Explaining Russia’s Position on Idlib

June 04, 2019

by Ollie Richardson for The Saker Blog

Explaining Russia’s Position on Idlib

Over the past five years my work in the information space has been consciously aimed at explaining why the Russian military does and doesn’t do certain things, whether it be in relation to Ukraine, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Venezuela, etc, and why demanding that Putin bombs everything in sight is exactly what the CIA wants so-called “pro-Russians” to say. Yet I haven’t exhausted (maybe I never will exhaust it?) this topic because it is so vast and, ultimately, complex. And it is because of this seemingly insurmountable complexity that questions like “Why doesn’t Russia liberate all of Ukraine”“Why doesn’t Russia save Donetsk and Lugansk in the same way it saved Crimea?”“Why doesn’t Russia boot America out of Syria?”, etc are asked on social media.

But one statement that I haven’t really addressed (until now) is “Why doesn’t Russia liberate all of Idlib in one fell swoop?”. Many “geniuses” like to say that Putin is in bed with the “Ottoman butcher” Erdogan and has thus “betrayed Syria”, similar to how shaking hands with Netanyahu means that Putin is a Zionist and has “betrayed Syria”, or even that a visit of the Saudi King to Moscow means that Putin has the blood of Yemen on his hands.

So, those “pro-Russian” readers who fear that they may be one step ahead of the Kremlin and can see an iceberg on the horizon needn’t worry – another Putin-esque zugswang is in progress!

When Russia sent its aviation to Hmeymim airbase in Syria in 2015 the primary mission was simple: remove Turkey – the main belligerent – from the game. Ankara benefited from ISIS’ theft of Syrian oil and controlled many jihadist groups on the ground (Ahrar al-Sham being the main one). Then in November 2015 the CIA (via the PM at the time Ahmet Davutoğlu) decided to float a test balloon and see how Russia would react to a carefully designed scenario. A Turkish F-16 shot down a Russian Su-24. It didn’t matter if the Turkish jet was in Syrian airspace or not, as Moscow knew exactly what had happened, and all the other players knew that Moscow knew. The actual murder of one of the ejecting Russian pilots was carried out by a proxy (a Grey Wolf), and not by a Turkish soldier. But in any case, this test miserably failed, because Russia did not react in a way that would contravene international law (the immediate response happened hours after the shootdown – Russian “advisors” and Syrian troops went to Latakia with MLRS and wiped out the “terrorists who were responsible”, who just happened to be Turkmen). Since military operations generally take place within the framework of economic conflicts (securing assets), the manner in which Russia responded to Turkey in the format état-à-état was the equivalent of what the lunatic Zhirinovsky suggested to do, just without the war crimes.

The sanctions on Turkey (aimed at the CIA-Gulen bloc in reality) negated what Ankara was gaining from stealing Syrian oil, and so the Syrian theater became a zero-sum game for Erdogan. In May 2016 Davutoğlu was removed from the picture. Erdogan was forced to take part in the Astana Agreement and start the process of throwing his proxies in Syria under the bus (or onto green buses!) within the framework of what was given the reputation-saving name of “de-escalation zones”.

This was Moscow’s way of countering the game orchestrated by John Kerry, where a pocket in Eastern Syria would magically open (ISIS would go on an offensive) at a time when al-Nusra was on the ropes in Western Syria. This tactic hoped to tire out the Syrian Army and Russian “advisors” and maximise their casualties. Whilst never admitted in public by Moscow (naturally), “de-escalation zones” actually meant “we will liberate Aleppo and thus recapture all of the ‘useful’ (where most people live, in the West) part of Syria, after which the pace of the theater will have been slowed down enough to start work on eliminating the other players”.

After Aleppo was liberated (the Turkish-controlled groups magically withdrew), Russia continued, via the “de-escalation zones”, to whittle down the large list of terrorist groups into two categories: terrorists no longer supported by Turkey (loyal to al-Nusra leader Jolani) and tame terrorists still supported by Turkey. The former category would be shipped to Idlib via green buses, and the latter category would be used to keep the trecherous Kurds and the CIA-Mossad “Rojava” plan at bay.

In parallel to this, the Astana group managed to smash the Gulf bloc into fragments, liquidating their pet terrorist proxies in Syria and forcing them one by one to normalise relations with Assad, since the dollar is becoming a suitcase without a handle.

The question of the S-400 is more complex and isn’t just about defending Turkish skies. It symbolises more a commitment to play by the rules of the newly emerging world order (based on self-defence and international law) and to no longer indulge in the casino known as “Responsibility to Protect” (or in simpler terms – multipolarity vs unipolarity). Similarly, Turkish Stream is another example of Moscow thrusting a lance through the rotting corpse of NATO. In general, Turkey is geographically positioned almost in the center of the battle of superpowers. For Ankara, bearing in mind that the US tried to stage a coup there in 2016 and had a hand in the assasination of Andrey Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, it is more profitable to look East than it is to look West, and this was why Turkey wasn’t in a hurry to join the EU, since it saw the geopolitical storm brewing on the horizon and wasn’t prepared to kiss the ass of the IMF anymore.

So, returning back to the Syrian timeline, whilst al-Nusra was being herded into Idlib, and since Trump cut aid to US-backed terrorists, Turkey was able to monopolise the “Free Syrian Army” aesthetics (abandoned by the US) and occupy areas of Northern Syria whilst making it look like they are “Syrian rebels” and not Turkish proxies, all for the purpose of preventing the Kurds from travelling any more Westward than they already have. And here is where the array of interests becomes interesting:

  • Russia and Iran have basic diplomatic relations with the YPG/SDF (they are Syrian citizens after all) and want them to abandon the US/Tel Aviv/Riyadh;
  • The Syrian State wants the YPG/SDF to return to the bosom of the state and hand over the territories they occupy back to the Syrian Army;
  • Turkey wants the YPG/SDF removed from the picture/disbanded entirely, but has developed ties with Russia and Iran;
  • The YPG/SDF will not negotiate with Turkey unless it can hide behind America’s skirt;
  • Formally, Syria views Turkey as an aggressor, although behind the curtain Damascus has a pragmatic consensus with Moscow, which gave Turkey the green light to enter Syria in order to quell Rojava, and which is trying to stabilise the region and include all regional players in the Eurasian bloc;

Yes, it’s complicated. But here is a simple fact that helps the layperson to understand the situation: America has nuclear weapons. This is why Russia cannot stop the US from occupying Northeast Syria (which was plan B, plan A being a replica of Gaddafi’s removal, which failed after Russia cemented the Minsk Agreements in Ukraine). It can squash its proxies that are West of the Euphrates, yes, but it cannot touch US (non-proxy) assets, in the same way that Washington cannot touch Russian (non-proxy) assets. Or rather – they can directly touch each other’s assets, but any “victory” will be completely pyrrhic. From Russia’s perspective, the aim is to make friends with everyone, since the fewer enemies one has, the better.

While the core of the Turkish proxies is busy caging in (so-called “outposts”) al-Nusra militants in Idlib governorate, repelling the Kurds, and occasionally killing US soldiers, a kind of negotiation game between Turkey and Russia is ongoing:

  • Turkey needs a terroristified Idlib as leverage against all players but is happy to hand the governorate over to Assad piece by piece in exchange for pieces of the S-400/Turk Stream/general Eurasian bloc project;
  • Russia occasionally bombs Idlib in order to exercise its superior leverage over Turkey (the media presents this as “there were talks, but Russia continues to bomb Idlib”), the interim “ceasefire deals” are simply checkpoints in these grand negotiations;
  • Turkey turns a blind eye to al-Nusra’s oil operations (which feed their occupation of the governorate);
  • As an act of “hybrid war”, Russia and friends assist in the process of assassinating the commanders of al-Nusra in Idlib, since the less leverage Turkey has, the quicker the Idlib circus can end;
  • The West broadcasts propaganda about hospitals being bombed simply to cover up the fact that they have been arming and funding Al Qaeda for decades.

The “x-factor” in this conundrum is Trump’s “pull-out”. If US troops pull out of Northeast Syria completely, it would be in Russia’s interests if Turkey filled the void and proverbially herded the Kurds back towards Assad. For America, the sooner this war ends the quicker US troops can return home, but Trump won’t exit without getting something in return. However, there is a big problem – Zionism. Tel Aviv tries to keep America in Syria. Netanyahu didn’t spend all that time begging Uncle Sam to invade Iraq just for him to leave when the going got tough. Moreover, Iraq is already falling into the hands of Iran, and sooner or later the S-400 will be sat in Mesopotamia. Not to mention the fact that Russia is entrenching itself in Lebanon. Did I mention that Trump’s (purposeful?) decisions (and failed “deals of the century”) are strengthening the Palestinian resistance (example)? So what in all honesty does Israel hope to do?

Well, since everything that happened in the Middle East since 2001 (and arguably even earlier) is mainly in Israel’s interests, especially the Syrian war, it’s not a surprise that 8 years of full-scale local proxy warfare has reduced to… Israel taking aerial pot shots at a limited slice of Syrian territory. I have already explained why Russia doesn’t react to these airstrikes in the way that social media guerrillas would like, and all that has happened since is Netanyahu’s election victory. I would only add that bombing Syria became even riskier for Tel Aviv, since the SAA air defence units gain more experience with each new raid. Moscow managed to make a nice gesture to Israel, recovering from Syria the remains of an Israeli soldier missing since the 1982 war in Lebanon, but it wasn’t done for the purpose of stopping the airstrikes. It was simply a typical Russian diplomatic move based on the concept of “violence doesn’t beget violence”. Deflecting Israel’s airstrikes is the job of the Syrian air defences. The Israeli media presents this as “Russia has friendly relations with Israel and knows that Jerusalem considers Iran its leading existential threat, so does not block Israeli strikes at Iranian targets and those of its proxies, but on one condition: Stay out of Russia’s way and give ample warning so there won’t be a repeat of incidents like the one in which Syria shot down a Russian spy plane, possibly because of confusing signals by Israel”. However, in reality Russia wants Syria to become an independent adult, capable of defending itself without requiring Russia’s help, and it is only in this way that Syria will be able to successfully integrate itself into the Eurasian bloc. Of course, logically speaking, if Israel just left Syria alone and minded its own business, then Iranian forces wouldn’t even be in Syria. But I think that most know by now that Israel wanted (and maybe still wants) to carve Syria into 3 pieces along sectarian lines.

Another layer of the Israel problem is the fact that America is standing behind it (and thus the diplomatic support of many banana republics) and an illegal nuclear program, so it’s leverage when compared to Syria’s is superior, hence why the airstrikes happen in the first place. The incident with the downing of the Russian surveillance plane didn’t really change much, because Moscow knows that apartheid Israel is the main troublemaker in the Middle East (and even more so in Ukraine – those who truly understand Ukrainian history will understand why I say this), and the Syrian war coming to an end (whilst strengthening Israel’s neighbours in parallel) is in itself a blow to Tel Aviv.

What is very common to see now is countries seemingly sat on two chairs – the West and Eurasia. For example: Serbia, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia show signs of looking both West and East. What is going on in reality is many tugs of war between superpowers, and the stronger Russia’s military and China’s economy become, the more it tips the scales in their favour, and the more “multipolar” the world becomes. It’s not that the US’ influence in a “converted” country disappears (the creation of NGOs is not illegal, and liberalism as an ideology cannot be physically destroyed), but more that the influence becomes less as the country adjusts to the new global economic reality. Although if Trump is indeed playing 4D chess with the “deep state” and is deliberately de-globalising the planet, then this shrinking of influence may be more fluid and less volatile than it seems.

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In summary: Turkey – the driving force behind the Anglo-Israeli proxies in Syria – was forced to abandon its plans in Syria after NATO’s Su-24 shootdown gambit failed; Ankara and Moscow now mutually exchange a piece of Idlib for a piece of S-400; the Syrian war is now at the “exit negotiations” stage, but Israel doesn’t want to be left alone with a stronger Syrian Army, Hezbollah, and Palestinian resistance at its border; Russia isn’t in a hurry to liberate Idlib, since an alternative plan is to let the jihadists kill each other like spiders in a jar, thus the lives of SAA soldiers are not put in danger unnecessarily.

PS I am well aware that Turkey creates local councilsmilitary adminstrations, and civilian infrastructure in North Syria, and I am not an advocate of such behavior but I don’t pretend to be more qualified than the Kremlin when it comes to solving such problems. I doubt that the Kurds would have behaved any different had they succeeded to create “rojava” in the summer of 2016. As for America, just look at what it has done to Raqqa and Mosul. Out of these options, I would prefer a temporary Turkish occupation, knowing that in the near future the situation would improve.

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Ukraine Will Be Able to Restore Its Economy Only By Cooperating With Russia

May 20, 2019

Ukraine Will Be Able to Restore Its Economy Only By Cooperating With Russia

By Olga Samofalova
Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard
cross posted with 
https://www.stalkerzone.org/ukraine-will-be-able-to-restore-its-economy-only-by-cooperating-with-russia/
source: https://vz.ru/economy/2019/5/19/978334.html

Ukraine is beginning to realise the scale of the damage that it caused to itself due to cutting economic ties with Russia. In only five years the country managed to lose about $80 billion and to stop many industrial enterprises. How much time will it need to return to the level of 2013? And under what conditions is this in general possible?

Over the last five years Ukraine lost $75-80 billion from the reduction of trade with Russia, said the deputy of the Verkhovna Rada Vadim Novinsky. “Our enterprises that were oriented towards the Russian market and the market of the CIS countries, are just idle,” he noted.

Ukraine needs at least 35 years in order to return the economy to at least the level of 2013, and the main condition for this purpose is the restoration of ties with Russia, assured Novinsky. “It is our neighbour and there is no getting away from it. Throughout centuries it will be our neighbour. It is necessary to live with our neighbour in normal relations – only a bad proprietor lives with a neighbour in a state of constant fighting. A good proprietor is on friendly terms with the neighbour,” summarised the deputy.

After Vladimir Zelensky’s victory in the presidential election the Federation of Employers of Ukraine recognised huge losses from the severance of commercial ties with Russia. In 2018, in comparison with the figures for 2013, it was reduced by more than three times, considered the Director of the Department of Economic Policy of the Federation of Employers of Ukraine Sergey Salivon. “At the same time, our export fell more than four times, import from Russia fell slightly less than three times,” he added.

These calculations do not take into account the Russian gas that is purchased by Ukraine in Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary with surcharges for mediation.

“If to consider that we, after all, buy gas from Russia, then our export to Russia and our import from Russia dropped approximately by $11.5 billion. But $11.5 billion for Russia is less than 0.8% of its GDP, and for Ukraine it is 10% of GDP. I.e., the difference in losses is 13-fold,” noted Salivon. In other words, because of the decline in trade with Russia, Kiev lost 13 times more than Moscow did.

The five-year period of 2014-2018 undoubtedly is a failure for the economy of Ukraine and the citizens of its country, said the economist of “Ukrainian Choice” Aleksandr Koltunovich. The new economic model of integration proposed in 2014 by the EU and the severance of ties with the Russian Federation has not paid off. Thus, as Koltunovich considers, the volume of GDP was reduced from $183.3 billion in 2013 to $112.1 billion in 2017. In terms of economy volume, Ukraine was overtaken even by 10-million [population – ed] Hungary (139 billion).

Even more clear is GDP per capita. In all global rankings Ukraine trudges at the end of the list. Even the countries of North Africa are richer than Ukraine.

“Ukraine is de facto the poorest country in Europe. In terms of GDP per capita we were overtaken by Moldova, and we in turn are above Papua New Guinea. Now Moldova claims 133rd place in the world with $2690 of GDP per capita, and Ukraine is in 134th place with $2660. The GDP per capita of Ukraine is 10.3 times less than the indicator for the countries of Europe ($27,000) and 4.5 times lower than the countries of East Asia ($12,000), and is also lower than North Africa ($3,000). This is what Ukraine really is in economic terms, and this is unacceptable with such a high intellectual and innovation potential,” noted Koltunovich.

In the 1990s Ukraine was among the top-10 most industrialised countries in the world. In 1991 its economy was the 60th best in the world and, according to forecasts of the World Bank, towards the middle of the 2000’s the country was on course to enter the top-10 most developed states in the world. Now it is impossible even to dream of such things.

If after the collapse of the USSR Ukraine was a country with a high industrial and technological potential, then after 2017 its GDP was 61.5% of what it was in 1990, notes the Ukrainian expert. If in 1991 the role of industry accounted for 44% of the GDP of Ukraine, then today it is less than 20%. The specific weight of mechanical engineering in 1990 was 30.5% of the industrial production of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and now it fell to 14–15%.

After 2014 the legendary aviation company “Antonov”, the major plane-building company “Yuzhmash”, and many other industrial enterprises have passed through the worst of times.

A large-scale social crisis became the result of an economic fiasco, added Koltunovich. Ukraine claimed 7th place in the rating of Bloomberg for the top-10 most unfortunate states of the world. According to the UN, over 60% of its population are below the poverty line. The average monthly salary is only $313, i.e., one third less than it was in 2013 – $409. The minimum pension was reduced in half to $52 per month, whereas in 2013 it was $112.

At the same time, the cost of housing and communal services grew even seven times, domestic gas and heating prices rose even more. Many Ukrainians living in villages are forced to save on heating, in other words, to freeze in their own houses.

It is always simpler to destroy than it is to build again. And without a multi-vector nature of the economic policy it will be impossible to return to the pre-crisis figures.

“Only the restoration of the destroyed cooperation ties with the CIS countries in the hi-tech sectors of industry will allow to increase Ukraine’s volume of export of goods to the CIS markets four times, or for $20 billion – up to $26 billion annually. The deepening of trade and economic ties with the countries of the EEU will allow to further increase Ukraine’s export of goods by $10 billion annually,” considers Koltunovich.

In addition, according to him, it is necessary to review the discriminatory conditions within the framework of the Free Trade Zone with the EU. Integration with the European Union is at an initial stage, it is necessary to move to a new level, to achieve the actual free movement of goods, services, and labour. So far the situation is such that Europeans can deliver to Ukraine any goods in an unlimited number and without duties, whereas for Ukraine there are restrictions in the form of a quota system for the most quick-selling export goods.

Lastly, Ukraine needs to develop its transit potential and trade with the countries of BRICS, SCO, and APEC, rather than focus on Europe alone.

Koltunovich considered that the implementation of these tasks will allow to increase export twofold from the current $43 billion to $80 billion and to increase the volume of GDP by 1.6 times – from the current $112 billion to $180-185 billion.

A week in the life of the Empire (UPDATED)

THE SAKER • MAY 9, 

Introduction

It is sometimes helpful not to look at any one specific issue in detail, but rather make a survey of ongoing processes instead. The resulting picture is neither better nor worse, it is simply different. This is what I want to do today: to take a bird’s eye view of our suffering planet.

Putin trolls the Empire

It is all really simple: if the Ukrainians will give passports to Russian citizens, and we in Russia will be handing out passports to the Ukrainians, then sooner or later will will reach the expected result: everybody will have the same citizenship. This is something which we have to welcome.

Vladimir Putin

It appears that the Kremlin is very slowly changing its approach to the Ukrainian issue and is now relying more on unilateral actions. The first two measures taken by the Russians are maybe not “too little too late”, but certainly “just the bare minimum and at that, rather late”. Still, I can only salute the Kremlin’s newly found determination. Specifically, the Kremlin has banned the export of energy products to the Ukraine (special exemptions can still be granted on a case by case basis) and the Russians have decided to distribute Russian passports to the people of Novorussia. Good.

Zelenskii’s reaction to this decision came as the first clear sign that the poor man has no idea what he is doing and no plan as to how to deal with the Russians. He decided to crack a joke, (which he is reportedly good at), and declare that the Ukrainian passport was much better than the Russian one and that the Ukraine will start delivering Ukrainian passports to Russian citizens. Putin immediately replied with one of his typical comebacks declaring that he supports Zelenskii and that he looks forward to the day when Russians and Ukrainians will have the same citizenship again. Zelenskii had nothing to say to that 🙂

Zelenskii finally finds something common to Russia and the Ukraine

I have been thinking long about this “a lot in common” between Ukraine and Russia. The reality is that today, after the annexation of the Crimea and the aggression in the Donbas, of the “common” things we have only one thing left – this is the state border. And control of every inch on the Ukrainian side, must be returned by Russia. Only then will we be able to continue the search for [things in] “common”

Vladimir Zelenskii

Well, almost. He did eventually make a Facebook post in which he declared that all that Russia and the Ukraine had in common was a border. This instantly made him the object of jokes and memes, since all Russians or Ukrainians know that Russia and the Ukraine have many old bonds which even 5 years of a vicious civil war and 5 years of hysterically anti-Russian propaganda could not sever. They range from having close relatives in the other country, to numerous trade and commercial transactions, to a common language. The closest thing to a real Ukrainian language would be the Surzhik which is roughly 50/50 in terms of vocabulary and whose pronunciation is closer to the south Russian one than to the Zapadenskii regional dialect spoken in the western Ukraine and which is used (and currently imposed) by the Ukronazi junta in Kiev.

The malignant manatee threatens the planet with fire and brimstone

We have Pompeo, a malignant manatee looking to start wars in which he will not risk his flabby amorphous ass also parading his Christianity. Bolton, a mean sonofabitch who belongs in a strait jacket, at least doesn’t pose as someone having a soul. And the Golden Tufted Cockatoo, too weak to control those around him, preening and tweeting. God save us.

Fred Reed

The term “malignant manatee” is not from me, the brilliant Fred Reed came up with this one, but I can only fully endorse it because it fits. Perfectly. And our malignant manatee sure is on a roll! Just this week he managed to threaten VenezuelaIran, and even Russia and China together. I think that it is high time to declare that Pompeo is a bona fide nutcase, a dangerous, arrogant and ignorant psychopath whose crazy statements represent a direct threat to the entire planet. Not to say that his pal Bolton is any less crazy. Now combine these two rabid thugs with the spineless “Golden Tufted Cockatoo” (to use Fred Reed’s equally hilarious but accurate characterization) and you see that the planet is in big, big trouble.

Turns out that Putin is a crypto-Zionist and an Israeli puppet.

Here I won’t even bother with any quotes. The alternative Internet/blogosphere has, again, been hit by a wave of articles declaring that Putin is Netanyahu’s puppet and a crypto-Zionist. I have debunked that nonsense in the past (see here and here) and I won’t repeat it all here. Besides, what this surge in “Putin the Zionist” propaganda is, is not so much the result of a gradual realization about the true agenda or Putin himself as much as it is, yet again, a desperate scramble for clicks. I already discussed that recently too (see here). I will just reiterate my conclusion here: clickbaiters are never experts and experts are never clickbaiters.

Frankly, to all those who email me and ask “Is it really true? Putin is an Israeli puppet? He helps Netanyahu in Syria, does he not?!” I would suggest simply looking at what the Israelis and Zionists write about Putin (for starters, you can click herehere or here). Even better, ask the defenders of Putin the crytpo-Zionist to explain the hysterically anti-Putin campaign the US legacy Ziomedia has been engaged in for the past years! But don’t hold your breath for an answer – since Russia has comprehensively foiled all Israel’s many plans for Syria, it takes a remarkable determination not to see that Putin is hated by Neocons and Zionists alike, and for good cause, I would add.

Oh, and Putin is a crypto-Muslim too!

Yes, besides being a crypto-Zionist, Putin is also a crypto-Muslim. This latest nonsense usually comes from Alt-Right circles who can forgive Putin his friendliness to Israel, but not to Islam. These are the folks who believe that Putin is not a real defender of the “White Race”. They are opposed by those who believe that Putin and the Moscow Patriarchate will somehow jump-start the “Christian West”. We are talking about some hardcore “single-issue” folks here whose main disagreement is whether Jews or Muslims are to be hated (and feared!) most.

[Having had to deal with both groups myself – I have been accused of being a Jew, a Jew lover and a Muslim and a Muslim lover many times! – I know that reasoning with these folks is a total waste of time. Their paranoid hatred is completely incompatible with any fact-based and logical discussion. Besides, by arguing with them you threaten their income and livelihood – which due to their lack of expertise depends entirely on their ability to generate clickbait revenue. If you do engage with them, they will call you a Jew-lover or an Islam-lover and that’s it. Not worth your time IMHO].

The quasi-comical truth is that the Alt-Righters don’t get Russia *at all*. They keep transposing their narrow horizons on a nation with which they have absolutely nothing in common, not even religiously or racially (even if they think otherwise). Hence their love-hate relationship with Putin: on one hand, they would love to have a champion like Putin (Ann Coulter or Milo Yiannopoulos do not qualify), but on the other, they hate Putin for not endorsing their racist and fascist agenda. Truth be told: Russia has no use for these intellectual midgets.

Russia is “selling out” to the Taliban?

Well, since we are making a (tongue-in-cheek) “inventory” of all of Putin’s (and even Russia’s) sins, let’s include cozying up to the Taliban (who even agreed to put on Saint George’s Ribbons!) and… … and what exactly is happening here?

How about trying to bring peace back to Afghanistan? You know – the same thing Russia is doing in Venezuela, in Syria and elsewhere. This implies talking to the other side, and even striking smiling poses when asked by the press.

Needless to say, the thugs running the AngloZionst Empire have accused Russia or aiding and even arming the Taliban. And why not? This is no more ridiculous than saying that Saddam and Iran are helping al-Qaeda, or than saying that Russia “hacked” DNC computers, or told Maduro not to run for his life. Hey! We are living in “Skripal times” and the rules of evidence have changed to “highly likely” – so why not claim that Russia is also selling out to the Taliban (maybe even on Netanyahu’s orders?).

In the meantime, Russian soldiers are busy ducking missiles…

Yep, apparently unaware that their Commander-in-Chief is a puppet of both Israel and the worldwide Islamic Ummah, Russian servicemen are ducking missiles in Syria. The latest attack saw them shoot 36 missiles (and one targeting drone) out of the sky. This is good news, of course, but this just goes to show that these (US and Israel backed) Islamists shooting these missiles have not been informed that the Russian military in Syria is here to help Netanyahu and Trump. Somebody should probably tell them 😉

Conclusion: just one more crazy and terrifying week, with many more to come

I tried to be a little tongue-in-cheek here, but the reality is that what is taking place before our eyes is both absolutely insane and most terrifying. Why? Because the world is now ruled by a most dangerous gang of ignorant thugs who are very rapidly losing their grip on our planet and who is simply neither intellectually equipped to understand, nor deal with this very complex and rapidly changing situation.

What we are seeing is a full-spectrum collapse of the unipolar world and its gradual, but also inexorable, replacement with a multi-polar world in which things like “speaking with your adversaries or even enemies” becomes the norm rather than the exception. Even more importantly, this is a world in which US threats always fall on deaf ears simply because nobody takes the US seriously anymore. While the US military probably has the capability to re-invade Grenada or “bring democracy” to the inhabitants of the North Sentinel Island – no adults in the room will be impressed (least of all the Iranians!).

It is this quiet indifference which enrages the likes of Pompeo, Bolton or Trump – for all their narcissistic chest-thumping – they are, and will forever remain, the ultimate losers – folks who simply couldn’t get *anything* done. Even more terrifying is their sense of total impunity. If Obama was “democracy with a human face” then Trump is “democracy with a simian face” – not much better.

When I think that a “Golden Tufted Cockatoo” (to use Fred Reeds wonderful image) has the authority to press the nuclear button I feel terrified. I also realize that the survival of the human species will depend on Putin and Xi and their ability to gradually disarm or neutralize the US threat without triggering a nuclear war.

These are truly terrifying times. If you are not terrified, then you are delusional.

But if being terrified is a natural and absolutely normal reaction, we need to overcome it and fearlessly resist. Like Maduro does, surrounded by his men.

This refusal to be afraid, even while being terrified, is how we will eventually defeat the Empire!

Venezuela is, by far, the weakest link in the chain of resistance to the Empire. But look at these faces! All I can say is this: may the courage of the kids protecting not only Maduro, but also the sovereignty of their country, be an inspiration to us all, no matter how terrified we are.

UPDATE: turns out that it was not Russia or Cuba which are responsible for the failed coup. According to Neocon US Senator from Florida, Venezuela regime change crusader Marco Rubio, it’s the Chinese! I wonder whom the US leaders are going to blame next? Any guesses?

What Putin and Pompeo did not talk about

May 15, 2019

by Pepe Escobar : Posted with permission

What Putin and Pompeo did not talk aboutRussia is uneasy over the destabilizatihttp://by Pepe Escobar : Posted with permissionon of Tehran, and on other hotspots the powers’ positions are clear.

Even veiled by thick layers of diplomatic fog, the overlapping meetings in Sochi between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov still offer tantalizing geopolitical nuggets.

Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov did his best to smooth the utterly intractable, admitting there was “no breakthrough yet” during the talks but at least the US “demonstrated a constructive approach.”

Putin told Pompeo that after his 90-minute phone call with Trump, initiated by the White House, and described by Ushakov as “very good,” the Russian president “got the impression that the [US] president was inclined to re-establish Russian-American relations and contacts to resolve together the issues that are of mutual interest to us.”

That would imply a Russiagate closure. Putin told Pompeo, in no uncertain terms, that Moscow never interfered in the US elections, and that the Mueller report proved that there was no connection between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.

This adds to the fact Russiagate has been consistently debunked by the best independent American investigators such as the VIPS group.   

‘Interesting’ talk on Iran

Let’s briefly review what became public of the discussions on multiple (hot and cold) conflict fronts – Venezuela, North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran.

Venezuela – Ushakov reiterated the Kremlin’s position: “Any steps that may provoke a civil war in the country are inadmissible.” The future of President Maduro was apparently not part of the discussion.

That brings to mind the recent Arctic Council summit. Both Lavrov and Pompeo were there. Here’s a significant exchange:

Lavrov: I believe you don’t represent the South American region, do you?

Pompeo: We represent the entire hemisphere.

Lavrov: Oh, the hemisphere. Then what’s the US doing in the Eastern Hemisphere, in Ukraine, for instance?

There was no response from Pompeo.

North Korea – Even acknowledging that the Trump administration is “generally ready to continue working [with Pyongyang] despite the stalemate at the last meeting, Ushakov again reiterated the Kremlin’s position: Pyongyang will not give in to “any type of pressure,” and North Korea wants “a respectful approach” and international security guarantees.

Afghanistan – Ushakov noted Moscow is very much aware that the Taliban are getting stronger. So the only way out is to find a “balance of power.” There was a crucial trilateral in Moscow on April 25 featuring Russia, China and the US, where they all called on the Taliban to start talking with Kabul as soon as possible.

Iran – Ushakov said the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal, was “briefly discussed.”.He would only say the discussion was “interesting.”

Talk about a larger than life euphemism. Moscow is extremely uneasy over the possibility of a destabilization of Iran that allows a free transit of jihadis from the Caspian to the Caucasus.

Which brings us to the heart of the matter. Diplomatic sources – from Russia and Iran – confirm, off the record, there have been secret talks among the three pillars of Eurasian integration – Russia, China and Iran – about Chinese and Russian guarantees in the event the Trump administration’s drive to strangle Tehran to death takes an ominous turn.

This is being discussed at the highest levels in Moscow and Beijing. The bottom line: Russia-China won’t allow Iran to be destroyed.

But it’s quite understandable that Ushakov wouldn’t let that information slip through a mere press briefing.

Wang Yi and other deals

On multiple fronts, what was not disclosed by Ushakov is way more fascinating than what’s now on the record. There’s absolutely no way Russian hypersonic weapons were not also discussed, as well as China’s intermediate-range missiles capable of reaching any US military base encircling or containing China.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, third right, meets Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, center left, in Sochi on 14 May 2019. Photo: AFP / Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service / Anadolu

The real deal was, in fact, not Putin-Pompeo or Pompeo-Lavrov in Sochi. It was actually Lavrov-Wang Yi (the Chinese Foreign Minister), the day before in Moscow.

A US investment banker doing business in Russia told me: “Note how Pompeo ran like mad to Sochi. We are frightened and overstretched.”

Diplomats later remarked: “Pompeo looked solemn afterwards. Lavrov sounded very diplomatic and calm.” It’s no secret in Moscow’s top diplomatic circles that the Chinese Politburo overruled President Xi Jinping’s effort to find an accommodation to Trump’s tariff offensive. The tension was visible in Pompeo’s demeanor.

In terms of substance, it’s remarkable how Lavrov and Wang Yi talked about, literally, everything: Syria, Iran, Venezuela, the Caspian, the Caucasus, New Silk Roads (BRI), Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), missiles, nuclear proliferation.

Or as Lavrov diplomatically put it: “In general, Russia-China cooperation is one of the key factors in maintaining the international security and stability, establishing a multipolar world order. . . . Our states cooperate closely in various multilateral organizations, including the UN, G20, SCO, BRICS and RIC [Russia, India, China trilateral forum], we are working on aligning the integration potential of the EAEU and the Belt and Road Initiative, with potentially establishing [a] larger Eurasian partnership.”

The strategic partnership is in sync on Venezuela, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan – they want a solution brokered by the SCO. And on North Korea, the message could not have been more forceful.

After talking to Wang Yi, Lavrov stressed that contacts between Washington and North Korea “proceeded in conformity with the road map that we had drafted together with China, from confidence restoration measures to further direct contacts.”

This is a frank admission that Pyongyang gets top advice from the Russia-China strategic partnership. And there’s more: “We hope that at a certain point a comprehensive agreement will be achieved on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and on the creation of a system of peace and security in general in Northeast Asia, including concrete firm guarantees of North Korea’s security.”

Translation: Russia and China won’t back down on guaranteeing North Korea’s security. Lavrov said: “Such guarantees will be not easy to provide, but this is an absolutely mandatory part of a future agreement. Russia and China are prepared to work on such guarantees.”

Reset, maybe?

The indomitable Maria Zakharova, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman, may have summed it all up. A US-Russia reset may even, eventually, happen. Certainly, it won’t be of the Hillary Clinton kind, especially when current CIA director Gina Haspel is shifting most of the agency’s resources towards Iran and Russia.

Top Russian military analyst Andrei Martyanov was way more scathingRussia won’t break with China, because the US “doesn’t have any more a geopolitical currency to ‘buy’ Russia – she is out of [the] price range for the US.”

That left Ushakov with his brave face, confirming there may be a Trump-Putin meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka next month.

“We can organize a meeting ‘on the go’ with President Trump. Alternatively, we can sit down for a more comprehensive discussion.”

Under the current geopolitical incandescence, that’s the best rational minds can hope for.

 

Victory Day 2019 in Lugansk People’s Republic (updated)

May 15, 2019

by George Eliason, Special Correspondent for the Saker Blog in Novorussia

Victory Day 2019 in Lugansk People’s Republic

For the last five years, I was given the opportunity to break a lot of news and human interest stories from Donbass. More specifically, I’ve lived in what became Lugansk People’s Republic since 2012 and I’ve been writing from there since the trouble started before the Ukrainian coup happened.

The video from Victory day offers a unique perspective on Russian affairs in that the interviews are with boots to ground leadership and the topic is Russian integration. Along with the day’s events and the meaning behind them is an interview with a Russian regional Deputy and the Victory Day speech by the mayor of Novoborvitsyi , LNR.

Russian Deputy Valentine Vasilchenko discusses how people on both sides of the border have a long integrated history.

I asked Russia’ Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Dimitry Polanskiy to comment on LNR’s Novoborovitsyi Mayor Desatnikov and Rovstov Raion Deputy Vasilichenko’s statements.

DP –I find such cross-border contacts natural and indispensable for people living side by side for many years and being one ethnical group. We never prevented our citizens to contact their Ukrainian counterparts, we are not doing it now.

I am sure that our recent initiative on expedient passportization of inhabitants of Donetsk and Lugansk will contribute to this natural process. We are glad that it was warmly welcomed by the concerned people – the queues to the issuing centers are very long and people are very grateful to Russia for such a step.

The ambassador’s comments clearly show a top to bottom commitment of the part of Russia to ease the burden placed on the people of LNR and DNR by Ukraine’s war on them.

Although I’ve written a lot about the village I live in, this is the first occasion I’ve had to spend Victory Day locally. So, what’s Victory Day in LNR DNR look like without all the machines of war and soldiers that go along with military parades?

The story goes back to the reality Donbass faced during the Great War (WWII) from 1941 to 1943. There was no army here fighting for the people.

There were no war machines. No tanks. No planes. No soldiers.

The men that were fighting age were long gone and Nazi Germany occupied the region. They tortured and murdered the citizenry with the help of their most willing, brutish, and bloody ally; the OUN UPA.

During these years, a group of children with the help of a few Soviet soldiers that got caught behind the lines sabotaged the Nazi war effort.

They were called the Young Guards. They are famous because of the sacrifice they made for their neighbors and countrymen who couldn’t defend themselves. They were Donbass famous child partisans.

From 1941 until February 1943 Donbass was under occupation. In January 1943, only one month before the region was liberated, most of the Young Guard was caught. Some were flayed alive (skinned) in Rovenki. Most were thrown down a mine shaft and some of those were still living when they were thrown in.

These young heroes exemplify the absolute best qualities youth anywhere could possess.

In Novoborovitsyi, Victory Day 2019 centered around the story of one such 14 year old named Petr Skreptsov who ran messages from the local partisans to the Soviet army in that time frame. He was eventually caught. He and his family were tortured and stabbed with bayonets by the nationalists.

The video tries to capture the essential commemoration of all these events.

While our journalism effort transitions into video, I hope you’ll overlook some of the technical flaws.

How could a serious war effort be mounted against the Nazis and Bandera’s OUN UPA without technical support? Or how about without any of the material or weaponry you would expect in a war zone against an overwhelmingly superior force that was completely armed?

Once you grasp that story, it’s only a small step to understanding how Donbass did it again in 2014 against a standing army. The Ukrainian army may have been inadequate but the logistics chain was in place.

Lugansk People’s Republic’s Victory Day is a commemoration of the drive and spirit that made the Donbass region famous from the days of the Tsars through to 2019.

While this isn’t a war of child partisans, the children, mothers with babes, and the elderly that suffer the most.

Poroshenko, while claiming to be the leader of the country LDNR citizens reside in, made it clear that the children could sit in root cellars under the threat of artillery instead of going to school. Zelenskiy is embracing the same philosophy.

The reason is both are in debt to the OUN for their respective position as presidents. Under Zelenskiy, no change is possible.

The Victory Day celebration is supposed to remind people about the dangers of nationalism and fascism. Worldwide it is celebrated by every country that was allied in WWII. The problem in the west is remembering the importance of those sacrifices lost meaning.

In Donbass, we are living daily watching local people making those sacrifices again.

Victory Day 2019 in LNR commemorates a commitment to a real future which means leaving Ukraine behind. LNR’s direction is clear. It’s Russia. Victory! Победа!

The plan of Marcks, the Barbarossa Directive, and Banderism in WWII

May 10, 2019

By Rostislav Ishchenko

Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard
cross posted with 
https://www.stalkerzone.org/the-plan-of-marcks-the-barbarossa-directive-and-banderism-in-wwii/

source: https://ukraina.ru/history/20190509/1023546752.html

Ollie's MacBook:Users:O-RICH:Downloads:576a68edc36188751f8b45c8.jpg

There is a false opinion that is popular in narrow circles of Rezun adherents that the “unfortunate peaceable” Fuhrer, having suddenly learned that the USSR concentrated too many troops in the Western Military Districts, scratched around, and with the incidental divisions found near at hand was forced to urgently attack the USSR in order to not be attacked himself.

In practice Hitler gave the order to prepare an attack on the USSR already on July 31st 1940 (France capitulated on June 22nd of the same year).

He motivated his position not at all by the fact that the USSR was preparing to attack him, but by saying that the disappearance of the last major (alternative to German) military force in Europe will deprive Great Britain of hope for a result of war that is positive for it, and London will agree to make peace on the terms of Berlin. I.e., Hitler planned to “heal” the war that was already launched by him via a new war only because his calculations on the tractability of England after the defeat of France failed.

Directive No. 21, which approved the “Barbarossa Option”, appeared only on December 18th 1940. It became the development of the “Ost” plan elaborated by the General Erich Marcks, who was considered to be the best specialist of the OKH (Oberkommando des Heeres) on Russia. Marcks presented his reasons in August, but they did not satisfy Hitler, and the “Ost” plan was improved on the basis of the instructions of the Fuhrer by the group under the leadership of the well-known in Russia – thanks to the Battle of Stalingrad – General Friedrich Paulus.

Here it is necessary to make the reservation of the rather personal qualities of General Paulus. All of his colleagues recognised him as a well educated officer who was brilliantly prepared for staff work. But at the same time they nevertheless noted his obedience. Paulus always unconditionally obeyed the person with a stronger character irrespective of whether the latter occupied in relation to him a leading position (like Hitler) or a subordinated position (like the chief of his headquarters in the 6th army Major General Arthur Schmidt). Paulus executed orders irrespective of whether he considered them to be correct or nhttp://thesaker.is/ending-a-cultural-revolution-can-only-be-counter-revolutionary-7-8/ot. Thanks to this quality of Paulus, the deployment of troops within the framework of the “Barbarossa Directive” happened as a part of three groups of armies, and not two, as General Marcks proposed.

The matter is that Erich Marcks, apparently, was not only a great expert on Russia, but also a sensible staff officer who perfectly acquired the principles of the adventurous strategy of blitzkrieg, which allowed Germany to win at the first stages of World War II. Blitzkrieg assumed a victory by the smaller forces of a stronger opponent due to a concentration of troops (including all mobile formations) in strategic directions unexpected for it. The created local superiority materialised into deep breaches. The mobile formations supported by aircraft destroyed the rear, provided a loss by the highest headquarters of the leadership of troops, after which the front units found themselves in numerous cauldrons, catastrophically losing their fighting capacity, the organised defence of the country collapsing, and the fighting was turning into an operation to clean up the area from the remains of troops of the opponent, already demoralised and incapable of resistance.

This approach justified itself in Poland, in France, and at the beginning (in 1941) in the USSR. In 1942 the success of German troops on the Eastern front was local and didn’t have such a catastrophic character for the USSR. In general in 1942, despite large-scale defeats on the Southern flank, the Staff of the General Headquarters retained control over the situation.

The strategy of blitzkrieg was dictated by the general weakness of Germany in comparison with its opponents. Without going on adventures that were dangerous and fraught with instant defeat, Germany could not count on victories. But an adventure on the verge of catastrophic defeat, if it was successful, led to a just as catastrophic defeat of the opponent. This method is expressed in a proverb today: “He who takes no chances drinks no champagne”.

In full compliance with the strategy of blitzkrieg, General Marcks made a plan that was extremely adventurous, but in the event it was triumphant it promised absolute success. The deployment of “Ost” was supposed to be carried out within the framework of two groups of armies operating to the North of the Polesia swamps. In the South, Romania and Hungary didn’t have to enter the war, which provided the impossibility of an attack of Soviet troops through their territory. And in order to defend the Carpathian passes leading to Poland, there were rather enough small forces. The Polesia swamps, extending from the border to Bryansk, had to cover the open Southern flank of the attacking group. It was supposed to control them also by rather small forces.

Thus, the Soviet troops concentrated in Ukraine (40% of all potential and 50% of mobile formations) had to switch-off from active fighting until the attacking German army appeared on the outskirts of Moscow, in the deep rear of the Ukrainian group of Soviet troops. At the second stage (after capturing Moscow and Leningrad) it was supposed to drive the Soviet troops concentrated in the South towards the Black Sea and the Caucasian ridge and to destroy them with the assistance of the Turkish army, which had to strike them in the rear.

It is unknown whether they would have succeeded to implement this plan, but specific battles of 1941 show that, despite all its adventurousness, it could’ve been realised in the condition of strict fulfilment. During this period of war the Soviet troops proved to be good in passive defence, but no so good at deep and difficult offensive operations, and the command was catastrophically late to react to the actions of the enemy. That’s why the isolation of the large group of Soviet troops in Ukraine in the specific conditions of 1941 is not something unreal.

However, Hitler, who was always much more careful than his Generals, stated that he cannot fight without Ukrainian bread, coal, and metal, etc. He demanded the development of an operation taking into account the need to occupy Ukraine. Conscientious Paulus developed the “Barbarossa” plan, within the framework of which over 30% of German military power as a part of the “South” army groups had to operate to the South of the Polesia swamps (in Ukraine). At the same time, expeditious collaboration between the “Centre” and “South” army groups would be achieved only after arriving at the Smolensk-Chernigov line. This would reduce (although it didn’t completely remove) the general operational risk, but would also sharply reduce the chances of success.

The specific peripeteias of fighting in the Great Patriotic War were repeatedly parsed. The critical, on the verge of a Soviet defeat, situation of 1941 came to an end with the victorious battle of Moscow, after which it was a question only of what year, with what forces, and with what losses will the USSR crush Germany. But for us the transformation of the “Ost” plan into the “Barbarossa” plan is important due to the fact that if it wasn’t for the German occupation of Ukraine, we would not face such a phenomenon as civil war during the Great Patriotic War.

Traitors and collaborators were everywhere (in Western and Eastern Europe, in different regions of the USSR). On Russian territories there was a “Lokot republic” of Kaminsky, and besides Vlasov’s Russian Liberation Army, the 15th SS Cossack Cavalry Corps of Lieutenant General Helmuth von Pannwitz worked in the structure of the German army, and there was also the Baltic and Caucasian “SS legions”, even in Belarus there were its own homegrown henchmen, although the most part had to be sent from Ukraine and from the Baltics. However, in any region, including the Baltics, the amount of the local population that was at war as a part of the Red Army exceeded (some by orders of magnitude, and some by percentage, but all the same exceeded) the number of those who went to serve the enemy.

In Ukraine there was a cardinally different situation. In its central and its Southeast regions the picture was approximately the same as the average for the Union. But the Western regions, generally Galicia, were on the side of the enemy almost in full strength. It’s not a coincidence that after war the USSR couldn’t cope with banderism for a long time. UPA enjoyed the support of the local population. Even Banderist terror would be impracticable if it wasn’t for the support of the local population.

During the war about 1,200,000 Soviet citizens served in different military and auxiliary formations of the Wehrmacht, the SS, and police. From them, according to the data of the German command, 400,000 were Russians and 250,000 were Ukrainians. However, according to the same data, over half a million (nearly a half) from all collaborators lived on the territory of Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic before the war. The Germans simply considered as Ukrainians mainly Galicia residents or those people who officially adopted the ideology of Ukrainian nationalism.

Moreover, as was said above, collaborators from Ukraine and from the Baltics alone (three small republics gave in total 230,000 collaborators) were used to maintain order in other regions (in the regions of Belarus, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, and Eastern Ukraine, where their own collaborators were lacking in numbers). There was one essential difference between the Ukrainian and Baltic collaborators. A considerable part of the latter indeed fought at the front. The former mainly committed atrocities in the rear. The actions of Baltic police battalions outside the actual territory of the Baltics aren’t as known (there are several cases in Belarus). But the Ukrainian (Galician) punishers “glorified themselves” for both Khatyn and atrocities committed while interrogating members of the Young Guard in Krasnodon. Henchmen from Galicia were brought to Kiev, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, and Donbass, as well as to the regions of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic bordering with Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (Rostov, Belgorod), and also to Belarus.

I draw your attention to the fact that in the area of actions of Galician collaborators, 2/3rds of spaces are occupied by the Southeast and central regions of Ukraine, where their own collaborators were lacking in numbers. It is precisely this that grants us the right to say that during the Great Patriotic War the occupied territory of Ukraine became the arena of civil war between the Russian population of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (which became partisans) and the Galician collaborators. Banderism, suppressed after war, only went underground. In new conditions, with the collapse of the USSR, this civil war resumed, and rather quickly went through a cold stage and since 2014 has acquired open character.

However, there is also an even more important detail. During the Great Patriotic War the Ukrainian collaborators, performing punitive functions on the territories of the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic and Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, already tried to transfer civil war beyond the border of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic – to set fire to all the USSR. Now, by talking about their “war” with Russia and about their readiness to carry out saboteur work against it, trying to establish ties with Russian marginal opposition and to create a terrorist underground on its foundations, modern Banderists again try to solve a problem that was not solved by their predecessors – to transfer civil war from the territory of Ukraine to Russia and to destroy the Russian State.

The defeat of Germany in war became a condition for a victory over banderism after the Great Patriotic War. The condition of a victory over modern banderism is a victory in the hybrid war launched by the US against Russia and now also China.

How the West’s War in Libya Has Spurred Terrorism in 14 Countries

The Saker

May 09, 2019

[this analysis was written for the Unz Review]

Introduction

It is sometimes helpful not to look at any one specific issue in detail, but rather make a survey of ongoing processes instead. The resulting picture is neither better nor worse, it is simply different. This is what I want to do today: to take a bird’s eye view of our suffering planet.

Putin trolls the Empire

It is all really simple: if the Ukrainians will give passports to Russian citizens, and we in Russia will be handing out passports to the Ukrainians, then sooner or later will will reach the expected result: everybody will have the same citizenship. This is something which we have to welcome.

Vladimir Putin

It appears that the Kremlin is very slowly changing its approach to the Ukrainian issue and is now relying more on unilateral actions. The first two measures taken by the Russians are maybe not “too little too late”, but certainly “just the bare minimum and at that, rather late”. Still, I can only salute the Kremlin’s newly found determination. Specifically, the Kremlin has banned the export of energy products to the Ukraine (special exemptions can still be granted on a case by case basis) and the Russians have decided to distribute Russian passports to the people of Novorussia. Good.

Zelenskii’s reaction to this decision came as the first clear sign that the poor man has no idea what he is doing and no plan as to how to deal with the Russians. He decided to crack a joke, (which he is reportedly good at), and declare that the Ukrainian passport was much better than the Russian one and that the Ukraine will start delivering Ukrainian passports to Russian citizens. Putin immediately replied with one of his typical comebacks declaring that he supports Zelenskii and that he looks forward to the day when Russians and Ukrainians will have the same citizenship again. Zelenskii had nothing to say to that 🙂

Zelenskii finally finds something common to Russia and the Ukraine

I have been thinking long about this “a lot in common” between Ukraine and Russia. The reality is that today, after the annexation of the Crimea and the aggression in the Donbas, of the “common” things we have only one thing left – this is the state border. And control of every inch on the Ukrainian side, must be returned by Russia. Only then will we be able to continue the search for [things in] “common”

Vladimir Zelenskii

Well, almost. He did eventually make a Facebook post in which he declared that all that Russia and the Ukraine had in common was a border. This instantly made him the object of jokes and memes, since all Russians or Ukrainians know that Russia and the Ukraine have many old bonds which even 5 years of a vicious civil war and 5 years of hysterically anti-Russian propaganda could not sever. They range from having close relatives in the other country, to numerous trade and commercial transactions, to a common language. The closest thing to a real Ukrainian language would be the Surzhik which is roughly 50/50 in terms of vocabulary and whose pronunciation is closer to the south Russian one than to the Zapadenskii regional dialect spoken in the western Ukraine and which is used (and currently imposed) by the Ukronazi junta in Kiev.

The malignant manatee threatens the planet with fire and brimstone

We have Pompeo, a malignant manatee looking to start wars in which he will not risk his flabby amorphous ass also parading his Christianity. Bolton, a mean sonofabitch who belongs in a strait jacket, at least doesn’t pose as someone having a soul. And the Golden Tufted Cockatoo, too weak to control those around him, preening and tweeting. God save us.

Fred Reed

The term “malignant manatee” is not from me, the brilliant Fred Reed came up with this one, but I can only fully endorse it because it fits. Perfectly. And our malignant manatee sure is on a roll! Just this week he managed to threaten VenezuelaIran, and even Russia and China together. I think that it is high time to declare that Pompeo is a bona fide nutcase, a dangerous, arrogant and ignorant psychopath whose crazy statements represent a direct threat to the entire planet. Not to say that his pal Bolton is any less crazy. Now combine these two rabid thugs with the spineless “Golden Tufted Cockatoo” (to use Fred Reed’s equally hilarious but accurate characterization) and you see that the planet is in big, big trouble.

Turns out that Putin is a crypto-Zionist and an Israeli puppet.

Here I won’t even bother with any quotes. The alternative Internet/blogosphere has, again, been hit by a wave of articles declaring that Putin is Netanyahu’s puppet and a crypto-Zionist. I have debunked that nonsense in the past (see here and here) and I won’t repeat it all here. Besides, what this surge in “Putin the Zionist” propaganda is, is not so much the result of a gradual realization about the true agenda or Putin himself as much as it is, yet again, a desperate scramble for clicks. I already discussed that recently too (see here). I will just reiterate my conclusion here: clickbaiters are never experts and experts are never clickbaiters.

Frankly, to all those who email me and ask “Is it really true? Putin is an Israeli puppet? He helps Netanyahu in Syria, does he not?!” I would suggest simply looking at what the Israelis and Zionists write about Putin (for starters, you can click herehere or here). Even better, ask the defenders of Putin the crytpo-Zionist to explain the hysterically anti-Putin campaign the US legacy Ziomedia has been engaged in for the past years! But don’t hold your breath for an answer – since Russia has comprehensively foiled all Israel’s many plans for Syria, it takes a remarkable determination not to see that Putin is hated by Neocons and Zionists alike, and for good cause, I would add.

Oh, and Putin is a crypto-Muslim too!

Yes, besides being a crypto-Zionist, Putin is also a crypto-Muslim. This latest nonsense usually comes from Alt-Right circles who can forgive Putin his friendliness to Israel, but not to Islam. These are the folks who believe that Putin is not a real defender of the “White Race”. They are opposed by those who believe that Putin and the Moscow Patriarchate will somehow jump-start the “Christian West”. We are talking about some hardcore “single-issue” folks here whose main disagreement is whether Jews or Muslims are to be hated (and feared!) most.

[Having had to deal with both groups myself – I have been accused of being a Jew, a Jew lover and a Muslim and a Muslim lover many times! – I know that reasoning with these folks is a total waste of time. Their paranoid hatred is completely incompatible with any fact-based and logical discussion. Besides, by arguing with them you threaten their income and livelihood – which due to their lack of expertise depends entirely on their ability to generate clickbait revenue. If you do engage with them, they will call you a Jew-lover or an Islam-lover and that’s it. Not worth your time IMHO].

The quasi-comical truth is that the Alt-Righters don’t get Russia *at all*. They keep transposing their narrow horizons on a nation with which they have absolutely nothing in common, not even religiously or racially (even if they think otherwise). Hence their love-hate relationship with Putin: on one hand, they would love to have a champion like Putin (Ann Coulter or Milo Yiannopoulos do not qualify), but on the other, they hate Putin for not endorsing their racist and fascist agenda. Truth be told: Russia has no use for these intellectual midgets.

Russia is “selling out” to the Taliban?

Well, since we are making a (tongue-in-cheek) “inventory” of all of Putin’s (and even Russia’s) sins, let’s include cozying up to the Taliban (who even agreed to put on Saint George’s Ribbons!) and… … and what exactly is happening here?

How about trying to bring peace back to Afghanistan? You know – the same thing Russia is doing in Venezuela, in Syria and elsewhere. This implies talking to the other side, and even striking smiling poses when asked by the press.

Needless to say, the thugs running the AngloZionst Empire have accused Russia or aiding and even arming the Taliban. And why not? This is no more ridiculous than saying that Saddam and Iran are helping al-Qaeda, or than saying that Russia “hacked” DNC computers, or told Maduro not to run for his life. Hey! We are living in “Skripal times” and the rules of evidence have changed to “highly likely” – so why not claim that Russia is also selling out to the Taliban (maybe even on Netanyahu’s orders?).

In the meantime, Russian soldiers are busy ducking missiles…

Yep, apparently unaware that their Commander-in-Chief is a puppet of both Israel and the worldwide Islamic Ummah, Russian servicemen are ducking missiles in Syria. The latest attack saw them shoot 36 missiles (and one targeting drone) out of the sky. This is good news, of course, but this just goes to show that these (US and Israel backed) Islamists shooting these missiles have not been informed that the Russian military in Syria is here to help Netanyahu and Trump. Somebody should probably tell them 😉

Conclusion: just one more crazy and terrifying week, with many more to come

I tried to be a little tongue-in-cheek here, but the reality is that what is taking place before our eyes is both absolutely insane and most terrifying. Why? Because the world is now ruled by a most dangerous gang of ignorant thugs who are very rapidly losing their grip on our planet and who is simply neither intellectually equipped to understand, nor deal with this very complex and rapidly changing situation.

What we are seeing is a full-spectrum collapse of the unipolar world and its gradual, but also inexorable, replacement with a multi-polar world in which things like “speaking with your adversaries or even enemies” becomes the norm rather than the exception. Even more importantly, this is a world in which US threats always fall on deaf ears simply because nobody takes the US seriously anymore. While the US military probably has the capability to re-invade Grenada or “bring democracy” to the inhabitants of the North Sentinel Island – no adults in the room will be impressed (least of all the Iranians!).

It is this quiet indifference which enrages the likes of Pompeo, Bolton or Trump – for all their narcissistic chest-thumping – they are, and will forever remain, the ultimate losers – folks who simply couldn’t get *anything* done. Even more terrifying is their sense of total impunity. If Obama was “democracy with a human face” then Trump is “democracy with a simian face” – not much better.

When I think that a “Golden Tufted Cockatoo” (to use Fred Reeds wonderful image) has the authority to press the nuclear button I feel terrified. I also realize that the survival of the human species will depend on Putin and Xi and their ability to gradually disarm or neutralize the US threat without triggering a nuclear war.

These are truly terrifying times. If you are not terrified, then you are delusional.

But if being terrified is a natural and absolutely normal reaction, we need to overcome it and fearlessly resist. Like Maduro does, surrounded by his men.

This refusal to be afraid, even while being terrified, is how we will eventually defeat the Empire!

Venezuela is, by far, the weakest link in the chain of resistance to the Empire. But look at these faces! All I can say is this: may the courage of the kids protecting not only Maduro, but also the sovereignty of their country, be an inspiration to us all, no matter how terrified we are.

UPDATE: turns out that it was not Russia or Cuba which are responsible for the failed coup. According to Neocon US Senator from Florida, Venezuela regime change crusader Marco Rubio, it’s the Chinese! I wonder whom the US leaders are going to blame next? Any guesses?

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