Two months of Operation Z

May 12, 2022

Source

By Ljubiša Malenica 

After two months of conflict, situation inside Ukraine is somewhat clearer. However, despite the fact that we can now, with more understanding, observe what is happening on the ground, media and propaganda sources, between which the border is often blurred, complicate and make it difficult to build a completely clear picture of the unfolding events. Moreover, certain media, especially the Western ones, have completely abandoned even an attempt at objective reporting and turned, simply put, into propaganda mouthpieces without any credibility.

This text will try, based on available data from numerous sources, to offer a possible explanation for the most important events of the Russian military operation in Ukraine and to point out its importance in the context of continental security in Europe.

To begin with, we will look at the number of soldiers that each side had at its disposal at the beginning of the conflict. Before any Russian soldiers crossed Ukrainian border, both sides grouped troops for an extended period of time. While Kiev was increasing the number of its units in the Donbas area, that is, in the operational zone of what Kiev authorities called the anti-terrorist operation, Moscow was deploying troops on the border with Ukraine. According to Russian sources, before the beginning of the conflict, Kiev deployed nearly 125.000 soldiers in eastern Ukraine, close to half of its regular military forces.[1]During the current fighting in Ukraine, plans for offensive against Donbas republics were confirmed by captured Ukrainian soldiers[2] with additional documentation related to these preparations being revealed by Russian troops in territories previously controlled by Kiev.[3]

All of the above can be dismissed as Russian propaganda, but it should be noted that according to Western sources, the military forces of the two Donbas republics, together, in 2021 numbered just over 40.000 soldiers.[4] In general, total number of troops for Donbas republics varies, according to different sources, between forty and fifty thousand soldiers. One of the generally accepted, though blunt, rules of war points out that in case of an attack on fortified positions, it is desirable that the attacking side has three times number of soldiers in comparison to defenders, the well known 3:1 ratio.[5][6]

As can be seen, before the Russian operation, the ratio of conflicting troops in Donbas roughly corresponded to this rule, so it can be concluded, with a dose of caution, that Kiev really intended to conduct in Donetsk and Lugansk something similar to the Croatian operation “Storm”.[7]

In terms of numbers, at the very beginning of the Russian offensive, Ukrainian army had 245.000 active-duty soldiers,[8] along with an additional 220.000 in reserve.[9] According to some sources, Kiev had as many as 900,000 soldiers at its disposal in the reserve.[10] The number of members in paramilitary formations ranged from fifty to one hundred thousand.[11] After the start of the conflict, between six and ten thousand foreign mercenaries arrived in Ukraine, though numbers varie wildely depending on the source.

On the other hand, when talking about the number of Russian troops on the border, before beginning of the conflict, most of the Western media agreed in the estimate of one hundred thousand Russian soldiers.[12][13] We have already pointed out that most often used figure for military forces of Donetsk and Lugansk is close to 50.000. Generally speaking, in terms of the total number of Russian forces in Ukraine at the moment, figures between one hundred and fifty to two hundred thousand soldiers are used.

If we accept that 900.000 reservists is unrealistic, and consider only the lesser number, we see that at very beginning of the conflict, more than half a million soldiers[14] were available to Kiev, as opposed to a maximum of 200.000 Russians and pro-Russians. According to Zelensky’s order, Ukraine mobilized its reserve units[15][16] already on February 23, and on April 8, Zelensky ordered a new, third, wave of mobilization related to reserve officers.[17]

Taking into account this information, it is clear that from the very beginning, balance of forces in terms of available manpower was, roughly speaking, 3:1 in favor of Ukraine. The romantic Western narrative that the conflict is between a weak but brave Ukraine and a strong but evil Russia has no basis in reality and serves exclusively as a propaganda construction.

Both sides have, on several occasions so far, presented results of their military actions, with information about their own and opponents’ losses. Apart from Russia and Ukraine, other indirect participants in this conflict, such as the United States and its NATO satellites, have published their own estimates, but, interestingly enough, only of Russian losses. According to Ukrainian sources, more than 20.000 Russian soldiers have been killed so far[18]. On the other hand, Moscow claims that the number of Ukrainian soldiers killed in the conflict so far surpasses 25.000. According to NATO sources, after a month of fighting, total Russian losses, killed together with the wounded, missing and captured, amounted to more than 40.000 men.[19] United States used similar figures in early April, as US authorities claimed at the time that number of killed Russian soldiers exceeded more than ten thousand.[20] During an interview for the American CNN, on April 14, Zelensky pointed out that number of killed Ukrainian soldiers is close to 3.000.[21]

Here Mariupol comes into play. In addition to its strategic and moral significance, Mariupol is important because it provides an opportunity to try and see more clearly the number of KIAs from the Ukrainian side. Namely, according to Russian sources, at the beginning of the siege, there was slightly more than 8.000[22] Ukrainian soldiers inside Mariupol. On the other hand, Kiev claims that Mariupol garrison did not number more than 3.500 people, in total.[23] So far we know two facts. During siege, between 1.200 and 1.500 Ukrainian soldiers surrendered to Russian troops.[24] We also know that there are up to two thousand Ukrainian fighters in the underground corridors of Azovstal, both ordinary soldiers and those from the Azov Battalion.[25] If we accept the Ukrainian version, we come to a paradoxical situation. Namely, during the heavy siege of Mariupol, characterized by daily battles, almost no soldier of the Ukrainian garrison died!

The math is quite simple and clear. If close to 1.500 Ukrainians surrendered, and close to 2.000 of them are still inside Azovstal, it can be concluded that the number of Ukrainian dead in Mariupol ranges from a few dozen to a maximum of a few hundred soldiers. From the initial garrison of 3.500 soldiers, almost all survived the full siege that began on March 2, that is, the siege that lasts a little more than sixty days at the time of writing. Statistically, this situation is impossible given that it tries to reconcile the fact that Russian troops occupied Mariupol completely, except for Azovstal itself, and assumption that very few Ukrainian soldiers were killed during this conquest, perhaps only a few.

Things look markedly different if Russian figures are taken into account. According to Moscow, the initial garrison numbered more than 8.000 soldiers. The two previously mentioned facts we know remain unchanged. The logical conclusion is the assumption that more than 4.000 Ukrainian soldiers died during the siege of Mariupol. If we accept this as a reasonable argument, then it further must be accepted that number of dead with which Zelensky appears before the public are nothing but propaganda. The case of Mariupol shows that more Ukrainian soldiers were killed in this city alone than Kiev claims to have died during the entire conflict.

It will be necessary to wait until end of the conflict for true information, but for purposes of this text and consideration regarding the number of soldiers killed on both sides, we can use two military statistical rules. It must be immediately pointed out that, although generally accepted, they do not represent highly precision tools but more of a general picture statistical aids. We have already pointed out the first, and it refers to the necessity of the attacking troops to be three times larger in number than the units which are defending fortified positions.[26] The second rule refers to ratio of dead and wounded soldiers[27] within the same army. This rule points out that number of wounded soldiers in relation to the number of killed ones, roughly speaking, usually corresponds to a ratio of 3:1. The lowest ratio of wounded to dead soldiers, which author encountered, was 2.5:1. According to US sources, troops of the United States, during their wars in the last three decades, were able to achieve a ratio of 10:1 and sometimes even 17:1. Such a high number of wounded in relation to number of killed soldiers is mostly attributed to progress of medical science, medical care on the battle lines, and the improvement in quality of personal protection for soldiers. At the same time, the fact that American troops fought against far, technologically speaking, inferior opponents must also be taken into account.

For purposes of this paper, we will be guided by a ratio of 3:1, since this is the accepted average ratio in both cases. Although it would be wisest for a person watching this conflict from the sidelines to approach each source with a certain amount of reserve, Ukraine’s statements regarding military losses, both its own and Russia’s, must be taken with a high dose of skepticism. This is a natural product of the fact that Kiev official channels have served as just another amplifier of propaganda announcements since very beginning of the Russian military operation. It is quite understandable that civilian population, especially in the modern world, decides on its own to get involved in propaganda war that accompanies every conflict, through false footage and staged images. It is understandable when state information warfare agencies construct various forms of propaganda pieces behind the scenes. What should be inadmissible is that official representatives of the Ukrainian authorities take part in this type of conflict, if preservation of trust in the same representatives is a goal.

So far, top Ukrainian officials, including Zelensky, have willingly participated in spreading illusions about the existence of “Ghost of Kiev”,[28] the real events on Snake Island and the fate of Ukrainian soldiers there, the alleged Russian bombing of nuclear power plants, and clearly staged “massacres”in Bucha and Kramatorsk,[29] on the number of foreign mercenaries in Ukraine and the like. Given the long list of violations of this kind by regime in Kiev, the statements of Ukrainian authorities must be taken with suspicion.

In accordance with this, our attitude towards the number of killed Russian soldiers, according to the sources of the Ukrainian army, must be guided by suspicion as well. According to Kiev, more than 25.000 Russian fighters have died on the territory of Ukraine so far.[30] When we take into account the previously mentioned ratio of dead to wounded soldiers, the total number of Russian soldiers unavailable for further combat operations, in under seventy days of fighting, is close to catastrophic one hundred thousand. Let’s compare this with the initial estimates of the total number of Russian troops participating in the conflict. If we accept the maximum scenario, of 200.000 soldiers, Russian side lost squarely 50% of its manpower in Ukraine in roughly two and a half months. To the author, who has no military experience, such losses seem catastrophic, but more importantly, such losses would, logically, in major part, prevent further offensive actions of the Russian infantry, given that this level of losses leads to a conclusion that Ukrainian soldiers are not only more numerous but are qualitatively better than Russians. On the other hand, if we take a more conservative scenario of total number of Russian troops in Ukraine, that is, some 150.000, picture on the ground becomes even grimmer and indicates the inevitable collapse of Russian military operations.

However, when you look at the current situation, Russian military formations have retained their offensive capabilities and are currently showing initiative in the Donbas area. Moreover, judging by available data from the field, advance of Russian troops is slow but constant. Opposite to this, no large-scale Ukrainian offensive has been observed for the entire duration of the conflict. Certainly, at the start of the military operation Ukrainian units at local level were able to organize counterattacks or small-scale offensive actions, certain villages and smaller settlements swapped hands several times but the overall situation, translated into lines on the map, has shown a remarkably high degree of stability in terms of territory possession and control.

There is no doubt that in the first days and weeks of the conflict, Ukrainian forces offered strong resistance, which was accompanied by saturation of social networks with videos and pictures of destroyed Russian, or allegedly Russian, equipment and captured Russian soldiers. Turkish Bayraktar, which almost took on mythological qualities after the conflict in Artsakh, also played a significant role in this period. Foreign portable systems, such as Javelin, Stinger and NLAW, have further strengthened the offensive capabilities of Ukrainian troops against both Russian armor and aviation. Despite all of this, in a period of several weeks, Russian units managed to take, roughly speaking, one quarter of Ukraine. The only great achievement of the Ukrainian troops was reflected in “recovery” of territories that were previously controlled by Russian units deployed on the Northern and Kiev fronts. And this success, if we can call it that, stemmed from the fact that Ukrainian forces took control of the areas from which Russian troops had previously willingly withdrawn.

This observation opens the question of both Kiev and Northern front, that is, their true purposes. Depending on the source, one encounters variations of three different scenarios. The first scenario, represented by Kiev itself and a large number of Western media, sees Russian withdrawal as a defeat, caused by inability to capture the Ukrainian capital and marked with high material and human losses. Bear in mind that this is the Western interpretation of Russian intentions, given that Moscow has never mentioned capture of Kiev as one of its goals. If we accept the narrative that Ukrainian units defeated Russians near Kiev, we must assume the existence of technical capacities for such an endeavor, that is, use of appropriate air and armored forces, and other means of war. If we further assume that Ukraine had such technical capacities after thirty days of war, then we must logically ask why those same capacities were not used to destroy a huge Russian column, 60 kilometers long, that was stationed not far from Kiev for days.[31] The Western media incessantly droned about this concentration of Russian forces and showed satellite images of trucks and other techniques stretching along the highway. For a country that enjoys air superiority, such a sluggish column is a gift from heaven, and it represents extremely attractive target even for ground units. Everyone is free to draw their own conclusions, however, during the entire period of existence of this column, not a single air strike or armored and infantry attack was organized by Ukraine.[32]

Second scenario represents a kind of compromise between first and the third. This rationale for Russia’s behavior presupposes that Northern and Kiev fronts were in fact opportunistic attempts to seize the capital and several other major cities while forcing the Ukrainian General Staff to redeploy its available forces from their initial positions on a nearly 3.000-kilometer long line of contact.[33][34]

The final possibility is that both of these fronts were in fact, from the very beginning, feint fronts[35] whose main purpose was to attract and keep in place a significant part of Ukrainian forces in the north and northwest of the country so as to ensure easier maneuvering and advance for Russian troops on the Southern and Eastern fronts, while simultaneously hampering attempts to replace losses and provide logistical support to Ukrainian troops in Donbas. Led by the assumed number of Russian troops in Ukraine, each front could field maximum of thirty-five to fifty thousand Russian soldiers at the beginning of the operation. DPR and LPR troops are included here. Personal opinion of author is that with this number of soldiers, it was not possible to take Kiev, a city of 2.5 million inhabitants, under any circumstances. If we presume Kiev had a garrison of only 30.000, then Russians would need to have at least 100.000 soldiers besieging just the capital, not to mention need to control all those territories which were under Russian control while North and Kiev fronts were active. Also bear in mind many larger cities remained under Ukrainian control, which would require even more Russian troops. Even some Western sources, after Moscow announced its withdrawal from the Northern and Kiev fronts, warned that this was not a defeat for Russia but a regrouping of Russian troops so they could be redeployed in Donbas proper.[36][37][38][39]

We have already mentioned that Maria Zakharova placed number of Ukrainian soldiers in the east close to 120.000, before Russian troops entered Ukraine. Western sources currently estimate that there are between 40.000 and 60.000[40] Ukrainian troops in Donbas, roughly the equal number to that before conflict escalated in 2021.[41] Assuming that these figures are correct, or at least approximately true, it can be concluded that Northern and Kiev fronts attracted close to 50% of Ukrainian forces from Donbas area.

As in the previous phase, it is now clear that Ukrainian forces currently do not have the ability to organize a major military operation that would critically jeopardize the results of Russian advances so far. The air superiority of Russian Federation is unquestionable at this point, and can be easily noticed by the daily campaigns of bombing raids by Aerospace forces of the Russian Federation, complemented by often use of cruise missiles. Russian helicopter units continue their operations, as well as armored and motorized forces, but we see very limited activity of these branches from the Ukrainian force, unlike in the first weeks of conflict. The agony of Ukrainian and Nazi troops captured in Azovstal continues, especially in the light of the fact that Zelensky himself recently pointed out it was impossible to relieve the besieged troops through a military operation.[42] If it is already impossible to organize a large-scale military operation to regain Mariupol, then the same can be assumed regarding a possible operation aimed at supporting Ukrainian troops in Donbas.

At the time of writing, transfer of main operations to the Donbass theatre is noticeable. This front is important for both Russia and Ukraine. One of main reasons is the fact that, according to various estimates, the most capable[43] Ukrainian troops are situated in Donbas. From Moscow’s perspective, eliminating this group would mean removing the best Ukrainian units from the battlefield. From Kiev’s perspective, these troops have the best chance of blunting and eventually stopping Russia’s advance, especially given the fact that Ukraine has been fortifying the area of ​​current operations for eight years.

In everyday events, a special aspect of this conflict has remained largely neglected. Main reason for this is the constant propaganda work of the Western media, which managed from the very beginning, to create a romanticized image of the Ukrainian army. When main Western media talk about Ukrainian troops, in most cases positive terms are used, and even when they refer to well-known neo-Nazi units. Overnight, they all became “brave Ukrainian defenders”, “fighters against Putin’s aggression”, “protectors of Europe from tyranny”, gaining these and many other positive characteristics. On the other hand, the narrative about Russians is diametrically opposed, and terms like “aggressors”, “murderers”, “rapists of Ukrainian women and children”, “Putin’s war machine” and similar are in plentiful supply.

When an individual encounters this Hollywood-made portrayal of conflicting parties again and again, certain mental image of Ukrainians and Russians inevitably begins to emerge. Hyperhumanized, Ukrainian forces are waging a just war, their struggle is also our struggle, they are the guys from the neighborhood, factory workers, teachers, musicians, everyday good people. Opposite them are the Russians, faceless “orcs” emerging from the dark Asian steppe, not even people, but only cogs in the great mechanism of Putin’s war machine that will destroy the whole of Europe as soon as it ends with Ukraine. The dehumanization of the enemy is not foreign to any war, but in this case it has a secondary goal, and that is to present Ukraine as a weaker party, in every sense.

As we have already pointed out, only in terms of available manpower, Ukraine had an advantage of at least 3:1 at the beginning of the conflict, when we compare maximum assumptions about the number of soldiers on both sides. Additionally, often overlooked is the fact that Russian soldiers are currently in conflict with soldiers trained according to NATO standards. Moreover, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed this when he pointed out that the alliance countries had trained “tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers in previous years, provided modern equipment and supported reforms. Ukraine’s forces are now larger, better equipped, better trained and better led than ever before”.[44][45] According to Western sources, within Yavoriv base alone, five Ukrainian battalions were trained during a single year.[46]

Military assistance of the United States, which amounted to more than 2.7 billion dollars in the period from 2014 to 2021, depended on military reforms within Ukraine. One of these reforms focused on Ukraine’s ability to integrate its logistical support with other NATO units during joint operations.[47] Back in 2016, Poroshenko himself sought and obtained experienced military advisers from United States, Canada, Great Britain, Lithuania and Germany, whose purpose was to modernize Ukrainian units and reach NATO standards by 2020, thus achieving a high degree of compatibility with units from other alliance countries.[48][49] Ukraine maybe never would officially become a member of NATO, but judging by the mentioned sources, most of the military institutions in the country are already organized in accordance with NATO procedures and that is telling.

From the author’s perspective, what is currently happening in Ukraine is a conflict between the Russian and Western concepts of war, that is, the concept of war as conceived by NATO. Among other things, this conflict is also a question of the prestige for the West, which has so far seen itself as the most militarily capable bloc on the planet. Having trained Ukrainian ground army[50] to NATO standards and equipped it with anti-tank and anti-aircraft portable systems, the West is now observing performance of these forces against Russian troops. This is, as well, one of reasons for the omnipresent Western propaganda campaign. Moreover, within this conflict, it is necessary to view Ukrainian media and propaganda sources as organic offshoots of Western intelligence agencies and public relations firms, of which at least 150 have participated in creating and spreading propaganda for Kiev since the beginning of hostilities.[51][52] Likewise, make no mistake, majority if not all intelligence at disposal of Kiev is of NATO origin.

In an event that Ukrainian troops are defeated by Russian units, it will be clear that equipping and training army in accordance with NATO standards does not guarantee the highest level of combat capability. At the same time, the possible defeat of Ukraine will shake the reputation of NATO itself, especially the United States, whose last year’s debacle in Afghanistan is still fresh in memory. Russia’s eventual victory would be the second major case in modern times where forces equipped and trained by the West have been defeated by non-Western armies.

In this context, one should also observe the huge military aid that has been pouring into Kiev for two months now by countries of the West and European Union. As US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin recently pointed out, the United States wants “to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.”[53] This only confirms what many analysts have already pointed out, that Kiev and Moscow are not at war in Ukraine, but Russia against the collective West led by Washington. The United States needs, both for domestic and foreign policy, Russian defeat in Ukraine.

This is the only way to explain the fabulous sums of money which have, in form of military equipment and financial support, flooded into Kiev from both the United States and European Union. A spokeswoman for the US president, Jen Psaki, told a news conference on April 28 that “as you know, we had $3.5 billion in military security assistance. We have about $250 million of that left in drawdown. So, obviously, we will work to expedite that and provide that to the Ukrainians”.[54] For reference sake, US Congress approved this aid package on March 10![55][56] A new package of American aid for Ukraine,[57] more than 30 billion dollars, is already prepared, according to the lend-lease principle that was used during the Second World War. Under this new tranche of aid, more than fifteen billion dollars will be spent for military purposes. Moreover, if you follow the process of creating this act, you can see that it was introduced into the Senate procedure[58] on January 19, 2022, that is, 15 billion dollars for Kiev in the form of American military equipment was planned at least a month before the Russian operation.

At the same time, most countries within NATO and the collective West provide military assistance to Ukraine. However, some countries, such as Bulgaria,[59] have refused to provide military assistance to Kiev from the outset for reasons of their own political stability, while others, such as Canada[60] and Greece, have ended shipments of military equipment due to depletion of reserves which jeopardize their own security.[61] In a recent address to Bundestag, German Minister of Defense, Kristina Lambrecht, pointed out Berlin’s limitation on further arming Ukraine comes due to problems facing Bundeswehr itself. According to Lambrecht, Germany has on paper 350 Puma infantry fighting vehicles, but in reality, only 150 of them are combat capable. The situation with Tiger combat helicopters is no different – only 9 out of 51 can take off.[62][63] On April 28, Stoltenberg pointed out that NATO allies had sent military aid worth eight billion dollars to Ukraine since start of the conflict.[64]

As we can see, the lion’s share[65] of this burden has been taken over by Washington, but when you consider that West mostly procures its weapons from the United States, it is clear that this “aid” is actually a kind of financial incentive for the US military-industrial complex.[66] According to American sources, by April 22, Washington had delivered more than 11.000 portable anti-tank systems to Kiev, including 4.500 Javelins. In the same period, Ukrainian troops received close to 1.400 Stinger systems. So far, these deliveries also included personal protective equipment, Humwie off-road vehicles, helicopters, huge amounts of ammunition, UAVs, radar systems, patrol boats and more.[67]

Thanks to this feverish pace of weapons delivery to Kiev, people connected with US army warn of reduction to their own stockpiles of weapons. The head of Raytheon pointed out that it will be possible to replenish Stinger reserves, not just in United States but also in other NATO countries, only in 2023 and 2024 due to lack of components and production capacities.[68] The situation regarding Javelin reserves is no better. According to sources from the American administration, number of Javelin systems in US reserves has been reduced by one third, and their replacement can be expected in just under three years.[69][70][71]

It is important to keep in mind that all portable systems that arrive in Ukraine end up in three categories. Some of them reach end users at the front, some are captured by Russian troops, while some, apparently, end up on the black market and are sold to unknown actors.

Free, and therefore questionable, author’s estimate is that Russian units have so far captured at least several thousand different portable anti-tank and anti-aircraft systems. Washington and its allies do not seem to be worried about the undoubted fact that specimens of their vaunted systems have probably already ended up in hands of Russian engineers.[72] At the same time, the West seems unconcerned about the possibility that advanced military equipment will fall into hands of various other groups, with special emphasis on criminals and terrorists, given that United States loses the ability to track delivered equipment as soon as it crosses the Ukrainian border.[73] Proliferation of this weapons among current opponents of the West, Russian Federation and CPR, certainly does not exclude possibility of its spread among various militias and terrorist organizations in the Middle East and elsewhere in the future. On the contrary, Moscow and Beijing might be more than willing to create problems for US in the same manner Washington is creating for them in Ukraine and Taiwan. With everything mentioned above, question of the efficiency for all these Western systems delivered to Ukraine must be raised.

A little over a month ago, during one of his speeches, Zelensky pointed out that Kiev needs 500 Javelins and the same number of Stingers, on a daily basis.[74] We can assume with some certainty that this is an exaggeration, but what if we reduce the number of these systems to 100 Javelins and Stingers per day? The legitimate question is where and why so many of these systems are consumed on a daily basis. The two answers that arise, although they may not be the only ones possible, are that the capabilities of the Russian armor and aviation were underestimated or that the capabilities of the delivered systems were overestimated.

A common feature of all Western systems, in which we will include Turkish Bayraktar, was a status of “miraculous” weapons that should drastically change the balance of power in conflict by its very presence. The Stingers were praised as an unsurpassed tool against planes and helicopters, Javelins against tanks and armored vehicles, while Bayraktars were presented as a danger against any type of unit found on the battlefield. Many analysts and amateur cheerleaders have missed that even some research institutions in the West have questioned the ability of these systems to influence the overall outcome of the conflict.[75]

However, what we see in the field at the moment is far from the image that was built through the media. In the first few weeks of conflict, we really had the opportunity to watch in action all of these Western systems against Russian troops, although it is necessary to point out that even then propaganda activities often smuggled videos from previous wars as events from conflict in Ukraine. After the first three to four weeks, all those who have been following this conflict since its beginning have seen a sharp decline in number of publications and videos showing either captured Russian soldiers or use of foreign weapons against Russian units. In that same period, a significant increase in material could be noticed from Russian sources, which showed destroyed or captured Ukrainian equipment and downed drones, with special emphasis on Bayraktars. In his recent address to the public, Zelensky himself, referring to Turkish drones, pointed out that “with all due respect, Bayraktar and other drones can help, but it won’t affect the result”.[76][77][78] This is far from the earlier euphoric rhetoric[79] which accompanied Bayraktar, but also other drones such as Switchblade, Phoenix Ghost and Punisher.

Almost from very beginning of the conflict, Zelensky appealed[80] to Western governments for delivery of heavy weapons, which would include fighters, tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, air defense systems, infantry transporters and helicopters, in addition to already presumed shipments of light weapons and equipment. According to the Kiev wish list, which has been circulating on Russian side of the internet for some time, Ukraine needs more than 200 planes, more than 350 air defense systems, more than 400 tanks and other heavy weapons, which also number in the hundreds.[81][82] One Western analyst noted with irony that these quantities of weapons are not needed by a winning army but by military forces starting from zero. According to data of the Russian Ministry of Defense, the heaviest losses so far have been suffered by the units of Ukrainian infantry and armored forces, which to a certain extent coincides with Zelensky’s requests. The Ukrainian navy and aviation, as factors capable of influencing outcome of the conflict, have not existed since the first week of Russian operations.

According to current information, Zelensky’s appeals bore fruit, but only partially. European Union countries are indeed sending heavy weapons to Kiev, but in a significant number of cases they are non-modernized combat systems more than four decades old. Poland sends 200 T-72[83] tanks to Kiev, Germany is ready to sell 50 Leopard 1 tanks, last time modernized in the end of the eighties.[84][85] United States will deliver its M113 armored personnel carriers from Vietnam War, which are largely obsolete today.[86] The United Kingdom, Norway, Australia and other countries have also promised, and some have already delivered, combat vehicles and other heavy weapons to Kiev. Observing the rate of the conflict escalation, one wonders how long will they be able to finance Kiev, especially when we take into consideration current unenviable economic situation in the West coupled with negative forecasts of economic trends in the future.[87][88][89]

While heavy fighting continues in Donbas, the inability of Ukrainian troops to organize an effective counter-offensive, both quantitatively and qualitatively, raises the question of what will happen to Ukraine when/if Russian units fulfill their task and completely defeat enemies in Donbas. If this scenario unfolds, it is doubtful that another similar Ukrainian force exists, capable of taking on burden of fighting Russian troops. The defeat in Donbas, that is, the destruction or surrender of more than 50.000 Ukrainian soldiers, most likely represents an end to Kiev’s hopes for a positive outcome in the conflict and imposes capitulation as the only option. On the other hand, defeat of Russian troops entails the possibility of crisis and internal instability within Russian Federation together with impression of external weakness. Even the heavy weapons that Zelensky demands do not have to affect the course of the fight at all, considering that Russia has initiated more frequent attacks on transport hubs, bridges, electric network and presumed ammunition and equipment warehouses. Attacks with cruise missiles on energy infrastructure and oil depots have been going on for several weeks, and the lack of this energy source is starting to be felt across Ukraine itself.[90][91]

At the same time, Ukraine has become a hole in which foreign weapons are disappearing and, most likely, finding buyers on the black market. Some certainly reach Ukrainian units, but some also fall into the hands of Russian troops. It is almost impossible to expect that this massive infusion of weapons will not jeopardize the security of both the Middle East and Europe itself, which, apparently driven by desire for economic suicide, could overnight find itself in a much worse situation, socially and economically, than the one it is in presently.[92] As prices of basic foodstuffs, utilities and fuel rise, governments across EU will have trouble explaining to their citizens why fabulous sums are being set aside for Ukraine and the new militarization of the continent. On the other hand, we should not forget the problems of Taiwan and China. Can the collective West afford to spend precious military reserves on Ukraine after Washington showed its intention to turn Taiwan into an Asian copy of Ukraine?

Russia’s central bank pointed out that full stabilization of country’s economy is expected in 2024. The ruble has already recovered and is stronger as a currency now than before the military operation began, while inflation has returned to the level recorded before Russian troops entered Ukraine.[93][94] Reorientation and restructuring of Russian economy is expected as a logical product of economic attacks, with special emphasis on opening up to Asian countries and developing its own capacities in order to replace imports from abroad. Russian Federation will reorient itself towards Asia, which will certainly be accompanied by difficulties and challenges, but where will Europe turn if it really cuts itself off from Russian energy sources.

One certain consequence from all these events will be a decline in the level of security and economic stability in Europe. The decline in living standards is almost inevitable, which will, in turn, lead to progressive radicalization or demoralization of the population. The internal cohesion of the Union, already on shaky ground, will only decrease. Political dependence on imperial policy of Washington will undermine the sovereignty of European Union and its prestige on the global level. All of this will be presented as a result of Vladimir Putin’s evil genius and despotic aspirations. As usual, this will not be the truth. The only culprit for the current situation is the NATO alliance and political elite of its leading country, United States. Negative economic and social trends within the collective West will provoke a backlash from their populations, characterized by violence. No matter what form of instability it takes, Europe will be far more exposed to the crisis, given that Washington will use every instrument at its disposal, for sake of its own survival, to transfer the negative consequences of its current moves onto its European satellites in the future.

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  2. https://tass.com/defense/1413035?utm_source=google.com&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=google.com&utm_referrer=google.com 
  3. https://tass.com/politics/1427539 
  4. https://www.iiss.org/publications/the-military-balance/the-military-balance-2021 
  5. https://faculty.nps.edu/mkress/docs/A_new_look.pdf 
  6. https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/ADA302819.pdf 
  7. https://euromaidanpress.com/2017/12/28/what-ukraine-can-take-from-the-croatian-scenario-of-conflict-resolution/ 
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  48. https://defense-reforms.in.ua/en/#%D0%BD%D0%B0-%D1%89%D0%BE-%D1%81%D0%BF%D1%80%D1%8F%D0%BC%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B0-%D0%B4%D1%96%D1%8F%D0%BB%D1%8C%D0%BD%D1%96%D1%81%D1%82%D1%8C-%D0%BE%D1%84%D1%96%D1%81%D1%83-%D1%80%D0%B5%D1%84%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%BC 
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  51. https://www.mintpressnews.com/ukraine-propaganda-war-international-pr-firms-dc-lobbyists-cia-cutouts/280012/ 
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  54. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/press-briefings/2022/04/28/press-briefing-by-press-secretary-jen-psaki-april-28-2022/ 
  55. https://thehill.com/homenews/house/597471-congress-cuts-deal-on-136-billion-for-ukraine-aid-in-funding-bill/ 
  56. https://archive.ph/ajAvO 
  57. https://www.rt.com/russia/554740-ukraine-cash-us-weapons/ 
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  63. https://scooptrade.com/german-defense-minister-lambrecht-the-german-army-can-only-use-150-puma-infantry-fighting-vehicles-out-of-350/ 
  64. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2022-04-28/nato-s-stoltenberg-ukraine-military-aid-tops-8-billion-video 
  65. https://t.me/BellumActaNews/76516 
  66. https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2022/04/28/ukraine-weapon-switcheroos-are-flushing-soviet-arms-out-of-europe/ 
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  68. https://www.politico.com/news/2022/04/26/raytheon-stinger-missile-stocks-delay-00027766#:~:text=The%20CEO%20of%20Raytheon%20Technologies,allies%20have%20rushed%20to%20Ukraine
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“She’s exposing the TRUTH in Ukraine and they don’t like it | Redacted Conversation with Eva Bartlett”

 Eva Bartlett

This is an interview I did the other day with journalist Clayton Morris on his excellent program, Redacted.

I’m very grateful to him for interviewing me & also for being so well-informed himself!

Some Related Links:

Under Fire from Ukraine and Misperceived by the West, The People of the DPR Share Their Stories

Donbass Youtube playlist

Accused of Treason and Imprisoned Without Trial: Journalist Kirill Vyshinsky Recounts His Harrowing Time in a Ukrainian Prison

Ukrainian strike on Donetsk market was a terrorist act

Here’s what I found at the reported ‘mass grave’ near Mariupol

They Saw and Heard the Truth — Then Lied About It: Media on Donbass Delegation Omitted Mention of Ukraine’s 8 Year War on the Autonomous Republics

On the OSCE’s claims of Russian war crimes

*Russian Military expert Andrei Martyanov’s sites:

-His Patreon

-His Youtube

-His blog

-our interview: Russian Military expert Andrei Martyanov on Russia’s denazification operation in the Ukraine

On Wars, Propaganda and outright Lies

May 07, 2022

Source

By Francis Lee

Here is a typical political offering from the British centre-left. As follows:

‘’Putin’s war on Ukraine has led to thousands of deaths, upended the world order, and intensified the global energy crisis. At home in Britain, it has led to an outpouring of support for Ukrainian refugees – if not for black and brown people fleeing war and persecution – and provided cover for Keir Starmer to further crack down on the Left of Labour, from socialist MPs to Young Labour.

In this extract of an interview from the latest Momentum political education bulletin, The EducatorDavid Wearing (whomever he is!- FL) discusses the geopolitical interests at stake, the reactions of Western states, especially the UK, and how the Left in Britain can meaningfully engage in anti-imperialist struggle today.

Momentum a centre-left political grouping within the British Labour Party: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused untold devastation and loss of life. Evidence of fresh atrocities seem to emerge almost daily. Why has Vladimir Putin’s regime launched this war of aggression, in your opinion?’’ (Red Pepper – leftist British publication.)

————————————————————————————————

Francis Lee (FL). You see the Russians are the really bad guys, or so we are told, and this is regarded as being axiomatic coming straight from the NATO propaganda handbook, the media, and the political elites in the west. But actually, the war against the Eastern Provinces in the Donbass in Eastern Ukraine started shortly after 2014 when the US organized the coup in Independence Square. Kiev was eager to march East and ‘deal with’ (to put it mildly) the two republics who subsequently were put under a siege by the Ukrainian army and death squads and 14000 of the two Republics of Lugansk and Donetsk were killed after being under the Ukie siege from 2014 to the present time. Of course, no mention was made of this in Mr. Wearing’s piece.

David Wearing holds forth as follows: There’s a standard imperialist mentality at work. (Agreed, but read Washington for Moscow – FL) Moscow evidently regards Ukraine with a strong sense of entitlement; part of its sphere of influence in the same way that the United States has historically treated Latin America as its ‘backyard’ under the so-called ‘Monroe Doctrine‘, and sought to dominate the Middle East more recently. Reasserting substantive control over Russia’s near abroad has been an overriding strategic priority for Moscow since the mid-1990s at least.

Indeed, the guiding principle across two decades of Putin’s presidency has essentially been ‘Make Russia Great Again‘. His revanchist, authoritarian nationalism is a product of the 1990s, when Moscow lost its grip on many of its former Tsarist and Soviet possessions in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and when the Russian economy imploded under neoliberal shock therapy. The ugly machismo of Putin’s rule is a backlash against all of this.

FL – Actually, it was Putin who pulled Russia out of the grip of the oligarchs and free riders who had almost destroyed Russia. Moreover, this would of course be yet another eastern expansion in NATO’s relentless march whose object is and always has been to place an ever-tightening tourniquet around Russia’s neck. It is the West through the instrumentality of NATO which has pushed right up to Russia’s borders in a defiance of the deal in 1991 where NATO would not move ‘’one inch’’ closer to Russia’s borders with a flight time of 5 minutes to Moscow by hypersonic missile.

In fact, Russia offered a peace deal with a view to winding down the conflict which involved an implementation of the Minsk Accords, restoration of the Lugansk/Donetsk independent republics and neutrality for Ukraine. Initially the Ukrainian diplomatic delegation seemed interested in these proposals during the peace talks in Turkey. But as soon as they got back home to Ukraine the delegation was told in short order – almost certainly by the Americans – that none of these proposals were acceptable. So, according to the hard-liners and the Americans, that leaves only war as an option.

But according to Mr Wearing

So, the imperial logic is obvious (yes, but whose imperial logic? FL) but it hardly adds up to a justification for war. Certainly not one you can sell to the Russian public as good reason to sacrifice their sons and daughters on the battlefield. Hence the various pretexts for the invasion that Putin has offered in terms of defending the Russian-speaking population in eastern Ukraine. We don’t need to detain ourselves with any of that. (sic! FLReally, why not?

Wearing continues: Every imperial aggressor throughout history has claimed to be acting on some noble, virtuous principle.

FL – In actual fact the USSR as it was then constituted, was only too glad to get rid of these burdens, i.e., the Baltics, Georgia et cetera.

Aside from geopolitical motives, there’s been a palpable sense of hubris from Putin following previous military victories in Chechnya, Georgia (Georgia who firstly attacked South Ossetia killing a number of Russian Peacekeepers) and Syria (Presumably the writer thinks that a Russian victory in Syria was a defeat for democracy, when it was actually a defeat for the Takfiris).

But this war has proved a major miscalculation, and the danger now is that — like the US in Vietnam and Afghanistan – he (Putin) digs in for the long term rather than suffer the humiliation of accepting defeat. Given the sheer viciousness of the Russian campaign so far, this is not something that the people of Ukraine can afford.

WearingClearly, responsibility for this heinous violence lies first and foremost with Putin and the Russian state.

(F.L., I beg your pardon, but heinous violence came from the Ukrainian military and particularly from the neo-nazi units who couldn’t wait to start shelling the Donbass and continuing to do so for 8 long years killing 14000 ethnic Russians in their homes. Moreover, by 2021 Ukie army decided to take a second bite of the cherry. One hundred thousand Ukrainian troops were about to roll over the Donbass, but Putin after all the dithering stopped them in their tracks with the Russian Regular Forces and the Don Bass Militias.

Such is the policy of the British left’s framing of the situation which is one that they don’t understand and have no wish to.)

DW: There’s been a debate within the US foreign policy establishment about the wisdom of expanding NATO going back over a quarter of a century. One side (the old conservatives and Cold War veterans) argued that expanding the alliance too far into Russia’s former sphere of influence would raise tensions between Washington and Moscow to a dangerous degree. The other side (the neo-liberals and neo-conservatives of the post-Cold War era) argued that Washington’s interests lay in opening the alliance up to any state that wanted to join. At least initially, it was the latter group that got their way.

This is a debate among imperialists about the best policy for Washington to adopt Moscow in its own imperial interests. So, it’s been a little odd to see the anti-expansionist position in that debate being portrayed in recent weeks as ‘pro-Moscow’. Take the US diplomat George Kennan, who argued in 1997 that ‘expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold-war era’, which would ‘inflame the nationalistic, anti-Western and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion [and] restore the atmosphere of the cold war to East-West relations’. Back in the 1940s, Kennan had been one of the key intellectual architects of Washington’s entire Cold War strategy toward the USSR. It’s a sign of the depths to which the current debate has degenerated that even the sort of analysis offered by people like him is now routinely denounced as apologia for Putin.

For myself, I can see some logic in the arguments made by these old conservatives of the US foreign policy establishment. Clearly, they are attempting to explain, rather than excuse, their imperial adversary’s response to the expansion of NATO. And clearly some of their predictions have come true.

However, as socialist anti-imperialists we have our own language and frames of reference which are much more analytically useful than some of the shoddy euphemisms of the grand strategists. For example, we should dispense with talk of Russia’s ‘security concerns’ (Oh, yes Russia’s ‘paranoia’ about ‘security concerns’ regarding NATO’s inexorable moving up to the Russian border and stationing their hypersonic assets right on the Russian doorstep with 5 minutes flight time to Moscow and St. Petersburg – FL) as a ‘great power’, and instead refer more frankly and accurately to Russia’s imperial ambitions in places like Ukraine.

FL – (BS! Russia and Putin did not harbour any imperial ambitions, nor did it want a war either with any of its ex-soviet republics, or NATO’s relentless push to its western borders. It was NATO who were belligerently encouraged for exactly that eventuality, not Russia).

The term ‘security’ is one that mostly has an obfuscators effect in political discourse. Imperialists may see control over neighbouring countries as a matter of security, even ‘defence’, but the rest of us don’t have to indulge that.

We also need to think beyond how imperial powers should best manage competition over their respective spheres of interest. A better question for us might be, how can West, Central and Eastern Europe, including Russia, be made into a common home rather than a geopolitical battleground? This is likely a question for a post-Putin world, but we should start thinking about it now. If we’re lucky enough at some point in the future to enjoy another historical moment of détente between the West and Russia, and another interlocutor in Moscow like Mikhail Gorbachev, then we should seize that moment to build a durable peace, rather than squander it a second time.

FL – (But Gorbachov was tricked by the US – this in the shape of Chief US negotiator, James Baker, and the Americans whom NATO had promised would not move ‘’one inch further to the East’’ who then reneged on the promise. The NATO military machine then predictably moved right up to the old Soviet borders. From the US-NATO viewpoint this was a shrewd move, which caught the Russians napping. Well Putin must have mused ‘fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.)

Momentum: So that’s the Western meta-narrative around the confrontation with Russia. What about the West’s approach to the Ukraine war itself?

DW: The fact that the Western powers find themselves on the right side (‘’the right side indeed’’! Along with, Svoboda, C14, Right Sector, the Azov Regiment! These are the shock-troops of NATO under US leadership) the Ukraine war reflects imperial interests and expediency not some high moral principle. They perceive a clear geopolitical advantage to be gained either from a Ukrainian victory or at least a Russian military failure. Support comes in the form of arms supplies to Ukraine and sanctions against Moscow, but a no-fly zone or some other direct intervention has thankfully been ruled out so far, due to the entirely rational fear that this would trigger World War Three.

There’s been no groundswell of opposition to this from the left, and rightly so. Ukraine has no option but to defend itself (sic!) militarily, (by marching east presumably and attempting to over-run the Don Bass and killing its own citizens therein? FL) and it has the right to do so (yes, apparently on a regular basis. FL ), and it has the right to seek the means of self-defence. (self-defence! But of course, shelling your own citizens in the Don Bass – a strange form of self-defence this!) from the only sources credibly able to provide it, namely Russia’s Western adversaries.

But given the nature of Western power we are understandably wary. We are wary of sanctions having a devastating effect on the Russian population, and without seriously hurting the regime. We are wary of any escalation into a direct NATO-Russia war, which would be utterly catastrophic.

Already in the past few weeks we’ve seen US President Biden announce huge additional spending on nuclear weapons. Experts have long warned that upgrading and renewing nuclear arsenals makes the world less, nor safer. We can expect a serious rise in military spending in the UK, and in Germany as well, where decades of foreign policy have been torn up. It’s really important that we stand by our anti-militarist principles in this moment. That doesn’t mean an absolutist form of pacifism, but it does mean an insistence that people recognise that arms races inflame rather than guard against the danger of military conflict.

Finally, in the prevailing atmosphere of machismo, we need to ensure people don’t forget the non-military, humanitarian dimension. That means demanding swift and safe paths to entry for Ukrainian refugees (as part of our wider demand for a complete change in UK border policy). It means aid for displaced Ukrainians wherever they might be. And it means any other economic measures that might help, such as cancelling Ukraine’s national debt to support its recovery whenever the war finally ends.’’

FL – Yes, I get it, a sort of ‘soft NATO’ approach?

OK, so let’s have another version. The Soviet Union was invaded by Nazi Germany in 1941. During the retreat the Red Army was pushed back almost to Moscow. Ukraine was occupied by Germany and also by indigenous Ukrainian fascist collaborators – still unfortunately with us – for most of WW2. Not only did Bandera’s (OUN-B) and Shukeyvich (UPA) fascist (yes, fascists!) collaborate with the Wehrmacht particularly in the massacre in Volhynia (1943-44) of Poles, Jews, and Russians, they were also lauded by the local population (and still are to this day) of the inhabitants of the western Ukraine centred around the cities of Lviv, Ternopol and Vinnytsia, et al. Not to be missed are the statues of Bandera lovingly adorned with flowers in the major cities west of the river Dnieper.

Around the period of 2013, ultra-nationalist groups (inveterate fascists) in the shape of Right Sector and Svoboda C14, and those lovely chaps of the Azov Regiment (1) began to emerge from the shadows and appear among the genuine moderate majority and joined in pitched battles in Kiev with the Berkut (riot Police) daily which the opposition forces finally won. This was, according to the UK’s Guardian ‘newspaper’ a victory for democracy (sic!) and peoples’ power. Well, it might have started like this, but it soon transmuted into something very different. Nobody should be in any doubt about the political complexion of these ultra-nationalist groups – who were and continue to be more than a marginalist political-military force – who went on to hold 6 portfolios in the new ‘government’ based in Kiev. Nor should anyone be in any doubt about both the overt and covert roles played by both the US and EU officials (not forgetting the ever-present Mr. Soros, who is always a fixture in these situations) and the formation of the future interim government.

Throughout this period the EU and high-ranking US officials were openly engaged in Ukraine’s internal affairs. The US Ambassador, Geoffrey Pyatt, and the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, were strolling around Independence Square reassuring the protestors that America stood behind them. Also basking in the political sunlight were US NGOs (such as the National Endowment for Democracy – NED – directly funded by the US Government) and (USAID). Also involved was the US Human Rights Watch (HRW) and not forgetting of course the ubiquitous Mr. Soros. Identified as GS in the leaked Open Society Foundation (OSF) documents, others involved in the Ukrainian coup in the planning, were the already named, US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, along with the following: David Meale (Economic Counsellor to Pyatt, Lenny Benardo (Open Society Foundation – OSF) Yevhen Bystry (Executive Director International Renaissance Foundation – IRF) Oleksandr Sushko (Board Chair, IRF) Ivan Krastev (Chairman Centre for Liberal Studies, a Soros and US government-influenced operation in Sofia, Bulgaria) and Deff Barton (Director, US Agency for International Development AID – USAID – Ukraine). USAID is a conduit for the CIA.

Even right-wing thinkers such as George Freidman at Stratfor described these events as being ‘the most blatant coup in history.’

The new ‘government’ in Kiev was represented by a hotch-potch of oligarchs, Kolomoisky, Akhmetof, Pinchuk, Poroshenko, et al, and petty fuhrers including Pariuby, Yarosh, Biletsky, from the Western Ukraine with their violent armed Squadristi units (as in Italy’s period under Mussolini’s regime) terrorizing their opponents. The ultra-right Svoboda Party had a presence in the Ukrainian parliament (Rada). It was and still is a neo-nazi, ultra-right, anti-Semitic, Russophobic party with its base of support in the western Ukraine. The most important governmental post was handed to its fuhrer Andriy Parubiy who was appointed as Secretary of the Security and National Defence Committee, which supervised the defence ministry and the armed forces. The Parubiy appointment to such an important post should, alone, be cause for international outrage. He led the masked Right-Sector thugs who battled riot police in the Maidan in Kiev.

Like Svoboda, Right-Sector led by their own tin-pot fuhrer Dmitry Yarosh is an openly fascist, anti-semitic and anti-Russian organization. Most of the snipers and bomb-throwers in the crowds related to this group. Right Sector members had been participating in military training camps for the last 2 years or more in preparation for street activity of the kind witnessed in the Ukraine during the events in Independence Square in 2013-14. The Right Sector as can be seen by the appointment of Parubiy, is not able to control major appointments to the provisional government but he has succeeded in achieving his long-term goal of legalizing discrimination against Russians. What the Anglo-American left fail to understand – quite deliberately in my view – is the notion that the Ukrainian right-wing extremists are a marginal force in Ukraine. How much evidence do they need exactly? In fact, the politics of the western Ukraine is dominated by the ultras of the right, and every major city has statues of Bandera lovingly cared for and adorned with flower bouquets around his feet.

This discrimination took the forms of mass murder of the 45 people who passed out leaflets in the southern Black Sea port of Odessa when pro-Yanukovich supporters were attacked by fascist mobs and chased into a nearby building, a trade union HQ. The building was then set on fire and its exits blocked, the unfortunate people trapped inside were either burnt to death or, jumped out of the windows only to be clubbed to death when they landed. The practices of the political heirs of Bandera had apparently not been forgotten by the present generation. There is a video of the incident, but frankly, it was so horrific that I could only watch it once. (See more recently the whole murderous episode in the American publication Consortium News 2022). These barbarians were described by Luke Harding a ‘journalist’ of the Guardian as being ‘’an eccentric group of people with unpleasant right-wing views.’’ Yes, they were really nice chaps who got a little carried away!

One week later with the open support of Washington and its European allies, the regime installed by Washington and Berlin in February’s fascist-led putsch then began extending its reign of terror against all popular resistance in Ukraine. That was the significance of the events in the major eastern Ukrainian sea-port city of Mariupol less than a week after the Odessa outrage. (Mariupol has also come into the recent news for a second time around,)

After tanks, armoured personnel carriers and heavily armed troops were unleashed on unarmed civilians in the city, the Kiev regime claimed to have killed some 20 people. The Obama administration immediately blamed the violent repression on “pro-Russian separatists.’’

One week later Poroshenko, ex-Finance Minister in Yanukovich’s government, was elected as President on 29 May and duly announced that “My first presidential trip will be to Donbass where armed pro-Russian rebels had declared the separatist Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and control a large part of the region.’’ This was the beginning of the Anti-Terrorist Operation the ATO. However, things didn’t quite work out as planned. After 2 heavy defeats at Iloviask and Debaltsevo the Ukie army was stopped in its tracks and the situation has remained static to roughly this day.

Until that is things changed. Some 8 years later the Ukie army started doing what comes naturally to them: namely to start shelling the Donbass again. It should be understood that the shelling had started in 2014 immediately after the Kiev coup. During the whole period some 14000 hapless citizens of the Don Bass were killed. Moreover, a large Ukie army of some 100,000 were beginning to mass outside of the Don Bass and were preparing their move.

There was no way that Putin was going to allow this. Not only would it mean mass murder of the Don Bass, but it would also put Ukraine (qua western proxy) right on Russia’s border with NATO hypersonic missiles 5 minutes flying time from Moscow. That settled it – Putin had had enough. The Russian Army moved in. It was left with no alternative.

No great power can allow a peer competitor to mass on its borders by any other great power. The US/NATO was precisely doing this. As Putin pointed out, the flying time for hypersonic missiles from the Russian border to Moscow was 5 minutes. See the American Realist theorist John Mearsheimer in this respect.

Yet, all we get from the legacy left is the incessant virtue signalling and anti-Russian rhetoric. In truth Putin didn’t want this war, but there was pressure building up not only from the US neo-cons but also internally in Russia for a more militant approach in both the Parliament and with the Russian public. Any disinterested account of Putin’s turned on the initial attack of NATO and its proxies and Russia’s counterattack. The neo-cons should have heeded Obama’s warning that Russia had an ‘escalation dominance’ and that the US would be advised to tread carefully on Russia’s doorstep.

Russia is slowly but inexorably winning the battlefield in what has been a total defeat for the regime in Kiev, and more importantly for the US-NATO bloc. The tectonic geopolitical plates seem to be moving.

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

May 06, 2022

Please visit Andrei’s website: https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/
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NATO: The Founding Lie

May 1, 2022

German commentator, lecturer and writer. He is considered to be a leading “intervening philosopher”.

By Werner Rugemer

Source

After the 2nd World War in 1945 the USA knew: There is no danger from the weakened Soviet Union. But with the pincer grip of the Marshall Plan and NATO, the USA integrated the Western, Northern and Southern European countries into its economic and military expansion. Ex-Nazis and ex-Nazi collaborators were promoted, on the other hand anti-fascist parties, movements, persons were eliminated, infiltrated, bought. At the same time, the U.S. also helped the governments to fight against liberation movements in the colonies – also because of raw materials for US corporations. After 1990, the founding lie and thus the military-capitalist pincer grip was continued with the “eastward expansion”: Always first NATO membership, then EU membership. This includes the dismantling of prosperity and freedom for the majority populations: The EU and more and more US corporations, investors and consultants are organizing Americanization with working poor, working sick as well as legalized and illegal labor migration – at the same time militarization and hostility against Russia is being expanded: Domination of Eurasia from Lisbon to Vladivostok was the plan from the beginning.

We bring a chapter from the book by Werner Rügemer: Imperium EU – Labor Injustice, Crisis, New Resistances, tredition 2021. Of course, the war in Ukraine does not play a role in it yet, but it becomes explainable in some respects. Sources have been omitted.

Russia after World War 2: No danger

In the run-up to the founding of NATO, those responsible in the USA knew: The Soviet Union posed no military danger. The weakened power could not sustain an attack on Western Europe even if it wanted to: The Soviet Union’s economy is largely destroyed and technologically obsolete; its transportation system is too primitive; its oil industry is easy to attack. Nor does the Soviet Union have the atomic bomb. “The men in the Kremlin are clever tyrants who will not risk their internal power by military adventures abroad. They want to win the battle for Germany and Europe, but not by military action,” was the judgment of George Kennan, the chief planner in the State Department, for State Department chief Marshall, for President Truman, and for U.S. ambassadors in various memoranda in 1948.

But why did the U.S. and its then still few allies nonetheless establish NATO, a military alliance expressly directed against the Soviet Union?

The Legend of the Cold War

The legend states that NATO was a “product of the Cold War” after the end of World War 2. In reality, NATO is a product of U.S. expansion, which was already underway before U.S. military intervention in WWII.

The “cold war” is one of the most resourceful ideological constructs used by the U.S. opinion machine to disguise U.S. practices from WW2 to the present. The term was popularized by the most important US ideologue of the 20th century: Walter Lippmann, father of “neoliberalism.”

“Cold War” is supposed to mean: After WW2, the military war is over, and the phase of non-military confrontation between the “free West” and the “communist Eastern Bloc” begins. But during the “cold war” the USA and the first NATO countries waged hot, very hot wars, e.g. in Greece, Korea, the Philippines, in Africa and Indochina – this will have to be returned to.

In reality, the “cold” war began shortly after the war started, around 1941. Roosevelt and Churchill intervened militarily as late as possible in the war – despite repeated requests from their ally Stalin: The Red Army and the German Wehrmacht were to destroy each other as much as possible. The U.S. and British governments also rejected in principle to assist any internal resistance to Hitler. Wall Street lawyer Allen Dulles, as head of the intelligence agency Office of Stragic Services (OSS) based in Switzerland, did not want the assassins of July 20, 1944 to succeed – the U.S. military wanted to prevent an early armistice with the Soviet Union at all costs. The Red Army was to suffer as high losses as possible in the further fight against Hitler’s Wehrmacht.

Advancing the U.S. “defense” line to Europe

Walter Lippmann, a Harvard graduate who initially saw himself as a leftist and socialist, had helped organize the propaganda for the U.S. entry into the war for the U.S. War Department during World War I (Committee on Public Information, CPI): In 1917, the pacifist neutrality pledge of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson was to be reversed, and the U.S. entry into the war was now to be justified.

After that, Lippmann had theoretically justified and journalistically accompanied the global expansion of the USA in a prominent position – especially concerning Europe and Japan. In 1938, as an opponent of Roosevelt’s reform course (New Deal), he had brought together the later gurus of “neoliberal” economic theory such as Friedrich Hayek, Alexander Rüstow and Raymond Aron: It was here that the euphemistic term “neoliberalism” was coined for the global, anti-union, anti-communist sharpened doctrine of capitalism.

In March 1943, Lippmann wrote: After conquering North America, Central America, the Caribbean, the Philippines, and several islands in the Pacific (Wake, Guam, Hawai, Japanese Mandate Islands), the U.S. had been forced to “defend two-thirds of the earth’s surface from our continental base in North America.” Now, however, with the foreseeable defeat of the Axis powers of Germany, Japan, Italy, and their allies and collaborators, much broader access is opening up.

The U.S. will now no longer be able to “defend” its previously conquered territories, the geostrategist said, solely from its North American territory and scattered islands in the Pacific. Rather, America can and must now decisively expand its “defense” line “by basing our foreign policy on reliable alliances in the old world.” New U.S. bases could now be established in Europe and Japan. This would allow the U.S. to move from the previous passive to active “defense” of its national interests.

USA 1947: War Department becomes Defense Department

This strategy included ideological artifices: The anti-liberal and anti-democratic intensified capitalism doctrine was called “neoliberalism.”

And the intensified military expansion was passed off as “defense.” From 1789, since its founding, the U.S. factually had a War Department: through wars, the North American continent was integrated into the national territory, then Central America, the Caribbean, Cuba, then the Philippines, Puerto Rico, China, etc. were militarily penetrated, temporarily occupied, vassal governments were installed, islands – or parts of islands like Guantanamo in Cuba – were occupied and developed as permanent military bases.

But just at the highest stage of its also military expansion up to then, the War Department was euphemistically and factlessly renamed to Defense Department in 1947. That is why the aggressive NATO was called the “defense” alliance.

The Twin: Marshall Plan and NATO

NATO, founded in 1949, was the twin of the Marshall Plan. The dual military-civilian character was embodied by George Marshall himself: During World War 2, as Chief of Staff, he coordinated the U.S. military in all theaters of war between North Africa, Europe and Asia. After the war, as Secretary of State from 1947 to 1949, he organized the Marshall Plan. And in 1950, the agile man slipped into the role of U.S. secretary of defense, organizing brutal interventions, including napalm bombings, against liberation movements around the globe, in Korea as well as in Greece.

From 1947 on, all later founding members of NATO received aid from the Marshall Plan: Great Britain, France, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Norway. This continued after NATO’s founding until the end of the Marshall Plan in 1952. In addition, in 1949, the U.S. Congress approved $1 billion in aid for the rearmament of NATO’s founding nations. In some cases, Marshall Plan aid was reallocated for military purposes.

All of these states – except Luxembourg, Italy and Norway – were also active colonial powers. Most of them were also monarchies and no paragon of democracy. The U.S. itself maintained numerous dependent territories around the globe in a neocolonial manner and dominated states in Central America and the Caribbean with the help of dictators – most famously in Cuba.

Preliminary Brussels Pact: Germans and “Communist Danger

Prior to NATO’s founding, the most reliable European countries slated to be founding members were allowed to make their prelude. In March 1948, the governments of Great Britain, France and the three small Benelux monarchies, highly subsidized by the Marshall Plan, adopted the “Brussels Pact.” It saw itself as a military alliance against renewed German aggression and against a threat of Soviet aggression.

These U.S.-led conspiracy practitioners simulated dangers that did not exist: Germany was fully disarmed and under military control of the Allies, including the Brussels Pact members themselves – France, Britain, Belgium, and the Netherlands were occupying powers in West Germany; and they could have a say in whether or not West Germany or the Federal Republic of Germany was rearmed. The Soviet Union was neither capable of nor willing to attack Western Europe, and even less willing to permanently occupy it – this assessment of the U.S. government was also familiar to the Brussels Pact states.

The Brussels Pact brought together, along with Great Britain, the states whose governments and economic elites had not resisted the occupation of the Wehrmacht, but had collaborated with Nazi Germany and also saw “communism” as the main danger. They all feared punishment, disentanglement or even expropriation after the war, the military and secret services feared loss of influence. But the U.S. held a protective hand over them.

On April 4, 1949 – a few months before the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany – the military alliance North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, was founded in Washington. It was billed as a “defense” alliance, following U.S. language. All other members were dependent on the U.S., not only through the Marshall Plan, but also through additional loans, military aid and investments. NATO’s headquarters were in Washington until 1952.

Also there: Dictator Franco with special status

The ruling circles of the USA had admired Mussolini’s fascism: He had shown how to defeat the “communist danger” in the West. Mussolini was showered with loans by Wall Street, and U.S. investors bought shares in Italian companies, such as Fiat. With Mussolini and Hitler, U.S. corporations supplied the fascist Franco, who destroyed the Republic in a brutal civil war.

Franco had declared victory on April 1, 1939 – just two weeks later, the Roosevelt administration had appointed its ambassador in Madrid. Only Mussolini, Hitler, Pope Pius XII and the British fascist promoters King George VI with Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had been quicker to diplomatically recognize the dictatorship.

For cosmetic reasons, Spain initially did not become a NATO member while Franco ruled. But the United States included Spain in its European expansion even without formal membership. They operated military bases here and promoted economic development, such as tourism. Fascism was compatible with “freedom and democracy” and NATO.

War against liberation movements in European colonies

With NATO, with additional U.S. military bases in NATO member states and additional partnerships such as with Spain, the U.S. not only pushed its “defense” line into Western Europe in Lippmann’s sense. It also supported the wars waged by the European colonial powers against the liberation movements in the colonies that had gained strength after the war. And in the process, the U.S. also gained access to raw materials in those colonies.

Great Britain

Britain had been supplied by the U.S. with armaments, ships and food during the war and was now heavily indebted to the U.S. The U.S. saw to it that the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which it had founded and controlled in 1944, made its first major loan to Britain in 1947: this was used to conciliate and blackmail the Labour government.

Britain was also weakened in other respects: its most important colonies, such as India, were lost. Already during the war, Great Britain had ceded several military bases in the Commonwealth to the USA (land lease program). At the time of NATO’s founding, the Labour-led government fought the liberation movement in Ghana, calling the leader of the Convention People’s Party, Kwane Nkrumah, a “little local Hitler” and putting him in prison in 1950. Only in 1957 was Ghana able to become independent with Nkrumah.

The U.S., which had already been present in Greece and Turkey from 1943 with its secret service OSS, replaced Britain’s military and secret service there in 1948 and took over the war against the anti-fascist liberation movement in Greece.

Canada

Canada, as a member of the Commonwealth, was doubly dependent: Since the late 19th century, the country had been an economic colony of the United States. Canadian troops and their intelligence service had been under British command, and British troops and the entire British war economy had been subordinate to the United States.

France

The second most important NATO member after Britain was France. The U.S. Army, along with the British and Canadians, had liberated the country from the Nazis and the Vichy collaborationist government under Marshal Pétain in 1944. The leftist Resistance, which had been infiltrated by the U.S. intelligence agency OSS, was gradually eliminated.

The unpopular General Charles de Gaulle, who had fought against Hitler and represented an independent France, had to be allowed to walk in the victory parade on the Champs Elysées in Paris, and then a provisional government was formed by him; it included the Communist Party, which had led the Resistance. But this government was never recognized by the United States. The World Bank, under President John McCloy, granted a loan to France even before the Marshall Plan, on the condition: De Gaulle and the Communists must be out of the government! U.S. Secretary of State Byrnes, Marshall’s predecessor, promised a 650 million loan and the additional delivery of 500,000 tons of coal.

Christian lacquered politicians like George Bidault, close friend of CDU chairman and future West German chancellor Konrad Adenauer and like the latter in contact with CIA chief Allen Dulles, were maneuvered into the government. De Gaulle was thrown out. The loan was granted. In 1948, the U.S. also rearmed three French divisions so that France could even act as a serious occupying power in its occupied territory in West Germany.

Algeria was not only a French colony, but was considered part of France, albeit with a racist apartheid system. This did not bother NATO at all: Algeria was immediately included in the NATO treaty area. The French government’s brutal colonial war intensified. By independence, the French military had killed hundreds of thousands of independence fighters and civilians.

At the same time, the French government demanded military aid against “communism” in the colony of Indochina: the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, proclaimed in September 1945 by the Viet Minh independence movement under Ho Chi Minh, was to be destroyed – the U.S. helped France with military advisors, food and armaments. McCloy, as president of the World Bank, also approved a loan for this purpose in 1949, the year NATO was founded.

Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg

The three Benelux countries had made no military contribution against Hitler’s Germany. Their governments and corporations had collaborated with the Nazis in the war. But Belgium and the Netherlands became NATO members and were allowed to enter West Germany as occupying forces by U.S. grace.

McCloy also conceded a World Bank loan to the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1949, NATO’s founding year, so that the independence movement in the colony of Indonesia could be fought. Against the Republic of Indonesia, established in 1945 after the Japanese occupation, the 145,000 Dutch military forces proceeded to bomb cities, murder tens of thousands of resistance fighters and other locals, and capture the government.

Belgium

The Kingdom of Belgium continued to hold its resource-rich colony of Congo under the gun after 1945 with U.S. approval. The U.S. had obtained uranium, crucial for its atomic bombs, from the Belgian colony. The mining company Union Minière du Haut Katanga – in which the Rockefellers had a stake – had already moved its headquarters from Brussels to New York in 1939.

After 1945, anti-colonial resistance in the Congo was fought mercilessly: trade unions were banned, strikers were shot or publicly flogged. Later, in 1961, in Belgian-U.S. complicity (King Baudouin, U.S. President Eisenhower, CIA, native collaborators), the first prime minister of the newly independent Congo, Patrice Lumumba, was bestially murdered after a short time.

Portugal

Fascist Portugal had remained neutral in the war and therefore had been all the more important economically to Nazi Germany: As the most important state, Portugal supplied tungsten, a precious metal crucial to the war, for steel hardening, necessary, for example, for rifle barrels and cannon barrels. In Portugal, pirated shares and pirated gold were laundered to finance the German war effort.

After 1945, the USA returned the Asian colonies of Timor and Macau, which had been occupied by Japan, to Portugal. In the African colonies of Mozambique and Angola, colonialist forced and plantation economies (coffee, cotton) prevailed. The Communist Party, the main liberation organization, was banned and persecuted.

And the U.S. and NATO could now use Portugal’s Atlantic islands, the Azores, as military bases.

Small states and later NATO members

Iceland, a Danish colony, had been occupied by Britain and the United States in 1940. The country had declared independence to Denmark in 1944. Therefore, Iceland received Marshall Plan funds and agreed to its NATO membership. The small country maintained no military of its own, but served as a U.S. and NATO base.

Denmark: An anti-fascist government was formed here after the Nazi era. It included the Communist Party, which had resisted the Nazis. Here, too, the U.S., with the help of social democracy and the Marshall Plan, drove out the non-alignment originally intended.

In the Danish colony of Greenland, the USA had already established military bases in 1941. The Danish government, which had reserved foreign and security policy rule over Greenland, agreed: Greenland was declared a NATO defense area in 1951. The U.S. military base at Thule in Greenland was developed into one of the largest foreign U.S. bases as a forward espionage site against the Soviet Union and then against Russia, determining Danish foreign policy.

Norway: Here, the Social Democratic government wanted to remain non-aligned after the German occupation. But with the help of the Marshall Plan and additional rearmament aid, the U.S. maneuvered Norway into NATO.

Greece: In NATO’s founding year, U.S. dive-bombers napalmed the positions of the already victorious anti-fascist liberation movement in Greece and equipped the military loyal to the monarchy, which had collaborated with the Nazis. This was the only way to defeat the liberation movement. When the U.S. had ensured a U.S.-dependent government here as in neighboring Turkey, it brought the two countries into NATO in 1952.

Federal Republic of Germany: Largest U.S. Fortress in Europe

The U.S. wanted above all to bring the western occupied zones of Germany into NATO. But first, this West Germany was not yet a state; and second, the governments of France and Great Britain initially opposed rearming the Germans because of critical public opinion in both states.

But shortly after the founding of the new state of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), its Christian-painted chancellor Konrad Adenauer in 1950 agreed (secretly) to rearm. He had the peace and neutrality movements fought and incited as “communist”. The USA promoted arms production in the FRG for the needs of the war against the People’s Liberation Movement in Korea as early as 1950. The West German arms industrialists lobbied for NATO. And as early as September 1950, NATO included the FRG in the NATO defense area – five years before formally joining NATO.

Today in the 21st century, no other state on the planet hosts as many additional U.S. military bases – about 30 – as NATO member West Germany.

The USA invades the European colonies

NATO was thus an alliance against post-fascist and anti-fascist democratization in Europe and against national self-determination in the colonies. And the neo-colonial NATO leading state U.S. invaded the old colonies of the Europeans.

In the French colonies of Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia) and Africa (a good dozen colonies, mainly of France, then also of Belgium and Portugal) important raw materials were stored. U.S. companies wanted to get their hands on them as cheaply as possible. Under Evan Just, the Marshall Plan authority in Paris maintained the “Strategic Raw Materials” department. It explored and inventoried in the colonies of the European colonial powers, for example, manganese and graphite in Madagascar; lead, cobalt and manganese in Morocco; cobalt, uranium and cadmium in the Congo; tin in Cameroon; chrome and nickel in New Caledonia; rubber in Indochina; oil in Indonesia; besides industrial diamonds, asbestos, beryllium, tantalite and colombit.

The Marshall Plan Authority and the State Department organized commodity purchase contracts beginning in 1948, for example, in favor of the U.S. corporations United Steel, Bethlehem Steel, and Newmont Mining. Investment banks such as Morgan Stanley and Lazard Frères formed joint holding companies to modernize mines in the colonies. For the atomic bombs, the U.S. needed even more uranium after the war than during the war anyway.

Finally, finally conquer Russia? Resistance!

For NATO, the founding was not about defeating “communism”, that was only a preliminary stage. It was and is about the U.S.-led conquest and exploitation of Europe, especially Russia, that is, all of Eurasia from Lisbon to Vladivostok (according to U.S. presidential adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski in 1996) and regardless of whether it is communist or capitalist.

NATO has been and continues to be an alliance that has principally and permanently violated the UN Charter, Article 1 “Self-Determination of Nations,” from its inception. NATO members – and also associate members such as Switzerland and Austria – joined in various ways in the numerous U.S.-led wars of the wrongly so-called “Cold War,” beginning with the Korean War and most recently, for example, for two decades in Afghanistan, leaving behind impoverished, devastated countries, with high profits for the arms, energy, supply and private military services industries.

And even under the otherwise somewhat criticized President Donald Trump, NATO’s European partners followed NATO’s leading power in anti-Russian agitation and rearmament to conquer the Eurasian theater, finally, finally succeeding, if need be again with war, and this time with nuclear bombs.

With the eastward enlargement of NATO the founding lie was continued. The EU membership of the ex-socialist states always followed a few years after the NATO membership. The EU continues to be an appendage of NATO. The relative economic support provided by the Marshall Plan brought only relative prosperity – and it was only a temporary concession. That ended in 1990. The EU, together with U.S. corporations, investors and consultants, has been dismantling relative prosperity ever since, step by step, first in Eastern Europe but, at the latest since the 2008 “financial crisis,” ever more rapidly in the “rich” states of Western Europe as well.

The stakes are high. The NATO edifice of lies, nurtured for decades, is more fragile than ever. Resistance to it must and can take on a new strength, on all continents. The legal-political basis are the original UN international law and UN human rights, which include labor and social rights. And that the military harms the environment more than others, even environmentalists can still learn.

Western Claims of Russian Mass Graves Near Mariupol Another Fake News Hoax–I Know, I Went To See For Myself

 

Eva Bartlett

According to Western media, now copy-paste reporting the same claims, Russian forces apparently secretly buried *up to 9,000 Mariupol civilians* in “mass graves” in a town just west of the city. Except, it never happened, there is no mass grave.

It’s actually just a normal, small, cemetery…no pits, no mass graves, just an orderly cemetery whose grave diggers refuted Western claims.

On April 23, with journalist Roman Kosarev, I went to Mangush (Manhush in Ukrainian), found a normal cemetery setting, and spoke with the men responsible for burials, who refused the allegations and said they buried each person in a coffin, including, they noted, Ukrainian soldiers.

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

April 10, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Rick Sterling 

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

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

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

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

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

Why Ukraine?

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

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

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

Censorship

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

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

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

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

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

Sensational Accusations 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Self Censorship 

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

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

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

Fabricating quotes 

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

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

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

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

Ukraine in the Global Context 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zakharova: West Uses Expulsion of Russian Diplomats as Information, Political Attack

April 6 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Western countries in recent decades have begun using the declaration of Russian diplomats as persona non grata as an information and political attack, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Sputnik radio on Wednesday.

“Over the last decades, the collective West has begun to use the declaration of Russian diplomats as persona non grata, that is, imposing sanctions on them, isolating them from the opportunity to work in the region they had studied… as a tool not of diplomatic work, but of information and political attack,” she said.

According to Zakharova, the West “necessarily needs to show some kind of heaping of their actions.”

“They call it solidarity, but it has nothing to do with it,” the diplomat added.

The spokeswoman then drew attention to the fact that the expulsion of Russian diplomats has always been carried out publicly, loudly, and demonstratively.

Western countries even went so far as to start making public the names of diplomats and providing their personal data, Zakharova said, adding that “All of this was accompanied… by conditions beyond our understanding, under which our diplomats had to leave the country.”

“All this was done on purpose to create a sense of guilt on the Russian side for something that no one had done, at least under the headlines under which Russian diplomats were expelled. There was nothing in terms of factual arguments, it was purely a verbal attack,” she underscored.

“Why Ukraine’s “Bucha Massacre” Story Isn’t Adding Up”

 

Eva Bartlett

Eva Bartlett is an independent writer and rights activist with extensive experience in Syria and in the Gaza Strip, where she lived a cumulative three years (from late 2008 to early 2013). She documented the 2008/9 and 2012 Israeli war crimes and attacks on Gaza while riding in ambulances and reporting from hospitals. In 2017, she was short-listed for the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism.

6 thoughts on ““Why Ukraine’s “Bucha Massacre” Story Isn’t Adding Up””

Julius Skoolafish

Thank you for featuring Brian Berletic, Eva.

This prompted me to recall this excellent video presented by another of my (our) favourites – Vanessa Beeley – exposing the ‘western’ propaganda complex..THE VETO: Exposing CNN, Al Jazeera, Channel 4, western media propaganda war in Syria

Nicolas Cinquini

[a despicable Ukrainian PSYOP in Bucha]
https://link.medium.com/5ctCDNcmYob

Loam

If I were in command of the Russian troops, my common and strategic sense would have me completely rule out any action like this that Russia is accused of. And I do not think that the common sense of those who command these troops is less than mine. I suspect that this is a macabre staging carried out (perhaps with the help of the CIA) by the Ukrainian government. I am convinced that time will prove me right.

kbartlett114gmailcom

From Southfront, videos: https://southfront.org/new-evidences-shed-light-on-alleged-massacre-in-bucha-kiev-region-video-photo/

Francois

It is amazing that every time the kabal want to swing opinion the CIA pull this off, no matter which country is involved. It happened numerous places now, including the twin towers.

wordaction717

Thank You Eva for these insider videos giving us the Russian-speaking side of what in the Western-world is limited on what our ears can hear.

From, Yves Bernard, head of prepare.ations group.

More by Eva Bartlett

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.

Sitrep: Operation Z

April 03, 2022

Source

By Nighvision

I decided to do an unscheduled update because we’re in the midst of a falseflag, which many have predicted. It’s already being called the new ‘Sbrenica Massacre’ in the western media with all the usual fully coordinated text-book Media-Intelligence-Military-Corporate-Industrial-Complex scripted execution where every attendant arm is firing on all cylinders to project the new narrative in order to predictably call for large-scale escalation. The official wiki entry has already been penned of course with the usual unresearched speculation and propaganda presented as fact.

Meanwhile the media arm of the cabal is already in full swing on a war footing calling for NATO intervention:

Expectedly, most MSM’s frontpages, including that of FOXNEWS, is covered with this new ‘atrocity’.

This video is a must-see that neatly presents the currently known evidence being passed around in the resistance sphere into one convenient presentation which appears to prove that the Ukrainian army in fact executed Russian sympathizers with white armbands in Bucha and tried to pass them off as Russian genocide. Of course this is only part of the picture, as there are many other bodies discovered beyond the ones shown in the video, particularly in the ‘mass grave’ currently being shown all over twitter that shows civilians covered in dirt, dug up from the ground. But the above video very strongly points the finger in the Ukrainian direction.

And after all, hasn’t it been Russia that has repeatedly been proven right in every single such high profile atrocity/accusation so far? For instance when the Russian POW torture video came out, it was Ukraine that cried “fake” until days later all western ‘authorities’ were forced to admit it was real. When the ‘maternity hospital’ falseflag in Mariupol occurred, Kiev supporters blamed Russia and once again Russia was the one proven right and vindicated when the pregnant girl at the center of it herself released an interview completely refuting Ukr lies, and stating that not only did Ukr soldiers turn the hospital into a barracks but stole the precious food from pregnant women and then shelled the hospital themselves. And much earlier, when Ukr claimed Russia bombed an ‘innocent’ civilian mall, yet the very next moment the Russian MOD released detailed videos showing precisely how Ukrop forces positioned mobile artillery in the parking garage of the said ‘mall’. When Ukrops claimed Russia tried to blow up the Zaporizhzhia plant, yet security footage showed that as a Russian security force arrived, it was fired upon by an RPG from Ukrop positions in one of the administrative buildings of the plant. Or when the famed American journalist was killed in Irpin right outside Kiev a month ago, and all Ukr supporters shouted Russia, but the entire incident was quickly swept under the rug when the journalist’s own friend/companion in an interview stated they were fired upon by Ukrop troops at a Ukrop checkpoint miles away from the nearest Russian forces. So the track record shows over and over that these incidents are invariably revealed as Ukrainian lies and this new provocation is clearly another in a long line.

Now let’s look at a few updates from the economic front while we’re at it. Europe is suffering badly.

And western media is forced to admit that Russia is actually making a killing with current skyrocketing oil/gas prices and the redeemed Ruble. They’re now saying that if things continue the way they’re going, Russia will reap an EXTRA $321 billion economic profit this year compared to last year.

Meanwhile Germany’s inflation is reaching historic levels.

https://sputniknews.com/20220403/ruble-payment-scheme-russia-uses-with-gas-will-be-extended-to-new-groups-of-goods-in-future—1094440515.html

Meanwhile Russia announces that the Ruble payment scheme may soon be extended for other valuable commodities which could cripple Europe and the U.S. Particularly, as some have opined, if Russia switches to pricing commodities it has a large global monopoly on in Rubles, it will be a huge shock and gamechanger; things like wheat, palladium and other precious metals, etc.

Already 3 countries so far have accepted paying Rubles for gas including Slovakia.

As for the important situation in the ‘civil aviation’ field, which is one of the few areas the west truly was able to arguably hurt Russia, there are new big developments:

“On March 31, a twice adjourned meeting with the President of the Russian Federation took place.
Dry squeeze solutions:
– foreign aircraft will not be given to lessors
– they will fly in Russia and cover the domestic flight network
– all of them were forcibly transferred to the Russian registry (currently – approx. 800 liners)
– and reinsured by Russian insurers
– a solution for spare parts and maintenance has been found, but it is not publicly announced
– in the long term, a bet was made on our own aircraft production
– MS-21 is shifted by 1-2 years “to the right” (due to additional import substitution)
– Rostec promises up to 500 aircraft of “large” models by 2030.
– in the medium term, mass production of the Tu-214 and Il-96-400 will begin, this is already in 2022-23.
– the “air cashback” program was launched (i.e. compensation of part of the cost of air tickets on domestic flights. Financing will be allocated in the amount of 100 billion rubles)

More details here:
https://www.atorus.ru/news/press-center/new/59403.html

So in short, 800 airliners worth billions were officially transferred to the Russian registry (i.e. seized), they have been fully re-insured by Russian insurance companies. The big problem everyone spoke of was how would Russia obtain spare parts as western countries would block any spare parts delivery and experts estimated this would result in these planes only being usable for weeks. Some hypothesized India or China would help in this regard but the announcement here states that a solution was found, but they won’t disclose what it is.

In short, it sounds like Russia is on top of this problem and will not allow it to become a major weak point or source of defeat by the sanctions.

Also, another big point many have discussed and questioned why Russia has not allowed volunteers from RF to go to Ukraine to fill the much needed ranks. Well now it appears Russia has finally opened up enlistment to volunteers according to this report from Telegram.

“⚡Russian volunteers go to Ukraine – sending every three days

Russian military registration and enlistment offices began recruiting volunteers with their subsequent dispatch to Ukraine to participate in a special operation. This was announced by the war correspondent of the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company Alexander Sladkov.

According to the military correspondent, only sergeants are recruited to participate in the special operation (the rest of those who wish, I think, can be clarified there)

The service will be formalized by a contract, the allowance will be 205 thousand rubles a month.

Three million rubles will be paid to the injured for the injury.

The family of the deceased volunteer will receive 8 million rubles from the federal government and five million rubles from the governor of the region. In addition, the children of the deceased soldier will receive an apartment (this provision still applies to residents of the Moscow region).

Volunteers go to Ukraine every three days, the military commander said.

Recall that Oleg Tsarev, who was on the territory of Ukraine from its first days, was the first to speak about the need to attract volunteers to participate in the special operation. On March 24, he said that the military department of the Russian Federation brought the corresponding order to the military registration and enlistment offices.”

Russian armor reinforcements continues to pour into Belarus and areas of Ukraine in preparation for Phase 2 that will likely begin after the fall of Mariupol. https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1509931991537491986

Ukraine attempts to desperately bribe Russian servicemen into defecting with their equipment by offering up to $1 million dollars for helicopters, tanks, planes turned over to Ukr authorities, which would presumably be paid for by the U.S. taxpayer I’m sure.

https://www.zerohedge.com/military/ukraine-announces-million-dollars-reward-russian-helicopter-fighter-jet-warship

At the same time, particularly in light of the Bucha falseflag, new calls for genocide against Russians are made widely in Ukraine, and ‘pre-genocidal’ language is used openly on social media such as the example here https://twitter.com/olgatokariuk/status/1510341599468863492

The Ukrainian journalist here seems to clearly imply a sort of ‘final solution’ for the ‘Russian society’.

Elsewhere a mayor of Dnipro has also called for Russian citizens to be killed all over the world, wherever they are.

Some quick situational updates on the ground. Some new gains in Mariupol today:

You can see the areas in darker red have been advanced into.

There are good gains in Donbass for both the LPR near Rubizhnoe and DPR who advanced past Verkhnotoretske into Novabakhmutivka. There are several videos of dead Ukrainian servicemen on this advance that I don’t need to post. I will only post ‘gruesome’ videos if there is a very specific significance rather than to merely ‘boast’ about dead enemies.

With that said, there IS a gruesome video from the DPR advance into Marinka, because it is further evidence of Ukr warcrimes which reinforce what the Ukrops are doing against Russian POWs.

Very graphic 18+ watch at your own risk: https://www.bitchute.com/video/Al2EKOQmHlT7/

The video shows DPR troops who, upon advancing further into Marinka, found deceased DPR POWs with obvious signs of torture and abuse. They are bound and some have bullet holes shot through their hands in exactly the way Russian POWs were shot in the knees, legs, and groins. Others appear to have other gruesome injuries that do not appear natural and are more likely the sign of some sort of abuse/torture. But of course you won’t see this on MSM.

In other news, about the 40th Turkish Bayraktar TB2 has been shot down. These Turkish toys no longer pose any problem to Russian forces, and every time a new batch is delivered to Ukraine they are summarily shot down. This heap of scrap is from the 3rd or 4th such batch.

 And by the way when they DO use them, they no longer are able to use them in strike roles at all because it would require (due to their missile’s range) for them to get too close to Russian radars. Instead they have exclusively utilized TB2’s as long distance surveillance. In clear weather, the very good optics of the TB2 (manufactured by Canadian WESCAM) allows it to see 40-60km down the country and can be used for correcting artillery, and in fact was used in such a way on the Kherson airfield strike, where Ukie forces blew up a ton of their own helicopters which Russia captured from them, and then celebrated that ‘Russian helis were destroyed’.

By the way for those that don’t know, an interesting tidbit is that the company responsible for these drones, Bayraktar, is married into the Erdogan family. Many don’t know that Erdogan’s daughter is in fact married to Bayraktar’s head Selcuk Bayraktar. Yes, Erdogan’s own daughter is literally named Sumeyye Erdogan Bayraktar https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sümeyye_Erdoğan

“Sümeyye Erdoğan Bayraktar (born 22 August 1985[2]) is the youngest of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan‘s four children.”

And the Erdogan family thus reaps a major windfall from Bayraktar sales all over the world $$$$ and has a huge interest in this brand.

Speaking of drones, here’s a chart showing the NATO surveillance flightpaths during the course of the entire conflict so far.

 As can be seen NATO is at all times manically circling on every possible inch of border that they’re legally allowed to approach, gathering data to beam to Ukrainian command to assist them in every way possible against Russia.

Most people don’t realize that NATO has integrated fully with Ukraine in such a way and it explains many of the exploits that Ukraine is able to achieve, not only in precision striking on Russian troops but the exceptional awareness of Russian radar coverage areas in order to bypass them such as in the Mariupol evac incident or the Belgorod oil facility strike.

After all, Five Eyes have admitted to fully committing to Ukraine: https://www.rt.com/news/552815-new-zealand-uk-ukraine/

New Zealand even said they would utilize their raw processing power and time zone difference to help Ukraine so that their analysts can be working during the day, feeding info to Ukraine at night, etc.

A wider view:

 In last news for now, Russia has struck a giant oil refinery called Kremenchug that is owned by Kolomoisky, the puppet master of Zelensky. This is a major refinery, possibly the biggest, which I’ve read supplies upwards of 30% of Ukrainian oil. There were arguments days ago on social media, with some opining that Russia still refused to strike this facility due to its economic importance. But after Belgorod was hit, Russia apparently took its gloves off and immediately hit this facility the next day. Though I think only one section with storage tanks was struck, the refinery is a gigantic complex and most of it was spared (for now). So I’m not sure how much of it they took offline apart from millions of gallons of oil in storage tanks.

Then this morning a large refinery in Odessa was also struck, with apparently one foreign journalist already detained and ‘banned’ from Ukraine for 10 years for showing clear footage of the attack. As I mentioned last time, the Ukr authorities are now very serious with their new law prohibiting the dissemination of any Russian attack videos on Ukrainian infrastructure/military etc.

And this is why we’ll likely never see the aftermath of the other strike that occurred, a large Iskander hit on a barracks in Kharkov that was said to house hundreds of new mercenary recruits. Russian MOD says at least 100+ of them were killed and published the drone-view strike video.

I’ll leave you with a couple videos:

We’ve seen tons of videos of DPR fighting so here’s a video of LPR frontlines in Rubizhnoe to give a taste of how the Lugansk fighters do it: https://www.bitchute.com/video/KvWx32nrEjLh

And, an actual illustration of Russian vs. Ukrainian de-mining techniques currently being used:

Kolomoyskyi, Fine Father of the Country

March 29, 2022

Source

By Jimmie Moglia

Making sense of Western media is like fitting wheels to a tomato – time consuming and completely unnecessary. Ever since the media became an instrument of persuasion, the greatest part of mankind have no other reason for their opinion than they are in fashion. In turn, fashion is independent of reason and reason requires thought. An activity – reason – discouraged in principle among the “vile multitude that choose by show” (i.e. by fashion). And even more discouraged by the appropriately named and now fashionable ‘cancel culture’. Besides, the possible incursion of troublesome thoughts are often importunate and therefore rejected.

Current Western intelligentsia, other than being petulant and ostentatious, is as useful as a barber shop on the steps of the guillotine. And reason, as now inescapably obvious, is often helpless against masochism.

I wrote the following article in 2015. I republish it because, occasionally, a look at the ‘chronicles of wasted time’, may give some insight on the present.

It is hard to imagine how the chroniclers of the mainstream media can still maintain that the Ukraine coup of February 2014 had anything to do with democracy. It is an endeavor similar to mingling oil with water, or, in the language of chemistry, to amalgamate bodies of heterogeneous principles. But if Paris was worth a Mass, a large bribe is worth a lie, however grand, or gross or both.

In the circumstances, the latest news from Kiev acquires a doubly farcical quality, in itself and when compared to the official media version. Not only, but supporting the vividness of the farce is an actual video, in case you may doubt the accuracy of the information (link at the end of the article).

First a brief background. As most readers know, the events following the dissolution of the Soviet Union were duplicated in various other republics, whose wealth was stolen by sundry oligarchs. Or, in neo-liberal language, the public wealth was privatized.

In Ukraine, among the oligarchs were the actual Poroshenko, and one Ihor Kolomoyskyi, to the latter of whom this article is especially dedicated. Kolomoyskyi is a Jewish arch-Zionist, which may explains, among other things, why Israel sent its own squadrons of brown shirts to assist in the coup (see related article by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz of March 2014).

Apparently, according to Ukrainian law, Ukrainian citizens are not allowed to have two nationalities. Questioned about the matter, Kolomoyskyi replied that the law does not apply to him, because of nationalities he has three, Ukraine, Israel and Cyprus. Currently, he is the official governor of the Dnipropetrovsk province and is the most powerful figure after Poroshenko. There are some who believe that he paid for the downing of flight MH 117 (whose investigation, as you know, will remain secret). Apparently, Kolomoyskyi admitted as much in a private video call on Skype – though no records of that particular call are extant.

The oligarchs are fighting each other, and in the past 10 years or so, there have been episodes of mutual plunder, in perfect and canonical feudal style. The most active present conflict features Poroshenko against Kolomoyskyi.

Currently, the US has complete control over the politics, the government and the economy of Ukraine. And there are certain rules, which the feuding oligarchs cannot easily violate without being stripped of their “democratic legitimacy.” If so, they are removed from the pack or they may shoot themselves or jump to their end from sundry windows.

The amusing event involving Kolomoyskyi – on which I will report shortly – seems to break the rules established by the Americans. Unless Kolomoyskyi is allowed to break them, so as to maintain a system of checks and balances, where not one puppet can become powerful enough to acquire a political persona. In other words, not all the eggs in one basket. Furthermore, since Washington is calling for an extended war between Ukraine and the breakaway provinces of Novorussia, it seems more appropriate not to declare a secondary war against Kolomoyskyi.

But last week an event upset him. A company in Ukraine, “Ukrtransnafta” manages the transport of oil through the Ukrainian pipeline network. The company board decided to relieve the current Ukrtransnafta’s manager, Aleksandr Lazorko from his post. Instead, they elected a Yuri Miroshnik in his place. I mention all these names to give a context to the brilliant interview, which I will report verbatim, and you will not be disappointed. However, Kolomoyskyi, who feels he owns Ukrtransnafta, strongly objected. Not only, but he instructed his man Lazorko to barricade himself inside his office and not to leave the post.

After which Kolomoyskyi sent in a platoon of his armed storm-troopers, whom he graciously called “my lawyers”, to occupy the premises of Ukrtransnafta. As the news of the occupation spread, a journalist from “Radio Liberty” went to interview him. Note that “Radio Liberty” is the Ukrainian branch of the “Voice of America.” The same “Voice of America” whose budget will be increased by 200 million $ (or more), at the request of secretary-of-state John Kerry (real name Kohn, a variant of Cohen) “to counter the vicious propaganda of the Russians.”

No doubt, you will find in the oligarch’s remarks, flights of wit, sallies of pleasantry, acute observations, nice distinctions, justness of sentiment and elegance of diction.

As for his impetuosity, we should forgive him for not having as yet reached that season of life, in which the manners are to be softened into ease and polished into elegance.

Still, we cannot deny that Kolomoyskyi has the readiness of conception and affluence of language necessary to both colloquial and journalistic entertainment.

Here is a transcript from the video.

quote

Kolomoyskyi: I just wanted to see you – your f##king face. There are no other opportunities to see you, Radio Liberty. You don’t ask how this raider seizure occurred in Ukrtransnafta? And about how Russian saboteurs got here, huh? Why aren’t you asking about it? Huh? Or you just f##king needed to see Kolomoiskiy?

We were freeing the building of Ukrtransnafta from Russian saboteurs. Who seized it. And you with your “Liberty” sit here and f###ing ambush me. As a girl spying on her unfaithful husband. What, didn’t you shut up already? Or want to ask about the passports? (note, refer to the business of the 3 nationalities, reported above). Or you want to ask something else? Ask me about the Russian saboteurs, why didn’t you catch even one? Radio “Liberty”, f##k. You’re the same “Liberty”, fu##ing like the one that went to the parliament. Fu##ing Tyahnybok prostitute.” (note, Tyahnybok is another oligarch, apparently and currently a friend of Poroshenko).

Documents have disappeared. There were some murky people from some private security company. Now they are gone. This was a trivial attempt for a raider takeover of this state-owned company.

And what I was doing here, I will tell you in the Prosecutor’s Office, did you get that, “Libertarian”? Why did you shut up? Ah? Why are you silent, speak up? Do you have any more questions? Or you’ve plugged your tongue up your asshole? Speak up, you are the Radio “Liberty”, a famous thing, broke up the Soviet Union, brought down the Bolsheviks… And you are ambushing me for the passports. Or for some used condoms? Where is this fag of yours, Leshshenko? (note. Leshshenco is the minister who appointed the new director of Ukrtransnafta and who forced Kolomoiskiy to call in the storm-troopers). Well, are you going to show this on your tv or internet? Hello?

Everyone was away, the Prime Minister is gone to Brussels, who was supposed to take care of this? They decided to quietly raid the company and steal everything (Note. A clear case of no-honor-among-thieves). It was after we intervened that (the Economy Minister) Demchishin came over, Savhcenko, this new one, the fat one (Miroshnik, the newly appointed CEO of the company. As for calling Miroshnik fat, it’s the pot calling the kettle black. Based on the images, Kolomoiskiy himself may benefit from losing some weight).

I asked him: Where did you work? He says in the Lugansk SBU (Ukraine’s KGB equivalent). So I ask him, did you do smuggling there, or are you liberating the Lugansk region? Why the f##k are you here at the Transnafta? We have everything under control here. So he was with the Lugansk SBU, he doesn’t want to liberate Crimea. He doesn’t want to liberate Lugansk. He appointed himself (note: to the position of CEO).

Radio Liberty: What do you think, who’s behind all this?

Kolomoiskiy: I don’t know. They told me it was Kononenko, (note: one of the leaders of Poroshenko’s government). Now I am going to the Presidential Administration, to clarify who is behind all this.

unquote

Interestingly, to the girl from Radio Liberty, Kolomoyskyi spoke in Russian, not Ukrainian. Perhaps he forgot that his oligarch colleagues called for the banishment of the Russian language from Ukraine, for the jailing of those who speak it, and for the nuking (sic) of the Russians who live in Ukraine.

The remarkable transcribed exchange, comes on the trail of a semi-insurrection in the Ukrainian city of Konstantinovka, where an armored vehicle driven by drunken Ukrainian soldiers killed a young girl and her mother on a sidewalk. Reacting to the anger of the local population, Kiev blamed the accident on “Russian provocateurs” and dispatched to the city a number of death squads.

Inserting these events into the other reports from Ukraine and considering the quasi-desperate situation of the population, it is easy to conclude that the country has sunk into a chaos of folly. Really and physically, “everything is left at six and seven.”

Maybe this was CIA’s plan B. In the famous conversation of the US Ambassador in Ukraine, Pyatt, during which Victoria Nuland suggested to “f### the Europeans”, Pyatt used an interesting analogy. He was discussing whom to choose to be the president and the vice-president of the new “democratic” post-coup Ukraine. “With these people in place – he said to Nuland – our pie will fall with the jelly-side up.” Meaning, we presume, an “orderly transition”, Ukraine totally controlled by the US, member of the European Union and occupied by the American forces of NATO.

Apparently, the pie did not fall entirely “with the jelly side up.” And the jelly, or rather, the blood of at least 15,000 people of which 6000 civilians was spilled to secure the XXIst as the American Century for Ukraine. All in the name of democracy, of course.

It used to be that hypocrisy was the necessary burden of villainy, and affectation a part of the chosen trappings of folly; the one completing a villain, the other finishing a coxcomb. Contempt being the proper punishment for affectation, and detestation the just consequence of hypocrisy.

But in the new American Century, hypocrisy is the burden of esteem, and affectation the trapping of success. To complete their trail of glory, I would not be surprised if Pyatt and Nuland were the next ticket for the American presidency.

Video Link: https://youtu.be/k00iQ1GxERM


Ed Note:  For video subtitles – note that you have to open the video in YouTube.  It does not work for an embedded video.

Click on the button with ‘CC’ on it at the bottom of the video and you will see a red underline of the CC button.
Next, click on the ‘Gear’ button [Settings], next to the CC button
Then click on ‘Subtitles/CC’
Next ‘Auto-translate’ [bottom]
Then select your language.

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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Oligarchs Lie, Cheat, and Censor…Dying Humor

 MARCH 24, 2022

MIRI WOOD SYRIA

Oligarchs have been in the news lately, but in the generic mood of bias. Most function behind the scenes as financiers who pull strings that let working class folk get crushed in warehouse collapses because they weren’t allowed to seek appropriate shelter prior to a deadly tornado. Some have their names mentioned when their billions allow them to take old ladies on private space ship rides. Others get to be deified as godly philanthropists.

Oligarchs behind the scenes are the most hazardous, because, remaining anonymous, they get to engage in all kinds of seemingly low-level lying, looting, and crushing remnants of the sense of humor via censorship.

Syria News website was founded by an immigrant Syrian. It currently has two staff and unpaid writers: One is the Syrian immigrant who happens to be Muslim and the other is I, a US American who happens to be Jewish.

Syria News has just been notified that some anonymous oligarchs have stolen some fractions of pennies from us, by “disabled -” or “restricted ad serving.” Three of my reports — two recent and one over two years old — have been named as the causative factor for the Kafkaesque crimes of being “shocking,” “derogatory,” and/or “dangerous.”

According to the anonymous oligarchs’ warning, all of my writings (hundreds or thousands, I don’t know) are under complete “disabled ad serving” for “dangerous or derogatory content.”

According to a bona fide physical dictionary, dangerous means “1. Attended with danger; hazardous; perilous; unsafe. 2. Likely to, or capable of causing injury or harm.”

Shocking is an adjective meaning, “causing intense surprise, disgust, horror, etc.”

By what standard of human decency is it ok for Macron to mass enucleate Gilets Jaunes protesters, is it ok that MSM yellow journalists ignore the blinding of dozens of French citizens, while the secretive oligarchs steal pennies from a website because I verified the brutality, I condemned the savagery, and I shared photographs of some of his one-eyed victims, because so few of us stand on our hind legs to bear witness, while the snobs on the Hill and the snobs in the SC look the other way?

Contrary to the lies of the anonymous oligarchs, I have never written anything that could remotely be considered “likely to, or capable of causing injury or harm” to another.

Per the same physical dictionary, derogatory means “Harmful to the reputation or esteem of a person or thing; disparaging.”

Maybe if the media oligarchs and the diplomatic oligarchs and the corrupt politician wannabe oligarchs hadn’t tolerated Colin Powell’s scary ‘Show & Lie’ at the UN, 2003, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, & Yemen would be intact.

Instead, the cowards cowered and the liars got rich.

The three targeted reports the anonymous oligarchs have wrongfully targeted are Hollywood & Syria: The Uses of Enchantment in Crimes against Peace; NATO UN Junta Monthly anti-Syria Meeting ups Imperial Hypocrisyand False Flag Chemical Plot Gets Nusra Front Terrorists Fried.

The Hollywood report explains how the use of moulage trauma in movies has been used on Syrian children to make journalists, diplomats, and politicians suspend disbelief in order to engage in war propaganda against a sovereign country — in this case, Syria. I made clear that none of the painted children — whose photographs were shared widely in mainstream media sources, without the threat of censorship — was physically injured. The writing was challenging as it was a challenge to be objective while imagining the fear and terror endured by the kidnapped children.

I also emphatically stated that there was no evidence that photographers had any part in the kidnappings, nor was there any evidence the photographers were skilled in the art of moulage trauma applications.

The March 2022 report on the NATO UN Junta meeting contains hyperlinks to the statements of various diplomats, the ones who appear to be oblivious to the fact that children are being kidnapped and marketed on the dark web. It includes photos of a motherless child, made up in ghoulish moulage, shared in transatlantic NATO media for purpose of war propaganda — which is a breach of International Law — and of the child further traumatized in a similar photo whose credit claimed it was taken years later, in another country.

Do I not have the moral duty to let our diplomats know about this? The “shocking content” is that they don’t, and that the first credited photographer had no complaint over his subject being moved from Syria to Yemen, in the same makeup but with her dress moved downward, and with her trying to calm another mother-less boy, screaming in terror.

THE SHOCK BELONGS TO OUR OVERPAID POLITICIANS, AND OUR FINELY COIFFED DIPLOMATS WHO ALL AVERT THEIR GAZE, SOME OF WHOM MAY BE TOO BUSY COUNTING THEIR STOCK DIVIDENDS FROM THEIR WAR INVESTMENTS.

Similarly, the False Flag Chemical Plot Gets Nusra Front Terrorists Fried report did not show photographs of the inbred terrorists’ burn injuries from spilling those poisonous substances they were going to bomb civilians with, onto themselves (am I supposed to apologize for the use of the word, “fried”? Am I supposed to hire a psychoanalyst to wipe out all shreds of unconscious humor? I once got a very bad burn from a crazed chef, which involved — really — a frying pan. Maybe I’ll stand myself in the corner, for using the self-defense humor mechanism, because the absurdity of that story is much more enjoyable than remembering the excruciating pain of the burn). Instead, I included two videos shared by the stethoscope-less, CPR-less, can’t use an Ambu bag White Helmets, using their own videos which show them engaged in kidnappings of Syrian children.

That report also includes a photograph never censored, a photograph of the White Helmets holding a near-term baby that was skillfully, surgically cut from its living mother’s womb.

HOW DARE OUR TAXES FUND THESE CRIMINAL PSYCHOPATHS? HOW DARE OUR PAID JOURNALISTS, OUR CORRUPT POLITICIANS, AND OUR MOSTLY LYING DIPLOMATS AVERT THEIR GAZE FROM THESE HORRORS, AND THEN LIE ABOUT THEM?

Hidden oligarchs cheat us out of pennies, claiming report on Hollywood techniques is “dangerous & derogatory.”
Hidden oligarchs claim this report contains “shocking content” though featured image of kidnapped kids in moulage trau
Oligarchs claim of ‘shocking content’ included videos not censored in social media, showing actual kidnappings of Syrian children.

There are few journalists — salaried or not — with the skills I bring to my reporting: Not only have I been involved in direct trauma care involving countless patients, but I have also been taking photographs since getting my first camera — a hand-me-down 1946 Brownie at the age of six.

I know the anatomy and physiology of bleeds, including arterial ones. I know that violent psychopaths who rip a kidnapped child’s deltoid and scapular muscles until he’s unconscious from pain, and his arm is only still attached because of his skin, is caused by the degenerate violence perpetrated against the little boy, and I recognize it is not crushing injury (ffs, even The Guardian couldn’t hide the obvious, and was forced to change its featured image of the child, whose attackers should be locked up permanently in a psychiatric facility for violent criminals).

I have attempted to put reality in the faces of our phony diplomats and corrupt politicians. In every instance, I have utilized Tort Law & Journalistic Ethics. I am mindful in my writing, to adhere to the highest of ethical standards, and I have never breached irresponsibility in doing the work of UN diplomats, work they get paid for, for free.

If Syria News readers would like to give a figurative (“metaphorical and not literal”) punch to the invisible, apocryphal oligarchs, you can do so by sending us a donation:


Syria News is a collaborative effort by two authors only, we end up most of the months paying from our pockets to maintain the site’s presence online, if you like our work and want us to remain online you can help by chipping in a couple of Euros/ Dollars or any other currency so we can meet our site’s costs on time; you can also donate with Cryptocurrencies through our donate page.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

Gonzalo Lira – live stream from Kharkov (recording)

March 21, 2022

Russia: Ammonia leak in Sumy is an aftermath of Ukrainian nationalists’ provocation

21 Mar 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen Net 

A top Ukrainian official says that Russia’s armed forces have not planned and are not carrying out any attacks on Ukrainian facilities for the storage or production of toxic substances.

Ukrainian forces (Archive)

Russian defense ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov affirmed, on Monday, that a provocation by Ukrainian nationalists resulted in an ammonia leak detected in the vicinity of the Ukrainian city of Sumy.

On his account, the head of Sumy Regional State Administration Dmitry Zhivitsky stated earlier in the day that an ammonia leak was discovered at a chemical facility, adding that the incident occurred at 4:30 a.m. local time (2:30 GMT). 

Russia’s defense ministry issued, on Saturday, a warning about the threat of provocations with toxic chemicals in the area by Ukrainian nationalists backed by the US and several EU countries in order to put the blame on the Russian army.

“In the city of Sumy, a planned provocation by Ukrainian nationalists, about which the Russian Ministry of Defense officially warned a few days ago, was carried out at night,” he told reporters.

The official reiterated that Russia’s armed forces have not planned and are not carrying out any attacks on Ukrainian facilities for the storage or production of toxic substances.

“The coordinates of all such facilities and data on poisonous substances stored there on the territory of Ukraine were obtained by us during the capture of combat documentation of the 4th brigade of the Ukrainian National Guard,” he stressed.

He went on to say that Kiev is directly liable for any incidents involving Ukrainian facilities that store toxic substances.

At the beginning of this month, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that Ukraine’s Azov battalion is preparing for a provocation that could lead to radioactive contamination in Kharkov.

The Russian Defense Ministry Spokesperson Igor Konashenkov pointed out that Kiev wanted to accuse Russia of creating a radiation focus at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (NPP).

On March 9, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported that Ukrainian nationalists struck Chernobyl NPP’s power supply.

It is worth mentioning that the Russian Defense Ministry has frequently warned that Ukrainian military and nationalist groups are planning grave provocations to blame on Moscow. So far, the West has ignored Russia’s worries and warnings.

هل السرعة معيار نجاح موسكو عسكرياً؟

  الثلاثاء 22 آذار 2022

 ناصر قنديل

منذ بدء العملية العسكرية الروسية في مواجهة تقدم حلف الناتو نحو الحدود الروسية، وتحول أوكرانيا إلى ساحة حرب، وتحول الشعب الأوكراني والجيش الأوكراني والاقتصاد الأوكراني إلى وقود لحرب ميؤوس منها، وتفاديها وقف على قبول صيغة الحياد بدلاً من وهم الانضمام إلى حلف الناتو الذي تقوم عقيدته على إعلان روسيا عدواً أول، ويعني انضمام أوكرانيا إليه اعلان حرب على روسيا، وخطة الناتو تقوم على خوض حرب إعلامية على جبهتين بدلاً من الحرب العسكرية التي يخشى خوضها، الجبهة الأولى هي إقناع الأوكرانيين بمواصلة القتال وحدهم رغم تخلّي الناتو عنهم، والتوهم بأن العقوبات المفروضة على روسيا من جهة، والأسلحة والأموال التي يتم شحنها عبر الحدود إلى أوكرانيا من جهة أخرى، تكفيان لإفشال العملية العسكرية الروسية. أما الجبهة الثانية فهي موجهة للعالم وللأوكرانيين معاً، ومضمونها إقناع الرأي العام بأن معيار النجاح والفشل، ليس التقدم في الجغرافيا، ولا تجاوز تأثير العقوبات، بل عدم تحقيق ذلك بسرعة، ومعيار السرعة وضعت له معادلة النجاح بدخول كييف في يومين أو ثلاثة، وهو أمر يحتاج لإثبات واقعيته قبل تسويقه، لكن تسويقه هو المهم، للمضي قدماً في الحديث عن الفشل، ومن بعده الدخول في حرب نفسية مضمونها تفسير الفشل، الذي لم يقع إلا في الإعلام، لكنه صار حقيقة في وعي الكثيرين، وصار ممكناً نقلهم للتساؤل عن السبب وتقديم سردية مناسبة للتلاعب بعقولهم حول سبب وقوع الفشل.

القطبة المخفيّة كلها في جملة نسبت زوراً للرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين، الذي قال نبدأ عملية عسكرية خاصة في أوكرانيا، فأضيفت إليها من مكان مجهول معلوم كلمة سريعة، وسرت كالنار في الهشيم، وصار الحديث عن سريعة قبل أي شيء آخر، ثم صارت السريعة بيومين او ثلاثة، فهل توقع العملية السريعة واقعي بالأساس، كي يقبل الاستنتاج بأن تسويقها لم يكن ضمن خطة مبرمجة لخوض حرب إفشال العملية العسكرية في عقول الرأي العام من بوابة هذه الفرضية المستحيلة، حتى لو نجحت في الواقع الميداني، والمعيار للقياس هو ببساطة، حيث واجهت أميركا التي تعتبر أنها قوة عظمى أشد قوة من روسيا، خصماً مشابهاً أقل قوة من أوكرانيا، وأخذ الزمن الذي احتاجته أميركا لفرض سيطرتها قياساً لما يحدث مع روسيا، التي امتلأت الصحف والتقارير الغربية والقنوات الفضائية الأجنبية والعربية بتحليلات الخبراء، والضباط المتقاعدين الفاشلين عسكرياً، ليبيعوا نظرية الفشل، ويدخلوا في استصناع أسباب مفترضة له، مستنسخة عما كتبه خبراء البنتاغون، مرة بالحديث عن مشاكل لوجستية، وأخرى بالحديث عن ضعف السيطرة والقيادة، وثالثة بالحديث عن نقص المحروقات، ورابعة عن ضعف استخباري، ودائماً بفعل المقاومة الأوكرانية، وصولاً لآخر المبتكرات بالحديث عن نقص في عدد الجنود الروس اللازمين للفوز بالنجاح، وكلها عناصر يمكن قبول نقاشها اذا ثبتت القطبة المخفية الأصلية، وهي أن العملية العسكرية الروسية فشلت، وأن معيار الفشل هو السرعة؟

بالقياس أمامنا تجربة أميركية في حرب يوغوسلافيا، عام 1999، بعد عشر سنوات حرب أهلية مدمّرة، لبلد مساحته لا تعادل 15% من مساحة أوكرانيا، وعدد سكانها كذلك 15% من عدد سكان أوكرانيا، وليس لها حدود مع أي دعم تتلقاه، وحكومة معزولة سياسياً داخل أوروبا وخارجها، وفي زمن السطوة الأميركية الأحادية على العالم، وفي ظل غطاء نسبيّ من قرار أممي بفرض وقف النار وحماية المدنيين، ولم تحسم معركة بلغراد العاصمة الصربية واليوغوسلافية أساساً، إلا بعد 78 يوماً من القصف المدمّر، ما يعني ان الخبرة الأميركية اذا قامت على اعتبار روسيا بالقدرة الأميركية ذاتها وبوضعيتها ذاتها في ظل الأحادية، واعتبرت أن أوكرانيا في ظروف دولية وداخلية مشابهة لظروف صربيا، وحصرت المقارنة بالمساحة وعدد السكان، فإن المدة التي يجب أن تحاسب روسيا على أساسها في حسم معركة كييف يجب أن تكون ستة اضعاف الـ 78 يوماً، اي سنة ونصف، وهناك تجربة أخرى خاضتها أميركا وهي في ذروة سطوتها، بغزو أفغانستان والعراق، ونجحت خلالها بدخول كابول بعد شهرين وبغداد بعد عشرين يوماً، وأعلن الرئيس الأميركي نهاية العملية العسكرية في العراق بعد 40 يوماً، وكانت الحصيلة الاعتراف الأميركي بعد أقل من سنة عن فشل ذريع، وعن تحول العراق الى مستنقع يغرق فيه الأميركيون، وصولاً للقبول بالانسحاب دون تحقيق الهدف، أي بناء نظام حكم حليف لواشنطن، او كما قال الرئيس جو بايدن عن مبررات الانسحاب من أفغانستان بعد عشرين عاماً، رغم إعلان النجاح بعد عشرين يوماً، أنه لو بقينا عشرين عاماً اخرى فلن يتغير شيء، سنفشل، لكننا سندفع آلافاً أخرى من الضحايا وتريلينوات أخرى من الأموال.

بالمقارنة يبدو واضحاً أن الأميركيين بخوضهم حربا إعلامية تحت عنوان «السرعة معيار النجاح»، يريدون عبرها للروس مصيراً لعمليتهم مشابهاً لمصير العمليتين الأميركيتين في العراق وأفغانستان، الغرق حتى الأذنين بالفشل، وسلوك الطريق الذي سلكه الأميركيون، وهو البحث عن نصر سريع عنوانه احتلال العاصمة وتنصيب حكم بديل تابع، والدخول في مواجهة مقاومة شعبية تنطلق من رفض الاحتلال، بينما يحرص الروس على خوض عملية عسكرية تنتهي باتفاق سياسي مع الحكم الأوكراني الحالي، تعرف موسكو أنه لن يحدث إلا إذا اقتنع الغرب بلا جدوى حملاتهم المالية والإعلامية ومساندتهم العسكرية للحكومة الأوكرانية، لجعل روسيا تقع في فخ القطبة المخفية، وتتحول الى قوة احتلال لا تعرف ماذا تفعل بالدولة التي تحتلها، ولا كيف تحمي نظاماً تابعاً تقيمه فيها، وموسكو تعرف كيف تدير عناصر اليأس الغربي، انطلاقاً من النجاح في احتواء الصدمة الأولى للعقوبات، وتمتين تحالفاتها مع الصين وإيران، ومواصلة التقدم الثابت والهادئ في الجغرافيا الأوكرانية، مع الحذر الشديد من التورط في أعمال قتل جماعيّ للمدنيين، ومواصلة السعي التفاوضي لجعل خيار الحياد الأوكراني نموذجاً لمناطق عازلة تفصل روسيا عن حلف الناتو منعاً للاحتكاكات التي يمكن أن تؤدي لنشوب حرب عالمية.

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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with RT, Moscow, March 18, 2022

March 19, 2022

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1805134/

Question: The sanctions that are currently imposed on Russia are of course unprecedented. And they are really negatively affecting the lives of ordinary Russians, even though Washington is saying that it’s not targeting Russians. What can you say about what the goals of these sanctions are and who the target really is?

Sergey Lavrov:

 I believe the goal of the sanctions is much more strategic than just Ukraine. I think what we witness in Ukraine is the quintessence of the western course, strategic course to marginalise Russia, to contain Russia, to stop Russia’s development and to reduce Russia to a zero role in world politics and world economy, world trade, world sports, art, science, education

And we observe unprecedented steps our Western colleagues are taking. One of the underlying trends is the United States’ desire – which has been much more manifested by the Biden administration – to come back to a unipolar world. And, if you wish, they are trying to take the melting pot concept from the United States soil and make a melting pot from the entire world, and they would be the smelters. The European Union already, I think 99 percent, stopped trying to be independent. President Macron, of course, keeps repeating that strategic autonomy for the European Union is his goal and he would be fighting for it, but my guess is that he would not succeed. Germany is already absolutely ready to obey instructions from the United State. The situation with North Stream 2 clearly indicated what exact place in world politics Germany occupies now, when the Americans in fact have “persuaded” the Germans and others that they, the Americans, know much better what Europe needs for its energy security than Europeans themselves. And there are many examples like this. So the sanctions drive is going to continue, they are threatening the fifth wave, maybe there would be another wave, but we’re used to it. I will recall that, long before the Ukrainian crisis erupted because of the illegal anti-constitutional coup d’etat, the sanctions were already imposed on us. It was, you know, when the Jackson–Vanik amendment was repealed, the Magnitsky Act was immediately introduced and the sanctions, in one way or another, stayed. And then there was a series of sanctions, as you mentioned, to punish us, basically, for supporting the legitimate cause of Russians in Ukraine, Russians in Crimea, you know this story, I wouldn’t rehearse the events and the sequence of events.

The latest sanctions wave was really unprecedented and, as President Putin recalled, we are now champions in the number of sanctions introduced against the Russian Federation – more than 5,000 individual acts, almost twice as many as was introduced against Iran and North Korea. But sanctions, or all of this, made us stronger. After the sanctions were announced in 2014, when the West could not accept the free vote of Crimeans to rejoin the Russian Federation, when the West basically supported the illegitimate and unconstitutional coup d’etat. You know what was very interesting to me when I talked about those events to my Western colleagues? They very often use the tactic of cutting off an unwanted historical period. The situation in Ukraine they start discussing only with what they call annexation of Crimea. If you remind them that it all started with the European Union being unable to insist on the implementation of the deal, which they guaranteed, by the opposition, and then the opposition just threw away the deal signed and guaranteed by the European Union, and then the leaders of the opposition and of the so-called Maidan, the radicals, like Dmitry Yarosh were saying “We stand for a Ukraine without Russkis and katsaps” (which means Muscovites), and he publicly stated that if the Russians – well, he said the Russians in Crimea would never think Ukrainian, would never speak Ukrainian, would never glorify the heroes, meaning Bandera and Shukhevich and other collaborators of Hitler – and that’s why Russians must be swiped out of Crimea. Actually, this was said a couple of weeks before the Crimeans eventually decided to go to referendum. And these words were accompanied by deeds. They sent armed groups to take control of the Crimean parliament, and that’s how it all started. Not to mention the initiative – immediately, on the first day of this coup d’etat, the putschists introduced an initiative to do away with the status of the Russian language in Ukraine, which was in the Ukrainian Constitution. So all these instincts were immediately translated into very Russophobic policies.

The idea that Russians should get out of Ukraine is still very much on the minds of politicians in this country. Oleg Tyagnibok, the leader of the ultra-radical party, Svoboda (“Freedom”), has repeatedly said that “we must have de-Russification”, as he calls it. And de-Russification means that ethnic Russians must not have their own language, history and identity in Ukraine and so many similar things. But what is more important for us to understand in the current state of play are these statements by Zelensky himself. So I said that the ultra-radicals called for Russians to be wiped out of Crimea, and President Zelensky, in September last year, said, if you believe you’re a Russian, if you believe you want to be a Russian and if you want to be friendly with Russia, go to Russia. He said this just a few months ago.

So, coming back to sanctions: sanctions we will survive. The measures which the president and the government are developing, elaborating, are being announced. This is only the beginning of our economy getting adjusted to the new situation. After 2014, as I started to say, we did gain experience to rely upon ourselves. And the biggest lesson from this particular historical period is, unlike what we saw after 2014, that now, 

… if there was any illusion that we can one day rely on our Western partners, this illusion is no longer there.

We will have to rely only on ourselves and on our allies who would stay with us. This is the main conclusion for Russia in the context of geopolitics.

Question: I think it’s safe to say that Russian culture specifically has become accustomed to being part of, you might say, a global village of countries that share deep economic ties and enjoy travelling between each other. How do you think these sanctions are going to influence the everyday life of Russians in the long term in relation to that?

Sergey Lavrov: Well, as I said, the assessment of what is going on, in my view, clearly indicates that what America wants is a unipolar world, which would be not like a global village, which would be like an American village and maybe American saloon where who is strongest is calling the shots. And they said they are succeeding to mobilize behind themselves and, on the basis of their own interests, the entire Western world, which is indicative of how independent NATO members and European Union members are and which is indicative of what place the European Union, as I said, would have in the future configuration of the world situation and the world system.

There are players who would never accept the global village under the American sheriff …

and

China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico – I am sure these countries do not want to be just in the position where Uncle Sam orders them something and they say “Yes, sir.” And of course, Russia is not in the category of countries who would be ready to do so. Actually, when people say – when the Americans and Western Europeans and others say that Russia was defeated in the General Assembly because the vast majority of countries voted against the Russian action in Ukraine, it’s misleading because, if you take the population represented by the countries who were not voting against Russia, and especially if you take the number of countries who introduce sanctions against Russia, a majority of those who voted against us did so under huge pressure, under blackmail, including – I know this for sure – including threats to individual delegates regarding their assets in the United States, bank accounts, children studying in universities and so on and so forth. It’s absolutely unprecedented blackmail and pressure without any scruples. So a majority of those countries who voted with the West, they did not and they would not introduce sanctions against Russia. They believe that it’s, you know, not a very big price to pay for their own practical cooperation with Russia, just to vote on something which is needed for the West for entirely propagandistic purposes. So we will be, as always, open to cooperation with anyone who is ready to do so on the equal basis, on the basis of mutual respect and searching for balance of interests, and the countries to the east of Russia are much more disposed to act on this basis, and we will certainly reciprocate for the benefit of both us and our partners. We are not closing the door on the West. They are doing so. But when they come back to their senses and when this door is reopened, we will be looking at proposed projects of cooperation with a very important thing in mind to which I alluded to already – that we will be going into cooperation with them knowing very well that we cannot be sure that they are reliable and that they are credible as long-term partners.

Question: Well, I’d like to take the discussion now to a sort of different topic: these US-sponsored biolabs in Ukraine. I mean, for years already, Russia has been trying to bring the world’s attention to them. And the latest piece of evidence connected to them the Russian military just put forward not too long ago, with documents signed by US officials in connection to them. Why do you think is the world not paying so much attention to these biolabs? And will Washington and its allies be held accountable for what they’re doing there?

Sergey Lavrov: Actually, it’s interesting that the special military operation launched by the president of the Russian Federation helped discover many things which are very important for understanding what is going on. Recently, the military of Russia, together with Donetsk and Lugansk forces, discovered documents of the Ukrainian general staff indicating clearly that they were preparing a massive attack against the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. So the operation, which was launched by Russia, in fact, preempted this threat and did not allow them to implement what they wanted to do, and they wanted to do exactly what they failed to do implementing the Minsk agreements. They were trying to use what they called Plan B and to take these territories by force with bloodshed on an unbelievable scale, in addition to what they have been doing to civilians for the last eight years.

But another set of documents which was discovered – as you said, documents related to military biological activity of the United States in Ukraine – documents with signatures of Ukrainian officials, US military. 

Those laboratories have been created by the United States all over the world. More than 300 laboratories in various countries, many of them on the perimeter of the Russian Federation – in the former Soviet republics, including Ukraine. Ukraine is probably the biggest project for the Pentagon, who is running this show.

The special Defense Threat Reduction Agency of the Pentagon is in charge of this biological activity, and they are developing very dangerous pathogens, including plague, brucellosis, anthrax and many others, which are really very dangerous. And we know that they were experimenting on potential infections, which could be related to the ethnic groups living in the east of Ukraine and in neighboring regions of Russia.

We have been raising this issue in international organizations for a while, I would say almost more than 20 years. In 2001, we suggested that the countries participating in the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons should develop a verification mechanism which would be transparent, which would be understood by everybody and applied to everybody because the convention itself provides for consultations if any participating state has some suspicions or some information which the state would like to clarify. And if these consultations indicate that there is a good reason for some kind of investigation, then an investigation is supposed to be launched. But there is no mechanism to investigate, and there is no mechanism which would require each and every country, in response to an address, to provide information and to guarantee transparency of its biological activity anywhere, be it on your own territory or abroad.

By the way, 

… the Americans some years ago decided that it is too dangerous to do these things on their own soil. So they moved all these threatening and dangerous activities to other countries,

and more and more they concentrate their research and experiments around the borders of the Russian Federation and China. So we will be insisting on this issue to be picked up by the Biological Weapons Convention, but also by the Security Council, because it’s a clear threat to international peace and security. We will be again emphasising the importance of negotiating a legally binding protocol to the Convention on Biological Weapons, which would require obligatory transparency measures by any participating state. The Americans, I have no slightest doubt, would be against it, but this position of theirs is not defendable. I am convinced that more and more countries understand how dangerous these plans are, and we will continue to fight them.

Question: What can you say on the topic of Washington’s role in all of this? President Zelensky called for weapons to come to his country from the West. He’s talked about a demand for establishing a no-fly zone over Ukraine, and this is something that Joe Biden just recently again said is not going to happen because that would lead, no doubt, to outright war between Russia and NATO and the United States. Why do you think is Ukraine so desperately trying to make some sort of scenario like that happen?

Sergey Lavrov: Whatever you think of some of Joe Biden’s statements, he is a very experienced politician and he understands that it is absolutely inadmissible to establish something like a no-fly zone, to provide planes to Ukraine and to do other things which will bring the risk of direct confrontation between NATO and Russia just, you know, immediately. But Zelensky also understands that there are much less responsible politicians in the United States who are being agitated by the Ukrainian lobby and just driven by Russophobic feelings, and many of them are in Congress. They adopt every now and then resolutions condemning Russia, threatening Russia. I believe Zelensky is counting on them pushing the president in the direction of a more confrontational approach.

We clearly said that any cargo moving into Ukrainian territory which we would believe is carrying weapons would be fair game. This is clear because we are implementing the operation the goal of which is to remove any threat to the Russian Federation coming from Ukrainian soil. This was part of our proposal in December last year when we suggested that we negotiate with NATO security guarantees – the way which would be codifying the old agreement reached at the highest level that no one, no country should increase its security at the expense of the security of others. So they know what it is all about.

They also speak about missile defense. Kiev authorities think of asking NATO members who possess Soviet air defense systems to share this with them.

I would like to remind the countries who might be playing with this idea that 

the Soviet and Russian-made systems of missile defense or of any other purpose are there on the basis of intergovernmental agreements and contracts, which includes an end user certificate. The end user certificate does not allow them to send these weapons to any third country without our consent. This is a legal obligation.

I understand that legality and legal obligations is not something which our Western colleagues respect these days. They’ve already thrown away the presumption of innocence, private property being sacred and many other “pillars” on which the “liberal values” have been resting for so many centuries and decades.

But this is a serious matter, and I can assure you that we would not allow these risks to be materialised. The purpose of our operation is to protect civilians, who have been bombed and shelled and murdered for eight years, and to demilitarise Ukraine so that it does not pose a serious threat to the Russian territory, and to find security guarantees, which would be based on this equal, indivisible security principle for Ukraine, for Russia, for all European countries. We have been proposing this for many years. Denazification is an absolute must. And that includes not only canceling laws encouraging Nazist ideology and practices, but it also includes withdrawing any legislation which discriminates the Russian language and other national minority languages and, in general, national minority rights in Ukraine which have been hugely discriminated and offended.

Question: Well, we’ve talked a lot about the kinetic war, but I wanted to ask another question about the information war actually. A few days ago, the White House had a briefing with several popular TikTokers in the United States, and they were basically briefed on a new anti-Russian narrative that Washington wants to put forward. What do you think about such sort of underhanded propaganda technique when it’s usually Russia that they’re accusing of misinformation and underhanded tactics?

Sergay Lavrov: Well, we are a very, very small player in the international information war. It’s the information… World information is dominated by media belonging to the Americans, the Brits, and also the Germans, the French and others. It’s another matter, what the quality of those information outlets is. If you take CNN, they prefer to avoid analytical materials and they more and more concentrate on some reports which would be made of slogans “Russia is an aggressor,” “Russia is murdering civilians,” “Russia is abusing sports” and so on and so forth.

When they concentrate on TikTok and other resources like this and other platforms and when they target kids because TikTok is about young boys and girls, I believe this is an attempt to brainwash them for the rest of their lives. And this is indecent and not fair.

If you want information and competition, if you want competition among media outlets, then there at must be some rules.

I would remind you and your viewers that in 1990, when the Soviet Union was living under this “new thinking” concept and the human values, common values for humankind, the Western colleagues in the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe were pushing very actively, and finding support on the Soviet side, a series of documents of the OSCE on freedom of speech and on access to information. Such documents were endorsed by consensus in the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. These days, when your channel and Sputnik many years ago were banned from attending, for example, press conferences and briefings in Élysée in Paris, and when we were drawing the attention of the French colleagues that this was against the commitment in the OSCE, they were saying, “No, no, no, no, no. Access to information is applicable only to mass media and RT and Sputnik are not mass media, they are propaganda tools.”

Another example of abusing the commitments and obligations – when a couple of years ago in London there was a conference on freedom of media in the modern world, no Russian media were invited.

So we know the manners and the tricks which are being used by the Western countries to manipulate media. We understood long ago that there was no such thing as an independent Western media. If you take the United States, only Fox News is trying to present some alternative points of view. But when you watch other channels and when you read social networks and internet platforms, when the acting president was blocked, as you know, and this censorship continues in a very big way and the substitution of notions. Whenever something is happening by the way of mass protest, mass demonstrations, which they don’t like, they immediately call it domestic terrorism. So it’s a war, and it’s a war which involves the methods of information terrorism. There is no doubt about this.

A very interesting example was yesterday, when the Bild newspaper in Germany published a piece saying that myself on the evening of March 16 left Moscow by plane to go to China, but in the area of Novosibirsk, the plane turned back because either Putin told me to come back or the Chinese said, “We don’t want to talk to you.” It was published by, yes, a tabloid, but with millions of copies. And it’s a shame that we have these habits being introduced into the information world by our “friends.

It is not by incident that President Putin said about the existence of the Empire of Lies.

Question: Well, just one more question for you, Mr. Lavrov. Of course, this conflict in Ukraine is not going to go on forever. When it does come to an end, what do you foresee as the main challenges in future Russia–Ukraine relations?

Sergay Lavrov: Well, we never had any issues with the Ukrainian people. I have many Ukrainian friends, the two peoples are very close culturally. Practically all of them speak, and those who don’t, they understand the Russian language. Culture, common history, way of life, attitude to life, traditions of families and communities. So I hope that when this anomaly is over, this will gradually come back. It will have to be gradual.

It cannot come back fast because the efforts of our Western colleagues to make Ukraine a Russophobic and anti-Russian instrument – anti-Russia, as President Putin called it – they started long ago, and they are already rather deeply rooted in Ukrainian mentality, especially the young generation which was born after the demise of the Soviet Union. They have been indoctrinated in a very, very heavy way.

The efforts were taken systemically to train military officers on the basis of radical Bandera and Shukhevich-style methodology. The purpose being – to make sure that they would not become friendly to Russia again and that they would build their nationalism, nationalistic feelings as the means to strengthen the statehood of their country.

The purpose was always to make sure that Russia does not have Ukraine as a friend. It’s like Zbigniew Brzezinski in the late 1990s said, “Russia with Ukraine, a friendly Ukraine next to it, is a superpower. Russia with Ukraine which is not friendly to Russia, is just a regional player.” This concept is very deeply rooted in the minds of American policymakers, and it will take time to get rid of these negative legacies.

Even now, when the armed forces of Ukraine are fighting, trying to procrastinate the crisis. The leaders of Ukraine with the help of American and other Western advisors have reformed the army in the way which puts these radicals, Bandera-like trained officers, to lead all more or less meaningful units in the Ukrainian army. And these people radicalise and terrorise others, especially those who don’t believe that this should be the fate of their country.

Their actions in Mariupol is an example of that. The refugees coming from Mariupol to Russia in dozens of thousands tell such stories. It’s really threatening how this kind of people command armed men and women.

But I am sure, at the end of the day, the historic closeness of two fraternal nations will certainly prevail.

More on this Topic

Day 21 of the Russian special military operation – 3 questions

March 17, 2022

Today, I begin with this: something I would call a good summary of CNN’s wishful thinking

This has everything!

  • Putin is a “pure thug”
  • Russians are indiscriminately murdering civilians en masse
  • “Ex-KGB” “agent” says what his CIA handlers tell him to
  • Klitschko is as verbally clever as he always is
  • China is about to screw Russia over
  • Drones threaten NATO (apparently including Ukie ones?)
  • A retired colonel opines that Russia is running out of manpower
  • US casualties in Kiev

And against this deluge of lies, Bernhard at Moon of Alabama does a superb job deconstructing that kind of crap, see here: https://www.moonofalabama.org/2022/03/neo-nazis-in-ukraine-fake-incidents-to-gain-more-western-support.html.

But it feels like such an uneven and lopsided battle…

How are we, private individuals with no government or corporate support supposed to beat this?

I guess we will fight for as long as God gives us strength.

Anyway,

There were a few cities liberated today, here is the machine translation of Boris Rozhin’s report:

1. Mariupol. The cleanup of the city continues successfully. Advanced units reach the central areas, the enemy is gradually pushed back to Azovstal. Civilians continue to leave the city. The military on the ground are talking about the timing of the liberation of Mariupol – 4-7 days.

2. Ugledar. The village has not yet been officially taken, but to the north of it the troops are already advancing to Bogoyavlenka, with a subsequent movement to Kurakhovo. Prechistovka is taken from the west of Ugledar, which creates prerequisites for both movement to the north and for a U-turn to Velikaya Novoselka.

3. Maryinka-Avdiivka. There are no particularly serious advances yet. It is impossible to overcome the enemy’s powerful fortified areas with a rush. Aviation and artillery are trying to make the task easier, but so far the cumulative effect of multi-day strikes has not yet been achieved.

4. Gorlovka. Novotoretsk remained for the DPR. The APU counterattacks to retake the village were repulsed. Tomorrow, perhaps, the advance will begin either to Novoselka-2, or in the direction of New York.

5. LNR. They took Rubezhnoye, the enemy withdrew to Severodonetsk, where persistent street fighting continues. Lisichansk is not being actively stormed yet. The liberation of these cities is a matter of time. Fighting continues in the western part of Popasnaya, the city is not yet fully controlled by the LPR, the enemy stubbornly clings to it.

6. Kharkiv. Active fighting to the east of the city. There is no information confirming the occupation of even a part of Chuguev by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation yet. In Izyum, the enemy continues to defend themselves in the southern part of the city and tries to unblock the road in the Kamenka area, where the fighting is going on near the Izyum-Slavyansk highway. The front from the north is gradually shifting towards Slavyansk.

7. Kiev. Attempts of the APU to be active on the Vyshgorod-Gostomel-Bucha line ended with serious losses of the APU in people and equipment. A serious counteroffensive failed. It is noted that the western grouping of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continues to methodically press south, trying to get out and gain a foothold in the Vasilkov area. In the east, Ukrainian sources report the occupation of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation of several villages on the outskirts of Brovary. There is no confirmation of this from our side yet.

8. Sumy and Chernihiv. Without major changes.

9. Nikolaev. Fighting north of the city. The city itself is blocked from three sides, but there is no assault. The transfer of reinforcements for the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation through Kherson is noted. The Armed Forces of Ukraine expect the activation of operations of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in this direction in the coming days.

10. Odessa. The ships of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation work on targets on the coast, complementing the work of aviation. There are no landing events, but the enemy is forced to keep serious forces here, for fear of missing the moment of the exhibition. The Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation, having won complete dominance at sea, now performs a binding role, forcing the enemy to keep troops near Odessa that would be useful in the area of Nikolaev or Krivoy Rog.

Finally, no map today (I am too tired to wait for Readovka)

A final comment:

A mini-Banderastan next?

I think that we are headed for a partition of the Ukraine.

The Poles, who are currently feeling very heroic (as they always do when there is a civil war in Russia), will probably take the western Ukraine.

The pretext will be some kind of “Russian atrocity”.

NATO will call it a peacekeeping/peacemaking operation.

Question1: in your opinion, can Russia afford to have a non-demilitarized and non-denazified (landlocked) mini-Banderastan if the rest of the Ukraine is liberated?

I guess is that the devil would be in the details.

For one thing, we need to keep in mind that Russia’s goal is a fundamental change in the European collective security environment.  How likely is that?

I would say that not likely at all for the foreseeable future.  First, the full magnitude of the economic suicide of the Eurolemmings has to become self-evidently clear, visible, undeniable and obvious.  This will take weeks and even months to become fully obvious.

Second, right now the USA, Poland and the UK want war.  Thus any mini-Banderastan will be fully NATO-run (as much as Poland or Estonia).  If that mini-Banderastan can be veritably disarmed from any weapon systems capable of threatening Russian, then maybe something can be negotiated.  If all the Ukie Nazis want to live there, well that fine by me, as long as the rest of the Ukraine can truly and firmly lock that border.  That might require Russian to create a Russian military base somewhere west/southwest of Kiev with a function similar to the 201st base in Tadjikistan.  And no, this is not a “good” solution, but that assumes better options.

Question2: is there a better option?  Do you think that the Russian tanks should drive all the way to the western Ukraine and, if yes, how long do you want them to say?

Lastly, there is the issue of border.

Question3: If a NATO “peacekeeping force” is detected approaching the Ukrainian border, should Russia wait until they cross to strike, or shall Russia repeat what she just did in Iavorov but inside Poland?

To tell you the truth, I am increasingly becoming convinced that until Russia fires a few Iskanders/Kalibrs into NATO territory (Poland or Romania for example) the Eurolemmings will not come back to their senses.

Do you share that feeling?

And, finally, please stay on topic!

Thank you

Andrei

Foreign Volunteer Fighters for Ukraine FORCED to Stay Against their Will!

March 15, 2022

True? Not true? Dunno.
A confirmation (or a solid debunking) would be helpful.

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