation. They think all states will perceive this propaganda as a sufficient reason for bringing to account culprits arbitrarily appointed by the US administration. After depleting the potential of sanctions, they are now resorting to other ploys from their rich cinematographic legacy, including promises to pay handsomely anyone who will testify in favour of Washington’s allegations.

Obviously, the policy of intimidation and deception is called on to camouflage the futile US attempts to impose its own perception of an international political order, to conceal its own flaws regarding protection of personal data, the right to privacy and inability to maintain constructive cooperation between specialised agencies to thwart illegal activities in the IT sphere.  Consequently, they want to continue their long-term digital dictate against the public at home and in other countries and to plunder their intellectual resources with the help of companies and agencies affiliated with security services.

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EU allegations of Russia’s “responsibility” for global food insecurity

The EU, the United States and their supporters have unleashed a campaign accusing Russia of provoking a global food crisis. The main thesis is that Moscow’s actions in Ukraine, including the “blocking” of the Ukrainian grain exports via Black Sea ports, are leading to food shortages and hunger in the world’s poorest countries. We know how the “collective West” is “helping” these countries. They are considering ways to turn ordinary countries into poorest states (by transporting grain to their own countries), and they never or hardly ever think about the poorest countries.

As usual, Brussels is deceiving the international community by openly distorting the reasons for the current situation. The EU is openly trying to use the allegation of Russia’s “responsibility” for the deteriorating global food security to convince other countries to support the anti-Russia policies of the West. They simply tell the countries that have a neutral and balanced position that there is a dire shortage of food in their region and that this situation can be remedied if these countries assume the anti-Russia position. They ask them to sign certain documents, vote the “right way” or make a required statement, saying that this will ensure food supplies. It’s a staple of the genre, not a new invention. At the same time, Brussels is using open blackmail, offering food for loyalty.  It has not yet stooped to heavy-handed interference, but this approach cannot be ruled out in the ideological and political spheres. Countries are being forced to make a choice, and this is being done with media assistance.

Meanwhile, the EU has done nothing to prevent the “Ukrainian crisis” and continues to send weapons to Kiev, which makes it responsible for tensions on the global food market. There are numerous indications of this.

The EU has openly declared a total trade and economic war on Russia. We know that Washington actually pressured the EU into doing this, which the United States has openly admitted and trumpeted. The EU politicians who are advocating and shouting about new sanctions are comfortable with the fact that Russia is a global leader in the supply of basic agricultural products, which have no or very few alternatives, such as grain, barley, sunflower seeds and feed crops, as well as mineral fertilisers, a major share of which are exported to the low-income countries that are facing food shortages. The EU politicians do not care about this, because nobody has ever called them to account.

The disruption of trade, logistics and financial chains and, consequently, a sharp rise in food prices throughout the world are a direct result of the irresponsible adoption of even more anti-Russia restrictions and threats of increased sanctions pressure on Russia. Russia’s bank settlements and flights to and from EU countries have been blocked. Isn’t this a direct cause of the situation on the food market? Only those who live in a vacuum can think so. Brussels has adopted unprecedented restrictions on Russian fertiliser exports and individual sanctions on major Russian fertiliser producers and exporters. The declared goal of this policy is to undermine Russia’s economy, including agriculture, which moved into top gear over the past years. Blinded by their hatred for Russia, nobody stopped to think about the consequences for the countries which traditionally depend on our supplies. When they became aware of what happened, they attempted to shift the blame on Russia. It’s crossing the line beyond good and evil.

Cynically claiming to be concerned about humanitarian matters, Brussels is rushing to offer its help. They simply love to create problem and then break their brains over them. The question is who should tackle the current problem. The so-called “solidarity lanes” plan to improve EU-Ukraine connectivity for grain export, which the European Commission presented the other day, is nothing other than requisitioning. Actually, Brussels has declared a full-scale mobilisation campaign to remove the available Ukrainian grain to the EU. When Ukraine, prompted by the West, shouted about the Holodomor, when grain was taken from producers in a bad harvest year, and presented it as the genocide of Ukrainians, the West applauded and looked for other pretexts to accuse Russia of unimaginable sins. What will it do now? It has announced that “hungry times” are coming. Why are they trying to remove the last remaining grain stocks from Ukraine? This is impossible, but it’s a fact. This is requisitioning.

The EU plan provides for creating alternative lanes to export Ukrainian agricultural produce to the EU and other countries, because the sea route has been blocked through Kiev’s fault. The EU will ease the formalities, expedite the sending of additional freight rolling stock, vessels and lorries to the Ukrainian border for transporting grain, transfer mobile grain loaders, make rail slots available for these exports, and suspend customs duties on Ukrainian exports for a year. Is this a licence to take advantage of Ukraine’s situation? To grab what you can lay your hands on? That’s rich!

Brussels views the large-scale transportation of grain from Ukraine as part of its “fundamental geostrategic goal.” The EU intends to achieve it even though international experts believe that Ukraine’s grain harvest will be much smaller this year. They expect problems in Ukraine, and yet they are taking away its last grain stocks. To present this as a noble act, Brussels has announced that it is guided above all by a desire to protect the world from Russia, which allegedly wants to take advantage of the global insecurity problem it presumably created in the first place, and to “steal” Ukraine’s share on the global market, so as to gain geopolitical weight in its confrontation with the West by supplying food to the most vulnerable poor countries. This is inhuman. We would like to tell our EU neighbours that this is not our but their methods.

The soaring prices of grain, feed crops and fertilisers, not to mention energy, and the unprofitability of farming and fishing businesses were a major concern for the EU member states long before the current crisis. Take a look at your own statements, reports and television shows. In late March 2022, a regular EU summit adopted a decision on the need to ensure food affordability in the member states. Several weeks later, the European Commission presented a detailed initiative on the urgent transportation of 20 million tonnes of Ukrainian grain, which can seriously undermine the food security of Ukraine. However, Brussels, which is being guided by “the worse for Ukraine, the better for the West” principle, is not concerned about that.

We urge the international community not to rise to Western provocations, to accept reality and to rely on facts, since the West is willing to use the global food security problems, which it itself is actively creating and which did not appear yesterday, to attain its time-serving political interests. This is a historical fact. The “collective West” is accusing us because it is “highly likely” that we did it because we “always did it.” They say that we “always” did it, but they are not providing examples, let alone any proof. The West is plundering Ukraine now, just as the colonial West plundered other countries in the past, taking whatever it needed. It is doing exactly the same now.

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Biological warfare research in Ukraine

The Russian Federation has obtained materials indicating that biological laboratories in Ukraine operating with support from the Pentagon’s Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and its affiliated companies – Black and Veatch and CH2M Hill – engaged in biological warfare research in violation of Articles I and IV of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BTWC).

The laboratories conducted research into dangerous and highly dangerous pathogens in the interests of the Pentagon’s National Centre for Medical Intelligence, with the BSL-3 Central Reference Laboratory based at Ukraine’s Mechnikov Anti-Plague Research Institute in Odessa playing the key role in these programmes.

The following research centres were also actively involved in their implementation:

– State Scientific and Research Institute of Laboratory Diagnostics and Veterinary and Sanitary Expertise,  Institute of Veterinary Medicine of the Academy of Agrarian Sciences, and the Central Sanitary and Epidemiological Station of the Ukrainian Ministry of Health in Kiev;

– Research Institute of Epidemiology and Hygiene of the Ukrainian Ministry of Health, State Laboratory of Veterinary Medicine, and Regional Centre for Disease Control and Prevention of the Ukrainian Ministry of Health in Lvov;

– State Regional Laboratory of Veterinary Medicine in Dnepr;

– Regional Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Kherson;

– Sanitary and Epidemiological Station Laboratory in Ternopol;

– Transcarpathian Regional Laboratory Centre of the Ukrainian Ministry of Health in Uzhgorod;

– Regional Laboratory Centre of the Ukrainian Ministry of Health in Vinnitsa;

– National Scientific Centre Institute of Experimental and Clinical Veterinary Medicine in Kharkov.

Thirty Ukrainian laboratories in 14 cities were involved in full-scale biological warfare research in Ukraine. The registration card of the relevant programme was signed by Deputy State Secretary of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Viktor Polishchuk.  The legal framework was provided by the Agreement between the Department of Defenсe of the United States of America and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine Concerning Cooperation in the Area of Prevention of Proliferation of Technology, Pathogens and Expertise That Could be Used in the Development of Biological Weapons.   The RC determined the commissioner of the work – the Pentagon’s Defence Threat Reduction Agency – and a list of biological facilities.

The employees working with dangerous pathogens in Ukraine were US citizens who had diplomatic immunity. The group included biological weapons experts; they established contacts with Ukrainians, who were previously involved in Soviet biological warfare programmes. For example, Project UP-8 studying the Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever and Hantaviruses is evidence that all serious high-hazard research was directly supervised by US specialists.

The documents obtained allow us to state that the Ukrainian biological laboratories (including divisions of the Central Sanitary and Epidemiological Directorate of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry) engaged in activities aimed at enhancing the pathogenic properties of agents inducing plague, anthrax, tularaemia, cholera, and other deadly diseases, using synthetic biology methods.

On February 24, 2022, the Ukrainian Health Ministry publicly issued instructions to immediately dispose of the reserves of dangerous and especially dangerous pathogens stored at biological facilities, which proves that the Kiev regime did try to sweep any traces of these operations under the carpet. The review of the disposal statements confirmed that these facilities worked with the plague, anthrax, leptospirosis, and brucellosis agents. In the Lvov laboratory alone, they destroyed 232 containers of leptospirosis agents, 30 of tularemia, 10 of brucellosis, and 5 containing plague pathogens, and in total, over 320 containers. This inventory, coupled with the excessive quantity of pathogens, demonstrates that we are dealing here with biological weapons programmes carried out in violation of Article 1 of the BWC.

We also obtained evidence that two biological laboratories in Mariupol were working with the Pentagon. The preliminary review of the remaining documents showed that Mariupol served as a regional hub for collecting and classifying cholera agents. The selected strains were then transferred to the Public Health Centre in Kiev, which then forwarded these biological samples to the United States. Carried out since 2014, this activity is evidenced by statements confirming the transfer of the strains. Why did it start in 2014? The reason lies in the anti-constitutional coup. It upended Ukraine’s independence in making decisions, and overseeing and analysing activities of this kind. People from the United States, Canada and other NATO countries flocked to Ukraine to take charge of the main domestic, foreign policy and economic activity and everything related to defence, military and strategic affairs, etc.

A statement was discovered in a sanitary and epidemiological laboratory. Dated February 25, 2022, it provides for the disposal of a collection of pathogenic microorganisms, demonstrating that the facility worked with cholera, tularemia, and anthrax agents.

In the rush to dispose of the inventory, part of it remained in this veterinary laboratory. The fact that it contained agents that are not typically found in livestock, such as typhoid, paratyphoid, and gas gangrene, is quite perplexing. This could mean that this laboratory, too, took part in the biological weapons programme.

We have every reason to assert that the DTRA focused its operations in Ukraine on collecting strains of dangerous microorganisms and exporting them to the United States, as well as studying naturally occurring agents in this region, which can be transmitted to people, with the aim of potentially using them in biological weapons. In 2020, two mobile laboratories arrived in Donbass in order to collect biological samples from the local population, primarily in the country’s eastern regions, and study them. Black and Veatch acted as DTRA’s contractor in this project.

It was with DTRA’s support that the laboratories in Kiev, Kharkov and Odessa in Ukraine took part in the UP-4 project before 2020 to study the transmission of especially dangerous infections (highly pathogenic influenza A H5N1, which has a mortality rate of over 50 percent for humans, as well as the Newcastle Disease, which affects poultry) by wild birds migrating between Ukraine, Russia and other Eastern European countries.

In addition, the documents we obtained show that the United States planned to work on bird, bat and reptile pathogens in Ukraine this year, followed by a study of whether they could transmit the African swine fever and anthrax (P-781, UP-2, UP-9, UP-10 projects). This was a system-wide research effort carried out since at least 2009 and controlled directly by US specialists as part of projects P-382, P-444 and P-568. DTRA’s office head at the US embassy in Kiev was among those overseeing this activity.

One of the goals of the UP-2 project consisted of locating places where animal carcasses had been buried and collecting soil samples from burial sites of cattle infected with anthrax. The epidemiological situation in Ukraine as far as anthrax was concerned was quite positive, which begs the question: What was the Pentagon actually looking for? I would like to remind all geography buffs out there in NATO (we saw incredible people who thought that the Baltic and the Black seas form one big lake) that the United States does not share a border with Ukraine. Even if they want to find one, it is still not there. Attempts by the Pentagon to present this as a national security concern are groundless and do not hold water. But what was the Pentagon doing in the Ukrainian biological laboratories in the first place? The fact that the US military biologists were so keen to study disease-transmitting insects near cattle burial sites was not a coincidence, since during the 2016 anthrax outbreak in Russia there were cases where flies, including horseflies, transmitted the disease.

In addition, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation discovered three drones, equipped with 30-litre containers and sprays, in the Kherson Region on March 9, 2022. In late April 2022, they discovered 10 more devices of this kind near Kakhovka, after Russia released documents demonstrating Ukraine’s attempts to obtain drones equipped with sprays from the maker of the Bayraktars.

More than 4,000 people took part in studies under project UP-8. According to the Bulgarian media, some 20 Ukrainian soldiers died and 200 were hospitalised in the Kharkov laboratory alone during the experiments. The United States cannot carry out this activity on its own territory, so its military carry it out abroad. Where? Where they can, where there are no laws, where there is nobody to implement or enforce the law. This happened to be Ukraine.

It is an established fact that potentially dangerous biological agents were tested on the most vulnerable social group – patients at Kharkov’s regional psychiatric hospital No. 3. We have evidence describing in detail the Pentagon’s inhuman experiments with Ukrainian citizens at psychiatric hospital No. 1 (Strelechye, Kharkov Region).

The research results on the spread of dangerous deadly diseases like cholera, smallpox, anthrax, and botulinum toxins, were sent to military biological centres in the United States. These include the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Naval Medical Research Centre, as well as US Army Biological Warfare Laboratories at Fort Detrick, which used to be the key facilities in the US biological weapons programme. The US virologists focused on analysing the obtained samples to identify gene mutations in the agents and assess their virulence, pathogenic power and resistance to treatment.

Incidentally, about 2,000 blood serum samples taken from Ukrainian citizens of predominantly Slavic ethnic background have been sent to the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. More than 140 containers with bat ectoparasites such as fleas and ticks have been transferred to Germany.

The programmes were financed either directly under DTRA contracts with private American companies (mainly СН2М Hill) as part of the Defence Department’s project to counter especially dangerous pathogens in Ukraine until 2024, or through the Science and Technology Centre in Ukraine. Overall, more than $1.5 billion has been allocated for the implementation of bioprojects over the past 10 years. In particular, the Rosemont Seneca investment fund with financial resources of at least $2.4 billion has been involved in financing this activity. At the same time, it has been found to be closely linked with the main Pentagon contractors, including Metabiota, which, along with Black and Veatch, is the main equipment supplier for Pentagon’s biolabs across the world.

According to reports, DTRA informed the Pentagon in early March that the facilities in Ukraine used by US biological research programmes were a growing danger for European countries due to the hostilities on Ukrainian territory.

Worse still, the experiments with dangerous and highly dangerous pathogens carried out in Ukraine in the interests of the Pentagon had long been attracting attention from Ukrainian nationalist groups. In case of a military defeat, the nationalists could use those materials to implement the so-called scorched earth tactic, which was an additional threat.

Furthermore, during the special military operation, Russia obtained materials that evidenced the deliberate use, in 2020, of a multidrug-resistant tuberculosis pathogen to infect the population, including minors, in the Slavyanoserbsky District of the LPR by distributing flyers that looked like counterfeit banknotes. According to the Lugansk Republican Sanitary and Epidemiological Station report, “… the banknotes have most likely been infected artificially because the sample contains extremely dangerous strains in a concentration that can ensure infection and the development of the tuberculosis process.” The chief physician of the Lugansk Republican TB Prevention Centre has confirmed in a letter that “there are all signs of deliberate, man-made contamination of flyers with highly pathogenic biomaterial.” Do you know what they are testing the Ukrainians’ samples for in the EU? Tuberculosis. Why? Because they know what NATO agencies have been doing there.

DTRA has proposed to the Pentagon chiefs to take additional measures to monitor the epidemiological situation in Ukraine and neighbouring European countries. In case of any infection outbreaks, the recommendation is to immediately accuse the Russian Armed Forces of “attacking research and medical institutions,” or blame “Russian sabotage groups.” They have already established the necessary communication channels with the Pentagon’s partners in Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

According to available information, DTRA demanded that the Ukrainian ministries of defence and health ensure the guaranteed destruction of all remaining materials from the bio-research projects in Ukraine. The people who are now in the EU countries, many of them suffering from tuberculosis, are not victims of airstrikes on Ukrainian research centres used by the Pentagon. They weren’t subjected to any of that. They are just carriers. Because the United States has been carrying out that activity on the territory of the country where they lived. DTRA was afraid the international community would interpret the information about the results of their experiments as a violation of the BTWC by the United States. Most of the documents have been removed from the labs in Kiev, Odessa and Kharkov to the Research Institute of Epidemiology and Hygiene and American diplomatic institutions in Lvov.

The materials obtained by the Russian Federation suggest an unambiguous conclusion that private American companies affiliated with the Pentagon had been supporting the development of bioweapons in labs on the territory of Ukraine in the immediate vicinity of Russia. The urgent destruction of especially dangerous pathogens was required to prevent the discovery of violations of Articles 1 and 4 of the BTWC. This has confirmed the validity of Russia’s repeated claims, in the context of the implementation of the BTWC, about the biological warfare activities the United States and its allies have been conducting in post-Soviet countries.

We are preparing to invoke the mechanisms of Articles 5 and 6 of the BTWC, according to which the states parties must consult one another and cooperate in solving any problems that may arise in relation to the purpose of the Convention or the implementation of its provisions, as well as cooperate in any investigation of possible violations of BTWC obligations.

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Closing Canada’s CBC bureau in Moscow 

With deep regret we continue to note blatant attacks on Russian media in the countries of the “collective West.” They call themselves civilised, developed democracies. Among recent examples is Canada’s ban on the Russian television channels RT and RT France. We said that we would respond. The response would be symmetrical, similar, proportional, it does not matter. But it would be adequate.

We have repeatedly warned that such unilateral restrictive measures that defy the principles of freedom of speech and hinder the work of the Russian media will not be left unanswered. Everybody must realise that our response is inevitable and will happen following any such incident.

In this regard, a decision has been made to respond to Canada’s actions, namely, to close the Moscow bureau of CBC, the Canadian state television of radio broadcasting corporation, including cancelling the accreditations and Russian visas of its journalists.

Unfortunately, it is blatantly clear that the official Ottawa is pursuing an openly Russophobic course. It is understandable. Who had been steering the country’s foreign policy for many years? A person with roots going back to mid-20th century collaborationism. It is clear why they turn a blind eye to neo-Nazism in Ukraine: they were the ones who encouraged it. In addition to direct political, military and financial support of the Kiev regime, the attacks on dissenting views and media censorship have been part of their Russophobic course. Any alternate point of view is always dubbed the Kremlin’s disinformation.

Ottawa’s anti-Russia policy is reflected in the most negative way in the actions of Canada’s state television and radio. In fact, CBC has transformed into the voice of propaganda that distributes fake news and questionable information regarding Russia, consigning journalist ethnics and even elementary rules of decorum to oblivion. We would have put up with that. We did for many years; we ignored or disavowed fake information, disclosed and refuted it. But there have been actual restrictions against Russian media. So, we respond in kind.

Once again, we emphasise that Moscow’s retaliation measures towards the hostile actions of the Trudeau’s government are not aimed against the people of Canada, who our country traditionally respects. The problem is with Canada’s ruling elite and the media that serve it. They are deliberately destroying Russia-Canada relations to the detriment of its own national interests.

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Situation at the JCPOA reactivation talks

Despite a certain lull at the talks in Vienna, the countries, parties to the nuclear deal, as well as US representatives, continue to exert vigorous efforts, while searching for the most effective and mutually acceptable way of resuming the full-fledged implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) under its initial parameters. All the concerned parties realise that there is no alternative to the nuclear deal.

The parties to the negotiating process continue to maintain their contacts. Enrique Mora, Deputy Secretary-General of the European External Action Service and Coordinator of the Joint Commission of the JCPOA, visited Tehran last week. European and Iranian colleagues positively assess the meetings that took place during this visit, and note incipient progress. This instils a certain hope that we have taken one more step towards our main goal, namely ensuring the full-fledged reactivation of the JCPOA.

In turn, we intend to continue doing everything possible to ensure the positive outcome of the talks in Vienna, which require wholehearted efforts from all the participants, including Iran, the United States and European countries. This is our firm and objective position. We are urging all healthy forces to use their energy to preserve the JCPOA and restore the calibrated balance of interests on which it hinges.

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The situation in the Republic of Moldova

We have noted a number of events in Moldova that are a cause for concern.

On May 11, 2022, Moldova’s TV-8 television channel broadcast a Skype interview with Leonid Volkov, a member of the Russian opposition. He is a person of interest in criminal cases that have been opened in Russia, and arrest warrants have been issued for him in CIS member states under the Agreement on Interstate Search for People of December 10, 2010, of which the Republic of Moldova is a party. At the same time, the country stipulates tough broadcasting restrictions for Russian media outlets, claiming “unbalanced” information content provision. Has Moldova banned CNN or BBC broadcasts? Has it banned the websites of the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Financial Times? Or do they provide completely balanced information content?

On May 13, 2022, the Moldova Post said it was temporarily suspending the delivery of all letters and parcels to the Russian Federation, citing “technical reasons.” Over 220,000 Russian citizens now live in Moldova, and Moldovan diaspora in Russia has more than 200,000 members. The Moldova Post’s decision infringes upon the right of Russian and Moldovan residents to maintain business, cultural, humanitarian and personal contacts.

The above-mentioned actions of official Chisinau, as well as some of its other actions and statements, make one doubt that the country’s leadership is really committed to the Republic’s neutral status, to honouring the rights and interests of its residents, as well as to maintaining pragmatic and mutually beneficial partnership with Russia.  I know that Chisinau reacts sensitively to our statements, but we are no less sensitive to their actions.

Although the Moldovan authorities did not announce this, various national agencies are applying Western anti-Russian sanctions in the banking sphere and during the re-export of Russian goods. With the connivance of the Moldovan authorities, protesters have been staging daily anti-Russia rallies near the Russian Embassy in Chisinau for almost 60 days, and these rallies hamper the normal work of the diplomatic mission. A recent outrageous ban on using St George ribbons in the Republic caused a public outcry in Russia and Moldova.

We are once again urging the Moldovan party to refrain from actions that are detrimental to relations with Russia and not to follow in the wake of forces striving to involve the Republic of Moldova in the anti-Russia campaign. This negatively affects the citizens of our countries, in particular.

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Russia’s stance on Cyprus settlement

Once again, we are seeing certain media outlets spreading rumours that Russia is changing its principled stance on the Cyprus settlement. These provocative rumours have nothing to do with reality and pursue just one goal: to discredit our country and its foreign policy.

We have never questioned the principles of the peaceful solution to the Cyprus issue. We continue to consistently support a solution in line with international law and UN Security Council resolutions, which provide for creating a bicommunal bizonal federation with common international identity, sovereignty and citizenship.

Once again, our approach to the situation in Cyprus is widely known and remains unchanged concerning all aspects, including the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFYCIP), which plays an exceptionally important stabilising role in the current environment of uncertainty. We believe it is important to continue the operation of UNFYCIP as it was important to appoint a UN Secretary-General Special Representative in charge of the settlement that reports to the UN Security Council.

I would like to note for Cypriot media that we are always ready to comment on any leaks they may get to prevent misinformation on their pages.

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Growing terrorist activity in Burkina Faso and neighbouring countries

We are concerned about significantly intensified extremist activity in Burkina Faso and increasingly frequent cases of the extremists crossing over to the neighbouring countries.

In particular, on May 14‒16, 2022, a series of attacks on gendarmerie posts and self-defence groups, as well as attacks on a column of civilians near the border with Benin took place in the northern and eastern regions of Burkina Faso. The attacks resulted in more than 40 victims, including among civilians.

Earlier, in the early hours of May 11, 2011, as a result of a large-scale attack from the northern territory of Burkina Faso targeting an advance outpost of the Togolese armed forces, eight members of the military were killed and 13 sustained injuries of different severity levels. This was the first terrorist attack with casualties in the history of the state.

We strongly condemn these crimes and extend our condolences to the loved ones of those killed and wish speedy recovery to the injured.

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Desecration of Soviet military graves in Gdansk

We were outraged by an act of vandalism committed on May 11, 2022, in Gdansk, where perpetrators tore out and damaged 20 stars on the memorials to Soviet liberators on the graves of the Red Army soldiers killed while liberating the city.

The nature of this heinous act is absolutely clear: insulting the memory of the dead is now an integral part of Polish political provocateurs’ arsenal. This latest incident is not a random occasion but part of a deliberate campaign pursued by official Warsaw to disparage everything that is sacred for the people of Russia and those who fought against the brown plague.

Sadly, regular reports on criminal and immoral acts against the Soviet military legacy in Poland have long become ordinary news indicating that Polish officials have unleashed a Russophobic campaign. Recently, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki publicly confessed to his hatred of everything Russian thus revealing the nature of Warsaw’s policy against our country. Or is it just his personal opinion?

We can confidently say that Warsaw, neglecting all moral and international legal norms, has embarked on a course of state-supported vandalism against the memory of Soviet soldiers who gave their lives to save Poland from extermination by Nazis.

We want to remind any frenzied Russophobes that all their barbaric acts and dirty pillaging will not destroy the truth about the Victory. We will not allow it.

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Desecrating a memorial to Generalissimo Alexander Suvorov’s comrades who died when crossing the Alps in 1799, in the Shollenen Gorge (Switzerland)

On May 15, 2022, unidentified individuals desecrated the memorial to Generalissimo Alexander Suvorov’s comrades who died while crossing the Alps in 1799, in the Shollenen Gorge in Switzerland. The memorial cross and inscription were splashed with paint. What did Suvorov do to offend them?

We are deeply outraged by this horrendous act of vandalism. The incident demonstrates the level of culture in Switzerland. It has nothing to do with us. It has everything to do with you and those who stand behind this kind of campaigns, condone them and fail to search for or covers for the perpetrators.

We sent a protest note to the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation demanding that it takes urgent measures to rectify the damage caused, find and prosecute the guilty and ensure proper security of the memorial.

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13th International Economic Summit Russia – Islamic World: KazanSummit 2022

On May 19‒21, 2022, the 13th International Economic Summit Russia – Islamic World: KazanSummit 2022 will take place in Kazan. The event is held under the aegis of the Russia – Islamic World Strategic Vision Group, chaired by President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov.

KazanSummit is a well-established platform for presenting the Russian Federation’s economic opportunities and investment potential to its partners from Islamic countries. It serves as a modern dialogue platform for building new connections between representatives of international organisations, financial institutions and government bodies, embassies, and the senior managers of major Russian and foreign companies. Several events are scheduled on the sidelines of this year’s summit, including Russia Halal Expo 2022, the Machine Engineering Cluster Forum, World Halal Day and festivities marking the 1,100th anniversary of Volga Bulgaria’s adoption of Islam.

Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East Mikhail Bodganov and Ambassador-at-Large Konstantin Shuvalov will take part on behalf of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The 6th OIC Young Diplomats’ Forum (hereinafter the “forum”) will also take place during the summit, to be attended by representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Council of Young Diplomats, as well as invited guests and experts.

The forum will focus on issues of indivisible security, prospects for cooperation with OIC countries, countering new challenges and threats, and the role of young diplomats from the Islamic world in forming a major foreign political agenda. The International Association of Young Diplomats will hold its first induction ceremony.

The forum has been held since 2015, with more than 160 representatives of the OIC foreign ministries and agencies attending over the years. The forum is organised by the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Council of Young Diplomats, the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Academy of Youth Diplomacy public organisation.

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2nd Kostomarov Forum

One of our country’s priorities on the foreign humanitarian track is supporting and promoting the Russian language abroad. The Kostomarov Forum, organised by the Alexander Pushkin State Institute of the Russian Language, significantly contributes to developing international cooperation in this area.

This year, the forum will be held on May 24‒25 and will focus on the role of the Russian language and its functioning in the new conditions created by the information revolution and technological breakthrough of recent decades.

The forum programme includes a presentation of the Pushkin Institute’s research paper, 2021 Russian Language World Index, a panel discussion on preparations for the Year of the Russian Language as a Language of Interethnic Communication Across the CIS, to be held in 2023. The Cyril and Methodius Readings research and practice conference will comprise 30 sessions on sharing experience in linguistics, literature studies, teaching Russian as a foreign language, and social sciences and humanities. A roundtable meeting on the history and modern issues concerning the Cyrillic alphabet will be held. The detailed programme is available on the forum’s website.

Russian and foreign scholars, teachers, literature researchers and journalists, as well as representatives of government bodies, professional and public associations and business organisations are expected to attend.

The forum’s working language is Russian. The event will be held in the hybrid format. Sessions will also be streamed online on its website.

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Eurasian Economic Forum in Bishkek

On May 26, Bishkek will host the Eurasian Economic Forum. Its topic will be ‘Eurasian economic integration at the time of global change. New investment opportunities.’

We expect the forum to serve as a networking platform where businesses, government agencies, academia and experts can discuss the key matters on the development agenda of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), promoting entrepreneurship across its space and green energy, as well as strengthening region-to-region ties and cooperation.

The forum’s main programme includes six panel discussions covering the strategic prospects for Eurasian integration, ensuring economic stability for EAEU member states, manufacturing, agriculture, energy, and transport infrastructure, the digital agenda, as well as new areas of cooperation for the EAEU.

You can register for the forum and explore its programme on its website. You can also follow its online stream.

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Answers to media questions:

Question: Russia withdrew from the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference, citing the lack of dialogue. What is your assessment of the diplomatic contacts in this region?

Maria Zakharova: Let me draw your attention to the statement that we made yesterday announcing Russia’s withdrawal from the Council of the Baltic Sea States.

The situation within the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) has been deteriorating. NATO and EU countries within CBSS rejected equal dialogue and the principles that lie at the very foundation of this regional structure in the Baltic, consistently striving to turn it into a tool of their anti-Russia policy. Illegal and discriminatory decisions have been made in violation of the consensus rule. Russia has been suspended from further participation in the Council’s activities and projects, and Belarus, which has an observer status within the Council, was also suspended.

The CBSS has been riddled with contradictions for a long time now, and we pointed out many of them. You can find this in our briefings, statements and comments. Our former partners sought to politicise the Council’s activity by promoting their own ideology-driven agenda. Russia, in turn, focused on practical cooperation, prioritising stable socioeconomic development for the Baltic region. Unfortunately, the destructive logic of the other side prevailed.

The Western countries – to call them what they are – monopolised the Council for the sake of their momentary interests and they want to make it work against Russia’s interests. They project extra-regional issues onto the Baltic, pressure those who are interested in continuing full and unabridged cooperation, threatening to undermine everything that has been achieved over the past years, as well as regional stability. On May 25, 2022, Kristiansand, Norway, is expected to host the CBSS Ministerial Session without Russia. They de facto stole our contribution to the CBSS budget and refuse to return it, citing sanctions.

We don’t see any prospects for putting the Council back on track. Instead, it is sinking deeper and deeper into Russophobia and lies. We believe staying in the CBSS would be unreasonable and counterproductive for our country. Russia will not participate in turning this organisation into yet another platform for subversion and Western self-admiration.

In response to these hostile acts, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov sent a message to CBSS ministers, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, as well as the Council’s Secretariat in Stockholm to notify them of Russia’s withdrawal from this organisation. At the same time, the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation took the decision to leave the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference.

Ending Russia’s CBSS membership will not affect its regional presence. Attempts to expel our country from the Baltic are doomed to failure. We will continue working with responsible partners and hold events on the key issues on the development agenda of the Baltic region that we all share, as well as to defend and promote the interests of our compatriots.

The current situation within the CBSS rests on the conscience of those who undermined the very foundations of this organisation.

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Question: The United States, the EU and UN have stated they are willing to assist in the removal of grain from Ukraine. Have they discussed these initiatives with Russia?

Maria Zakharova: The EU member states were seriously concerned over the rapid rise in the prices of grain, fodder and fertilisers, let alone energy prices, even before the current crisis, as well as the unprofitability of private farming and fishing. All of this was put in black and white. The EU summit held in late March passed the decision on the need to guarantee, under the existing circumstances, the affordability of food in the EU member countries.  A few weeks later, the European Commission came up with a detailed initiative to this effect (I spoke about it earlier today).

We urge the international community not to succumb to provocations. I have no information confirming that the initiatives I have mentioned were in any manner discussed with Russia.

Question: What can you say about the murder of Al Jazeera’s Shireen Abu Akleh?

Maria Zakharova: This tragedy has stirred up the entire Arab world. Few people remain indifferent to it. The Palestinian journalist was killed in the line of duty as she was selflessly covering an Israeli raid on the refugee camp in Jenin on the West Bank.

Yesterday, while meeting in Moscow with Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), member of the Fatah Central Committee and Head of the General Authority for Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh, Sergey Lavrov expressed condolences on the death of Shireen Abu Akleh and voiced his support of the Palestinian demand to hold an unbiased investigation into her death.

We should focus separately on the outrage that occurred during her funeral, when the military assaulted the people carrying the body and accompanying the funeral procession. I can tell you honestly that I have never seen anything like that.

As for a response to what was going on at the funeral from related international institutions… Were they there?

I would like to note that the lack of progress in the settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the stalemate in the negotiating process repeatedly explode into fierce standoffs that leave in their wake numerous victims among peaceful civilians, including women and children. These tragedies could be avoided by achieving mutually acceptable compromises regarding the final status via a direct dialogue based on the generally recognised international legal framework of Middle East settlement that provides for the creation of an independent Palestinian state. The Russian leaders have repeatedly spoken about this.

Question: How will the Russian Foreign Ministry respond to the Lithuanian Foreign Minister’s call for a regime change in Russia? 

Maria Zakharova: This is an attempt to interfere in Russia’s internal affairs and destroy what remains of our bilateral relations. He is trying to curry favour with his overseas masters.

Mr Landsbergis, who lives in a state that tramples underfoot the basic human rights and freedoms, has clearly forgotten that the Russian President is elected by the people. This has nothing to do with his personal views or his country’s position. But the pathological hatred that he feels for Russia is blurring his vision and depriving him of the last of his reason. Consequently, he can’t see the obvious. This is Russophobia, pure and simple.

Let us take a look at the people who make these statements. We always comment only on statements. But who makes them? They are made by people who have Russophobia in their blood. It is inherited as a specific “legacy” or, possibly, a genetic trait.

I have a lot to say about the Landsbergis regime. They are a dynasty. Let me give you just a few widely available facts. You will understand who I am talking about. All materials are from open sources. They are also available in the archives.

Suffice it to recall the great-grandfather of the current Lithuanian foreign minister, Vytautas Landsbergis-Zemkalnis, who in 1941was the utilities minister in the Ambrazevicius-Brazaitis Government that collaborated with the Nazis. Landsbergis was directly involved in the effort to create concentration camps all over Lithuania, including in Kaunas. He was the Landsbergises regime’s great-grandfather. It was there, at Fort Nine, that on October 29, 1941, the Nazis committed a heinous crime, executing 9,200 Jews, including 4,273 children.

Landsbergis-Zemkalnis also collaborated with Gestapo, the German secret police. After the war, he fled to Australia (which also does not notice neo-Nazism in today’s Ukraine, but has introduced all sorts of sanctions against Russian citizens) but was granted the right to return to the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1959 after he contributed information about other Nazi fugitives to the Soviet security bodies.

The foreign minister’s grandfather, Professor of the Vilnius Philharmonic Society Vytautas Landsbergis, continued the family tradition of conformism and change of political position. He actively collaborated with the USSR secret services: at their recommendation he was appointed the leader of the movement of the Lithuanian intellectuals in support of the perestroika (Sajudis). At his will, it later transformed into a separatist movement for the withdrawal of Lithuania from the USSR. So much for the family.

Vytautas Petkevicius, Landsbergis’s colleague at the Sajudis action group, wrote the following about this grey eminence of Lithuanian politics: “From the very first days, Landsbergis sought to turn the organisation into his pocket political party, with membership, party cards and membership fees.”  In all evidence, he was motivated by his knowledge of the best totalitarian practices. Later he started mixing up Sajudis money with his own. This was something in the liberal economy genre. Still later, contributions from compatriots became this gentleman’s personal money box, a source of payments to his allies, extras for participating in rallies, and funds for foreign travel. The same pocket ate up one million dollars collected by Canadians for Lithuanian orphans and a Norwegian donation to the Lithuanian people. But Landsbergis again managed to get himself out of the mess, declaring that he had created a fund bearing his name.

Autocracy pales in comparison with the Baltic democracies and their representatives. If you only knew how Baltic officials start cringing when you come to citing facts from their biographies or those of their relatives who have directly influenced their civil service promotion or career advancement.  Do you know how much they dislike it? But why are you so embarrassed about it? These are the facts of your biography, and you should be proud of them. We didn’t invent anything. We have just facts and quotes. And you have disproved nothing. So, take it and sign for it.

Question: Could you comment on the Ukrainian authorities’ recent decision to nationalise the property of Russia’s banks VEB and Sberbank?

Maria Zakharova: The Kiev regime stopped caring about the norms and principles of international law and the Ukrainian Constitution long ago, both with regard to its own citizens and those of other states. It is hardly surprising that, on May 12, 2022, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine approved the executive order of President Vladimir Zelensky on the so-called enforced confiscation of Russian property in the country. In effect, this amounts to a brazen theft of assets owned by subsidiaries of Russia’s Sberbank and the State Development Corporation of Russia VEB.RF located in Ukraine. These assets are worth $860 million. This is a continuation of the same logic. However, no one in Kiev has any misgivings about the fact that the nationalised subsidiary banks also manage the money of Ukrainian citizens and legal entities, and that the Ukrainian authorities are simply robbing them.

This unconstitutional escapade of the Kiev regime replicates the worst actions of this kind by Washington, Brussels and London. Let them call it whatever they like. In reality, this is banal theft.

Question: The President of Finland described Vladimir Putin’s response to his country joining NATO as surprisingly calm. How does this calm Russian response tally with the Deputy Foreign Minister’s statement that Russia will not simply reconcile itself to the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO?

Maria Zakharova: This was how the Finnish party perceived reality. You should ask them why they got this impression and whether it was correct. This is their perception. Let’s not confuse things. Everyone has a right to perceive things the way he or she sees fit.

The Russian party has set forth its position regarding the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO. We have published our arguments and statements.

Every state has a sovereign right to choose specific options to ensure its national security. However, no one should ensure its own security at the expense of other countries’ security.

The Russian Federation will respond, and the content of its countermeasures, including military-technical elements, will largely depend on specific NATO membership terms for Finland and Sweden, including the deployment of foreign military bases and strike weapons systems on their territory. Our response will feature less words and more actual steps.

Question: An 18-year-old neo-Nazi who shot at a crowd in the United States sported the insignia of the Azov battalion. Can you comment on this coincidence?

Maria Zakharova: This is not the first mass shooting based on such hatred. It goes without saying that a comprehensive investigation should be conducted, including confirmation of the fact that the shooter used Nazi symbols, the so-called “black sun.”  We saw the video and think that an investigation must be held. This is important because a lot of unverified information is now circulating. Let’s be guided by the facts.

However, the very atmosphere of a deep public fissure in American society, as well as neglected problems of racism and institutionalised violence, due to free access to weapons, generate new manifestations of crime that are horrendous in terms of their scale and the ways they are carried out.

Regarding the link with Nazi symbols and Azov, which you have mentioned, this amounts to the flirtation of the US administration and its security services with neo-Nazis all over the world, with obvious consequences. They forget that all this will also spill over into the United States. In fact, this has already been happening for a long time. If they see nothing unusual in the fact that neo-Nazi ideas are spreading in “client” countries, then why should they be surprised that such symbols are actively used in various US states? The problem lies elsewhere. This isn’t just about symbols, it is about a revival. Many do not grasp the gist of this. We are talking about the actions that these symbols provoke. They explain a person’s planned future actions, and they are like a warning danger sign or a semaphore.  Many perceive this as an endorsement of such symbols and the related actions in the United States. This flirtation, which we have mentioned, leads to such tragic results.

Question: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the 30th Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy that “in the current environment, we are witnessing a serious shift in the mindsets of many of our comrades in all spheres of Russia’s life.” What effect is this having on the staff of the ministry’s central office, the embassies and consulates general?

Maria Zakharova: Like the rest of the country, we have rallied even closer together. Awareness of the historical shift underway in the world, which is life-changing for Russia, has given a fresh impetus to the resolve of our personnel to do their professional duties even more professionally and diligently.

Crises can catch you unawares, when you can’t think straight, feel at a loss and lose heart, or it can give you more inspiration. The latter is our case. We have rallied together and joined forces and efforts to attain the goals set for us by the nation.

The completely unprovoked outbreak of Russophobia in the West, the illegal trade and economic restrictions and the desire to demonise everything Russian have reinforced the belief of our staff and their families that truth, justice and moral probity are on the side of Russia and its people. They have found themselves at the forefront of the political stage, that’s for sure. You can’t imagine the situation they’re living in now and the actions that are being taken against them, from provocations and threats to open violence, psychological pressure and the creating of conditions that those behind these things believe will make their work impossible. We are proud of our people!

They have shown remarkable personality traits, such as comradeship and professionalism. I am referring both to our rank-and-file employees and to the senior officials in our foreign offices, as Sergey Lavrov pointed out.

We are reshuffling our personnel. Those who are returning home will be offered new positions. The relevant departments are regularly reporting on this to the minister.

As for foreign policy guidelines, we have redoubled efforts to strengthen our diplomacy on the eastern track and in Africa, Latin America and the CIS. The results will not be long in coming.

Question: Dmitry Birichevsky, director of the Department of Economic Cooperation at the ministry, noted recently that the EU’s decision to suspend Russian oil and gas imports would have an extremely negative effect on the European and global economies. What effect will this embargo have on Russia? What countermeasures can your ministry take?

Maria Zakharova: The physical volume of Russian hydrocarbon exports has decreased amid the foreign sanctions pressure. However, we believe that our export revenues will at least not decrease, due to rapidly rising oil and gas prices. The so-called embargo, which the EU is now considering, could send oil prices soaring.

Our obvious logical response in this event would be to reorient our oil and gas exports.  This is not an easy task. It will involve changing logistics routes, as well as legal and business matters. Russia is already reorienting its coal, oil and gas export infrastructure towards the East. It is worth noting that energy needs around the world, and especially in the Asia Pacific region, will be growing. We have no doubt about demand for Russian energy resources. The Foreign Ministry is helping Russian companies find counterparties, including in Asia Pacific.

Question: Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has pointed out that joining NATO will not strengthen the security of Sweden and Finland. As for economic ties, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin has made several other unfriendly moves towards Russia, notably regarding the nuclear power plant project with Rosatom. Maybe a picture of possible economic losses should be provided to Helsinki?

Maria Zakharova: Finland is aware of its economic losses because of the European sanctions and our response measures. We regard the decision taken by Finland’s Fennovoima to stop cooperating with Rosatom companies within the framework of the agreement on the construction of the Hanhikivi 1 Nuclear Power Plant as openly politicised. It is obvious that the decision to stop that commercial project was forced on the client by the Finnish authorities, who were pressured by their foreign partners. It is not a coincidence that the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, which is responsible for energy matters, hastily welcomed that decision, which it described as “principled and consistent.” We know very well where such instructions are issued.

Rosatom State Corporation put forth its position on that matter in a May 2 statement. It expressed disappointment at the decision of Fennovoima Oy, which was taken without any detailed consultation with the project’s shareholders, the largest of which is RAOS Voima, which has a 34 percent stake in the project. Rosatom concluded that it reserved the right to defend its interests in accordance with applicable contracts and laws.

Question: Can you provide any information about those who left Azovstal? We know of discussions on a possible exchange on the Ukrainian side. Is there any discussion underway in Russia? We heard that Russian lawmakers are considering reinstating the death penalty for these people. What is the real situation?

Maria Zakharova: This is the competence of the Russian Ministry of Defence. At the same time, we would like to note that all the wounded and seriously injured people and anyone who needs medical assistance has been receiving it. They are in the Novoazovsk hospital in the DPR. The rest have been placed in a pre-trial detention centre in Yelenovka, a suburb of Donetsk.

As for other issues, they will be resolved in due course. At this stage, the most important issue is the safe exit of everyone from Azovstal, and providing them with medical care, other necessary humanitarian assistance and accommodation.

As for other questions, we will certainly provide regular updates.

Question: Is an exchange being discussed?

Maria Zakharova: At this stage, the information I shared is all I have. I have nothing to add.

Our priority, the one we have been stating for three weeks, was their exit from Azovstal. We have persuaded people to come out every day, and made several announcements of humanitarian corridors for everyone including civilians, militants and military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Only now has the Kiev regime allowed them to do so. At the moment, our priorities are their safe exit and the provision of assistance to them. This problem needs to be solved, and it is being solved now.

Question: What happens to those civilians who came out through the humanitarian corridors, but were stopped by the “filtering” procedure? Where are they being held? Will they be entitled to due legal procedure? What are the conditions of where they are kept?

Maria Zakharova: You mean the people who came out – when? Today? Who are exiting now? Those who needed medical assistance are receiving it, or have received it by now. I can check where the rest went, because this matter is the competence of the Russian Ministry of Defence. I promise to find this information. I’ll check and get back to you.

Question: Why does Russia consider Ukraine’s NATO membership and its cooperation with NATO such a big threat, while, according to Sergey Lavrov, Finland’s NATO membership does not have such great importance for Russia?

Maria Zakharova: I do not remember Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov saying it the way you quoted. Let me find the exact quote.

We have long insisted that any expansion of NATO has a bearing on, and significance in the context of global international and, in particular, European security. This was the security guarantees we demanded, because we have seen the alliance expand and reach our borders. You certainly understand the difference between the situations in Finland and Ukraine.

I don’t know, maybe you have some additional information about growing numbers of nationalist battalions in Finland, for example? Maybe dozens of Pentagon biological laboratories are deployed in Finland and experimenting with dangerous pathogens? I am unaware of any information about Finland being pumped full of the same types of weapons that have been supplied to Ukraine under contracts or without contracts to an area of an armed intra-Finnish conflict, but perhaps you know about it? I don’t know anything about it. This is just a brief overview of the differences between Finland and Ukraine in the last decade.

The developments in Ukraine followed a dramatic scenario due to blatant interference by Washington, with the anti-constitutional coup in Kiev being one of the strongest catalysts. Perhaps you have information on a similar revolution in Finland? I don’t know anything about it. This is why the two situations are different, in broad strokes.

The choice of ways to ensure national security is (this is our underlying approach) the sovereign right of each country, but at the same time, it should not be ensured at the expense of other states.

We have no other choice left but to take retaliatory measures. The specifics – including the military-technical aspect – will depend on the terms of Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership, including the deployment of foreign military bases and strike weapon systems on their territory.

As for the differences in our reactions to Finland joining NATO and Ukraine’s ambition to become a member of this military bloc, as the Russian side emphasised earlier, in particular, they stem from Kiev’s decision to include in its doctrinal documents its intention to return Crimea, a sovereign Russian territory, possibly by military means. Finland has no territorial claims to the Russian Federation. There are no documents where it would say it could use any means to return any Russian territory. This is another argument to add to the previous ones.

Question: What kind of military-technical measures does Russia plan to apply to Finland, and what might their timeframe be?

Maria Zakharova: It will be a surprise. A question is for the Defence Ministry. The corresponding decision will factor in the full scope of details and specifics of how Finland’s membership in NATO will unfold. The decision will be made based on all these parameters, and primarily, it will be up to the military.

Question: Is there any discussion on exchanging Azovstal prisoners for the Russian, DPR or LPR soldiers being held captive? We would also like to know something about the fate of Artyom Ryabovichev and Daniil Romanov from a DPR tank brigade. Some Russian journalists wrote about them. According to their reports, they have been prisoners since May 1. Ukrainian militants were torturing them on camera and posting the videos online. Earlier, Ukraine refused to exchange them, saying it would negotiate only with Russia rather than with the DPR. Is the Foreign Ministry aware of the fate of Ryabovichev and Romanov and are there plans to put them on the exchange lists?

Maria Zakharova: Normally, we join in when there are diplomatic relations. After February 24, when Kiev broke off diplomatic relations with Russia and closed the Russian foreign missions in Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry lost its channels for dealing with issues like this. Nevertheless, during the special military operation, these problems are being handled by the Defence Ministry of Russia and Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova. The Foreign Ministry constantly informs them of any case of a Russian citizens being detained in Ukraine. All this information is being consolidated.

We are able to raise these issues at international venues. We put these questions to Kiev’s Western sponsors, drawing their attention to the Ukrainian neo-Nazis’ cruel and inhuman treatment of detained Russian soldiers and of People’s Militia fighters from the DPR and LPR. We demand that the standards of international humanitarian law be rigorously observed with respect to these men. We urge related international organisations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, to take exhaustive measures for their protection, specifically to gain access to them and honestly inform the international community about the results. We hope these efforts will help us find out more about the fate of these two DPR servicemen.

Question: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov went on record as saying that Moscow has information indicating that Ukraine lacks independence at the talks and that it is “guided” by London and Washington. He also said that Russia had received no concrete proposals on Ukraine from the West. Does this mean that Moscow is losing interest in direct negotiations with Ukraine and wants the “collective West” to join the process?

Maria Zakharova: We showed an interest and displayed a lot of patience, an interest in all types of talks, for eight years. We came up with many possible scenarios on how these talks could be conducted. Currently, everything is being decided primarily on the ground.

When Ukraine showed an interest and signaled a desire to hold talks with Russia, we responded. But they started doing all they could to drag out the talks. When there was interest on the Ukrainian side, it was supported by Russia. At this point – the Russian Foreign Ministry and other agencies have commented on this – the Kiev regime is doing everything it can to prevent the talks from being held in a normal negotiating format.

The West has always been behind the Kiev regime, both the current and previous authorities. A “Western hand” has always guided the pen that was allegedly held by any representatives from Kiev. There is nothing new here, no breakthrough.

Question: How would you assess the work of the trilateral working group engaged in unblocking regional economic ties and communications, which is co-chaired by the deputy prime ministers of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan? What stage is the process at now and when can we expect obvious results?

Maria Zakharova: We have high regard for the work of the Trilateral Working Group (TWG). The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan gave similar assessments during their meeting with Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the CIS Foreign Ministers Council meeting in Dushanbe on May 12.

We believe that the unblocking of all transport and economic connections in the South Caucasus is one of the key goals in the context of the effort to normalise Armenian-Azerbaijani relations and, more broadly, to harmonise cooperation in the region.

The TWG co-chairs have regular meetings designed to work out solutions that will suit all sides. Last week, the Russian co-chair, Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Overchuk, visited Yerevan for talks with Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan. Among other things, the officials discussed how to open communications in the region. The co-chairs inform the media of the specific results of the joint work on an individual basis.

Question: Are there any clear agreements between Armenia and Azerbaijan regarding a possible meeting of the Commission on Border Delimitation and Security, where Russia is expected to provide advisory support?

Maria Zakharova: We are consistently advocating the creation of a bilateral commission for the delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, with its subsequent demarcation with Russia’s advisory assistance. Simultaneously, as the trilateral statement from the November 26, 2021 Sochi summit stipulates, steps are to be taken to increase stability and security on the border between the two countries.

This matter was discussed during the trilateral meeting of foreign ministers in Dushanbe. Our partners said they were close to completing the formation of their national delegations. Russia has already built an expert team. We hope that in the near future, we could launch practical work on the delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.

We would like to emphasise that Russia has unique expert potential in border delimitation and settlement of border disputes between post-Soviet countries. We will be happy to share our experience and practices with our Armenian and Azerbaijani friends as part of the commission.

Question: The Azerbaijani side continues to violate the ceasefire on the border. On May 7, at around 1.50 pm, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces fired from different calibre firearms at the Sotk gold mine, injuring one of the mine employees. How would you comment on the Azerbaijani side’s actions against the civilian population?

Maria Zakharova: We are confident that the expeditious launch of the commission on the delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border would effectively prevent any further border incidents. The commission could contribute to developing confidence-building mechanisms, including, for example, by creating contact groups to ensure stability in the border areas.

Question: Recent photos of the Armenian Holy Resurrection Church in Hadrut, a province controlled by the Azerbaijani side, on social media show that its cross has been dismantled and the Armenian inscriptions erased. How would you assess the acts of vandalism against Armenian cultural and religious sites in Nagorno-Karabakh?

Maria Zakharova: I have no information on this score. As Russian representatives have repeatedly emphasised, we call on both parties to preserve the region’s cultural and historical heritage, involving specialised international agencies including UNESCO, if necessary.

Question: The situation in Afghanistan and border security was one of the main issues at the CSTO summit in Moscow. What measures are planned to ensure the security of member countries within the framework of this organisation?

Maria Zakharova: The situation in the CSTO area of responsibility and in the immediate vicinity of our borders makes us be as vigilant as possible and ready, if necessary, to respond timely and appropriately to emerging threats to the security of member nations. This is a task of the organisation.

Pursuant to the instructions given by the leaders at the CSTO Extraordinary Summit on August 23, 2021, CSTO member states prepared proposals for joint response measures to challenges and threats from the territory of Afghanistan. The Russian Federation has proposed a number of specific measures through its foreign policy departments, including:

– Strengthening foreign policy coordination to ensure a unified position of CSTO member states on the political settlement in Afghanistan. Involving representatives of the CIS and SCO secretariats in the meetings of the Working Group on Afghanistan under the CSTO Foreign Ministers Council;

– Intensifying contacts between the CSTO and the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia;

– Stepping up cooperation between the competent agencies and special services of CSTO member states in detecting and neutralising extremist and terrorist cells in the countries of the Organisation;

– Taking a range of preventive measures as part of the unscheduled operations Nayomnik (Mercenary), PROXY and Nelegal (Illegal Alien);

– Focusing Kanal (Channel), a CSTO’s anti-drug operation, on suppressing drug trafficking along the “northern route”;

– Implementing joint measures to counter subversive propaganda by terrorist organisations in cyberspace on the basis of the CSTO’s 2016 List of Additional Measures to Counter International Terrorism and Extremism;

– Increasing cooperation between the CSTO and the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee.

All these measures are being consistently implemented and serve to strengthen the security of all member states of the Organisation, as well as to maintain stability in the region as a whole.

Question: How does the Russian Federation view the escalating tensions in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region of Tajikistan?

Maria Zakharova: We are concerned by the information provided by the official authorities of Tajikistan on the escalation of tensions in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, which, according to reports, was provoked by criminal elements and extremist sympathisers, who joined them. As a result, there were victims and casualties, including among Tajik law enforcement officers.

The Russian Embassy in Dushanbe is in constant contact with the country’s competent authorities. According to preliminary information, there are no Russian citizens among the victims.

The Tajik authorities promise to take the necessary measures to stabilise the situation and ensure the safety of Russian citizens who may be present on the scene.

The US Is Recalibrating Its Eurasian Containment Strategy Against Russia & China

19 MAY 2022

By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

The US’ grand strategy pretty much amounts to preparing for what many fear might be the inevitable conventional phase of what some are already calling the ongoing Third World War that’s thus far only being waged through hybrid (economic, financial, information, proxy, etc.) means.

Russia’s ongoing special military operation in Ukraine prompted the US to decisively shift for the time being to focusing more on “containing” it than China, which has thus far succeeded in uniting the West under its previously fading hegemony. Nevertheless, this temporary pivot raised questions about the US’ hegemonic commitment to “containing” China in the Asia-Pacific, made all the more uncertain by India’s proud flexing of its strategic autonomy by continuing to practice a policy of principled neutrality towards the Ukrainian Conflict in spite of unprecedented American pressure to condemn and sanction Moscow.

Biden’s trip to South Korea and Japan gives the US the opportunity to recalibrate its Eurasian “containment” strategy in light of these new international conditions. He’ll participate in a meeting with the Quad while in Tokyo on 24 May, during which time the American leader will have to make the best out of India’s refusal to join that network’s anti-Russian crusade while still trying to find a role for it play in “containing” China despite that South Asian state being left out of AUKUS. Furthermore, India’s trust in the US has greatly deteriorated due to America’s hegemonic pressure campaign against it.

The only way that the US can simultaneously “contain” Russia and China is to rely on a supercontinental-wide version of its “Lead From Behind” model that was first experimented with during NATO’s War on Libya in 2011. This concept refers to the US getting regional partners with shared interests to do the proverbial “heavy lifting” while it provides all the necessary back-end assistance such as intelligence and logistics, not to mention occasionally “leading from the front” by publicly setting the agenda and directly confronting the targeted state.

In the Western Eurasian theater of the New Cold War, the US’ plans to incorporate Finland and Sweden into NATO are aimed at complicating Russia’s regional security environment, dividing its focus, and thus creating opportunities for the EU to more effectively leverage its existing military capabilities to continue threatening Russia’s national security interests. The US’ 100,000 troops will remain in the continent to serve as credible tripwires against any Russian kinetic action towards its NATO vassals while mostly focusing on enhancing their capabilities to “contain” that country.

For instance, Poland could become a regional center of NATO gravity in the “Three Seas Initiative” (3SI) across Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) that Warsaw envisions falling within its “sphere of influence”. The Scandinavian countries (Denmark/Finland/Iceland/Norway/Sweden), meanwhile, would form their own so-called “Viking Bloc”. Similarly, Bulgaria and Romania could function as the US’ Balkan outposts in the Black Sea. France and Germany might move towards a so-called “EU Army” that could involve them all while the UK could assist the US in managing all of this per its junior partnership in that hegemonic axis.  

On the Eastern Eurasian front, India can’t be relied upon to “contain” China “to the last Indian” like the US manipulated Ukraine into “containing” Russia “to the last Ukrainian”. This throws a major spanner in America’s grand strategic plans, but it’s not an irreparable problem in principle. India can still function as a siphon of foreign investment from China, especially if the People’s Republic continues practicing its zero-COVID policy that’s hurt supply chains, but it still has a long way to go before reaching that point. Nevertheless, India’s economic role in this “containment” model is more promising than its military one.

AUKUS is indisputably the “tip of the sphere” when it comes to the US’ military “containment” plans against China, and this emerging network will likely recruit more regional partners such as the Philippines and South Korea. Moreover, NATO is expanding to the Asia-Pacific under the false pretext of the EU’s response to the China-Solomon Islands deal, so that’ll help “share the burden” of US hegemony there. It might even be the case that this bloc’s Balkan, CEE, and Scandinavian members take the lead in “containing” Russia while its Western European ones shift to “containing” China in the Asia-Pacific.

For this grand strategic scenario to materialize, the US must first “lead from the front” by formulating these complex plans and providing incentives for every member to play their envisioned roles. This will include setting the agenda through public statements, providing economic incentives (e.g. preferential trade deals and/or threatening to impose “secondary sanctions” against all who don’t curtail their ties with Russia and China), selling state-of-the-arm military equipment, carrying out joint military exercises, and devising a joint infowar strategy for all its partners to participate in against those two.

The task ahead is unprecedented in scale and scope but represents the only way that America has any credible chance of stopping the decline of its unipolar hegemony, not to mention potentially reversing it in some respects like it just succeeded in doing in the EU. It pretty much amounts to preparing for what many fear might be the inevitable conventional phase of what some are already calling the ongoing Third World War that’s thus far only being waged through hybrid (economic, financial, information, proxy, etc.) means. The US doesn’t seem deterred by this though and is proceeding at full speed ahead.

أميركا تهرب إلى البلطيق وروسيا لديها ما يسحق الأطلسي

الأربعاء 18 أيار 2022

 محمد صادق الحسيني

واشنطن تتخبّط وتهرب من حفرة الى حفرة أعمق، في مواجهتها المحتدمة مع موسكو!

وطلب كلّ من فنلندا والسويد الانتماء لحلف الناتو ما هو في الواقع سوى مناورات أميركيّة بائسة سببها الهروب من الواقع المخزي لها في أوكرانيا ومستقبل الأطلسي القاتم هناك.

فالسويد وفنلندا يعتبران عملياً جزءاً من الناتو أصلاً سواء بنوع التسليح أو عبر قنوات التعاون المستمرة والمفتوحة بينهما وبين الناتو منذ سنوات، وهو الذي لديه مقرّان مهمان في كل من ستوكهولم وهلسنكي.

ثم أن الروس كانوا قد أعدّوا سلفاً لمثل هذا الاحتمال حتى قبل العملية الخاصة الجارية حالياً في أوكرانيا، عندما زرعوا مقاطعة كالينينغراد الروسية القريبة من البلطيق بمنظومة صواريخ اسكندر القادرة على ضرب أهداف خصمها على مدى ٥٠٠ كلم، ما يجعل البلدين وقواعد الناتو هناك هدفاً قابلاً للتدمير دون الدخول في عملية مباشرة .

ومع ذلك، فإنّ الروس لن يتقبّلوا مثل هذه الخطوة بسهولة، بل سيعتبرونها خطوة استفزازية إضافية في المواجهة الجارية بينهم وبين الأطلسي، باعتبارها خطوة تخلّ بقواعد التعامل المتفق عليها بين الغرب والشرق منذ عقود، تقوم واشنطن وحلفاؤها الأوروبيون الآن بالخروج عليها كما يلي:

 أولا: فنلندا كانت حتى العام ١٩١٧ جزءاً من الإمبراطورية الروسية ولم تنفك عنها الا بعد انتهاء الحرب العالمية الأولى وانتصار الثورة البلشفية بقيادة لينين ما فتح بالمجال لإعلان فنلندا دولة مستقلة. وهو الأمر الذي ترتب عليه نوع من التوافق الثنائي بين البلدين تكرّس رسمياً في معاهدة باريس الدولية في العام ١٩٤٧ تعهدت فيها فنلندا بعدم الانضمام لأي تجمع او دولة معادية للاتحاد السوفياتي .

وهي الدولة التي لديها حدود بحرية وبرية طولها أكثر من ١٣٠٠ كم شمالاً وشمال غرب وهو أمر خطير أن تتحوّل فجأة الى معسكر للناتو في حضن روسيا تماماً.

ثانياً: للسويد تاريخ من الحروب مع روسيا عندما كانت مملكة قوية كانت آخرها قبل نحو ٢٠٠ عام، خسرتها المملكة السويدية لصالح روسيا، ما أفرز يومها عقد الصلح بينهما على أن تعلن اوسلو حيادها التام، وهو ما ظلت ملتزمة به منذ ذلك الحين بشكل رسمي…

فما عدا مما بدا حتى تقرّر اليوم الانقلاب على ذلك الاتفاق!؟

اذن هي واشنطن التي تبحث عن مسار تصعيديّ إعلاميّ ظناً منها أنها تستطيع استنزاف موسكو في البلطيق بعد أن خسرت الرهان في البحر الأسود، لعلها في ذلك تضعف جبهة المواجهة بين تحالف الشرق الاقتصادي الكبير بقيادة الصين وبين الغرب الأميركي المتصدّع والذي بدأ يئنّ من تداعيات العملية الروسية الاقتصادية في أوكرانيا، كما تفيد كلّ التقارير، بما فيها ما ورد على لسان الناطق باسم البيت الأبيض أخيراً عندما ألحّ على الكونغرس لعمل أي شيء لإنقاذ مشروع لصندوق الدعم القومي لأوكرانيا والذي لا يملك أكثر من ٢٠٠ مليون دولار من أصل الـ ٤٠ مليار التي وعد بها بايدن خادمه زيلينيسكي…

لكن موسكو رغم كل ما يُشاع عن خطورة الوضع المستجدّ بخصوص هذه الخطوة، قادرة على سحق كلّ الوجود الأطلسي في البلطيق سواء عبر بيلاروسيا المتحالفة معها او عبر التقدم التسليحي الهائل الذي تملكه هناك نذكر على سبيل المثال منها فقط كاسحات الثلوج النووية القادرة على فتح الطريق لأسطول الشمال الروسي باتجاه المحيطين الهادئ والأطلسي.

ايّ انّ موسكو تستطيع أن تردّ الصاع صاعين وربما تفاجئهم من حيث لا يحتسبون بأسلحة لم تعلن عنها بعد…

‌فالكرملين كما تقول المصادر المتابعة لديه العديد من الأوراق للردّ على المخطط الغربي لمحاصرة روسيا بخطوات حازمة قد تصدم الغرب من جديد..

وطبقاً للمعلومات الواردة من موسكو فإنّ مجلس الأمن الروسي برئاسة بوتين يبحث العواقب السلبيّة لانضمام ‎فنلندا والسويد إلى الناتو على الأمن القومي بإقرار توصيات بوضع «بولندا في المرتبة التالية في مجال نزع النازية بعد أوكرانيا»، ما سيجعل الغرب يتلقى ضربة أقسى هذه المرة من أوكرانيا.

وهنا ربما يمكننا إدراك ما أخذ يردّده الروس كثيراً في الآونة الأخيرة حول خطر نشوب حرب عالمية أو نووية كارثية.

فهل تردّ موسكو في بولنداً رداً أقسى من أوكرانيا وتسكت مدافع الغرب مرة والى الأبدّ ام أننا مقبلون على اندلاع حرب عالميّة ثالثة فعلاً!؟

اليد العليا حتى الآن في المواجهة الروسية الأطلسية هي للروس، وهذا هو ما يدفع بايدن للتخبّط أكثر فأكثر، لكن ذلك لن يطول كثيراً بسبب الضعف البنيويّ لكلّ الآلة العسكرية الأميركية والأطلسية بالمقارنة مع الروسية المتقدمة عليها كثيراً جداً.

العالم يتحوّل نحو مزيد من انحسار القوة الأميركية وتصدّعها، لصالح غلبة تحالف شرقي صاعد.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

Sitrep Operation Z: NATO surrenders in Azovstal

May 18, 2022

Source

by Saker Staff with thanks to Pepe Escobar for that prescient title

Nazi Azovites – from rats in a hole to fish in a barrel – This is what denazification looks like!

The New York Times prevaricates as follows:  Ukraine ended its “combat mission” in Mariupol and said fighters were being evacuated, signaling that the battle at a steel plant was over. https://nyti.ms/3sIon9B

Zelensky adds some Ukrainian/Cocainian dreams to that: “The evacuation mission from Azovstal continues. It is led by our military and intelligence officers.”  (OK, Mr PianoDick, they’re being led straight into war criminal prison! – thank your military and intelligence officers for doing the job for the world!)

Dmitry Polyansky says it differently:  “I didn’t know English has so many ways to express a single message: the #Azovnazis have unconditionally surrendered.”

Nightfall did not stop the surrender process.  Ukrainians are still surrendering in crowds without stopping.  Sufficient forces to deal with this are on the terrain and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the DPR are kicking ass and taking prisoners.

Illumination rockets are constantly launched into the sky, which at least somehow facilitates the crawling out of underground inhabitants 🙂

These invincible heroes are emaciated, ragged, hungry and a pitiful sight.

Donetsk Defense HQ – 962 Azovites surrendered and the process continues.  In the meantime, 11 servicemen of the 25th airborne brigade and seventeen of the 54th mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine voluntarily laid down their arms and went over to the side of the DPR.  We hope this is the start of a mass surrender.

This is denazification and movies will be made and books will be written.  After this major loss of prestige, expect a doozy of a false flag.

Starting point today is the MoD report and somewhat reformatted for ease of use.

💥Over a day, high-precision air-based missiles of the Russian Aerospace Forces have hit

  • 2 command posts, including the territorial defense headquarters near Soledar in the Donetsk People’s Republic,
  • as well as 31 areas of concentration of Ukrainian manpower and military equipment, including locations of foreign mercenary units from European countries in Nikolaev and Krasnogorovka.
  • In addition, 2 Ukrainian Su-24 aircraft have been destroyed at a military airfield near Dnepropetrovsk, 1 division of Ukrainian S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems near Nikolaev, as well as 4 ammunition depots for missile and artillery weapons and ammunition of the Ukrainian Armed Forces near Ugledar, Pokrovskoe, Soledar and Bakhmut, Donetsk People’s Republic.

✈️💥Operational-tactical and army aviation have hit

  • 3 command posts,
  • 41 areas of concentration of AFU manpower and military equipment, as well as
  • 1 ammunition depot near Ugledar, Donetsk People’s Republic.
  • The attacks have resulted in the elimination of more than 270 nationalists and up to 54 armoured and motor vehicles.

💥Missile troops and artillery have hit

  • 76 command posts,
  • 421 areas of manpower and military equipment concentration, as well as
  • 147 artillery and mortar units at firing positions, including
  • 1 Ukrainian battery of US-made 155mm M777 howitzers near Pogornoe.
  • 1 pontoon crossing point equipped by Ukrainian Armed Forces to cross the Severskyi Donets River has been destroyed near Protopopovka, Kharkov Region.

💥Russian air defence means have shot down

  • 1 Ukrainian Su-25 aircraft over Tripolie, Donetsk people’s republic.
  • 1 Ukrainian Air Force MiG-29 has been shot down near Kamennaya Yaruga, Kharkov Region.
  • 15 Ukrainian UAVs have been shot down near Semenovka, Velikie Prokhody, Balakleya, Malye Prokhody, Velikaya Kamyshevakha in Kharkov Region, Rudnichnyi, Grabskoe, Staromikhailovka, Volnoe in Donetsk People’s Republic, Belyaevka, Chernobaevka in Kherson Region.
  • 8 Ukrainian Smerch multiple-launch rockets have been also intercepted near Kamenka and Malaya Kamyshevakha, Kharkov Region.

Not too shabby for a day’s work. And they will repeat it, and repeat it, and rinse, and repeat it again.

Secrets from Azovstal and surroundings are beginning to be revealed.  There will be many!

How the OSCE mission cooperated with the Azov terrorists

The filming crew of IA “Arbelet” was the first to visit the territory where the OSCE mission in Mariupol was located. Among other valuable finds, they found two mortar positions, equipped directly near the mission’s administrative building. The mortars themselves and their ammunition are of Italian origin, as evidenced by the markings. Another noteworthy fact: the last delivery of the Italian BC is dated March 11, 2022.

Do ordinary Italians know that their authorities are helping outright terrorists of the national battalions? How will the OSCE comment on the fact that they were in clear collusion with the terrorists, allowing “Azov” to fire from their territory? How, after these facts, will the OSCE be able to clean up their reputation at all?

(Sidebar:  Do you now understand why Russia is leaving international organizations?  Simple, these organizations are corrupt to the extent that they cannot be reformed but they have to be broken.  Mr Lavrov today is meeting with SCO Secretary-General Ming where new structures are being built.)

Update from Brian Berletic:  He views the canoodling from western sources and he hoists them on their own petard.  Do take a listen, specifically Brian’s explanation of how the Russian command and soldiers keep certain areas ‘fixed’.

Here is another example of such a ‘fix’. The Russian army attacked Ukrainian defense facilities in the Odessa region with precision weapons from the Black Sea. This information is confirmed by the Ukrainian operational command “South”. https://t.me/intelslava/29149

(Sidebar:  Today in Odessa – On this day “Russian Spring”

May 18, 2014 – “Odessa is a Russian city”, “Donbass – we are with you” – such slogans sounded at the House of Trade Unions in Odessa.

Hundreds of protesters with Russian flags and banners of the Victory came out not only to honor the memory of those killed in the May 2 tragedy, but also to show the Ukrainian Nazis that Odessans are Russian people who are not afraid of the Kyiv punishers.)

Is the Russian SMO beginning to touch hearts and minds?  Remember the stories that Russia underestimated the willingness of the Ukrainian people to support the denazification. 

Telescoping into the current pic on a map­ we see that cauldrons do not come in onesies any longer but in threes:

Readovka on the fronts

Kharkiv Front. The fighting in the area of Kazachya Lopan and the village of Liptsy is of a positional nature. The enemy in the area of Ternovka reached the border MASS MEDIA: Ukrainian Armed Forces have reached the Russian-Ukrainian border in Kharkiv region. Ukraine conducted a counterattack in the north-east of the Russian Federation, and is also probing the positions of the Russian Armed Forces in the area of Volchansk. The Russian Armed Forces do not conduct active offensive operations in the Kharkiv direction.

On the Izyum part of the front, fighting continues in the area of Kamyshevakha, Kurulka and Dolgenky. The enemy continues to try to strain the flank of the Russian group to the north-west of Izyum, forcing the Seversky Donets. In the Slavic direction, the troops took Drobyshevo and Krasny Liman in a semicircle. The front also approached Svyatogorsk.

In the Luhansk-Donetsk part of the front, fighting continues in the area of Kamyshevakha, north of Popasna. There are also battles for Toshkovka. There are attempts to enter the flank and rear of the fortified area in Gorsky and Zolotoy. Fighting continues on the outskirts of Severodonetsk, as well as to the west of Lisichansk in the area of Privolye and Belogorovka. According to unconfirmed reports, Russian troops occupied the town of New York.

On the Zaporozhye part of the front without any special changes. An attempt by the Ukrainian Armed Forces to attack in the area of Malinovka ended in failure and heavy losses. The battles here are of a positional nature all the way from Gulyai-Pole to Velikaya Novoselovka. The enemy is moving part of the reserves from the Zaporizhia direction to the Donbass, where the situation for the Severodonetsk group is rapidly deteriorating. Heavy fighting continues in the area of Novomikhailovka and Ugledar.

On the Southern Front, the development of the offensive is not yet taking place. The Ukrainian Armed Forces are waiting for the landing of Russian troops in the Odessa region and are working on mining the entire coast. In the Nikopol and Kryvyi Rih directions, the Ukrainian command is accumulating forces to uncover weaknesses in the Russian positions.

On arrival, it is already traditional – the APU shelled Petrovsky district Ukrainian Armed Forces shelled Petrovsky district of Donetsk.  The shell hit the school grounds Donetsk, a shell hit the school territory. The Ukrainian side also shelled the outskirts of Kherson, which resulted in the death of one civilian.

SmoothieX12 is correct when he says that the only battle that the Ukrainians know, is the battle taught to them by their NATO advisors, which is to shell civilian territory and hide behind civilians.

The battlefront is still in a relatively chaotic state, but Russia is now forming and shaping it.

Let’s take a look at Martyanov’s levels of war as we can categorize from this handy depiction:

Finland and Sweden formally submit applications to join NATO – currently, it is harassment but may well move up the scale to major operations.  We cannot say where Russia will stop.

FM Lavrov: “Ukraine… No one wants Ukraine. They are an expendable country in this hybrid war against Russian Federation. No one has doubts anymore”.   The language from Russian sources has changed and they now say clearly that Ukraine is a tool and the fight is against Russia by the West.

Weapons

Russian self-propelled howitzers “Msta-S” and “Acacia-M” are being put to good use and they destroy armored vehicles and fortified positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.  Distance of fire is up to 30 km and they use high-explosive fragmentation projectiles that can destroy buried concrete fortifications of the enemy. https://t.me/intelslava/29140

Incoming weapons.  On the Polish-Ukrainian border, seven South African-made Mamba Mk2 EE armored vehicles transferred to Ukraine by Estonia as military assistance were seen. These vehicles were specifically produced for the Estonian army.

We have to conclude if we can see these armored vehicles via telegram channel on the Polish border, then the Russian forces can see them too.  And ditto for all other incoming weapons.

There are smaller reports of new Russian artillery weapons appearing in the field of battle, but it is limited as yet.

Major Fail, other than war. 

Washington failed to get the summit with the ASEAN countries to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

ASEAN nations are Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.

Another failure of freezing funds:  Switzerland released $6.33 billion of Russia’s frozen funds.

We end with biolabs

Russia’s First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy gives key takeaways from the last UN Security Council meeting on US biolabs in Ukraine:

  1. The US refuses to explain its engagement in military bio activities in Ukraine. Keeps shrugging off several hundred pages of evidence. “These are all lies and Russia’s propaganda, and we are good guys because it can’t be otherwise”. Not a word on the point of discussion.
  2. Western delegations are praising the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and calling on us to make use of its mechanisms. They fail to mention however that it is the US who is blocking the elaboration of BWC verification mechanism. Such a hypocricy!
  3. The US refuses to explain why it doesn’t want an effective international verification mechanism for bio weapons. Why act like this unless you are trying to conceal something? Why does Washington position itself above the international law? American exceptionalism at its best.

Main conclusion: we have definitely hit their soft spot. It’s clear for any unbiased observer that they are obscuring the issue and trying to divert attention from this uncomfortable topic trying to discourage us to raise it by repeating mantras on “Russian aggression” etc.

So stay tuned, there’s more evidence on US military biological programs to follow!

Top level headline in China’s Global Times today:  ‘Neo-Nazism’ poisons Ukraine, Europe under US, West’s connivance

That is it for today. Enjoy your discussion and be careful with the Ukie propaganda. It is everywhere.

The Middle Corridor Will Help China Hedge Against Uncertainty In Russia & Pakistan

17 MAY 2022

The Middle Corridor Will Help China Hedge Against Uncertainty In Russia & Pakistan

It’s unrealistic that China would ever abandon its investments in Russia or Pakistan, but those two’s connectivity roles for it vis-à-vis the EU and West Asia/Africa respectively can be complemented by Turkey and Iran via the Middle Corridor.

American political analyst

By Andrew Korybko

Up until the beginning of this year, China’s grand strategy was to rely on a network of connectivity corridors across its Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) to integrate Eurasia and thus advance its non-Western model of globalization, which Beijing believes to be more equal, just, and multipolar than the declining Western-centric one. This ambitious plan was abruptly disrupted by two black swan events that created sudden uncertainty about the viability of BRI’s Russian and Pakistani routes: Moscow’s ongoing special military operation in Ukraine and Islamabad’s scandalous change of government.

The first-mentioned prompted the US-led West to impose unprecedented sanctions that resulted in the forced decoupling of Russia and the EU while the second led to the global pivot state’s worst-ever political crisis since independence that’s also been exploited by BLA terrorists. Regarding Russia, it’s no longer a realistic transit route for overland trade between Eastern and Western Eurasia. As for Pakistan, there are suspicions that its new authorities’ speculative proUS pivot will occur at China’s expense. The BLA’s recent terrorist attack also led to all Confucius Institution teachers returning home for their safety.

China still considers Russia and Pakistan to be among its top strategic partners anywhere in the world, especially since both veritably play indispensable roles in Eurasia’s irreversible multipolar integration due to BRI’s Eurasian Land Bridge and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) respectively. Nevertheless, their reliability in the present is less than it was at the start of the year, which is why China might understandably begin hedging against their uncertainties that could last for an indeterminate length of time by focusing more on the Middle Corridor.

This project refers to the connectivity route between Turkey and China via the South Caucasus, Caspian Sea, and Central Asia. In the current conditions, it represents the most viable trans-Eurasian corridor. There are undoubtedly some risks associated with it as evidenced by the sudden attempted terrorist takeover of Kazakhstan in January, which had previously been considered to be Central Asia’s most stable state. That said, compared to the connectivity risks connected to Russia and Pakistan nowadays, the Middle Corridor is much more reliable and safer in all respects.

The implications of the People’s Republic pressing through with this pragmatic back-up plan could be enormous since it would throw a spanner in Russia and Pakistan’s geo-economic strategies, even though it’s not Beijing’s fault that they’re no longer viable connectivity partners, but their own due to the decisions they made. That’s not to cast judgement on them, but just to point out that China would simply be responding to events beyond its control or influence in order to advance its interests that it considers to be to the greater benefit of mankind due to its envisioned community of common destiny.

Russia and Pakistan are obviously part of mankind just like everyone else is but China cannot keep a disproportionate amount of its BRI eggs in their basket, so to speak, which is why it’ll likely be compelled by circumstances to focus more on the Middle Corridor in the coming years. Despite occasional troubles in its ties with Turkey stemming from the sympathy that some in that West Asian country have for Uyghur separatists that China considers to be terrorists, relations are generally solid and actually stand to become much more strategic the longer that uncertainty prevails in Russia and Pakistan.

To explain, Europe hasn’t yet been pressured by its American overlord to curtail ties with China exactly like it recently curtailed those with Russia. For the time being, they’re still in a relationship of complex economic interdependence with the People’s Republic, yet the Eurasian Land Bridge through Russia is no longer a viable means for conducting their future overland trade. For that reason, the Middle Corridor anchored in Turkey is much more attractive since goods can transit through this route between the EU and China instead of remaining dependent on the Suez Canal.

President Erdogan could leverage his civilization-state’s unexpectedly disproportionate geo-economic role in Eurasian integration to reduce the US-led West’s pressure upon Turkey exactly as he could do the same in the event that he succeeds in clinching an EU-Israeli pipeline deal in the coming future. His isn’t the only Muslim Great Power that would benefit from the Middle Corridor though since neighboring Iran can prospectively do as well. It can connect to that BRI route via Turkmenistan or perhaps by pioneering its own “Persian Corridor” to China through Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

Whichever way it happens, there’s no doubt that there’s mutual interest between Iran and China to strengthen their connectivity with one another after last year’s 25-year strategic partnership pact. They could have possibly done so by expanding CPEC in the western direction (W-CPEC+) but the newfound political and security uncertainty in Pakistan has made that unviable for the foreseeable future, hence why China might simply go ahead with expanding the Middle Corridor to Iran and/or cooperating on the Persian Corridor proposal.

China’s ties with the Gulf Kingdoms are also very strong, especially since the People’s Republic plans to invest in their systemic reform programs for diversifying their economies from their hitherto disproportionate dependence on resource exports. While their relations with Iran remain complex, there’s been visible progress over the past year or so in taking baby steps towards a rapprochement, particularly in terms of Tehran’s ties with Abu Dhabi and Riyadh. In the event that this continues, Iran could serve as the transit state for facilitating real-sector Chinese-Gulf trade.

Iran also abuts the Indian Ocean just like neighboring Pakistan does, but unlike the latter, Iran isn’t mired in political and security uncertainty so it could complement – though importantly never replace – the envisioned role that Pakistan was supposed to play with respect to facilitating Chinese-African trade. Nobody should misunderstand what’s being written in this analysis: it’s unrealistic that China would ever abandon its investments in Russia or Pakistan, but those two’s connectivity roles for it vis-à-vis the EU and West Asia/Africa respectively can be complemented by Turkey and Iran via the Middle Corridor.

What all of this means is that the uncertainty in Russia and Pakistan, while detrimental for their own interests as well as their role in Eurasia’s multipolar integration, provides unexpected opportunities for China to diversify BRI by focusing more on the Central Asian-Caspian Sea-South Caucasus-Gulf direction through the comparatively much more reliable and safer Middle Corridor. Turkey and Iran are the two Great Powers that stand to benefit the most from this, not to mention the medium- and smaller-sized countries between them and China. All told, the comprehensive gains might outweigh the setbacks.

THE AZOVSTAL FORTRESS IS FALLING

 17.05.2022 

South Front

PAYPAL, WESTERN UNION etc: write to info@southfront.org , southfront@list.ru

On May 16, the main “fortress of the Ukrainian Resistance” fell. Ukrainian militants blockaded at the Azovstal plant in the city of Mariupol raised the white flag and asked for evacuation of the wounded. As a result of the Russian shelling, the members of the Ukrainian nationalist Azov regiment were recently cut off from a water source on the territory of the facility.

The commander of the Vostok Brigade of the DPR Alexander Khodakovsky revealed that first nine Ukrainian servicemen raised a white flag and left the territory of Azovstal. The brigade commander explained that they represented a larger group of militants who asked for surrender. The Russian side agreed to the negotiations.

 As a result of negotiations with representatives of Ukrainian servicemen, an agreement was reached on the evacuation of the gravely wounded Ukrainian militants.

Another ceasefire regime has been declared by the Russian military in the area. A humanitarian corridor has been secured for the evacuation of wounded Ukrainian servicemen to a medical facility in the city of Novoazovsk in the Donetsk People’s Republic in order to provide them with the necessary medical assistance.

At the same time, judging by the claims of the Ukrainian officials not only gravely wounded militants have been evacuated.

Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Anna Malyar reported that 53 seriously wounded from Azovstal were taken to the hospital in Novoazovsk, another 221 people were sent to Olenivka. They are expected to be exchanged.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed that part of the Ukrainian military surrendered. At the same time, he assured that the work on rescuing the remaining military from Azovstal and their return to the territory controlled by Kiev continues.

On May 17, Russian state media reported that the interrogation of Ukrainian prisoners of war from Azovstal has begun in the village of Elenovka. Among the Ukrainian military who surrendered, 144 people are fighters of the National Guard.

So far, the Russian Ministry of Defence has not confirmed the exchange of the surrendered militants.

According to some unconfirmed reports, the surrender is part of a big prisoner exchange deal.

Kiev reportedly demands that all Ukrainian fighters from Azovstal should be exchanged for Russian prisoners of war.

In turn, the Kremlin reportedly refuses to exchange nazi members of the Azov regiment as they committed numerous war crimes. The exchange of other servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine however can be negotiated.

In this regard, Kiev PR managers have launched new information campaign, in order to shift the emphasis from the Azov regiment to the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, border guards, and police officers blockaded in the Azovstal plant.

Taking into account the Russian reports that the majority of the surrendered militants are not members of the nationalist battalion, this scenario is likely possible.

At the same time, suspicions rise. Some needed Ukrainian nazi fighters can be exchanged under the guise of the ordinary Ukrainian servicemen.

The evacuation showcased the weakness of the neo-Nazi Azov battalion and its lack of resilience, which damaged the prestige of the MSM-promoted formation. However, in practice the Kiev regime is set to wage another propaganda campaign. It is likely to claim that it has managed to convince the “cruel Russians” to evacuate the “brave defenders of the Motherland”. This would play into the hand of war propaganda of Kiev, MSM and NATO against Russia and help the Ukrainian leadership boost the morale of its remaining forces.

Russia’s concessions to the nazi fighters, together with earlier inconsistent actions of Moscow in diplomatic talks with Kiev, undermine the moral and psychological state of members of Russian-led forces involved in the military operation in Ukraine.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

US attracts IS mercenaries to fight in Ukraine: Russia’s SVR

17 May 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) accuses the US of actively recruiting around 60 Islamic State members it has released from prisons to participate in hostilities in Ukraine as mercenaries.

Russia’s SVR said mercenaries banned in the Russian Federation were being recruited to participate in hostilities in Ukraine.

The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) reported on Tuesday that the United States is actively recruiting Islamic State members to participate in hostilities in Ukraine as mercenaries.

“According to information received by the Foreign Intelligence Service, the United States is actively recruiting even members of international terrorist organizations as mercenaries to participate in hostilities in Ukraine, including the Islamic State (IS) group, banned in the Russian Federation,” it said, adding that the military forces target sabotage against the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine.

The statement added that “in April, with the participation of US intelligence services, about 60 IS fighters aged 20 to 25 were released from prisons controlled by Syrian Kurds are undergoing combat training for the purpose of subsequent transfer to Ukrainian territory.”

The SVR also said the US Al-Tanf base in Syria has been transformed into a terrorist “hub”, where US loyal militants were trained for transfer to Ukraine.

“According to the SVR, the specified military base and its environs have long turned into a kind of terrorist ‘hub,’ where up to 500 IS members loyal to Washington and other jihadists are being ‘retrained’ at the same time. Priority is given to natives of the states of Transcaucasia and Central Asia. The training ‘course’ in At-Tanf includes training in the use of available types of anti-tank missile systems, reconnaissance and strike drones MQ-1C, advanced communications and surveillance equipment,” the statement said.

Read more: US plans to incite extremists against Syrian, Russian, Iranian troops

Ukraine’s Mariupol Falls to Russia

May 17, 2022 

By Staff, Agencies

The Ukrainian military says efforts are underway for the evacuation of the country’s remaining soldiers from their last stronghold in Mariupol as the city falls to Russia.

The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said in a statement on Tuesday that 264 soldiers, including 53 wounded ones, had left the Azovstal metal plant in Mariupol, and efforts were underway to evacuate others still inside.

“The ‘Mariupol’ garrison has fulfilled its combat mission,” the statement said. “The supreme military command ordered the commanders of the units stationed at Azovstal to save the lives of the personnel… Defenders of Mariupol are the heroes of our time.”

Russia also confirmed that 256 Ukrainian forces had “laid down their arms and surrendered” in Azovstal, including 51 severely wounded soldiers.

In a nightly address on Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised his country’s military forces as evacuation efforts continued in the besieged city, saying, “Ukraine needs Ukrainian heroes alive.”

“Thanks to the actions of the Ukrainian military, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, intelligence, the negotiating team, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the United Nations, we hope that we will be able to save the lives of our guys. Among them are the seriously wounded, they are being provided with medical aid,” Zelensky said.

“The 82nd day of our defense is coming to an end. A difficult day. But this day, like all others, is aimed precisely at saving our country and our people,” he added.

The Russian Defense Ministry had earlier said that a ceasefire had been established to allow the passage of wounded Ukrainian servicemen, according to state news agency RIA Novosti.

Russian sources have estimated that about 2,200 people have been trapped in the basements of the huge Azovstal complex.

According to the deputy minister of defense of Ukraine, Anna Malyar, and the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, those who surrender will be exchanged for Russian prisoners of war taken captive by Kiev; however, the terms of the exchange have yet to be decided.

Mariupol is the biggest city Russia has managed to capture since President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24.

The United States and its allies have stepped up military support for Ukraine, sending an array of sophisticated weapons meant to hold off Russia’s rapid advances. The operation has also drawn unprecedented sanctions from the US and its European allies.

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