How Russia Implements the Minsk 2 Agreement, by Scott Humor

 

A few years ago, I was having coffee with my then-business partner. He happened to be in the middle of a process called “enrolling your child in a private school.”

In my naiveté I thought that this process was a fairly straightforward one: you give them your application and a check, and they accept your kid. But apparently, there were more people with money that this particular school was willing to take, and as it happened, his step-daughter didn’t get in the previous year.

“You didn’t accept my daughter last year,” he reminded the head of the admission office.

“I am sorry, but your application came in after the deadline,” she was on speakerphone, so I could hear her clearly. He looked at me and shook his head mouthing, “No, she is lying.”

“Are you aware that I am an alumnus of this school? I was there from kindergarten through high school. After school I served in the Army, got a master’s degree in engineering and I’ve been a military contractor for thirty years.”

“Oh,” she said. “I didn’t know that. Congratulations.”

“I’m also a certified explosives specialist, which means that I know how to defuse explosive devices and also how to set them up. I can make a powerful explosive from several common household items. If you don’t accept my daughter to your school, I am going to blow up your administrative building with all of you inside.”

“Oh,” she said. “I see. Well, there is no need for you to do that. There is no need to blow us up. We are accepting your daughter as we speak. She is already in.”

Later I asked why wasn’t he worried about her reporting him to the feds.

“She is not going to. She got my message. I reminded her that the school is a private club in which I, as part of its alumni, am a member, and she is a hired aid. It costs north of a half a million dollars to go from kindergarten to  graduation in this school. She is getting paid and has her job with the club members’ fees that I pay. If they treat me badly, other alumni will realize that the hired help took power over the club members. As a result, they might withdraw their support, the school will go bankrupt, and all those f-ing servants would lose their livelihood.”

Something similar took place in the UN building to Mr. Lavrov, Russia’s foreign secretary. He was known to smoke before, during, and after meetings, so the UN secretary Kofi Annan declared “a war on smoking” and started gathering petitions among the staff workers to ban smoking inside the UN building.

Everybody understood that the smoking ban was directed personally against Lavrov and everyone knew that this would put additional pressure on him during the long and stressful negotiations.

For 70-some years, no one even thought about banning smoking, and now this. It all, allegedly, ended when Sergey Lavrov told to Kofi Annan that the UN was a common home for its members. I.e., Anon was nothing but a hired manager, a fired help in essence. “Please, don’t try to tell us, the owners of this home, how to behave,” Lavrov said reportedly.

On February 18, a historic event took place that very few people even noticed. In a word, Russia has started implementation of the Minsk 2 Agreement.

A couple of weeks ago, in one of my previous SITREPs,  I wrote that Russia was about to start implementing the Minsk Accord, after the numerous demands to do so coming from the EU and the US parliaments and also from their individual member states.

Russia has the same level of the involvement in this agreement as Germany and France. The agreement was signed by the Kiev authorities and the authorities of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. At the signature time, all three sides had the same questionable level of legitimacy, resulting from the violent armed coup and the civil war.

After the Minsk agreement was signed, Germany, France, the EU and the US imposed political, economic and military sanctions on Russia, which have been completely illegitimate. The sanctions have been imposed under a false pretense of making Russia fulfill the Minsk Agreement, which it is not a part.

Russia, in response, imposed several counter-sanctions on the EU members and the US.

The Presidential executive order to recognize the identification papers issued by the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics is in fact the unilateral sanctions that Russia imposes on Kiev authorities, France and Germany, the EU and the US in order for them to fulfill the Minsk-2 Agreement, which should result in cessation of all armed hostilities and withdrawal of all foreign troops, including all the NATO troops, the US, Polish, German and Canadian military advisers, the CIA and so on.

After the foreign troops have been withdrawn, the federalization of Ukraine will take place with local independent elections.

Again, the Minsk-2 Agreement is a pure genius document that lays out a road map for a peaceful liberation of Ukraine from the foreign military occupation and the transfer of political and state powers from the hands of foreign agents that took the power as a result of an armed coup, and transfer this power back into the hands of the people.

By this presidential order, Putin demonstrates to all the politicians involved in the Ukrainian crisis that people living on the territory called Ukraine are the club members, and the Western politicians subjecting the people to an endless bloody armed conflict are nothing but hired help gone mad.

In the following days more will be written and said about this presidential executive order. There is no doubt that it was a carefully calculated, timed, and prepared event. Below is the outline of the some steps taken before this degree was signed.

 

We have been waiting for this for so long…

Everyone is ready.

 

  1. Anti-terror forces

On Thursday, February 16th, Vladimir Putin took part in an annual expanded meeting of the Federal Security Service (FSB) Board to discuss the FSB’s results for 2016 and the priority tasks for ensuring Russia’s national security.

“Military-political and economic rivalry between global and regional policy makers and between individual countries has increased.

International terrorist groups, essentially terrorist armies, receiving tacit and sometimes even open support from some countries, take active part in these conflicts.

At the NATO summit last July in Warsaw, Russia was declared the main threat to the alliance for the first time since 1989, and NATO officially proclaimed containing Russia its new mission. It is with this aim that NATO continues its expansion.

They have stepped up the deployment of strategic and conventional arms beyond the national borders of the principal NATO member states.

They are provoking us constantly and are trying to draw us into confrontation.

 We see continued attempts to interfere in our internal affairs in a bid to destabilise the social and political situation in Russia itself.

We also see the recent serious flare-up in southeast Ukraine.

What is more, they (the current Ukrainian authorities) speak openly about organising sabotage and terrorism, particularly in Russia. Obviously, this is a matter of great concern.”

  1. Warning to people to stay home

On the same day, 16 February 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a warning for Russian citizens travelling abroad on the risk of detention or arrest in third countries at the request of US law enforcement agencies or intelligence services

“The US continues the unacceptable practice of ‘hunting’ for Russian citizens around the world.”

“The number of such incidents now exceeds 30. In 2016, four Russian citizens were extradited to the United States: Maxim Senakh, Alexander Sergeyev, and Mikhail Serov from Finland, and Mark Vartanyan from Norway. Among the latest cases, we can cite the recent arrest of Stanislav Lisov in Spain.

We strongly recommend that Russian citizens, when planning travel abroad, weigh up carefully all the risks, especially if they have reason to believe that American law enforcement agencies might have demands in their regard. “

  1. Russia’s ultimatum

On February 18, Speaking at the Munich Security Conference Lavrov said:  Moscow as well will not lift counter-sanctions against the EU until Minsk deal is implemented

In essence, this is Russia’s unilateral sanctions against the EU and US. If the EU and US fail to do anything, there will be more sanctions.

“As our European partners are saying in regard to sanctions, I have already spoken on that matter. Since it is quite illogical and artificial to talk about the formula that Minsk agreements should be implemented by Russia then the European Union will lift sanctions. We also want the Minsk agreements to be implemented and our sanctions against the European Union would not be lifted as well until the Minsk agreements are implemented,” Lavrov said speaking at the Munich Security Conference.

  1. Moscow’s decision has been completely unforeseen and unanticipated

Lavrov didn’t mention the subject of validated IDs of Donbass resident at the Munich Security Conference and he didn’t mention this option during the Normandy Four meeting.

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

FMs met on sidelines | Главы МИД “Нормандской четверки” встретились «на полях» Мюнхенской конференции по безопасности

“The decree stated clearly this was made out of humanitarian concerns…until Minsk agreements have been fulfilled. The presidential decree validated IDs of Donbass residents so that they could enter Russia legally and use Russian rail transport and air carriers,” he explained.”

After the eruption of the crisis in Ukraine in 2014, over a million of Donbass residents applied for a refugee status and temporary shelter in Russia. According to Russia’s Federal Migration Service, more than 1 million people fled to Russia following the outbreak of the civil war in Ukraine, of whom approximately 600,000 decided to settle there permanently.

  1. A day before, on February 17th, Plotnitskiy and Aleksandr Zakharchenko made a very important statement

“we decided to implement a programme of humanitarian aid and environmental safety for our brothers and sisters living in Ukraine-controlled Donbass areas. The main guidelines for humanitarian assistance are medical and educational services, payments to veterans and assistance to divided families.

We wish to underscore that humanitarian foundations have been set up to support our fellow countrymen. The programme also envisions joint cultural, educational and sport events involving residents on both sides of the contact line.”

This means that people living on the territory of Donbass that is occupied by junta and foreign supra-national organizations like the EU and NATO will be able to get  the republics IDs, and will be able to travel to Russia visa free for work, education or leisure.

This indicates that the Presidential order concerns not just the Donbass republics but an entire population of Ukraine.

Executive Order on recognising documents issued to Ukrainian citizens and stateless persons living in certain districts of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions

Being guided by universally recognised principles and standards of the international humanitarian law and in order to protect the rights and freedoms of individuals, the President has resolved that temporarily, during the political settlement period of the crisis in certain districts of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions pursuant to the Minsk Agreements, personal identification documents, education and (or) qualification certificates, birth certificates, marriage, divorce, name change and death certificates, vehicle registration certificates, and vehicle registration plates issued by the corresponding authorities (organisations), valid in the specified district, will be recognised in the Russian Federation as valid for Ukrainian citizens and stateless persons permanently residing in those areas.

Pursuant to the Executive Order, Ukrainian citizens and stateless persons permanently residing in certain districts of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions can enter and leave the Russian Federation without applying for visas upon showing identification documents (birth certificates for children under the age of 16), issued by the corresponding authorities which are valid in the said districts.

The Government of the Russian Federation has been instructed to take the necessary measures to implement this Executive Order.

The Executive Order will come into effect upon its signing.

A few additional points

  1. On February 18th, the Red Star military TV channel posted two videos of what is a clear message from the Defense ministry that MIG-31 is able to fly in stratosphere and to shoot down satellites and ballistic missiles with R33 missiles.

This fighter jet is fully battle ready, it takes them about 7.5 minutes to reach the stratosphere

That’s how the Russian pilots see the earth from 21,500 meters at the speed of 2,500 k/h 

 

  1. Denazification of Ukraine is going at steady path: Ukrainian news sources report that in Munich airport Interpol arrested former commander of the punitive armed formation 11th battalion “Kievskaya Rus” Yuriy Starov. He was detained following the Simferopol court decision, on the charges brought up by FSB against Mr. Starov in relations to his activities during the war on Donbass. He is fighting an extradition, but it looks like the Kiev authorities won’t be able to prevent Germany from extraditing him to Russia, since as a  Crimean he is considered to be a citizen of Russia.
  2. If you are looking for a precedent, the South Ossetia and Georgia come to mind:

“Plainly speaking, Putin sent a wire to Poroshenko, with simple and clear message, “Peter, dot. Remember the South Ossetia, dot. Take care of yourself, dot. Putin, dot.” Upon hearing about this decree, I immediately imagined future developments, based on the experience of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict. Georgia  had “experimented” with the population of South Ossetia prior to the Russian intervention, and tried to “experiment” after, but not for long. It all had started when Russia and South Ossetia signed an agreement on the reconstruction of damaged infrastructure, which implicitly recognized the Republic, and it ended with the Russian troops responding to the direct aggression of Georgia, after which Russia recognized the South Ossetia and Abkhazia. However, in this scenario, Russia didn’t have a need to recognize passports of the South Ossetia, which the Republic started issuing in 2006, as all the residents of the republic at that time have already had the Russian passports.”

Veritas:Meanwhile Porkie invites VP Pence to come to Ukraine and whines about what the Russians are doing in Donbass. The “Normandy 4” all agree steps and again the whinney FM of Ukrnazi land dismisses the meeting to Reuters as soon as he leaves……well I suppose they have insane McCain to keep them warm at night!

The Kulak: “I still think Putin has the radar data showing a (Georgian) Air Force SU25KM, likely with a Georgian pilot, ambushing the airline after being vectored to it from a controller on the ground, most likely at the Dnepro tower controlled by Ihor Kholomoisky. This is why he is acting as if he has a ‘Trump card’ pun intended in the coming negotiations with the Trump Admin over Ukraine.

Someone who did not wouldn’t double down or take a tougher negotiating line as they did over the Munich Security Conference weekend by announcing LDNR citizens will now have their documents recognized in the RF, which of course is a preliminary step as everyone understands to giving Donetsk or Lugansk residents Russian passports. The kompromat Putin has on the false flag group that carried out MH17 (with clear coordination with the CIA, if not direct Langley involvement for deniability purposes, since the CIA’s people orchestrated the media hate campaign that was prepackaged as it were) is along with the Polish/Right Sector combined team Maidan snipers IDs and other Russian SIGINT we don’t know of the ‘high card’ in the coming talks.

Per the Kulak: John Helmer: US Navy releasing no pics/video of latest SU24 flyby incident in Black Sea, USS Porter may’ve been closer to Crimea than USN admits

“The US nuclear-armed missile destroyer, USS Porter, was steaming full-speed across the Black Sea in the direction of the Russian coastline, its Tomahawk firing radars activated, when a Russian airborne signals reconnaissance aircraft and three SU-24 fighter-bombers arrived in three waves. The US European Command headquarters in Stuttgart announced that the incidents had occurred on Tuesday, February 14, calling the Russian flights “unsafe and unprofessional”, putting the vessel and the militaries of the US and Russia at risk of “accident or miscalculation.”  The Pentagon repeated the exact words after daylight broke on the same day in Washington. But that was four days after the incidents had  actually taken place on Friday, February 10. The Russian Defense Ministry replied in the Moscow evening of February 14 that there “were no incidents”.”

This is how NATO ends:  Not with a bang but a whimper

This is how NATO ends: with the quiet shuttering of an irrelevant Brussels office building in September 2020. http://atfp.co/2l3rnuY 

Scott Humor

Follow me on twitter

Don’t forget to get my book before it’s too late

There’s a Deep State in America?!

February 18, 2017

by Ramin Mazaheri

There’s a Deep State in America?!

Imagine my surprise when, on my flight back from San Francisco to New York, that’s what my trusty New York Times revealed to me.

My first thought was: I can’t believe how this horrible Donald Trump has set up a Deep State in less than a month?!

Surely Russia was involved in its formation.

Then again, I strangely find myself thinking a lot about Russia these days. I’ll admit it – when my morning breakfast was late it fleetingly occurred to me that the Kremlin was behind this slowdown in my hotel room service.

Putting that aside, I was immediately relieved when by the 3rd paragraph our nation’s paper of record had put to rest my fears of an unprecedented formation of a US Deep State with, “Not quite, experts say….”

Whew.

I just don’t put anything past the evil capabilities of the Donald!

Reading the article I was surprised to find that the Deep State isn’t what I thought it was – apparently it’s only when the government leaks information to the media?

That’s funny, because one time on the SF-NYC “Job Creator Red-eye” I sat next to an Egyptian guy. Of course I was worried, at first, but I found out it he was a Coptic Christian, so that put me at ease. Who even knew they had those?!

This Egyptian told me about his country’s Deep State, and it sounded really bad:

He said that they colluded with “some Western countries” – he didn’t say which and looked kind of uncomfortable as he said it, for some reason – to stop that great Tahrir Square Revolution which was to guarantee that Israel would be safe.

“Mr. Gypsy” said that the Egyptian version of the Deep State was that their military controlled the economy, and that they bribed, imprisoned and killed people to keep their grip on the economy and control over foreign policy.

It sounded pretty bad.

I told him I was happy that Washington was supporting Al-Sisi’s military takeover with billions in aid, and that he didn’t have to thank me personally for that.

A “military” intertwined with the “economy”…I must admit, it did make me think.

Of Russia! I’m nearly certain that Putin created something similar over thereafter he banned elections, so why even verify it with some research?!

But this Egyptian must not have known what he was talking about, because the New York Times article didn’t say anything about the economy?

What they said was:

“Mr. Trump, apparently seeking to cut the intelligence community, State Department, and other agencies out of the policy-making process almost entirely, may have triggered a conflict whose escalation we are seeing in the rising number of leaks.”

Officials, deprived of the usual levers for shaping policies that are supposed to be their purview, are left with little other than leaking.”

Trump was clearly trying to cut public officials out of the democratic process, and they had no choice but to resort to these “illegal” leaks!

I mean, I’m pretty sure you don’t get elected to be a CIA spy or NSA agent, but somebody up top is and…well, I don’t know if they did the leaks…and I don’t know if the leaks are really true or not…but I’m telling you – we have to get Donald out NOW!

Anything that’s bad for Trump must be good. It’s really that simple, so case closed.

“We’re in a world now where the president is playing to the edge of his powers, and I think there are real concerns about the constitutional implications of some of the actions he’s taken,” said somebody who must be totally objective and perfect because why else would the New York Times choose them?

If there’s one thing Obama never, ever, ever did it was to expand his executive authority in ways unbeseeming to the presidential authority.

If Obama had done that, I would have been in the streets, you can bet! Trust me: I have my anti-Trump “pussy hat” in my closet and ready for the next protest!

Don’t bring up “drones”! You’ll just remind me of this guy at work nobody understands – Fazlollah “Lefty” Bittermani – he’s always doing that!

Between you and me, his last name ends in a vowel, so…you know….he may have certain sympathies. That guy really cheeses me off!

What Lefty doesn’t realize is that we are at war – not with Russia, yet – but with – not Muslims – but with…certain people, let’s just say. And the president has the right to fight war however he wants.

But when it comes to waging diplomacy the president must be restricted as much as possible!

We refuse to accept Hillary’s defeat until the Russians give back the Donbass to the Crimeans! This is simply a question of our humanitarian rights!

Trump is trying to make a liar out of not just Hillary, but of Sylvester Stallone and “Rocky IV” – even when the Russians cheat they are still supposed to lose to the Americans!

Was I back on Russia again? I don’t know…I’m like, obsessed with them, or something?

Back to the New York Times, which always reassures me when contradictions confuse me. Just after that last quote they wrote this:

That has forced officials in agencies to ask how far they will go themselves. As each side begins to perceive itself as under attack and the other as making dangerous power-grabs, it will justify more and more extreme behavior.

So clearly, these officials are justified more and more in extreme behavior…because it’s Trump!

I really wish we had some of these great, extreme officials during the Dubya era, but why bring up ancient history?

One thing is certain: During just four weeks in office Trump has clearly destroyed the culture and future of the United States and must be impeached. These officials – even if they are unelected – should absolutely not be listening to their elected leader!

Why? Well just read the next paragraph, another unassailable analyst of the Times:

“In President Trump, you have a president whose behavior shocks even more than the content of his policies.”

Yes! Behavior, not content!

I was telling my son this recently: He came in 19th place in a recent science competition (but out of 24!), and he was upset that his blue ribbon wasn’t an actual trophy.

I told him, “Son, I’m going to buy you that trophy because your behavior was correct, even if you totally screwed up measuring the contents of your volcano experiment, and it exploded and burned the girl next to you.”

I think the girl was Russian, anyway. She was certainly shocked.

Anyway, the Times goes on to say that now this dangerous Trump wants to appoint someone to review our intelligence agencies. Astounding, the gall of this man! I really think he’s psychologically insane.

“It looks, sounds and feels like a political witch hunt,” said Analyst #1 (the White one, not the Egyptian one). “It’s like pouring gasoline on the fire.”

It certainly does!

What else do you call our top elected official trying to find out what work is being illegally done in secret with taxpayer money?

I am certain this is something Putin would do with his KGB.

And that’s why Russia is not free – because the KGB cannot operate freely to undermine Putin’s attempts at diplomacy!

Don’t tell me I’m wrong, comrade!

“Mr. Flynn, in his short tenure, exemplified the breakdown between the president’s inner circle and career civil servants. He kept the National Security Council largely shut out of policy-making and sought sweeping changes in foreign policy.”

This is the US, not the USSR! Our career bureaucrats need to be in charge, not our elected officials!

Trump simply cannot make sweeping changes to foreign policy – even if he was democratically elected on that mandate – because career civil servants should run the show!

The next paragraph:

“For concerned government officials, leaks may have become one of the few remaining means by which to influence not just Mr. Flynn’s policy initiatives but the threat he seemed to pose to their place in democracy.”

Democracy is bureaucracy!

You vote for a person, they appoint an official, the person you voted for gets voted out of office, but the appointed official stays forever and amasses power – democracy!

I tried to explain this to that Egyptian guy, but he said,

“Then what’s the point of demonstrating and facing down gun barrels if the people can’t demand change?”

I kept telling him:

“But Israel is fine these days? Tahrir worked out great!”

He didn’t get it.

Anyway, Egypt is not the country who is threatening American democracy, and I don’t have to tell you who is, because I’ve just taken that pill that helps me with my compulsive psychological issues.

The Times continued:

Even if each individual leak is justifiable, as insubordination becomes more sustained and overt, it inches deeper into the gray zone of counter-democratic activities.

I already had the feeling that every anti-Trump leaks was justifiable, and that we are still many, many inches away from counter-democracy, so thanks Gray Lady! I almost had to take that other pill for my anxiety!

And “insubordination” is clearly justified because, as I said, in 4 weeks Trump has already proven himself to be a new Hitler! Don’t get me started on Steve Bannon!

“I don’t think you can say in advance what inappropriate deep-state activity would look like, because we haven’t seen this before,” said Analyst #1.

Exactly – this is a totally new day, and this was all appropriate deep-state activity. We’ve never seen anything like this in the history of the world, much less America.

I told this to Lefty back at work and he started ranting about Kennedy. I totally did not see what Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy had to do with this, but who can fathom what goes on in the mind of a Fazlollah?

The main thing is that we get Trump before he does damage to free trade, because my corporation and all businesses are totally helpless against the government.

They have no influence at all…unlike Egypt.

“There, ‘the deep state is not official institutions rebelling,’ he said, but rather ‘shadowy networks within those institutions, and within business, who are conspiring together and forming parallel state institutions.’”

We all know that there is absolutely nothing like this which is happening in America.

And that’s why the idea of business being involved in America’s Deep State did not appear until the 7th-to-last paragraph. I almost didn’t read that far!

And that’s why the New York Times finished on this heartening note:

“This war between the intelligence community and the White House is bad for the intelligence community, bad for the White House, and bad for the nation’s security.”

See? Our so-called Deep State has nothing to do with business. The New York Times is right next to Wall Street, so they would surely know, right?

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to make a call to the Pentagon for my work.

No, I’m in defense contracting or anything, but the Pentagon is the world’s largest employer…hard to work around them in the United States!

And the profit margins – wow!

I’m so glad our owners had a personal contact in there.

Frankly, I thought the New York Times’ headline was a bit too alarmist: “As Leaks Multiply, Fears of a ‘Deep State’ in America”.

But I’m glad they immediately put those fears to rest.

With that content, I would have run a headline like: “Internal leaks justified as Trump could affect share prices”.

I think that would have been more accurate.

Frankly I’m a bit surprised such a non-story could bump Russia off the front page?

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.

BHL, the Ukraine and the Russian bear (priceless!)

February 16, 2017

Related Videos

Vladimir Putin’s statement at the annual meeting of the FSB

 

February 16, 2017

Vladimir Putin took part in an annual expanded meeting of the Federal Security Service (FSB) Board to discuss the FSB’s results for 2016 and the priority tasks for ensuring Russia’s national security.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon.

These annual FSB Board meetings give us a chance to meet and not only thoroughly analyse and review the results of the agency’s work over the period, but also to discuss at length all important national security issues in general and outline the priorities for the immediate future and the longer-term.

The FSB plays a key part in protecting our constitutional order and our country’s sovereignty, and in protecting our people from threats at home and abroad.

Let me say from the start that last year’s results were positive and show good development. This concerns your work to counter terrorism and extremism, a series of successful counterintelligence operations, your efforts to combat economic crime, and other areas.

You ensured a high standard of security for major public events, including the State Duma election and regional and local elections.

I would like to thank both the executives and staff for their conscientious attitude towards their work and their timely and efficient performance of their duties.

At the same time, demands on the quality and results of your work grow constantly. The global situation has not become any more stable or better over the past year. On the contrary, many existing threats and challenges have only become more acute.

Military-political and economic rivalry between global and regional policy makers and between individual countries has increased. We see bloody conflicts continue in a number of countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. International terrorist groups, essentially terrorist armies, receiving tacit and sometimes even open support from some countries, take active part in these conflicts.

At the NATO summit last July in Warsaw, Russia was declared the main threat to the alliance for the first time since 1989, and NATO officially proclaimed containing Russia its new mission. It is with this aim that NATO continues its expansion. This expansion was already underway earlier, but now they believe they have more serious reasons for doing so. They have stepped up the deployment of strategic and conventional arms beyond the national borders of the principal NATO member states.

They are provoking us constantly and are trying to draw us into confrontation. We see continued attempts to interfere in our internal affairs in a bid to destabilise the social and political situation in Russia itself.

We also see the recent serious flare-up in southeast Ukraine. This escalation pursues the clear aim of preventing the Minsk Agreements from going ahead. The current Ukrainian authorities are obviously not seeking a peaceful solution to this very complex problem and have decided to opt for the use of force instead. What is more, they speak openly about organizing sabotage and terrorism, particularly in Russia. Obviously, this is a matter of great concern.

The events and circumstances I have mentioned require our security and intelligence services, especially the Federal Security Service, to concentrate their utmost attention and effort on the paramount task of fighting terrorism.

We have already seen that our intelligence services dealt some serious blows to terrorists and their accomplices. Last year’s results confirm this: the number of terrorism related crimes has decreased.

Preventive work has also brought results. The FSB and other security agencies, with the National Antiterrorist Committee acting as coordinator, prevented 45 terrorism related crimes, including 16 planned terrorist attacks. You deserve special gratitude for this.

You need to continue your active efforts to identify and block terrorist groups’ activity, eliminate their financial base, prevent the activities of their emissaries from abroad and their dangerous activity on the Internet, and take into account in this work Russian and international experience in this area.

The murder of our ambassador to Turkey was a terrible crime that particularly highlighted the need to protect our citizens and missions abroad. I ask you to work together with the Foreign Ministry and the Foreign Intelligence Service to take additional measures to ensure their safety.

You must also work to take our counterterrorism cooperation with partners abroad to a new level, despite the difficulties that we see in various areas of international life. It is a priority, of course, to intensify work with our partners in organisations such as the UN, the CSTO, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

It is in our common interests to restore dialogue with the US intelligence services and with other NATO member countries. It is not our fault that these ties were broken off and are not developing. It is very clear that all responsible countries and international groups should work together on counterterrorism, because even simply exchanging information on terrorists’ financing channels and sources and on people involved in or suspected of links with terrorism can substantially improve the results of our common efforts.

Our priorities include firmly suppressing extremism. Security methods must go hand-in-hand with constant prevention work. It is essential to prevent extremism from drawing young people into its criminal networks, and to form an overall firm rejection of nationalism, xenophobia, and aggressive radicalism. In this context, of great importance is open dialogue with civil society institutions and representatives of Russia’s traditional religions.

Counterintelligence services also face greater demands today. Operational data show that foreign intelligence services’ activity in Russia has not decreased. Last year, our counterintelligence services put a stop to the work of 53 foreign intelligence officers and 386 agents.

It is important to neutralise foreign intelligence services’ efforts to gain access to confidential information, particularly information concerning our military-technical capabilities.

This makes it a priority to improve our system for protecting classified information comprising state secrets, particularly with agencies going over to an electronic document circulation system.

I would like to note that the number of cyberattacks on official information resources tripled in 2016 compared to 2015. In this context, each agency must develop its segment of the state system for detecting and preventing cyberattacks on information resources and eliminating their consequences.

The public expects greater results in such key areas as economic security and the fight against corruption. I ask you to be particularly thorough in monitoring the funds allocated for state defence procurement (a subject I have spoken about before), major infrastructure projects, preparation of big international events, and implementing federal targeted and socially important programmes. Regrettably, we still see many cases of state funds being embezzled or misappropriated.

Reliable protection of our state borders plays a big part in ensuring our country’s comprehensive security. The priority here is to close off channels through which members of international terrorist and extremist groups enter Russia, and put a firm stop to all forms of smuggling, from weapons to drugs and various bio-resources.

Of course, we must continue the work to develop border infrastructure where it is not yet sufficiently developed, particularly in the Far East and in the Arctic.

Colleagues, let me stress that we will continue to bolster the FSB’s central and regional branches and ensure you have the most advanced arms and equipment. We will also continue to give attention to social provisions for FSB personnel and their family members.

I wish you success in protecting our national interests and the security of our country and our people. I am confident that you will continue working towards your targets with dignity.

Thank you for your attention.

source: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/53883

A Documentary You’ll Likely Never See

A Documentary You’ll Likely Never See
EDITOR’S CHOICE | 16.02.2017

A Documentary You’ll Likely Never See

James DiEUGENIO

It is not very often that a documentary film can set a new paradigm about a recent event, let alone, one that is still in progress. But the new film Ukraine on Fire has the potential to do so – assuming that many people get to see it.

Usually, documentaries — even good ones — repackage familiar information in a different aesthetic form. If that form is skillfully done, then the information can move us in a different way than just reading about it.

A good example of this would be Peter Davis’s powerful documentary about U.S. involvement in Vietnam, Hearts and Minds. By 1974, most Americans understood just how bad the Vietnam War was, but through the combination of sounds and images, which could only have been done through film, that documentary created a sensation, which removed the last obstacles to America leaving Indochina.

Ukraine on Fire has the same potential and could make a contribution that even goes beyond what the Davis film did because there was very little new information in Hearts and Minds. Especially for American and Western European audiences, Ukraine on Fire could be revelatory in that it offers a historical explanation for the deep divisions within Ukraine and presents information about the current crisis that challenges the mainstream media’s paradigm, which blames the conflict almost exclusively on Russia.

Key people in the film’s production are director Igor Lopatonok, editor Alex Chavez, and writer Vanessa Dean, whose screenplay contains a large amount of historical as well as current material exploring how Ukraine became such a cauldron of violence and hate. Oliver Stone served as executive producer and conducted some high-profile interviews with Russian President Vladimir Putin and ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

The film begins with gripping images of the violence that ripped through the capital city of Kiev during both the 2004 Orange Revolution and the 2014 removal of Yanukovich. It then travels back in time to provide a perspective that has been missing from mainstream versions of these events and even in many alternative media renditions.

A Longtime Pawn

Historically, Ukraine has been treated as a pawn since the late Seventeenth Century. In 1918, Ukraine was made a German protectorate by the Treaty of Brest Litovsk. Ukraine was also a part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 signed between Germany and Russia, but violated by Adolf Hitler when the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941.

German dictator Adolf Hitler

The reaction of many in Ukraine to Hitler’s aggression was not the same as it was in the rest of the Soviet Union. Some Ukrainians welcomed the Nazis. The most significant Ukrainian nationalist group, Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), had been established in 1929. Many of its members cooperated with the Nazis, some even enlisted in the Waffen SS and Ukrainian nationalists participated in the massacre of more than 33,000 Jews at Babi Yar ravine in Kiev in September 1941. According to scholar Pers Anders Rudling, the number of Ukrainian nationalists involved in the slaughter outnumbered the Germans by a factor of 4 to 1.

But it wasn’t just the Jews that the Ukrainian nationalists slaughtered. They also participated in massacres of Poles in the western Ukrainian region of Galicia from March 1943 until the end of 1944. Again, the main perpetrators were not Germans, but Ukrainians.

According to author Ryazard Szawlowksi, the Ukrainian nationalists first lulled the Poles into thinking they were their friends, then turned on them with a barbarity and ferocity that not even the Nazis could match, torturing their victims with saws and axes. The documentary places the number of dead at 36,750, but Szawlowski estimates it may be two or three times higher.

OUN members participated in these slaughters for the purpose of ethnic cleansing, wanting Ukraine to be preserved for what OUN regarded as native Ukrainians. They also expected Ukraine to be independent by the end of the war, free from both German and Russian domination. The two main leaders in OUN who participated in the Nazi collaboration were Stepan Bandera and Mykola Lebed. Bandera was a virulent anti-Semite, and Lebed was rabidly against the Poles, participating in their slaughter.

After the war, both Bandera and Lebed were protected by American intelligence, which spared them from the Nuremburg tribunals. The immediate antecedent of the CIA, Central Intelligence Group, wanted to use both men for information gathering and operations against the Soviet Union. England’s MI6 used Bandera even more than the CIA did, but the KGB eventually hunted down Bandera and assassinated him in Munich in 1959. Lebed was brought to America and addressed anti-communist Ukrainian organizations in the U.S. and Canada. The CIA protected him from immigration authorities who might otherwise have deported him as a war criminal.

The history of the Cold War was never too far in the background of Ukrainian politics, including within the diaspora that fled to the West after the Red Army defeated the Nazis and many of their Ukrainian collaborators emigrated to the United States and Canada. In the West, they formed a fierce anti-communist lobby that gained greater influence after Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980.

Important History

This history is an important part of Dean’s prologue to the main body of Ukraine on Fire and is essential for anyone trying to understand what has happened there since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. For instance, the U.S.-backed candidate for president of Ukraine in 2004 — Viktor Yushchenko — decreed both Bandera and Lebed to be Ukrainian national heroes.

Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian ultra-nationalist and Nazi collaborator

Bandera, in particular, has become an icon for post-World War II Ukrainian nationalists. One of his followers was Dmytro Dontsov, who called for the birth of a “new man” who would mercilessly destroy Ukraine’s ethnic enemies.

Bandera’s movement was also kept alive by Yaroslav Stetsko, Bandera’s premier in exile. Stetsko fully endorsed Bandera’s anti-Semitism and also the Nazi attempt to exterminate the Jews of Europe. Stetsko, too, was used by the CIA during the Cold War and was honored by Yushchenko, who placed a plaque in his honor at the home where he died in Munich in 1986. Stetsko’s wife, Slava, returned to Ukraine in 1991 and ran for parliament in 2002 on the slate of Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine party.

Stetsko’s book, entitled Two Revolutions, has become the ideological cornerstone for the modern Ukrainian political party Svoboda, founded by Oleh Tyahnybok, who is pictured in the film calling Jews “kikes” in public, which is one reason the Simon Wiesenthal Center has ranked him as one of the most dangerous anti-Semites in the world.

Another follower of Bandera is Dymytro Yarosh, who reputedly leads the paramilitary arm of an even more powerful political organization in Ukraine called Right Sektor. Yarosh once said he controls a paramilitary force of about 7,000 men who were reportedly used in both the overthrow of Yanukovych in Kiev in February 2014 and the suppression of the rebellion in Odessa a few months later, which are both fully depicted in the film.

This historical prelude and its merging with the current civil war is eye-opening background that has been largely hidden by the mainstream Western media, which has downplayed or ignored the troubling links between these racist Ukrainian nationalists and the U.S.-backed political forces that vied for power after Ukraine became independent in 1991.

The Rise of a Violent Right

That same year, Tyahnybok formed Svoboda. Three years later, Yarosh founded Trident, an offshoot of Svoboda that eventually evolved into Right Sektor. In other words, the followers of Bandera and Lebed began organizing themselves immediately after the Soviet collapse.

The neo-Nazi Wolfsangel symbol on a banner in Ukraine

In this time period, Ukraine had two Russian-oriented leaders who were elected in 1991 and 1994, Leonid Kravchuk, and Leonid Kuchma. But the hasty transition to a “free-market” economy didn’t go well for most Ukrainians or Russians as well-connected oligarchs seized much of the wealth and came to dominate the political process through massive corruption and purchase of news media outlets. However, for average citizens, living standards went down drastically, opening the door for the far-right parties and for foreign meddling.

In 2004, Viktor Yanukovych, whose political base was strongest among ethnic Russians in the east and south, won the presidential election by three percentage points over the U.S.-favored Viktor Yushchenko, whose base was mostly in the country’s west where the Ukrainian nationalists are strongest.

Immediately, Yushchenko’s backers claimed fraud citing exit polls that had been organized by a group of eight Western nations and four non-governmental organizations or NGOs, including the Renaissance Foundation founded by billionaire financial speculator George Soros. Dick Morris, former President Bill Clinton’s political adviser, clandestinely met with Yushchenko’s team and advised them that the exit polls would not just help in accusations of fraud, but would bring protesters out into the streets. (Cambridge Review of InternationalAffairs, Vol. 19, Number 1, p. 26)

Freedom House, another prominent NGO that receives substantial financing from the U.S.-government-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED), provided training to young activists who then rallied protesters in what became known as the Orange Revolution, one of the so-called “color revolutions” that the West’s mainstream media fell in love with. It forced an election rerun that Yushchenko won.

But Yushchenko’s presidency failed to do much to improve the lot of the Ukrainian people and he grew increasingly unpopular. In 2010, Yushchenko failed to make it out of the first round of balloting and his rival Yanukovych was elected president in balloting that outside observers judged free and fair.

Big-Power Games

If this all had occurred due to indigenous factors within Ukraine, it could have been glossed over as a young nation going through some painful growing pains. But as the film points out, this was not the case. Ukraine continued to be a pawn in big-power games with many Western officials hoping to draw the country away from Russian influence and into the orbit of NATO and the European Union.

Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych

In one of the interviews in Ukraine on Fire, journalist and author Robert Parry explains how the National Endowment for Democracy and many subsidized political NGOs emerged in the 1980s to replace or supplement what the CIA had traditionally done in terms of influencing the direction of targeted countries.

During the investigations of the Church Committee in the 1970s, the CIA’s “political action” apparatus for removing foreign leaders was exposed. So, to disguise these efforts, CIA Director William Casey, Reagan’s White House and allies in Congress created the NED to finance an array of political and media NGOs.

As Parry noted in the documentary, many traditional NGOs do valuable work in helping impoverished and developing countries, but this activist/propaganda breed of NGOs promoted U.S. geopolitical objectives abroad – and NED funded scores of such projects inside Ukraine in the run-up to the 2014 crisis.

Ukraine on Fire goes into high gear when it chronicles the events that occurred in 2014, resulting in the violent overthrow of President Yanukovych and sparking the civil war that still rages. In the 2010 election, when Yushchenko couldn’t even tally in the double-digits, Yanukovych faced off against and defeated Yulia Tymoshenko, a wealthy oligarch who had served as Yushchenko’s prime minister.

After his election, Yanukovych repealed Bandera’s title as a national hero. However, because of festering economic problems, the new president began to search for an economic partner who could provide a large loan. He first negotiated with the European Union, but these negotiations bogged down due to the usual draconian demands made by the International Monetary Fund.

So, in November 2013, Yanukovych began to negotiate with Russian President Putin who offered more generous terms. But Yanukovych’s decision to delay the association agreement with the E.U. provoked street protests in Kiev especially from the people of western Ukraine.

As Ukraine on Fire points out, other unusual occurrences also occurred, including the emergence of three new TV channels – Spilno TV, Espreso TV, and Hromadske TV – going on the air between Nov. 21 and 24, with partial funding from the U.S. Embassy and George Soros.

Nazi symbols on helmets worn by members of Ukraine’s Azov battalion. (As filmed by a Norwegian film crew and shown on German TV)

Pro-E.U. protests in the Maidan square in central Kiev also grew more violent as ultra-nationalist street fighters from Lviv and other western areas began to pour in and engage in provocations, many of which were sponsored by Yarosh’s Right Sektor. The attacks escalated from torch marches similar to Nazi days to hurling Molotov cocktails at police to driving large tractors into police lines – all visually depicted in the film. As Yanukovich tells Stone, when this escalation happened, it made it impossible for him to negotiate with the Maidan crowd.

One of the film’s most interesting interviews is with Vitaliy Zakharchenko, who was Minister of the Interior at the time responsible for law enforcement and the conduct of the police. He traces the escalation of the attacks from Nov. 24 to 30, culminating with a clash between police and protesters over the transport of a giant Christmas tree into the Maidan. Zakharchenko said he now believes this confrontation was secretly approved by Serhiy Lyovochkin, a close friend of U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, as a pretext to escalate the violence.

At this point, the film addresses the direct involvement of U.S. politicians and diplomats. Throughout the crisis, American politicians visited Maidan, as both Republicans and Democrats, such as Senators John McCain, R-Arizona, and Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut. stirred up the crowds. Yanukovych also said he was in phone contact with Vice President Joe Biden, who he claims was misleading him about how to handle the crisis.

The film points out that the real center of American influence in the Kiev demonstrations was with Ambassador Pyatt and Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland. As Parry points out, although Nuland was serving under President Obama, her allegiances were really with the neoconservative movement, most associated with the Republican Party.

Her husband is Robert Kagan, who worked as a State Department propagandist on the Central American wars in the 1980s and was the co-founder of the Project for the New American Century in the 1990s, the group that organized political and media pressure for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Kagan also was McCain’s foreign policy adviser in the 2008 presidential election (although he threw his support behind Hillary Clinton in the 2016 race).

Adept Manipulators

As Parry explained, the neoconservatives have become quite adept at disguising their true aims and have powerful allies in the mainstream press. This combination has allowed them to push the foreign policy debate to such extremes that, when anyone objects, they can be branded a Putin or Yanukovych “apologist.”

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland during a press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, on Feb. 7, 2014. (U.S. State Department photo)

Thus, Pyatt’s frequent meetings with the demonstrators in the embassy and Nuland’s handing out cookies to protesters in the Maidan were not criticized as American interference in a sovereign state, but were praised as “promoting democracy” abroad. However, as the Maidan crisis escalated, Ukrainian ultra-nationalists moved to the front, intensifying their attacks on police. Many of these extremists were disciples of Bandera and Lebed. By February 2014, they were armed with shotguns and rapid-fire handguns.

On Feb. 20, 2014, a mysterious sniper, apparently firing from a building controlled by the Right Sektor, shot both police and protesters, touching off a day of violence that left about 14 police and some 70 protesters dead.

With Kiev slipping out of control, Yanukovich was forced to negotiate with representatives from France, Poland and Germany. On Feb. 21, he agreed to schedule early elections and to accept reduced powers. At the urging of Vice President Biden, Yanukovych also pulled back the police.

But the agreement – though guaranteed by the European nations – was quickly negated by renewed attacks from the Right Sektor and its street fighters who seized government buildings. Russian intelligence services got word that an assassination plot was in the works against Yanukovych, who fled for his life.

On Feb. 24, Yanukovych asked permission to enter Russia for his safety and the Ukrainian parliament (or Rada), effectively under the control of the armed extremists, voted to remove Yanukovych from office in an unconstitutional manner because the courts were not involved and the vote to impeach him did not reach the mandatory threshold. Despite these irregularities, the U.S. and its European allies quickly recognized the new government as “legitimate.”

Calling a Coup a Coup

But the ouster of Yanukovych had all the earmarks of a coup. An intercepted phone call, apparently in early February, between Nuland and Pyatt revealed that they were directly involved in displacing Yanukovych and choosing his successor. The pair reviewed the field of candidates with Nuland favoring Arseniy Yatsenyuk, declaring “Yats is the guy” and discussing with Pyatt how to “glue this thing.” Pyatt wondered about how to “midwife this thing.” They sounded like Gilded Age millionaires in New York deciding who should become the next U.S. president. On Feb. 27, Yatsenyuk became Prime Minister of Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko shakes hands with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin in Kyiv, Ukraine, on July 7, 2016.[State Department Photo)

Not everyone in Ukraine agreed with the new regime, however. Crimea, which had voted heavily for Yanukovych, decided to hold a referendum on whether to split from Ukraine and become a part of Russia. The results of the referendum were overwhelming. Some 96 percent of Crimeans voted to unite with Russia. Russian troops – previously stationed in Crimea under the Sevastopol naval base agreement – provided security against Right Sektor and other Ukrainian forces moving against the Crimean secession, but there was no evidence of Russian troops intimidating voters or controlling the elections. The Russian government then accepted the reunification with Crimea, which had historically been part of Russia dating back hundreds of years.

Two eastern provinces, Donetsk and Lugansk, also wanted to split off from Ukraine and also conducted a referendum in support of that move. But Putin would not agree to the request from the two provinces, which instead declared their own independence, a move that the new government in Kiev denounced as illegal. The Kiev regime also deemed the insurgents “terrorists” and launched an “anti-terrorism operation” to crush the resistance. Ultra-nationalist and even neo-Nazi militias, such as the Azov Battalion, took the lead in the bloody fighting.

Anti-coup demonstrations also broke out in the city of Odessa to the south. Ukrainian nationalist leader Andrei Parubiy went to Odessa, and two days later, on May 2, 2014, his street fighters attacked the demonstrators, driving them into the Trade Union building, which was then set on fire. Forty-two people were killed, some of whom jumped to their deaths.

‘Other Side of the Story’

If the film just got across this “other side of the story,” it would provide a valuable contribution since most of this information has been ignored or distorted by the West’s mainstream media, which simply blames the Ukraine crisis on Vladimir Putin. But in addition to the fine work by scenarist Vanessa Dean, the direction by Igor Lopatonok and the editing by Alexis Chavez are extraordinarily skillful and supple.

Screen shot of the fatal fire in Odessa, Ukraine, on May 2, 2014. (From RT video)

The 15-minute prologue, where the information about the Nazi collaboration by Bandera and Lebed is introduced, is an exceptional piece of filmmaking. It moves at a quick pace, utilizing rapid cutting and also split screens to depict photographs and statistics simultaneously. Lopatonok also uses interactive graphics throughout to transmit information in a visual and demonstrative manner.

Stone’s interviews with Putin and Yanukovych are also quite newsworthy, presenting a side of these demonized foreign leaders that has been absent in the propagandistic Western media.

Though about two hours long, the picture has a headlong tempo to it. If anything, it needed to slow down at points since such a large amount of information is being communicated. On the other hand, it’s a pleasure to watch a documentary that is so intelligently written, and yet so remarkably well made.

When the film ends, the enduring message is similar to those posed by the American interventions in Vietnam and Iraq. How could the State Department know so little about what it was about to unleash, given Ukraine’s deep historical divisions and the risk of an escalating conflict with nuclear-armed Russia?

In Vietnam, Americans knew little about the country’s decades-long struggle of the peasantry to be free from French and Japanese colonialism. Somehow, America was going to win their hearts and minds and create a Western-style “democracy” when many Vietnamese simply saw the extension of foreign imperialism.

In Iraq, President George W. Bush and his coterie of neocons was going to oust Saddam Hussein and create a Western-style democracy in the Middle East, except that Bush didn’t know the difference between Sunni and Shiite Moslems and how Iraq was likely to split over sectarian rivalries and screw up his expectations.

Similarly, the message of Ukraine on Fire is that short-sighted, ambitious and ideological officials – unchecked by their superiors – created something even worse than what existed. While high-level corruption persists today in Ukraine and may be even worse than before, the conditions of average Ukrainians have deteriorated.

And, the Ukraine conflict has reignited the Cold War by moving Western geopolitical forces onto Russia’s most sensitive frontier, which, as scholar Joshua Shifrinson has noted, violates a pledge made by Secretary of State James Baker in February 1990 as the Soviet Union peacefully accepted the collapse of its military influence in East Germany and eastern Europe. (Los Angeles Times, 5/30/ 2016)

This film also reminds us that what happened in Ukraine was a bipartisan effort. It was begun under George W. Bush and completed under Barack Obama. As Oliver Stone noted in the discussion that followed the film’s premiere in Los Angeles, the U.S. painfully needs some new leadership reminiscent of Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy, people who understand how America’s geopolitical ambitions must be tempered by on-the-ground realities and the broader needs of humanity to be freed from the dangers of all-out war.

Is Donald Trump a Coward, or Just a Fool?

by Eric Zuesse

Is Donald Trump a Coward, or Just a Fool?

Ever since Donald Trump won the U.S. Presidency, the U.S. aristocracy (who control or outright own all of the U.S.-based international corporations and especially the weapons-firms such as Lockheed Martin, whose sales-volumes depend upon increasing the nation’s ‘defense’ spending — and that requires restoring ‘the Cold War’) have been trying to abort his Presidency in any and every way they can. Above all, they have been trying to portray Trump as being secretly a Russian agent, a traitor. On February 14th, they clearly conquered him and brought him fully into line (and not merely partially into line, as before, such as by his abolishing environmental and other regulations that reduce their profits). But did this happen because he is a coward, or instead because he is a fool? How did they conquer him? At the current time, this can be determined only by close examination of the way in which he capitulated. So, the February 14th event will be scrutinized here, in detail:

Trump made unequivocally clear, on February 14th, that the new Cold War between the U.S. and Russia will continue until Russia complies with two conditions that would not only be humiliating to Russia (and to the vast majority of its citizens), but that would also be profoundly immoral. One of these two conditions would actually be impossible, even if it weren’t, in addition, immoral. For Vladimir Putin to agree to either of these two conditions, would not only be a violation of his often-expressed basic viewpoint, but it would also cause the vast majority of Russians to despise him — because they respect him for his consistent advocacy of that very viewpoint. He has never wavered from it. The support of Russians for that viewpoint is virtually universal. (This article will explain the viewpoint.)

TRUMP’S DEMAND #1: “RETURN CRIMEA”

In order to understand the Russian perspective on the first of these two issues (which any American must understand who wants to understand the astounding stupidity of Mr. Trump’s position on this matter), which is the issue of Crimea (which had for hundreds of years been part of Russia, but was then suddenly and arbitrarily transferred to Ukraine in 1954 by the Soviet dictator — and the U.S. now demands that his dictat regarding Crimea must be restored), two videos are essential for anyone to see, and here they are:

The first video (click here to see it) (and no one should read any further here who hasn’t seen that video or at least the first twelve minutes of it, because it’s crucial) shows the U.S.-engineered coup that violently overthrew the democratically elected President of Ukraine in February 2014, under the cover of ‘a democratic revolution’, which was actually nothing of the sort, and which had instead started being planned in the U.S. State Department by no later than 2011, and started being organized inside the U.S. Embassy in Kiev by no later than 1 March 2013. The head of the ‘private CIA’ firm Stratfor, has rightly called it “the most blatant coup in history”.

The second video (click here to see it) shows the massacre of Crimeans who were escaping from Kiev during the Ukrainian coup, on 20 February 2014, and which massacre came to be known quickly in Crimea, as “the Pogrom of Korsun,” which was the town where the fascists whom the Obama regime had hired were able to trap the escapees and kill many of them. That’s the incident which — occurring during the coup in Ukraine — stirred enormous fear by Crimeans of the rabid hatred toward them by the U.S.-installed regime.

Finally on the issue of Crimea, all of the Western-sponsored polls that were taken of Crimeans both before and after the plebiscite on 16 March 2014 (which was just weeks after Obama overthrew the Ukrainian President for whom 75% of Crimeans had voted) showed over 90% support by Crimeans for Crimea’s return to being again a part of Russia. Everyone agrees that there was far more than 50% support for that, among the Crimeans. Furthermore, even Barack Obama accepted the basic universal principle of the right of self-determination of peoples when it pertained to Catalans in Spain, and Scotch in UK, and neither he nor anyone else has ever been able to make any credible case for applying it there and generally, but not in Crimea — especially under these circumstances.

So, on the first issue, Trump’s demand that Putin force the residents of Crimea to become subjects of the coup-regime that Obama had just established in Ukraine, it won’t be fulfilled — and it shouldn’t be fulfilled. Obama instituted the sanctions against Russia on the basis of what he called Putin’s “conquest of land” (referring to Crimea), but Russians see it instead as Russia’s standing steadfast for, and protecting, in what was historically and culturally a part of Russia not a part of Ukraine, the right of self-determination of peoples — especially after the country of which their land had been a part for the immediately prior 60 years (Ukraine), had been conquered three weeks earlier, via a bloody coup by a foreign power, and, moreover, this was a foreign power whom Crimeans loathed. Putin will not accept Trump’s demand. Nor should he.

TRUMP’S DEMAND #2: RUSSIA END THE UKRAINE-v.-DONBASS WAR

The way that this demand was stated on February 14th was that Russia must “deescalate violence in the Ukraine,” referring to Ukraine’s invasions of its own former Donbass region, which broke away from the Obama-installed Ukrainian regime shortly after Crimea did, but which Putin (after having already suffered so much — sanctions, etc. — from allowing the Crimeans to become Russians again) refused to allow into the Russian Federation, and only offered military and humanitarian assistance to protect themselves so that not all of the roughly five million residents there would flee across the border into Russia.

Donbass had voted 90% for the Ukrainian President that Obama illegally replaced in his coup.

Francois Hollande, Angela Merkel, and Vladimir Putin, had established the Minsk negotiations and agreements, to end the hottest phase of the (Obama-caused) war between Ukraine and Donbass; and a crucial part of the Minsk-2 agreement was that Ukraine would allow the residents of Donbass a certain minimal degree of autonomy within Ukraine, as part of a new Ukrainian Federation, but Ukraine’s Rada or parliament refuses to do that, refuses to allow it, and the United States and its allies blame the residents of Donbass for that refusal by their enemies, and blame the Donbassers for the continued war, or, as Trump’s press secretary referred to it on February 14th, “violence in the Ukraine.” He’s demanding that Donbass stop the war, when Donbass is being constantly attacked by a Ukrainian regime that refuses even to fulfill a fundamental provision of the peace agreement that Hollande, Merkel, and Putin, had arranged, and that both Ukraine and Donbass signed. (Note: even Hollande and Merkel weren’t able to get the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Obama, to so much as participate in this effort for peace.)

A demand like that — for the victim to stop the fight — is impossible to fulfill. It’s like, in World War II, blaming the United States, Soviet Union, and UK, for their war against Germany, Italy, and Japan. It is a cockeyed demand, which requires only cockeyed credulous believers, for it to be taken seriously.

The way that Sean Spicer, President Trump’s press spokesperson, put this demand in his February 14th press conference, was:

President Trump has made it very clear that he expects the Russian government to deescalate violence in the Ukraine and return Crimea.  At the same time, he fully expects to and wants to be able to get along with Russia.

To some people, that combination sounds idiotic. In any event, it’s not merely unrealistic; it is downright impossible. It’s not seeking peace with Russia; it is instead reasserting war against Russia.

Spicer said, with evident pride: “The President has been incredibly tough on Russia.”

A reporter at the press conference challenged that statement: “To me it seems, and I think to a lot of Americans it seems that this President has not been tough on Russia.” Spicer answered by referring to the statement that America’s new U.N. Representative, Nikki Haley, had made. She said at the U.N. on February 2nd:

I must condemn the aggressive actions of Russia. … The United States stands with the people of Ukraine, who have suffered for nearly three years under Russian occupation and military intervention. Until Russia and the separatists it supports respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, this crisis will continue. … The United States continues to condemn and call for an immediate end to the Russian occupation of Crimea. Crimea is a part of Ukraine. Our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control over the peninsula to Ukraine.

So, Spicer said that,

with respect to Russia, I think the comments that Ambassador Haley made at the U.N. were extremely forceful and very clear that until — 
Q    That was an announcement from Haley, not the President.
MR. SPICER:  She speaks for the President.  I speak for the President.  All of us in this administration.  And so all of the actions and all of the words in this administration are on behalf and at the direction of this President.  So I don’t think we could be any clearer on the President’s commitment.

Trump is continuing Obama’s war against Russia, although he had not given America’s voters to expect anything of the kind. Some voters (this writer is one) had voted for him because Trump alleged that he strongly disagreed with his opponent Hillary Clinton about that — he outright lied to the voters, on the most important thing of all. He applied mental coercion — deceit — in order to win. But as it turns out, he’s not really opposed at all to Obama’s coup in Ukraine. Perhaps he is so stupid that he’s not even aware that it was a coup, instead of a ‘democratic revolution’ (the cover-story). Maybe he’s so stupid, that he believes Obama’s lies.

At least Hillary Clinton was honest enough to make clear that she was going to continue Obama’s policies (only worse). But she was so stupid that she couldn’t even beat Donald Trump.

Anyway, all of that is water over the damn, now.

Initially, it had seemed that the only way in which Trump was aiming to satisfy the U.S. aristocracy (owners of the military-industrial complex, among other things) about increasing the ‘defense’ budget, was going to be a buildup against Iran; but, now, that war might end up playing second fiddle.

The war with Russia can only escalate, unless or until President Trump reverses course and states publicly, and provides to the American people and the world, the clear evidence of, his predecessor’s perfidy, both in Ukraine, and in Syria. Unless and until he comes clean, and admits that the problem between the U.S. and Russia isn’t Putin, but instead Obama, it will continue escalating, right up to World War III; and here is why:

When it escalates to a traditional hot war, either in Ukraine or in Syria, the side that’s losing that traditional war will have only one way to avoid defeat: a sudden unannounced nuclear all-out blitz attack against the other side. A nuclear war will last less than 30 minutes. The side that attacks first will suffer the less damage, because it will have knocked out some of the other side’s retaliatory missiles and bombs. If Donald Trump were intelligent, then one could assume that he knows this. He’s not, so he doesn’t. He plods on, toward mutual nuclear annihilation. Perhaps, like Hillary Clinton, he believes that the U.S. has ‘Nuclear Primacy’ and so will ‘win’.

It’s all so stupid. But, even worse, it’s evil. And I’m not talking about Russia or Putin here. The real problem — on this ultimate issue, of avoiding a nuclear winter — is my own country: the United States of America. To call this a ‘democracy’ is not merely a lie; it is a bad joke. The American public are not to blame for this evil. The American aristocracy are. It’s an oligarchy gone mad.

Trump was never a principled person. He never really resisted, at all. He caved after only three weeks on the job. Clearly, then, he’s not only a psychopath; he is a fool.

Trump promised to ‘drain the swamp’. Instead, he’s feeding the alligators.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

 

General Reshetnikov: Return to the Empire (superbly controversial interview)

February 13, 2017General Reshetnikov: Return to the Empire (superbly controversial interview)

Foreword by the Saker:  Today I am posting a really interesting interview which will sound absolutely outlandish to a lot of you.  Get this: the person interviewed is a former KGB General who speaks about restoring the monarchy under the rule of Jesus-Christ!  And when I say “KGB General” I am being just as dishonest as the western media when it writes about Putin being a KGB officer.  Technically speaking, yes, both Putin and Reshetnikov were in the KGB and they had the little red id card which did say “KGB USSR”.  But in reality both were part of the KGB’s Foreign Intelligence Service, the First Chief Directorate (PGU) of the KGB, a completely separate branch of the KGB which even had its own, separate, headquarters in Yasenevo District in the southwest of Moscow.  The First Chief Directorate (in Russian PGU KGB SSSR) did not deal with dissent, crime, or all the other security functions of the rest of the KGB.  The PGU dealt with foreign intelligence exclusively (after the end of the Soviet Union the PGU was kept independent and renamed “SVR” or “Foreign Intelligence Service).  And it was beyond any doubt the elite, most capable, part of the KGB: only the very best were accepted there.  As for Reshetnikov, he was a top level officer responsible for an analytical Department (in Russian “Head of an informational-analytical Department”).  In other words, the guys is exceptionally intelligent and exceptionally well-educated.  One of the best analysts in Russia.  And yet he speaks of monarchy and putting Christ in power. And he lumps Communists and Liberal into one group.  How do you figure that one out?  You can dismiss him as senile, but if that is the case, his senility manifests itself in a curious way.  Besides, having seen his interviews, I can tell you that he is not senile one bit.  A clown trying to make statements to be noticed?  There are not many clowns in the PGU, even less with a rank of Lieutenant-General (that means a “three-star” general).  I won’t give you my explanation, I think that I much rather leave you with a question mark and let you ponder this weird phenomenon.  I will just say one thing: to me the views of Reshetnikov are yet another solid indicator that Russia is most definitely not part of Europe, at least not culturally.  I won’t say more 😛  Now meet our rather most interesting character!

General Reshetnikov: Return to the Empire

by Lieutenant-General Leonid Petrovich Reshetnikov

Source: http://politikus.ru/articles/90244-general-reshetnikov-vozvraschenie-k-imperii.html

Translated by Eugenia

Donbass these days is suffering under horrific artillery fire. The Ukrainian forces are maniacally firing at Donetsk, Yasinovataya, Makeevka and other cities from MLSR and howitzers. There are many wounded; civilians are being killed, houses, schools and hospitals destroyed. This bloody spectacle is organized by the Kiev junta, which ignores all calls to stop this war, instead purposefully committing genocide of the population of the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics.

When and how will this horror end? What is the meaning of this all? What are the prospects of LPR/DPR and/or Novorossiya? And, finally, is there a way to rebuild the Great Russian Empire? We addressed these questions to the former head of the Analytic Division of the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation, then the Director of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies, a currently the President of the society “Two-Headed Eagle” – Leonid Petrovich Reshetnikov.

Q: Donetsk and other cities of Novorossiya are under fire as we speak; the Ukrainian military are attempting to breach the front at multiple points. Why now and what is the cause of this escalation of the conflict?

A: This is a planned operation. The goal of the Kiev regime is to complicate the relations between Russia and the US. Currently, the relationship between the leadership of Russia and the new leadership of the USA is generally favorable for us. Kiev is scared; it is afraid that Ukraine will no longer be of interest to the United States and personally to Trump. For that reason, everything was planned in a way that the official visit of Poroshenko to Germany had to be interrupted because of the situation in Donbass aggravated by the Ukrainian side. We cannot exclude that Merkel was a co-conspirator in this; possibly, she herself initiated that action to undermine the Russian-American negotiations. The fear of Europe is no less than the fear of Ukraine. If the relations between Russia and US improve – Europe would be left out in the cold. Thus, on the initiative of some European politicians the Kiev criminals are murdering the civilians in Donetsk and Lugansk Republics in order to attain their chimeric foreign policy goals. They are attempting by such means to save their regime, to prove their usefulness. However, they are unlikely to succeed in preventing the improvement in the relations between Russia and the US.

The Kiev scum – Poroshenko, Parubiy and others – have built such a reputations for themselves on the war against their own people that they will certainly come to a sticky end. The best option – to flee abroad, otherwise they will pay dearly. I believe the Kremlin understands perfectly that the Kiev authorities are not partners but criminals that usurped power, and no negotiations with them are possible. I want to emphasize: the Kiev regime is doomed, and no provocations, no amount of artillery fire at Donetsk and other cities, no attempts at offensives will accomplish anything for Poroshenko and Co, except yet another brand mark on the foreheads of these scoundrels.

Leonid Petrovich, you were for a long time the Head of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies. The Institute essentially laid the theoretical groundwork for the “Project Novorossiya”, which today the authorities in Russia and Donbass republics prefer not to mention. At the same time, the ordinary Donbass people became convinced that Novorossiya will not happen, and they will end up with nothing but a territorial fragment like the two Donbass Republics. In such case – without reunification with Russia via referendum – our future looks bleak . . .

Novorossiya was not created as some theoretical project; it was born through an explosion of the Russian historic self-awareness; an explosion unexpected for all – including Moscow, the Kremlin, the Russian public. Something that is hidden in the sub-consciousness in all of us – the yearning for the recreation of the Orthodox Russian Empire. Many have not yet realized what is Novorossiya, why it created such an enthusiasm in the society and why so many people went to defend it even at the cost of their own lives. That is because the idea of the Russian unity has survived under the layer of the dead ideology of the last hundred years. Why, then, the “project Novorossiya” wound down? I believe the reason is not only that some high ranking officials disapprove of it and closed it down (although that happened, too), but the main reason is that such project cannot be based on the Red Star: then that would not be Novorossiya, the resurrection of Russia, but an imitation of the Soviet Union. Unfortunately, many in the political leadership and expert community returned to the Soviet paradigms of 1970-1980s of the last century. Those paradigms have shown their ineffectiveness long ago, and attempts to reuse them now could lead to the collapse of everything. Old Soviet schemes aren’t viable but the new ones – not Soviet, but liberal – have not been taken on by the majority, so for now there is no ideological foundation for Novorossiya . . .

History is moving along a spiral; repeats are possible only on a new basis. So, at the present turn of the historic development, the spirit of Novorossiya that broke through the ideological layers had to retreat temporarily. The politicians as well as ordinary people had insufficient understanding of what NOVOROSSIYA is, where are its historical roots and what is its true spiritual meaning. I do not agree that the project is dead; it is alive and will yet return. But! Only on one condition: if we ourselves realize what path our country has travelled on for the past hundred years.

The return of LPR/DPR to Ukraine with the special status, isn’t it done for the purpose, as many suppose, to transform Ukraine from the inside, to convert it into a pro-Russian entity? What do you think the near future holds for the Republics? People that are surviving for the third years under the fire of the Ukrainian military are demanding a clear answer to this question . . .

There are different opinions in the Kremlin, but no definitive decision: to surrender Donbass to Ukraine. Yes, there are people that indeed think this way and want to do this. However, there are others that believe we should not leave people of Ukraine that have not accepted the Nazi regime to the mercy of Kiev. My personal impression: our President does not want to unconditionally surrender to Ukraine the people that lived through a war, privations and suffering, so that these people would be subjected to severe repressions, which is inevitable if Donbass is returned to Ukraine.

The problem is that Kiev shows no real changes in its treatment of Donbass or relations to the Russian Federation, and I do not see any prospects in the near future for any changes favorable to us. That regime, in spite of its rotten nature, will be persisting for some time, because there are still enough people that worked for decades to bring about such a regime; they are bound by blood; they took power and have no intentions of relinquishing it. The resistance to the regime is disorganized, lack the nationalistic Idea, not specifically Ukrainian but common for our entire huge country, our specific civilization. During the Soviet period the people were brainwashed in a special way. Everything was done to make people believe that Ukraine is an independent country.

I lived and studied in Kharkov and remember how it was. At the local level, all the time the Soviet authorities were instilling the idea: although we live in one country, but Moscow, the central Russia is somewhere far away, and we are separate, we have our own history and our own heroes. The people were taught that way – what do we expect now? It is natural that in Donbass, Odessa, Crimea and other regions Russian spirit still remains – during the 70 Soviet years and 25 years of independence the transformation has not entirely succeeded. The Russian historic self-awareness persisted, as did the feeling of belonging to the same civilization of all people that lived on the territory of the Russian Empire. All this is still there, particularly in the Eastern Ukraine. That is why the Ukrainian nationalists failed to fully accomplish their project.

Starting from 1921, forced Ukrainization of the Russian regions was taking place, specifically, of the territory of the Great Don Cossack Army and Slobozhanshchina, incorporated by the order of Lenin and Stalin into Ukraine. At some point, the town with the “romantic” name Mines (earlier Alersandrovsk-Grushevsky) and Taganrog were also given to Ukraine. Later, however, the common sense prevailed, and the towns were returned to Russia. I don’t even want to remind about Crimea gifted to Ukraine by our restless Nikita Khrushchev. Nobody really wants to remember that or think about it; everybody starts the count from 1991. My dear friends, come on! The groundwork for the breakdown of the Soviet Union was laid in 1917 and later in 1920-30s. During the Soviet time, governments, flags, hymns, national heroes were invented; monuments to open Russophobes were built. Hence the explosion. The 1991 was the result of the Soviet policies, remember that, comrades with the red stars on their cap that I have seen in LPR . . . Your ancestors, your leaders that you revere created the conditions for the breakdown of the united country. What kind of Novorossiya could you create if you do not learn lessons from history?

Leonid Petrovich, at present there two peoples in Ukraine: the first is completely anti-Russian, totally different from us in its mentality, and the second – Russian, even if the representatives of this group call themselves Ukrainians, due to upbringing and stereotypes. In reality, they are essentially deeply Russian people. The division is along the civilization-mentality lines, the same as between Serbs and Croats. Nevertheless, in the Kremlin as well as in the Moscow expert community the dominant view is that the majority of the Ukrainian population is just temporarily misled, brainwashed by the propaganda. That is to say, we will use political technologies to break the spell; they will again recall that they are Russians – and everything will be peaceful like it was before. But at least half of the Ukrainian population has long time ago turned into a different nation. What do we do with them, how do we reconcile irreconcilable differences?

As a former (until 1974) resident of Ukraine, I generally agree with you opinion. That division existed even then: when you cross Dnepr river, on the other bank not everyone, but the majority looked like a different nation. The wife of my elder brother from the Poltava region and speaking the Malorossian dialect (the Poltava region, a part of historic Malorossiya, is on the left bank of the Dnepr neighboring the Kharkov and Dneptopetrovsk regions; Malorossiya (Poltava, Chernigov, Kirovograd), or Small Russia, together with Novorossiya (Odessa, Nikolaev, Kherson, Donbass) or New Russia, and Sloboshanshchina (Kharkov region), are historic names for territories of the Eastern Ukraine; in the Soviet period, the Poltava dialect was taken as a foundation for the development of the standard Ukrainian language – translator’s note) used to say about the speech of the people from the trans-Dnepr region: ”I do not understand their nice language. . . “ She is saying the same thing now. I agree that the inhabitants of the Western Ukraine were strongly influenced mentally and religiously by the Uniate and Catholic religions. Apparently, the fact that genetically the Western Ukrainians are linked to the leftovers of the Khazar Khanate also plays a significant role. Their mentality has a complex origin, and indeed today they are largely a different nation, although among them there are still people close to us in spirit. After all, the Russianness is not determined by the blood but by the mindset. Possibly, in the future there will be two different territories, two different states for these two peoples.

At his time, the Foreign Minister of the Russian Empire Khvostov wrote to the Tzar that Galicia should not be included into the Empire, since it was a completely alien element. Thus, the awareness of the deep difference was present then, and that difference should be taken into account in the future. It seems, they are a different nation. Croats and Serbs come to mind: there is little difference between the Serbian and Croatian languages – 100-200 words and slightly different pronunciation of a few sounds, which means this is essentially the same language. However, the mental differences make them two different nations, as do the difference in religion – Catholics and Orthodox – and in the origin and development of these nations.

That is why it is important to realize that we will not be able to rid them from the illusions – they are a different nation. Although some do, I repeat, harbor delusions in that regard – Kremlin is large, there are people with diverse opinions there, but there are also people who understand perfectly that two distinct nations inhabit the present day Ukraine.

We have to understand that the problem cannot be solved in one or two-three years; this is a long-term problem. The opportunities for working with the population of the Western Ukraine, the southern regions of Malorossiya are extensive. I am convinced that the “project Novorossiya” will be revived – this is our historic, spiritual project. In order to prevent that project from developing further, an unexpected weapon is currently employed – an imitation of the Soviet project.

You mean the idea embraced by some political analysts that “we in the end will return the whole of Ukraine”?

No, I speak about Novorossya proper, the eight South-Eastern regions of the present day Ukraine. Whatever idea someone embraces – it’s his business. In the leadership of our country and in the government there are enough people who understand that realistically we could only think about the project Novorossiya. To return the entire Ukraine – this is a fairy tale. Such idea shows either a total lack of understanding of the real processes or a disinclination to work towards a realistic goal justifying the inaction by the assertion that some day we will accomplish a much grander task of getting back the whole of Ukraine.

People that have still failed to understand what was happening with us during 73 years should not feel offended. These are all the rudiments of the Soviet style of thinking when the national factor was neglected, and as a result we got outbreaks of nationalism/separatism all over the territory of our civilization. I remember two main Soviet postulates. In 1988, when I was a junior official, I was delivering a talk to the leadership of the Foreign Intelligence Service, and the Chief of the Service Vladimir Aleksandrovich Kryutchkov said to me: “The Baltic countries will never get away from us, because . . . “. And then he talked about the World Economic Forum, economic connections, sausage factories, fishing ports and such. But we, the young employees of the Service, captains and majors, were sitting there and wondering: “My God, where are we going? Doesn’t he realize that sausage factories or fishing ports do not matter now at all; completely different things are important that are beyond the material concept of history, beyond the Marxist-Leninist concept”. An Idea is what always wins, and if we do not offer an Idea but are offering just material values instead, we will only achieve temporary solutions that are essentially failures. The same is now: Ukraine will go nowhere, we are giving it money, selling gas; we’ll turn off the gas – and that will be it . . .

Forgive me for the comparison, but it is the same as if Hitler was saying: Leningrad will go nowhere; the army of the Wehrmacht will blockade it, and the city will fall within a month. And what happened? The people mobilized, resisted, and won. But we have to understand that an Idea can also mobilize an enemy.

Attempts at resolving the conflicts among the nations or the states using exclusively economic methods are doomed, that’s is why we are losing. Instead of proposing and the idea of the unification of the Russian world, of the resurrection of the Russian orthodox civilization that would ensure the development and prosperity of all nations included in it, we very often hear spiritual surrogates that oppose the 73 Soviet years to 1000 years of the Russian history. The Great Patriotic War? Yes, we won. But is that to say that we have never fought and won in patriotic wars before? Have we not once expelled the occupiers from Kremlin (a reference to the expulsion from Moscow of the Polish invaders by the People’s Militia led by Minin and Prince Pozharsky in 1612 during the Time of Troubles – translator’s note)? Similar distortions happen with other subjects.

As far as we can judge based on the statements of the Russian politicians, a decision has been made to keep Ukraine as is for the foreseeable future. Regardless whether the Donbass Republics receive “the special status” or remains frozen in the status of unrecognized states, we (the Donbass Republics – translator’s note) unwillingly act as a factor of consolidation and support for the Ukrainian society, sort of like a “graphite moderator” for the nuclear reactor that prevents the nuclear reaction from getting out of control. The claimed existence of “terrorists”, “separatists”, “Russian mercenaries” provides the Kiev regime with the enemy image and allows to structure the Ukrainian society in such a way, so that in less than a generation it could be transformed into totally anti-Russian. This way, we will lose forever the opportunity to retain it in our Russian civilization fold. If the Republics join the Russian Federation, this “graphite moderator” would be withdrawn from the reactor, which could trigger the processes of disintegration of Ukraine. This and not the economic pressure or the war would allow for the informational and diplomatic changes in our favor to take place and for the project Novorossiya to be realized. What do you think about the possibility of conducting a referendum in the Donbass Republics about joining Russia?

I as a Russia patriot consider such outcome the most desirable: a referendum and reunification with Russia not only of Donbass, but also of Transnistria. However, there is one big ‘but”. We do not exist in an isolation, and currently Russia – many have not a slightest idea about that – is living through a very hard period being under a powerful attack by the globalist forces. Savvy people likely noticed that there was a period in October-November of last year when we were a step away from a military conflict with the United States. The President of our country is acting based on the information we are not privy to, and thus, sees the situation differently from how it appears to us. When I served as a head of the Analytical Division of the Foreign Intelligence Service (FIS) – I knew what the President was reading, but I knew only the part that was the responsibility of the FIS. Believe me, the situation is very complex . . .

The reunification of Crimea with Russia – this, of course, is an achievement of our President and of all those actively involved in the operation. However, without the will of God that could have not have happened. As a religious person, I consider this a miracle. As far as LPR/DPR are concerned, from my own viewpoint it seems to me that it would be right to conduct a referendum of them joining the Russian Federation. However, people at the top have access to all the information, and, apparently, have reasons to doubt that such a decision would be wise at this time. Would Russians be able to cope?

We have nothing to lose as far as sanctions or diplomatic pressure on Russia are concerned – everything that could be done has been done. What do you think is the main reason that does not let Russia allow the Republics to join? What prevents this?

What prevented the DPR from taking Mariupol in 2014?

An agreement with the oligarchs . . .

I do not know – perhaps. There was, however, a firm position of the West. Are we truly independent financially? Obviously, we are not. It is risky for the US and globalists to hit us in that area – it could backfire, but they still could employ such ultimate measures. The results would be a lot more painful for us than for them. I want to emphasize the activity of Vladimir Putin: all these years he is slowly step by step restoring Russia’s true independence.

Let us consider recent history. Industrialization, which the Stalinists are so proud of, was accomplished with enormous – material, technological, financial, and credit support of the US. Thanks to that support, Dnepr Hydroelectric Station, Magnitka (Magnitogorsk Metal Producing Plant, built in 1932, one of the largest in the USSR, the largest in Russia – translator’s note), Gorky Automotive Plant and thousands of other enterprises were built. When the Great Patriotic was nearing its end, Joseph Stalin was counting on $6 billions promised by Roosevelt and was prepared to comply with the demands of the USA: to keep the eastern European countries democratic, retain the multi-party system or monarchies (where they existed), refrain from strict collectivization, and to leave the church alone. Only after the Fulton speech and the establishment of the “Iron Curtain”, the Soviet Union has altered its foreign policy. However, the dependence remained, since the whole world existed inside the financial-economic system dominated by the US, and we were being incorporated into it more and more, as the socialist system created by us was not working.

I can make a statement surprising for some and outrageous for others: after 1917 we were never completely independent. It was not for nothing that the West invested so much energy and resources in order to use the “Red project” (the division of the Empire into 15 national republics) for the destruction of the Eastern-Slavic civilization.

I remember how in 1984 or 1985 I read the telegram of the Russian ambassador in FRG Yuliy Krivitsky about his conversation with the Vise-Chancellor of the Western Germany, leader of the Bavarian party Christian-Democratic Union, Joseph Straus. The latter said directly, even at that time: “You country, Mister Ambassador, is facing difficult times. You placed a bomb under it: 15 Republics – 15 governments, Parliaments, hymns, flags. All this will blow up, and the Soviet Union will break down . . . “ Krivitsky objected saying that FRG also had various lands – Saxony, Bavaria, Bremen, Hesse, etc., local governments, to which the Vise-Chancellor responded: “Our states are based on the territories, but yours – on the nations”. The West understood very well, as opposed to our leadership, the main problem of the Soviet Union and purposefully aggravated it. As a result, the Western Ukrainians, Georgians, Armenians, and other nations remembered their national roots, whereas only the Russian and, partially, Belorussians were transformed into the “Soviet people” having taken to heart the myth about internationalism and lost their historic memory.

Remember Serbs and Croats – we have the same problem in Russia. As Joseph Broz Tito cut down the Serbian – that of the state-defining nation – territories, the same way Joseph Stalin and his co-conspirators cut down the Russian territories. In particular, the Russian Novorossiya was given to the artificially created Ukraine, Ossetia – to Georgia, the Northern and Eastern Kazakhstan populated by Russians – to Kazakhstan. It that sense, all us Russians are somewhat circumcised, if you pardon the expression . . .

That is why the current efforts of our President, his heroic deeds will not be fully appreciated any time soon. His mission – to extricate the country every year millimeter by millimeter from the national, financial, economical and other types of traps we got caught in since 1917. Any sudden movement, such as a referendum about incorporation of LPR/DPR could have unintended consequences.

This is a complex and very painful questions for all Russians. Russia is by definition a Eurasian state; it is multinational. So, how do we ensure that the defense of the interests of ethnic Russians would not become the instrument of the destruction of the country under the slogans like “Stop feeding the Caucasus!”, “Siberia – is not Moscow” and so forth. How do we find the optimal formula, when the imperial component does not oppress but stimulates the development of the Russian nation? It is worth remembering that the Declaration of Independence of the Russian Federation was issued on June 12th, 1991, which predetermined the Belovezhsk conspiracy on December 8th, 1991, and the breakup of the USSR . . . How do we manage not to repeat our historic mistakes?

The country could not have avoided the breakdown, since we have divided it into the national republics. Recently we have had a conversation with the Dagestanis-Muslims, and I recalled another conversations with a Chechen – Major-General of the FSB and his words: “You know, Leonid Petrovich, if they had been a White Tzar above us and Allah – we would have all united. We love Russia, but fighting for it we do not fight for the territories as such but for the White Tzar . . . “ This is the main factor uniting all nations. The Dagestanis also agreed; they are also in favor of the Empire; they understand the value of the vertical of power. There is no difference in this issue between the Orthodoxy and Islam, and if the Empire happens, Islam will work for it. Remember that during the Civil War the Chechen, Ingushs, and other Caucasus people fought in the White Army.

An Empire is impossible without the absolute monarchy . . .

Yes. However, it is too early to propose the restoration of monarchy now. It would be a premature move. It is necessary to clear up our minds, our memory of myths. The history of our Motherland in the Soviet period was studied starting from 1935 – why was that? Because it was necessary to re-write it completely, but before that new faculty had to be trained. Then the guys from the Institute of the Red Professors invented our history for us out of nothing under the title “The short history course of the All Russia Communist Party of Bolsheviks” of Joseph Vissarionovich (Stalin – translator’s note).

Let us summarize. In order for the Russian nation to prosper and maintain good relations with other nations, we need to restore our independent state that could only be the Russian Eurasian Empire. The Empire could only be restored as a monarchy, but to accomplish that we need to change our mentality and to free ourselves from the Soviet stereotypes. But here is the problem: most Russian citizens still see in the Soviet epoch the Great Project, the Idea of Justice, the Joy of unprecedented Victories . . . How do we alter the people’s mentality without alienating that majority, how do we merge the best achievements of the Soviet time with the achievements of the Tzarist period?

Middle-aged people or older cannot be changed; we need to work with the youth. This is hard. Let me give you an example: my eldest grand-daughter once said to me: “Grandpa, our teacher in class asked us why Michael Romanov was elected as a Tzar (Michael Romanov, the first Tzar of the Romanov dynasty, was elected in 1613 after the Time of Troubles, which started following the death of the son of Ivan the Terrible, the last representative of the Rurik dynasty, in 1598; during that period, many events took place including the appearance of Pseudo-Dmitri claiming to be the youngest son of Ivan the Terrible, Dmitri supposedly was killed in childhood, his ascension to the throne in Moscow, the intervention of the Polish Army, and the final defeat of the Poles – translator’s note), and I replied that, first, all estates voted for him, because all wanted to have a Tzar in the country after a horrible period of the Time of Troubles. Second, the Russian Orthodox Church supported him, and the church had a strong influence. And third, since he was very young, he was not involved in any of the treasons of the Time of Troubles when the nobles switched sides in support of the Poles or Pseudo-Dmitri”. I praised her answer but my granddaughter said that the teacher considered her response incorrect. The response should have been as written in the textbook, which only had one sentence about this stating that the nobles wanted to have a young Tzar so that they could control him. That is how contempt towards the Russian history is imprinted onto the mind of our children. When children grow up, they will have hard time letting go of the false concepts and accept the idea of the monarchy. Many will be torn between the two projects imposed on us by the West – liberal and Communist.

Recall how communists and liberals (they are of the same stock) go into hysterics when someone mentions the Third way – a special historic role of Russia. If you simply mention, without any epithets, the name of the last Emperor Nikolas the Second – immediately atheists, liberals, homosexuals and other trash unite and start yelling that he was a weak Tzar, that he “sold and destroyed Russia”. What does that say? That we are on the right track. We do not intend to change the regime; out job is to help people understand the lessons of the past, and when that happens, then the desire to restore the Empire and Monarchy will become natural to them. The new Constitution will be adopted, and the real revival of Russia will begin. But for those who consider themselves monarchists, for all orthodox Russian people, a Tzar has always existed, exists and will exist, and his name is – Jesus Christ.

Leonid Petrovich Reshetnikov (b. February 6, 1947, Potsdam, Germany) — Soviet and Russian historian, Director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (29 April 2009 to 4 January 2017), the General-the Lieutenant of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) of the Russian Federation.  Candidate of Historical Sciences.  Former chief of the information-analytical staff of the SVR in the rank of Lieutenant General.

%d bloggers like this: