‘The Palestinian View’ – with Ramzy Baroud: Will the UN Deliver Justice for Palestine? (VIDEO)

September 21, 2022

Baroud comments on the Palestinian Authority’s quest to obtain full UN membership and whether such status is merely symbolic. (Photo: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

In the latest Palestine Chronicle episode of the “Palestinian View’, Ramzy Baroud raises the question “Will the United Nations Finally Deliver Justice for Palestine?”

Baroud comments on the Palestinian Authority’s quest to obtain full UN membership and whether such status is merely symbolic. 

To understand the historical context of this issue and to offer your own opinion, make sure to watch and share the Palestine Chronicle’s latest production. 

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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Who benefits from UNIFIL’s new amendments to its mission in Lebanon?

September 3, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen English 

An unprecedented UNSC statement is released: UNIFIL does not require “prior authorization or permission from anyone” to conduct missions “independently.”

As UNIFIL announces the renewal of its mandate in Lebanon, the United Nations body consisting of 10,000 military personnel attempts to extend its set of privileges over the population in the South by not requiring “prior authorization or permission from anyone to undertake its mandated tasks, and that it is allowed to conduct its operations independently.”

The statement, shockingly and unapologetically, “calls on the parties to guarantee UNIFIL’s freedom of movement, including by allowing announced and unannounced patrols.”

The UN body’s latest statement arrives against a tense backdrop where confrontation may be at the door between Lebanon and the Israeli occupation over the latter’s threat to occupy the Karish gas field, stripping Lebanon of its own maritime territory and right. Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, has vowed that the Lebanese Resistance will target the drilling platform in case a demarcation agreement with the Lebanese government is not reached in addition to enabling Lebanon to explore its own resources. 

UNIFIL has been patrolling South Lebanon since 1978, and was established under UN resolution 425 to “monitor the cessation of hostilities between Lebanon and Israel” as it claims, in addition to supporting “the Lebanese authorities in keeping the area south of the Litani River free of unauthorized armed personnel, weapons, or other related assets.” 

The latest addition to the UN’s mandate raises questions (and eyebrows) on whether UNIFIL not needing prior permission to perform its missions is an Israeli demand that falls within Washington and “Tel Aviv’s” attempts to expand the scope of UN missions in the South. 

Within this context, Lebanese Brigadier-General Hisham Jaber spoke to Al Mayadeen “UNIFIL’s missions have been stipulated since it began its missions in Lebanon, and there have been minor amendments to it that were made by the Security Council – which determines its tasks – not the United Nations or its secretary-general.” 

Contrary to the UN statement’s demands, Jaber stresses that the mandate “needs prior permission if it wants to deviate from the tasks entrusted to it,” and that the intention behind this statement can be interpreted by keeping in mind that “Israel” has, for long, “been trying to incite the modification of UNIFIL’s missions to make it police its missions, and search for weapons even inside Lebanese neighborhoods and villages.” 

Jaber pointed out that “UNIFIL has repeatedly tried to enter homes and schools to search for weapons, in deviation from the tasks entrusted to it at the behest of Israel,” in an attempt to normalize the situation for the Lebanese, attempting to make searches a regular reality for the population. 

UNIFIL has long condoned Israeli violations despite 16 years since Resolution 1701 was passed by the UN Security Council, which calls for the full cessation of hostilities between Lebanon and “Israel.” According to Jaber, UNIFIL forces have not been able to detect abt violations from the Lebanese side, but it is trying, through installing cameras and surveillance, to cater to the Israeli desire to register a Lebanese violation of resolution 1701. 

He explained that the Lebanese Army’s presence in the South is Lebanon’s guarantee that UNIFIL will stick to the tasks assigned to it and will not deviate from them. However, its statement calling for ‘independence’ from Lebanese jurisdiction will most likely serve “Tel Aviv.”

Lebanese political commentator and journalist Hassan Olleik warned that such a move would, in fact, jeopardize the very continuation and existence of UNIFIL in South Lebanon. He told Al Mayadeen, “UNIFIL’s [top] priority is to secure the stability of its forces, because the closer it comes to playing the role that Israel and the US want for it, the higher the level of tension will be between the UNIFIL and the residents of the South, and this matter puts UNIFIL’s leadership, elements, mechanisms and assets at risk.” 

He added that the “inspection of private property requires permission from the Lebanese Army and judiciary, because UNIFIL’s mission cannot bypass Lebanese law, and for this reason, the Lebanese authorities treated this amendment with some indifference.”

UNSC Resolution 1701, which was passed after the 2006 war, entails monitoring the cessation of hostilities, monitoring the deployment of the Lebanese army along the Blue Line, and Israeli withdrawal from the South, in addition to ensuring that the area between the Blue Line and the Litani River is free of any armed manifestations. The resolution also assists the Lebanese government, at its request, in securing its borders and crossings to prevent the entry of any weapons without its consent.

Modifying the missions of UNIFIL has always been a demand by the US and “Israel” that has been translated into several attempts in recent years within the Security Council to push for the expansion of these missions to include all of the South, allowing it to monitor any movements that could be a prelude to some security or military action on the borders. Attempts have also been made to expand these missions to include the Lebanese-Syrian border.

These attempts clashed with the opposition of major countries, including France and Russia, and mainly to a categorical Lebanese rejection at the official and popular levels as well. The area north and south of the Litani has witnessed many problems between the people and UNIFIL soldiers, in refusal of the international forces’ attempts to change their rules of operation on their own.

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We Need to Eliminate the Remaining Hotbeds of International Terrorism in Syria

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360°  

Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UN Security Council Briefing on Terrorism

We need to eliminate completely the remaining hotbeds of international terrorism in Syria, put an end to the presence of ISIL and other terrorist groups on the Syrian soil.

Mr.President,

We thank USG Voronkov and CTED Acting Executive Director Weixiong Chen for their detailed analysis of the situation in the area of countering ISIL. We also followed the remarks by Mr. Martin Ewi with interest.

We share many assessments contained in Secretary-General’s report on the threat posed by ISIL. On our part, we woulkd like to make the following points.

Russia stands on the frontline of the fight against terrorism. Having passed through the ordeals of the 90s, we have accumulated vast experience. Though in some cases this was rather sad experience, it gave us an opportunity to respond to present-day challenges efficiently. We approach all our obligations with great responsibility, and we intend to keep assisting states in combating international terrorism, i.a. by making financial contributions to the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and regional specialized mechanisms. We will continue developing multilateral and bilateral cooperation, but only with those who truly want to fight against terrorists rather than play nice to or even finance them.

Mr.President,

We need to eliminate completely the remaining hotbeds of international terrorism in Syria, put an end to the presence of ISIL and other terrorist groups on the Syrian soil. At this moment, they have strongholds on the territories that are not controlled by the Syrian government. As recently as on 4 August, crews of Russian Air and Space Forces, when air patrolling in the skies above Syria, discovered and eliminated a group of terrorists from “Liwa Shuhada al-Qaryatayn”. This terrorist militia is based in the Al-Tanf area, which is controlled by the US military. Withdrawal of American occupying troops from the Syrian territory would signify a prompt and indivertible elimination of the lasting terrorist presence in that long-suffering country, as well as of resident terrorists in the neighboring states.

Mr.President,

When discussing Secretary-General’s reports on threats posed by ISIL, we repeatedly raised here in the Security Council the issue of preventing weapons from ending up in the hands of terrorists. We must note that the latest report provides some updates on that matter. In particular, it says that some terrorist and radical groups have called their members to make use of the events in Ukraine to access to arms that uncontrolledly flows to Kiev from Western states. In this context, the report accentuates growing risks of terrorist attacks to be committed by standalone terrorists in Europe.

We believe we need to dwell on this in greater detail in the framework of this discussion. Ukraine now ranks alongside Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan. Ukraine is receiving a lot of Western weapons, ammunition, and dual-use products. Back in the day, the influx of arms in Iraq and the use of terrorists for geopolitical purposes led to the rising of ISIL. Arms deliveries to Libya caused the terrorist threat to spread across most of Africa. In order to overthrow the legitimate government of Syria, the West supported and gave weapons to ideologically motivated terrorists, having announced them to be “moderate fighters for freedom”.

In the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Afghanistan, the United States and its satellites charged opposition forces that either turned into terrorists quickly or became closely associated with them. However in Ukraine, they support and train nationalist and neo-Nazi formations. Terrorists used conflicts in Afghanistan, the Balkans, Libya, Iraq, and Syria to exchange tactical know-how and reinforce transnational networks. By the same token, neo-Nazis and adherers of the theory of white race supremacy use Ukraine as a military lab. As for the Western states, they unabashedly support this.

Mr.President,

At this point, I must say a couple of words about double standards.

In 2021, the US Congress made another attempt to list the notorious Ukrainian Azov battalion as a terrorist organization.

Before that, in 2015, the US House of Representatives made some amendments to the draft Department of Defense Appropriations Act in order to preclude military budget from being used to support the Azov battalion. The Congress designated this formation as a Ukrainian paramilitary neo-Nazi militia. In 2018, the House of Representatives voted to make sure that “none of the funds made available by the Act may be used to provide arms, training or other assistance to the Azov Battalion.”

But after Russia started its special military operation, Azov battalion, this deadly ideological formation, suddenly turned into a “detachment of the heroes of Mariupol”. The US authorities prioritized geopolitical gains over the real fight against terrorism and various manifestations of extremism.

In Russia, the Azov battalion is listed as a terrorist organization, and we have quite a few reasons for that. Members of this formation who surrendered to the Russian side started to give testimonies. Apparently, this is why the Kiev regime launched a precise strike targeting its former “combat elite” in a detention facility in Yelenovka.

Here is another parallel to the events in the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Afghanistan. Part of the mercenaries, neo-Nazis, extremists, racial supremacy theorists who have rushed to Ukraine from all across the Western world, if they survive, will get some combat experience and then return to their countries of origin or third countries – the way FTFs do after having fought for ISIL. Something similar happened when the surviving bandits from Chechnya fled to Europe as political refugees, and when later on they carried out terrorist acts in the countries where they received asylum.

If anyone doubts what I am saying, please feel free to turn to numerous publications by specialized experts in Western sources.

Mr.President,

Before concluding, let me say a few words about the situation in Afghanistan. We have heard American representatives claim to have eliminated Al-Qaida’s leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri. This is remarkable news, but there are at least two dimensions to it. On the one hand, if confirmed, this will be an indisputable success of American special services. On the other hand, it makes us doubt whether the pretentious claims made by the US Administration a year ago that American troops had allegedly left Afghanistan after completing all outstanding tasks in countering terrorism were actually true. After 20 years of the presence of the US and NATO forces, the situation in Afghanistan is teetering on the brink of a humanitarian disaster, and attacks by ISIL are growing in number.

Thank you.

PERMANENT MISSION
OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION TO THE UNITED NATIONS

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s article «Staged incidents as the Western approach to doing politics»

July 18, 2022

https://mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1822333/

Published in Izvestia newspaper

Today, the Russian Armed Forces, together with the self-defence units of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, are delivering on the objectives of the special military operation with great resolve to put an end to the outrageous discrimination and genocide of the Russian people and eliminate direct threats to the security of the Russian Federation that the United States and its satellites have been creating on Ukrainian territory for years. While losing on the battlefield, the Ukrainian regime and its Western patrons have descended to staging bloody incidents to demonise our country in the eyes of the international community. We have already seen Bucha, Mariupol, Kramatorsk, and Kremenchug. The Russian Defence Ministry has been regularly issuing warnings, with facts in hand, about upcoming staged incidents and fakes.

There is a distinctive pattern that betrays the provocations staged by the West and its henchmen. In fact, they started long before the Ukrainian events.

Take 1999 – the village of Račak in Serbia’s Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. A group of OSCE inspectors arrived at the site where several dozen corpses dressed in civilian clothes were discovered. Without any investigation, the mission head declared the incident an act of genocide, even though making a conclusion of this kind was not part of the mandate issued to this international official. NATO immediately launched a military aggression against Yugoslavia, during which it intentionally destroyed a television centre, bridges, passenger trains and other civilian targets. Later, it was proved with conclusive evidence that the dead bodies were not civilians, but militants of the Kosovo Liberation Army, an illegal armed group, dressed in civilian clothes. But by that time the staged incident has already taken its toll, offering a pretext for the first illegal use of force against an OSCE member state since the signing of the Helsinki Final Act in 1975. It is telling that the statement that triggered the bombings came from William Walker, a US citizen who headed the OSCE’s Kosovo Verification Mission. Separating Kosovo from Serbia by force and setting up Camp Bondsteel, the largest US military base in the Balkans, were the main outcomes of the aggression.

In 2003, there was the infamous performance by US Secretary of State Colin Powell in the UN Security Council with a vial containing white powder of some sort, which he said contained anthrax spores, alleging that it was produced in Iraq. Once again, the fake worked: the Anglo-Saxons and those who followed their lead went on to bomb Iraq, which has been struggling to fully recover its statehood ever since. Moreover, it did not take long before the fake was exposed with everyone admitting that Iraq did not have any biological weapons or any other kinds of WMDs. Later, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was one of the masterminds of the aggression, recognised that the whole affair was a fraud, saying that they “may have been wrong” or something like that. As for Colin Powell, he later tried to justify himself by claiming that he was misled by the underlying intelligence. Either way, this was yet another provocation that offered a pretext for delivering on the plan to destroy a sovereign nation.

There was also Libya in 2011. The drama had specifics of its own. The situation did not go as far as direct lies, like in Kosovo or Iraq, but NATO grossly distorted the UN Security Council resolution, which provided for a no-fly zone over Libya in order to “ground” Muammar Gaddafi’s air force. It did not fly to begin with. However, NATO started bombing the Libyan army units who were fighting terrorists. Muammar Gaddafi died a savage death, and nothing remains of the Libyan statehood. Efforts to put the country back together have yet to succeed, with a US representative once again in charge of the process, appointed by the UN Secretary General without any consultation with the UN Security Council. As part of this process, our Western colleagues have facilitated several intra-Libyan agreements on holding elections but none of them materialised. Illegal armed groups still reign supreme on Libyan territory, with most of them working closely with the West.

February 2014, Ukraine – the West, represented by the German, French, and Polish foreign ministers, de facto forced President Viktor Yanukovich into signing an agreement with the opposition to end the confrontation and promote a peaceful resolution of the intra-Ukrainian crisis by establishing a transitional national unity government and calling a snap election, to be held within a few months. This too turned out to be a fraud: the next morning, the opposition staged a coup guided as it was by anti-Russia, racist slogans. However, the Western guarantors did not even try to bring the opposition back to its senses. Furthermore, they switched immediately to encouraging the coup perpetrators in their policies against Russia and everything Russian, unleashing the war against their own people and bombing entire cities in the Donbass region just because people there refused to recognise the unconstitutional coup. For that, they labelled the people in Donbass terrorists, and once again the West was there to encourage them.

At this point, it is worth noting that, as it was soon revealed, the killing of protestors on the Maidan was also a staged incident, which the West blamed either on the Ukrainian security forces loyal to Viktor Yanukovich, or on the Russian special services. However, the radical members of the opposition were the ones who were behind this provocation, while working closely with the Western intelligence services. Once again, exposing these facts did not take long, but by that time they already did their job.

Efforts by Russia, Germany, and France paved the way to stopping the war between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk in February 2015 with the signing of the Minsk Agreements. Berlin and Paris played a proactive role here as well, proudly calling themselves as the guarantor countries. However, during the seven long years that followed, they did absolutely nothing to force Kiev to launch a direct dialogue with Donbass representatives for agreeing on matters including the special status, amnesty, restoring economic ties, and holding elections, as required by the Minsk Agreements which were approved unanimously by the UN Security Council. The Western leaders remained silent when Kiev took steps which directly violated the Minsk Agreements under both Petr Poroshenko and Vladimir Zelensky. Moreover, the German and the French leaders kept saying that Kiev cannot enter direct dialogue with the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, and blamed everything on Russia, although Russia is not mentioned in the Minsk agreements even once, while remaining basically the only country that kept pushing for the agreements to be implemented.

If anyone doubted that the Minsk Package was anything but yet another fake, Petr Poroshenko dispelled this myth by saying on June 17, 2022: “The Minsk Agreements did not mean anything to us, and we had no intention to carry them out… our goal was to remove the threat we faced… and win time in order to restore economic growth and rebuild the armed forces. We achieved this goal. Mission accomplished for the Minsk Agreements.” The people of Ukraine are still paying the price of this fake. For many years now, the West has been forcing them to accept an anti-Russian neo-Nazi regime. What a waste of energy for Olaf Scholz with his calls to force Russia to agree to an agreement guaranteeing Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. There already had been an agreement to this effect, the Minsk Package, and Berlin with Paris were the ones who derailed it by shielding Kiev in its refusal to abide by the document. The fake has been exposed – finita la commedia.

By the way, Vladimir Zelensky has been a worthy successor to Petr Poroshenko. During a campaign rally in early 2019, he was ready to kneel before him for the sake of stopping the war.

In December 2019, Zelensky got a chance to carry out the Minsk Agreements following the Normandy format summit in Paris. In the outcome document adopted at the highest level, the Ukrainian President undertook to resolve matters related to the special status of Donbass. Of course, he did not do anything, while Berlin and Paris once again covered up for him. The document and all the publicity accompanying its adoption turned out to be no more than a fake narrative promoted by Ukraine and the West to win some time for supplying more weapons to the Kiev regime, which follows Petr Poroshenko’s logic to the letter.

There was also Syria, with the 2013 agreement on eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles in a stage-by-stage process verified by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), for which it received the Nobel Peace Prize. After that, however, there were outrageous provocations in 2017 and 2018 staging the use of chemical weapons in Khan Shaykhun and Duma, a Damascus suburb. There was a video showing people calling themselves the White Helmets (a would-be humanitarian organisation which never showed up on territories controlled by the Syrian government) helping alleged poisoning victims, although no one had any protective clothing or gear. All attempts to force the OPCW Technical Secretariat to perform its duties in good faith and ensure a transparent investigation into these incidents, as required by the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), failed. This, however, did not come as a surprise. The Western countries have long privatised the Technical Secretariat by having their representatives appointed to the key positions within this structure. They contributed to staging these incidents and used them as a pretext for US, British, and French airstrikes against Syria. Incidentally, they carried out these bombings just a day before a group of OPCW inspectors arrived there to investigate the incidents at Russia’s insistence, while the West did everything to prevent this deployment.

The West and the OPCW Technical Secretariat it controls demonstrated their ability to stage fake incidents with the would-be poisonings of the Skripals and Alexey Navalny. In both cases, Russia sent multiple requests to The Hague, London, Berlin, Paris, and Stockholm, all left without a reply, even though they fully conformed with the CWC provisions and required a response.

Other pending questions have to do with the Pentagon’s covert activities in Ukraine carried out through its Defense Threat Reduction Agency. The traces that the forces engaged in the special military operation have discovered in military-biological laboratories in the liberated territories of Donbass and adjacent areas clearly indicate direct violations of the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons (BTWC). We have presented the documents to Washington and to the UN Security Council. The procedure has been initiated under BTWC to demand explanations. Contrary to the facts, the US administration is trying to justify its actions by saying that all biological research in Ukraine was exclusively peaceful and civilian in nature – with no evidence of any of this.

In fact, the Pentagon’s military-biological activities around the world, especially in the post-Soviet countries, require the closest attention in light of the multiplying evidence of criminal experiments with the most dangerous pathogens in order to create biological weapons conducted under the guise of peaceful research.

I have already mentioned the staged “crimes” of the Donbass militia and participants in the Russian special military operation. There is one simple fact that clearly shows how much these accusations mean: having shown the “Bucha tragedy” to the world in early April 2022 (we have suspicions that the Anglo-Saxons had a hand in setting the stage for the show), the West and Kiev have not yet answered the very basic questions about whether the names of the dead were established and what post-mortem examinations showed. Just as in the above-described Skripals and Navalny cases, the propaganda production has premiered in the Western media, and now it’s time to sweep it all under the rug, brazen it out, because they have nothing to say.

This is the essence of the well-worn Western political algorithm – to concoct a fake story and ratchet up the hype as if it’s a universal catastrophe for a couple of days while blocking people’s access to alternative information or assessments, and when any facts do break through, they are simply ignored – at best mentioned on last pages of the news in small print. It is important to understand that this is not a harmless game in the media war – such productions are used as pretexts for very material actions such as punishing the “guilty” countries with sanctions, unleashing barbaric aggressions against them with hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties, as it happened, in particular, in Iraq and Libya. Or – as in the case of Ukraine – for using the country as expendable material in the Western proxy war against Russia. Moreover, NATO instructors and MLRS aimers are, apparently, already directing the actions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and nationalist battalions on the ground.

I hope there are responsible politicians in Europe who are aware of the consequences. In this regard, it is noteworthy that no one in NATO or the EU tried to reprimand the German Air Force Commander, a general named Ingo Gerhartz, who got carried away higher than his rank and said NATO must be ready to use nuclear weapons. “Putin, do not try to compete with us,” he added. Europe’s silence suggests that it is complacently oblivious of Germany’s role in its history.

If we look at today’s events through a historical prism, the entire Ukrainian crisis appears as a “grand chess game” that follows a scenario earlier promoted by Zbigniew Brzezinski. All the good relations talk, the West’s proclaimed readiness to take into account the rights and interests of Russians who ended up in independent Ukraine or other post-Soviet countries after the collapse of the USSR turned out to be mere pretence. Even in the early 2000s, Washington and the European Union began to openly pressure Kiev to decide which side Ukraine was on, the West or Russia.

Ever since 2014, the West has been controlling, hands-on, the Russophobic regime it brought to power through a coup d’état. Putting Vladimir Zelensky in front of any international forum of any significance is also part of this travesty. He makes passionate speeches, but when he suddenly offers something reasonable, he gets a slap on the wrist, as it happened after the Istanbul round of Russian-Ukrainian talks. At the end of March, it seemed that light glimmered at the end of the tunnel, but Kiev was forced to back off, using, among other things, a frankly staged episode in Bucha. Washington, London and Brussels demanded that Kiev stopped negotiating with Russia until Ukraine achieved full military advantage (former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tried especially hard, and many other Western politicians did too, still incumbent, although they have already proved just as inept).

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell’s statement about this war having to be “won on the battlefield” by Ukraine suggests that even diplomacy has lost its value as a tool in the European Union’s staged performance.

In a broader sense, it is curious to see how Europe, lined up by Washington on the anti-Russian front, has been hardest hit by the thoughtless sanctions, emptying its arsenals to supply weapons to Kiev (without even asking for a report on who will control them or where they go), and freeing up its market only to subsequently buy US military products and expensive American LNG instead of available Russian gas. Such trends, coupled with the de facto merger between the EU and NATO, make the continued talk about Europe’s “strategic autonomy” nothing more than a show. Everyone has already understood that the collective West’s foreign policy is a “one-man theatre.” Moreover, it is consistently seeking ever new theaters of military operations.

One element of the geopolitical gambit against Russia is granting the status of an eternal EU candidate country to Ukraine and Moldova, which, it seems, will also face an unenviable fate. Meanwhile, a PR campaign has been initiated by President of France Emmanuel Macron to promote the “European political community,” which offers no financial or economic benefits, but demands full compliance with the EU’s anti-Russia actions. The principle behind it is not either/or but “who is not with us is against us.” Emmanuel Macron explained the gist of the “community”: the EU will invite all European countries – “from Iceland to Ukraine” – to join it, but not Russia. I would like to stress that we are not eager to join, but the statement itself showcases the essence of this obviously confrontational and divisive new undertaking.

Ukraine, Moldova and other countries being courted by the EU today are destined to be extras in the games of the West. The United States, as the main producer, calls the tune and devises the storyline based on which Europe writes the anti-Russia screenplay. The actors are ready and possess the skills acquired during their tenure at the Kvartal 95 Studio: they will provide a voice-over for dramatic texts no worse than the now forgotten Greta Thunberg and play musical instruments, if needed. The actors are good: remember how convincing Vladimir Zelensky was in his role as a democrat in the Servant of the People: fighter against corruption and discrimination against Russians and for all the right things in general. Remember and compare it with his immediate transformation in his role as president. It is perfect Stanislavsky Method acting: banning the Russian language, education, media and culture. “If you feel like Russians, then go to Russia for the sake of your children and grandchildren.” Good advice. He called Donbass residents “species” rather than people. And this is what he said about the Nazi Azov battalion: “They are what they are. There is plenty of such people around here.” Even CNN was ashamed to leave this phrase in the interview.

This prompts a question: what will be the outcome of all these storylines? Staged incidents based on blood and agony are by no means fun but a display of a cynical policy in creating a new reality where all principles of the UN Charter and all norms of international law are attempted to be replaced with their “rules-based order” in an aspiration to perpetuate their dwindling domination in global affairs.

The games undertaken by the West in the OSCE after from end of the Cold War, where it considered itself a winner, had the most devastating consequences for the modern international relations. Having quickly broken their promises to the Soviet and Russian leadership on the non-expansion of NATO to the east, the United States and its allies nevertheless declared their commitment to building a unified space of security and cooperation in the Euro-Atlantic region. They formalised it at the top level with all OSCE members in 1999 and 2010 within the framework of a political obligation to ensure equal and inseparable security where no country will strengthen its security at the expense of others and no organisation will claim a dominating role in Europe. It soon became evident that NATO members do no keep their word and that their goal is the supremacy of the North-Atlantic Alliance. Even then we continued our diplomatic efforts, proposing to formalise the principle of equal and inseparable security in a legally binding agreement. We proposed this a number of times, the last one in December 2021, but received a flat denial in response. They told us directly: there will be no legal guarantees outside NATO. Which means that the support of the political documents approved at the OSCE summits turned out to be a cheap fake. And now NATO, driven by the United States, has gone even further: they want to dominate over the entire Asia-Pacific region in addition to the Euro-Atlantic. NATO members make no effort to conceal the target of their threats, and China’s leadership has already publicly declared its position regarding such neo-colonial ambitions. Beijing has already responded by citing the principle of indivisible security, declaring its support for applying it on a global scale to prevent any country from claiming its exclusivity. This approach fully coincides with Russia’s position. We will make consistent efforts to defend it together with our allies, strategic partners and many other like-minded countries.

The collective West should come back to Earth from the world of illusions. The staged incidents, no matter how long they go on, will not work. It is time for fair play based on the international law rather than cheating. The sooner everyone realises that there are no alternatives to objective historical processes where a multipolar world is formed based on respect for the principle of sovereign equality of states, fundamental for the UN Charter and the entire world order, the better.

If members of the western alliance are unable to live according to this principle, are not ready to build a truly universal architecture of equal security and cooperation, they should leave everyone alone, stop using threats and blackmail to recruit those who want to live on their own wits and acknowledge the right to freedom of choice by independent self-respecting countries. This is what democracy is all about, the real democracy, not one played out on a shabbily built political stage.

Sergey Lavrov’s Presser at a joint news conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

June 24, 2022

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Tehran, June 23, 2022

Ladies and gentlemen.

I would like to thank my colleague, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, for the hospitality extended to me and my delegation from the first minutes of my stay on Iranian soil.

Yesterday’s detailed conversation with President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi and today’s long talks have confirmed both countries’ focus on deepening cooperation in all areas in accordance with the agreements reached by our leaders. I am referring to Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to Russia in January 2022 and his subsequent telephone conversations with President Vladimir Putin. The last call took place on June 8.

The presidents are unanimous that relations between Russia and Iran have reached the highest point in their history. At the same time, there is significant untapped potential for further advancement in our partnership. To this end, work is now underway on a new and comprehensive “big interstate treaty,” initiated by the President of Iran. Some time ago, Russia submitted its proposals and additions to the Iranian initiative to Tehran. Today we agreed that experts should coordinate this important document as soon as possible because it will determine the prospects for our strategic cooperation for the next two decades.

Particular attention during the talks was paid to trade and economic issues, investment, and the need to expand bilateral relations in a situation where the United States and its “satellites” are using illegal sanctions to hinder our countries’ progressive development and the interaction between Russia and Iran, as well as with other countries that reject diktat and refuse to follow Washington’s orders. Despite this discriminatory policy, trade between Russia and Iran showed a record growth of over 80 percent in 2021, exceeding $4 billion for the first time. This trend continued into 2022. We will do everything we can to support it.

A Russian delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak visited Tehran at the end of May to promote economic cooperation. The delegation included representatives from the relevant ministries and agencies, the heads of Russian regions that cooperate with Iran, and business representatives. They met with their Iranian counterparts to discuss purely practical issues of expanding cooperation, outlining action plans for such areas as energy, transport, agriculture, finance, banking, and customs. At this point, these ambitious goals are being considered at the level of relevant experts.

We highlighted success in implementing our flagship projects, including  the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant (the second and third units being under construction), the Sirik Thermal Power Plant that is being built with the state loans issued by the Russian Federation and a project to upgrade a railway section.

Just last week, a panel discussion dedicated to the Russian-Iranian business dialogue took place as part of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. A meeting of the intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation will be held soon. As we agreed today, the foreign ministries of Russia and Iran will continue to provide political and diplomatic support to all joint economic undertakings every step of the way.

In this context, Russia has been facilitating the Iran-EAEU negotiating process that started out in 2021 to develop a free trade agreement. The working group in question will meet in Isfahan in early July.

We talked about fortifying the contractual and legal framework. Hossain Amir-Abdollahian mentioned an agreement on international cybersecurity and an agreement on creating cultural centres in our countries.

We also mentioned the importance of moving forward with drafting an agreement on cooperation in geological exploration and oil and gas production, as well as with ratifying the existing agreement on scientific and technical cooperation between our countries.

We discussed international issues in depth. We stand together in rejecting the concept of the rules-based order that is pushed forward by the United States and its satellites. This concept is designed for use as a substitute for international law and the UN Charter’s basic principles, primarily the principle of sovereign equality of states. Everything that the United States and its allies are doing in the international arena flat-out undermines this fundamental UN principle. Iran and Russia condemn the untenable practice of unilateral illegal sanctions that are imposed contrary to the UN Charter and need to be opposed by all independent members of the international community.

To this end, the Group of Friends in Defence of the Charter of the United Nations was established which, among others, includes Iran and Russia and has more than 20 members. I’m sure the group will expand.

On behalf of the Russian Federation, we welcome the official process for Iran joining the SCO as a full member which was launched in 2021. A memorandum will be signed at a SCO summit to be held in Samarkand in September that will clearly lay out the legal scope and timeframe for this process. It should not take long.

We are convinced that Tehran will make a significant contribution to strengthening the SCO as one of the key centres of the emerging multipolar order.

We discussed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action designed to settle matters related to the Iranian nuclear programme. In conjunction with other nations that signed this plan, we have been striving for a long time now to correct the mistake made by the United States. Washington withdrew from this deal and from the corresponding UN Security Council resolution, once again trampling upon its commitments under international law. We will push for the JCPOA to be restored in its original configuration, the way it was approved in 2015 by a UN Security Council resolution, without exceptions or additions, to make sure that the illegal sanctions on Iran that are inconsistent with the JCPOA are lifted. We hope Washington will make a rational choice, although we cannot fully rely on that.

We spoke about our cooperation on a Syrian settlement, primarily in the Astana format that includes Russia, Iran and Turkey. We highly rated the regular session in this format which took place in the capital of Kazakhstan in early June of this year. We agreed to continue coordinating our efforts to achieve the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2254, resolve humanitarian problems in Syria and encourage the international community to start practical work on restoring the infrastructure, preparing for the return of refugees and in general, ensuring the country’s return to normal life.

Iran and the Russian Federation are doing much in this area, helping to implement relevant projects on the ground in the Syrian Arab Republic. Unfortunately, the majority of the Western members of the international community are doing everything to delay fulfilment of the requirements of this resolution and impede the efforts of international organisations to this end, primarily the relevant UN agencies. This politicised course of action prevents the settlement of problems in Syria and, zooming out, in the Middle East and North Africa.

Russia and Iran have a common position on the need to resume direct talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis with a view to implementing all decisions of the international community, including the creation of the State of Palestine and the OIC-approved Arab Peace Initiative. We will uphold this position in the UN and closely cooperate with the OIC and the Arab League.

We talked about the developments in the South Caucasus, Afghanistan and Yemen. Russia and Iran have many opportunities to use their influence and contacts with a view to achieving a durable settlement and normalisation.

We reaffirmed our commitment to facilitate stabilisation in the Persian Gulf. As you know, Russia has introduced and continues promoting a concept for collective security in this important part of the world. We are willing to help promote dialogue between the Arab countries and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

We are members of the Caspian Five. Next week, the Caspian states will meet for a summit in Ashgabat. We coordinated our preparations for this important event.

Talking yesterday with President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi and today with Foreign Minister of Iran Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, we described in detail the current developments in and around Ukraine. We thanked our Iranian friends for their entirely correct understanding of the events. Above all, they realise that during the past decade our US-led Western colleagues have been trying to turn Ukraine into a bridgehead for threatening and “deterring” Russia, in part, by developing Ukraine’s territory militarily. We repeatedly sought to engage with the West on this matter. All our concerns have been ignored. President Vladimir Putin and other high-ranking officials explained many times that Russia simply did not have another choice but to ensure the interests of Donbass and its Russian residents in the face of a threat from the increasingly aggressive neo-Nazi regime that took power in Kiev after the anti-Constitutional coup d’etat. The Kiev authorities and those who put them in power and continue supporting officially refuted all our attempts to achieve the implementation of the Minsk agreements that were approved by the UN Security Council.

We are convinced that an overwhelming majority of the world’s countries understand the current situation. The Americans are trying to impose a “rules-based order” on all others. This concept is designed to subordinate the security of all countries to the interests of the Western world and ensure the total, “eternal” domination of Washington and its allies. Understandably, this concept goes against the entire historical process and the objective trend towards forming a multipolar world order under which countries, with their independence and self-worth intact, will uphold their interests in conformity with the principles of the UN Charter. The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation are among these countries.

Question: Given the constructive role played by the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation in the negotiations, they have managed to reach a sustainable agreement on the JCPOA. We see the current sabotage by the United States through the imposition of new sanctions and anti-Iranian resolutions. They are slowing down the process. What is your assessment of Washington’s destructive policy of slowing down the JCPOA negotiating process?

Sergey Lavrov: Not only on the JCPOA, but on virtually every issue on the international agenda, the United States is totally inconsistent, driven by short-term considerations, glancing back at the problems in the United States itself and how they can try to distract voters from them.

What the United States is doing in the negotiations to resume the JCPOA is an example of such actions, where the focus is on creating a “picture” designed to reaffirm the unquestioned leadership role of the United States on every issue on the international agenda. Such attempts to put a falsely understood reputation ahead of the merits of the issue are highly risky.

About a year ago, the United States tried to blame us for the fact that an agreement to fully resume the JCPOA was delayed. That was, to put it mildly, untrue. Everybody understands this very well. A year ago, the Russian Federation, like all the other parties to the agreement, reiterated its readiness to resume it in full. Since then, the United States has been single-handedly stalling the agreement. We have once again confirmed to our Iranian friends that we will support in every way possible their position on the need to resume the JCPOA in full, without any exceptions or unacceptable “add-ons”. This includes lifting all illegitimate sanctions.

Question (retranslated from Pashto): How close is Russia’s position on the Syrian crisis to that of Iran? Does the warning to Israel about an attack on Damascus International Airport mean that the positions of Iran and Russia are close on this issue?

Sergey Lavrov: We have repeatedly emphasised the need for all countries to strictly fulfil UN Security Council Resolution 2254 that relies on the basic principle of recognising the territorial integrity of the SAR and the need to respect Syria’s sovereignty.

During regular contacts with our Israeli colleagues, we constantly draw their attention to the need to stop violating this resolution and the air space of Syria, not to mention striking at its territory.

To our great regret, the latest incident is serious. It was a strike on a civilian airport, which put it out of service for several weeks and made it impossible to deliver humanitarian cargoes by air.

We sent a relevant note to Israel, emphasising the need for all countries to abide by Resolution 2254. We will continue upholding this position in our contacts with Israel and other countries that are involved in the Syrian settlement process in different ways.

You asked my colleague several questions, including one about the food crisis. I would like to emphasise again that there is no connection whatsoever between the special military operation in Ukraine and the food crisis. This is admitted even by US Government members and representatives of the international organisations dealing with food security. The crisis and the conditions for it were created several years ago. It didn’t start today or yesterday, but a couple of years ago when the Western countries embarked on imprudent, ill-considered, populist fiscal policies. President Vladimir Putin spoke about it in detail. I will not describe them at this point. I would merely stress that the efforts undertaken now by Turkey and the UN Secretary-General would have succeeded long ago if Ukraine and its Western patrons demined Black Sea ports. This issue is clear to any specialist. The attempts to establish an international coalition for these procedures are obviously aimed at interfering in the affairs of the Black Sea region under UN aegis. This is perfectly clear to us. There is no need for any complicated procedures. It is simply necessary to allow the ships locked by the Ukrainians in the mined ports of the Black Sea to leave. The main thing is to clear these ports of mines or provide clear passageways for them.

As for international waters, the Russian Federation guarantees the safe travel of these ships to the Strait of Bosporus. We have an understanding with the Republic of Turkey in this respect.

I will say again that the attempts to make a “worldwide tragedy” out of the amount of grain that remains in Ukraine are not above board. Everyone knows that this grain amounts to less than one percent of the global production of wheat and other grains.

Now it is important to compel the Ukrainians to let out the foreign ships that are being held hostage there. There is no need to turn this problem into a diversion to conceal the mistakes and failures of the West in its international policy on the food and fertiliser markets.

Question (retranslated from Farsi): A fortnight ago you mentioned a new political package from the US side. A week ago, Mr Zadeh said that “the train has not yet gone off the rails” and you said that in the future there was a possibility that negotiations could be resumed. Has anything changed recently?

Sergey Lavrov: If I understood the translation correctly, cooperation between Russia and Iran in the energy sector has a rich history and good prospects.

As far as bilateral cooperation is concerned, we have always found solutions to the problems that have arisen in this area because of the illegal actions of the United States and its satellites, who are trying to hinder the development of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s energy sector. At the present stage, they are trying to do the same with regard to oil and gas production and transportation in the Russian Federation. Our bilateral plans under consideration today are starting to take concrete form; they are beginning to be implemented. They are aimed at making sure that they do not depend in any way on the unlawful unilateral intervention of anybody else.

I can assure you: there is a reliable plan to work in this way. Together with Iran, we have traditionally worked together in the context of international efforts to stabilise the oil and gas market. There is a complete agreement within the OPEC+ group on the need to safeguard Iran’s interests in its future activities. We will be guided by this.

Question: Israel and the United States have announced a new regional air defence alliance in the Middle East to protect Israel and neighbours from Iranian rockets. How will this affect the Iran nuclear deal? Will Moscow and Tehran intensify military cooperation in this regard?

Sergey Lavrov: We are following statements made by our American colleagues, who are openly declaring their intention to try and forge a bloc between several Arab countries and Israel and target this new group against the Islamic Republic of Iran. I believe too much has already been said about the inconsistency of American foreign policy. I don’t want to repeat myself. But this idea is obviously at odds with their intention to normalise the situation in the region and resume full implementation of the JCPOA, through the efforts of the United States, if they are sincerely interested in this.

We prefer less contradictory arrangements, as compared to those the Americans are now promoting in various regions. Take their idea of ​​the Indo-Pacific. It runs counter to every universal format that has developed over the years around ASEAN in the Asia-Pacific region. Those formats included the US, Russia, China, Australia, India, Japan and Korea. It was a process whereby all interests, primarily those of the regional players and their partners, were brought to a common denominator. Instead, having disrupted all the bodies created under the auspices of ASEAN, the Americans are promoting conflict-generating, divisive formats, without hiding that their policy is aimed at restraining China and isolating Russia.

The same logic is evident in the initiative to create an air and missile defence system in the Middle East. This is the logic of division and confrontation. We prefer unifying logic. The underlying principle of our initiative to build a collective security system in the Persian Gulf region is unification. The system we propose should provide a framework for the Arab countries to establish a dialogue with the Islamic Republic of Iran, work out joint measures of confidence and transparency, and take other steps to ensure stabilisation. Our idea is to involve the permanent members of the UN Security Council, the EU, the Arab League, the UN and the OIC to facilitate these processes. This is an example of how we consistently propose resolving any problems through combining efforts and finding a balance of interests.

The example we are now discussing, which involves the US initiative in the Middle East, is not a case of finding a balance of interests; it is a case of planting confrontation, and an attempt to create dividing lines that will be there forever. Needless to say, this is a dead-end position. In any case, in the end, everyone will come to understand the need to return to the underlying principles of the United Nations, such as resolving problems through cooperation, and not through the creation of hostile and aggressive blocs.

UN Humanitarians Want Syria’s Borders Open to NATO

MIRI WOOD

UN self-proclaimed humanitarians continue to border on meltdown at the possibility that Security Council Resolution 2585 (2021) will finally not be renewed upon its expiration, 10 July. UNSC resolutions that have deprived the Syrian Arab Republic of its sovereignty were launched in 2014. Though having a full decade to ruminate, these reputed humanitarians have never concerned themselves with the mass deaths of Syrians via the various machinations of NATO ‘regime change’ against the Levantine Republic, whose civilization is 12,000 years old.

Though not Syrians, a group of UN saviors spoke on behalf of the Syrian people, in an open letter published in ReliefWeb“a humanitarian information service provided by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).”

UN saviors want Syria's borders  to be open to NATO dictates.

Continuing to ignore the facts that Syria was self-sufficient pre-NATO Spring, that the United Nations has stood by while its Member States breach its noble Charter with illicit “sanctions,” that it stood by while Trump bombed Syrian wheat fields, that it stands by while Biden steals Syria’s oil, that NATO Turkey terrorist al Qaeda proxies withhold humanitarian aid deliveries, and Israel war criminally bombs three to four times monthly, these NATO klansmen urge the Security Council [Russia and or China] to not only renew UNSCR 2585, but to further expand NATO’s updated Sykes-Picot against Syria.

The passage of UNSCR 2165 (2014) allowed for foreign entities to deliver alleged “humanitarian” goods via corridors not explicitly opened by Syria. It was quickly celebrated when around 50 children were killed by intentionally poisoned measles vaccines brought in from Turkey. It was renewed via UNSCR 2393 (2017), followed by 2449 (2018), and then a six-month compromise via 2504 (2020) which was rolled over into 2533 (2020) for another year. Any member of the P5 could have refused the Syria-excluded compromise; instead, the colonialist P3 persist in clamoring for the reopening of other imperial corridors, obsessively, Yarubiyah — breaches of sovereignty that none would tolerate against their own countries (it is possible that 2504 broke the UNSC record; only France voted yes, while US, UK, China, and Russia abstained.)

UN Security Council Resolution to breach Syrian sovereignty resulted in the murder of upwards of 50 children.
UN Security Council Resolution to breach Syrian sovereignty resulted in the murder of upwards of 50 children.

The author notes that this group of not-elected-by-popular-vote gaggle of UN saviors of the Syrian peoples just coincidentally is aligned with the supranational World Economic Forum (WEF), the oligarchs who have dictated that by 2030, we peons? serfs? will own nothing, and will be happy (they have not mentioned who the owners of everything will be, though).

Please note that some of the signatories are WEF agenda contributors while others may simply be considered among the new humanitarians.

These UN humanitarians out to save Syria are all affiliated with the WEF.
UN Syria savior and the supranational, unelected, WEF.
UN and WEF.
agenda3
agenda4
UN and WEF.
agenda6
agenda7
agenda8 new humanitarian
What the UN Fund for Population Activities does.
What the UN International Organization for Migration does.
The unelected, supranational World Economic Forum has told us we shall have nothing.

The author also stands amazed that these people who have ignored every atrocity inflicted upon Syrians — some of whom are ‘agenda contributors’ to a gang of oligarchs who will even dictate to us when we may roll over and beg for a piece of meat — dare to declare themselves humanitarians who will function as saviors.

Let us call out this latest scam: The UN wishes to carve up Syria, permanently. The UN has repeatedly demonstrated its desire to institute a new Sykes-Picot upon the Syrian people.

We can only hope that Russia and China will stand on their hind legs and vote “no” at the UN Security Council meeting on 10 July.

— Miri Wood

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Empire of Bioweapon Lies

May 13, 2022

Pepe Escobar

An ongoing U.S. bioweapons program in Ukraine was one of the Top Three reasons that led to the launch of Operation Z, Pepe Escobar writes.

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man, / You cannot say, or guess, for you know only / A heap of broken images, where the sun beats, / And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief, / And the dry stone no sound of water. Only / There is shadow under this red rock, / (Come in under the shadow of this red rock), / And I will show you something different from either / Your shadow at morning striding behind you / Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; / I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land: I. The Burial of the Dead, 1922

This glimpse of “fear in a handful of dust” already ranks as one the prime breakthroughs of the young 21st century, presented this week by Chief of Russian Radiation, Chemical, and Biological Protection Force Igor Kirillov.

The provisional results of evidence being collected about the work of U.S. bioweapons in Ukraine are simply astonishing. These are the main takeaways.

  1. U.S. bioweapon ideologues comprise the leadership of the Democratic Party. By linking with non-governmental biotechnology organizations, using the investment funds of the Clintons, Rockefellers, Soros and Biden, they profited from additional campaign financing – all duly concealed. In parallel, they assembled the legislative basis for financing the bioweapons program directly from the federal budget.
  2. COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna, as well as Merck and Gilead – of Donald “known unknowns” fame, and affiliated with the Pentagon – were directly involved.
  3. U.S. specialists tested new drugs in the Ukraine biolabs in circumvention of international safety standards. According to Kirillov, acting this way “Western companies seriously reduce the costs of research programs and gain significant competitive advantages.”
  4. According to Kirillov, “along with U.S. pharmaceutical companies and Pentagon contractors, Ukrainian government agencies are involved in military biotechnology activities, whose main tasks are to conceal illegal activities, conduct field and clinical trials and provide the necessary biomaterial.”
  5. The Pentagon, Kirillov pointed out, expanded its research potential not only in terms of producing biological weapons, but also gathering information on antibiotic resistance and the presence of antibodies to certain diseases among the population in specific regions. The testing ground in Ukraine was practically outside the control of the so-called “international community”.

These findings, amply documented, suggest a vast “legitimized” bioweapon racket reaching the highest levels of the American body politic. There’s no doubt the Russians plan to thoroughly unmask it for the benefit of world public opinion, starting with a War Crimes Tribunal to be set up this summer, most probably in Donetsk.

An ongoing U.S. bioweapons program in Ukraine was one of the Top Three reasons that led to the launch of Operation Z, side by side with preventing an imminent NATO-managed blitzkrieg against Donbass and Kiev’s desire to re-start a nuclear weapons program. These are Top Three red lines for Russia.

The strength of the collected evidence may directly correlate with what was largely interpreted as a carefully measured Victory Day speech by President Putin. The Kremlin does not bluff. It will certainly privilege the meticulous presentation of – bioweapon – facts on the ground over grandstanding rhetoric.

The return of Nord Stream 2

Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyaniskiy announced Russia’s demand for an open meeting of the UN Security Council to present further evidence related to U.S. biolabs in Ukraine. Even if the meeting would be vetoed by the U.S., the evidence will be entered by Russia on the UN records.

These developments provide an extra indication there’s absolutely no space left for diplomacy between Russia and the U.S./collective West, as Polyaniskiy himself suggested when commenting the possible accession of Ukraine to the EU: “The situation has changed after Mr. Borrell’s statement that ‘this war should be won on the battleground’ and after the fact that the European Union is the leader in deliveries of arms [to Ukraine].”

It gets worse. The next chapter is Finland’s drive to join NATO.

The Americans gamble that Finland – and Sweden – joining NATO will totally discredit Putin’s Operation Z as having accomplished next to nothing strategically: after all, in the near future, potential U.S. hypersonic missiles stationed in Finland and Sweden will be very close to Saint Petersburg and Moscow.

Meanwhile, Russian unmasking of the bioweapon racket will drive a toxic section of American political elites to turbo-charge their warmongering. It’s all following a carefully calculated script.

First, these bioweapon-supervising “elites” ordered the massive Kiev shelling of Donbas in early February. That forced the Kremlin’s hand, pushing it to launch Operation Z.

We should always remember that the ultimate goal in the U.S. plan of training Ukrainians for war since 2014 was to alienate Germany from Russia – as Germany de facto controls Euroland economically.

Imperial control of the oceans allows the Empire to strangle Germany at will into subservience by cutting them off from Russian energy – as the British did to Germany in WWII when Britannia ruled the waves. The Wehrmacht could not supply their mechanized army with fuel. Now, in theory, Germany and the EU will have to look to the seas – and total U.S. dependency – for their natural resources.

The remote-controlled Kiev regime dominated by SBU fanatics and Azov neo-Nazis is making it even harder – by shutting off all natural gas from Russia through Ukraine into Europe, reducing the flow by more than one third.

That translates as U.S.-enforced blackmail to force the EU to increase the Ukro-weaponizing against Russia. The practical consequences for Germany and the EU will be dire – in terms of shut down industries and cost of home heating and electrical power.

Russia, meanwhile, will rely on a bolstered Pipelineistan maze to China and East Asia as well as high-speed rail to transport all its natural resources.

Blowback against the Americans though is not off limits. Stranger things have happened. If gas transit to Europe via Ukraine is totally cut off, there are no alternatives. And that – assuming there are working IQs in Berlin – would open the way for a renegotiation on the future of Nord Stream 2.

As the head of the Energy Development Center Kirill Melnikov notes, “the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline is practically idle and one of the Nord Stream 2 lines is also ready for operation though the German regulator has not issued permission for its launch yet.”

That prompted Melnikov to a priceless comment: “If purchases remain the same, Germany will probably need to urgently allow the launch of one of the Nord Stream 2 lines in order to replace the Ukrainian transit route.”

No one ever lost money betting on the astonishing stupidity permeating EUrocrat decision levels. Even facing economic suicide, the EU is desperate to “abandon” Russian oil. Yet a full ban is impossible, because of energy-deprived Eastern Europe.

Every impartial energy analyst knows replacing Russian oil is D.O.A., for a number of reasons: the OPEC+ deal; the ghastly divide between Washington and Riyadh; the never-ending JCPOA renegotiation, where the Americans behave like headless chickens; and the crucial fact – beyond the understanding of EUrocrats – that European oil refineries are designed to use oil from the Urals.

So just when we thought we could enjoy the summer by watching Europe commit hara-kiri, it’s time to stock up on those Aperol Spritz. Get ready for a new hit series, season 1: Inside the American bioweapon racket.

Sitrep Operation Z: Yeah, we have some Big Deals

May 08, 2022

Prepared by Saker Staff

From the Russian Mod:  “Thanks to unprecedented measures taken by the leadership of the Russian Federation, with the active participation of representatives of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, humanitarian operation to evacuate civilians from Azovstal plant is now complete.”

There still are rumors of high level military in the plant but humanitarian corridors are closed.  A group of reportedly about 1,000 soldiers walked out with white flag.  The Russians have taken into custody enough people now to be able to stitch together who else is down there.  We wait, with a good level of inquisitiveness, for some perp walks.

From the Field:  The settlement of Popasna under full control – this is a Big Deal.

A very important strategic settlement, the capture of which breaks the first, most powerful line of defense of Ukraine in the Donbass.  We have the first videos from refugees detailing their struggle:  

https://t.me/intelslava/28203

Take a look at this map and it should not be hard to understand why this is a Big Deal.

Snake Island 🐍 near Odessa:  not even a little help from our ‘NATO colleagues’ could save the snake and the Russian Mod reports 💥 Near Zmeinyi Island (https://t.me/mod_russia_en/1398) the following have been shot down in the air: 1 Ukrainian Su-24 bomber, 1 Su-27 fighter jet, 3 Mi-8 helicopters with paratroopers and 2 Bayraktar-TB2 UAV. The Ukrainian amphibious assault boat Stanislav has also been destroyed.  This is a Big Deal.

A series of Warnings from the Russian Mod:

On the occasion of the 77th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War and the many military parades, we can expect Ukie action.

⚠️ Ukrainian armed formations have mined the dam of Kurakhovskaya thermal power plant reservoir (https://t.me/mod_russia_en/1403) in Pokrovskiy district of the Donetsk People’s Republic, which the nationalists plan to blow up, blaming “allegedly advancing units of the Russian troops”.

⚠️ The Kiev regime carried out yet another sophisticated actionIn Seversk and Serebryanka settlements of the Donetsk People’s Republic (https://t.me/mod_russia_en/1402) to discredit the Russian Armed Forces before the world community. During the provocation, fighters of nationalist battalions dressed in Russian uniforms and driving armoured vehicles with “Z” sign fired on private houses, forcibly took valuables and personal vehicles from people, and physically assaulted civilians who showed the slightest resistance.

Nevertheless, plans and rehearsals for the parades are ongoing:  Dress rehearsal (https://t.me/mod_russia_en/1376) of a military parade was held in Moscow.

Intel Slava Z has the minute details for today, as well as Readovka.

The captured Chief of Staff of the Ukraine has this to say:   “Ukraine could make concessions in order to end the conflict, the main points are a regime without NATO and a guarantee of non-aggression,” Colonel Dmitry Kormyankov, captive chief of staff of the 36th Marine Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

And is this a signal or was Pyotr Tolstoy just musing about the Polish border?:

“Russia’s military operation in Ukraine won’t end until the country is “completely denazified and demilitarized, so that it no longer poses a threat to the Russian Federation and cannot be transformed into an anti-Russia, as the West has tried to do in the past 30 years,” says (https://www.repubblica.it/esteri/2022/05/03/news/russia_intervista_pjotr_tolstoj-348021441/deputy speaker of Russian parliament Pyotr Tolstoy.

“I think we will stop once we reach the border with Poland,” added the lawmaker, who is also the great-great-grandson of acclaimed Russian writer Leo Tolstoy.

The collective west supplies Rubbish!

Becoming more clear now is that the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance are using the conflict in Ukraine in order to get rid of obsolete and decommissioned weapons.  Rubbish is being brought to the Ukraine, and then the Russians destroy it.  This is now obvious. The disgusting quality of the Javelin anti-tank missile systems (ATGM) supplied by the United States and the Swedish-British portable anti-tank guided missiles NLAW were recently reported by a prisoner – a former soldier of the Ukrainian army.

Vadim Zholko, a soldier of the Armed Forces of Ukraine:  “Their Javelin and NLAW grenade launchers, which were very much advertised, showed themselves in practice as they really were. There were misfires. They usually shoot one out of four, ”said the prisoner.  The fired projectiles explode at fifty meters before reaching the target, or do not work at all. “That is, there were many of those whose batteries were expired,” the prisoner of war shared his impression of what he saw. The man complained that the training at the training grounds was mainly theoretical – “they showed it in a fast way.” Why misfires regularly occur was not explained to recruits. The reason became clear during the fighting – most of the batches of weapons had an expired shelf life.  Cheaper NLAW complexes also turned out to be far from perfect.

Bloomberg reported that Kyiv is losing a week-long supply of weapons every day.

This all indicates that we will see more fighting in spots, but then, seemingly, it will all fall down and the Ukrainian forces will simply stop firing.

The information war is not neglected by Russia, although they fumble.  On Friday, the permanent Russian staff to the UN held an informational meeting (Arria Formula) for the UN Security Council.  It was not Hollywood (Nebenzya is a serious man, but he is not an actor!).  It was heart-wrenching.  The outcome is that the UN Security Council could do no less, they were unable to maneuver out of this one and had to agree to a statement to search for a peaceful solution.  Even with the United States holding the chairmanship this month, this united action could not be forestalled.  As the cauldrons tighten around the fighting Ukrainians, so the cauldrons are tightening around the actions of the very small united west.

This is the presentation: https://media.un.org/en/asset/k1p/k1pvngjn8e

Is this worth anything?  Yes, because these countries now cannot say they did not know.  This is the list of 15 countries.  Hold them to account!

President Putin and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres: Meeting

April 27, 2022

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

April 26, 2022

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr Secretary-General,

I am very happy to see you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vladimir Putin: Mr Secretary General,

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

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

Is this so? Do you agree with this?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let us discuss this.

المشهد الدولي والإقليمي في ظلّ المواجهة الروسية الأطلسية في أوكرانيا

الخميس 21 نيسان 2022

ـ مسار العملية العسكرية يدلّ بوضوح إلى أنّ النتيجة ستكون في منتهى السلبية للنظام القائم في أوكرانيا ومن خلال ذلك للحلف الأطلسي التي قد تكون ضُربت مصداقيته ضربة قاضية ـ كشفت جائحة كورونا التبعية للمواد الأساسية الموجودة في كلّ من روسيا والصين… والاتحاد الأوروبي منكشف تجاه روسيا في موضوع الطاقة ولا يستطيع الاستغناء عنها رغم التصريحات المعاكسة

زياد حافظ

لا يمكن أن نتصوّر تداعيات المواجهة المفتوحة بين روسيا والحلف الأطلسي في أوكرانيا دون التوقف على الأسباب. فهذه الأسباب التي دفعت إلى المواجهة هي التي ستلقي بظلالها على المشهد العالمي والإقليمي. فجوهر الصراع هو صراع بين مذهبين في منظومة واحدة. المنظومة هي الرأس المالية والمذهبان هما أولا الرأس المالية الريعية المالية التي تقوده الولايات المتحدة والحلف الأطلسي وثانياً الرأس المالية الإنتاجية التي تتماهى مع الاقتصاد الموجه التي تقوده الكتلة الأوراسية بقيادة روسيا والصين.

بهذا التعريف للمواجهة نضمّ الأبعاد الجيوسياسية والدوافع التوسعية لدى المحور الأطلسي قابلتها الهواجس الأمنية لروسيا والصين. وفي الإطار الأوسع للمواجهة هناك نموذجان من داخل العائلة الواحدة يتنافسان على قيادة العالم والنموذج الذي تتبناه الولايات المتحدة يخسر لصالح النموذج الآخر.

 يبقى علينا أن نستشرف ماذا بعد؟ والإجابة تتوقف على مسار العملية العسكرية القائمة في أوكرانيا ونهايتها. فالحلف الأطلسي وخاصة الولايات المتحدة غير متحمّسة على إنهاء الصراع بل على تمديده بهدف استنزاف روسيا عسكرياً واقتصادياً وفرض العزلة الدولية عليها. الهدف الأميركي بات واضحاً وهو تغيير النظام القائم في روسيا.

لكن الرياح الروسية لم تجر كما اشتهت السفن الأطلسية والأميركية. فمسار العملية العسكرية يدلّ بوضوح على أنّ النتيجة ستكون في منتهى السلبية للنظام القائم في أوكرانيا ومن خلال ذلك للحلف الأطلسي التي قد تكون ضُربت مصداقيته ضربة قاضية. فكيف ستكون تداعيات ذلك المسار على العالم بشكل عام والإقليم والمشهد العربي بشكل خاص؟

في هذه النقطة بالذات نريد أن نؤكّد أن قدرة روسيا على مواجهة الغرب لم تكن لتحصل لولا الصمود العربي خاصة في محور المقاومة. فالمقاومة في العراق أفشلت المشروع الأميركي واستنزفت قدراته بينما كانت روسيا تعيد بناء قواها العسكرية والاقتصادية. كما أنّ صمود المقاومة في لبنان منع تحقيق مشروع الشرق الأوسط الجديد بينما روسيا كانت أيضاً في إطار استعادة القدرات. كما أنّ صمود سورية في مواجهة العدوان الكوني ساهم في تعزيز الثقة بأنّ الغرب ليس قدراً على العالم. كما أنّ صمود المقاومة في فلسطين أفشل مشروع صفقة القرن والاتفاقات الابراهيمية وأنّ صمود اليمن ساهم في إعادة رسم الخارطة السياسية للأمن الإقليمي خارج النفوذ الأميركي. فهذا الدور العربي مكّن كلّ من روسيا والصين وحتى الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران من تعزيز قدراتها وترسيخ تضمانها بل تحالفها والآن نرى روسيا تقف بوجه الهجمة الأطلسية في أوروبا الشرقية وتهزمها نيابة عن العالم. فلا بد للنظام العربي ان يتأثر بكلّ ذلك خاصة أنّ الجزء الخارج عن سيطرة ذلك النظام استطاع أن يقلب المعادلات التقليدية في الإقليم وبالتالي في العالم. هناك معادلة جيوسياسية بسيطة. من يريد السيطرة على العالم عليه أن يسيطر على الجزيرة الأوراسية لما لها من موارد وإمكانيات. ومن يريد أن يسيطر على تلك الجزيرة فالبوّابة لها هي المشرق بشكل عام والمشرق العربي بشكل خاص. هنا يبرز البعد الاستراتيجي لمحور المقاومة وما يمثله من دور في إعادة رسم التوازنات الدولية.

صحيح أنّ العملية العسكرية لم تضع أوزارها بعد عند إعداد هذا التقرير لكن هناك نتائج واضحة على الصعيد الدولي وبطبيعة الحال على الصعيد الإقليمي والعربي. أولى النتائج هو شبه إجماع على أنّ القوّامة الأميركية والأطلسية لم تعد كما كانت عليه. صحيح أنّ الولايات المتحدة لن تستسلم بسهولة إلى الواقع الجديد لكن ليس باستطاعتها تغيير موازين القوة والعوامل التي أدّت إلى ذلك التراجع. فهذه العوامل داخلية بالدرجة الأولى كما أنها خارجية تعود إلى التخطيط البعيد المدى الذي قامت بتنفيذه دول المحور الرافض للهيمنة الأطلسية والأميركية. فتقييم المشهد الداخلي لا يوحي بأن هناك إمكانية في تعديل الميزان. فليس هناك جهوزية عسكرية أميركية لمواجهة شاملة وحاسمة لكل من روسيا والصين كما أن قدرة اللجوء إلى الحرب بالوكالة عنها أصبحت شبه معدومة. فالتصدّعات داخل الحلف الأطلسي والاتحاد الأوروبي لا توحي بإمكانية حشد قوّات عسكرية تستطيع مواجهة روسيا وذلك رغم الكلام العالي النبرة لمكوّنات الحلف الاطلسي. ليس هناك من استعداد للتضحية في سبيل أوكرانيا. فالخطة هي فقط الاستنزاف عبر تحفيز الأوكرانيين والمرتزقة من الأوروبيين على مواجهة الالة العسكرية الروسية.

كذلك الأمر على الصعيد الاقتصادي حيث كشفت جائحة كورونا التبعية للمواد الأساسية الموجودة في كلّ من روسيا والصين. والاتحاد الأوروبي منكشف تجاه روسيا في موضوع الطاقة ولا يستطيع الاستغناء عنها رغم التصريحات المعاكسة لذلك. فالبديل للغاز الروسي هو الغاز الأميركي بأسعار مرتفعة تصل إلى أكثر من عشر أضعاف سعر الغاز الروسي ناهيك عن عدم وجود تجهيزات لاستيراد الغاز الأميركي قبل ثلاث سنوات على أحسن تقدير. فماذا تستطيع ان تفعل الدول الأوروبية طيلة الفترة غير الدخول في انكماش كبير أن لم يكن في كساد أكبر مما كان في الثلاثينات من القرن الماضي؟

أما على الصعيد المالي لن تستطيع الولايات المتحدة وحلفاؤها من منع قيام أنظمة مدفوعات دولية لا ترتكز إلى الدولار. كما أن التعامل بالدولار بدأ بالتراجع في دول واقتصادات وازنة كالصين والهند وروسيا على سبيل المثال. حتى بعض الدول العربية التابعة للقرار الأميركي بدأت تفكّر جدّيا بالتعامل مع الروبل الروسي واليوان الصين والروبية الهندية.

بناء على ذلك نستطيع أن نقول إن نتائج العملية العسكرية الروسية في أوكرانيا ستكرّس تراجع دور الولايات المتحدة وأوروبا في الهيمنة على مقدرات العالم.

اما النتيجة الثانية لذلك التراجع هو واقعياً بروز نظام دولي جديد متعدد القطبية يرتكز إلى القانون الدولي وقرارات مجلس الأمن واحكام المحكمة الدولية إضافة إلى الاتفاقات والمعاهدات بينما الطرح الأميركي ومعه الأوروبي هو نظام «أحكام قيم» لا قاعدة قانونية لها وملتبسة في أحسن الأحوال ولا تعترف بسيادة الدول. وهذا النظام سيشهد تجاذبا بين الدول التي تريد الخروج من الهيمنة الأميركية وبين الدول التي لا تستطيع الخروج عنها وعددها يتقلّص يوما بعد يوم ولن يضم في آخر المطاف إلاّ الحلف الانكلوساكسوني، أي الولايات المتحدة والمملكة المتحدة وأستراليا وكندا وربما نيوزيلاندا. أما أوروبا الغربية فهي عدة أقسام: المحور الألماني الفرنسي الذي يقود الاتحاد الأوروبي، دول أطراف أوروبا، ودول أوروبا الشرقية. ليس هناك من انسجام في المواقف داخل هذه الكتل الثلاث لأسباب عديدة تعود منها للتاريخ ومنها لبنيتها السياسية والاقتصادية لا وقت لنا شرحها. ما يهمنا هو أن عدم الانسجام سيحدّ من فعّالية موقف موحد. ولذلك سنرى أوروبا في تجاذب بين النظام المبني على القانون الدولي والمعاهدات وقرارات المحكمة الدولية وطبعا قرارات مجلس الأمن.

في ذلك السياق لا نستبعد إعادة النظر في تركيبة مجلس الأمن حيث الدول صاحبة حق النقض هي خمس فقط بينما قد تدخل إليه دول كالهند والبرازيل وجنوب إفريقيا ودولة عربية بالتداول مع الدول العربية وحتى الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران. كما نتوقع تقليص دور ونفوذ الولايات المتحدة في المؤسسات العاملة والتابعة للمنظمة الدولية التي أصبحت ذراعا للسياسة الخارجية الأميركية. فهناك دول وازنة تستطيع أن تملأ الفراغ المالي الذي سينتج عن تخفيض مساهمة الولايات المتحدة في تمويل المؤسسة وربما خروجها من المنظمة ككل. لن يحصل ذلك في المنظور القريب بل ربما في فترة لا تتجاوز نهاية هذا العقد من الألفية الثالثة. كما أن منظمة الأمم المتحدة المعدّلة ستعمل بتنسيق واسع مع المنظمات الإقليمية وخاصة الآسيوية كمنظومة شانغهاي على سبيل المثال وليس الحصر. هذا يعني أن القضايا الدولية ستعالج من باب النظر بمصالح الجميع وعلى قاعدة رابح رابح وليس على قاعدة اللعبة الصفرية التي تفرضها والولايات المتحدة.

النتيجة الثالثة هو التحوّل إلى نظام اقتصادي عالمي جديد مبني على تكامل المصالح وليس على تصارعها أو تنافسها. فدول الجنوب الإجمالي أي كل الدول الإفريقية وأميركا اللاتينية والدول الاسيوية غير الصين والهند ستجد في العلاقات الدولية ما يساعدها على نهوضها والحفاظ على سيادتها بينما النظام الاقتصادي القائم مبني على تبعية الاطراف للمركز الذي هو الغرب بشكل عام والولايات المتحدة بشكل خاص وعلى حساب مصالح تلك الدول.

النتيجة الرابعة هي تراجع دور الدولار في المنظومة المالية الدولية. فعملات أخرى كالروبل الروسي واليوان الصيني والروبية الهندية وفيما بعد الراند الإفريقي الجنوبي ستكون ركيزة الاحتياطات النقدية الدولية كما أن تعاظم التعاطي بالعملات الوطنية سيخفّض الطلب على الدولار ليصبح عملة من بين العملات وليست أداة لتمويل الحروب والهيمنة على العالم.

النتيجة الخامسة تعود إلى تراجع المكانة الصناعية الأوروبية. فرغبة قياداتها في التخلّي عن الغاز الروسي سيقضي على القدرة التنافسية الأوروبية ما يجعل الدول الأوروبية تدخل مرحلة تفكيك التصنيع (de industrialization) للدخول في مرحلة ما بعد التصنيع (post industrialization) فتصبح تابعة لمراكز التصنيع الفعلية في دول الجنوب الإجمالي.

هذه النتائج لن تأتي بسرعة ولكن مسارها واضح وحتمي إذا ما كانت الإرادة الجماعية تهدف إلى تحقيق الاستقرار والأمن. فلا بد من التعديلات في المؤسسات الدولية ولا بد من تعديلات في التعاطي والعلاقات ولا بد من ترسيخ قاعدة الرابح رابح ونبذ قاعدة اللعبة الصفرية. وما يساعد على تحقيق ذلك موازين القوّة الجديدة التي تظهرها العملية العسكرية في أوكرانيا والتحالف الروسي الصيني ونهوض الكتلة الاوراسية وتعزيز منظومة البريكس.

لكن إلى أن تحصل تلك التحوّلات فالعالم دخل فعليا في مرحلة ترقّب ومراجعات في العلاقات حيث العديد من الدول تقوم بتقييم النتائج المرتقبة من العملية العسكرية في أوكرانيا. لذلك سنشهد توترات عديدة في الأسواق العالمية في الطاقة والمواد الغذائية وسلسلة المورّدين إلى أن تستقر الأمور وتستسلم الولايات المتحدة للوقائع الجديدة. هنا تكمن المشكلة لان حالة الانكار بين النخب الحاكمة وأو الطامحة للحكم في الولايات المتحدة ما زالت تعتبر أن القدر المتجلّي للولايات المتحدة واستثنائيتها يجعلها موكلة بقيادة العالم. النظرة التوراتية للأمور تتحكم في اللاوعي الأميركي وهنا الخطورة من الانزلاق نحو حماقات كارثية خاصة أن الهروب إلى الأمام هو السبيل الوحيد عند تلك النخب. الرهان لعدم حدوث ذلك هو على تيقّن العقول الباردة، وهي موجودة ولكن معزولة، في التغلّب على موجة الجنون الجماعي التي تتحكّم بتلك النخب. وبالتالي قد لا نستبعد حصول تغييرات داخل البيت الأبيض وفي منظومة الحكم بعد الإخفاقات الكارثية التي حققتها الإدارة الحالية.

أما على الصعيد الإقليمي فنتوقع تحوّلات كبيرة في الملفات الساخنة كفلسطين المحتلة وسورية واليمن. كما نتوقع ترسيخ قواعد لنظام عربي جديد قد يأخذ ما تبقّى من العقد الحالي حتى منتصف العقد القادم، أي منتصف الثلاثينات من القرن الحالي.

فعلى صعيد فلسطين فإن الكيان الصهيوني الاستيطاني المحتل يواجه أزمة وجود بحدّة لم يألفها منذ إقامته. فالخطر الوجودي الذي يشعر به بسبب فقدان الأمن وعبثية الرهان على تطبيع مع أنظمة لا تستطيع أن توفر الأمن للكيان يتلازم مع ارتفاع وتيرة المواجهة المسلحة من أبناء فلسطين. فتداعيات العملية العسكرية في أوكرانيا عرّت المواقف الغربية في توفير الحماية لأوكرانيا في مواجهة روسيا. والدرس بات واضحا للقيادات الصهيونية أن وعود الغرب لا تتجاوز الحبر على الورق وأن الغرب لن يقاتل في سبيل ما هو أهم من الكيان. فمستقبل أوروبا أهم من الكيان وتبيّن أن القادة الأوروبيين لن يقاتلوا في سبيل تصوّراتهم لأوروبا. فهل يعقل أن أوروبا ستقاتل في سبيل كيان تتشوّه سمعته يوما بعد يوم وتظهر على حقيقته البغيضة؟ وكذلك الأمر بالنسبة للولايات المتحدة التي أعلنت أنها لن تقاتل مع الكيان في مواجهة الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران وأنها لن ترسل إلا السلاح للكيان وكأن مشكلة الكيان هي الضعف في التسليح. كما أن الولايات المتحدة لن تقاتل من أجل أوكرانيا وفقا لتصريحات قادتها. تداعيات الازمة الأوكرانية ستكون وخيمة على الكيان خاصة وان قادته كانوا مربكين في اتخاذ موقف من الأزمة. وعندما حسم الكيان تردّده ووقف مع الحكومة الأوكرانية ضد روسيا فإن لذلك تداعيات مباشرة على العلاقة بين الدولتين وخاصة في مقاربة المشهد العسكري في سورية.

من جهة أخرى نرى تحولين أساسيين في المشهد الفلسطيني. فنهاك تصاعد ملموس في المواجهة الشعبية الفلسطينية مع قوى الاحتلال تجلّى بتطوّر ملحوظ في طبيعة المواجهات. فبعد موجة المواجهات بالحجارة والدهس والطعن بالسكاكين برزت المواجهة بالسلاح الناري. لن نسترسل في مقاربة هذه التطوّرات لضيق المساحة بل نكتفي بملاحظة ظهورها مع العملية العسكرية في أوكرانيا ما يدل أن الشعب الفلسطيني يشعر بضعف الحلف المعادي له فيتجرّأ على الاقدام على عمليات لم تكن مألوفة.

أما التحوّل الثاني فهو تثبيت القوى الردعية لفصائل المقاومة في غزة ما يتيح الفرصة لانتفاضة شعبية ضد قوى الاحتلال في مختلف أنحاء فلسطين المحتلة. كما أن المقاومة وضعت الخطوط الحمراء فيما يتعلق بمستقبل القدس والاحياء العربية التي ما زالت تقاوم عمليات التهجير وأيضا فيما يتعلق بمحاولات المستعمرين لاقتحام الأقصى. أيضا القوّة الردعية للمقاومة تعزّزت مع الشعور بأن الحلف المعادي يعاني من الضعف ما يجعل آفاق النصر أكثر وضوحا وقربة.

ومن تداعيات العملية العسكرية في أوكرانيا الارباك في النظام التركي الذي تردّد بين مصالحه مع روسيا والشرق بشكل عام والتزاماته الأطلسية. لكن الضعف الأطلسي ستجعل تركيا أكثر استجابة للضغوط الروسية والإيرانية في الملفّ السوري خاصة أن أوراق الضغط الروسي ليست ضعيفة كصواريخ أس 400 والتدفق السياحي الذي يشكل خشبة الخلاص في الأزمة الاقتصادية التي تشهدها تركيا. فالخروج من سورية أصبح ضرورة لتجنّب التداعيات السلبية من رفض احترام السيادة السورية على أراضيها.

والتداعيات للعملية العسكرية في أوكرانيا تأتي في سياق أخفاقات كبيرة للسياسة الأميركية انعكست على سلوك العديد من الدول العربية المحسوبة على الولايات المتحدة والتي تدور في فلكها. ويمكن وصف الحال في تلك الدول بداية جادة لمراجعة العديد من مواقفها وتحالفاتها ومقارباتها للعديد من الملفات التي ساهمت في انقسام البيت العربي. نذكر في هذا الإطار الامتناع عن التصويت في الجمعية العمومية للأمم المتحدة لصالح قرارات تدين روسيا. كما نذكر عدم الموافقة على فرض عقوبات اقتصادية ومالية على روسيا. بل العكس نجد حكومات هذه الدول تفكّر جدّيا بالانفصال عن الدولار في تسعير براميل النفط التي تصدّرها وبدأت تدرس إمكانيات التعامل بالروبل الروسي واليوان الصيني. هذه الإشارات الصريحة لم تكن واردة منذ بضعة أشهر ونضعها في خانة تداعيات العملية العسكرية في أوكرانيا التي عرّت الأطلسي وأظهرت ضعفه وعجزه. فالدول العربية التي كانت تتبنّى نظرية ملكية ال 99 بالمائة من أوراق اللعبة الدولية بيد الولايات المتحدة بدأت بمراجعة لتلك النظرية.

وهذه المراجعة التي تأتي في سياق مشاهدة التراجعات الأميركية في أفغانستان وفي مفاوضاتها غير المباشرة مع الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران في الملف النووي تدفع الدول المتخاصمة مع إيران إلى مفاوضات ما زالت في بدايتها والتي كانت غير ممكنة منذ سنة أو أكثر. كما أن المراجعات في الملفات المتعلقة بسورية واليمن والعراق ولبنان قد تصل إلى انفراجات ضرورية للنهوض من الحالة الكارثية التي تعيشها الدول. كل ذلك لم يكن ممكنا لولا وضوح الإخفاقات الأميركية في أوكرانيا التي لم تكن لتحصل لولا القدرات الروسية وحلفها مع الصين. فهذه القدرات كما أشرنا في البداية لم تكن لتقوم لولا صمود القوى المقاومة العربية في كل من العراق ولبنان وفلسطين وسورية واليمن.

الإخفاقات الأطلسية في أوكرانيا تتلازم مع التصعيد في المواجهة الشعبية في فلسطين ما يلغي جدوى التطبيع مع الكيان المحتل. فإذا كانت الأوراق بيد الولايات المتحدة غير فاعلة فإن البوّابة للحصول على الرضى الأميركي أي الكيان الصهيوني المحتل لم تعد ضرورة. هذا لا يعني التراجع الفوري أو القريب عن التطبيع بل سنرى اشتداد المقاومة الشعبية للتطبيع دون ان عوائق كبيرة ما يفرغ التطبيع من مضمونه.

أما في الساحة السورية فسنرى تصعيدا في المواجهة مع قوى التعصّب والغلو والتوحّش المحتشدة في إدلب وجوارها كما سنرى تصعيدا في مواجهة القوى المتحالفة مع الولايات المتحدة في شرق سورية ومواجهات متصاعدة مع القوات الأميركي التي ستخرج في نهاية المطاف في كل من سورية والعراق. الإخفاقات في أوكرانيا لن تمكن الولايات المتحدة في الاستمرار في العراق وسورية ومواجهات محتملة مع الحلف السورية الروسي.

وأخيرا فيما يتعلّق باليمن فقوى التحالف العدواني على اليمن مضطرة إلى إنهاء العدوان والتفاهم مع القوى اليمنية الصامدة. اما الحل السياسي للمشكلة اليمنية فهو في الحوار بين مكوّنات الشعب اليمني وليس عبر إملاءات خارجية سواء كانت دولية أو غربية أو إقليمية.

المراجعات والتحوّلات الميدانية في المشرق العربي وتراجع موجة التطبيع ستفرض حتما مراجعة للنظام الإقليمي العربي. من المبكر التكلّم عن شكل النظام الجديد بل نكتفي بالقول ان قاعدته ستكون المربع السوري العراقي الجزائري اليمني، وفيما بعد دول الجزيرة العربية بقيادة اليمن وبلاد الحرمين، ثم بلاد وادي النيل والتشبيك المتزايد بي مصر والسودان، وأخيرا دول المغرب الكبير محوره الجزائر والمغرب. وركيزة ذلك النظام هو التشبيك الاقتصادي والسياسي بين دول المجاورة في الأقاليم العربية ولكن لذلك حديث آخر في مناسبة منفصلة.

*باحث وكاتب اقتصادي سياسي والأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي وعضو الهيئة التأسيسية للمنتدى الاقتصادي والاجتماعي

Does the West want war with Russia?

April 12, 2022

Source

By Michael Antony

The horrific series of mass atrocities being carried out by the Ukrainians to put the blame on Russia and get more weapons sent to them is escalating at an alarming rate. The Mariupol Maternity Hospital fake bombing, and the fake bombing of the Mariupol Drama Theatre (both of them exposed by refugees from Mariupol, including the pregnant young lady used as a fake victim by Azov who has gone home to Donetsk and told everything) have been followed by extremely serious war crimes. The massacre of pro-Russian “collaborators” by Nazi extremist members of the security police as they “cleansed” Bucha two days after the Russian troops left, and the Tochka-U rocket attack on Kramatorsk train station have brought the death toll to several hundred. Zelensky has announced there are more horrors to come, which means his thugs have already carried out more massacres. What do MI6 and the CIA hope to achieve by pushing their Nazi puppets into this campaign of false flag war crimes?

Boris Johnson’s appeal to the Russian people to find out about these atrocities from Western media and learn what their government is doing is an extraordinary display of self-deception, self-delusion or cynical Machiavellian lying. Does he really think the Russian people can be convinced (as his own sheeple have been) that the Russian army shoots civilians (who are wearing pro-Russian white armbands in a sign of support for the Russian soldiers) and then leaves their bodies lying in the middle of main roads so they can be used by the enemy for propaganda? (A combination of evil and stupidity which is MI6’s habitual, racist caricature of Russians.) Does he think the Russian people haven’t been thoroughly informed of Azov’s torture and mass-murder of “pro-Russian collaborators” every time they gained back territory in the Donbass war over the last eight years? And does he think the Russian people are not aware that the missile that hit Kramatorsk station, whose casing has been displayed as evidence, a Tochka-U rocket, has for years only been used by the Ukrainians, not the Russians? That it was used two weeks ago by the Ukrainians in a bloody attack on a street in Donetsk and has never been used by the Russians in the current fighting? Moreover, in whose interest would it be to kill civilians at a train station and scream about an enemy atrocity? If the Russians did it, would that bring them any more weapons, any more support, any more sanctions on their enemies? What about the Ukrainians? Is Johnson aware that his brazen lies and slanders, far from fomenting revolt in Moscow, are only enraging the Russian people further, till they will push their government to do everything necessary to win this struggle against the Nazi scum in Kiev, no matter what the cost?

The question is: what is the objective of MI6 and the CIA, who are driving these false flag war crimes, and their media stooges who suppress any questioning of their false narrative? Do they want to arouse such hysterical indignation among the brainwashed Western public that they will demand Russia’s removal from the UN Security Council? Do they understand that if they succeed this will mean the end of the UN and any form of international law and split the world in two blocs far more irreconcilable than during the Cold War? Or do they simply want more and bigger weapons sent to the Ukrainians? Do they understand that will mean much more bombing by Russia of roads and railways in Western Ukraine and the cutting off of all escape routes for civilians? Or do they want to justify the entry of NATO troops into Ukraine to take part in the war and prevent the coming annihilation of Ukraine’s army in the Donbass? Or simply impose this no-fly zone fantasy? Do they understand a no-fly zone will mean Russia striking not merely the planes that enter its air space but the bases they take off from in NATO countries? That this will mean full-scale, continent-wide war?

The trouble with hysterical atrocity propaganda is that it makes peace impossible. This was the problem in the First World War: the British media portrayal of the Germans as monsters made any negotiated settlement out of the question. But British propaganda today is even worse: not only are the Russian troops war criminals but they are incompetent, demoralized and are starving and dying in droves. This double falsification of reality will increase British and US pressure on Zelensky not to negotiate, not to make concessions, not to allow the Russians any form of win from their criminal aggression. Territorial concessions to Russia will be permanently unrecognized by NATO members. The pressure will constantly be on any future Ukrainian government to renew the war, to beat these incompetent, disorganized war criminals and take back Ukraine’s legitimate borders. The question is whether NATO governments are so intoxicated with their own propaganda about the Russian army’s failings that they will start to believe that NATO’s hundred thousand strong force in Germany and Poland is a match for it and can save the Ukrainian army from defeat. That would be a serious mistake, given Russia’s reserves. Russia cannot afford to lose this conflict. That would not merely be a regional setback to its “expansionist plans to restore the USSR” as the NATO fantasy has it. No, this would be an existential threat. If Ukraine comes out of this disaster still able to be rebuilt by NATO countries into a platform for a nuclear attack on Russia, five to ten minutes’ missile flight time from Moscow, that is a threat to the survival of Russia as a nation. And that would even be a legitimate reason for using tactical nuclear weapons in any direct war with NATO, which may be the easiest way to destroy its three hundred bases in Europe.

The West is painting itself into a corner by its demented propaganda campaign. The danger is that this impasse – the inability to negotiate with war criminals who are in any case incompetent losers who can be beaten with a little more effort – may morph into a Western death wish. Has the US decided that the destruction of Europe by a continent-wide war will subject it forever to its rule (as it did in 1945) and mean the permanent weakening of Russia? And of China too, since Europe has been a major market for both economies (and the straying of Europe’s wanton thoughts towards them has provoked this crisis.) Has the American Empire decided that the definitive way to subject Europe to its will is not to lovingly extend its protection once again against the wicked ogre to the east, but to actually cripple Europe, reduce her to a basket case, by a brutal war with the ogre which will teach her once and for all where her interest lies? In other words, protect her permanently from the rapist next door by letting the rapist have his wicked way with her for a week. That may underlie this insane, suicidal rush towards military intervention, fueled by the atrocity story scripts that MI6 is such a master at.

It’s Obvious Who Gains From Bucha Massacre But There’s Hardly Any Media Left To Say It

April 6, 2022

Finian Cunningham

The Western media narrative has no competitor. The media foghorns can blare all they want without hardly a dissenting voice tolerated, let alone heard.

The apparent mass murder of civilians in Bucha and other locations in Ukraine has enraged Western public opinion against Russia.

Russia is facing mounting accusations of genocide and its president Vladimir Putin and other senior Russian officials are condemned as war criminals to be prosecuted in international tribunals similar to the Nuremberg trials of Nazi leaders.

Western media are blaring like foghorns while Russian media and other independent outlets are banned or stifled by the toxic anti-Russia political climate. In this grossly imbalanced situation, propaganda is amplified manyfold. There is a sense that the wholesale shutdown of media prior to the latest alleged massacres in Ukraine is all part of the orchestration.

When the Kiev regime and Western media warn of more massacres to follow in Ukraine that is a sinister prediction.

There are now unprecedented calls for Russia to be denied its seat as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, a seat it has occupied along with having veto powers since the end of the Second World War (prior to 1991 as the Soviet Union). Russia’s veto power, along with China’s, has been a constant bane of the United States and its Western allies who have complained of Moscow’s obstructionism to their foreign wars and other intrigues.

Sanctions are being wielded with unprecedented hostility. The United States and European Union are ratcheting up economic and diplomatic sanctions against Moscow in an unbridled attempt to destroy its economy. The blockade of Russia’s economy would normally be seen as an act of war by the West.

U.S. President Joe Biden has ordered more anti-tank Javelin missiles and other weapons to be sent to Ukraine.

Peace talks underway between Ukraine and Russia are coming under intense pressure to collapse amid the heightened vilification of Russia for “war crimes”. Thus, the war in Ukraine is likely to be prolonged. Notably, the Bucha massacre and other alleged atrocities emerged just when Ukrainian and Russian negotiators appeared to be making progress last week on agreeing to a peace settlement that would involve Ukraine declaring neutrality and renouncing future NATO membership.

What’s more, any attempt by Russia to contest the allegations is dismissed with a torrent of derision and contempt. Normal diplomatic relations have been blocked. A request by its UN envoy Vasily Nebenzia to convene an emergency meeting by the Security Council to discuss the killing of civilians in Ukraine was rejected out of hand by Britain which currently holds the presidency of the council.

Russian diplomats are being expelled pell-mell from Western countries en masse. This week, several European states have banned dozens more Russian envoys.

Russian media outlets have been banned outright across social media channels and the internet across the European Union and Britain. One has to use arcane proxy servers to access such media. Journalists, analysts and academics who question Western media claims are scorned as being “apologists” for a “criminal regime”.

The information war has evolved over many years. Previously, the outpouring of condemnations against Russia in Western media could at least be countervailed with critical, alternative media. When Western media tried to incriminate Russia over the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner over Ukraine in July 2014, there were plenty of critical sources to convincingly challenge those allegations and direct attention to the Western-backed Kiev regime as being culpable.

When Western media cried foul over the alleged Novichok poisoning assassination bids on the Skripals in England in 2018 and again on CIA-provocateur Alexei Navalny in 2020, there was a healthy public skepticism borne out of critical alternative media outlets.

Now though the information war has been optimized by the near-complete shutdown of alternative media. The Western media narrative has no competitor. The media foghorns can blare all they want without hardly a dissenting voice tolerated, let alone heard.

It’s all the more vital to retain a skeptical mind in these times of untrammeled bias where Western news media and government departments openly quote the Nazi Azov Battalion as credible sources of information.

When Russian forces withdrew from Bucha and other locations near the capital Kiev on March 30 they did so as a concession to facilitate the peace negotiations. The mayor of Bucha Anatoly Fedoruk in a video on March 31 celebrated the departure of the Russian military but he did not mention anything about atrocities. Now he is telling Western media outlets about alleged widespread killings.

The images of corpses strewn on streets only emerged on and after April 2, two days after Russian forces withdrew. It was reported that Azov Battalion entered Bucha and locations quickly after Russian forces pulled out. The Azov fighters were openly vowing to carry out “cleansing operations” which can be taken as a grim reference to dealing with people deemed to have collaborated with the Russian military during their brief occupation.

Several analysts cited here have debunked the widely circulated video footage that was put out by the Kiev regime forces purportedly showing corpses of people executed by Russian troops. The videos have strange anomalies such as supposedly dead bodies moving, stage-managed scenes, and the use of attractive female models purporting to be anti-Russian fighters. Cadavers that are supposedly weeks old are actually seen to belong to people who were killed in recent days, quite possibly after the Russian forces withdrew. Furthermore, some of the corpses are shown to have white armbands indicating that they were pro-Russian supporters. That suggests that the real perpetrators of the mass killings were the Azov Battalion and other NATO-backed regiments.

Russia categorically denies the alleged violations, claiming that the videos are part of a false-flag provocation to criminalize Russia in the eyes of the world. Would Russia be so stupidly reckless to commit such crimes?

The same manufactured media methods have been used in the alleged bombing by Russia of the maternity hospital in Mariupol on March 9 and a public theater in the same city. Videos released by one side are broadcast unquestioningly by Western media along with ready-made condemnations by Western leaders. This is reminiscent of the media model used by the NATO-sponsored Jihadists and White Helmets in Syria.

The big difference now, however, is that Western propaganda has near-total dominance because all other critical, independent sources have been silenced or blackballed.

The criminalization of independent journalism as the persecution of Julian Assange prefigured is now bearing evil fruit.

Youtube Censors Truth on Bucha

April 5, 2022

By  VT Editors

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/Mn4ht0GfZe3f/

and the censored version from youtube..

VT Editors

VT Editors is a General Posting account managed by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff. All content herein is owned and copyrighted by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff

Press Briefing by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia on the situation in the town of Bucha (Kiev Region) and related matters

April 05, 2022

4 April 2022

Source

https://russiaun.ru/en/news/pressconf_040422

Vassily Nebenzia: These are unprecedented times, as you know. What is also unprecedented is what happened yesterday and earlier today. It was unprecedented, unbelievable, and unthinkable. We were denied a Security Council meeting that we requested today from the British Presidency. During my time here, I had emergency meetings of the Security Council on many issues that happened on weekends, on US holidays, etc, and we never objected. What happened is something unbelievable and unprecedented in the history of the United Nations. That is a fact.

I heard today’s press conference by Ambassador Barbara Woodward. I heard questions that she was asked, and I heard answers that she gave. Frankly, some of the answers she was just not able to give. Before we have a meeting tomorrow, I would like to tell you of a few things which it is very important to get through to you – press and media. It is about what has happened recently and is happening now around Kiev.

On April 4 the Kiev regime with an active support from its Western sponsors started to promote in Western mass media fake news about alleged “atrocities” of the Russian military forces in the town of Bucha (a suburb of Kiev) in Ukraine.

From the very beginning it has been clear that this is nothing else but yet another staged provocation aimed at discrediting and dehumanizing of the Russian military and levelling political pressure on Russia. Not many of you know about the Russian military, but I assure you that Russian military is nothing that it is being accused of, in particular what regards “cruel atrocities” against civil population. It is not the case. It never was, and will never be.

We have factual evidence that proves this point. We intended to present it to the Security Council as soon as possible so that the international community is not misled by the false narrative promoted by Kiev and its Western sponsors.

To this end, the Russian Federation requested a Security Council meeting to be convened at 3 pm New York Time today on April 4 to discuss this heinous provocation by the Kiev regime.

I would like to emphasize that we did it as early as on 2.51 pm on Sunday, full 24 hours before the requested meeting, so the UK claims that we asked for a meeting “too late” are misinformation.

Our efforts have been met with the fierce opposition of the UK Presidency with the support of other Western delegations, namely the US, France, Ireland, Norway and Albania.

They tried to invent an invalid and lame pretext not to convene this meeting on Monday insisting that it should be postponed to Tuesday.

The UK Ambassador keeps claiming, and you could hear that at her press conference earlier today, that they wanted to have a more “informed” meeting with the UN Secretariat as a briefer. This is a lie. We have never objected to having a briefer on Monday, and it is the obligation of the Presidency to arrange for that. We did not request a briefer from our side. During the Russian Presidency, we duly arranged for such meetings at the request of the Western delegations, in the middle of the day or night, regardless of the complex geopolitical context and constant provocations vis-à-vis our country.

I would like to stress: the UK Presidency openly rejected our request to convene a meeting on April 4. And they did it twice. Since the situation around Bucha kept evolving overnight, today we requested an urgent Council meeting at 3 pm.

However, the Presidency took the liberty to qualify that there is no reason to convey an emergency meeting. As they put it, the UK does not believe that the situation in Bucha is calling for immediate attention of the Security Council.

This is a unilateral assertion of the UK Presidency, not a decision of the Council members. You can see clearly now what a “rules-based order” promoted by the UK and other Western countries means in real life. It means them imposing rules that are comfortable to them with total disregard for the international law and the established UNSC rules of procedure.

This behavior is very illustrative and reveals true attitude of the West to the Ukrainian people. While blocking the discussion on Bucha, where we see a clear-cut provocation in classical Goebbels’s style, risking to have serious implications for the international peace and security, the Western delegations rushed to convene a Security Council meeting on the education for girls in Afghanistan some time ago. You can see what their real priorities are.

The reason why the Western delegations do this is very simple. It would not benefit Western cause if the Security Council meeting was convened by Russia, because this would shake the anti-Russian narrative that they are comfortably promoting. The Western delegations prefer to “blend in” the situation in Bucha with the discussion of the humanitarian situation at the meeting they convene tomorrow, to shift the focus away from the staged provocation by the Kiev regime. To this end, the UK by its own discretion added our agenda item to tomorrow’s briefing. We have never approved that. It is yet another illustration of their behavior.

I would like to recall Rule 2 of the Provisional rules of Procedure of the Security Council. It is explicit that the Presidency should call for a meeting at the request of any member of the Security Council.

What we see now is a shameful and unprecedented abuse by the UK of the President’s prerogatives. At the same time, this is a demonstration of weakness showing that the Western delegations had to resort to this maneuvering to shut Russia’s voice. It only proves the point that Western delegations care neither about the real situation in Bucha, nor about the Council authority.

Abusive, condescendent, colonialistic line of the UK Presidency is undermining the very foundations of the UN, and we will yet have to assess the implications.

The Presidency is entrusted by the Charter to lead the Security Council. The UK failed to lead. It is a disgrace for the British diplomacy and an undeniable stain on its reputation.

Given negligence of the UK Presidency, we decided to convene this press conference to shed light on the Western-backed provocation of the Kiev regime in Bucha.

I would like to present to you the real facts about Bucha.

During the time that the town has been under the control of the Russian armed forces, not a single local resident has suffered from any violent action.

For as long as the town was under the control of the Russian armed forces locals were moving freely around the town and using cellular phones. So they could post on social media any photo and video footage of any theoretical “harassment” if this were the case. However, that did not happen.

Let me address the developments in chronological order.

On March 30, following another round of talks in Ankara, Russian Ministry of Defense announced the withdrawal of forces from a number of regions, including Bucha.

That fact was confirmed the next day by the mayor of Bucha. In his video of March 31 Anatoly Fedoruk presented the withdrawal of Russian forces as a victory of Ukrainian Army. Interestingly, he had not mentioned any mass atrocities, dead bodies, killings, graves or anything like that. It is hard to imagine that a city mayor can “forget” to address such a devastating scenario.

Let me show you the video posted by Mr. Fedoruk. As you will see, he looks happy and smiling. It is hard to imagine that he is acting like this against the backdrop of “massacre” in the streets. That’s in Ukrainian, but as I said, he is very happy that Russian troops withdrew, which he regards as a great victory of the Ukrainian army. He makes no mentioning of any atrocities in the city.

This video was posted on “Ukraine 24” channel on the 1st of April. I would like to stress – nothing about “atrocities” was revealed on April 1st.

Let me also show a photo of Zhan Belenyuk, a deputy of the Ukrainian parliament, who, according to his reports in social media, visited Bucha after regaining control by the Ukrainian government. As you can see, he is also smiling. He is joyful. In his reports he mentions no dead bodies. Not a single reference to “atrocities”.

On April 2nd the National Guard of Ukraine posted on official resources a video from Bucha. Let me show you the footage. The video captures members of Ukrainian armed forces entering Bucha. The footage shows no dead bodies in the streets. The Ukrainian military interviewed several people in different locations across the town. None of them said a word about any “massacre” or mass killings. Camera also captures background behind these people, with no dead bodies in sight.

To sum it up, there are no reports of atrocities which are accredited to the Russian military in Bucha, which happened before the Ukrainian army took control of the town. Four days after the Russian military left the city of Bucha there was not a single sign of any “atrocities”. I repeat – not a single reference to it, anywhere.

The infamous video depicting bodies on the city roads only appeared on April 3rd. It is full of discrepancies and blatant lies. According to its authors, the bodies were lying on the streets for at least 4 days by the time the video was filmed. However, the bodies are not stiffened. How is that possible? It is against the law of biology. The bodies do not have signs of decomposition known to forensic experts, including cadaver stains. The wounds contain no blood.

Another point illustrating that this video is fake.

The Ukrainian forces use either blue or yellow armlets or stripes. Because members of Ukrainian militia do not always wear military uniforms, local civilians in Bucha wore white stripes on their upper arms when the Russian forces were stationed in Bucha. That was done to prevent misidentification of civilians from members of militia. When the Ukrainian forces entered the town, they fired at the people with white stripes, killing the civilians. There is a video showing a conversation between members of Ukrainian units. It was published in social media by the so-called “territorial defense” – a radical nationalist fighting group. One of the radicals asks if he can shoot at the people without blue stripes. The other confirms that this is permissible.

Russian speakers know that, but let me translate for the rest of you:

Question behind the scene – «There are folks without blue bands, can I shoot them?»

Answer: «Of course».

I hope the evidence we demonstrated today leaves you with no illusion that the video circulated by the Kiev regime is a crude forgery. It does not stand any scrutiny. However, some Western leaders, for example German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, and of course British Foreign Minister Liz Truss have already lined up to promote this false narrative.

What happened in Bucha is exactly a false flag attack by the Kiev regime and its Western sponsors. The possible goal of this provocation is horrifying and brings back the nightmares of the Nazi crimes during the Second World War.

Vladimir Zelensky, once he arrived in Bucha, hinted that this “incident” justifies any “uncivilized response”. By this basically he confirmed that the Kiev regime considers genocide as a method of warfare. Now the nationalists have a pretext to commit a real massacre of innocent Ukrainian people executing them as “traitors”. We want the world to stay alert and we call on the Council not to let these horrific cleansing to happen.

To conclude I would like to reiterate that the Russian military forces act in strict compliance with international humanitarian law and do not target civilians and civilian objects. If we were pursuing aggressive goals, like those of the US-led coalition in Iraq, the scale of losses and devastation would be worse by digits. Like in Raqqa and Mosul that were bombed by the US to ashes, killing thousands of civilians, including women and children, whose bodies were left unburied for weeks and even months.

You will hear more from me tomorrow, because more information is coming. I think that the truth about what happened in Bucha will reveal itself very soon.

Q: A Security Council meeting did not take place because Great Britain said no. The United States intends to pursue Russia’s suspension from the UN Human Rights Council. Do you think these actions can undermine the negotiations efforts for a humanitarian ceasefire? What are the next steps you are planning here at the UN?

A: Of course, Human Rights Council is not our piece of cake, so to say. We are in another format. But I think that this is again unbelievable what the West and the rest are trying to do with Russia today, trying to exclude it from whatever multilateral forums we have in the world.

So in response to what you are saying, I think yes they can. This is, again, unprecedented. And this will not facilitate, encourage or be helpful for what is happening at Russian-Ukrainian peace talks.

Q: On the other side, the Ukrainians have presented footage of people who have said that their loved ones have been killed by Russian troops – civilians not doing anything. As for the footage that’s been shown. We’ve seen a little bit that you’ve shown, but do you consider that the statements of these women and family members who’ve watched their own loved ones being killed by Russian troops are fake?

A: This is a warfare. And in warfare, anything happens. You cannot exclude that civilians may die. That is a sad fact of life. But the footage that we are being presented with, in particular in Bucha, of which I spoke, does not give us any doubt that it was staged. We will present more evidence on that tomorrow when we speak in the Security Council.

Q: I’d like to ask you one follow-up question. Ukrainian Prosecutor General Irina Venedictova today told Ukrainian television that the situation in a town called Borodyanka may be worse than Bucha in terms of people who have been found killed. That town was also occupied by Russian forces until recently. Do you know anything about that?

A: Frankly, no. I just hear from you as you speak.

Q: My question is about Bucha. There are pictures. There’s eyewitness evidence. What are you saying about how this happened? And you did show us pictures of two pregnant women who were fake photos, and we saw one of them give birth and we saw the other one die. Do you believe that the pictures and the story you’re getting right now and telling us are true about Bucha?

A: I just saw a footage today on the Russian television of the lady that gave birth in Mariupol. She admitted that it had been a fake. She’s an Ukrainian blogger named Mariana. She admitted that it was a fake, that she was made to make that footage.

Now, to what you see in the streets of Bucha. The corpses had never existed before the departure of Russian troops, and then suddenly appeared in the streets, lying on the road one by one, right and left. If you look carefully, you will see that some of them are moving. Some of them are showing signs of life. You cannot escape from an understanding that this is staged, that it is a fake and a provocation. Because, as you all know, besides the warfare, we have a raging information war. And we have evidence that it was premeditated and arranged by the Ukrainian information warfare machine.

Q: Therefore, you’re blaming the Ukrainians for actually putting these bodies there?

A: One thing you cannot deny is that Ukrainians are using people as a human shield when they hide behind them in residential buildings, which they use to call fire on themselves.

Q: The second woman who was pregnant, by the way, did die.

A: If that is the case, I’m sorry for her. I really am. You may believe me.

Q: But part of the question is then the bigger picture. Martin Griffith just came from Moscow. Is there any possibility of a ceasefire?

A: And the question is, from which hands she died. They claimed that it was a Russian airstrike, while the evidence shows that the building had not had an air strike, but rather an explosion.

On Martin Griffiths and the resolution. We offered a resolution last week, which they rejected. They said no because “Russia as an aggressor” cannot offer anything. We are trying to get people out of cities and provide them with free evacuation, which they also deny. They say “no, Ukrainians can only leave to the West, they cannot live to Russia, they have no right to do so”. They say so despite the fact that half a million Ukrainians are already in Russia. And believe me, there is no xenophobia to Ukrainians in Russia. There has never been any, despite what is happening with Russians around the globe today. I’m grateful to the Americans that they are not up to that. But look at what is happening in Europe, at how they treat Russians only because they have Russian passports. That is incredible. That is unbelievable. I leave aside the issue of sanctions, which are beyond any understanding, but the way they are treating Russians in Europe is something that goes beyond any understanding.

Q: Would Russia, for example, welcome an independent investigation? You talk about the misinformation wars, the fog of war. It’s difficult to understand who’s giving you facts and who’s not. Right. So would you agree to an independent mechanism to investigate the atrocities that we both can agree are happening in Ukraine? And then a second part, what is so egregious about the 24 hours delay? To help us understand, this meeting that you requested for today is happening tomorrow. So what is so outrageous about this delay?

A: The question is who is doing the so-called independent investigation. We’ve seen lots of independent investigations which were not independent at all because they were politically motivated, biased, etc.

As for the meeting, their aim and the idea is absolutely clear. They do not want to let us present our views, and want to go ahead with their own interpretation of the situation. But by tomorrow many things may come to surface which they wouldn’t like to hear. So perhaps they lost time when they did not have this meeting today and postponed it until tomorrow.

Not just in my memory here, but in the procedure, tradition, and rules of the Security Council, I cannot recall a case when the Presidency would deny a country a meeting whenever it wants to. If that’s an emergency meeting, the Council should meet in 3 hours after the announcement. I’ve been in this situation many times over myself.

I listened to the briefing today and I heard the question that you asked to [Ambassador] Barbara [Woodward]. She never answered to it. I mean we’ve been accused of atrocities, we are being accused of not observing the rules of warfare, etc, but what did she answer when you asked her about Raqqa and Mosul? She just evaded. She went sideways. Anyway, let’s see what happens tomorrow. Tomorrow you will hear more from us. I promise that I will be even more factual than today.

Selective humanity; who stood with Yemen?

March 26 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Lea Akil 

The camera frame and social platforms have become the most important political tools in our modern age. How did the international community keep Yemen out of the camera focus?

Selective humanity; who stood with Yemen?

Seven years ago…

At 1 am, the first Saudi airstrike shook Yemen and plunged the country into what has been designated as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Seven years of aggression led to 46,262 casualties, martyrs and wounded.

Seven years later…

The world continues to maintain silence on Yemen, Western powers didn’t halt any arms sales to the bloody coalition, and millions of Yemenis are still at the brink of starvation. Today, the people of Yemen learned the truth in the hardest way: Humanity is selective and the war on Yemen is not a choice.  

After Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine, which just turned one month old, the international community was quick to launch funding campaigns, Western powers imposed all-out draconian sanctions and banned Russia from all international events, all with the aim of completely isolating the country. Doing so, the international community aimed to halt the military operation.

Read more: US Arms in Saudi’s Pool of Blood: The Yemeni Massacre

Now ask yourself, why didn’t the international community put the same effort into Yemen? Instead of sanctioning Saudi Arabia, the international community heavily armed it. Instead of securing humanitarian corridors and humanitarian aid, the international community preached empty statements in false solidarity with the children of Yemen. 

Despite all the atrocities in Yemen, Western media remained silent on the aggression. Reports indicate that mainstream US media have aired an approximate cumulative of 92 minutes of coverage since the beginning of the war; that is, a war of seven years so far. If this major humanitarian crisis fails to make the news, what do US news outlets deem newsworthy and headline material?

How does media shape the war?

The modern age relies desperately on the media and social platforms to keep up with global events. As a weapon, the camera can be used in favor of or against the oppressed and oppressor. Media bias is inevitable in a world of so many opinions, but the question here is – is humanity a matter of opinion?

The power of the media relies on what content is broadcasted and what is not. 

The extremely limited international attention directed toward Yemen can mean two things; the war on Yemen is not important or the international audience is not be informed of what is happening in the other part of the world. That said, the narrative on Yemen cannot be easily criticized by Americans without implicating themselves. Considering that the United States backs the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, how would it justify its intervention there, noting that Saudi Arabia is responsible for high civilian death tolls and a list of war crimes?

Political US coverage

Structurally, the media carefully broadcast content to avoid touching on the United States’ longstanding relationship with a country like Saudi Arabia, which would expose the US’ bloody intervention. That is why it would rather ignore the Yemen situation altogether.

Did you know that since Saudi Arabia declared war on Yemen in 2015, it was listed as the World’s largest arms importer from 2015 through 2019? According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, its imports of arms increased by 130% compared to the previous five-year period. In numbers, the US exported a total of 73% and the UK a total of 13% of these arms to Saudi Arabia. 

Moreover, US arms sales amounted to $3 billion in five years from 2015 till 2020, also agreeing to sell over $64.1 billion worth of weapons to Riyadh, which is around $10.7 billion annually. 

Read more: Yemen, graveyard of US-Saudi bloody alliance

On the other hand, during Trump’s administration, the collaboration between Fox News and the Republican Party could explain a thread of the network’s negligence to highlight the current administration’s foreign policy failings, however, other opposing networks were equally silent because of Obama’s involvement in the war. 

Media outlets can’t use the US support of Saudi’s atrocities in Yemen because of the consequences that would be bestowed upon the administration.

Yemen 

Seven years of raging war on Yemen exhausted the population’s capacity to cope, and the global attention shifted toward Ukraine following Russia’s military operation. The darkest forms of irony have been heard by officials concerning Ukraine with complete disregard for Yemen. Simply, the core players fuelling the Saudi war on Yemen have taken a stand in solidarity with Ukraine. 

In numbers, so far, there are 17,734 martyrs, including 4,017 children, 2,434 women, and 11,283 men, while the number of the wounded reached 28,528, including 4,586 children, 2,911 women, and 10,032 men. 

In the latest international campaign, #EndTheSiegeOnYemen was trending in solidarity with Yemen. Activists, human rights advocates, and media professionals around the world launched a wide international campaign on social media demanding ending the siege on Yemen which caused the country to plunge into the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

The campaign was launched under the title “End the Siege on Yemen” to shed light on the forgotten suffering of the Yemeni people as a result of the blockade imposed by the Saudi-led coalition on the country and to mobilize efforts to end it right now.

Many activists interacted with the campaign on Twitter under the hashtag #EndTheSiegeOnYemen. Some highlighted the world’s selective humanity when it came to the hype for Ukraine and negligence for Yemen. 

Media’s “less global” shift

It is as simple as that, the United States and its Western allies have rediscovered the importance of international law when it comes to Ukraine but continue to turn a blind eye to Yemen. 

Russia’s special operation in Ukraine, unlike similar incidents in times past, has taken the social media platforms by storm, with memes, misinformation campaigns, and scams all adding to the growing maelstrom of information, which can confuse and cloud what’s actually happening. 

Meta’s Facebook is censoring all state news, accusing any Russian outlet of spreading misinformation. In return, the social platform is actively working in solidarity with Ukraine. But one can’t help but ask, did platforms like Facebook ever closely monitor misinformation or any information about war-torn states in the world? 

It also announced that it will restrict access to content from Russian state-affiliated media outlets RT and Sputnik in response to requests from EU officials, suppressing all claimed notions of freedom of expression. 

Palestinian Ahed Tamimi is depicted as a Ukrainian girl. 

Moreover, social media platforms chose to selectively censor fake news, keeping misinformation that hail Ukraine on the internet. Ahed Tamimi was a Palestinian girl, depicted as a Ukrainian girl, for global sympathy. 

Double standards in censorship were highlighted when the all-Yemeni Ansar Allah resistance movement in Yemen was censored, but all mercenaries in Ukraine were being promoted. That made the reach on Yemen minimal, while news on Ukraine witnessed overwhelming worldwide traffic. 

Moreover, the internet was widely active in promoting an anti-Russian campaign, which triggered Russophobia, to feed the Western agenda in Eastern Europe. 

Ukraine is a “top priority”, but what about Yemen?

Social platforms have become powerful tools to recruit international “volunteers” to fight in Ukraine in the face of Russia. In a first of its kind, the White House held a special briefing on the Ukraine war with TikTok stars such as 18-year-old Ellie Zeiler, who has more than 10 million followers. The US has adopted a new approach to grab the younger generation and recruit them against Russia. 

Earlier this month, up to 20,000 “international volunteers” have traveled to fight Russia in Ukraine, mostly coming from European countries, according to a Ukrainian top official on Sunday. 

“This number is around 20,000 now. They come from many European countries mostly,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told CNN. “Many people in the world hated Russia and what it was doing in recent years, but no one dared to openly oppose and fight them.”

This comes alongside the 16,000 foreign mercenaries whom Zelensky announced will be fighting in Ukraine. 

The conflict in Ukraine shed major light on social media’s political role as a tool. Its part in broadcasting the conflict highlighted the importance of media in shaping the internet forever. 

It is worth noting that Russia had launched a special military operation for several reasons, such as NATO’s eastward expansion, the Ukrainian shelling of Donbass, and the aggression of Ukrainian forces against the Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic, which has been ongoing since 2014, as well as de-nazifying and demilitarizing Ukraine.

United Nations

The UNSC is expected to prevent war, but it has instead backed the US-Saudi-led military coalition against the country. 

At the end of last year, the UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg filed an empty and useless report that read “frustration” regarding the war on Yemen. 

However, his statement isn’t the first or last of empty promises to fight for Yemen and against the humanitarian crisis. Nevertheless, Washington’s disguised backing of the coalition remains behind the curtains.

The UNSC remains in favor of the government under “conflict resolution”, but what the UNSC is doing is betray the Yemenis day by day. It is no longer a “conflict” with the government, it is a full-scale war by the Saudi-led coalition against the people of Yemen. 

Yemen in the shadows 

Recently, the UN said the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen risks being forgotten as the world focuses on the war in Ukraine. And according to experts, that conflict is also likely to directly impact Yemen’s already stricken food supply.

Apart from drawing attention away from the war on Yemen, the war in Ukraine threatens to worsen the humanitarian situation in the Arab nation, with 22% of the country’s wheat coming from Ukraine and Russia.

In 2020, the UN Security-General released his annual “list of shame,” which included several violations against children committed in 2018, in which at least 729 children were killed or maimed.

However, the Security-General chose to list the Saudi-led coalition as a party that is improving the situation in Yemen, despite the overwhelming evidence that proves otherwise.  

In addition, Security Council members call for a ceasefire in Yemen and go ahead with providing arms to prolong the war, instead of suspending all arms sales. In other words, the Council has offered nothing but empty statements regarding the war. 

Who is looking behind the curtains? 

Media outlets are dedicated to broadcasting global events and issues around the world. US media coverage is also dedicated to covering global issues, especially ones that help spread its agenda across the map. However, the tragedy of the people of Yemen, in the meantime, is completely shadowed, as the international community continues to turn a blind eye to the ongoing atrocities. 

The lack of mainstream coverage for Yemen raises many questions on where the media’s priorities stand: Is the US hiding the atrocious crimes in Yemen to protect its relations with the Kingdom? Are the billions in arms sales fuelling the US economy more important than thousands of human lives? Keeping Yemen in the shadows will spare the US the need to justify its interference and its intimate relations with the Gulf.

With all eyes focused on Ukraine, who is willing to take one look farther to behold the sufferings the Yemeni people have been undergoing for full seven years? 

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Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at UNSC Briefing on the Political and Humanitarian Situation in Syria

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360°  

Mme.President,

We thank Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria Geir Pedersen, Head of UN OCHA Martin Griffiths, as well as Assistant Secretary-General of the Leagues of Arab States Hossam Zaki for their insights.

We welcome the beginning of the 7th round of the Editorial Board of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva. We are convinced that there is no alternative to Syrian-owned and Syrian-led political settlement under UN assistance that should be free of external interference and artificial deadlines, and should remain within the framework of UNSC resolution 2254.

We do hope that “methodological” reservations will not impede fruitful conclusion of this round, and the work will mainly focus on dialogue between the Syrian delegations and their readiness to come to an agreement on the issue of constitutional reform. We call on Geir Pedersen to concentrate on this without getting distracted by other initiatives.

Mme.President,

Progress of political settlement is in even greater demand now that the situation on the ground remains tense and potentially explosive. Main security threats to Syria have to do with the rise of activity of terrorists who found refuge at Damascus-uncontrolled territories in Idlib, cross-Euphrates area, and Al-Tanf. This problem can be solved if the uncompromising fight against internationally-recognized terrorist groups, first of all ISIL and HTS continues; illegal foreign military presence that violates Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is put an end to; and Israel’s arbitrary air strikes stop for good.

We believe the key reason creating this hazardous situation is the West showing indulgence towards terrorists and trying to use them for own purposes. Among the resent consequences of this dangerous stance we can name a large-scale terrorist attack on al-Sinaa prison in Hasakeh. When cleansing the prison and surrounding urban areas from militants, US aviation and armored vehicles were used. Measures for protection of civilians were ignored, which is richly illustrated by mass outflow of peaceful population from combat zone: more than 45,000 people by OCHA estimates.

Even though Washington poses its military presence as a counter-terrorism operation, we see no active fight against terrorists there. Besides, by available records, ISIL and other extremists from across the Euphrates are being transferred to other hotspots where spreading chaos is beneficial for the US. It is worth reminding that the United States and its allies repeatedly launched massive missile and bombing raids against Syria’s military and industrial infrastructure in violation of the international law and the UN Charter – on a far-fetched pretext of eliminating chemical weapons. Apparently, this is what West-promoted “rules-based order” looks like.

This being said, and also in view of the fact that the Secretary-General stepped back from conventional “neutral language” that is appropriate for an international civil servant in the context of Ukraine, we request A.Guterres to be consistent and give an assessment to whether the presence of the US and other forces in Syria meets the UN Charter. We count on him to call the names of those who illegally occupies the Syrian territory, first of all in Al-Tanf, and specify who is responsible for the situation in IDP camps that are out of control of Damascus. Otherwise we will have to perceive his silence as a manifestation of double standards.

We also remind the Secretary-General that we never heard him give an assessment to the US bombardments of Raqqa, Hajin, and Baghouz. By UN data, there was no single medical facility in Raqqa left unaffected by hostilities. At least 80 people (most of them women and children) died during the bombardment of Baghouz. After his emotional assessments of the developments in Ukraine that were based on unverified or even unverifiable data, Head of the United Nations is obliged to call things by their real names in the context of continuing US occupation of Syrian territories based on data that is confirmed by international agencies.

Mme.President,

At the humanitarian track, we share the assessments of M.Griffiths that the international community is failing Syrians from year to year. Implementation of UNSC resolution 2585 that is called to boost comprehensive humanitarian assistance to Syria is stalled. Planned cross-line convoys from Aleppo to Sarmada were blocked by militants in Idlib. According to the incoming reports, Nusra fighters openly say that they would not let through any internal convoys (that carry aid to approximately 43,000 people in need) until the renewal of the cross-border mechanism (CBM) in July, of which they are somehow convinced. There is also no access to the three other zones of Turkish operations – even COVID-19 vaccines cannot be delivered there.

In parallel to this, our Western colleagues try to connect member states’ obligations under the unanimously adopted resolution 2585 with political preconditions. While politicizing humanitarian assistance, Europeans and Americans keep suffocating Syria with unilateral sanctions that erode the humanitarian situation and seriously complicate efforts of specialized organizations, i.a. due to related chilling effect and overcompliance by banks, insurance companies and economic operators. Again, didn’t we make decisions defining hunger as an unacceptable method of warfare that contradicts the IHL?

We must not relax our attention to assisting Syrian IDPs and facilitating refugee return – this task remains on the agenda. Host countries – Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey do not conceal that there are limits to their accommodating capacities.

We believe we need to uphold the fundamental right of refugees to return, as stated in UNSC resolution 2254 and given scrupulous coordination of such efforts with Damascus.

Colleagues,

As we all know, the CBM mandate expires this summer. Of all provisions of the resolution, only one is being implemented at the moment – cross-border humanitarian deliveries. It seems no one is going to implement the other provisions. At the same time, Damascus has proven that cross-line deliveries to Idlib are possible and that peaceful population can receive humanitarian aid if it departed from the territory of Syria. We strongly call you to not forget this and not expect that we turn a blind eye to nonfulfillment of resolution 2585 that becomes more and more outspoken.

Thank you.

Sitrep: UNSC on biolabs in the Ukraine + Russia Transcript

March 11, 2022

A quote from the Sirius Report:

Whatever people’s opinion are about the war, one thing that should alarm everyone is the attempt in the west to effectively wipe out any vestige of Russia, including its language, culture and effectively the people.

This is a very short report.  The hatred was so palpable in that meeting room that I felt physically affected.

The summary is:

Russia, China, Brazil, India, and Kenya want investigations into the Biolabs.

The US says they did not hide anything and used their time as 10 minutes of hate.  And we know they speak the truth because CNN showed us the videos of the horrible Russians and the horrible things that they do, like bombing hospitals.  There is no US biolab connection.  There is nothing to see here, they say.

UK representative ditto.  Norway ditto.  A few others, ditto.

Russia says the Ukraine faked deaths and faked propaganda.

Everyone to Russia:

You are conspiracy theorists and aggressors.

*No one shows any proof*

*Russia shows proof*

I trust Russia has a mass of more proof and these speakers will have to swallow their words of today.

Nobody speaks about the biolabs but use their time for 10 minutes of hate.  Of course they were caught in the act, and can only rail and hate.

*End of Security Counsel*

The Russian presentation is at time marker +- 47:30.

https://media.un.org/en/asset/k16/k16nsx50dm

Transcript:

Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing on biological laboratories in Ukraine

Mme.President,

Colleagues,

COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated how vulnerable humanity is in the face of biological threats. It has exacted a huge toll on us, and it continues to claim people’s lives.

When the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) entered into force in 1975, there was hope that the world would at least be safe from manmade biological threats, because all states-signatories realized enormous risks of using biological weapons (BW) and abandoned plans to develop it.

Unfortunately, we have grounds to think that those hopes did not come true completely.

We called this meeting because during the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, some shocking facts came to light: the Kiev regime is urgently concealing traces of a military biological program that Kiev implemented with support of the US Department of Defense.

Defense Ministry of Russia got hold of documents confirming that Ukraine developed a network of at least 30 biological laboratories that host extremely dangerous biological experiments, aimed at enhancing the pathogen properties of plague, anthrax, tularemia, cholera, and other lethal diseases with the help of synthetic biology. This work is funded and directly supervised by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) of the United States, i.a. in the interests of Pentagon’s National Center for Medical Intelligence. The key role in these programs was played by a BSL-3 central reference laboratory at the Mechnikov Scientific-Research Anti-Plague Institute in Odessa, Ukraine. Research centers in other cities also played a role – Kiev, Lvov, Kharkov, Dnipro, Kherson, Ternopol, Uzhgorod, Vinnytsia. Research results were sent to US military biological centers, i.a. to U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infections Diseases, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, US Naval Medical Research, and US Army Biological Warfare Labs in Fort Detrick that used to be the key hubs of the American biological weapons program.

All the materials are available at the website of Russian Ministry of Defense and are presented at daily briefings. Let me cite the most telling examples.

Russian military learned the details of UP-4 project which was implemented at laboratories in Kiev, Kharkov and Odessa. It studied possibilities of spreading particularly dangerous infections through migratory birds, including highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza (lethal to humans in 50 % of cases) and Newcastle disease. As part of another project, bats were considered as carriers of potential BW agents. Among the priorities identified are the study of bacterial and viral pathogens that can be transmitted from bats to humans: pathogens of plague, leptospirosis, brucellosis, as well as coronaviruses and filoviruses. Project documents clearly indicate that the United States actively financed bioprojects in Ukraine.

Besides, there were experiments to study spreading of dangerous infectious diseases by ectoparasites – fleas and lice. It is clear even to non-experts that such experiments are most reckless, as they give no opportunity to control how the situation is going to evolve. Similar research (using fleas and lice as BW agents) was carried out in the 1940s on the development of biological weapons components by the Japanese infamous unit 731, whose members later fled to the US to escape prosecution for war crimes.

Ukraine has a unique geographical location, where transcontinental migration routes of potential carriers of dangerous diseases intersect. Many of those routes pass through the territories of Russia and Eastern Europe. The research that I mentioned was done in the very midst of Eastern Europe and in close vicinity to the Russian borders. According to the data received, the birds that were ringed and released during biological research from the Kherson nature reserve, were caught in Ivanovo and Voronezh regions of Russia.

The analysis of the obtained materials confirms the transfer of more than 140 containers with ectoparasites of bats from a biolab in Kharkov abroad. We do not know anything about the fate of those dangerous biomaterials and the consequences that may occur once they “dissipate” (possibly in Europe) in the absence of any international control. In any case, risks are high that they may be stolen for terrorist purposes or to be sold at the black market.

Several thousands of samples of blood serum of COVID-19 patients (most of them of Slavic ethnicity) were transported from Ukraine to Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in the United Stated – allegedly for trials of treatment and prevention of COVID-19.

Everyone knows how sensitive Western states are when it comes to transferring biological samples of their citizens abroad. And there is a good reason for that – theoretically, samples may be used to create bioagents capable of selectively targeting different ethnic populations.

The activity of biolabs in Ukraine that we track back to 2014, and US-implemented program of so-called reform of Ukrainian healthcare system triggered uncontrolled growing incidence of dangerous and economically relevant infections in Ukraine. There is an increase in the number of cases of rubella, diphtheria, tuberculosis. Occurrence of measles has increased more than 100-fold. The World Health Organization said Ukraine runs high risks of having a polio outbreak. There is evidence that in Kharkov, where one of the labs is located, 20 Ukrainian soldiers died of swine flu in January 2016, 200 more were hospitalized. By March 2016, the total of 364 people had died of swine flu in Ukraine. Besides, outbreaks of African swine fever occur regularly in Ukraine. In 2019, there was an outbreak of a disease that had symptoms similar to plague.

While the US itself shut down military-purpose biological research on its territory due to high risks it posed to American population, the Kiev authorities actually agreed to turn their country into a biological testing site and have their citizens used as potential test subjects. Those experiments bearing potential country-scale risks continued for years. This once again proves the cynicism of Kiev’s Western patrons who keep shouting from every rooftop that they care for the fate of Ukrainians.

As reported by Reuters, WHO recommended that Ukraine should eliminate its stocks of pathogens to avoid possible leaks that might trigger disease spread among the population. It is not known for sure whether Kiev has complied.

The materials that our Defense Ministry got hold of prove that all serious high-risk research in Ukrainian biolabs was directly supervised by US experts who had diplomatic immunity. Our Defense Ministry reports that at this moment the Kiev regime, as demanded by the Western sponsors, hastily covers up all traces so that the Russian side could not get hold of direct evidence of the US and Ukraine violating Article 1 of the BTWC. They rush to shut down all biological programs. Ukraine’s Health Ministry ordered to eliminate biological agents deposited in biolabs starting from 24 February 2022. We infer from the instructions to lab personnel that the order of elimination of collections suggested that they should be destroyed irrevocably. Having analyzed the destruction certificates, we can say that the Lvov lab alone destroyed 232 containers with pathogens of leptospirosis, 30 – of tularemia, 10 – of brucellosis, 5 – of plague. The total of more than 320 containers was eliminated. Pathogens’ titles and excessive amounts give reason to think that this work was done as part of military biological programs.

Now let me make a separate address to our colleagues from Europe.

All those years, there was a site for dangerous biological tests on the doorstep of the European Union. We call to think of a real biological threat to the population of European states that may be posed by uncontrolled spread of biological agents from Ukraine. As we know from our experience with COVID-19, this cannot be stopped. Should this be the case, it will encompass the entire Europe.

US representatives get rather confused when speaking about the US involvement in biological activity on the territory of Ukraine. During hearings of the US Congress on 8 March, Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland in fact confirmed that there were biolabs in Ukraine where military-purpose biological research had been conducted. When asked by Senator Marco Rubio whether Ukraine had biological and chemical weapons, she responded that Ukraine had biological research facilities that “should not fall in the hands of Russian forces”.

At the same time, the Department of State sticks to the point that allegedly there are no US-controlled biolabs in Ukraine. Hence a question to the American delegation. How does this reconcile with 2005 Agreement between the US Department of Defense and Ukrainian Ministry of Health Concerning Cooperation in the Area of Prevention of Proliferation of Technology, Pathogens, and Expertise that could be Used in the Development of Biological Weapons? This document is available on the Internet. According to Article 3 of this agreement, the US Department of Defense may provide assistance to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine in the area of “cooperative biological research, biological threat agent detection and response” with regard to “dangerous pathogens located at the facilities in Ukraine”.

We emphasize that biological threats defy all borders. No region of the world can feel totally safe today. The United States supervises several hundreds of biolabs in 30 countries, i.a. in the Middle East, Africa, South-East Asia, and along the perimeter of former USSR. Washington does not agree to subject them to international verification. Starting from 2001, it has been impeding elaboration of a binding protocol to the BTWC that should envisage a reliable verification mechanism to monitor states’ compliance with the Convention. This cannot but make us think that the United States has something to conceal. I call on the colleagues from those regions to think of what sort of activity Washington is carrying out on their territories and what consequences it may have for the population.

We foresee the reaction of our Western colleagues who will definitely say that this information is all fake and Russian propaganda. However this sort of wishful thinking will hardly help Europeans should Ukraine and its neighboring states have outbreaks of dangerous diseases that would subsequently spread beyond their borders. This risk seems rather real if we take into account considerable interest that Ukrainian radical and nationalist groups have in research of dangerous pathogens that was conducted in Ukraine in the interests of the US Department of Defense. We have information that Pentagon instructed its Ukrainian protégés that, should any incidents occur, they should instantly accuse Russian Armed Forces who allegedly launch strikes against research and medical facilities, or blame it all on “Russian subversive teams”.

Russian Defense Ministry keeps analyzing the biological situation in Ukraine and all incoming materials. What we shared today is a small portion of information that we have. We will share the details shortly as UNSC official documents so that you could study them.

We feel obliged to keep the Security Council updated on the situation with US military-purpose biological activity in Ukraine that creates real risks for international peace and security. We intend to get back to this topic soon. We would not exclude a possibility of activating mechanisms envisaged by Articles 5 and 6 of the BTWC. For now, we would like to hear answers of the US side to the questions that we asked.

Thank you.


Amarynth

Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Moscow, March 3, 2022

MARCH 07, 2022

The Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

  1. Upcoming talks between Sergey Lavrov and Foreign Minister of Kyrgyzstan Ruslan Kazakbaev
  2. Ukraine update
  3. Race-based discrimination in Ukraine
  4. African Union statement on hostility against Africans trying to leave Ukraine
  5. On Western countries using the Nazi salute
  6. US military biological activities in Ukraine
  7. The UN General Assembly adopts a resolution titled “Aggression against Ukraine”
  8. Illegal Western sanctions against international humanitarian cooperation
  9. Bringing Russian citizens home from abroad
  10. Statements by Japanese Foreign Ministry Department Director
  11. Statement by the Friends of Crimea International Association on the Situation around Ukraine
  12. The anniversary of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
  13. The 25th anniversary of the IORA

Answers to media questions:

  1. China’s stance on the situation in Ukraine
  2. Expulsion of the staff of Russia’s permanent mission to the United Nations
  3. Expulsion of Russian diplomats from Bulgaria
  4. Settling the Ukrainian crisis
  5. Russia‒China trade cooperation
  6. Coverage of the Ukrainian conflict by British media
  7. Russia’s relationship with the EU
  8. Suspension of Russia’s rights of representation in the Council of Europe
  9. Potential suspension of Russia from other international organisations
  10. Establishing a Russia‒US communications channel on the situation in Ukraine
  11. Prime Minister of Pakistan’s visit to Russia
  12. The EU’s double standards
  13. Information war against Russia
  14. Efforts to normalise the situation in Afghanistan
  15. Russia‒Iceland relations
  16. Denazification in the context of the situation in Ukraine
  17. Russia’s possible withdrawal from international organisations
  18. Organising humanitarian corridors to evacuate Indian citizens from Ukraine
  19. India’s stance on the situation in Ukraine
  20. International Women’s Day greetings
  21. Refusal of certain countries to join the Western anti-Russia sanctions 

Upcoming talks between Sergey Lavrov and Foreign Minister of Kyrgyzstan Ruslan Kazakbaev

On March 5 in Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will have talks with Foreign Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Ruslan Kazakbaev during the latter’s official visit to Russia.

This meeting is launching a series of events scheduled for 2022 to mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and Kyrgyzstan (established on March 20, 1992).

During the talks, the ministers will discuss topical issues of bilateral cooperation in politics, trade and the economy, cultural, humanitarian and other areas. They will also exchange opinions on issues pertaining to Eurasian integration, as well as global and regional security, including in the context of the events in Ukraine, and cooperation at international platforms.

They plan to sign a Programme of Cooperation between the foreign ministries of Russia and Kyrgyzstan for 2022‒2024, as well as a joint statement by the foreign ministries of the two countries following Foreign Minister Ruslan Kazakbaev’s official visit to the Russian Federation.

We expect that the meeting between the foreign ministers of Russia and Kyrgyzstan will contribute to the further strengthening of the Russia‒Kyrgyzstan strategic partnership and alliance.

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Ukraine update

I would like to draw your attention to the interview Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has given today, which was devoted entirely to this subject. He took questions from the international media. Its transcript will be available on all the Ministry’s resources.

We have come up against an unprecedented information attack, against information terrorism. It is taking place not only in the media but also in cyberspace. The attack is being directed from the West, and it is being implemented also through Ukrainian resources and capabilities. Ukraine and its infrastructure are being used as instruments. The goal of this attack is to misinform the international community and to discredit Russia’s actions. In this context we need to explain the real state of affairs.

On February 24, 2022, Russia began a special military operation in Ukraine. The reason for this was the eight-year-long policy directed by the Ukrainian authorities, the Kiev regime against its own people and Russia. That regime came to power as a result of a series of anti-constitutional events organised in Ukraine by the West.

One of the main, though not the first or only such event was the 2014 coup. It was carried out by the neo-Nazi forces with Western support. For eight years after that, the new regime systematically violated human rights and the rights of minorities, infringed on freedom of speech and the media, waged a war on the Russian language and culture, eliminated political opponents, conducted a civil war in Donbass, and sabotaged the efforts of the international community, primarily Russia, to find a legal solution to the conflict, as well as the Minsk agreements.

At the same time, Ukraine was being supplied with Western weapons, which were delivered to it in huge amounts. It was being turned into a bridgehead, not just of individual states of the NATO bloc which directly threatens Russia. This was taking place against the backdrop of the destruction of the global security architecture and in the absence of any security guarantees for our country.

I would like to point out that the West has not provided such guarantees to any state, not even to NATO members. The decisions are made there by those who stand at the helm. Our country was not just offered any security guarantees; they have been denied to us. Not offering and denying are two different things. We have the written replies that leave no doubt as to the intentions of NATO and those who control it, that is, the United States, regarding any possibility of discussing issues that are not only important and vital to us but concern our very existence. They have rejected all our proposals. They refused in writing to discuss all our proposals with us. This is why we demanded written replies. If we hadn’t done that, there would have been hue and cry now that they – the West – had been misunderstood, that they didn’t mean that, and that they offered Russia continued dialogue. But no, they rejected our proposals in writing.

We were speaking about the role of the Ukrainian regime in international relations.  Ukraine and the Ukrainian people have been turned into an instrument of Western policy. The current actions by the Ukrainian regime (even if you had not known about the causes of the situation in Donbass, seen the photographs, talked with witnesses, or read the documents of international organisations and non-governmental agencies) leave no doubt that the country is being governed by criminals. The West is supplying them with weapons. These criminals are using civilians as human shields and are hiding in residential districts, flats and houses. They are doing everything they can, not sparing the lives of their citizens, foreigners or civilians in general, to create a certain picture of events and present it as a reality.

It is important to study archival data. We will present them so that you will be aware of what they have been perpetrating over these past eight years.  One can and must speak about what the international community discussed but failed to hear because of the Western propaganda.  One can and must see what is going on live on air. How the thugs wielding Western weapons, thugs who have not been legalised through their involvement in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who are in fact Nazi-chevron-wearing members of punitive battalions known as Azov, Donbass, Right Sector, etc., took positions behind civilians. They are the same people, to whom they (as everyone was told and as Washington was saying) were bringing freedom and democracy. Now the whole world can see how you bring freedom and democracy. You are doing this based on nationalist principles, while hiding behind the backs of women and children. You are doing this, while manipulating public consciousness with huge support from the US and UK security services, and NATO countries in general.  They are using you and have no compassion for you (I am referring to the Ukrainian militants). We feel compassion for the people, for those who regarded you as their true defenders, while you are thugs and marauders pure and simple.

The armed forces of Ukraine and the neo-Nazis are using peaceful civilians as a human shield and deploying heavy weapons in residential areas.  This is a fact. You can ban this from screens all you want – I am addressing CNN, BBC, and others – but people will find out anyway and will be able to tell the difference between fakes and the truth. They are not evacuating civilians. Worse, they are doing all they can to get as many civilians as possible remain in the “hotspots” by imposing a curfew and mining exit roads from cities.  These tactics are always used by terrorists, who are accustomed to taking civilians hostage.

We are receiving numerous appeals from embassies of other countries in Ukraine asking us to help them provide a safe escape for their citizens and diplomats, as well as for employees of international organisations. We do all we can (this is primarily being done by the Defence Ministry) to give them the necessary help.

The situation in Ukraine is being aggravated by an uncontrolled growth of crime. This has been intentionally provoked by the Ukrainian authorities who have issued tens of thousands of units of firearms to everyone who would take them. Convicted criminals have been released from prisons. As soon as they are issued arms, they form criminal gangs that attack and kill their fellow Ukrainians. As a result, a wave of looting, marauding and murders has swept through the country. Nationalism is assuming extreme forms verging on outright racism. Nationals of Asian and African states are facing discrimination and violence. The obvious aim of these actions is to create havoc and cause as many civilian casualties as possible.

Unlike the neo-Nazi battalions that intentionally destroy or disable critically important infrastructure, the Russian military are doing their best to ensure the safety of these facilities.  A case in point is a joint mission by Russian paratroopers and Ukrainian soldiers to guard the power plants, the sarcophagus, and the repository for spent nuclear fuel at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The area around the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant is also being guarded and controlled. Both power stations are operating normally. We would like the relevant international organisations to take note of this, since Ukraine has been supplying them with false information. Please get first-hand information.

As you may know, direct Russian-Ukrainian talks have taken off the ground in Belarus.  We hope that they will bring an end to  this situation as soon as possible, facilitate the restoration of e peace in Donbass and a return of all of Ukraine’s ethnic groups to a peaceful and fair life.

Take another look at the tactics of those whom the Kiev regime has assigned to conduct talks.  How many hours does it take them to reach their destination? Upon arrival, they say they are tired and hit the hay. They would bicker over a venue for the negotiations and over their seats… Does this show concern for their people? Of course not. They have direct instructions from the US security services. They have no compassion for the people of Ukraine. They don’t care. The longer they do the bidding of the Kiev regime, the more suffering will befall their fellow Ukrainians. But who in Vladimir Zelensky’s underground shelter is thinking about this?

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Race-based discrimination in Ukraine

Numerous media publications about race discrimination in Ukraine have come to our attention.

Manifestations of racism and racial discrimination in today’s Ukraine, including with regard to the citizens of Asian and African countries currently residing there, students being beaten, attacks on the citizens of the countries that refused to condemn  Russia, being aware of what has been going on [in Donbass] all these years; rough treatment of Africans who wished to leave Ukraine; and the way citizens of China, India, etc. are being treated. Unfortunately, this is nothing new to the people who are aware of what happened there and it stems directly from those developments. It has always been that way. Earlier, foreigners were under their radar screens, but now they are, first, being used to stage provocations, and, second, deep down, these nationalists don’t care about a thing.

This shocking situation comes in the wake of the current Kiev authorities and their predecessors doing nothing to overcome the problem of nationalism. For opportunistic and political reasons, their Western curators did more than just turn a blind eye to this and did everything to ensure the growth of neo-Nazi ideology. After all, it is not their country; it is somewhere “out there” in the distant nation of Ukraine populated, according to the US President, by Iranians. They are oblivious to the fact that the citizens of their countries – the United States and the European Union – may also be there now. Who are they supplying with weapons? Someone who will kill people left and right?

The anti-Semitism, xenophobia and racial discrimination that are flourishing in Ukraine today are the very things that we have been talking about tirelessly over the last eight years and that the West, I mean Euro-Atlantic institutions,  have tried hard to ignore, and they have taken good care of and almost nurtured the ideological followers of Nazism instead. If, with so many materials available, you are unable to see it for yourself, then you don’t want to see it. In fact, you haven’t seen it. Now, you are left with what you have.

It is particularly strange to see the European states that experienced the horrors of the Second World War turn a blind eye to the threat of the revival of the “brown plague.” However, maybe it’s not so strange.

Once again, I would like to draw your attention to the Ministry’s annual reports on the human rights situation in individual countries, the manifestations of Nazism around the world, as well as individual reports on that country, which provided regular analyses of the human rights situation, indicating the widely spread racism and neo-Nazism. The current situation with foreign citizens in Ukraine is yet another confirmation of this.

Ukraine’s stance on this matter speaks volumes because it is one of the few countries (more precisely, one of two countries) that regularly, every year, votes against the resolution titled “Combating the glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,” which Russia submitted for consideration by the UN General Assembly

The US prohibited EU countries from joining this resolution and voting for it. You do not see this, either? This is your position, the position of the Western countries. As a reminder, this document raises acute issues related to the growth of extremely dangerous manifestations of neo-Nazism and racial discrimination, the spread of hateful ideology and the theory of racial superiority in the modern world.

Ukraine has adopted a similar stance with regard to yet another important initiative in the sphere of combating racism, namely the resolution titled “A global call for concrete action for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.” In particular, when reviewing the document during the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in December 2021, the Ukrainian delegation simply chose not to vote, and a year before that, it abstained from voting. What is that if not links in a single chain? Does this not prove that they openly mocked these issues of counteracting the spread of Nazi and racist factology? Of course, that’s the way it is. They are not hiding it. They benefitted from staying close to the extremists professing neo-Nazi ideology. Why? Because nationalism is an ideology that people with low cultural and moral levels take up easily. Spreading this ideology is easy. All you need is a little money, weapons, and materials saying that one race is superior to another, and one nation is not as good as the next one. That’s it. They can then be conveniently used during Maidan protests or for political purposes in order to orchestrate the allegedly “righteous” public wrath, which in reality is nothing but the forceful pressure of the street. This is an accurate description of Ukraine’s political life in recent decades. There was also the first Maidan protest, which unfolded under the colour orange, as a supposedly peaceful initiative, although it was a paid-for move. A PR campaign of similar proportions costs a lot of money. Maidan in 2013-2014 brought together extremists and militants who had been trained in camps in Poland and the Baltic countries. How many times have we mentioned this? The Baltic States and Poland condemn us. How about you taking a look at yourselves?

In its statement of February 28, the African Union expressed concern about the situation involving citizens of various countries in Ukraine noting that Africans being singled out for unacceptable dissimilar treatment would be shockingly racist. I see the point the African Union is making. But Russian lives also matter. And this is exactly how Russians were treated there during eight years. Perhaps, we should not be dividing people by skin colour or religion? Perhaps, we can feel the pain of other people, too? Perhaps, some day we will see hashtags like #russianlivesmatter?

Clearly, ignoring and even openly refusing to recognise the obvious existence of problems in the field of combating racism, looking up to the United States when reviewing manifestations of racism and racial discrimination as the implementation of some kind of “freedom of speech” (now we can see it and know its value in the West) not only leads, as experts say, to a “human rights impasse,” but is also an absolutely irresponsible position that leads to the suffering of people, or even entire national, ethnic or racial groups.

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African Union statement on hostility against Africans trying to leave Ukraine

In their official statement on February 28, Chairperson of the African Union, President of Senegal Macky Sall, and Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat expressed deep concern about incoming reports of hostile attitude towards nationals of African countries trying to leave Ukraine.

Senior officials of the African Union urged “all countries to respect international law and show the same empathy and support to all people” fleeing the area of the special operation “notwithstanding their racial identity.”

We fully concur with this statement. Is it possible to extend it to our entire life? Not just this specific case. It should become a prevailing concept in national legislations of every country and international law (as long as Washington, London and Brussels do not destroy it completely).

We fully support the stance of this pan-African organisation. On our part, we would like to note that, as of today, the Russian Foreign Ministry has no information about requests from nationals of African countries for permission to cross the border between the LPR, the DPR and the Russian Federation. At the same time, diplomatic missions of several African countries have contacted the Russian Foreign Ministry with requests to arrange evacuation of their nationals, students of Ukrainian universities. We are working on these requests in cooperation with the Russian Defence Ministry.

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On Western countries using the Nazi salute

We noted that a whole number of countries, including Canada and the EU countries, senior officials of these countries, foreign ministers, senators – representatives of their legislative branch – public figures and politicians are using the same slogan that has become a national salute in Ukraine in the past years. We talked about this before. I do not want to say this slogan out loud but I will definitely include it in the transcript of this briefing. I refuse to pronounce it.

Here is brief historical background for all those who use these two words [three in English, Ed.], a comma and an exclamation mark. In August 1939, fascist Italy hosted the second congress of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists. One of the decisions of this congress was to adopt the Ukrainian fascists’ salute, “Glory to Ukraine!” and the response “Glory to heroes!” The salute and the response were adopted as a symbolic greeting. It was a call sign, a code word of sorts to distinguish between friends and foes. In a similar manner, they forced people in Ukraine to count themselves off by asking the question “Which country does Crimea belong to?” It was the same logic. You are deprived of your own opinion. There is only one correct opinion – of the militants in Ukraine. If you have your own point of view, a strong civic stance that goes counter to their idea of what is best, you have to press your face to the ground. Didn’t you know many other examples in the West? Of course, you did. You knew and you kept silent. What Western media outlets are doing right now is a crime. Everybody must know about it.

It was the same salute that collaborationists used to greet the Wehrmacht and the SS – not only between themselves but to identify themselves to Hitler’s SS. Allow me to remind you, in case you do not know, that the SS and the Wehrmacht were those who organised the genocide of Jews, the Romany and Slavic ethnicities in Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and Russia. Or is “genocide” a word I cannot use even here? Do we have no right to use it now? Or is there some conscience left and we can still use the word “genocide” in the context of WWII? Perhaps, more people died then and the conflict was longer? No, it did not last longer but indeed, more people died. Should we have waited longer? Until the next time presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers use the same salute and being called neo-Nazis baffles them?

All these years, Russia has been publishing reports drafted by the Foreign Ministry, as well as by other agencies and organisations, on grave human rights violations in Ukraine. I am talking about crimes perpetrated on nationalist grounds. In 2014, the Foreign Ministry, and then in 2015, Russia’s Investigative Committee published their White Books on crimes committed in Ukraine. Do you think we have hidden it in a secret library? Of course not. It is available on the Foreign Ministry website and on social media. We sent it to all our partner countries and international organisations.

The Foreign Ministry regularly releases reports on human rights violations in Ukraine and on violations of the rights of Russian citizens and compatriots abroad.

I would like to draw your attention to the book by Maxim Grigoryev and Dmitry Sablin titled “Ordinary Fascism. Ukraine’s War Crimes and Human Rights Violations in 2017-2020.” Year after year, we reported on this matter with evidence on hand. On top of that, Russian journalists carried out their own investigations. Not the foreign journalists, I mean the Western journalists – it was almost impossible to get them there.

Just recently, we circulated a presentation on the war crimes committed by the Ukrainian leadership in Donbass at the session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva (February 28). You can find it on the website of Russia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office in Geneva. This is a terrifying photo report depicting people who were killed, and the destruction caused in Donbass. Today, when they lament about the casualties, while we offer our condolences to all the families, just remember that you tacitly accepted the atrocities for all these years. Let me repeat what I have been saying all along. An awakening of the conscience cannot happen suddenly.

There is no shortage of evidence from multiple sources. Some documents are publicly available, including on the Foreign Ministry website. It has been facing DDoS attacks, specifically designed to prevent us from releasing all these documents. We understand that not everyone reads these documents, while some of those who do pretend otherwise. We will draw your attention to these materials again and again.

Since April 2014, the representatives of the Ukrainian armed forces and law enforcement agencies have been ignoring the international agreements and acts by massively shelling Donbass communities, killing and wounding thousands of civilians who were never involved in the military conflict. They used indiscriminate lethal weapons, prohibited under international humanitarian law. Many communities, primarily along the line of contact, were left without water, gas or power, mobile phone services, or the supply of food and medicine. People died when Ukrainian shells exploded, or from hunger, lack of water or medicine.

The Ukrainian army was especially cynical when shelling hospitals, morgues, and schools where there were bomb shelters. They also shelled cemeteries. This is what led to the creation of mass graves for civilians who fell victim to Ukraine’s military and political leadership and their Western curators.

As of December 2021, more than 16 spontaneous mass graves and burial sites were discovered. In one of them, the remains of a four-month-old baby were found. Between August and November 2021, the remains of 295 people were unearthed, studied, and processed. The preliminary forensic examination of the remains from all the burial sites on LPR and DPR territories showed that women and the elderly accounted for most of the casualties who died from firearms, mortar explosions or blunt trauma.

Apart from killing people in Donbass with shells, Kiev enforced a water, economic and transport embargo on Donbass, bringing the region to the brink of a humanitarian disaster. Living in most cities along the line of contact was akin to surviving in an all-out war. This lasted for eight years. The Kiev regime did not want to draw a line between civilians and combatants.

The people of Donbass lived in these conditions for eight years, not a week!

International human rights organisations noted these issues by saying that the conflict unleashed by the Kiev authorities in southeastern Ukraine had a negative impact on all the population, impoverished it and resulted in the stagnation of its economy. The share of the population with extremely low incomes increased in 2013-2015. Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky (Argentina), an independent expert on foreign debt and human rights, visited Ukraine in May 2018, and wrote in his report on this trip that retirees living in Donbass had to regularly cross the line of contact and register as internally displaced persons in order to receive their pensions. This means that they had to do paperwork with shelling going on. They had to do all this just to get their pensions. They risked their lives and had to assume substantial expenses. Many of them were killed. According to the expert, more than 600,000 retirees did not receive the payments they were entitled to.

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women took note of these issues falling within its mandate, highlighting the gap between the law and the way Ukraine implemented it. In particular, the committee noted that a law on the rights and freedoms of internally displaced persons was adopted in October 2014, alongside several decisions and directives to help internally displaced women, but nothing was done to carry them out.

In August 2016, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) highlighted the plight of displaced persons. The Committee expressed concern that social benefits, including pensions, were tied to IDP status and residence in areas controlled by Kiev, which is why not all internally displaced persons have access to such benefits; local integration of IDPs was complicated by existing legal and regulatory frameworks; they also had difficulties with access to suitable affordable housing and decent employment; restrictions on freedom of movement made it difficult for IDPs to access social services, education and healthcare.

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination also noted that people were exposed to physical danger when crossing the line of control. They could come under fire or be wounded by anti-personnel mines planted by forces controlled by the Kiev regime. All these factors prevented members of ethnic minorities from registering as IDPs and receiving social assistance. Most of these individuals were also at risk of discrimination and stigmatisation.

Developments in this area have been regularly monitored by OHCHR and the OSCE SMM. All these materials were available, they were published – but no one cared to read them.

Head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine Matilda Bogner (Australia) in March 2020 brought to Kiev’s attention the need to start paying pensions to residents of the uncontrolled regions of Donbass, calling on the newly formed government and parliament to review the draft law on pensions in accordance with human rights norms and resume the lawmaking process on a priority basis. Again, this is how international law was trampled by Kiev’s Western supervisors. They didn’t want to see it, they laughed at it, like it was nothing. Until they talk about it on CNN, no one is interested, no one makes a big deal about it. This is not something they said at a briefing at the White House or at the State Department, and then hyped on American television channels. Right now, they can quote the UN and at the same time pressure the relevant representatives, including UN representatives, to extract the necessary reaction. This has worked. They have faithfully fallen into line to give the UN reaction to events. Where were they before? These are materials from the United Nations and other international organisations.

While monitoring the situation with the right to liberty and security, international human rights groups have recorded numerous facts of illegal detention, torture, intimidation, abuse and sexual violence. Similar examples are regularly included in the reports of the Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.

All these years, there have been numerous violations of people’s right to trial and defence in criminal cases linked with the conflict in Donbass. There is a widespread practice of forcing persons under investigation to sign plea deals and hearing cases in absentia, attacks on lawyers and intimidation of lawyers by radical right-wingers, and putting pressure on representatives of the judiciary.

Law enforcement and SBU officers systematically used torture and violence against detainees and had absolute impunity. Cases of illegal detention, torture and abuse of persons detained on charges related to the conflict in the southeast were regularly recorded by international missions. This directly involved the ethnic groups that lived there.

Various techniques were widely used to extract confessions. There have been complaints that the SBU or investigative authorities forced people to confess to being members of, or having links with, armed groups. The National Police or the SBU published several such videos as an example of how to behave and how representatives of the Ukrainian security forces could behave. At the same time, even according to international missions, the detainees made statements incriminating themselves as a result of torture, abuse or intimidation by SBU officers. I am quoting specific reports, and we will post links to them later today. We are told we don’t talk about it enough. We have been talking about this for eight years, right here, in this room, and at international venues, and at our embassies. Just go to the Foreign Ministry website and search Ukraine, Donbass, Donetsk, or Lugansk. Just try it yourself and you will see hundreds of materials on this subject. It’s not that we didn’t say enough; they just didn’t want to hear it.

The international organisations Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have issued a joint report, with reference to their 2016 investigation, about the illegal and violent nature of the detainment of people by employees of the Ukrainian security services and investigative authorities. Such incidents include cases related to expressing disagreement with the official policy of the Kiev authorities. For example, a person was illegally held by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) from November 2014 to February 2016 for taking part in anti-Maidan rallies and events in defence of Soviet monuments. He was accused of planning terrorist attacks, tortured and otherwise ill-treated, which has done very serious harm to his health. He also reported that the cells in which he was kept were overcrowded, and the people in them, including those with disabilities and the elderly, were systematically beaten and were detained for the exchange of prisoners of war. After his release, Konstantin Beskorovainy, the person I am talking about, along with other former prisoners, officially filed a complaint against the actions of the SBU. During the investigation, there were unreasonable delays in the proceeding, and victims were intimidated, so that many people refused to participate in the criminal process. Among other things, the territorial office of the military prosecutor attempted to change the applicant’s status from victim to witness and to close the case. The investigation was reopened after several appeals.

Torture of detainees by the SBU was also confirmed by persons who took part in the exchange of detainees between Kiev and the Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics. In particular, persons who returned from the government-controlled territories after the exchange of detainees on December 29, 2019, said that SBU officials and members of the Azov far-right group tortured them to obtain confessions. In particular, prisoners were forced to make false confessions and to testify about their alleged sabotage training near Rostov. The detainees were subjected to beating, strangling, mock hanging or drowning, tortured with electric shocks, and threatened with reprisals against their loved ones. This information has been reported by the media and is available in the public domain. (1234)

Exchanged persons also said that they had been kept in secret SBU prisons before being sent to detention centres. At the same time, several days to several months passed from the actual detention to its official registration.

According to the human rights ombudsman of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Daria Morozova, all detainees released by Kiev confirmed that they had been subjected to illegal interrogation methods.

Russian citizens who travelled to Ukraine from Crimea were subjected to illegal persecution. Criminal cases were opened against them on charges of treason, infringement on territorial integrity and inviolability, creation of paramilitary and armed groups, and assistance to terrorists and separatists. In January 2020, they detained Ivan Antonov, a person with impaired hearing, who was returning from a pilgrimage to the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. In early November 2020, Nikolai Fedoryan, department head at the Chernomorneftegaz state company in Crimea and former deputy head of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry for Crimea, was detained and charged with “assisting the occupation authorities during searches and illegal detentions.” There are many more such documents. We will publish all of them.

As for procedural irregularities, they happened all too often. In December 2018, SBU employees searched the premises of members of the Russian-speaking community in Poltava. Sergey Provatorov, coordinator of the Coordinating Council of Russian Compatriots of Ukraine and head of the Russian Community association, was forced to give up his Pushkin Medal.

Criminal proceedings were initiated against historian Yury Pogoda, a prominent expert on the Great Northern War, and Viktor Shestakov, poet, journalist and head of the Russian Community in Poltava, who have been charged under Article 110 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (“encroachment on the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine”).

In May 2019, SBU employees searched the premises of Vladimir Saltykov, head of the Transcarpathian regional association Rus, during which they seized cell phones and PCs. These persons were socially active citizens who did not take part in hostilities or calls for action. They only took a civil stand, which has led to years of persecution.

In August 2020, SBU agents detained Tatyana Kuzmich, a Russian language and literature teacher with years of experience and head of the Rusich Russian National Association, on charges of treason, which sparked a public outcry. She did much to promote the Russian language in Ukraine. We have reported this and have cited the relevant facts. The Ukrainian security services claimed that she was recruited during her stay in Crimea and supplied secret materials to Russia.

This information was made public in Ukraine to set the public against these people, not to mention the publishing of their personal data by the notorious Myrotvorets website.

We had been trying for years to raise the attention of international organisations and the United States, which failed to vote for the UN General Assembly resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism and all forms of racism, xenophobia, discrimination, and intolerance, under the pretext of avoiding infringement on freedom of speech. At the same time, they refused to denounce the continuing operation of Myrotvorets for the same reason. This is incredible. It cannot be that people do not see obvious things, that the personal data published on this website have led to the persecution of people, including journalists, socially active citizens and researchers, who have not called for anything bad but have only taken a civic position.

Forced Ukrainization and language discrimination against a considerable part of society, including flagrant violations of the rights of Russian speakers, are an integral element of the policy of the Kiev authorities, the Kiev regime.

Starting in 2017, Ukrainian law has consistently been adjusted to prohibit the use of any language other than Ukrainian in the public sector, the education system and the media. The adoption of several laws, including On Education and On Ensuring the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as the State Language, has introduced discriminatory restrictions against the Russian language compared to Ukrainian, the official EU languages and the languages of indigenous peoples. Other laws were also adopted to ensure the forced Ukrainization of public life, the media, television and services.

Ukrainian radicals have regularly staged aggressive actions against those who continued teaching the Russian language. In March 2020, nationalists organised the persecution of school teachers in Lvov who were accused of spreading “the propaganda of the Russian world” and “the russification of Ukrainian children.” An aggressive campaign was launched in April 2020 against Pavel Viktor for his physics video lessons in Russian.

In November 2020, Professor Valery Gromov of the Dnipro University of Technology (Dnepropetrovsk) was forced to resign after a female student officially complained that he was giving his lectures in Russian.

Yevgenia Bilchenko, a lecturer at the department of cultural studies and philosophical anthropology, National Pedagogical Drahomanov University (Kiev), who initially supported Maidan but later revised her views, was dismissed in January 2021 after criticising the law On Ensuring the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as the State Language on social media.

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US military biological activities in Ukraine

Numerous materials on US military biological activities in Ukraine have been made public recently.  On March 2, Natural News, rightwing bioethics website, posted a journalistic investigation into the Pentagon’s relevant activities that run counter to Washington’s obligations under the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction. According to the website, various facilities created under the aegis of the Department of Defence (Federal Agency for Threat Prevention), including the Science and Technology Centre in Ukraine (CTCU), have recently received hundreds of millions of US dollars in funding for clandestine scientific and applied research.  The author, Ethan Huff, does not rule out that the outbreaks of different diseases observed in the region (flue, cholera, Zika virus, and others) could be caused, among other things, by America’s military biological activities in Ukraine. Just read the article for yourself.

For their part, specialists have highlighted another aspect. In late February, the US Embassy in Ukraine unexpectedly removed from public access all documents related to military biological cooperation between Washington and Kiev. The earlier posted documents were deleted.

Just imagine that NATO has supplied a huge amount of offensive weapons of various types, without the slightest justification, to a location in the centre of Europe in direct vicinity of Russian borders, where Russian citizens live in addition to numerous other people who find themselves in these territories by a twist of fate.  At the same time, the US and Ukraine have been actively promoting their biological cooperation, including experiments and the like, in the same sector. Apart from everything else, all of this is accompanied by NATO-Ukraine military exercises, held once every six weeks, where Russia is the hypothetical adversary.  To top it off, the Ukrainian president makes a statement that they are ready to consider the possibility of Ukraine acquiring nuclear weapons, which comes amid a wild nationalist frenzy in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who regard all Russians as their main enemy. The time has come, they say to the entire international community (which is now pretending that it is shocked) at the Munich Security Conference. But why wasn’t it shocked at the idea that a country with so many problems and overflowing with Western weapons can have nuclear weapons in addition? (It has the capacity for that and, of course, support from the United States.) Actually, it might already possess dirty nuclear technologies. Shall we wait somewhat longer? But for what? Senior representatives of the United States say they had no intention of talking to Ukraine about deploying nuclear weapons. No plans! But who do we believe? They are the people who have systematically lied for decades, while launching under the cover of lies military operations all over the world, resulting in millions of victims. There is an important nuance that makes this story even more dramatic. The thing is that the United States, which has nuclear weapons as a matter of official record, has them not only on US territory. Few people in Russia, let alone the world, know about this. Who is keen to know? The United States has its nuclear weapons in several countries of Europe. Practically next door to Russia. At the same time, the European countries, their armed forces and their intelligence services have no ability whatsoever to control these weapons. Is that normal?

Given that for years or, in truth, decades the Kiev regime has been under the US yoke, it could have relied on the people’s will, made a selection of public opinion, and held a referendum, which would really assess the Ukrainian people’s attitude to having nuclear weapons. But even hoping for this is out of the question. The results of the vote would have been rigged. NATO are old hands at that. The decision would have been taken. And when the weapons would have been deployed in the territory of that weakly controlled state, the situation would have been totally different. This is a state whose nationalist forces are infected with the bacilli of nationalism; it is unable to diffuse its years-long bloody internal crisis; its politicians are each nationals of two or three countries and they have no idea at all about national interests. They have for years catered to the interests of NATO countries alone. Then we would have had an absolutely different situation on our European continent and directly on Russia’s borders.

I see the United States and its NATO partners, as well as the world as a whole watch with sinking hearts as North Korea launches missiles. (North Korea has withdrawn from the Non-Proliferation Treaty.) It pursues a policy of its own and gives grounds for it. When we have any grievances, we certainly communicate them. But the West is united in the belief that North Korea has no right to possess nuclear weapons or undertake missile launches.

But what about Ukraine? We can talk all we want about the regularity/irregularity of its political system, the plusses and minuses, but Ukraine has had no political system other than external control. Its other possession is the nationalist battalions, which were only nominally part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and were really just squads of militants trained in neighbouring countries.

As for the US biological activities in Ukraine, the Americans have clearly tried to pretend like nothing happened and sweep any trace of it under the rug. This topic is also a source of concern for us.

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The UN General Assembly adopts a resolution titled “Aggression against Ukraine”

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke at length today on international reactions. I will not go over it again. A transcript is coming soon. The video is already available which provides a thorough analysis of the vote on March 2 at the UN General Assembly. The resolution was adopted. The Western countries, led by the United States, made incredible efforts to make sure this document was widely approved. Every method of influencing the delegations in New York and in the various capitals was used. They used overt blackmail, attempts at bribery and threats of sanctions.  Don’t tell us this was the unified voice of the General Assembly. So much for a united “voice” with the sanctions gun pointed at the “head” of a state, which, in principle, is unable to oppose it and has no other way out of it. It looks very much like the developments that have been unfolding for many years in Ukraine. Love your homeland in Ukrainian, but if you do so in Russian, “you are not a person, but a species.” This is what President Vladimir Zelensky said about those who disagreed with the Kiev regime on certain issues. However, the resolution was not unconditionally supported. Dozens of countries refused to vote for it. However, no one is saying that it was not adopted. Of course, it was. No need to distort its meaning. It is obvious. The methods used can be clearly seen as well. The Western media are playing an enormous role in this, the wailing voices of the correspondents who have never experienced problems in their lives and have never demanded accountability from their regimes. There is no doubt that the adoption of the resolution runs counter to the tasks at hand. The document will simply embolden the Kiev radicals and nationalists to continue their criminal actions. They have taken civilians as hostages.

This resolution will be used to continue the abuse of the Russian-speaking people, the deployment of military equipment in densely populated residential urban areas in Ukraine (contrary to international law), and the unchecked distribution of weapons, including to inmates who were cut loose. The regime is fighting on its own territory, distributing weapons to civilians and is releasing inmates convicted of criminal offenses. As a reminder, we are talking about a state that has chosen democracy and has for many years been talking about a democracy that had practically won in that country. Weapons were distributed among die-hard criminals, not political prisoners. Moreover, they put an emphasis on “those who participated in hostilities” and are “experienced.” Who participated in what battles? Not only that, they fought their own people. If you give them weapons, they will start shooting not just their own people, but they will use the weapons for looting, robbery and violence.

The outcome of the vote at the General Assembly and the UN Security Council once again highlights the international community’s inability to take effective measures to force the Kiev authorities to fulfill their obligations under the Minsk agreements.

For our part, we are ready to continue the talks with Ukraine in order to prevent further bloodshed, as the Russian leadership has repeatedly stated.

Mass violation of Russian media outlets’ rights in Western countries

Over the past few days, the real, not declarative, value of “Western values” has become crystal clear. The ongoing developments in the global information space can be described as depriving Russia of any chance of making its point of view known on unfolding international developments. The worst thing is that the international community is deprived of the opportunity to know the point of view of the other side and to have access to the materials that describe reality as it is. They themselves whipped up hysteria around Ukraine, and have now taken away the voice of the media that provide materials straight from the region.

With its February 27 decision, the Council of the European Union introduced a ban on Russia Today and Sputnik broadcasting throughout the European Union, which the EU member states rushed to comply with. US digital platforms, such as Google and Meta, swore allegiance to them in a heartbeat and began blocking media accounts in various countries across the board. Apple, Android, and Microsoft have removed Russia Today and Sputnik apps from their stores, etc. We have been talking about this for years, including at international venues. No one was interested. Now they are just finishing what they started back then.

The governments of Australia, Canada, and Uruguay did not hesitate to resort to censorship in the spirit of pseudo-solidarity with the so-called liberal democratic world. Twelve investigations into Russia Today have been initiated by the British regulator Offcom. Truth be told, they didn’t just do this, but did it a little earlier in order to be done just in time for the right moment. This is some kind of elaborated Jesuitism where you know something, but are still preparing the legal grounds in advance, just in case.

The fact that Russian journalists can at least do some work there is because London is concerned about risking the BBC’s position in Russia, since it has been assigned the important role of undermining domestic political stability and security in our country, which follows from recent public statements by British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Many countries have gone even further. They have chosen to eliminate Russian-language broadcasts on their territory altogether, because the anti-Russia version of the cancel culture makes this possible. It is being implemented before our eyes on an ever-larger scale and affects all spheres of life without exception, including culture, education, sports, medicine and everyday life.

The Baltic countries are trying particularly hard. Going through the list of the TV channels they banned would probably take half the time allocated to this briefing. In Estonia, they went as far as “cleaning” their shelves of Russian magazines and newspapers. Moldova chose to use the commotion to put an end to Sputnik broadcasting once and for all. They blocked the media operator’s website and shut down its radio broadcasts. The European Alliance of Professional Associations is pushing to expel Russian journalists from the International Association of Journalists and to stigmatise the entire media community solely because it speaks Russian.

The West has declared a campaign against the Russian media, and this campaign is not over yet. The list of media sources that have been incapacitated or blocked is updated almost hourly. At the same time, in all cases of widespread blatantly Neanderthal-like censorship that has been in existence for many years now as a pretext for annihilating Russian broadcasting in the West and depriving millions of their citizens of popular alternative sources of information, these “beacons of democracy,” without bothering to provide any justification, declare Russian mass media outlets peddlers of propaganda and a threat to their security.

Of course, the fact that the media from the NATO and EU member countries, the United States and Canada, including their Russian bureaus, are spreading die-hard hastily concocted disinformation and fake news and, without a shadow of doubt or embarrassment, are working to destabilise the situation in our country and are publishing calls to commit illegal actions does not bother anyone. This is different. The speed and effectiveness of implementing the measures that violate all the basic principles of freedom of speech and pluralism of opinion clearly shows that this scenario has been planned for years.

Our Western partners have long been willing and planning to simply cross Russia out of the global media space. They started thinking about this the moment we appeared in this space and at the first signs of success for Russian media outlets, which have been in business for many years and have proven their objectivity. It all started right there. Our Western partners are following a programme to systematically remove us from the media space. It goes without saying that no facts have ever been provided, but the playbook was there for everyone to see. The West worked hard and long to promote a convention on helping journalists and protecting their safety when they cover armed conflicts. Armed conflicts always have at least two sides, occasionally more. These sides operate their media. You would have been right if you had said right off that it was not about protecting journalists in hot spots, but about depriving one of the conflicting parties of a means of communication and the dissemination of information. Indeed, in many respects the West has pioneered the development of the provisions and draft laws, both within the given country and at the international legal level, which were supposed to protect journalists as they cover hot phases in conflicts. Now, you are using this pretext to turn off these very media outlets, whose journalists are working in hot spots. How is that?

It has long been clear to us that it is pointless and useless to talk with the international human rights agencies that have sprung up in inordinate amounts in recent years. This is also part of the responsibility of the OSCE institution in question, which, with tacit consent, greenlighted the persecution of Russian journalists and Russian-speaking media and failed to protect journalists who cried out about what was happening in Ukraine, Donbass, etc. This is part of your tacit complicity in creating and provoking this global crisis. All these institutions, agencies and NGOs have been working for a long time now and with varying degrees of loyalty to cater exclusively to Western interests. They bring up freedom of speech and other rights and freedoms only when Washington and the key capitals of its allies give them an approving nod. There may be different points of view on everything. But it’s a proven fact that only one position was correct during all these years, and only one media source could be heard, which led to a collapse and a formidable crumbling of the international legal system, which is supposed to be objective and fair and which should have a place for different points of view. When this fails to happen, a conflict tends to escalate.

I would like to address those behind this act of execution of freedom of speech. You have dealt a cowardly and treacherous blow to Russian journalism and your own people who have a guaranteed right to receive information that does not fit into your mould. It is particularly important to provide such an opportunity during a crisis. You have pulled off your masks as loyal adherents of democracy and revealed the false nature of your demagogy on human rights. Will you learn anything from the current situation or will the answer once again be, “this is different?”

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 Illegal Western sanctions against international humanitarian cooperation

The Western world extending illegal restrictions on the international humanitarian sphere is not just beyond the scope of international peace; it is directly aimed at discriminating against ordinary people whose rights the Western champions of democracy so vigorously defend on all international platforms. Sanctions that affect the freedom of movement, the freedom of expression and access to cultural achievements and information, limit the development of cultural and sports cooperation and contacts between people, are absolutely unacceptable. They grossly violate the provisions of the Helsinki Final Act of the 1975 Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

This discriminatory anti-Russia campaign includes cancelling shows by Russian cultural and art figures abroad; Western universities are expelling students, and the organisers of various individual and team competitions are suspending athletes just for being Russian. I have just heard a new version – they are now saying that foreign teams or individual athletes are refusing to participate in any competition that includes Russians. So, let them abstain and fulfil their wish. They also have the right to be heard. If they don’t want to participate, respect that. Our people want to participate, and they have been training for this for years. I think they have proven many times that sport should be outside politics by continuing to participate despite what you call sanctions, all types of pressure and discrimination, despite all that we call injustice. Gritting their teeth, under pressure from the stands and from international sports officials alike, having seen the mockery of national symbols and of our culture, they go ahead and do their job. They keep reaching out to their colleagues to the end, even being aware of the risks – including to athletes from Ukraine, many of whom later hissed behind their backs. Our athletes have been above all this. They have endured everything – humiliation, real humiliation, discrimination, the use of all forms and types of pressure, and harassment. Now this anti-human, discriminatory campaign has gained unprecedented momentum, although this was an expected consequence. Everything around is being cancelled.

The most egregious cases that have caused a worldwide outcry include the cancellation of concerts by Valery Gergiev, Denis Matsuev, and Anna Netrebko at the La Scala theater in Milan. The demands made by the Munich city government and the La Scala management in Milan that they dissociate themselves from Russia’s policy is something unheard of. Maybe they should also give you a Nazi salute? Do I have to say something to you against the background of the swastikas that you see in Ukraine? Do you think this is an isolated case? It’s just that Gergiev is a celebrity of such status that this could not go unnoticed. How many of our professors at foreign universities, doctors at Western clinics who have been treating their citizens, and their family members have received similar threats, demands, humiliation, and insults? For what? Because your governments have supported the war in Ukraine for eight years, “have not seen” it, giving you – as democratic societies – no chance of reacting? Now the Russians are to blame for this, too? Oh no. The Bavarian State Opera considered it possible to cancel their contract with world-famous Anna Netrebko on the same grounds. As for Valery Gergiev – do you not understand why he couldn’t do it? Do you not understand what he has gone through, taking more than one bloody conflict like this close to his heart? He played in Syria during bombardments by western-sponsored “moderate” militants. Gergiev brought people back to life in Syria and around the world. He gave hope to those who defended statehood in Syria, with curse words and shells shot at our backs. Who did you want to break? The man who saw South Ossetia after Mikhail Saakashvili was done with it? Have you asked this of him? Maybe you asked it of someone else? Well, try it.

The International Mathematical Union Executive Committee’s move to exclude its Russian member from its meeting cannot be called anything other than immoral. As a result, in his absence, a decision was made to cancel the International Congress of Mathematicians in St Petersburg in July 2022. The actions by a number of Western universities are simply outrageous, as their administrators try to take out their anger on Russian students because they are dissatisfied with our country’s policies.

Other such incidents also deserve mention, such as the IOC recommendation to international sports federations not to invite Russian athletes to participate in competitions. Is this the International Olympic Committee? Have they not seen, or are they unaware of how much pressure has been exerted on our athletes for years? We have no other interpretation of such actions but as an attempt to harm our athletes, to eliminate strong rivals. You can’t put up a fair fight, so you are doing what you can? This will not lead you to your intended goal. It will destroy your world. In fact, these calls by the IOC leaders, which go beyond common sense, violate Olympic principles and the very concept of ​​​​both the Olympic movement and international sport.

We are confident that cooperation in education, science, sports and culture has always been and must remain outside politics. This is not a call to think again; it is a call to realise that such actions direct international processes towards self-destruction. This mechanism has been launched, and no chance of reversal can be seen at this point.

We said exactly the same things when the West tore Kosovo away from Serbia. You were warned how it would be. We talked about international terrorism and Afghanistan. It is impossible to just keep silent, indulge this and pretend that nothing is happening. This is our common planet. Our one and only. For all the achievements of the space industry in each country, we still cannot fly away. We live here, all together. When they closed the skies to Russian planes without giving any information, I understood the world has crossed a line, that politicians who run today’s world have passed the point of no return. I actually realised this even during the pandemic.

The mayhem unleashed against Russia, the attempts to isolate and even exclude our country from the humanitarian landscape are not just part of a Russophobic campaign. Basing conditions for participating in cultural, scientific and sports events on the political allegiance of the artists, scientists and athletes is a direct path to civilisational crisis. Even in Soviet times, the period of global confrontation between two ideologies, famous musicians, dancers, actors, artists, and scientists could give concerts, participate in exhibitions and symposiums around the world, and athletes could compete in international tournaments.

All I can do is offer my sympathy to the West, because their “high moral values” have not helped them avoid using humanity’s humanitarian heritage as a political bargaining chip.

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Bringing Russian citizens home from abroad

Given that some countries have closed off their airspace to Russian airlines, it is recommended that tour operators and airlines organise alternative flights to bring Russian nationals back home, including using the airports of the third countries and land checkpoints, as well as combined routes (air/car or railway).

Russian nationals can submit information about themselves and their location by filling in a special form on the Foreign Ministry website help.mid.ru.

We also suggest following updates from the Federal Agency for Tourism, the Federal Agency for Air Transport, the Foreign Ministry and the nearby Russian diplomatic missions in the media and on social networks.

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Statements by Japanese Foreign Ministry Department Director

We have noted that Japanese Foreign Ministry Department Director Hideki Uyama, during the parliamentary hearings on February 28, 2022, drew a parallel between the special military operation in Ukraine and the southern Kurils’ accession to Russia. Leaving aside the well-known fact that the said islands were transferred to our country in accordance with international law following World War II, during which Japan suffered a devastating defeat, we want to point out the obviously revanchist subtext of the Japanese diplomat’s words. We consider it proof that certain forces in the Japanese political establishment keep in mind the possibility of realising their territorial claims against Russia. We recommend that they forget about such an “option” once and for all.

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Statement by the Friends of Crimea International Association on the Situation around Ukraine 

We, representatives of the Friends of Crimea International Association, in connection with Russia’s decision to conduct a special military operation for Ukraine’s demilitarisation and denazification in accordance with Russia’s treaties of friendship and mutual assistance with the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, affirm the following.

All sensible people on Earth realise that Russia cannot feel safe against the backdrop of anti-Russia actions by the nationalist regime in Kiev, the deployment of NATO military facilities in Ukraine, Ukrainian leaders stating their intention to start developing nuclear weapons as blackmail, and the US and NATO refusing to guarantee that the alliance will not expand further. The last straw for Russia’s patience was the shelling of Donbass cities and the resulting death toll, which continued to mount even after Moscow’s recognition of the DPR and the LPR, as well as Kiev’s refusal to back down from its plans to “clear out” their territories by force of arms.

Since the founding of our association in 2017, we have issued repeated public calls to stop the blockade of Crimea and the flagrant violations of the rights of its residents, to consider the Russian position and resume constructive dialogue between the West and the Russian Federation, and to respect the principles of equal and indivisible security for both sides.

We share the view expressed by the Russian leadership that Ukrainian nationalists will never forgive the residents of Crimea for the free choice they made in 2014. We agree that the current Kiev regime is prepared to stage armed provocations against the peninsula.

Ukraine’s adventurist project, known as the International Platform for Crimea’s De-occupation, or the Crimean Platform, which the West supported in 2021 and signed as an official document, was bound to sharply exacerbate tensions around the peninsula and the rest of the Black Sea region because its goal was to question and threaten Russia’s territorial integrity. All friends of Crimea who organised in their respective countries demanded that their governments abstain from this provocative venture. Unfortunately, our appeal to stop the world’s unmistakable slide toward armed conflict was not heard either in the United States or in Europe.

As such, we join all peace-loving people on Earth in calling for the elimination of this neo-Nazi hotbed in Europe, in Ukraine, and urging the ruling circles of the United States and other NATO countries to stop the pointless and dangerous actions taken against the people of Crimea and start a constructive dialogue with Russia on ensuring mutual security on an equal basis.

We stand for peace in Europe and the rest of the world and for friendly and equitable relations between all nations.

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The anniversary of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

March 5 marks 52 years since the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) took effect. This document is the cornerstone of nuclear non-proliferation and one of the pillars of the modern world order in security.

Tested for reliability by decades, the NPT continues to serve the interests of all states, both nuclear and non-nuclear countries, by ensuring international stability and predictability as well as enabling all countries to benefit from the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

The Russian Federation has always been and continues to be fully committed to this treaty, by taking significant efforts to promote a world free from nuclear weapons. We intend to pursue this noble goal further.

It should be noted that in the current extremely difficult geopolitical circumstances, there are direct threats to the functioning of the NPT. It is deeply alarming that the Kiev regime has started dangerous games, attempting to acquire its own nuclear weapons. These attempts must be stopped.

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The 25th anniversary of the IORA

March 7 marks 25 years of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA). We want to congratulate our organisation – Russia joined it in November 2021 as a dialogue partner – on this remarkable anniversary.

In the past 25 years, the association emerged as an effective multilateral platform for cooperation around the Indian Ocean and became an important element of regional security and sustainable development architecture.

Our country is committed to close practical cooperation in different areas of focus of the IORA, including countering COVID-19 and putting socioeconomic recovery on a steady trajectory.

We are interested in fruitful and pragmatic cooperation based on the principles of equality and respect for the legitimate interests of each state. We are confident that constructive and inclusive cooperation is a mandatory condition of further positive and dynamic development of the Indian Ocean states and a response to trans-border challenges.

We wish the association success, prosperity and new productive achievements.

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Answers to media questions:

Question: China must decide where to stand on the situation around Ukraine, Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Committee on US-China Relations and former Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew said on Monday. What is your opinion of that call and current relations with China?

Maria Zakharova: The People’s Republic of China, one of the largest global powers, has an independent and balanced foreign policy and can do without the Americans’ arrogant pointers. We can see that Beijing has also taken a balanced attitude to the Ukrainian problem. China has repeatedly called for respecting the principle of indivisible security and has pointed out that trying to ensure regional security by expanding military blocs is unacceptable and that Russia has reasons to be concerned. At the same time, China does not hesitate to tell the truth about the real role of the United States in the Ukrainian crisis, whose actions have provoked a dramatic aggravation. Chinese representatives at the UN have been consistently upholding this position.

The calls by senior US officials to choose a side in the conflicts Washington itself is fuelling and financing is a shopworn method of Anglo-Saxon diplomacy, which has been based on the “divide and rule” principle for centuries. The Americans have been using this unscrupulous tactic not only in Europe but also in absolutely all international situations that include an element of the sides’ disagreement. It is obvious that China has not risen to the bait.

Our relations with our Chinese friends are based primarily on mutual respect, mutual trust and a balance of the partners’ main interests. We greatly appreciate Beijing’s readiness to take an objective and unbiased stand on the Ukrainian issue. We will continue to maintain close ties on the entire range of international and regional issues in the spirit of strategic partnership.

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Question: When will Russia announce its response measures to the expulsion of 12 diplomats from the Russian Permanent Mission to the UN in New York? Will the response be symmetrical?

Maria Zakharova: I would like to note that a comment on this subject was posted on the Foreign Ministry website yesterday.

I can add that the United States continues pushing Russian representatives out of UN bodies in violation of all arrangements and its own obligations under the UN Charter and the Host Country Agreement.

One of the expelled 12 diplomats from Russia’s Permanent Mission to the UN is the last Russian officer officially assigned to the Office of Military Affairs at the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations. At the same time, Washington has refused to issue visas to other candidates from the Russian Defence Ministry who have long been approved for their positions.

They are doing this with the silent agreement of the UN Secretary-General and the UN Secretariat, the obedient extras to the lawless policy. We are not going to tolerate this, and we have announced openly that we will respond at the bilateral level, for example, by targeting the quota of the US diplomatic presence in Moscow, which is still calculated based on the number of our personnel at the UN.

We could also expel US diplomats, although we don’t want to do this again. But Washington’s insolence and unwillingness or inability to come to agreement may leave us no other choice.

We urge the US to act reasonably and to stop escalating the situation.

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Question: Ho can you comment on Sofia’s decision to expel two Russian diplomats? When will we reciprocate? Why was that decision taken yesterday?

Maria Zakharova: On March 2, the Bulgarian authorities declared two diplomats at the Russian Embassy in Sofia persona non grata. As before, no reasonable explanation for that decision or any proof of our diplomats’ “inappropriate” activities have been provided. The local media have launched a frenzied propaganda campaign.

Considering that this latest attack on Russian diplomats in Bulgaria was synchronised with similar unfriendly actions in several other countries, we regard this as part of an unprecedented and impudent Western campaign to demonise Russia.

We regard this decision as a brazen provocation, especially in view of the fact that the Sofia authorities took this step on the eve of March 3, a sacred day in our common history: the anniversary of Bulgaria’s liberation from the Ottoman rule as a result of the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878 .

Russia reserves the right to take response measures.

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Question: On Tuesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said it welcomed talks between Russia and Ukraine. How do you assess the possibility of settling the crisis around Ukraine via talks? What could be the key to resolving this crisis, from Russia’s perspective?

Maria Zakharova: Speaking about talks, both sides have to want to take part in them to begin with. You can see how inconsistent they are in their statements: they don’t want to participate, it would be hard to get there, they got lost on the way, they are tired and so on. We can see clearly that this is done to slow down the negotiation process. So, if they want to talk and reach agreements, we have been ready and open from the very beginning.

I would like to note once again that Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov answered this question in detail today.

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Question: According to the official spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, China and Russia will continue to cooperate in trade as usual. Would you like to comment on this?

Maria Zakharova: We share the Chinese ministry’s point on view in this. Relations between Russia and China are an example of neighbourly, mutually beneficial cooperation, and our trade and economic ties are long-term, strategic and not affected by the political situation at any given moment.

The trends in bilateral trade show that there is enormous potential for further growth. Last year trade grew almost one third and set a new record, $140 billion. The heads of state set a goal of significantly increasing it.

We intend to continue deepening our strategic cooperation in energy, which is of great importance for ensuring the economic security and successful development of the two countries. During President of Russia Vladimir Putin’s visit to China on February 4, 2022, Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation signed a contract to supply gas from the Far East. Plans are being developed to expand exports of Russian energy products to China. Extensive cooperation prospects can be seen in the peaceful use of nuclear power, where we and our Chinese partners have significant experience of successful cooperation.

We will continue to focus on large joint projects in various spheres, including in the Russian Far East. The intergovernmental commission has set a list of several dozen prospective investment goals. All of them will be supported and implemented consistently.

There are agreements to further develop and deepen cooperation in the sphere of space, science and innovations, as well as ICT and other high-tech fields, in transport. We can see major potential in agriculture, above all in increasing the volume of Russian agricultural products supplied to China.

We believe that in this difficult situation we and China, which also speaks out against unilateral restrictions, will be able to ensure the stable and progressive development of bilateral economic cooperation.

I would also like to stress that the West (which, of course, has many faces, and many of its elements are not independent), this Anglo-Saxon world would never stop. It needs resources in all senses of the word: energy, finance, human, ideological, all kinds of resources. It’s like an insatiable monster that consumes everything in its path for its own satisfaction and survival. They won’t stop with us or with China. A real sanction war broke out against China, though Beijing fulfilled all its economic contracts and responsibilities in good faith. It began on quite a limited scale with us, but it was clear that these sanctions would escalate. Today they have stopped hiding their true goal. This goal is to destroy us from the inside: the economy, finance, society and so on. They won’t stop there, they will keep going through world, destroying everything in their path. In fact, this is what they always do.

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Question: Andrey Kozyrev twitted this message to you and your colleagues the other night. He said you were professionals and not cheap propagandists. “When I was at the Foreign Ministry, I was proud of my colleagues. Now it’s impossible to support this bloody, brother killing war in Ukraine.” He called on all Russian diplomats to resign in protest. Mr Kozyrev obviously was the first foreign minister of Russia after the dissolution of the Soviet Empire. Would you resign and stop spinning cheap propaganda?

Maria Zakharova: We posted a comment on this on social media. Haven’t you seen it?

Question: Yes, but I would like to get your answer on the record, if possible.

Maria Zakharova: But that was our answer. You can quote directly from it, so I don’t have to read it again. You know what? Do you remember what years Andrey Kozyrev served as Foreign Minister?

Question: Yes, but I remember very vaguely. It was a long time ago.

Maria Zakharova: Indeed, but we remember this time very well. As a matter of fact, he served as Foreign Minister from October 1990 until January 5, 1996. You may remember that his years in this position coincided with the horrible events in the North Caucasus. You, British journalists, presented the tragedy in the North Caucasus along the same lines as the quote you just read. You called it a “bloodbath,” a “conflict,” or “Caucasus fighting for democracy and freedom.”

What did Andrey Kozyrev tell you at that time? What did he say when Britain and its Foreign Office received the terrorists and extremists from the North Caucasus, and Margaret Thatcher had tea with them, while Vanessa Redgrave called them Britain’s best friends, including Akhmed Zakayev? Do you know who Akhmed Zakayev is? This is related to your question about propaganda. This was a man who built a propaganda machine to whitewash extremism and terrorism in the 1990s in the Caucasus, when Andrey Kozyrev served as Foreign Minister. He was accepted by the British elite who greeted him as a friend. This answers the question on whether you are consistent in following your principles.

I do believe that there is consistency in what you do, but no principles. Learn your history and read Andrey Kozyrev, but not just on Twitter. Read the statements he made during these years, read how Moscow requested that London and Washington stop supporting terrorists from the North Caucasus. Read Moscow’s calls to the NATO countries, primarily Great Britain, to stop supporting extremism and the bloodbath in the 1990s. When you finish reading this and understand the history of our country, maybe then you will understand the real meaning of what we are doing rather than just using cheap slogans and propaganda-inspired talking points.

Question: I am not using propaganda slogans. I am simply quoting the words of a former foreign minister of Russia saying that it is impossible to support this bloody brother killing war in Ukraine. He called on all Russian diplomats to resign in protest. Would you resign?

Maria Zakharova: I have already answered this question and also explained how we feel about Andrey Kozyrev by reposting the statement by the Foreign Ministry staff on my social media accounts. You say that you do not use propaganda slogans. Did you notice that Mr Kozyrev wrote part of his tweet in English and part in Russian? Which colleagues was he talking to in English? Do you think we have anyone in our Foreign Ministry who does not understand Russian? This is propaganda. When someone writes half a tweet in English, he wants your attention, the Western mainstream media, and wants to get his message through to you, rather than talk to those whom he pretends to address. This is what propaganda is all about. You have an identical position. I will see you at the next briefing, since I have big plans on how to respond to your misinformation and fake news.

Question: You say that you are trying to protest civilians, but we have seen one civilian building hit after another, residential blocks, Freedom Square in Kharkov, local government buildings. And we have seen mounting numbers of civilian casualties. Are your soldiers just bad at targeting or you are actually lying about this?

Maria Zakharova: If you are going to ask questions in this manner, I will not speak to you at all. You may direct all your propaganda to your British politicians. Please control yourself here. If you can’t, then don’t pretend to be a journalist.

I have a degree in international journalism, and I know all about asking questions with an implanted position. Please note that the Defence Ministry said from the outset that the campaign is aimed at military infrastructure. As Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said today, unfortunately there are casualties both among servicemen and civilians. It happens, unfortunately. It is amazing that the question is coming from you, a representative of a country that has been carrying out massacres for years and decades in countries that share no borders with you, and it is totally unclear what you were doing there at all.

As for who lies, that’s the UK government, when it supported the campaign to take over Iraq. True, they admitted their lie later but have not apologised or been held accountable.

Question: The municipal building in Kharkov’s Freedom Square is not a military target. Yet it was clearly hit by a missile that destroyed the building. And we have seen any number of residential buildings, blocks of flats, homes, entire villages being wiped out by Russian fire. What I am saying, you know, whether you object to my tone or not, is this bad aiming, bad targeting by the Russian military, or are you being disingenuous with the claims that you are not targeting civilians?

Maria Zakharova: And there is the third option: you are saying “either…or”, but maybe these are fakes? Maybe Ukrainian fighters are claiming this is destruction caused by the Russian Armed Forces while they are the ones doing it, how about that?

Please give me specific materials. We will look at them and send them to the Defence Ministry, and they will provide their comments. But what you have to say, judging by how you said it, is pure propaganda.

Question: But why would the Ukrainian military target a municipal building in Kharkov? Is it capable of striking a building like that? Why would it strike its own residential areas?

Maria Zakharova: I told you – please give us the materials and we will comment on this specific case.

Question: Well, we have seen the video. Do you mean you have not seen it?

Maria Zakharova: I do not know what specifically you saw. Give us the materials and we will comment on them. I am not a military expert and do not comment on the course of the campaign.

I am ready, but if you are unable, I will give you the link to the Anti-fake section. Possibly, you will find that the video has already been debunked. In any case, send us the materials. We are prepared to look into them.

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Question: EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said he is sorry that the Western sanctions have failed to freeze all of Russia’s gold and foreign currency reserves. What will happen to Moscow-Brussels relations?

Maria Zakharova: Brussels pushed them into a corner, not just today, but in 2014. The architecture of our interaction with Brussels, from summit meetings to sectoral dialogues, was broken down. They chose to use sanctions against our country, and to wage a real anti-Russia campaign in all spheres under the cover of “strategic communication.” This was their tactic. For example, they forced candidate countries and partner states to express solidarity with anti-Russia statements and sanctions. In fact, this also took place in Ukraine. The policy in Brussels is “you are either with us, or against us.” They have not tried a harmonising approach but have chosen disengagement.

And ultimatums. What started the Maidan rallies in 2013 and 2014? In 2013, President Viktor Yanukovych was the EU’s best friend, the most promising leader who honoured his agreements. He attended summits and was met with applause. Nobody left the room when he was there. He was the best friend of the European Union.

Everything changed overnight. His EU friends “saw the light” when he refused to yield to their blackmail regarding the Association Agreement with the EU. Yanukovych postponed the decision until 2014 to compare the possibilities of alignment and integration with the EU to the post-Soviet integration processes in Eurasia. The next day, when he said that he would not sign the agreement immediately but would prefer to postpone it until next year, he became the target of attacks on all sides.

The same is happening to our country now. He was hissed at and called names. The EU did that. They stopped any talks with him and closed all doors on him, and after that the Maidan rallies began to pressure him into accepting the EU ultimatum and sign the agreement, which did not provide for aligning any processes but for making the choice exclusively in favour of the EU.

The Maidan rallies began with the militants and their Nazi ideology. The UK media had no interest in that. They didn’t ask how many civilian facilities the militants destroyed and how badly the civilian infrastructure was damaged. UK and US journalists walked between burning tires and Molotov cocktails as if in a rose garden, taking pictures of “public wrath.” What was that “public wrath” related to? It was related to one thing only: Brussels and Washington were staging an anti-constitutional coup with their own hands. This is how it began.

Brussels used far-fetched pretexts and open provocations to interfere in our domestic affairs and the internal affairs of countries who share close economic, financial, cultural, political and security ties with us.

During the subsequent years, the EU continued to disregard Russia’s legitimate interests and build up its political and economic pressure on our country. Our persistent calls to use its influence to encourage Kiev to implement the Minsk Package of Measures and stop infringing on the rights of Russian speakers came up against a wall of silence.

The EU policy towards Russia is still based on the Mogherini principles, which were adopted in 2016. They were anti-Russia from the very outset. But it was in 2016, or six years before February 2022. I invite you to read them. They are written in the Cold War language, just like Brussel’s new triad adopted in June 2021: “push back, contain, and engage.” This is what Josep Borrell proposed for our country. As expected, the principle of “selective engagement” has not gained traction. Nobody planned to use it. Instead, there was only pushback, which did nothing to promote stable and neighbourly relations in Europe.

In reply to our security guarantee proposals and personal letters from Sergey Lavrov to his counterparts in 37 countries, including EU member states, about compliance with the principle of indivisible security, we received a formal response dictated by the United States. Moreover, it was provided by Josep Borrell and Jens Stoltenberg, although the letters had not been addressed to them.

The EU took the next step on February 27, 2022, when it decided to send lethal weapons to Ukraine. By supplying weapons, the EU, which claims to be a diplomatic alliance, will extend the agony of the Kiev regime and increase the suffering of civilians. This makes one really wonder about the logic, real goals and soundness of their policy. This is being done through the Europe Peace Foundation. What kind of peace is this?

Brussels has demonstrated the worth of its claims about the rule of law in the EU. It ignored the eight criteria set out in the EU Common Position defining common rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment. That document was adopted in 2008. The Foreign Ministry commented on this violation in a statement on the EU’s role in the developments in Ukraine, which was published on February 28, 2022.

This policy, which can be described as pouring oil on the flames, will not be left unanswered. As for blocking Russia’s gold and foreign currency reserves and other EU restrictions, we know that Western hypocrisy is coupled with greed for gain. This is a classic case. Any country across the globe that supports the “wrong” regime, does not behave as expected, and elects the “wrong” party or leader is immediately faced with blocked accounts, deposits and reserves, and even the detainment of people who have access to information regarding these accounts. Is this the first time this happened? No, it has always been like that.

Was there a military conflict in Venezuela? No, just the vagaries of politics. But its accounts have been blocked and Venezuela couldn’t have its own money. In principle, they have done no harm to anyone. I don’t imagine what fault could be found with them. Wrong regime? Wrong oil prices? Wrong oil supply routes? Wrong pocket where the money lands? Or lack of hegemony by the colonial machine, which is controlling many things but has somehow failed in Venezuela? The colonial boss has tried to spread its control through Latin America and the Caribbean basin, but some countries, for example, Cuba and Venezuela, managed to avoid it. They have their own resources and their own domestic and foreign policies. The world has seen this happen several times. But can you cite an example when you helped anyone just for a thank you? When you transferred money to Ukraine, it returned within a week to the accounts of Western banks or individuals or was used to buy weapons from the senders. It is a criminal game that has been going on for decades and even centuries.

The global markets have reacted with soaring energy prices and plummeting shares of Western companies, which have been badly hit by the severed business ties with Russia. Regrettably, ordinary EU citizens, who are being deceived and have been deceived for years, will pay for this. Brussels officials will not suffer yet, but they will when we adopt measures in reply to the sanctions. I can promise this with my whole heart.

I would also like to add that our relations with the EU will depend on the EU’s understanding of its own interests in stabilising the situation in Europe and correcting the security imbalances created by NATO’s eastward expansion. They will depend on the EU’s awareness of the need to demonstrate geopolitical independence and to launch a dialogue with Russia based on respect. We will take this into account and formulate our policy accordingly. We will see if they recognise the need for the demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine and for new realities in the region. We will proceed from this.

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Question: The Council of Europe suspended Russia’s rights of representation. PACE President Tiny Kox said that Russia must meet its financial commitments to the Council of Europe. Is this just a question of money? Can you comment on that?

Maria Zakharova: We have already commented on the decision by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to suspend Russia’s rights of representation. This is the result of double standards and the lack of independence of the Strasbourg-based organisation at the same time.

There is no historical precedent for denying one of the Council of Europe member states the possibility of taking part in the work of its statutory bodies for carrying out a military operation. NATO’s aggression against Yugoslavia, or their invasion of Iraq and Libya, or Mikhail Saakashvili’s military venture in South Ossetia, or the eight years of genocide perpetrated by the Kiev regime against civilians in Donbass – nothing has elicited a radical response of this magnitude from Strasbourg. The reason is clear: this is something close to their heart, so close that they can’t even smell it. This “capital of human rights” did everything to turn a blind eye to the crimes of the Ukrainian nationalists. However, when our country finally decided to put an end to this outrage, the Council of Europe rushed to “punish” us in this strange and awkward manner. At the same time, they are also demanding that we honour our obligations, including our financial commitments, which is the most incredible part of this whole story.

This is unacceptable. We do hope that Strasbourg scratches its head, at least a little bit. If they do, they will understand the extent to which its decision will hurt the Council of Europe. I will not announce a final decision; let’s wait for their response. However, we have several options on the table in terms of responding to these steps.

We are also aware of the statements by Tiny Kox, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. I will not challenge his statements from this rostrum. Engaging in an indirect debate with him is not my intention. All I want to do is point out to PACE leadership, just as a historical reminder, that one of the slogans preceding the United States’ War of Independence was “no taxation without representation.”

There have been other situations in the history of relations between Russia and the Council of Europe similar to the one we have today. The most recent example is 2014. When Crimea reunited with Russia, the Parliamentary Assembly of this organisation was hysterical. It suspended the voting rights of the Russian delegation and prevented it from sitting in its governing bodies or observing elections. In response, our country stopped paying its membership fees. Since Russia is one of the biggest contributors to the budget of this organisation and accounts for about 10 percent of its revenue, this was quite a heavy blow for the Council of Europe. Within a year, the organisation changed its mind and restored the Russian parliamentary delegation’s rights.

We strongly believe that the obligation for a state to pay contributions to the budget of the Council of Europe arises from the possibility to fully participate in its activities. By taking the decision to suspend Russia’s rights, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe must understand the consequences. Back in 2014, we had the same conversation about money, contributions and how they correlate with enjoying our full rights. Our representatives discussed this with the representatives of the Council of Europe in every detail for hours, days and even months. Therefore, by deciding to suspend Russia’s rights of representation, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe must understand the consequences, including in financial, administrative, and legal terms.

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Question: Are there any international agencies in which Russia’s membership may be suspended or eliminated altogether?

Maria Zakharova: I don’t know. I cannot answer this question now. We did not have such plans. This was invented long ago. I’m referring to the UN Security Council and other agencies. We are told we are not eligible for membership in one agency because we are too big, and cannot enter another one because our economy is too small. It has been like this for decades. Instead of resolving issues together, working and building relations we have to face confrontation all the time with different groups of countries. They are always displeased with something. It is a classic already.

There was never a different approach. Everything went well only with Andrey Kozyrev. When he said Russia had no national interests, everyone applauded him, everyone agreed with him. But we must make a choice: either we have national interests and not everyone will applaud us, or we don’t have them. As soon as we declare this and agree to everything that is being imposed on us, and that glaringly contradicts the essence of our history, state and culture, we will receive thunderous applause. They will praise us. We will be extolled to the skies. We will be awarded with medals not for some achievements but just for the heck of it. We have already been through all this. We tried to trust them and understood that this was not the way to go. This happened many times. We tried to assert our right to exist at all kinds of talks. We are seeing the result: talks have stopped on all fronts. Apparently, talks about our existence have never been part of the West’s plans. Did this start in the absence of the Cold War and bloc confrontation? No, this may have gone on for centuries. Read letters by Ivan the Terrible to his British partners. Like we are saying now he said then that they had not fulfilled any of their commitments on trade, nor kept a single promise. Each time the situation follows the same scenario.  We do all we can, we are patient, we persuade, we invite them to the negotiating table, we talk and we find compromise. In some cases, we modify our positions, making concessions or suggesting exchanges. But then they come up with a provocation or present us with the terms that do not leave us a choice, considering these terms threaten our existence.

What are security guarantees? This issue boils down to our existence. Maybe it’s worth following Britain’s example − a preventive strike and interference in the internal affairs of those states that do not accommodate UK economic interests. People simply “disappear” both inside and outside Britain. They disappear as if they never existed. What happened with White Helmet member James Le Mesurier that carried out orders? What about the Skripals? Have they been found? No. Are they alive? Where are they? Who has seen them? Nobody has seen them. Nobody knows anything. They performed the role assigned to them and disappeared from the face of the Earth. Scotland Yard has been investigating this case for many years. So what? According to British logic, this is unimportant: No body, no case. Millions of people were killed in Iraq. They don’t care about anything at all. Not a single international institution replied. Everything is blocked. Everybody is silent. All they are saying is that they were doing all they could to bring democracy to the region. But the region is bad and democracy didn’t take hold. They crippled the Middle East and North Africa. What hadn’t they done there? They divided the whole of Africa with a ruler when they had to give up colonies, or else they would have never given them up.

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Question: Referring to a high-ranking Pentagon official, Politico reported that the US Defence Department expressed its desire to establish a communication channel with Russia against the backdrop of the situation in Ukraine. It may be patterned after a model the sides established in 2015 for settling the situation in Syria. Has Moscow received this proposal from Washington? Will it help establish a constructive dialogue between the sides?

Maria Zakharova:  And why are you interested? Don’t you want to connect to these channels. This is not an issue for the Foreign Ministry. This as a leak from the other side, so ask it. We have never rejected contacts, all the more so when other countries request them.

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Question: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan paid a two-day visit to Moscow last week and met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. During their meeting, they discussed the Pakistan Stream pipeline project and expansion of trade. How does Russia assess working relations with Pakistan after this visit? What did they manage to agree on?

Maria Zakharova: The visit you are talking about took place on February 23-24. It was the first visit by a Pakistani head of government to Russia in a bilateral format in 23 years. It gave a good impetus to the fast-growing Russian-Pakistani ties. Moscow and Islamabad showed determination to build up multifaceted cooperation even amid the tense international situation.

The Ukraine discussion was high on the meeting agenda. The Pakistani Prime Minister accepted with understanding our argument about the circumstances that have forced Russia to take this stance with our Western partners regarding the situation in Ukraine, security guarantees, Kiev’s genocide against millions of people living in Donbass, manifestations of neo-Nazi ideology and so on.

The leaders agreed to expand trade and economic cooperation with a focus on energy. They expressed mutual interest in signing commercial documents on the flagship project, the Pakistan Stream gas pipeline, in the near future. This will greenlight its practical implementation. Both parties agreed there are good prospects for LNG supplies to Pakistan and modernisation of Pakistani railways.

They also agreed to tighten cooperation in the fight against terrorism and the drug threat, taking into account the growing activity of a number of terrorist groups, primarily ISIS and Al-Qaeda in South Asia. They decided to continue the regular Friendship exercises, the Arabian Monsoon naval exercises, and contacts at the Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism.

The two countries’ leaders expressed a unanimous opinion on the need to stabilise Afghanistan by forming an inclusive government, taking into account the interests of all ethnic and political groups, as well as assisting that country in order to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe. They agreed to maintain cooperation at specialised international and regional platforms.

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Question: President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky signed an executive order introducing temporary visa-free regulations for foreign nationals who will travel to Ukraine to fight the Russian army. Western countries support Ukrainians in every possible way, and are saying they must protect their sovereignty, while at the same time, when young people in Kashmir raise their voices for their rights and freedom, Europe calls them terrorists. What can you say about Europe’s double standards?

Maria Zakharova: You are aware of our position with regard to the Kashmir issue. It remains unchanged. We consistently advocate resolving the existing differences between Islamabad and New Delhi by political and diplomatic means on a bilateral basis in accordance with the provisions of the 1972 Simla Agreement and the 1999 Lahore Declaration.

Western duplicity is nothing new and shows absolutely in all matters. At some point, they claimed that the idea of militants from other countries participating in an armed conflict is unacceptable for them, but we have seen vast numbers of examples where they were outraged by the fact that Russian nationals, and maybe not only them, were allegedly participating in the conflict. They said it was unacceptable. Today, the Kiev regime said that Europe, its Euro-Atlantic structures, promised to send 16,000 volunteers to Ukraine. Of course, they will be armed volunteers. You know what the consequences will be. You represent a region that has become hostage to this colonial line of thinking. When the British were leaving it, they shaped the situation so as to keep these countries hostage to this imperial thinking. I can say right away that if the NATO countries, the European Union and the United States send mercenaries there, then in a very short time these mercenaries will return to them. Only they will be totally different people then. They will have tasted blood by then. Now, once again I will revisit the 1990s, to which my British colleague sent me with his question today. They were sending militants and terrorists to the North Caucasus via the Middle East, Central Asia, directly via Europe, NATO countries, and the Mediterranean. We are aware of it. We are aware that numerous militants were sent there and that they gave them weapons. We are aware of other developments and the use of illegal drugs to control these people. What happened next? When Russia was dealing with terrorists on its own territory with jeers coming from the West, all the West was thinking about was how to save the lives of terrorists. They criticised us and told us we had no right to do it. They told us it was “a humanitarian disaster.” Our region was aflame and terrorist attacks were perpetrated all over the country, which for them was a humanitarian disaster. God forbid we dare touch terrorist cells in the North Caucasus which were financed by the West. When our internal counterterrorism operation began to bring about effective results, and this terrorist scum was pressed against the hills and mountains, they started fleeing to these very countries, primarily, northern Europe, Britain, and Scandinavia. You know what? Several years later, in the mid-2010s, the same countries that hosted terrorists from the North Caucasus officially contacted us asking what to do now. You know the way they think better than us. They were asking for advice and help of our specialists. They were ready to conduct joint operations. They even wanted us to take them away, since they had no idea of what to do with them. They provided shelter to many radicals under the guise of refugees and settled them in compact areas. Five to six years later, they were horrified by what was happening there and ran to us asking to help and save them, which we did.

It will play out the same way now. Look, 3,000 Iraqi migrants, people with money who could afford a plane ticket, trained professionals who had savings, arrived at the Belarusian-Polish border in search of a better chance to fulfil their potential. They were neither fundamentalists, nor terrorists. They had all kinds of papers. They had officially issued entry documents, they bought tickets and responded to the “call” of the European Union (which has been encouraging them to look for a better life for many years) and were on their way to Berlin. Did you see how it ended? They were afraid even of these 3,000 people. They gassed them, blinded and deafened them by light and sound, and did everything to prevent children, women and civilians from entering the EU. Why? Just because Europe is already suffocating from the problem posed by migrants from the Middle East.

The Iraqis who came to Belarus to the EU borders, the refugees who have for decades been coming from the Middle East through the Mediterranean, Italy and Greece are the result of the experiment conducted by the West (the United States, Britain and NATO countries) on these regions.

Another experiment they are planning to conduct will have a bloody ending for them. They are handing out weapons to militants and ordinary people who have never fought under the banner that it is supposedly necessary to fight back the aggression and to defend themselves.  This is being said by the Kiev regime, which simply formulated the ideology of aggression throughout the country. This experiment won’t end just like that. Europe, which is about to supply weapons and armed militants to them, will get them back just as they got the White Helmets back. Remember, they controlled them from London. Remember the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights? Where is it headquartered? London. It controlled the White Helmets movement. The White Helmets in Syria received instructions from London, Brussels and the United States from there. And they received money, too, which is an established fact.

Under the guise of humanitarian organisations, they did all kinds of things there. When this outrage was over (also thanks to the efforts of the Russian Armed Forces), the White Helmets asked their sponsors (who promised to take them to their respective countries) to deliver on their promise, because no one needed them in Syria. They knew they would be killed there, just like James Le Mesurier “accidentally” died there. And that is the end of it. What did the West do to them? It tried to send them to Jordan or other countries. Why? Because they know who they are getting. The only difference is that the Middle East is separated from Europe geographically. These are different continents.

Here we share the same continent. Thanks to these countries’ policies, the borders with Ukraine are open. Let them not say later that these armed militants who will go back (and they will) to these countries have become an unpleasant “surprise” for them. We warned them.

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Question: What can Russia do or has already done to set off the effect of the information war that is being zealously waged against it?

Maria Zakharova: There are some natural disasters that we can foresee and take measures to protect ourselves from. And there are those that all we can do is wait for them to be over and try to survive. The problem is not with us or with our position. The information war unleashed by the West is fatal to it. They are killing their media and the ability of their countries and people for critical thought. They are killing democracy because if it is based on the media of propaganda and does not allow for opinions, it is not a democracy and it cannot be lasting.

The Western world has opted for this type of [political] setup – one without an alternative – as its priority. They ruled out the possibility of making adjustments to democracy or gaining a new perspective on it.  Pure democracy as it is. If they black out media, block internet platforms, engage in information manipulation and give money to support chosen media outlets in other countries, they can forget about democracy. If there is no alternative to their political system – for decades, people have been taught to give their lives for democracy – everything is doomed.

I do not want to assert this but we are seeing manifestations of these phenomena. We will continue to provide information, refute fake news and respond, whenever we have an opportunity to protect ourselves and our media with retaliatory measures. We will draw yet another conclusion. We will do everything we can. The orgy going on right now must scare those who started it.

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Question: How can the deteriorating relations between Russia, and the United States and some European countries affect cooperation in bringing the situation in Afghanistan back to normal?

Maria Zakharova: We believe the existing bilateral and multilateral cooperation formats have proved their worth. Take, for example, the expanded troika format: Russia, China, the United States and Pakistan. Several European players expressed an interest in joining these efforts. Another meeting in this format is scheduled for March 2022. It is about regional security, among other matters. Considering the existing opportunities for the dissemination of information and the speed at which all processes are evolving, we are now putting a broader interpretation on the term “region”.

We noted that under various pretexts, the United States can skip some meetings of the expanded troika, the way it happened in Kabul and Moscow last year. However, this does not have a significant effect on the functioning of this mechanism.

Currently, given the difficult humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, the focus of this group’s efforts has shifted to assisting the post-conflict recovery of that country. This testifies yet again to the importance and relevance of this format.

In light of the recent events, we are prepared for any scenarios of our cooperation with the West on Afghanistan. At the same time, no matter what decisions the Americans and Europeans might take regarding this work in the future, it is important not to allow them to shed the responsibility for the deplorable state of affairs in Afghanistan, which is the result of the 20-year military campaign conducted by the United States and its allies in the country.

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Question: Iceland has closed its airspace for Russia and is denying entry visas for Russians. There is a danger of attack on the Russian Embassy in Reykjavík. Iceland’s government made the Atlantic Cargo aircraft available for transporting lethal weapons to Ukraine. Should Iceland expect Russia to retaliate?

Maria Zakharova: Your question contains so much that I can answer using the same words.

It does indeed contradict the obligations assumed by individual countries as well as joint obligations. It runs counter to the objectives declared by the Western community, specifically Iceland, on the need to achieve peace in Ukraine. What they are doing will increase the number of casualties in Ukraine and create a threat to the European continent because those weapons will get into the hands of neo-Nazi fighters.

How will we react? The Russian leadership has already spoken about it. I do not represent the Defence Ministry. I cannot give comments. This is beyond my competence. I am not involved in these matters. I can speak on the subjects within the scope of the Foreign Ministry’s activities. We warned them. The response will be worked out.

All this is caused by a profound misunderstanding of the situation on the ground. Since the beginning of the armed conflict in Donbass in 2014, we never saw any concern in Iceland regarding the oppression, loss of life and hostilities there – what the Kiev regime was doing. How can you care about one part of Ukraine and not care about another? It shows your lack of understanding of what is going on.

Why does every country have to know everything? It doesn’t have to know. It’s all right if a country is not a permanent member of the UN Security Council (or is not a member of major international associations that play a decisive role), distances itself from the public opinion of what is happening, observes from the sidelines even if it concerns something of crucial importance for the security of a region on its continent. It is strange not to notice, but yes, there are countries like that. For certain reasons they were not involved, were unaware. Possibly, they had no experts. They did not even make any attempts to figure things out for themselves. In that case they should continue to stick to this position.

Since for eight years you didn’t think it was important to find out why people were dying there, then you shouldn’t wake up now. Go on sleeping. And if you’ve decided to wake up now, then you should look at some materials. We have provided enough of them. Study them. You cannot blindly follow someone else’s course and create the feeling of collective condemnation based on one country’s information on an issue that you have no understanding of because it never had any importance for you.

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Question: Could you specify what Russia means by the term “denazification”? You have repeatedly referred to the Ukrainian leaders as Nazis and a “nationalist regime.” What does “denazification” mean in this context? Is it changing who is in power or renouncing a kind of rhetoric?

Maria Zakharova: People who profess Nazi logic may be described in theoretical or in practical terms. Much has been written about them in theory.

In practical terms: They took part in combat units that are distinguished by the logos of battalions from World War II or the Great Patriotic War as we call it here. People who collaborated with the Third Reich, including on occupied territories, were turned into national heroes. An atmosphere was created that made it impossible for people of different ethnic origins and religious beliefs to coexist, as they were persecuted for these characteristics. Many of them were okay on their own but the problem emerged in combination. This was not even considered abnormal or an excess. It was the policy of the state. That’s how it was in everyday life.

People with barbaric logic may be found in any society. Like the vandals who desecrate monuments (either out of stupidity or conviction). They are denounced, persecuted and punished. They are condemned for what they do by society in terms of public morality and also by the state in terms of law. There are laws against such behaviour. Public opinion is strongly against this. The same position is held by different government institutions, executive and legislative authorities and civil society. This issue is subject to regulation. Any individual or collective action by neo-Nazis is stopped. When they desecrate a monument, local communities, municipalities and deputies pay close attention. They restore the monument while law enforcement finds the criminals and punishes them. Children are told that this is not the way to go, and newspapers write that it is an isolated example that brings shame on society.

In Ukraine the picture is the reverse. These are not isolated examples. There are thousands of them. They are not criticised in public. Sometimes, an approach based on historical reconciliation is taken. Why don’t they sit at the same table and make friends? (The veterans who fought against the Nazis and those who were on the side of the Galicia division.) There is an all-or-nothing policy – either ban everything (both the red star and Nazi logos) or allow everything. How come? This is like making peace between Hannibal and his victim. Why not put them in the same room? After all, they are both homo sapiens and will find a common language. Let’s go away and see whether one of them will eat the other. This is the same logic. The ground was prepared at government level for not putting a stop to it. These nationalist movements were a convenient instrument for achieving their political aims.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin said what to do about all this on February 24 of this year. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other Russian officials explained in detail the essence of denazification as one of the goals of the special military operation in Ukraine. Its goal is to eradicate Nazism and fascism that made a comeback in Ukraine over seven decades after World War II. They were there. We know. See the film “Ordinary Fascism.”  In the past, if this existed, it was driven into a corner or completely rooted out. Whatever some people had in their minds was pushed far back without the possibility of it spilling out. This was Soviet policy towards fascism – zero tolerance, to use the current expression. There was no tolerance of any neo-Nazi manifestations. It was inconceivable.

But they supported all the collaborators and accomplices like the grandfather of Chrystia Freeland, who published a Nazi journal in Poland. He was given a job, food and accommodation. They periodically used him for their internal purposes and later in the anti-Soviet and anti-Russian struggle.

Despite our detailed explanations, some Western media are trying to distort the meaning of denazification. The day before yesterday, one French television channel interpreted denazification as the intention to fragment, divide and destroy the Ukrainian nation. They took the word “Nazism” at the root of the word and interpreted it to mean a nationality, a nation. This is the level of Western propaganda. A sophisticated distortion. This substitution of “Nazism” for “nation” is highly indicative of Western propagandists. For the past eight years, they either shut their eyes to what was happening or openly encouraged Nazi trends in Ukraine, calling them a “movement for liberation” or a manifestation of “cultural identity.” True, this “cultural identity” emerged there on such a scale during World War II. Previously, if it existed it was manifest in civil confrontation and internal conflicts, including political intolerance. The misanthropic logic never existed. People were fighting, there was a civil war but it was about different classes and social positions. It had nothing to do with one nation’s superiority over others and, as a consequence, not having equal rights.

We would like to point out that since 2014, when the national radicals took power in the country after the unconstitutional coup d’etat, they began to glorify those who collaborated with Nazi Germany. These were members of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (OUN-UPA), which openly killed Russians, Poles, Jews, Gypsies, people of other ethnicities and “objectionable” Ukrainians during World War II.

During the past eight years, the atrocities of the OUN-UPA fighters, who killed thousands of civilians, were presented as “the struggle for freedom.” Streets and stadiums were named in honour of Hitler’s accomplices – Bandera and Shukhevich. We talked about this issue almost every day. Nazi formations – the Right Sector, S14, Trizub, Azov, Donbass and Aidar, to name a few, were operating in the open in Ukraine. Torchlight processions were held. A torchlight procession is not a carnival with flashlights. It is a Nazi-oriented march with relevant symbols, greetings and stylistic features. However, not everyone in Europe realises this. Some of those units were incorporated in the Ukrainian armed forces and sent to Donbass as a combat cell. They looted, raped and killed. They are responsible for civilian deaths.

Denazification is a historical term. We didn’t invent it. I will cite several examples to show that the world already faced it in the past so that Western journalists stop saying they hear this for the first time. Don’t mix things up. Take denazification of Germany and Austria after World War II. After the war, the victorious Allied powers established the Allied Control Council. One of the goals of Germany’s occupation by these powers, by which the council was to be guided, was “to destroy the National Socialist Party and its affiliated and supervised organisations, to dissolve all Nazi institutions, to ensure that they are not revived in any form, and to prevent all Nazi and militarist activity or propaganda.” (Report about the tripartite Berlin/Potsdam Conference, August 2, 1945, item 3 of section A – Political Principles of Section 3 on Germany). To reach these objectives, the Council adopted Law No. 10 and Law No. 4, which determined a number of individuals subject to denazification and provided for the creation of special judicial bodies to review their cases.

The Council issued Directive No. 38 “Arrest and Punishment of War Criminals, Nazis, and Militarists and the Internment, Control, and Surveillance of Potentially Dangerous Germans.”

Article 139 of the Fundamental Law of Germany provides for the continuation of legal instructions on denazification.

Austria also has a legal base for it. Article 12 of the State Treaty for the Re-Establishment of an Independent and Democratic Austria of May 15, 1955 prohibits former members of Nazi organisations from serving in the Austrian armed forces. In addition, the treaty provides for the return of property of Austrian nationals, including property that had been forcibly removed from the Austrian territory to Germany after 1938, to its owners but makes a reservation: “This provision shall not apply to the property of war criminals or persons who have been subjected to the penalties of denazification measures… (Article 23).

This is just a brief review of historical examples. Everything must be formalised at the legal level.

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Question: In view of unprecedented sanctions and Russia’s isolation which, among other things, prevented Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov from participating in the UN events in Geneva, does Moscow consider withdrawing or suspending its participation in certain international structures? I am interested, in particular, in Russia’s activities in the OSCE, which you repeatedly criticised in the preceding months and weeks.

Maria Zakharova: I have already spoken about that. We proceed from the fact that some Western ideologists have long been engaged in this work. We are monitoring it.

As of yet Russia is not considering withdrawing from or suspending its engagement with the OSCE. We can do that any time. However, our patience has its limits.

As you may know, in the 1970s Moscow stood at the origins of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, a forerunner of this major regional organisation meant to become a venue for discussing and taking collective consensus decision on security issues in the Euro-Atlantic. It hurts to see what the OSCE has turned into. I recall, when I was at university, we studied what the OSCE is and the principles it stands for. What I have faced in practice, especially in the past years, is worlds different. The principles have been perverted to the core. It is impossible to believe that the Organisation was founded on certain principles which have been so utterly corrupted by now.

The West has usurped the management of the OSCE bodies since the 1990s so as to interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign states and impose ultra-liberal concepts and values which are alien to many countries. The Western countries signed OSCE obligations while intending, as we know now, to never follow up on them. The notorious “rules-based order” obligations are meant only for the former socialist countries whereas “developed democracies” are above the law. In other words, some countries owe everything to everyone whereas the latter have only rights and can do whatever they see fit.

The turning point in understanding all of this did not occur yesterday. You have rightly noted that we have been speaking a great deal about it recently, too. If someone has enough patience to go over past events, they will realise that we have been speaking about it for a long time now. In 1999, NATO violated all international norms and OSCE principles when it bombed Yugoslavia and tried to rip Kosovo from it. They were doing it for many years. Just in case, when they need to trample universal norms, the West always has a tested tool which we first qualified as double standards and now they themselves called it “constructive uncertainty.” When a clear-cut wording can be turned into a murky passage which doesn’t entail (from their point of view) any commitments, that’s what they obviously think the constructive uncertainty is. Even though everything is written on paper and all the principles are clearly laid out.

OSCE members have been after the Russian media outlets in the past years and especially the past months, making them experience all the beauty of the Western interpretation of “liberalism.” Many media outlets had Westerners among their staff who worked there as equals and expressed views not as NATO countries’ citizens but as journalists. And not even expressed a position but just did their job.

As a result, the OSCE failed to take advantage of the historic opportunity to strengthen its international standing by assisting in the settlement of the intra-Ukrainian crisis. Instead, the Western OSCE members used the Vienna-based organisation to cover and justify Kiev’s reluctance to stop the genocide in Donbass by implementing their commitments under the Minsk Package of Measures through a dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission throughout its almost eight-year-long operation in Ukraine failed to report true and impartial information to the world community about the victims and destruction caused by the Ukrainian Army’s and nationalist battalions’ punitive operation against civilians in the DPR and LPR, not to mention of the way they turned a blind eye to gross human rights violations across entire Ukraine. Even the little that they uttered would have been enough to unblock the negotiating process between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk. Yet they did not do it. They did not use any of the opportunities. They kept buzzing, clamouring and booing whenever Russian representatives tried to make them understand the severity of the situation. The Westerners preferred hostile rhetoric and promoting confrontational bloc-based approaches rather than meaningful in-depth discussions.

Such lopsided pan-European cooperation is sinking into oblivion. This does not mean the OSCE must be buried. We need a forum for equitable and mutually respectful dialogue and cooperation. When the collective West gets over its fits of Russophobia, we will be ready to jointly restore interaction in the Organisation. But we will not do that on the principles that discriminate against Russia and other nations “to the east of Vienna.” A great deal of work lies ahead to revive the true Helsinki Spirit for the OSCE to operate for the benefit of all its member-states without exception.

This will become possible when all countries whose leaders signed the documents of the 1999 Istanbul and 2010 Astana summits are guided by the principle of equal and indivisible security not just in word but in deed, and unconditionally implement their commitment not to enhance their own security at the expense of others’ security. We will be waiting for the West to sober up from the anti-Russia frenzy.

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Question: An Indian citizen died in Kharkov. India wants to have safe corridors for its students. Will Russia provide them?

Maria Zakharova:  The responsibility of establishing humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of Indian nationals in Ukraine has been assigned to our specialised agencies, which are working on this issue. The question about Indian nationals was discussed during the contact between the two countries’ leaders. All information on this issue is provided in the comment posted on the Kremlin’s website.

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Question: What do you think about the Indian approach to the current developments? Did the Prime Minister of India call for dialogue?

Maria Zakharova: India and its leadership have a weighted, wise and far-sighted position on a number of issues, including a wide range of global and regional issues. That is typical of the Indian leadership. They apply this method (I mean the method of a weighted and unbiased approach) in general to the international agenda. It does not mean that there are no problems or differences with other countries. Yet, speaking in general, this is a weighted and far-sighted position, including on the situation in Ukraine.

The Indian leadership has drawn Russia’s attention to the importance of conducting an honest dialogue, which could lead to a compromise in this situation. As for us, we are seeking honesty in the negotiation process on all tracks, not only regarding Ukraine, but we also demand the same attitude from NATO.

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Question: They say that the advocates of the so-called European values, those Ukrainian transgender women who registered as men and want to leave Ukraine now are not allowed to do so, because men are not allowed to leave and vice versa, those men who changed their gender can leave.

Please accept most heartfelt greetings from your fellow compatriots on the occasion of the coming first spring holyday, International Women’s Day. We are happy that such smart, kind and beautiful women as those working at the Foreign Ministry and agencies abroad are with us. You are the best.

Maria Zakharova: Thank you very much. Having such support and seeing such genuine interest in international affairs gives me confidence. I am always in favour of impartiality and professionalism. I think that these qualities and, of course, commitment to the truth have always been key for overcoming even the most complicated situations in life. Life cannot give us a cloudless sky every day. We face various challenges as people, nations and countries. That’s life. They happen and pass differently, but the difference is how people act in the situation, how decently they behave, think beyond their own current emotions, how much they think about others and work and act for the benefit of other people. This is one of the main secrets and objectives in life; in overcoming obstacles and achieving the results at the level where you can do your best.

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Question: How does Russia regard the refusal by Turkey and Georgia to take part in the Western anti-Russia sanctions?

Maria Zakharova: The Western anti-Russia sanctions are illegitimate and adopted without the necessary approvals. However, it is not so much because of the procedure. The sanctions are part of a bigger plan that they did not conceal. These sanctions are unlawful. Sometimes the principle is more important than the damage inflicted by its application. This happens when you stand up for the truth, when you work for the benefit of the most important principles of humankind’s existence. But when the sanctions are illegitimate under the law and hypocritical in essence, when the reason for imposing them is to destroy something and to save something else, how can it be tolerated that they do harm even to those who impose them. This is absurd, foolish and short-sighted, let alone indecent. Unfortunately, this term has been lost by many in international affairs. However, behaviour should at least try to follow logic somehow.

I hope that I have answered all your questions.

Putin: Ukrainian nationalists use civilians as human shields (full speeches)

March 07, 2022

There are periods now where the Kremlin formal site is open as well as the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Following are two speeches of Mr. Putin: First, his Meeting with Security Council permanent members and secondly still an incomplete transcript of his meeting with female aircrew members of Russian airlines.

The resistance is up in arms about the news blackout and information war, and these were snagged by Resistance News and we thank them!

Putin: Ukrainian nationalists use civilians as human shields (full speeches)

Meeting with Security Council permanent members

Vladimir Putin met via videoconference with permanent members of the Security Council on 

Source: en.kremlin.ru

Taking part in the meeting were Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko, Speaker of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin, Deputy Chair of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Anton Vaino, Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev, Minister of the Interior Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov, Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu, Director of the Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov, Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin, and Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport Sergei Ivanov.

* * *

Note: The Kremlin website has been down for days, being under constant DDoS attacks as part of the raging information war trying to suppress any Russian voice. It seems to work for now, but I publish these two important speech transcripts in case it goes down again.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrades,

On February 24, we commenced the special military operation in Ukraine. In achieving its objectives of protecting our people in Donbass and providing for the security of our Motherland, Russian soldiers and officers are acting courageously, like true heroes.

Our servicemen are fighting hard, fully understanding the righteousness of their cause. Soldiers and officers remain in position even after being wounded. They sacrifice themselves, their lives, to save their fellow soldiers and civilians.

Our servicemen and Donbass militia are really displaying mass heroism.

I would distinguish the personnel of the 100th Motorised Rifle Brigade fighting in the Donetsk area. Its servicemen under the command of Colonel Alexey Berngard breached the deeply fortified defenses in the Volnovakhi region that have been strengthened and equipped by the nationalists for almost eight years.

Tank platoon commander Lieutenant of the Guards Viktor Sokolnik destroyed fived tanks in battle.

On February 25, outside of Chuginka, company leader of the 163th armour regiment Captain Alexei Lyovkin came upon nationalist units including 15 tanks and six mechanized infantry combat vehicles. He and his personnel attacked the enemy and destroyed all the MICVs and five tanks, completing the mission without losses.

I have signed an executive order on awarding the title of Hero of Russia to Lieutenant Nurmagomed Gadzhimagomedov, regrettably, posthumously. During a battle he confidently lead his soldiers, taking care of his subordinates as a good commander should. Even when he was seriously wounded, he continued fighting to his last breath, blowing up himself, along with the militants who surrounded him, with a grenade. He did that because he knew who he was dealing with —neo-Nazis who torture and brutally murder prisoners.

I am a Russian. As they say, all my relatives are Ivans and Marias. But when I see heroes like this young man, Nurmagomed Gadzhimagomedov, a resident of Dagestan and an ethnic Lak, and our other soldiers, I can hardly stop myself from saying: I am a Lak, a Dagestani, a Chechen, an Ingush, a Russian, a Tatar, a Jew, a Mordovian, an Ossetian… It is impossible to name all of the more than 300 nationalities and ethnic groups that live in Russia. I think you can understand me. I am proud to be part of this world, part of our powerful and strong multinational people of Russia.

At the same time, I will never abandon my conviction that Russians and Ukrainians are one nation, even though some people in Ukraine have been intimidated, many have been duped by nationalist Nazi propaganda, and some have consciously decided to become followers of Bandera and other Nazi accomplices, who fought on Hitler’s side during the Great Patriotic War.

It is a fact that we are fighting neo-Nazis, which can be seen from the course of the hostilities. The nationalist and neo-Nazi units —and there are foreign mercenaries in them, including from the Middle East— are using peaceful civilians as a human shield. As I have said, there is objective data and photos of how they deploy military equipment in residential districts. They are behaving like this, like outright criminals, and instead of honouring their promise to remove that equipment from residential neighbourhoods, kindergartens and hospitals, they are deploying more tanks, artillery guns and mortar launchers there.

They have also taken foreign nationals hostage, including thousands of young people, students who were receiving an education in Ukraine. For example, they held 3,179 Indian citizens, most of them students, at the railway station in Kharkov for over a day. And they are still holding the majority of them, including 576 in Sumy. The neo-Nazis opened fire on the Chinese students who wanted to leave Kharkov, wounding two of them.

As I have said, hundreds of foreign nationals are trying to leave the combat zones, but they are being prevented from doing so. In fact, they are being held hostage; the hostage-takers are playing for time or are offering them a chance to leave via Lviv or Poland, that is, to cross the combat zone, thereby risking their lives.

Our service personnel have opened corridors in absolutely all conflict areas. They have offered transportation so peaceful civilians and foreign nationals can go to a safe place.

I would like to point out again that the nationalists are preventing them from doing this. Moreover, they are telling foreign nationals to turn to their own authorities, which have to seek the assistance of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry. In fact, they are pushing these people into the line of fire.

The nationalists are acting even worse towards their own citizens, their own people. As I said, they are using people as human shields. Our service personnel have reported instances where people in residential buildings in the Donetsk People’s Republic —in Severodonetsk, Lisichansk and other towns— are forced to gather in the middle floors; the windows and walls in the lower floors are broken open to mount heavy weaponry such as cannons, and tanks, and machineguns, and snipers are placed on the roof and on the upper floors.

It is only fascists that did this, they were the ones that treated civilians so inhumanely when Soviet forces were fighting them, including as they were liberating Ukraine.

I would like to repeat that our soldiers and officers are trying to prevent civilian casualties, and regrettably, they are sustaining losses while doing this.

It is our duty to support the families of our dead and wounded comrades, who fight for the security of our Fatherland, for our people, for the people of Russia.

All family members of the servicemen who have perished during this special military operation in Ukraine will be issued a death gratuity and a one-time payment of 7,421,000 rubles. Monthly compensation will also be paid to each family member of the deceased.

In addition, I consider it necessary to approve an additional payment of 5 million rubles to each family of Defence Ministry service members, and service members and other personnel of the other security agencies killed during the operation.

Any service personnel wounded during the operation will be issued benefit payments as well. I am referring to insurance benefits and one-time payments for being wounded, injured or for receiving a concussion.

Wounded contract service personnel found unfit for duty will be issued a one-time payment of 2,968,000 rubles, and a monthly payment in case of permanent disability. All these measures are provided for by law.

At the same time, I believe that an additional payment of 3 million rubles should be stipulated for Defence Ministry service personnel and service members and other personnel of other security agencies who are wounded during the operation.

I would like to emphasise once again that our men and officers are fighting in Ukraine for Russia, for a peaceful life for the citizens of Donbass, and for the denazification and demilitarisation of Ukraine, so that no anti-Russia, which the West has been creating for years right on our border, can threaten us, including with nuclear weapons, as has recently become the case.

Our people are proud of their Armed Forces. We will never forget our comrades who have been killed in action. We will do everything necessary to support their families and children, to give them an education, to support their loved ones.

Let us pay our respects to our soldiers who have died doing their military duty during this special military operation in Ukraine.

(Minute of silence.)

Comrades,

I would like to say that the special military operation is proceeding on schedule and according to plan. All the tasks are being fulfilled. The Defence Minister will report in more detail on this.

Mr Shoigu, please.

<…>

Meeting with female aircrew members of Russian airlines

Vladimir Putin visited the Aeroflot aviation training centre and met with female aircrew members of Russian airlines on 

Source: en.kremlin.ru

Before the meeting, the President inspected flight and emergency rescue simulators at the training centre. They simulate a real-life mid-air environment. The President inspected a cockpit allowing pilots to more effectively control the MC-21 medium-haul narrow-body airliner. He also used a simulator to fly a Sukhoi Superjet 100 airliner in the company of Aeroflot flight detachment commander Maria Kasyanik. Vladimir Putin also visited the unique Water-Land centre, whose specialists train flight crews to deal with emergencies, including water landings, mid-air firefighting operations and evacuating passengers via inflatable ramps.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends,

Minister of Transport Vitaly Savelyev, who headed the Aeroflot Group just recently, has been asking me for quite a while to come here and to see this training and simulator centre. By coincidence, the well-known events are taking place, and March 8 is approaching. Therefore, he and I decided not to put off the visit any further and to see the facilities you have here, to find out how they are used and to evaluate this centre’s prospects.

I should say that all this is quite impressive. Maria Kasyanik has shown me how to control the aircraft, and I moved the joysticks under her guidance. This is really great, all the more so as next-generation simulators are available, the chief has also discussed them, and I have had a look.

But, of course, we should use this opportunity to discuss the sector’s development prospects. We will probably also talk about the current situation because, naturally, it is impossible to avoid it.

First of all, I would like to congratulate you all on the upcoming International Women’s Day and to wish you and your colleagues all the best. I will be able to address all women of Russia a bit later.

But I would like to say that the sector which we are talking about and where you work and with which you are affiliated employs over 70,000 women, including over 200 pilots and co-pilots, as well as flight attendants, of course, who are a special category and caste.

The people in Russia have always treated aviation with great respect and interest, especially for ladies in aviation. I think the first female Russian aviators emerged in the early 20th century, and they won a reputation for themselves during the Great Patriotic War. We know all those famous names of female aviation regiments and their combat record. Today, women work in all positions, including flight controllers, engineers, technicians, and I repeat once again, flight attendants and pilots. On the whole, this is a substantial female force that supplements the aviation sector’s male section.

I think that is all for opening remarks since it would be more useful and to the point if I answer your questions. So, let’s go over to that part now.

Once again, congratulations on the upcoming International Women’s Day.

Remark: Thank you.

Do you have any questions? Or shall we just have some tea?

Maria Kotova: We have questions.

Good afternoon, Mr President,

My name is Maria Kotova. I am the co-pilot of the Airbus A320 airliner operated by Aeroflot.

My question concerns the current situation in Ukraine. We all support your actions and the special operation underway there. Of course, the most important question that, one way or another, each of us has been asking ourselves lately is: why did this special operation begin? Could it not have been avoided?

In our minds, we understand and strongly support your actions, but as women we worry about our families and loved ones who live in Ukraine. We are aware that the civilians are not impacted. But still, we would like you to reassure us: what is in store for us at the end of this road? What is the military operation in Ukraine supposed to end with?

Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: I will provide a brief overview and start, as they say in such cases, from the “centre of the field.” I mentioned this at the beginning of the operation and even before this decision was made, which was undoubtedly a difficult decision to make.

What is this about? The fact of the matter is that after the anti-constitutional coup in Ukraine, which was, unfortunately, strongly supported by Western countries… Let us face it. They are not hiding the fact that they spent US$5 billion on it, handing out cookies on Maidan and so on. And then, instead of bringing the situation back on track, even if it spiralled out of control, even if it was what is known as an excessive act —there is such a legal concept, that is, they planned one thing, but did another. Anyway, they could and should have brought this situation back onto the political track. Moreover, right before the coup, three foreign ministers came to Kiev in 2014, signed an agreement with the incumbent authorities and acted as guarantors of these agreements to the effect that the situation would remain within the political track.

Nothing of the kind. They carried out a coup d’état and supported the perpetrators. Then followed the well-known events related to Crimea and southeastern Ukraine, Donbass, whose residents refused to support the coup.

As you know, Crimea made a decision, people came to the referendum and voted to once again become part of the Russian Federation. Naturally, we could not but support this, all the more so since they were threatened by nationalists and neo-Nazis. There is a great deal of evidence that they were right.

Later on, or practically in parallel, events started in Donbass. What was the outcome? People who began to resist these developments were persecuted. The Kiev authorities started conducting military operations on that territory. They conducted two large-scale punitive operations with the use of heavy weapons and combat aircraft. They attacked Donetsk directly with tanks and bombed its squares from aircraft.

Both military campaigns failed. They sustained defeat. This was followed by the emergence of the so-called Minsk Agreements or the Package of Measures, to use its official name. They showed the way to a peaceful settlement of this conflict. And we did everything we could to let the developments follow in this vein to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity and protect the interests of the people who live on these territories.

And what did they demand? Basic things: the right to speak their mother tongue, this is the Russian language, and follow their traditions and culture. There were no special demands. Nothing special.

But no. These territories were put under siege and switched off from the banking system, food supplies and payments of pensions and other benefits. Sometimes, some handouts were thrown in. But to receive those benefits and pensions people had to cross the delimitation line.

Now listen carefully. Maybe this will sound rough but the situation compels me to say such things. You see yourselves that stray dogs attack people in different regions. They injure and even kill people (this is a separate problem and the local authorities must deal with it). Then we see how these dogs are poisoned and shot dead. But, look, people in Donbass are not stray dogs. From 13,000 to 14,000 people have been killed over these years. Over 500 children were killed or mutilated.

But what is most intolerable is that the so-called civilised West preferred to turn a blind eye to these events during all these years. Over eight years!

Moreover, recently the Kiev authorities began to say bluntly that they are not going to fulfil these agreements. They are saying this from TV screens and online. They are saying on the record: “We don’t like them, we won’t do anything.”

Meanwhile, Russia continued to be accused of failing to fulfil these agreements. This is simply nonsense, the theatre of the absurd: the white is called black and the black is called white.

It has been getting worse lately. Suddenly, there has been renewed talk about admitting Ukraine to NATO. Actually, it has been on for a long time, but has intensified lately. Do you understand what this could lead to or even can still lead to? If Ukraine is a NATO country, then in accordance with the North Atlantic Treaty, all other members must support that country in the event of a military conflict.

No one is recognising Crimea as a part of Russia, except for you and me. They carry out military operations in Donbass, and they will also move into Crimea, and we will have to fight with the entire NATO organisation. Do you see what that means?

Are the consequences clear enough? I think that everyone understands.

Now they are talking about gaining a nuclear status, that is, acquiring nuclear weapons. We cannot ignore such things either, especially because we know how the so-called West acts with regard to Russia. First, Ukraine has had nuclear competencies since the Soviet times. As far as enrichment and nuclear materials are concerned, they are capable of launching such projects. They have missile competencies. Suffice it to mention Yuzhmash —it created intercontinental ballistic missile equipment for the Soviet Union. They can boost it and do it. And they will also receive help with that from across the ocean. And then they will say that we do not recognise their nuclear status, that they did it themselves, and they will put these systems under control, and from that moment, from that very second, Russia’s future will change dramatically. From then on, our strategic adversaries would not even need to have intercontinental ballistic missiles. They would be able to keep us at the nuclear gunpoint, and that would be it.

But how can we let this go unnoticed? These are absolutely real threats, not some far-fetched nonsense. And our young men who are fighting there now are giving their lives, they are giving their lives to fight for our future, for the future of our children. This is a completely obvious thing.

People who do not want to understand this, especially among today’s leadership, must understand that if they continue to do what they are doing —I have already said this too— they will call into question the very future of Ukrainian statehood. And if this happens, it will be entirely on them.

What is happening now? I have already spoken about the goals we have identified.

The first is to protect the people who live in Donbass, of course. How? By demilitarising and denazifying Ukraine and giving it a neutral status. Why? Because a neutral country will not be planning on joining NATO. Right now, their Constitution says they are planning to join NATO. You understand, they included this in the Constitution.

What is meant by denazification? I have spoken with my Western colleagues about this: “So what? You also have radical nationalists.” Yes, we do, but we do not have people with extreme views in the Government. And everyone admits that they have them. Yes, maybe we have some idiots who are running around with the swastika, but do we support this at the government level? Do we have thousands of people parading with torches in Moscow or in our other regional capitals, with the swastika and with torches, like in the 1930s in Germany? Do we have this? But they do, and they support it. Do we support those who killed Russians, Jews, and Poles during the war? Do we hail them as heroes? But they do.

What is happening now is also very important. Look, foreign citizens have been taken hostage in Sumy and Kharkov —over 6,000 young people, students. They were driven to a railway station and have been kept there for three days. We told everyone about this and sent this information to the current leadership of Ukraine. “Yes, yes, of course, we will deal with it now.” We informed the leaders of major European countries about this. I spoke to them personally. “Yes, yes, we will influence them right now.” We told the UN Secretary-General about this: “Yes, yes, we will settle this problem now.” But nobody is doing anything about it.

They treat even worse those people whom they consider their own citizens. They are simply using them as a human shield.

This is taking place in Mariupol now as we are talking with you. They called us from the government, from Kiev and spoke with our military: “Provide humanitarian corridors so that people can leave.” Of course, our people responded instantly and even suspended hostilities. They looked at what was happening. Nobody was allowed out. Do you understand what they are doing? They do not let anyone leave but are using people as a human shield. Who are they? The neo-Nazis, of course.

We note the presence of militants from the Middle East and some European countries there. We know about them, we hear them in the air. They are using so-called Jihad mobiles —they stuff cars with explosives and drive them towards the troops. But they fail to achieve anything and they won’t reach their aims.

Who are they if not neo-Nazis? It is by these actions that they are destroying their own country and their statehood.

Therefore, one of our key demands is demilitarisation. In other words, we are helping people, residents of Donbass to achieve a neutral status and demilitarisation of the country because we must understand clearly what weapons are there, where they are deployed and who controls them.

Different options are possible here. We are discussing them now, in particular, with representatives of the Kiev government during the talks in Belarus. We are grateful to President Lukashenko for organising this work and helping us conduct them. Our proposals are on the negotiating table. We hope a group of negotiators from Kiev will respond positively to them. This is more or less what I wanted to say. Let’s go on.

Yulia Shvidkaya: Yulia Shvidkaya, co-pilot with Aeroflot Airlines.

Good afternoon, Mr President.

I have a question about the current situation. The thing is that there are so many rumours about the possibility of martial law, the enlistment of volunteers, the call-up of reservists, and that the new conscripts will be sent to Ukraine.

Can you tell us precisely if martial law will be declared and if conscripts will be sent to Ukraine?

Vladimir Putin: Much of what is taking place now, of what we can see and what we come up against are methods of fighting Russia. Incidentally, the sanctions that are imposed on us are like a war. Thankfully, it has not got to that yet.

I think that our so-called partners understand what this can lead to and how much is at stake, despite their reckless statements, for example, like the statement made by the UK Foreign Secretary, when she blurted out that NATO could get involved in the conflict. And we immediately had to take a decision to put our deterrence forces on high alert.

Their reaction was instantaneous: they said that it was a misunderstanding. But nobody rebuffed her (the UK Foreign Secretary is a woman), and nobody has disavowed those statements. They could have told us something like, “You know, it’s her personal opinion, take no notice.” But nobody uttered a single word! What should we think about this? How should we regard it? Of course, we took that statement as a warning and acted accordingly.

And now I will answer your question about volunteers, conscripts, martial law and the like. Under the law, martial law is declared by a Presidential executive order, which should be approved by the Federation Council, in case of foreign aggression, in particular, in the zones of hostilities.

This is not the case now, and I hope it will not come to that. This is the first point.

Second, about the state of alert. There are several options: martial law or the state of alert, which is also declared by a presidential executive order and approved by the Federation Council in case of large-scale internal threats.

There is also the state of emergency. It is usually declared in a specific region or throughout the country in the event of manmade disasters, natural disasters, etc. Thankfully, this is not the case either.

We are not planning to declare a state of alert on the territory of the Russian Federation. There are no such plans and no necessity for this now.

Yes, we see that attempts are being made to stir up our society. Incidentally, this is further proof of what I have said —that we are dealing not with ordinary radicals but with neo-Nazis. Our people can freely express their opinions of what they like or do not like about our actions in Ukraine. But in Ukraine those who express views such as members of the so-called liberal part of our society do are grabbed on the street and shot. We have proof of that. Our security services are collecting this information and will provide it later on. They are simply shot dead. In our country, some of our liberal intellectuals hold protest rallies, but those who say similar things about Russia in Ukraine are simply executed straightaway, without charge or trial.

Now, about the martial law. To reiterate, it is usually imposed in case of an external aggression, a military threat. I hope this will not happen, despite irresponsible statements by certain officials.

We are hearing voices that a no-fly zone should be imposed over Ukraine. It is impossible to do this in Ukraine. It can only be done from the territory of neighbouring states. However, we will consider any move in this direction as participation in the armed conflict of the country from whoseterritory a threat to our servicemen is created. We will consider them participants in hostilities that very second. Their membership in any organisation will not matter then. So, I hope the understanding of this is there and it will not come to this, either.

Only professional servicemen —officers and contract soldiers— are taking part in this operation. There are no conscripts, and we are not planning to get them involved. To reiterate, only men who made a very responsible voluntary choice to take part in this operation and to defend their Motherland are participating in this operation. They are carrying out this mission honourably. In my answer to your first question, I provided the reason why this is so and why we are entitled to say this.

The same applies to those who are called up to the training camps. We do not plan to do this with this category, either. They are regularly called up to training camps. They were called up before and they will be called up afterwards. But we are not going to have this category participate in this conflict, in this operation. We have enough forces and means to address the tasks that we have set for ourselves with the use of the professional army.

By the way, speaking of the operation itself I know there are many speculations about it. Frankly, I have no time to get into that, but they report to me that there is much chitchat about what is going on. All analysts are seeing what is happening, so I will not reveal any secret to you. We could have acted in a variety of ways. We could simply (by the way, this answers your question, in part) help the republics of Donbass right on the line of contact, at the frontline, so to say, and simply reinforce them with our army. But in this case, the other side, I mean reckless support for nationalists and radicals coming from the West, would have provided endless support with the material resources, ammunition, equipment, and so on.

Therefore, our General Staff and the Defence Ministry took a different road. The first thing they did was destroy all the military infrastructure. Not completely but most of it: arms and ammunition depots, aircraft and air defence systems. Destroying air defence systems takes some time (you are civilians, yet you are connected with aviation) —they must be identified and then hit. This work has been practically finished. Hence the demand to impose a no-fly zone. However, doing so would have tremendous and disastrous consequences not only for Europe but also globally. I think those on the other side who are not completely at sea understand that.

That is why we chose that road, and it turned out to be absolutely correct. Our servicemen are working without haste and are doing everything to ensure the safety of civilians. Unfortunately, those bandits, neo-Nazis do not spare people. They shoot dead even their own service personnel who do not want to offer armed resistance. We know about such facts, too. Nationalists, Banderites, neo-Nazis —it is hard to call them anything else —shoot their own servicemen. These nationalists were put in nearly every military unit, up to several dozen in each, and they act in exactly that cruel way.

But I repeat that we are not engaging and are not going to engage conscripts or reservists in this military operation. I presume that our army will fulfil all the tasks it is facing, and I do not have the slightest doubt about that. The very course of the operation proves that. It is going according to schedule, and everything is being done according to the General Staff’s plan.

As for volunteers and those young people who come to military recruiting stations, we are grateful to them for this patriotic impulse and the desire to support the country and the Armed Forces. The very fact of their coming does matters, for sure. However, their assistance is not needed for now, and I believe it will not be needed.

I am turning to the cameras so that they will see and hear me say, “Thank you.”

Let us proceed.

To be continued.

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Western journalist’s coverage of Ukraine reveals selective humanity

3 Mar 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Ghadir Hamadi 

How is the media coverage of the events in Ukraine contributing to the dehumanization of non-white, non-European people?

Five days into the Russian military operation in Ukraine, the United Nations released a report stating that more than 360,000 Ukrainians have already fled the country, with the majority crossing the border into neighboring Poland.

The United States has already imposed sanctions targeting Russian banks, oil refineries, and military exports.

The United Nations held an emergency calling for an immediate Security Council meeting to try and stop the bloodshed and chaos in Ukraine.

Journalists, media experts, politicians, and world leaders have all resorted to social media to express their outrage supporting the war, and their solidarity with Ukraine. 

However, many of those figures have been accused of double standards for using their platforms to not only support and encourage Ukraine’s armed resistance to Russian troops, but also to express their shock at how such a conflict could happen to a “civilized” nation.

CBS News senior correspondent in Kiev Charlie D’Agata said on Friday: “This isn’t a place, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan that has seen conflict raging for decades. This is a relatively civilized, relatively European – I have to choose those words carefully, too – a city where you wouldn’t expect that or hope that it’s going to happen”…….

Many social media users were outraged by his commentary, while others simply claimed that he has verbalized what they knew all along: non-white blood is cheap while white blood is not. 

Many pointed out that his comments further contributed to the dehumanization of non-white, non-European people suffering under a conflict within mainstream media.

Al Jazeera English anchor Peter Dobbie stated: “What’s compelling is, just looking at them, the way they are dressed, these are prosperous…I’m loath to use the expression… middle-class people. These are not obviously refugees looking to get away from areas in the Middle East that are still in a big state of war. These are not people trying to get away from areas in North Africa. They look like any European family that you would live next door to”.

He later apologized in a tweet.

On Saturday, the BBC interviewed Ukraine’s former deputy general prosecutor, David Sakvarelidze.

“It’s very emotional for me because I see European people with blonde hair and blue eyes being killed every day with Putin’s missiles and his helicopters and his rockets”, Sakvarelidze said.

The BBC presenter responded: “I understand and of course respect the emotion”.

The Telegraph has also published an article by Daniel Hannan, that was immediately shared by thousands of social media users. The lead of his article was seen by many as “so vile, I couldn’t continue reading it”, one social media user tweeted.

“They seem so like us”, Hannan wrote. “That is what makes it so shocking. Ukraine is a European country. Its people watch Netflix and have Instagram accounts, vote in free elections, and read uncensored newspapers. War is no longer something visited upon impoverished and remote populations. It can happen to anyone”.

A video of Ahed Tamimi, a Palestinian resistance icon standing up to the Israeli army when she was a little girl was falsely circulating on social media as a little Ukrainian girl standing up to Russian soldiers with the caption: “PRAY FOR UKRAINE”. 

The video received more than 11.6 million views on Instagram because users thought the girl was Ukrainian, not Palestinian, and that the soldier was Russian, not Israeli.

Other users expressed their outrage at the wars imposed on their countries by the governments of those journalists who are now calling non-white refugees “uncivilized”. 

“When Palestinians, Lebanese, Somalis, and Afghanis resist foreign occupations and invasion, they are labeled as terrorists, but when Ukrainians do it, they’re cheered on by the rest of the world. Selective humanity at its finest”, tweeted Amal Omar. 

The Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association (AMEJA) called on “all news organizations to be mindful of implicit and explicit bias in their coverage of the war in Ukraine”.

AMEJA released a report of the examples it tracked of racist news coverage that ascribes more importance to some victims of war over others.

The report concluded by stating that AMEJA stands in full solidarity with all civilians under military assault in any part of the world, but that decontextualizing narratives can erase the stories and the sufferings of entire populations. 

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

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