Will The Ukraine De-Militarise Itself?

September 26, 2022

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by James Tweedie

Back in August 2022 I wrote that NATO was ‘demilitarising’ itself, sending such huge amounts of arms to the Ukraine before and during the Russian special military operation (SMO) that its armies had nothing left to fight with.

That process has continued, with Slovenia, the northernmost of the former federal republics of Yugoslavia, sending its entire armoured vehicle fleet to Kiev. The last scrapings of the barrel, just announced, are 28 M-55S tanks. These are modernised Soviet-designed T-55s with some Israeli explosive-reactive armour (ERA) blocks added. But underneath that they’re still a 1950s design, four generations behind the latest Russian tanks.

The question now is: can those arms sustain the Ukrainian military effort? And if the Ukraine, the buffed-up proxy for all NATO and the Five Eyes countries too, is losing the war, when will Russia and its Donbass republican allies achieve victory?

I was born in the mid-1970s, during the Cold War, and I grew up under he shadow of the mushroom cloud. So I must confess to being one of those who were anxious for this conflict to be over quickly, before the nuclear powers came to blows. But one can’t hurry history.

War of Attrition

In his bombshell speech on the morning of 21st September 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin explained that the apparent slow progress of the SMO by the need to unpick the Gordian Knot of hardened defences the Ukrainian Nazi battalions built up on the front line over eight years.

“A head-on attack against them would have led to heavy losses,” Putin said, “which is why our units, as well as the forces of the Donbass republics, are acting competently and systematically, using military equipment and saving lives, moving step by step to liberate Donbass.”

Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu gave a televised interview the same morning. He gave extremely specific figures for both Russian and Ukrainian military casualties. “Our losses to date are 5,937 dead,” he said, but added that 90 per cent of the wounded had recovered and returned to duty.

According to Shoigu, Ukraine has lost 61,207 killed and 49,368 wounded (a total of 110,575 casualties) from an initial military strength of 201-202 thousand. The caveat to that that the Ukraine has conscripted hundreds of thousands of men into territorial defence units since the start of the conflict. That’s greater than a ten-to-one ratio of Ukrainian to Russian casualties

Shoigu also said that over the previous three weeks — since the launch of Kiev’s counter-offensives in Kherson and Kharkov — the Ukrainians had lost more than 7,000 men and 970 pieces of heavy equipment, including 208 tanks, 245 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), 186 other armoured vehicles, 15 aircraft and four helicopters.

That amounts to about 60 per cent of the roughly 350 tanks, and three-quarters of the 328 IFVs, supplied by Western countries since February 24. If one lumps armoured personnel carriers (APCs) in with IFVs, Shoigu is still talking about 30 per cent losses of NATO-supplied heavy armour.

Kiev is preparing for or has already begun more counter-offensives towards Lisichansk in the LPR, Donetsk city, from Ugledar to the south to Mariupol and towards Berdyansk or Melitopol in Zaporozhye oblast. Russian aircraft, missiles and artillery are already hitting the groups of forces concentrated for that. If those offensives go the same way as the others, surely the Ukrainians will soon run out of both men and machines, right?

Blogger and YouTuber Andrei Martyanov, a Russian who served in the Soviet armed forces, is not worried about about how long it takes to get the SMO over and done with. He has argued that his countrymen can win simply by waiting for the Ukrainians to throw themselves onto their bayonets, until they run out of bodies.

With all due respect, allow me to sound a note of scepticism: that assumes that Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and his Western backers care how many die, or that the Ukrainian people (more than 8 million of whom are now scattered across Europe and even further afield) have the inclination and the opportunity to rise up against the fascist death-squad state.

The daily Russian Ministry of Defence body-count of hundreds of the miserable ‘territorial defence’ conscripts along the Donbass line — untrained and barely-armed middle-aged men press-ganged in the street — is not much of an indicator of progress.

It’s the territorial gains, no matter how slow, that matter. Russia cannot just count on the Ukrainians to suicidally ‘demilitarise’ themselves.

Putin’s announcement of a “partial mobilisation” of 300,000 army reservists was warmly welcomed by pro-Russian social media commentators. It is hard to exaggerate the importance of this, coupled with the referenda in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson on reunification with Russia.

But there are caveats. State Duma Defence Committee chairman Andrey Kartapolov clarified that those troops would be deployed to defend the country’s borders and to create “operational depth” — in other words as a second defensive echelon. Martyanov argues that will free up regular front-line troops to conquer more territory. But it remains unclear how many of them were deployed to begin with.

Eyes on the Prize

So what is Russia trying to achieve in the Ukraine? Putin said in his Wednesday morning speech that the main task was to defend the Russian-speaking people of the Donbass. That implies capturing the whole of the oblasts of Donetsk and Lugansk.

But some ‘stretch goals’ may be added, including forging a land corridor to the Crimea and maybe even Transnistria, the Russian protectorate in Moldova.

Russia’s other main aim was to stop the Ukraine from joining NATO. That would allow the US to base nuclear weapons just 300 miles from Moscow in a position to launch a first strike attack.

US President Joe Biden’s response to Putin at the UN General Assembly later that day included the comment that “a nuclear war cannot be won — and must never be fought.” While true, that observation was shamelessly hypocritical. It was likely only made out of fear after Putin’s warning that Russia takes national defence and nuclear deterrence seriously.

Securing the Ukraine’s neutrality is not just part of “demilitarisation”: it could also be called “de-Nazification”, since NATO and its shadow the European Union (EU) were behind the 2014 coup by the Azov battalion and their ilk.

But Russia needs a legitimately-elected head of state to sign up to that, and right now that man is Zelensky. A peace deal struck with any military junta which might depose the comedian-turned-president would only be denounced by the next elected leader.

Even if a new civilian government was elected on a pro-peace, non-alignment platform (as Zelensky was), it would only last as long as it took the US, UK and EU to organise a repeat of the 2004-05 ‘Orange Revolution’ and the 2014 ‘Euromaidan’ coups d’etat.

The crazy Ukro-Nazis and their enablers have to ‘own’ the peace and the agreement to cede the Donbass and Crimea — and thereby lose all credibility.

But the Ukraine had already lost the Crimea and effective control over the Donbass before the SMO even kicked off. Kiev won’t sign any peace deal unless it has something else to lose. If Moscow is also serious about readmitting Zaporozhye and Kherson to the Russian motherland following a ‘Yes’ vote in the coming referenda, then there’s nothing to bargain with there either. Russia may need to capture other territories to use as bargaining chips.

To do so, it would have to inflict a defeat on the Ukrainian armed forces that would force them to retreat — not only from Donetsk and Lugansk but from other areas, maybe all the way back to the Dnieper river that divides the country in two.

Such a victory can’t be won unless Russia regains the initiative and actively starts pushing the Ukrainian armed forces back.

The Great M.I.C. Cash-In

The Kiev regime’s aims are clearly to keep grifting off its Western sponsors as long as possible, before fleeing to the sunny tax havens where they have billions stashed. But what does the West really want out of this war?

The stated aims of Washington and friends are to defend Ukraine’s territory and sovereignty (code for invading the Donbass and Crimea and ethnically cleansing them), along with its non-existent “right” to become a NATO launchpad, to “weaken” Russia militarily (by causing as many casualties as possible) and to put “international pressure” on Putin (economic warfare with the goal of regime change).

One should avoid making predictions, but let’s say the US and its satellites fail in all of that (since they have done so far). What will they try to win as a consolation prize?

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, an unelected bureaucrat who made a huge mess of her previous job as German defence minister, has vowed that sanctions on Russia will continue for years to come. That the sanctions are crippling the economies of EU member states, especially her home country, doesn’t seem to bother UVDL. And seeing the EU and its appointed commissioners are increasingly imposing their foreign policy diktats on the 27 governments, she might get her way.

More importantly, NATO desperately needs to save face — now that it has exposed by Russia as a paper tiger. Hence the triumphant crowing over moves, far from complete, to grant existing de-facto allies Sweden and Finland formal membership.

The West may try to claim a kind of moral victory on the basis that it may take Russia more than a year to defeat ‘brave little Ukraine’, or be forced to wipe out most of its military-age male population to win. But whose idea was that? Zelensky, Biden and all other Western leaders have made that bed.

But NATO is really just a pyramid scheme to sell overpriced Western, especially US, arms to its vassals. And therein lies a contradiction, because the US military-industrial complex (MIC) has competition from those of the UK, Germany, France and even Sweden — a country with a smaller population than the city of Moscow.

The Ukraine has used the referenda on unification with Russia as the latest pretext to demand Germany donate its newest models of Leopard 2 tanks and Marder infantry fighting vehicles. But why doesn’t Kiev ask the US for some of its M1 Abrams and M2 Bradleys instead? The Pentagon has many more to spare.

The truth is that neither Germany nor the US can afford to have its supposedly-invincible wunderwaffen shown up, and blown up, in battle with Russian forces. Despite weighing only two-thirds as much as the US and German behemoths, the Russian tanks have about the same effective armour protection — thanks to state-of-the-art ERA technology — and guns of equal destructive power. And there are a lot more Russian tanks, anti-tank missiles, attack jets and helicopters on the battlefield in the Ukraine.

The US has only managed to sell the M1 to eight other countries, compared to 18 for the Leopard 2. The export model of the Abrams is ‘Nerfed’ by removing the depleted uranium rods from its composite armour, so countries like Australia and Saudi Arabia get sub-par tanks. The only overseas customer for the British Challenger 2 is Oman, while the French Leclerc tank has been exported to the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

By contrast, the Russian T-72 is currently in service in 40 countries, including both Russia and the Ukraine. Like the Russian intervention in Syria, the war in the Ukraine could prove to be a serious marketing tool for the Russian arms industry — eating the US MIC’s lunch.

Goodbye, Trafalgar Square: Celebrating Freedom in Europe

August 16, 2022

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A Look Forward to 2035 by Batiushka

England

Following the 2034 collapse of Britain and the popular overthrow of its millennial Establishment after nearly two decades of political turmoil, England moves ahead. Last week international arrest warrants were issued by the new People’s Government for the detention of the elderly war criminals Blair (Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq), Cameron (Libya, Syria and the Yemen) and Johnson (the Ukraine), who are all believed to be in hiding, cowering from justice somewhere in Florida, where they are now being hunted down.

As regards internal changes to the English Capital, just today the following changes have been announced by the People’s Government in London, the Capital of England, part of its programme of ‘Re-Englanding England’, also known as ‘Debritainisation’.

England Square

Today, exactly two hundred years after ‘Trafalgar Square’ in London was given the name of an Arabic-named Cape in Spain, the Square is to be renamed ‘England Square’. The statue of Nelson on its column is to be replaced by a statue of the effective founder of England, King Alfred the Great, known as ‘England’s Darling’, ‘The Truthteller’ and ‘The Lawgiver’. It will then be known as ‘Alfred’s Column’. A spokesman for the People’s Government said that it in no way wished to denigrate Nelson, whose tactical genius and personal bravery are undoubted, but Demilitarisation is an inherent part of Debritainisation. The statue will be removed to the English Museum, formerly called ‘The British Museum’. This has plenty of empty space, since so many of its artefacts, looted from around the world by British imperialists mainly since the eighteenth-century, have been returned to their countries of origin.

At the same time the four lions around the base of Alfred’s Column will also be sent to the English Museum as part of the policy of Demilitarisation, that is, as part of the policy of the removal of aggressive symbols of imperialist militarism. They will be replaced by four female figures, personifying Motherhood, Peace, Justice and Freedom. The four plinths for statues on England Square, at present occupied by three statues (the fourth plinth is empty) of the German King George IV and the imperialist militarists, Napier and Havelock, are also to be sent to the English Museum. They will be replaced by statues of literary and social geniuses of English history, known as ‘The Four Williams’: William Langland (1332-1386), William Shakespeare (1564-1616), William Blake (1757-1827) and William Cobbett (1763-1835).

As readers may know, Langland wrote a visionary English-language poem and allegory called ‘Piers Plowman’, in which he denounced the corruption of the medieval Catholic Church and praised the simple faith of the people. As for Shakespeare, he was the most brilliant poet of the English language and a very perceptive psychologist, who described in detail the good and bad in human nature and their motivations. Blake was the visionary poet and artist who opposed the appalling exploitation of his age and wrote the new English National Anthem, ‘Jerusalem’, in which he denounced the ‘dark, satanic mills’ of the so-called ‘Industrial Revolution’, that is, of the mass exploitation of industrial workers. Cobbett was a politician who struggled for social justice and wrote against the collectivisation, or privatisation, that is, just plain theft, of the common land in England, euphemistically called the ‘Enclosures’. He constantly campaigned against corruption and poverty and in favour of rural prosperity and freedom.

As for the busts of the three imperialist Admirals, Jellicoe, Beatty and Cunningham, in England Square, they are also to be sent to the English Museum and be replaced by busts of three well-known poets: a soldier (Wilfred Owen), a merchant sailor (John Masefield) and an airman, John Gillespie Magee (author of ‘High Flight’). They are in memory of the sacrifices of ordinary men, ‘the lions led by donkeys’, in the imperialist wars of the British past. The statue of Charles I on the south side of England Square, usurped and then beheaded by a clique of grasping merchants, will be retained. However, the statues in front of the National Gallery, of the Scottish King James II and of the slave-owning colonist George Washington, will be sent to the English Museum and be replaced by statues of the two Patronal Saints of England, St George and St Edmund.

The Square of the Peoples

Meanwhile, there will also be changes to the statues outside ‘Parliament’, renamed ‘The House of the People’ since the abolition of the House of Lords, to that in the Guildhall, and to the twelve statues in Parliament Square, now renamed ‘The Square of the Peoples’. Outside the House of the People, the statue of Cromwell is to be replaced by a statue of an Irish peasant, at least 200,000 (10% of the population) of whom the brutal thug Cromwell had massacred. In the Guildhall the statue of Thatcher is to be replaced by the statue of a Yorkshire coal-miner. Both old statues are to be taken to the English Museum to protect them from vandalism.

In The Square of the Peoples, nine of the present twelve statues are also to be removed. These are, in anti-clockwise order: the statue of Churchill, replaced by that of an English child orphaned by bombing in the Second World War; that of David Lloyd George by an injured World War One Welsh soldier; that of the South African Prime Minister Smuts by a Boer woman from a British concentration camp during the Boer War; that of the British Imperialist Prime Minister Palmerston by that of a Russian peasant-soldier from the British invasion of Russia (the so-called ‘Crimean War’); that of the British Imperialist Prime Minister Smith-Stanley (the Earl of Derby) by that of a Chinese woman suffering in the so-called, British-caused ‘Opium War’ (Genocide of China); that of the British Imperialist Prime Minister Disraeli by that of a Bulgarian peasant-woman, oppressed by the Ottomans whom Disraeli immorally supported; that of the British Imperialist Prime Minister Peel by that of a starving Irishwoman from the Irish Potato Famine; that of the British Imperialist Prime Minister Canning by that of a Scottish crofter, removed by force from his land which was stolen from him in the so-called ‘Highland Clearances’; that of Lincoln by that of a Tasmanian Aborigene, representing the treatment of North, Central and South American Natives, Australian Aborigenes, genocided Tasmanians and Maori, all as a result of British ‘colonisation’ (land-theft). The statues of Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Millicent Fawcett will remain as symbols of the striving for freedom of Africans, Indians and of women, who were freed from Victorian oppression and the deprivation of rights.

Europe

The new English People’s Government, elected by over 85% of the electorate according to the new proportional democracy, is keen to depose the old tyrants and celebrate the victims of tyranny. It has come to our knowledge that parallel events are about to occur not only in newly-reunited Ireland and newly-independent Scotland and Wales, but also in the newly-freed countries of the former EU. This follows last month’s sacking of the EU headquarters in the Berlaymont building in Brussels. Everywhere in Western Europe the flags of freedom are beginning to flutter defiantly.

In Paris the Arc de Triomphe in Paris is to be renamed ‘L’Arc du Peuple’ (‘The People’s Arch’) and Napoleon’s bloody battles are to be removed from it. Rome, Brussels, Vienna, Berlin, Madrid, Lisbon – all are reviewing names of streets, statues and monuments. As for the English Government, it has already joined the new Confederation of Free European Nations (CFEN), a loose structure which will meet in various European Capitals. It was originally suggested by the paternal Russian government and has been formed to replace the old centralised EU and its unelected bureaucrats and tyrants.

15 August 2035

Breaking News:

It has just been announced that Antony Blair has been captured by the Free American Police after being found hiding in a hole in the ground near a farmhouse outside Miami. Blair was shown in a photograph with a full beard and hair longer than in his familiar appearance. He was described by police officials as being in good health despite his 82 years. The details of his double trial, which is to take place in Belgrade and then in Baghdad, have not yet been determined. The local police call their prisoner ‘Vic’, which stands for ‘Very Important Criminal’. Officials said that Blair whined to them after his arrest: ‘I am innocent, I did not do anything, I was only following orders from the White House’.

Lavrov gets it right by comparing European Union and NATO to Hitler’s old Axis

June 28, 2022

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By Guilherme Wilbert

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on 06/24/2022 that the European Union and NATO appear to be carrying out a military coalition for a war against Russia. The statement was given in Baku in Azerbaijan during an interview.

“They are creating a new coalition for fighting, that is, for war with Russia. We will follow this very closely,” the Minister rightly declared, because that is what has been happening anyway. But first let’s go to the archetypes of the entities mentioned.

The European Union, in its initial design, may have come up with good proposals for the integration of Europeans, with some Balkan countries, for example, applying to be part of the economic and diplomatic bloc, but it so happens that few people pay attention to history, especially during World War II.

Hitler wanted a union of the European countries, what he called a “Pan-European Union”, a form of closer integration between countries that would naturally be against the Soviet Union and communism in general. No wonder Hitler set up puppet governments in some European countries such as Denmark, for example, which was under the tutelage of Nazi Germany during the period August 1943 until May 1945, after the success of Operation Weserübung.

As for NATO for example, it is seen as a super aggressive military alliance that causes barbarism in various parts of the world, especially in the former Yugoslavia, which had its territory balkanized after an intervention in the country in 1999 where some war crimes were committed because those bombs would hit civilian buildings, such as the famous bombing of Serbian TV, which was not a legitimate military target, but turned out to be a Yugoslav “propaganda broadcast” (obviously) at the time.

So it didn’t take much effort on the part of some “non-aligned diplomats” (which is the case of Lavrov) to understand that the European Union and NATO act together to stand up to the former Soviet Union, now Russia.  NATO even characterized the country as an “enemy” several times, emphasized by Vladimir Putin in his speeches.

It’s not as if they left options for today’s Russia, unfortunately

After NATO’s expansions into Eastern European countries, even after a verbal agreement made between Soviet and American diplomats at the time that they would not move “an inch east” in the early 2000s, the opposite was seen and this was stated several times before the start of Operation Z, and was characterized in various ways by Kremlin spokespersons that Ukraine’s entry into NATO was a criminal act. And it was.

And like any criminal act, the police power, even if governed by a country’s Armed Forces, needed to come into effect because after the NATO vs. Russia diplomatic rounds no documentary agreement of truth properly bound by international law was reached. And to make matters worse, Zelensky would state on 02/19/2022 in a speech at the European Security Conference in Munich (just 5 days before the start of Operation Z) that he would no longer ratify the Budapest Memorandum, which is a treaty that denuclearizes Ukraine since 1994.

This would sound an alarm throughout Russia because its door to Europe would be with nuclear missiles possibly aimed at Moscow with orders coming from Washington for provocation after the fall of Putin’s allied government of Yanukovych.

With that said, Lavrov’s comparison of Hitler’s Axis with the current European Union and NATO is once again correct, because the current prejudice against Russians was seen against Jews in Nazi Germany, the attempt at various provocations such as the recent case of the Lithuanian blockade of Kaliningrad (Russian exclave) was seen when Hitler spoke of “vital space” putting countries neighboring Germany on invasion alert, and many more are the parallels.

This is a lost war and Ukraine needs to recognize this or else hardly a resident of Kiev will be able to enjoy the good beaches of the Black Sea.

References: https://www.pravda.com.ua/eng/news/2022/06/24/7354408/

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions: news conference on current international issues

June 08, 2022

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Colleagues,

Last night and this morning, we received multiple questions from the media regarding our response to the unprecedented decisions made by a number of NATO members who blocked the Russian Foreign Minister’s visit to the Republic of Serbia.

An unthinkable thing has happened. I understand the interest in our assessment of these outrageous actions. A sovereign state has been deprived of the right to carry out its foreign policy. At the moment, Serbia’s international activities, at least on the Russian track, are blocked.

Let’s not beat around the bush. This is another clear and cautionary demonstration of how far NATO and the EU can go in using the most low-grade methods of influencing those whose actions are grounded in national interests and who are against sacrificing their principles and dignity for the sake of the “rules” imposed by the West instead of international law. If the West sees a visit by the Russian Foreign Minister to Serbia almost as a threat on a universal scale, then, apparently, things are not so good there.

Lately, we’ve heard vociferous calls to the effect that Serbia needs to “make a final choice.” Yesterday, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden Carl Bildt made a splashy statement saying that hosting the Russian Foreign Minister in Belgrade was the worst thing Serbia could do to advance its EU prospects. How do you like that? Several days ago (when my visit was announced), US Ambassador to Serbia Christopher Hill published a big article titled “East or West: There is no third way,” where he used precisely these terms and logic with regard to Serbia’s future relations with the United States, the EU and the Russian Federation. Even an unsophisticated observer will understand that Brussels is not a place for the sovereign equality of states, as enshrined in the UN Charter, and even less so for the notorious freedom of choice, which Brussels constantly talks about.

During our discussions last year, we proposed signing a treaty on European security with the United States and NATO. We were told that NATO would not accept any principles regarding indivisible security, including the unacceptability of strengthening one’s own security at the expense of others. They will accept only the principle of freedom to choose partners. Now, the West has torn up this very principle, after centering it for so long.

The West believes that Serbia should not have freedom to choose partners. This cynicism is hardly surprising. The West is making it clear that it will continue to unscrupulously use pressure.

We’ve seen this kind of hypocrisy on many occasions, including during the tragic bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 by those who came to believe in their victory in the Cold War and their right to build the world exclusively according to their own design. This mentality manifested itself in the incident that we are now discussing.

I know they will come up with multiple explanations (we haven’t heard any so far). The countries that didn’t allow a flyover for the Russian aircraft will say that they received orders from the European Union or NATO. Those, in turn, will say that these countries were independent in their decision-making. You are well aware of all that. However, most importantly no one will be able to destroy our relations with Serbia.

We had plans to hold important and time-sensitive meetings with President Aleksandar Vucic, Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic, National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic, and the clergy of the Serbian Orthodox Church. That would be very helpful. These contacts did not go anywhere on other tracks. Nikola Selakovic was invited to pay a visit to Russia soon. I hope that the plane on which he will fly (a regular or a special fight) will not be subjected to another shameful “punishment” by Brussels and its “clients” that have lost all decency.

We planned to discuss a broad agenda, including the rapidly expanding bilateral strategic partnership and international affairs. Clearly, the Brussels puppeteers were not comfortable with providing us with a platform in the capital of Serbia where we could confirm Russia’s position on Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. They did not want us to express support for Belgrade’s initiative to implement the Open Balkan project in the interests of improving and bolstering relations between all the countries of that region.

Clearly, Brussels (NATO and the EU) wants the Balkans to become a project of its own called Closed Balkans. It is hard to draw other conclusions looking at the situation at hand.

Question: What measures will be taken for this meeting to be held? You said the closure of the air space by three countries is an unprecedented step. Is there a threat of this becoming a norm? That the air space will be shut for ministers to protect these countries?

Sergey Lavrov: This has already become the norm for the European Union and NATO. I mentioned the “sound effects” that accompanied this decision. They were made in the Western media and by some politicians.

They are increasingly afraid of the truth and are trying to escape into an invented, fake reality that is filling screens, social media and any information resources. They have completely shut down all alternative media at their own initiative. They want to resolve their electoral challenges by brainwashing their voters. If such a choice was made (no doubt about it), Brussels is going to decide the destinies of all European countries by itself.

This shows once again the worth of the status sought by the EU applicants. The explanation is simple. It was declared more than once (including by  Josep Borrell, the bellicose EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, who said this war must be won “on the battlefield” in order to “defeat Russia”) that while merely preparing to join the EU, the applicants must fully and unquestionably follow the European policy on security and defence. It is common knowledge that this policy is emphatically anti-Russian. This is what awaits the countries that are trying to find a balance of interests in preserving and developing their relations with the EU and non-EU countries.

We value Serbia’s courageous position in this respect. President Alexandar Vucic has emphasised that he will not engage in anti-Russia activities. But this is exactly what the EU wants – for all applicants to assume Russophobic commitments.

This case showed the worth of NATO membership for Montenegro and North Macedonia and the reasons why NATO needs such countries – only to punish Russia, expand the anti-Russia bridgehead in Europe and create threats and mechanisms of containment. This does not square in the least with the requirements of Article 10 of the Washington Treaty on NATO. This article states that new members must meet the criteria and, most important, contribute to the security of all members of the alliance.

Whose security did Montenegro and North Macedonia contribute to? But they have coped with their role really well as an instrument for deterring Russia and stooges of the big guys. I feel sorry for these countries. These are two friendly nations. They have a wonderful nature and history that they cherish. They valued our relations in the past. But the current political realities have put them into a sticky situation.

As for responses, we will never do anything that will further complicate ties between nations. This is what our Western partners are doing. They are facing problems at home not only because they are creating a socio-economic quagmire but also because more and more sensible Europeans are asking the question: Why turn Russia into an enemy? More and more people are recalling the great, proud and glorious history we have made in cooperation with many European countries.

Speaking about history, I would like to return to the failed visit to Serbia. As part of the itinerary, I was supposed to attend a ceremony at the Eternal Flame in memory of the liberators of Belgrade. I was also supposed to make an entry in the Honoured Guest Book. I planned to write the following. Imagine I am sending it to the Serbian people now.

“Let us be worthy of the memory of the Soviet and Yugoslav warriors who perished in the struggle against Nazism. Serbia and Russia stand in solidarity in their efforts to preserve the truth about the history of World War II. We will not allow the rebirth of Nazism.”

Please consider these words my message to all those who visit this magisterial monument in Belgrade.

Question (retranslated from Serbian): Will you please comment on how it has come to the point that you were literally denied the opportunity to fly on a visit to Serbia as three countries closed their airspace to your plane? What was the reason for this? Does it mean that you might encounter an obstacle like this on any other route over EU or NATO member countries? Or does it only have to do with your visit to Serbia?

Sergey Lavrov: I will not engage in speculation about other routes across EU and NATO member countries. Currently, we have no plans to meet [with any officials from these countries]. As for now, there are no invitations from NATO countries, nor am I expecting anyone in Moscow.

As for the reason you asked about, there was much speculation about it several days ago in the Serbian and Croatian press and in the press in other countries in the Western Balkans. For example, it was suggested that Sergey Lavrov was one of the most unwelcome guests in Serbia now because he decided to “go ahead” of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who is planning to visit the Balkans in the next few days. The head of the German Government was allegedly disappointed and even felt hurt by this impolite, in his view, step on the part of Serbia. It is on the conscience of analysts who write things like these. I believe it is humiliating not only for the people whom they write about and whose response they try to predict but, primarily, for the media outlets that are trying to reach more readers and viewers through this type of “exercise”.

Question (retranslated from Serbian): Serbia has been pressured by both sides since the very start of the conflict in Ukraine in the context of the events it has nothing to do with. Will Russia show more understanding for the national interests and position of Serbia as distinct from some Western countries?

Sergey Lavrov: My response is a definite yes. We see how fiercely the West is reacting to what is happening in Ukraine. This proves that we are right. We have explained to the whole world why the special military operation was launched. In retrospect, we showed our efforts for many years to avert threats and not 10,000 km away but right on our borders. The United States considers it possible to declare “today” that Belgrade is posing a threat (to global or European security) and start bombing Belgrade “tomorrow.” Then, in a couple of years, the United States decides that one more country, also located 10,000 km away – Iraq – is posing a threat. Cities are erased from the face of the Earth and hundreds of thousands of civilians are killed. Then they decide that there is one more country across the Atlantic – Libya – that is also posing a threat to the US and must be destroyed for this reason.

We have long been saying that it is unacceptable to expand NATO eastward, support the coup d’etat in Ukraine and tolerate the subversion by Pyotr Poroshenko and Vladimir Zelensky of the Minsk agreements that had been so hard to reach. All these warnings were ignored. The Russian people in Ukraine continued to be discriminated against across the board. Laws banning the Russian language were adopted and Nazi practices (theory and practice of Nazism) were established. The West applauded all this, presenting this process as an achievement of true democracy. It continued supporting the neo-Nazi armed forces of Ukraine that were shelling civilians and civilian infrastructure in Donbass every day. We had no other choice left.

I spoke about all this in detail and now I am reiterating what I said. But Brussels’ line in the Balkans and in Ukraine is the same. The only difference is that in the Balkans the EU favours those who impinge on the Serbian interests, while in Ukraine, NATO and the EU support the regime that has long declared a war on all things Russian. This is an interesting observation. I mentioned it during my interview with the media of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is the gist of the EU’s mediation. Some process started in the Balkans after Kosovo proclaimed “independence” unilaterally and without any referendum. The UN General Assembly invited the EU to mediate between Pristina and Belgrade and its effort was rather successful: in 2013, the agreement was reached on establishing the Community of Serbian Municipalities of Kosovo. In 2014, when a coup was staged in Ukraine and the “counterterrorism” forces launched an operation against Donbass and Russians in Ukraine, the EU also acted as a mediator. This led to the signing of the Minsk agreements that established certain rules, just as with regard to the Serbian municipalities in Kosovo.

The EU made a solemn promise to support a special status for northern Kosovo and eastern Ukraine. The status did not imply any complicated things: to let people speak their native tongue (Serbians were supposed to be allowed to speak Serbian and Russians in Ukraine to speak Russian), teach children in schools in their native tongue, use it in daily life and have a certain autonomy as regards law-enforcement and economic ties with neighbouring regions (northern Kosovo with Serbia and eastern Ukraine with Russia). Identical agreements were made, which urged respect for national minorities in full conformity with international European conventions on the rights of these groups. The EU announced that it had succeeded in both cases. But it shamefully failed in both cases and had to admit it later on by saying it could not persuade Kiev to fulfil the Minsk agreements or make Pristina abide by its agreements with Belgrade. There is something in common as regards the EU’s treatment of different areas in our common geopolitical space, its goals, its competence and its ability to make deals.

Question: What role do you think Turkey could play in normalising the situation around Ukraine, especially since it aspires to the role of a mediator? How promising is the format that was initially established with Ukraine and that it subsequently torpedoed? What do you think about Ankara’s position on Sweden and Finland’s potential accession to NATO?

Sergey Lavrov: I will not even comment on the last question. This is Ankara’s sovereign business, just as it is for any other country that is a member of an alliance, union or organisation. I heard somewhere that some overzealous EU members from the Baltic states demanded during the discussion of the sixth package of anti-Russia sanctions that Hungary be deprived of the right to vote because it abused the rule of consensus. But this is a paradoxical claim. Consensus means only one thing: that everyone concurs on an issue. If a single member is against something, there is no consensus. Therefore, by voting against something, nobody can undermine the principles of consensus. I will leave this aside; let the NATO members figure it out among themselves. I already had an opportunity to comment on this. Let us see how this process will develop. As for us, this concerns Russia in just one regard: Will Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO create direct physical and material threats to Russia’s security? I think every sensible politician is aware that this will not make the situation any better politically.

As for the military aspect of this deal, we will see what will be done in this respect.

As far as Turkey’s role is concerned, yes it has its own position that it does not conceal. We do not have identical views on all issues; far from it. We have serious disagreements on many aspects of the regional situation. As our cooperation on Syria and later on the Libyan crisis showed, our presidents, while clearly outlining their views, respect each other’s positions. Instead of aggravating the existing differences, both leaders are trying to take into account each other’s concerns. This is how Moscow treats Ankara and Ankara reciprocates. This was the gist of a recent telephone conversation on the problems on food security the West has created over the past two years. Later it aggravated them further by imposing senseless sanctions. Having introduced them, the West suddenly started thinking about how they will affect food deliveries to different countries.

Yes, Russia and Turkey are interested in resolving these problems. In his recent interview, President of Russia Vladimir Putin explained in detail how to unblock food shipments from the Black Sea ports that had been mined by the Ukrainians, and from the ports of the Sea of Azov that have been demined and are now controlled by the Russian Federation. There are safe routes from there via the Kerch Strait to the Bosporus and the Dardanelles. Specialists are leaving for Turkey today. Tomorrow, my delegation will head there. I hope we will manage to examine in detail all the options mentioned by President Vladimir Putin, and our countries’ leaders will dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s. This depends exclusively on who will work with Ukraine and compel it to remove the mines in its own ports, as well as those who must remove all obstacles to shipments, their insurance and servicing of ships that will deliver grain and other food products to European ports and from there to developing nations.

Question: The UK has announced that it will supply multiple rocket launchers to Ukraine to help it defend itself against Russian forces. The United States is doing the same. You said that this was a risky path to take. But if Russia had not attacked Ukraine and there had been no Russian invasion, there would be no deliveries of rocket launchers. Do you agree?

Sergey Lavrov: I will not even try to step into America’s or Britain’s shoes. You don’t even want to hear our arguments. The issue is not that “if someone hadn’t attacked, you wouldn’t have done something.” The thing is that for twenty years, both you, the British, and the Americans, and all other NATO countries were urged to do what all of you subscribed to in 1999: no country shall strengthen its security at the expense of the security of others. Why can’t you do that? Why is it that the commitments signed by your prime minister, the presidents and prime ministers of all other OSCE countries proved to be lies? Instead, you are saying that we should leave NATO alone and that it is “none of our business,” for you will accept whoever you want. You moved closer to our borders on five occasions (a defensive alliance!). The Warsaw Treaty and the USSR are no more. Who are you defending yourselves against? Five times you decided all on your own where your lines of defence would be. What’s that? This smacks of megalomania.

Today Jens Stoltenberg is saying that NATO’s responsibility should be ensured on the global scale in the Indo-Pacific region. This means that your next line of defence will be in the South China Sea. If we look at what is happening, it becomes patently clear that during all these years you believed you had the right to wreak havoc far from your borders. I understand that you are nostalgic for the British Empire and that there are seeds planted somewhere deep down. You are wistful, of course. Regions are picked out an ocean away from the United States, where allegedly there is a threat to Washington, and they are razed to the ground. Now it is Mosul in Iraq, now Raqqa in Syria, now Belgrade. Libya is in chaos, and countries are destroyed.

Just imagine for a minute that your neighbour, Ireland, which occupies half of the island of the same name, upped and banned the English language, or that Belgium banned French, or Switzerland outlawed French, German, or Italian. How would Europe look at that? I will not even expand on this. But Europe was looking on passively at them banning Russian. This took place in Ukraine. All things Russian – education, the media, everyday contacts, etc. – were prohibited. Moreover, the regime that openly professes and glorifies Nazism bombed and shelled ethnic Russians for eight years.

I understand, you must use cut and dried phrases to drum into the heads of your audiences this truth of yours: “if you hadn’t attacked, we wouldn’t have supplied the MLRS.”  Vladimir Putin has commented on the situation that emerged in connection with the arrival of the new weapons. I can only add that the longer-range arms you supply, the farther will we push from our border the line where the neo-Nazis will be able to threaten the Russian Federation.

Question: At the talks with Ukraine in March, Russia demanded that Kiev recognise the independence of Donbass and the Russian status of Crimea. Does Russia intend to demand that Kiev additionally recognise independence of the Kherson Region and part of the Zaporozhye Region currently controlled by the Russian forces, or their accession to Russia?

Sergey Lavrov: This question will be answered by the people living in the liberated territories. They are saying that they want to choose their future on their own. We fully respect this position.

As for the declared objectives, let me reiterate the following. The West has decided to supply weapons that, in all evidence, are capable of reaching not only the border areas of the Russian Federation but also its more remote points. Politicians and legislators in Ukraine itself are laughing at the Americans, who said they believed Vladimir Zelensky’s promise not to shell Russia. If this is how the United States and its satellites react to what is happening, I will stress once again: the longer-range are the systems supplied to the Kiev regime, the farther will we push the Nazis from the line from which threats emanate for the Russian population of Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

Question: What expectations do you have for your upcoming visit to Ankara? Will a mechanism to resolve the grain issue be announced? Will the continuation of the Russian-Ukrainian talks in Istanbul be discussed?

Sergey Lavrov: I have already answered this question. The range of topics for the talks was outlined during a telephone conversation between the presidents of Russia and Turkey.

In his recent interview, President Vladimir Putin gave a detailed description of the best options for exporting grain. We have been doing everything that is up to us for a long time. For more than a month, Russian servicemen both in the Black and Azov seas have been opening humanitarian corridors for foreign ships to leave, which are in fact kept hostage there by the Ukrainian authorities. The Ukrainians have to clear the mines for the ships to use these corridors. Our Turkish colleagues declared their readiness to help us in this. I think our military will come to terms on the best way to organise this, so that the ships pass to the open sea through the minefields that have to be cleared. Next, we guarantee – on our own or with our Turkish colleagues – that they will reach the straits and move further into the Mediterranean Sea.

The concept is absolutely clear. We have been talking about it for a long time. Attempts are being made to present the case as if Russia does not want something, as if it is necessary to involve some organisation like the UN or adopt a UN Security Council resolution. We have been through all these games. Everyone who can be even a little bit serious about the task of exporting grain from Ukrainian ports knows very well that only one thing must be done to achieve this: to order Vladimir Zelensky to give the command to clear the ports and stop hiding behind statements that Russia will take advantage of this. President Vladimir Putin said that we are not going to take advantage of this and are ready to tackle this problem earnestly. Let me stress that we have been doing everything in our power for a long time.

Question: An increasing number of countries are trying to join the attempts to settle the disagreements between Moscow and Kiev amid Russia’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine and the problems it has caused. What proposals for mediation is Moscow currently considering as the most realistic and acceptable alternatives?

Sergey Lavrov: The most realistic proposals that did not provide for mediation were put forward at a meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations in Istanbul on March 29, 2022. These proposals were made by the Ukrainian party. We immediately accepted them as a foundation. Afterwards, the Ukrainian party walked out on these proposals either on its own initiative or under orders from Washington, London or Brussels. Western analysts say “mediation” is impossible as Ukraine’s only demand is that the situation be reversed to the state of affairs on the ground as it was on February 24, 2022. Fantasies are talked about every day, sometimes contradicting one another.

Ukraine is unwilling to hold negotiations. It has declined to do this. We have every reason to believe that in this way Kiev is following the wishes of the Anglo-Saxon leadership of the Western world. We were ready to work honestly based on our Ukrainian colleagues’ proposals. A draft agreement drawn up on the basis of those proposals has been shelved by the Ukrainian side for six weeks now.

Question: As for the provocation by Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Montenegro, do you think their position was agreed on with Brussels or directly with Washington? Or was it these countries’ desire to gain favour with Washington and Brussels? Has Europe been closed to our diplomacy altogether?

Sergey Lavrov: I do not know what lies behind this move – either an order or the desire to gain favour – but you have hit the mark. I believe it is a combination of both. They may have long since been ordered not to diverge from the policy of containing Russia, so the desire to be servile is part of it. Or maybe they received these orders yesterday. We do not know.

We are still maintaining diplomatic relations with the majority of western countries, including the unfriendly ones. At the same time I have repeatedly emphasised the main geopolitical conclusion from this situation: it is now impossible to agree with Europe on anything and be sure that they will deliver on their obligations. When these “demons” are driven out and Europe comes to itself, we will see what their perspective on our future ties are. We are not going to impose ourselves on them. Of course, we will weigh and consider what they propose. If their proposals do not disagree with our interests, we will be ready to resume our contacts.

Moscow, do not believe in (Belgradian) tears!

May 31, 2022

Source

By Višeslav Simić

Official Belgrade and Belgradian

cultural and ecclesiastical “elites”

are not only “unfriendly”[1]

but are your enemies!

It is now over 100 years since the Belgradian false crème de la crème, after hijacking the public sphere, embraced ethical fading and moral disengagement so feverishly that its infection has slowly seeped into the psyche of every member of our people dependent on this ruling caste. It also has saturated the state, and the Church, both concentrated in that capital of abomination of desolation, poisoning our communal structures, rendering every national agency toxic and debilitating for our survival.

So far it has only been lethal to the Serbs and (partially) to other Yugoslavs, but its pestilential corruption has grazed Russia and may be as detrimental to her as a similar communion was a century ago.

Moscow would be totally justified in asking Belgrade: “Friend, for what have you come?”[2]

And not only because soon, in spite of multiple treacheries, Belgrade shall come shamelessly to demand Russian gas at the cheapest price possible, but the Harlot of the Balkans will perform the infamous Seven Veils Dance in the attempt to seduce Russia once again into a “partnership” which will only ensure the perpetuation of the current NATO/EU/US-loving partocratic kleptocracy power structures in Belgrade.

In any natural language – which the Belgradian “elites” prefer to use when they must either beg or threaten – the word “Brother” is one of the most powerful. They love to use it in their relation to Russia – either when begging Moscow for some aid, to keep them secure in their privileges, or, for the same end result, when threatening the West with the “Loving Russia” act, when it pushes them too far against the true interest of the scorned and captive Serbian people they claim to lead and represent.

Yet – they forget that for such usage of the word “Brother” one is obliged to fulfill both the Necessary and the Sufficient requirements and to bring the value of such a statement to the reality of the state of affairs on the ground and to the conditions of the relationship between the alleged Brothers.

Thus, being of the so-called Slavic race and Orthodox is a Necessary Condition for being a brother to the Russian nation but it is not enough to be a brother to the ethnically and religiously diverse citizens of the Russian Federation.

It is even harder with the Sufficient Condition, which requires not only brotherly cooperation in mutual defense but even more the sacrificial (Christian, Orthodox) action by a true brother so that the other brother may prosper, or, in the case of today’s Russia, survive.

Today’s Belgradian “elites”, just like their antecedents during the at least last hundred years, fail to satisfy either of the conditions. They mostly do not feel Slavic (especially not Serbian!), and are deeply and irreparably ashamed of such associations, yearning to be Anglo-Saxon, or at least French, or even Italian, so that they may better fit into the fictional “Europe”.

The other, much smaller, group are the self-proclaimed “patriots”, “traditionalists”, and “the truly faithful”, who praise heroism on the battlefield but possess courage only when attacking roasted meat at banquets dedicated to the defense of, for example, Kosovo, and are verbally offensive only when assuring others of their masculinity by fictionally battling the so-called “Pride” parades.

It is even worse when it comes to any sacrifices, notably of (in their view) the shameful religious kind, not only for Russia but even less for their own Serbian people and their national interests! It is certain that they have sacrificed (particularly in the satanic sense) plenty of Serbs, the unwashed and vulgar masses of “anti-EU/NATO nationalists”, and that they shall sacrifice them all for their diabolical EU/NATO membership delusions – which they claim as their human and civil rights.

In this, the State and the Church of the Serbs have achieved that ancient Orthodox ideal of Symphony – tragically in infamy, disgrace, and criminal treachery of both the Serbian people and of Russia!

One may seek a simple Aristotelian explanation through the four fundamental answers to the question Why? – which is The Cause:

The Material – What is the matter of these people, what is the essence of which they are made, what is their mettle, and how quickly it gives?

One might be tempted to just declare them all men-children, sufferers of the Peter Pan syndrome, for they are to the highest level overwhelmingly nominally male – but emasculated. Their need to appear as “super machos” excludes females and any male who is suspected of not being male enough. Yet, it is quite likely that they act more like the infamous frustrated and unfulfilled envious middle-aged developmentally arrested mental teenagers, and lazy and vain dirge-divas gathered over the tomb of their dead dreams. And they shut up and scatter at the first look of disapproval by those they consider their overlords! Even when they only meekly lament, wail, and weep over their wasted lives…

The Formal – What is the form of these people, what do they look like, how are they arranged in a hierarchy, and what is their interdependence?

To the superficial (or Serbian provincial’s) eye they appear haughty, imperious, ambitious, hasty, and arrogant, due to their exalted Belgrade birth (as they love to say about the non-Belgraders, Elle n’est pas née… / Il n’est pas née… – while by “being born” they are supposedly all of both equal and unequaled rank). Yet, they are most strictly hierarchically stratified, each stomping upon the one below and reaching upward to kiss the feet of the one above. The current (and many previous ones) poor excuse for the President of Serbia is the supreme exhibit of that. They are “matrixed” to the “system”, being fed thoughts, and (often self-)issued orders on how and when to march, and how hard to praise or curse the designated recipient of their momentarily commanded attention.

Today, for example, we may see it in the most CNN-like squawking of their apologies of the “Church’s” “unanimous decision” (in reality, an order by the US embassy) to recognize the Communist-created so-called “Macedonian” “Church” and immediately to grant it autocephaly – all of that proclaimed as the “most wise” and “Holy Spirit-guided” acts of their “Holinesses” and the “Most Highly Anointed”.  

The Efficient – What is the agent of these people, what moves them, what causes their action or inaction, or, even more precisely, WHO is their spiritus movens?

Serbian state “intellectual” and “expert” “institutes” (no private ones of any valor exist!) are the purposefully designed comfortable nests for a social stratum of spineless, vain, cowardly, and the petit-bourgeoisie-level avaricious self-praising, self-culling idealess, barren, and mostly mono-lingual caste leeched upon the state budget, and they are totally irrelevant to the Serbian society, and even less so to the community of the free and brave global thinkers who are on the front-line of the battle for the survival and future of humanity, as God created and intended it.

Having self-confessed, multiple times and publicly, that they think, talk, and act “up to a certain limit” since they “depend on the state budget”, their spiritus movens is obvious, especially when it is also known that western/NATO/EU/US funds feed the monster of the Serbian state that devours the true spiritus movens of the Serbian nation. 

The Final – What is the end, the purpose of these people, what is it for the sake of which they are what they are?

A deeper observation might birth a conclusion that they are of the same Karl Marx-defined refuse tribe that still drags through history, multiplying itself into two identical but publicly antagonistic sects that had split and are still splitting the riches honorably acquired and accumulated by the dignified ancestors of the Serbs through the glorious centuries when honesty, bravery, and mercy ruled in the Helm Peninsula. One group is acting as “Patriots” and “Russophiles”, while the other declares itself European (EU) and Atlantist-Integrationist (NATO). Yet, both serve the same Masters, who are set on exterminating even the memory of the Serbs, regardless of the method. The only reason why they haven’t succeeded in their task is their cowardness and their subconscious realization that the end of the Serbs means their own end too – for although they are the shame and the blight of the Serbs, Serbs they are nonetheless, thus fated by the Great Reset for the same grinder of the disobedient, self-aware, and free nations.

That, actually, is the greatest purpose and the end of them – to serve the Serbs in their awakening and retaking of their own destiny into their own hands – hopefully soon assisted by the Russians! As le duc de la Rochefoucauld beautifully said, Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue – thus these people pay the greatest homage to both the Serbs and the Russians by being against them, declaring themselves superior and better, thus by their actions ensuring that we know the truth and may be guided by it.

So… Russia! Beware! And ditch these undeserving and sordid boils on the body of your true and everlasting friend and ally – the Serbian people! A period of suffering and shocks is the only manner of awakening this comatose nation from its induced catatonic immobility, which would yet again show us Serbia as it is today – a land, and a nation – grand in the fulfillment of the sublime martyrdom of her forefathers but humbled in the abjection of her children’s shameful desolation, but also, as it’s Golden Age poet described her in the 14th century, „made beautiful by piety, evangelical life and the dignity of right-mindedness“.

Just make sure you choose well who your true allies and Brothers will be among the future leaders of your only ever-faithful friend in Europe!


[1] недружественные страны

[2] Matthew 26:50 (Друг, для чего ты пришёл?)

 “Vatican Hatred” and Russophobia

May 25, 2022

By Prof. Slobodan Antonic, Department of Sociology, University of Belgrade (Translated for the Saker Blog)

“Vatican hatred” is not a quote from a publication on the Croatian genocide against Serbs between 1941−1945. It is a phrase used by the three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Thornton Wilder in his novel “The Bridge of San Luis Rey,” to describe a hatred that is strong, deep, persistent, and cruel.

Of course, not everyone in the Vatican hates, nor are all haters Catholics. However, nations belonging to the cultural domain of Eastern Christianity are sometimes genuinely amazed by the depth and intensity of hatred emanating from influential Western ideologues, some powerful institutions, and numerous “voluntary executors” of various extermination projects. Formally they also are European and Christian, but they belong to a slightly different tradition and culture.

Serbs got a taste of it several times in the 20th century. They face it even today. An example is writer and Nobel Prize winner Herta Miller, Romanian-German novelist, who said publicly what most Germans think about Serbs when she endorsed the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. And Germany, at least while Serbia’s current president was prime minister, was said to be our main Western friend. What are our enemies like then?

Serbs, at least when it comes to Eastern Europe, are not the only target of Western hatred. There are, of course, also the Russians. As one American woman of Serbian origin correctly remarked while watching TV over there, “the enemies of the Western world have been stable and unchanged for 30 years: Serbia and Russia. Terrible Orthodox Serbs who, in terror, slaughtered a huge number of peaceful democratic Muslims and no less terrible Russian communists who destroyed democracy and freedom in Chechnya.”

Entire scholarly monographs on the West’s hatred of Russia have been written, and three of them have been translated in our country: “Russophobia: Two Paths to the Same Abyss” (translated in 1993) by Igor Šafarević; “Russophobia” (translated by 2016) by Giulietto Chiesa; and “Russia and the West – a Thousand Years of War: Russophobia from Charlemagne to the Ukrainian Crisis” (translated in 2017) by Guy Methane.

The word “Russophobia” is in the title of all three books. That word can be misleading. Phobias are irrational and unjustified fears, like being scared of a mouse when it jumps on a table (musophobia), even though it is a creature that will not eat us or bite our leg. However, in the case of Russia, it is not a matter of phobia, but of deep and constant hatred – a good example was recently given by James Jatras:

“Moscow could return Crimea to Ukraine, escort Kiev troops to Donbas on a red carpet, and hang Bashar Assad on a flagpole in Damascus. Sanctions imposed by Washington on Moscow would remain, and even gradually intensify. See how long it took us to get rid of the Jackson-Venik law (a law that limited trade relations with the USSR, passed in 1974 and repealed only in 2012). The Russophobic impulse that controls American policy does not come from what the Russians do, but from who they are: Russia delenda est!”

Now, in Serbia, we have a newly-published book that talks about Russia hatred in our country. It is “Russophobia among Serbs 1878−2017″, by Dejan Mirović. Where did the Serbs get this from, given that the Russians helped us get rid of the Turks and rebuild a state, that because of us in 1914 they went to war with Austria-Hungary (and Germany), that in 1944 they helped us get rid of German Nazism, and that today they defend our claim to Kosovo, sometimes better than official Belgrade?

The first source of Russophobia in Serbia, in the last two centuries, is certainly the trickling down of anti-Russianism from the West. Serbia is perceived in the West as a small, Balkan Russia”, a traditional Russian stronghold in the Balkans. That is why all anti-Russian strategic projects allocate significant funds to suppress Russia’s popularity in Serbia, primarily through open anti-Russian propaganda.

Another source of anti-Russianism is the ideology of the local elite, which wants to “modernize” Serbia, but by Westernizing it. That elite, which existed in the 19th and 20th centuries, just as it exists today, wants Serbia to take over not only Western technology but also Western institutions, Western culture, and even the Western frame of mind (“Protestant spirit”). Since the model that Serbia should strive for can only be Western countries – France or Britain in the 19th century, and the EU today – Russia must be portrayed in the worst light, as it could not be a model for anything – not even in art, culture, or religion.

The third source of anti-Russianism in our country, during the last two centuries, were different political interests and different particular interests of the ruling elites of Serbia (Yugoslavia) and Russia (USSR). For example, in the 19th century, Russia wanted to take Constantinople. That is why the Bulgarians who inhabit the eastern Balkans – which could be considered the gates of Istanbul – were more important to her than the Serbs, who were geographically further away, in the west. The Russians, therefore, preferred Bulgarians at the time, supporting a Greater Bulgaria rather than a Greater Serbia. Thus, they endangered Serbian interests not only in Macedonia, but also in south-eastern Serbia. This was the real background of a certain coldness that developed in the policy of Serbian kings Milan and Aleksandar Obrenović towards Russia (a policy given a personal stamp in the “secret convention” concluded between Serbian Prince Milan and Austro-Hungary).

Another example of divergent interests is certainly the Titoist period, 1948−1989. Tito and his associates, after 1948, in fear for the survival of their regime, cruelly persecuted not only Sovietophiles but also Russophiles. A 20-year-old student, Vera Cenic, was tortured for two years (1950-1951) in the Goli Otok concentration camp only because she frequented the Soviet Cultural Center to watch Russian films, loved Russian literature and kept a diary in which she expressed her intimate reservations toward the official policy of keeping a distance from Russia.

Radivoj Berbakov was sentenced in 1980 to two and a half years in prison, which he served in the Sremska Mitrovica prison, for “enemy propaganda.” That consisted, among other things, of being “biased in favor of Russian art and literature, in the sense of exaggerating the merits ​​of art and literature in the USSR,” which fits in with his statement that he “loves Russians and that no one can forbid him to love them.”

Of course, the Titoist nomenklature knew that a political upheaval in Yugoslavia would lead to Titoists losing not only power but also their personal freedom. That is why, at that time, as Mirović shows us in his book, a significant part of the public in Serbia was being soaked not only with anti-Soviet but also outright anti-Russian propaganda and ideology.

When it comes to today’s anti-Russianism in Serbia, its basic source is a combination of the first and second factors. As a result, contemporary anti-Russian manifestations here range from the unconscious absorption of Western ideological and propaganda clichés, to unabashed Russian hatred articulated by pro-Atlanticist, self-hating Serbs.

As an example, a truly dark, threatening and dangerous “Vatican hatred,” of the kind that Thornton Wilder was alluding to, erupts regularly in the texts of some of the columnists of the Western-financed Belgrade daily “Danas”. There, we can read that “Tsarist Russia dragged Serbia into the First World War”, and also that “Russians” took part in the 2003 assassination of the then prime minister Zoran Djindjic, on the spurious premise that “the assassination of the Prime Minister was the first step in returning Serbia to the Soviet orbit.”

In Serbia, according to this view, there is a “quisling attitude towards Russia”, that is, in our country there is a “Russian network” with “extremist groups under the obvious control of Serbian and Russian security services”. The line propounded by these circles is that “Putin’s Russia is robbing us of the remnants of European sovereignty and identity, economic potential and common sense”, warning that an “evolution from Serbian chauvinism to quisling Putinism” is taking place in Serbia.

Their buzzwords are that “Putin’s regime recognizes men as oligarchs and men, and women as either whores or grandmothers”, that “the boss in Moscow is pressuring Serbia to deviate from the democratic international order”, and that for Serbia “EU integration is a priority”.

There is also in Serbia “anti-Russian incitement propaganda,” with preposterous allegations that “half of the ministers seem to have been smuggled in from the Donetsk Republic”. The alleged concept of “Greater Serbia” was initially the object of their disdain. Now they have come up with the idea that Serbia is “in danger of becoming a Russian province”. Serbs are being told that reliance on Russia “destroys our democratic institutions and introduces us to dirty sources of financial capital,” ultimately leading Serbs to “pathological Sovietophilia”, and also enabling “treacherous conduct on the part of government organs, and even circles within the Serbian Orthodox Church”.

Of course, no other privatization project in Serbia but that of NIS has been denounced as questionable for those ideologues. The only problem they see in the area of privatization is the sale of the formerly state-owned petroleum enterprise, NIS, to Russian interests. And there is also the alleged “Putin spy center”, a Russian Emergency Situations outpost located in the city of Nis, accused of “nurturing criminal traditions and destroying fragile democracies in the region.”

The Russophobic lobby maintains that in Serbia “since 2004, the media under the supervision of each government have been preparing public opinion not only for new conflicts with neighbors, but also for World War III, which we will fight on the side of Russia, China, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela”. The author of this particular diatribe goes on to wonder “how Vučić can possibly position Serbia in the victorious camp in the emerging international conflict.”

Russia and China are, according to this lobby, “factors of world disorder” because, as they absurdly argue, “the annual total of victims of state-party terror in Russia and China is almost equal to the victims of Mauthausen”. Hence, if Belgrade – which according to them is a “stinking sh##hole” opts to side with Russia, “Serbia will remain as the Balkan GDR”.

Don´t you feel a terrible, deep hatred in these words, not only towards Russia but also towards Serbia – just because Serbia is also Slavic, nationalistic, Orthodox and strives to march to its own drummer?

That hatred is unleased primarily in order to turn Serbs into someone else: Western “Protestants” and “citizens”, more precisely a consumerist crowd that lives in a territory, not a country, and which tomorrow can be replaced by some other, more “modern” and “politically correct” population.

Eruptions of such hatred are necessary in order to mould the “Serbian-European”, whose brain is crushed and the terrible “little Russian” within him is torn out. There is no doubt that this is the ultimate goal of Atlanticist policy in the Balkans. But that cannot happen without enthronement in the Serbian society of the equivalent of “Vatican hatred” – deep, systematic and cruel.

It is important to be able to recognize that hatred. It is contrary not only to our essential interests, but also to our civilizational identity that makes us special as a people and as a culture. The general public rejects it intuitively. But in the context of the announced “international conflict” – which will allegedly finally “separate the wheat from the chaff” – it serves as an early announcement of totalitarian repression against each and every one of us who loves his country and thinks for himself.

So each of us must take the risk of falling victim to “Vatican hatred”. Even you who are reading this text, dear reader.

The Secret American Plan to Make Russia Great Again

May 24, 2022

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By Dmitry Orlov

It is generally a good idea to avoid ascribing nefarious intent to actions explained by mere stupidity. But this is a case where mere stupidity cannot possibly explain the long, steady procession of foreign policy errors spanning three decades, all of them specifically aimed at strengthening Russia. It is not possible to argue that a surplus of hubris, ignorance, greed and political opportunism and a deficit of competent foreign policy analysts can produce such a result, for that would be essentially the same as arguing that some monkeys armed with drills, mills and lathes can produce a Swiss watch. But the only alternative would be to claim that there is a network of Kremlin’s agents ensconced deep within the bowels of the American Deep State and that they are all working in concert to advance Russia’s interests while meticulously maintaining plausible deniability all the while and at all levels of the operation.

Ostensibly, the plan was to weaken and destroy Russia; but then, following the Soviet collapse, Russia was weakening and destroying itself very well all by itself, no intervention needed. What’s more, every US effort to weaken and destroy Russia has made it stronger; had there existed even a most rudimentary feedback mechanism, so vast a discrepancy between policy goals and policy results would have been detected and adjustments would have been made. Superficially, this may be explained by the nature of America’s sham-democracy, where each administration can blame its failures on mistakes made by the previous administration, but the Deep State remains in power throughout, and it would simply be forced to admit to itself that there is a problem with the plan to weaken and destroy Russia after a few cycles of this unfolding fiasco. The fact that it hasn’t detected any such problem brings us full circle, back to the suspicion that there are Putin’s agents toiling tirelessly deep within the Deep State.

But that’s pure conspiracy theory and we shouldn’t want to go anywhere near that. Suffice to say, there is at present no adequate explanation for what happened. After the Soviet collapse, very little was needed to speed along the collapse of Russia itself. But none of these steps have been taken, and the steps that were taken (with the ostensible goal of weakening and destroying Russia) have done the exact opposite. Why? Below are listed 10 of the most successful initiatives of what appear to be a US Deep State MRGA campaign. If you have an alternative explanation, I’d like to hear it.

1. If Russia were immediately accepted into the World Trade Organization (which it wanted to join) it would have been swamped with cheap imports, destroying all of Russian industry and agriculture. Russia would simply sell oil, gas, timber, diamonds and its other resources and buy whatever is needed. Instead, the US and other WTO members spent 18 years negotiating Russia’s entry into the organization. By the time it joined, in 2006, very little time remained before the financial collapse of 2008, after which time the WTO hasn’t been too much of a factor.

2. If Russia were immediately granted visa-free travel to the West (as it wanted) most working-age Russians would have readily diffused out of Russia, leaving behind a population of orphans and the elderly, much as has happened with contemporary Ukraine. After losing much of its productive population, Russia would not have posed any sort of economic or military threat. Instead, Russia was never granted visa-free travel and instead faced restrictions that have only increased over time. By now most Russians have internalized the idea that they are simply not wanted in the West and that they should seek their fortune back home.

3. After the Soviet collapse, Russia itself collapsed into a loose mosaic of regional centers. Many of them (Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Urals Republic, Chechnya) entertained notions of secession. Left untouched, Russia would have devolved into a loose confederation with no ability to formulate joint foreign policy. Instead, resources and mercenaries were pumped into Chechnya, turning it into an existential threat to Moscow’s authority and forcing it to become militarily assertive. The fact that Chechen volunteers are now fighting on the Russian side in the Ukraine underscores the failure of America’s Chechnya policy.

4. If, following the Soviet collapse, NATO simply recognized that the threat it was intended to counter no longer existed and either dissolved or simply became quiescent, Russia would never have thought it necessary to rearm itself. Indeed, Russia was happily cutting up its ships and missiles for scrap metal. Instead, NATO saw it fit to bomb Yugoslavia (for a made-up humanitarian reason) and then to relentlessly expand eastward. These actions have communicated most adequately the message that it wasn’t the USSR, and Communism, that the West opposed but Russia itself. And while, by the time the 1990s rolled around, not too many Russians were eager to fight and die for the greater glory of communism, rising to the defense of Motherland is an entirely different story.

5. If Russia’s near-abroad were simply left alone, Russia would never have considered venturing outside of its already vast and underpopulated territory. But then came a provocation: acting with US sanction, Georgian forces attacked Russian peacekeepers in South Osettia during the Beijing Olympics of 2008, forcing Russia to react. The fact that Russia could demilitarize Georgia in just a few days was a major confidence boost and taught it that NATO and NATO-trained forces are soft and squishy and not much of a problem. Russian territory expanded to include South Ossetia, with Abkhazia thrown in as an added bonus, paving the way for further territorial expansion (Crimea, Donbass, Kherson… Nikolaev, Odessa…).

6. If the US left alone Syria, a close Russian ally for close to a century, Russia would not have expanded into the Mediterranean region. As it is, Syrian government invited Russia to help it turn the tide in its war against US-supported ISIS and Russia destroyed ISIS with the help of a rather small contingent of air-and-space forces at just one airbase. The action in Syria has showcased modern Russian weapons systems and has led to a 20-year backlog in weapons orders from around the world. What’s more, Russia’s allies around the world know that if the US/NATO, or their mercenaries, give them any trouble, all they have to do is whistle and Moscow will rush in with their precision bombs and neatly stack the corpses.

7. After the 2014 Kiev putsch and the re-accession of Crimea, US/Western sanctions were immensely helpful in helping jump-start a large-scale program of import replacement, rejuvenating both Russian industry and agriculture. Russia is now largely self-sufficient in food and a major food exporter. Its position as the world’s main breadbasket will be further improved by the addition of Eastern and Southern Ukrainian “black earth” regions of uniquely fertile land. The sanctions were accompanied by speculative attacks on the ruble which drove its value down from 30 to the dollar to 60 (where it stands today) making Russian products much more competitive internationally and stimulating foreign trade.

8. The endless hollow threats to block Russia from using the SWIFT interbank messaging system have prompted Russia to create its own payment system, which is now integrated with China’s. The arrest of the $300 billion Russian sovereign wealth fund that was held on deposit in Western banks, along with freezing the funds of Russian oligarchs, have taught Russians not to trust Western banks and to avoid keeping their money abroad. All of these hostile actions in the finance space have paved the way for a rather measured response that has instantly made the ruble the most valuable and stable currency on the planet, leaving the dollar and the euro vulnerable to hyperinflation.

9. The eight-year war waged by the Ukrainian army, with unquestioning US/NATO support, against the Russian civilian population in the Donbass, has produced a very specific understanding throughout Russia’s population: that the West wants to exterminate it. When the Ukrainians then declared that they want to build nuclear bombs, and when it was discovered that Pentagons bioweapons labs in the Ukraine were working on creating pathogens specifically targeting Russians, and when, finally, it became clear that it was not just the Ukrainians but all of NATO was behind it, that the Ukrainians-plus-NATO were poised to launch an all-out attack, Russia pre-empted it by launching its own Special Operation. Cynical as this may seem, the previous eight-year shelling of buildings full of old people, women and children, shown live on Russia’s nightly news but steadfastly ignored in the West, was instrumental in producing approval ratings for the Special Operation that has reached 76%, with similar ratings for Putin, his government and even many of the regional governments. Now that, Western arms shipments notwithstanding, the Ukrainian military is being whittled away at a rate that will finish it off in approximately 20 days (the calculated “Day Z”), Russia is poised to emerge as an outright victor in World War III which, just like the Cold War, which it had lost, was barely even fought. This will restore Russia’s military’s mystique of being perpetually victorious.

10. Finally, Russia should be grateful for the lavish funds provided over the years by the US and the collective West in support of free speech and freedom of the press in Russia, by which is meant pro-Western propaganda. First, it did help liberate Russia’s media space, to a point that now Russia is much more open to freedom of self-expression than any of the European countries or the US, with barely a hint of corporate censorship or cancel culture that are rampant in the West. Second, so ham-handed and overbearingly dumb was the Western propaganda onslaught that the Russians, after processing it for some years, now openly laugh at the pro-Western narrative, and opinion research agencies report Russian support for pro-Western policies only in trace amounts. The process was helped by the sheer ludicrousness of various developments in the West: cancel culture, MeToo, LGBT, child sex change operations, promotion of pedophilia and all the rest, which produced a wave of revulsion. This 180º reversal, from overwhelmingly pro-Western opinions of the early 1990s to the current situation, are a crowning achievement of the entire three-decade-long Deep State campaign to Make Russia Great Again (MRGA).

I do not wish to argue that the existence of MRGA within the US Deep State is demonstrably, provably true. But I urge you to follow Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous dictum that “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth” and let me know what you come up with.

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Two Cheers for Realism

April 19, 2022

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By Francis Lee

One of the unstated and extant features of the contemporary age has been the demise of the Westphalian Treaty. This arrangement had in times past regulated the relationship and clashes of interest among the great powers. We should remind ourselves that the key precepts of the system were preceded by the carnage of the 30 years’ war in Europe circa 1618-1648, and eventually agreed upon at the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 – an arrangement which brought an end to the wars of the Reformation and agreed upon and binding on all parties. These precepts were:

‘’The Westphalian peace reflected a practical accommodation to reality, not a unique moral insight. It relied on a system of independent states refraining from interference in each other’s domestic affairs and checking each other’s ambitions through a general equilibrium of power. No single claim to truth or universal rule had prevailed in Europe’s contests. Instead, each state was assigned the attribute of sovereign power over its territory. Each would acknowledge the domestic structures and religious vocations of its fellow states and refrain from challenging their existence. A recognition of the existence of sovereign states within their own clearly defined borders and sphere of influence.’’ * So argued Henry Kissenger (2014)

Alas this is no more, and the system had undergone a long decline throughout its inception for reasons which in time were to become obvious. It was earlier in the wake of World War I that the Westphalian system began to falter. US President Woodrow Wilson joined the war not so much to defend American territory as to “make the world safe for democracy”. If “democracy” was a religion, rather than an ideology or a system of government, then Wilson would not sound very different from the most zealous Crusaders of medieval Europe. Despite Wilson’s idea for a League of Nations failing to gain congressional approval at home, the leaders of Europe went ahead and formed the organization themselves. While the main purpose of the League was to make war obsolete, it utterly failed to do so.

The putative new world ‘order’ in the shape of the UN Charter was first established in 1945 and was an explicitly globalist organization. Whereas Westphalian nationalism held that each country was its own sovereign unit, post-war globalism instead held that certain concepts such as ‘liberal democracy’ and ‘civil rights’ were universal to all humanity, and therefore any nation that restricted such things lost the protections of sovereignty. All very noble but roughly translated this should read.

The two or three great powers had the ability and resolve to structure the world in their own image and in doing so maximise and extend the reach of their power. As for humanity and the subaltern classes and nations; they were to be subordinated to the interests of larger powers and serve those interests. End of.

The great powers would go through the motions in pursuit of their interests – they always do, but the outcome would be tailored to those interests. For example. In 1991, US President George H. W. Bush announced a war against Iraq, which had invaded and occupied the neighbouring nation of Kuwait. However, when push came to shove the great power(s) – in this instance the US – did not hesitate to use their formidable resources – including war, annexation and starvation – against the weaker smaller states who became the objects of war.

Cold War 1 lasted until the break-up of the USSR in 1991. This was manna from heaven for the imperial juggernaut who saw a game-changing opportunity to push ahead with its global hegemonic agenda whilst Russia was entering the Yeltsin disaster years. This was made perfectly clear in a ground breaking directive issued by the then US Under Secretary of Defence for Policy at that time (neo-conservative) Paul Wolfowitz. This was to become known as The Wolfowitz doctrine:  Not intended for initial public release, it was leaked to the New York Times on March 7, 1992. It read:

‘’Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat of the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defence strategy and requires that we endeavour to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.’’(1)

In short: Me Tarzan, you Jane. The US and its satellites were top of the pile and would remain so. Other potentially hostile states will be surrounded, threatened, and intimidated into accepting their subaltern status. This was described by Senator Edward Kennedy as “a call for 21st century American imperialism that no other nation can or should accept.” (2) And just to rub salt into the wound the US and its vassal states expanded NATO to include former Soviet republics and ex Warsaw pact states and pushed right up to Russia’s western borders.

Suffice it to say this geo-political arrangement involved a complete rejection of Westphalian principles and has imposed global liberal practise of hegemony and interventionism under the command of the principal global hegemon, the United States. This pursuit of global hegemony represents the implementation of the belief in America’s so-called ‘Manifest Destiny’ – a divine providence to spread the liberal-democratic global order to the rest of the planet and usher in a global Shangri-La of peace, prosperity … and so on and so forth. Of course, this puts the world on a permanent war footing. This has been instanced by wars waged by the empire against Iraq, Libya, Yugoslavia and Syria with more in the pipeline as well as a cyber-attack on Iran – the Stuxnet attack – and a number of colour revolutions paid for and organized by the US, Georgia and Ukraine being the most obvious and well-known. But the big prize is and always has been the Eurasian bloc. This of course may well involve a nuclear exchange, but hey, America’s intentions are noble and worth fighting for are they not? It should be understood that the United States is the indispensable, exceptional nation, the shining city on the hill. Blah, blah, blah.

What is particularly disturbing is that this absurd and dangerous doctrine has become akin to a religious orthodoxy. Comparable perhaps to the fanaticism of Wahhabist cults in parts of the Muslim world. It is suggestive of an infantile mindset which views international relations as a Manichean struggle between good and evil. Whether the non-adult proponents actually believe in this doctrine is a moot point. But the pervasiveness of this cult is all but total; this is a 21st century inquisition complete with heresy hunts and a fanatical priesthood of the media and their security handlers in the deep state, in their attempts to close down any other or any independent counter-narrative.

However, once the ideological stranglehold on policy has built up momentum it becomes very difficult to change course. In the language and ideology of neo-con exceptionalism, diplomacy is akin to appeasement, the West is threatened, Russia-Putin is on the rampage, proof (sic) of this was his ‘’invasion’’ of Ukraine. China also is becoming a threat to the western way of life; Carthage must be destroyed. Of course, every one of these assertions are extremely contentious and could/should be countered, but of course they are not; the dominant narrative shall not be profaned or challenged.

As the US and its vassals therefore prepare for war, its populations must be conditioned to believe and accept such an inevitable outcome. The propaganda machine has been stepped up to unprecedented levels. The message is simple. Our side = good, Their side = bad. Our side does good things, their side does bad things. Thus, the media – now an asset of the deep state – plays an essential role of propagating this political construction among the populations of the Anglo-Zionist heartlands.

All of which is very reminiscent of Orwell’s short novel Animal Farm. After the Animal Revolution and the eviction of Jones the Farmer, the sheep were instructed by the ruling group – the pigs – into reciting the goodness of the animals and the badness of humans. The short and endless bleat of the sheep went as follows: ‘’Four legs good, two legs bad,’’ repeated endlessly.

That is about the level of western foreign policy. Good guys, bad guys, white hats, black hats, no compromise, no surrender. Result war. The question we must now ask is has this menacing process gone too far to go into reverse? This of course remains an open question. But the thrust of neo-conservative foreign policy would suggest this war would be a logical outcome. Either that or the whole thing is a bluff. Up to this point the US performance in attacking recalcitrant weak states has not been a roaring success. The same goes for Israel. Bombing countries with no air defence or shooting Palestinian kids with sniper rifles is easy-peasy. Taking on Iran is a different matter entirely. The irresistible force seems to be meeting its immovable object.

From a realist as opposed to a neo-conservative foreign policy the idea of an American world empire is frankly deranged. Pursuit of this pipedream can only result in mutually assured destruction; yes, M.A.D. still applies. The United States and its minions might not like it, but it will have to learn to live with other great powers. Russia, China have legitimate spheres of influence and this should be respected. This will involve an end to the gross provocations in the South China Sea and in Poland, Romania, and the Baltics, not to mention the ongoing series of colour revolutions.

This is true in spades with regard to Israel – a country of a mere 8 million souls with an ambition to create a greater Israel from the Euphrates to the Nile. This objective, involving a ruthless ethnic cleansing has been unremittingly pursued since the British left Palestine in 1948. According to one David Ben-Gurion about how to deal with Palestinians in their midst: ‘’There is a need for strong and brutal reaction’’ (to Palestinian opposition) ‘’ … We need to be accurate about timing, place and those we hit. If we accuse a family, we need to harm them without mercy, women and children included, otherwise this is not an effective reaction … there is no need to distinguish between guilty and not guilty.’’(3) This of course has been par for the course since the late 1940s. But Israel like its American sponsor, must learn to live within its own sphere of influence and not tempt fate by embarking on a Zionist crusade against its near neighbours. It would do well to remember that the Crusades were in their neck of the woods for nearly 200 years, but the invaders were finally driven out in 1291.

The liberal-imperialist Anglo-Zionist regime change ideology is supplemented by the appeal to ‘human rights’ and Responsibility to Protect – R2P. Human Rights apparently override national sovereignty. According to one Francis Fukuyama:

‘’Dictators and Human Rights abusers like Serbia’s Milosevic could not hide behind the principle of sovereignty to protect themselves as they committed crimes against humanity particularly in multi-ethnic states like Yugoslavia where the borders of the sovereign state in question were themselves contested. Under these circumstances outside powers, acting in the name of human rights and democratic legitimacy, had not just the right, but the obligation to intervene. (4)

There you have it. The ‘intervention’ a 78-day bombing offensive by NATO resulted in the deaths of in excess of 5000 civilians in Serbia and elsewhere. But of course, this was not a crime against humanity. Doublethink!? Of course, the glaring anomaly in the regime change R2P ideology lies in its inconsistency. But this is to be expected. It should always be borne in mind that the mission of the AZ-Empire is world domination, not coexistence or democracy. This, however, must never be openly admitted. The veneer of a crusade to make the world a Garden of Eden, is simply a cover for imperial aggrandisement.

‘’Liberal democracies have little difficulty in conducting diplomacy with illiberal states when they are acting according to realist dictates, which is most of the time. In those circumstances, liberal democracies do whatever is necessary to maximize their survival prospects, and that includes negotiating with authoritarian leaders. They sometimes even support or form alliances with murderous dictators as the US did in WW2 when it worked with Joseph Stalin to defeat Nazi Germany, or when it cooperated with Mao Zedong after 1972 to contain the Soviet Union. Occasionally they even overthrow democratic regimes (all over Latin America – FL) which they perceive as being hostile. Liberal democracies go to great lengths to disguise such behaviour with liberal rhetoric, but in fact they are acting contrary to their own – professed – principles.’’ (6)

However, this unstable combination of outward authoritarianism and domestic democracy has inbuilt destabilising forces. Long ago it was pointed out by the Greek historian Thucydides that Empire and Democracy cannot co-exist in the long-term. Moreover, the methods of empire would be brought home to deal with the destabilising effects of empire on the state. (5)

Nowhere is this more an ever-present fact than in the great hegemon, the United States itself. It would appear that the United States polity has, at every level, descended into a variety of collective insanity. Witness Rachel Maddow, I know it’s difficult, but bear with me, asserting with complete conviction and sang-froid, night after night, that Donald Trump was a Russian agent! What made this worse was that no-one challenged this idiocy? Ms Maddow’s rant can be compared to the ‘two minutes hate’ in 1984 (only unfortunately it lasted for more than 2 minutes) and of the level of a latent pathology in the media in particular and the body politic more generally.

Speaking of Orwell, his essay Notes on Nationalism nailed this particular political phenomenon. He firstly made it clear that what he meant by nationalism was a more general description of particular religious, or political outlooks.

‘’By ‘nationalism’ I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – But secondly – and this is much more important – I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognising no other duty than that of advancing its interests.’’

Thus Neo-Conservatism, Pacifism, Political Catholicism, Zionism, and curiously enough, Anti-Semitism, are all types of nationalism, broadly understood.

Of course, the unprepossessing Ms Maddow is a virulent specimen of this type of mental aberration. The nationalist has to perform the most intricate forms of mental gymnastics in order to believe that their particular beliefs are true and will not tolerate profanation. As Orwell writes:

‘’The nationalist does not only disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has the remarkable capacity of not even hearing about them …All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Conservative will defend self-determination in Europe but oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage – torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians – which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ’our’ side … Some nationalists are not far from clinical schizophrenia, living quite happily amid dreams of power and conquest, which have no connexion with the physical world … ‘’

Not far from clinical schizophrenia! I would say well ahead.

And there’s the rub. Realist foreign policy was often cruel and callous but rational, cold and calculating and unlike neo-conservatism it was at least generally non-ideological, which is to say, sane. Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, were ideological projects and Western Imperialism, particularly of the white settler variety, the US, UK Israel, Australia, NZ, were openly racist and murderous in both practise and theory.

In the present geopolitical configuration, it is difficult to assess the outcome of the Anglo-Zionist crusade against the Eurasian bloc. Russia and China are reading from a Westphalian text, the US is reading from a neo-conservative playbook, with its European allies being reluctantly dragged along. In this situation it is difficult to know how this titanic struggle will eventually pan out and to whose benefit. One of the problems which besets any appraisal lies in the fact that the Westphalian system depended upon dialogue with rational actors. These have become as rare as hen’s teeth, if not extinct species in the western centres of power. The US and its reluctant allies will seemingly not give up on its strategic objective of world domination and Russia and China are going to defend themselves. Something has to give, but what?

NOTES

(1)  Defence Planning Guidance for the 1994–99 fiscal years (dated February 18, 1992)

(2)   Orlando Caputo Leiva and Marlene Medrano- Latin American Perspectives Volume. 34, No. 1, The Crisis of U.S. Hegemony in the Twenty-First Century (January 2007), pp. 9-15

(3) Quoted in Pappe, – Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine – p.69. For background on Ben-Gurion’s comment, see Ibid, 61-72. Quoted in – The Israel Lobby – John J Mearsheimer and Stephen M Walt p.99, fn.95

(4) Francis Fukuyama – State Building, Governance and World Order in the 21st Century – p.131.

Other US Realist Diplomats saw things somewhat differently. Commenting on the expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe In 1996, the 92-year-old veteran US geopolitical realist, George Kennan, warned that NATO’s expansion into former Soviet territory was a “strategic blunder of potentially epic proportions.” I think it is the beginning of a new cold war … ‘’I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else. This expansion would make the Founding Fathers of this country turn over in their graves. We have signed up to protect a whole series of countries, even though we have neither the resources nor the intention to do so in any serious way. NATO expansion was simply a light-hearted action by a Senate that has no real interest in foreign affairs.” (5) John J Mearsheimer – The Great Delusion, Liberal Dreams and International Realities – p.157.

From Korea to Libya: On the Future of Ukraine and NATO’s Neverending Wars

April 6, 2022

Ukraine needs peace and security, not perpetual war that is designed to serve the strategic interests of certain countries or military alliances.

By Ramzy BAROUD

Much has been said and written about media bias and double standards in the West’s response to the Russia-Ukraine war, when compared with other wars and military conflicts across the world, especially in the Middle East and the Global South. Less obvious is how such hypocrisy is a reflection of a much larger phenomenon which governs the West’s relationship to war and conflict zones.

Like every NATO-led war since the inception of the alliance in 1949, these wars resulted in widespread devastation and tragic death tolls.

On March 19, Iraq commemorated the 19th anniversary of the US invasion which killed, according to modest estimates, over a million Iraqis. The consequences of that war were equally devastating as it destabilized the entire Middle East region, leading to various civil and proxy wars. The Arab world is reeling under that horrific experience to this day.

Also, on March 19, the eleventh anniversary of the NATO war on Libya was commemorated and followed, five days later, by the 23rd anniversary of the NATO war on Yugoslavia. Like every NATO-led war since the inception of the alliance in 1949, these wars resulted in widespread devastation and tragic death tolls.

None of these wars, starting with the NATO intervention in the Korean Peninsula in 1950, have stabilized any of the warring regions. Iraq is still as vulnerable to terrorism and outside military interventions and, in many ways, remains an occupied country. Libya is divided among various warring camps, and a return to civil war remains a real possibility.

Yet, enthusiasm for war remains high, as if over seventy years of failed military interventions have not taught us any meaningful lessons. Daily, news headlines tell us that the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, Spain or some other western power have decided to ship a new kind of ‘lethal weapons‘ to Ukraine. Billions of dollars have already been allocated by Western countries to contribute to the war in Ukraine.

In contrast, very little has been done to offer platforms for diplomatic, non-violent solutions. A handful of countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia have offered mediation or insisted on a diplomatic solution to the war, arguing, as China’s foreign ministry reiterated on March 18, that “all sides need to jointly support Russia and Ukraine in having dialogue and negotiation that will produce results and lead to peace.”

Though the violation of the sovereignty of any country is illegal under international law, and is a stark violation of the United Nations Charter, this does not mean that the only solution to violence is counter-violence. This cannot be truer in the case of Russia and Ukraine, as a state of civil war has existed in Eastern Ukraine for eight years, harvesting thousands of lives and depriving whole communities from any sense of peace or security. NATO’s weapons cannot possibly address the root causes of this communal struggle. On the contrary, they can only fuel it further.

If more weapons were the answer, the conflict would have been resolved years ago. According to the BBC, the US has already allocated $2.7bn to Ukraine over the last eight years, long before the current war. This massive arsenal included “anti-tank and anti-armor weapons … US-made sniper (rifles), ammunition and accessories.”

The speed with which additional military aid has poured into Ukraine following the Russian military operations on February 24 is unprecedented in modern history. This raises not only political or legal questions, but moral questions as well – the eagerness to fund war and the lack of enthusiasm to help countries rebuild.

After 21 years of US war and invasion of Afghanistan, resulting in a humanitarian and refugee crisis, Kabul is now largely left on its own. Last September, the UN refugee agency warned that “a major humanitarian crisis is looming in Afghanistan”, yet nothing has been done to address this ‘looming’ crisis, which has greatly worsened since then.

The amassing of NATO weapons in Ukraine, as was the case of Libya, will likely backfire. In Libya, NATO’s weapons fueled the country’s decade long civil war.

Afghani refugees are rarely welcomed in Europe. The same is true for refugees coming from Iraq, Syria, Libya, Mali and other conflicts that directly or indirectly involved NATO. This hypocrisy is accentuated when we consider international initiatives that aim to support war refugees, or rebuild the economies of war-torn nations.

Compare the lack of enthusiasm in supporting war-torn nations with the West’s unparalleled euphoria in providing weapons to Ukraine. Sadly, it will not be long before the millions of Ukrainian refugees who have left their country in recent weeks become a burden on Europe, thus subjected to the same kind of mainstream criticism and far-right attacks.

While it is true that the West’s attitude towards Ukraine is different from its attitude towards victims of western interventions, one has to be careful before supposing that the ‘privileged’ Ukrainains will ultimately be better off than the victims of war throughout the Middle East. As the war drags on, Ukraine will continue to suffer, either the direct impact of the war or the collective trauma that will surely follow. The amassing of NATO weapons in Ukraine, as was the case of Libya, will likely backfire. In Libya, NATO’s weapons fueled the country’s decade long civil war.

Ukraine needs peace and security, not perpetual war that is designed to serve the strategic interests of certain countries or military alliances. Though military invasions must be wholly rejected, whether in Iraq or Ukraine, turning Ukraine into another convenient zone of perpetual geopolitical struggle between NATO and Russia is not the answer.

commondreams.org

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the Serbian media, Moscow, March 28, 2022

March 29, 2022

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1806841/

Question: As you know, Serbia has not joined the sanctions [against Russia]. Did it come as a surprise to you that some of the Balkan nations who have recently had a good relationship with Russia have joined the sanctions against it? What is your perspective on the efforts to bring relations with these Balkan countries back to normal later?

Sergey Lavrov: We are seeing unprecedented pressure as part of a general campaign, which some Western politicians call an all-out war against Russia where all means are justified. This did not just start now – far from it.

Over the previous ten years, the European Union, in its relations with the countries seeking to join it, has been demanding – the Serbs know this well – that they join all their foreign policy initiatives that of late have been increasingly anti-Russia in character. This has nothing to do with a single economic space or with introducing the rule of law or anything else like that. There is only an ideologically-charged approach that allows them to continue to put pressure on Russia to emasculate its independence in the international arena and have it accept European values, which Europe has long since been inculcating [in others], despite its Christian roots.

Allow me to remind you that when they were working on the European Union Constitution, which, in the end, was not approved and was replaced by the Treaty of Lisbon, the first version began with a reference to Europe’s Christian roots. The European “grandees” refused to support this wording, having repudiated their race and religious traditions. They can hardly be expected to have respect for the traditions of other faiths.

We are seeing this pressure being exerted on the Balkan countries, including Serbia, to have them join the anti-Russia sanctions, which cover almost all economic, cultural, humanitarian, political and other activities. President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic has spoken about this in detail in public several times, emphasising that Serbia will be guided by its own interests. There are also countries like this in the European Union. I just want to mention the recent statement by Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban, who said that Hungary would stand up for its own interests.

This multi-ethnic self-reproducing bureaucracy with a seat in Brussels is trying to subjugate all countries without exception and concentrate all efforts to establishing rules and standards at the headquarters of the European Union, reducing to a minimum what its member countries can do on their own. This is a flawed policy. It shows yet again that, essentially, a certain trend is emerging in the European Union to strengthen autocracy as represented by Brussels in its relations with the member countries.

Montenegro and North Macedonia have been drawn into the sanctions war. They were tempted by the promise of fast rapprochement with the European Union, but this did not happen. They were drawn into NATO and anti-Russia actions and campaigns. Then they were patted on the shoulder, as it were, and told: “Good job, fellas, keep it up.” This is a serious problem. The EU’s reputation and the real goals of its policy in the Balkans are at stake. I believe the United States has given the EU complete control over the Balkans. The US is fully satisfied with the EU’s aggressive anti-Russia line.

Do you remember this statement by Josep Borrell’s predecessor Federica Mogherini? She accused Russia of being too active in the Balkans and said that if the EU started getting involved there, there was no room for others. Her successor Josep Borrell promotes the same idea. He has always urged the EU not to allow Russia to build stronger relations with those countries where it feels like “the boss of the show.”

We are seeing attempts by the US, the EU and NATO to impose their hegemony on others, not only in the Balkans but also in the rest of the world –virtually everywhere else. I am convinced that most of the countries around the world realise that this is the path to a deadlock. It will eventually be necessary to find a way out. There are not too many countries in Europe that can consider themselves sovereign and independent. Those that refuse to join the sanctions in favour of other states to protect their own national interest are fully entitled to be called independent regardless of their size.

Question: Did Russia envision such isolation and military losses, things we rarely hear precise information about?

Sergey Lavrov: The sanctions against Russia have never stopped. In Soviet times, we lived under the sanctions of the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (CoCom). Under this, the West did all it could to prevent the purchase and supply of high-tech equipment. The Jackson-Vanik amendment existed for many years. It was repealed to allow us to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO) because the United States and other countries were interested in this. It was instantly replaced by the Magnitsky Act that continued the tradition of pressuring the Russian Federation through sanctions. These sanctions were valid until 2014.

A coup took place in Kiev in 2014 contrary to the guarantees of the EU and with Washington’s direct support. Now there is no longer any doubt about it. The coup evoked indignation in both Crimea and in the east of Ukraine. The Crimeans held a referendum to return to Russia, protecting themselves against the armed militants that were bound for Crimea. The people in eastern Ukraine also proclaimed the creation of republics that refused to accept the anti-constitutional government coup. At that time, the Russian Federation was again blamed for everything. The West was disappointed that its plan to finally use Ukraine for its anti-Russia needs fell through.

The introduced sanctions simply reflected the West’s irritation. President of Russia Vladimir Putin has said more than once that since then the EU and the US have imposed sanctions on us almost every month, at least two or three times a year. I think it is always easy to find an excuse. The goal of the sanctions is not to resolve some specific problem but to curb Russia’s strategic and geopolitical development. We know that the West is good at finding excuses.

The surge in unprecedented Neanderthal-like Russophobia that has come to life in almost all Western countries whose leaders are vigorously encouraging and cultivating it was something that struck me particularly in the circumstances at hand. I’m aware that there are reasonable people in the EU who understand the danger of inciting this kind of Russophobia. They are issuing reminders to the effect that Europe saw a similar attitude towards a certain ethnicity over 80 years ago and they know how it ended. This obsession with regard to how they see everything Russian, be it culture, art, education, or Russian citizens (as soon as they start speaking their language in many European countries), has taken over almost all European countries. This struck me, because it revealed the Neanderthal entrails of Russophobia. It appears to have been brewing for a long time now. It’s impossible to bring to life a sentiment like that in just one day. So it was carefully hidden. We will make corresponding conclusions.

Isolation doesn’t exist and is brought up exclusively by those who, mentally and ideologically, have resigned themselves to the inevitability of a Western dictatorship on the global stage. This dictatorship is supported primarily by the West itself which is loath to lose its positions. The West has been the world’s dominant player for over 500 years now. A different era – the forming of a multipolar international order – is now here. The global economic development hubs pursuing a nationally oriented policy have risen, and they do not want to accept the impersonal neoliberal values ​​imposed by the West on the world. They want to be grounded in their history, traditions and values, including religious values. By and large, they are common to all world religions.

Russia has many partners in the Asia-Pacific region, Asia, Africa and Latin America. We have good relations with the vast majority of organisations created by the developing countries, including the African Union, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and many others. As you are aware, organisations with the participation of the Russian Federation have been created and are successfully functioning in Eurasia which is a critically important, strategically developing region: the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. In cooperation with ASEAN, these organisations are vigorously promoting interaction among them and developing a network of cooperation projects in conjunction with China’s Belt and Road Initiative, among others. We are building the Greater Eurasian Partnership. Our relations with China are at their all-time best. Russia has a particularly privileged strategic partnership with India. We have ties with the majority of the Middle Eastern, Latin American and African countries.

The West is trying to showcase the so-called “isolation” in which the Russian Federation allegedly found itself by presenting the mathematical results of the UN vote. We are aware of how they get these results and the kind of shameless blackmail the developing countries are subjected to, and personal threats against the representatives of these countries at the UN or other organisations. For us, this means only one thing: the United States and the Western countries that are playing along with this crude and undisguised blackmail are themselves afraid of being isolated. If they are that confident in their ideals and values that can win their way to the hearts and minds of all people around the world, then let them state their position and allow the countries to make a choice. These countries are aware of the position adopted by the West, Russia, China and other major global players. Let them choose freely without any pressure.

During his recent visit to Europe, US President Joseph Biden said that we were entering an era of long confrontation between democracy and autocracy. Look at how the modern West is functioning, look at the countries that have declared themselves a model of democracy. The United States has subdued the entire Europe. It is leading not only NATO but actually also the EU, using its infrastructure and potential for strengthening US military and political positions in the Old World. As for democracies and autocracies, this “community of democracies” represented by the US, NATO and the EU has become an integral whole (under US command). It is an overt autocracy if not a dictatorship as regards other members of the international community.

Our Western colleagues have urged us and other countries for many years to ensure the supremacy of law and democracy in the US interpretation. But whenever we suggested discussing democracy in the world arena, they were against it – there can be no democracy in the world arena. The Westerners have even cancelled the very term “international law” that implied respect for the principles of the UN Charter, primarily, the principle of the sovereign equality of states. Our Western colleagues did not give a damn (excuse me for this expression) about the sovereign equality of states or international law, generally speaking. They no longer use the latter term. They are saying now that all countries must follow the laws of a rules-based order. The rules mean only one thing – they are established by the West. Everyone else must obey. This is a typical example of autocracy and dictatorship that uses an ultimatum.

We don’t feel isolated. Isolation is the lot of those who couldn’t imagine their life without so-called “Western values” and without the welcoming embrace or at least a more or less warm reception in the West. Meanwhile, there are much more important things in life. They are a loadstar for the overwhelming majority of states and civilisations on this planet.

It is necessary to respect each other rather than impose one’s pseudo values in an aggressive manner. These have only existed for a short time. They appeared with the development of neo-liberalism and are used to discontinue millennia-old cultures and civilisations. This path is a dead-end. These attempts will continue for a while, but they are doomed in the historical perspective. Strategically, this policy will find itself in complete isolation.

Question: I know Russia now has more important things to worry about, but “everyone is out for himself.” Now Serbia has to harmonise its foreign policy. It has not introduced sanctions against Russia. For us Russia is the most important foreign policy partner when it comes to upholding our sovereignty in international organisations. How do you visualise Serbia’s possible political prevarication between the two geopolitical poles, and does this phenomenon have time limits?

Sergey Lavrov: It’s not up to us to be responsible for decisions made by Serbia, the Serbian leadership or the Serbian people. We are fraternal nations. We are united by common history and victories against common enemies. We feel how deeply these feelings are rooted in the soul of the Serbian people, in their historical memory. And now we are seeing this. We never impose anything by force. The West is trying to impose on Serbia its own policy and interests by force of economic pressure, threats, blackmail and ultimatums. It is telling Serbia that it must oppose Russia if it wants to join the EU. This is unseemly. This is not how one should behave in society, at home, with friends or in the world arena. This is an example of their policy of arm-twisting. President Aleksandar Vucic has mentioned this more than once. He said honestly that Serbia is a small country but it has its own pride and its own interests. Attempts are being made now to simply forget these interests and turn you into an instrument of Western policy. This is what happened with North Macedonia and Montenegro. This is what the West is now trying to do with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We have deep respect for the Serbian people, its commitment to its traditions, history and its historical friends. I am convinced that the Serbian people will continue making wise decisions in any situation, based on their fundamental interests.

Question: Is President Vladimir Putin ready to sit down at the negotiating table with President Vladimir Zelensky?

Sergey Lavrov: President of Russia Vladimir Putin has commented on this topic many times. He raised this subject yet again not that long ago when answering questions by his foreign colleagues with whom he maintains regular dialogue, including on the situation in Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin said that he has never refused to meet with President Vladimir Zelensky. It is just that he believes in the importance of making sure that these meetings are well prepared. Considering the current crisis situation in Ukraine, its internal conflict which has been building up over all these years and the multiple challenges, simply arranging a meeting to discuss what one thinks and what the other thinks does not cut it. In fact, it would be counterproductive. When Ukraine suggested talks after we launched our special military operation, we agreed. These talks carried on and are ongoing. They will resume today or tomorrow in person in Istanbul after a series of videoconferences. The outcome we seek must deliver on our principled objective of stopping the killing of civilians in Donbass which has been going on for eight long years. The Western community has remained silent despite all its progressivism and has not issued even a single comment to condemn what was going on, even though everyone saw the shelling of civilian infrastructure in Donbass: hospitals, kindergartens, clinics and residential housing. Civilians were dying by the thousands. Still, the “enlightened” West remained silent. All it did was call for fulfilling the Minsk agreements. When Kiev refused, the West started saying that it was up to Russia to fulfil them. This is sheer mockery in terms of common sense, international law, human rights, you name it.

When negotiating with Ukraine, it is our duty to ensure that the people of Donbass never suffer from the Kiev regime again, while the West and NATO stop their military build-up in Ukraine, which creates physical, military threats to the Russian Federation. Ukraine must cease being subject to a constant militarisation effort and attempts to deploy strike capabilities there to threaten the Russian Federation. Ukraine must also stop encouraging neo-Nazi ideology and practices.

This has happened before, and we know these examples. In fact, they are rooted in Ukrainian law. Let me mention the discriminatory laws which run counter to the Ukrainian Constitution and all international commitments. These laws prohibit the Russian language in education and the media. Ukraine has recently adopted laws banning the Russian language from everyday life. Demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine constitute an indispensable component of the agreements we are seeking to conclude. I hope that Ukraine understands that the developments which have been running rampant there since the country’s independence are extremely toxic. This includes honouring the memory of Shukhevich and Bandera, who were Nazi criminals. The “decommunisation” drive includes demolishing monuments to the great people who liberated Ukraine from the Nazis. Western instructors helped train “nationalist” battalions whose members not only wore Nazi symbols but practiced Nazi methods of war. Seeing how Ukrainian Nazis from the Azov and Aidar battalions treat Russian prisoners of war should have dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s for you. We will need to arrange this meeting once a solution regarding all these key matters comes into reach.

For many years, we sought to raise awareness on these issues. The West remained impervious to our efforts, but they have heard us now. This is already something. What matters the most right now is to stop indulging the Ukrainians who want to use talks and solutions as a smokescreen. They have succeeded in this posture when they derailed the Minsk agreements immediately after signing them in February 2015. In the end, they said that they refused to fulfil them. We know how good they are at pretending to be involved. This time, they will not get away with it. We need to make sure that the talks yield results, and once they do, the Presidents will formalise them.

Question: I have a question about mercenaries in Ukraine. It is a hot subject in Russia, and it is being discussed around the world as well. Hundreds of people from Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina fought on the side of the Islamists in Syria. However, the West did not criticise Pristina or Sarajevo. These people are now willing to fight in Ukraine, and there are also Croatian volunteers there. The Kosovo Albanian authorities and Pristina have supported Kiev. We would like you to comment on this.

Sergey Lavrov: We were among those who for years warned our Western partners about the recruiters of the Islamic State and other terrorist groups working in several Balkan countries. We warned them about the consequences of such connivance for Europe. Statistics show that Pristina is holding the per capita anti-record by the number of militants fighting in Syria and Iraq. But nobody wanted to hear about that. Later our Western colleagues wondered where the cutthroats who staged terrorist attacks and massacres in European cities had come from. Mercenaries will not remain in Ukraine after their inglorious mission ends there. It is perfectly clear that they will move on to European cities, where they will continue their so-called work. You may know that participation in hostilities in foreign states is a punishable offence in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Kosovo Province. Some of those who fought in Syria and Iraq have even been punished upon their return home. But today Europe is acting differently. The policy of double standards has taken priority when it comes to Ukraine. The West has banked on it to contain Russia. It would use any means to achieve this end.

We don’t see any reaction to this. We have been trying to draw the attention of our Western partners and colleagues from other countries and parts of the world to the Ukrainian embassies’ activities to recruit mercenaries for Ukraine on their websites, which is a blatant violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and is discrediting the status of a diplomatic office. Some of these mercenaries have made statements on the social media and have appeared on several television networks. It is obvious that they are not volunteers. They are fighting for money. Therefore, they do not have the right to the status of combatant or prisoner of war under international humanitarian law. They are not entitled to protection.

As for Pristina’s support for Kiev, the matter is clear. Kosovo, which is a criminal self-proclaimed quasi-state, does not care for international law. It only wants to take advantage of the situation to win recognition for its pseudo-independence and is posing as just about the main ally of the United States and NATO in the Balkans.

Our attitude to this is well known. We warned about the inadmissibility of pandering to Pristina’s unacceptable actions, and we have always called for settling the Kosovo issue in strict compliance with UN Security Resolution 1244. When the UN General Assembly gave the European Union the mandate to facilitate dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade in 2010, this raised our hopes. In 2013, the EU convinced Pristina and Belgrade to sign an agreement on the Community of Serb Municipalities in Kosovo. It guaranteed the Serbs’ language and cultural rights, as well as their rights in local governments and their special relations with Serbia. However, the Community has not been established. When we remind our Western colleagues about this, they are embarrassed and say that “the matter is still on the table” and that efforts should continue to be taken to implement the decision. I believe that the EU has discredited itself as the guarantor of any agreements.

In February 2014, the EU guaranteed the agreement on a settlement in Ukraine between President Viktor Yanukovych and the opposition. When the opposition overturned the agreements the following morning, the EU said nothing and only cited certain democratic processes.

In 2015, France and Germany signed, together with us, a document that is known now as the Minsk agreements. During the subsequent years, Kiev did nothing to implement that document. It said openly that it would not do it.

[Prime Minister of Kosovo] Albin Kurti has said that he would not implement the agreements on the Community of Serb Municipalities in Kosovo.

The EU, which guaranteed the implementation of all of the above documents, has failed completely. I am sure that it will not do anything to force Pristina to implement the documents co-signed by Europe. The EU and the United States will not place any pressure on Pristina on the issue of mercenaries. The United States is feeling just fine. It used the situation to establish Camp Bondsteel, the largest military base in the Balkans. Pristina has not questioned the need to keep that base and has instead indicated its interest in keeping it. I believe that Pristina will be forgiven for anything it does and will be allowed to do anything it wants.

Question: The ultimate goal of your special operation is not quite clear. Originally it was stated as denazification and protection of the people of Donbass. Today, it seems, at least from abroad, that this is not the only goal being pursued by Russia. Many Russians cannot say what these goals are. Some of them are unable to agree with the rationale for this conflict.

Sergey Lavrov: Each person has the right to choose and define his or her position with regard to some or other events that take place in their own country or in other states.

As for our aims, they are certainly about removing the threats that over these long eight years have caused thousands of deaths and the destruction of civilian facilities in Ukraine – schools, hospitals, plants, factories, etc. This is what the Ukrainian regime has been doing against the population of Donbass with the West’s tacit approval. If today the West is suddenly concerned about the need to respect international humanitarian law and save people’s lives, I will only welcome it, but they should act in such a way as to see the causes and roots of the situation we are facing now.

The root cause of the matter is that an effort was launched to transform Ukraine into an anti-Russia immediately after its independence, its withdrawal from the USSR. You can see it for yourself if you look at the Kiev regime’s lawmaking: its laws in effect ban the use of the Russian language and encourage the development of openly Nazi organisations.

The Nazi ideology and practices have deep roots in Ukrainian society. Officers from the “national volunteer battalions” have permeated Ukraine’s army and armed forces; they publicly preach Nazi ideas, calling on others to follow the behests of Adolf Eichmann, a person notorious for his role in Europe during the Nazi rule.   Even their symbols and tattoos reproduce the swastikas and emblems of the Nazi SS battalions.  If we want to abide by the European values, I do not think they can include this sort of ideology and practices. Europe must put an end to this, if it does not want to find itself once again in a situation where it will be inundated by this “wave,” be it brown or of any other colour that the neo-Nazis favour.

The whole thing is much more serious than just solving a single problem.  Russia cannot accept NATO’s plan to turn Ukraine into its outpost chock-full of offensive arms aimed at our territory. We cannot accept the West’s effort to encourage the eradication of all things Russian in Ukraine (language, culture, etc.). Where were our Western colleagues when Kiev banned the Russian media, TV channels, and not only printed matter but also books published in Russia? They shut down three Russian-language TV channels owned by Ukrainian citizens.

You have mentioned the fact that some Russian citizens cannot accept what is happening today and express their concern. But others – journalists, cultural figures, artists, and athletes – do not voice anything and just do their job. Ukraine puts hundreds of them on sanctions lists.  Yesterday, the Ukrainian regime blacklisted another 46 Russian cultural figures, artists, athletes and journalists. And everyone believes that this is normal. Being Russian in Europe today means running a tremendous risk of violence. There have already been such cases.

Our task is to ensure long-term security in Europe. This cannot be done without cutting off attempts to draw Ukraine into NATO, or without agreeing on security guarantees that will take into account the interests of Russia, Ukraine and European countries. We were confident of this when we tried (unfortunately, to no avail) to start a serious conversation with the United States and NATO in 2021 about providing security guarantees, including for Ukraine, without expanding the North Atlantic Alliance. Nobody would listen.

We have heard repeated promises that NATO would not continue to expand. For example, when it came to the unification of Germany, then the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist. They just lied to our face. When we reminded them about those promises, they said they had never made any. Later on, when we presented proof, they said, well, there might have been some verbal agreement – meaning they just said things to “calm us down,” because they had more important concerns – to ensure that the Soviet Union would “shut down” without any “consequences” for Europe.

When they decided everything had “calmed down,” it was time to get moving. Now they are saying we “should not be afraid” because “NATO is a defensive alliance.” So it was when it was created. But they continued to explain, “NATO is protecting its territory.” We knew where their territory was when there was the Berlin Wall – both concrete and imaginary – between the North Atlantic Alliance and the Warsaw Pact. But when the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union ceased to exist, NATO suddenly thought it wanted to “protect the territory” further east. Then it moved a little more to the east, and so on. What kind of defensive alliance is it that draws its own line of defence? Moreover, it keeps adding countries that no one was ever going to attack – actually, no one had ever even thought of threatening these countries.

Jens Stoltenberg (the Norwegian Central Bank is unlikely to have him back any time soon, as the Alliance has extended his term) declares that NATO should take responsibility for global security. This is where the line of defence is, and where democracy turns into autocracy and dictatorship. He says the alliance needs to increase its role in the vast Indo-Pacific region – that’s what they call the Asia-Pacific region, a direct allusion to the South China Sea. This is where their line of defence will be now.

We want NATO to return to sanity. We have reason to believe that Russia’s most serious concerns, having to do with our fundamental, legitimate interests, have finally been heard. They begin to understand now. If this is so, they will try to influence the Kiev regime, which listens to them, and in fact does everything the West tells them to. I hope that the Ukrainian negotiators will show a constructive approach, and at some stage, we will be able to achieve the desired result.

My colleague, UK Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss has actually confirmed with fantastic, amazing, naive frankness that those negotiators, like the Kiev regime itself, are not acting independently. She actually said they were assisting the Ukrainians in working out their negotiating position. Indeed, who knows the situation in our common region better than London? She went on to say they needed to continue to use the “hard lever” on Russia and “to double down on sanctions.” And when negotiations begin, the UK should be the country that will provide the necessary solutions. An amazing “revelation.” No need to comment.

I can see there are chances to reach an agreement. There is an understanding of the grossest mistakes our Western partners have been making for years. Although, for obvious reasons, they would hardly say this out loud.

Question: What do you think, wouldn’t Belgrade be a perfect place for the negotiations?

Sergey Lavrov: I believe Belgrade is a great city in terms of its position and status. It is quite suitable for talks at any level.

The venue for the negotiations must be acceptable to both teams. Three rounds of in-person talks were held in Belarus, followed by a break due to technical reasons. It was difficult to meet directly; therefore, we held several videoconferences. Now we have agreed to meet in Istanbul. It is a point on the map where both parties were able to arrive. We are ready to consider other locations, including Belgrade.

Question: These days Serbian people remember NATO bombings and many say that the reasoning President Vladimir Putin used to “attack” Ukraine is identical to the reasoning the alliance used in its aggression against Yugoslavia. What is your response to these claims?

Sergey Lavrov: Our Western colleagues are known for twisting facts without batting an eye or as much as a blush. They always want to justify their stance and demands by distorting the real picture.

We have already spoken about the February 2014 coup in Ukraine, when the settlement guarantees provided by the EU were trampled to pieces. The neo-Nazis who came to power immediately afterwards demanded revoking the status of the Russian language in Ukraine, getting out of Crimea, and sent combat units to Crimea to storm the Supreme Council. Only then did the Crimean people revolt against such attacks and held a referendum. Now, reviewing that period, the West starts its story not with the failure of the European Union, whose signature, apparently, meant nothing to the opposition that staged the coup, and not with the attacks on the Russian language and Russians committed by the putschists that came to power. The West begins the timeline of those events with what it calls an “annexation” of Crimea. The truth is it was not an annexation but a free expression of will that took place as a result of the coup staged with the support from the West. However, the West has crossed out those several weeks leading up to the referendum in Crimea, from history. They say Crimea was “annexed,” hence the sanctions, when in fact, they wanted to punish Russia for their own failures and inability to keep their promises.

For them, the timeline of everything that is happening in Ukraine right now begins on February 24, 2022, when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the beginning of a special military operation. The years of abuse targeting Russians, the Russian language and culture in Ukraine, ignoring Russia’s appeals to NATO and the United States about the fact that further “exploration” of the territories bordering the Russian Federation is unacceptable, direct calls to prevent Ukraine’s accession to NATO and to stop pumping Ukraine with weapons, building naval bases and, as it now turns out, biological warfare laboratories – nobody is talking about that. They claim that Russia started the operation against the Ukrainian state for no reason at all. What about the fact that the Ukrainian state could not care less about the Minsk agreements for eight years, bombing cities, towns and killing civilians? All this is now behind the line from which the West now marks off its angry and principled positioning.

I heard that President Vladimir Zelensky gave an interview to several Russian media outlets and, when asked about the biological warfare labs, he said it was all a lie and they did not exist. If the West is ready to buy into this kind of commentaries it means that our own experience with the modern Western politics will only be reaffirmed. There are multiple pages of documents that we submitted to the UN Security Council and President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky claims they are a lie.

To be continued…

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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Here comes China (and they don’t stop!)

March 19, 2022

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By Amarynth collaborating with Godfree Roberts’ Newsletter, Here Comes China

Biden / Xi Summit.

In perfect Chinese diplomatic terms, it looks like business as usual. Taken outside of the perfect diplomatic terms, it is a true spanking.

Let’s take one paragraph only and remember a few things first:

Washington, as usual, threatened and danced something like the haka and warned Xi not to support Russia in any way or the consequences would be dire for China. Washington threatened with equally applied sanctions and other dire unmentionables.  Apparently, Washington can support who it wants, but China is in some form prohibited from exactly that.  Hypocritically they want it both ways.  That era is over.

A few hours before the ‘summit’, China had a perfectly normal sail-by through the Taiwan Straits of their aircraft carrier Shandong.  Yes, this is ‘likely routine’ says their spox.  Sure, it was highly likely just routine.  It must have been a wonderful day for the Shandong to take a little sail through the Taiwan Straits.

A few hours before the ‘summit’ Global times had an interview with an unnamed official.  (Is China playing the US game here by not naming the official?).  This is the take-away:  “The international community can fairly judge who is frank and open and who is up to something, who is easing the situation and who is aggravating tension, who is promoting peace talks and who is pouring fuel on the fire, and who is maintaining peace and stability and who is provoking confrontations between blocs.”

Xi Jinping made a pre-summit statement: Countries should not come to the point of meeting on the battlefield. Conflict and confrontation are not in anyone’s interest. Peace and security are what the international community should treasure the most.

So, this is the milieu that Biden walked into at the online summit.  We must know by now what this is all about.  None of the boring line-up of US representatives could bend China to their will to support sanctions against Russia, so, time for a Presidential Summit to yet again attempt to split China and Russia.  This is how perfectly ridiculous this attempt is:  Can you help me fight your friend so that I can concentrate on fighting you later?

Here is how it went:

President Biden expounded on the US position and expressed readiness for communication with China to prevent the situation from exacerbating.

Simply said:  How can we make a deal so that the US/Nato alliance remains a unipolar world and all others must be subservient.

President Xi pointed out that China does not want to see the situation in Ukraine to come to this. China stands for peace and opposes war. This is embedded in China’s history and culture.

Simply said:  Hey Biden, mistake number one!  You do not know who you are talking to, but now I’m going to tell you

  • China makes a conclusion independently based on the merits of each matter.
  • China advocates upholding international law and universally recognized norms governing international relations.
  • China adheres to the UN Charter and promotes the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. These are the major principles that underpin China’s approach to the Ukraine crisis.
  • China has put forward a six-point initiative on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, and is ready to provide further humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and other affected countries.
  • All sides need to jointly support Russia and Ukraine in having dialogue and negotiation that will produce results and lead to peace.

Simply stated:  This is the crux of the matter and seemingly you are unable to grasp it!

  • The US and NATO should also have dialogue with Russia to address the crux of the Ukraine crisis and ease the security concerns of both Russia and Ukraine.

Message:  Go away and take your position and money with you!  You had your opportunity and you became a warmaker, coercing others to your will.  Enough is enough!  We have principles, law and morals and ethical standards.  You hold on to ‘positions’ favorable to you only.

China is active in the EU as well and the discussion does not remain dry and diplomatically correct. 

China is playing into its strengths, saying what is correct in terms of its own national interest and it happens to co-incide with that of the non-insane world.   The spokespeople are highly educated, clear, exceptionally well-spoken, and smart.   They also mercilessly dig in the knife when opportunity shows.  In a recent press conference:

CCTV: US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said that the US is concerned about Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure which caused civilian casualties. However, China has yet to state its position explicitly. How does the foreign ministry view such criticism from other countries on China?

Zhao Lijian: Human lives are precious. Civilian casualties under all circumstances are heart-rending and lamentable. China has all along called for every effort to avoid civilian casualties. We still remember that in March 1999, the US-led NATO, without the Security Council’s mandate, flagrantly unleashed a ruthless bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for 78 days, killing at least 2,500 innocent civilians and injuring around 10,000 people, most of them civilians. Over the past two decades or so, the US conducted tens of thousands of air strikes in places like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. The number of innocent civilians killed can be anywhere between 22,000 and 48,000. When professing its concern for the welfare of the Ukrainian people, shouldn’t the US first express concern over the civilian casualties caused by all these military operations?

I particularly enjoyed this vignette:

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that any support to Russia, military or any other type of support, would actually help Russia conduct a brutal war against an independent sovereign nation, Ukraine, and help them to continue to wage war which is causing death, suffering and an enormous amount of destruction.

This was the comment of the Chinese spokesperson:

Chinese people can fully relate to the pains and sufferings of other countries because we will never forget who bombed our embassy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.  China does not need a lecture on justice from the abuser of international law. As a Cold War remnant and the world’s largest military alliance, NATO continues to expand its geographical scope and range of operations. What kind of role has it played in world peace and stability? NATO needs to have a good reflection.

Currency

Against this backdrop, the news filtered out about The Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and China designing a new monetary and financial system bypassing the U.S. dollar, supervised by Sergei Glazyev and intended to compete with the Bretton Woods system which is now less than 50% of the currency flow in the world.  While news is still very scarce on this front, it fulfilled the purpose of telling Biden once again to go away if US/NATO cannot be a serious contender to building a peaceful and prosperous world.

Godfree Roberts, in his last newsletter, did an overview of the major historical milestones.  I am not sure if the concept of a special drawing rights fiat currency revaluated regularly against a basket of currencies will be the way this rolls out.  Stand by!  Much more incoming!  We will see.

DOLLAR’S END – Farewell, Inordinate Privilege

  • Credit Suisse analyst Zoltan Pozsar says Ukraine triggered a perfect storm in commodities that could weaken the Eurodollar system, contribute to inflation in Western economies, and threaten their financial stability. Pozsar said China’s central bank is uniquely placed to backstop such crisis, paving the way for a much stronger yuan. Reuters, Mar. 13, 2022.
  • Saudi Arabia Considers Accepting Yuan Instead of Dollars for Chinese Oil Sales: Talks between Riyadh and Beijing have accelerated as the Saudi unhappiness grows with Washington. WSJ, Mar. 14, 2022

–o0o–

In 2009, after helping to rescue the US from the GFC, Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor of the Peoples Bank of China, said, “The world needs an international reserve currency that is disconnected from individual nations and able to remain stable in the long run, removing the inherent deficiencies caused by using credit-based national currencies.”

After helping rescue America from the GFC, PBOC Governor Zhou Xiaochuan observed, “The world needs an international reserve currency that is disconnected from individual nations and able to remain stable in the long run, removing the inherent deficiencies caused by using credit-based national currencies.”

Zhou proposed SDRs, Special Drawing Rights, a synthetic reserve currency dynamically revalued against a basket of trading currencies and commodities. Broad, deep, stable, and impossible to manipulate. Nobelists Fred Bergsten, Robert Mundell, and Joseph Stieglitz approved: “The creation of a global currency would restore a needed coherence to the international monetary system, give the IMF a function that would help it to promote stability and be a catalyst for international harmony”.  Here’s what’s happened since:

2012: Beijing began valuing the yuan against a currency/commodity basket

2014: The IMF issued the first SDR loan

2016: The World Bank issued the first SDR bond

2017: Standard Chartered Bank issued the first commercial SDR notes.

2019: All central banks began stating currency reserves in SDRs

Mar. 14, 2022: “In two weeks, China and the Eurasian Economic Union – Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan – will reveal an independent international monetary and financial system. It will be based on a new international currency, calculated from an index of national currencies of the participating countries and international commodity prices”.

The currency resembles Keynes’ invention Special Drawing Rights.SDRs are a  synthetic currency which derives its value from a global, publicly traded basket of currencies and commodities. Immense beyond imaging, and stable as the Pyramids. Everyone gets a seat at the table and a vote. It may eventually be administered by an arm of the UN.

SDRs pose a serious alternative to the US dollar, both for the EAEU, the BRI’s 145 member states, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), ASEAN, and the RCEP. Middle East countries, including Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, are keenly interested.

Less well known is that the EAEU, the BRI, the SCO, ASEAN, and the RCEP were discussing a merger before the currency news hit.

It is reasonable to expect them to join this new, cooperatively managed, stable reserve currency regime in which they can settle their trades in stable, neutral, predictable SDRs.

Biological labs

China is not losing any opportunity to bring this front and center.  This is their last list of questions:

  • If the concerns are “disinformation”, why doesn’t the U.S. release detailed materials to prove its innocence? – Question by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian on U.S.-funded biolabs in Ukraine.
  • What did the U.S. spend the $200 million on? – Question by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian on U.S.-funded biolabs in Ukraine.
  • What kind of research has the U.S. conducted on which pathogens? – Question by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian on U.S.-funded biolabs in Ukraine.
  • What is it trying to hide when the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine deleted all relevant documents on its website? – Question by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian on U.S.-funded biolabs in Ukraine.
  • Why does the U.S. insist on being the only country in the world to oppose the establishment of a multilateral verification mechanism though it claims to abide by the Biological Weapons Convention? – Question by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian on U.S.-funded biolabs in Ukraine.
  • This is quite an amazing poster detailing the biolab web, which is too large to load here.  But take a look at the depiction of these US biolabs.  https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202203/1255055.shtml

Economic goals in a nutshell

What is happening with Belt and Road?  About the data: On January 21, 2022, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) released its data for “China’s investments and cooperation in countries along the Belt and Road” covering the period of January to December 2021. According to these data, Chinese enterprises invested about US$20.3 billion in non-financial direct investments in countries “along the Belt and Road”. Furthermore, there were 560 newly signed projects with a contract value of over US$100 million. The MOFCOM data focus on 55 countries that are “along the Belt and Road” – meaning on a corridor from China to Europe including South Asia. For this report, the definition of BRI countries includes 142 countries that had signed a cooperation agreement with China to work under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative by the end of 2021. To analyze investments in these countries, we base our data on the China Global Investment Tracker and our own data research at the Green Finance & Development Center affiliated with Fudan University, Shanghai. As with most data, they tend to be imperfect.

Chinese joke

On a somewhat of a lighter note:  The Chinese Netizens are in the majority siding with Russia so completely and so enthusiastically, that China’s WeChat and Douyin had to crack down on vulgar jokes and netizens were told in no uncertain terms that they cannot make fun of international news events.  The very high support for Russia is becoming a clear talking point despite the somewhat muted and correct Chinese diplomatic statements.

So, here is a joke for you.

Bear and Dragon take a walk in the gardens.  Bear is a little overcome with his serious responsibilities in the world and presents emotionally somewhat tired and despondent.  As the walk proceeds, Dragon says to Bear .. Out with it!  What has you so despondent?  Bear thinks a moment and says:  We’ve been friends for a long time.  So, if I need a very large amount of money very quickly, will you give it to me?

Dragon, known for taking time to ponder the imponderables, walks on for a while and then comes to a firm stop.  NO, says Dragon, I will not give it to you!

Bear’s shoulders fall .. but Dragon continues:  I will lend it to you.  1.5 trillion the moment you ask for it, no interest, no repayment terms, pay me back when you can.

صربيا رأس جبل الجليد الأوروبيّ

الجمعة 18 آذار 2022

ناصر قنديل

لا تزال بالنسبة للرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين، حسرة تفكك الاتحاد السوفياتي كتعبير عن اللحظة السوداء التي تغير فيها وجه العالم نحو السطوة الأميركية المهينة، كمقدمة لمشروع إخضاع روسيا وتفكيكها، ولا يزال النظر لنهاية الحرب الباردة من طرف واحد هو روسيا يقابله اعلان استمرارها من الطرف المقابل وهو أميركا، سعياً لإذلال روسيا وتفتيتها، لكن كلمة السر في المقاربتين الروسية والأميركية لا تزال اسمها بلغراد، التي كانت عاصمة يوغوسلافيا قبل تفتيتها، وهي عاصمة صربيا اليوم.

ينظر الروس للحرب على بلادهم كمحاولة عنصرية لإضعاف وتشتيت السلافيين واجتثاث تأثيرهم في رسم المشهد الأوروبي، والسلاف أو الصقالبة هم أكبر مجموعة عرقية لغوية في أوروبا ينتشرون في روسيا وبيلاروسيا وأوكرانيا وبلغاريا وبولندا ومقدونيا، ويدين أغلبهم بالمسيحية الأرثوذكسية التابعة للكنيسة الروسية، ولذلك يعتبرون، وفي مقدّمتهم يعتبر الرئيس بوتين، أن حرب تقسيم وتدمير يوغوسلافيا في عام 1992، التي تأخذ اسمها من السلافية، كانت حرباً مدبّرة أعطيت طابعاً عرقياً ودفع بها لتتحول الى مدخل لفرض مشروع تفكيك وحدة يوغوسلافيا، وإخضاع صربيا التي بقيت اكبر تجمع سلافي بقي من يوغوسلافيا بعد تفكيكها، ويجري النظر لمساعي الحكم المؤيد للغرب في أوكرانيا بشق الكنيسة الأرثوذكسية، وتأسيس بديل للكنيسة الروسية من جهة، ولمحاصرة السلافيين ذوي الأصول الروسية في شرق وجنوب أوكرانيا، كترجمة للحلقة الثانية من الحرب.

يقرأ الأميركيون والروس في كتاب صربيا علامات النجاح والفشل، وقد يكون من المبكر الحديث عن تغيير وشيك في وضعية صربيا السياسية تجاه وقائع حرب أوكرانيا وتداعياتها، لكن النجاح الأميركي في ادارة الحرب سيترجم مزيداً من الالتحاق المهين لصربيا بالمركز الأوروبي سعياً لاتقاء المزيد من الخسائر، والنجاح الروسي في إدارة الحرب سيعني ظهور صوت صربيا أعلى فأعلى، في انتقاد السياسات الأوروبية، ورفض الالتحاق بركب التبعية الأوروبية لأميركا.

ما صدر عن وزارة الخارجية الصربية على لسان كبير مستشاري الوزارة والناطقين باسمها فلاديمير كلشليانين بداية الغيث السلافي في أوروبا لنصرة النهوض الروسي، فالقول “إن الغرب ومن خلال تصرفاته يساعد في تشكيل نظام عالمي جديد دون هيمنته”، وإن “​الناتو​ يعرف أنه لا يستطيع هزيمة ​روسيا​، وإن عالماً جديداً قد ظهر بالفعل، بقيادة روسيا والصين، وبداية من صربيا”، كذلك الإشارة إلى أن “النظام الجديد سيكون خاليًا من الفاشية والإرهاب و”الثورات الملونة” التي يدعمها الناتو بانتظام وبشكل دوريّ”، وأن “​أوكرانيا​ سقطت ضحية للناتو، تماماً مثل يوغوسلافيا. وبالنفاق  نفسه المتوقع الذي لا حدود له”، كلمات لا يمكن أن تمرّ دون تدقيق ودراسة وتحليل في كل من موسكو واشنطن.

من الآن وصاعداً ستتم مراقبة المشهد في قلب أوروبا، حيث صربيا على حدود رومانيا والمجر وبلغاريا، الدول المعنية بالحرب. ومن بين هذه الدول تقف المجر موقفاً متوازناً من الحرب ومن سياسات حلف الناتو ضد روسيا، وسيدفع موقف صربيا لبدء تشكل ثنائي أوروبي جديد، ومع تحوّل مشروع حياد أوكرانيا الى خيار وحيد للحل، سيفتح التفاوض حوله الطريق لدعوات تعميمه نحو دول أخرى، وكأن مساراً معاكساً لما شهدته أوروبا الشرقية بعد العام 1990 وتفكك الاتحاد السوفياتي، يوشك أن يبدأ، وليست صربيا فيه إلا رأس جبل الجليد.

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بوتين يسأل: لماذا العجلة؟.. فالوقت معنا!

 ناصر قنديل

هي ليست حرب أوكرانيا بل حرب أوروبا، فالصراع الروسي الأميركي يدور حول موقع أوروبا في الخريطة العالمية الجديدة، ومن غير المعقول أن تكون روسيا على أبواب إعلان آسيا خالية من الوجود الأميركي بينما أميركا تمسك بكل أوروبا في قبضتها، والحرب على أوروبا كانت حرباً من طرف واحد خاضها الأميركيون طوال ثلاثين عاماً، فتقدموا الى الحدود الروسية بلا تردد، سمحوا بولادة الاتحاد الأوروبي من بوابة حرب يوغوسلافيا، فالاتحاد الذي منعوا قيامه في أيام وجود الاتحاد السوفياتي منذ عام 1964 كي لا يتحول إلى قوة مستقلة، أفرجوا عنه بعد تفكك الاتحاد السوفياتي عام 1994 ليكون آلتهم القانونية لوراثته واستقطاب الدول الأوروبية الشرقية كمرحلة تمهيدية لضمها إلى حلف الناتو. والمعادلة بسيطة وهي أن أوروبا الغربية ستتحمل أكلاف الدول الأوروبية الشرقية الفقيرة، وزحف سكانها وأياديهم العاملة الرخيصة نحو الغرب وسلعهم الزراعية المنافسة، والوعد الأميركي لأوروبا هو تطويق روسيا وإلزامها بتأمين تدفق الغاز تحت شروط تفرضها واشنطن، كميات وأسعاراً، بما يتناسب ويتلاقى مع نتائج الزحف الذي بدأ نحو آسيا من قبل أميركا منذ عام 2000 وحربي أفغانستان والعراق لتطويق الصين، ووضع سقف لنموّها الاقتصادي وكميات وأسعار استهلاكها للطاقة، لتعوض أوروبا كل أكلافها على فقراء الاتحاد الأوروبي، وتحكم سيطرتها على الأسواق الآسيوية، دون مزاحمة صينية، ودون تحكم روسي بأسعار ومصادر الطاقة، وعندما لم يعد من أمل لإنعاش حروب أميركا الآسيوية، خصوصاً بعد الفشل في الحرب على سورية التي تحولت الى حرب أميركية روسية مباشرة، وبعد الانسحاب من افغانستان الذي تحول الى خيبة أوروبية كبرى، وصعود إيران التي تحولت الى مأزق أميركي أوروبي مشترك، وضع الأميركيون أوكرانيا كعنوان للحرب التي ستعيد أوروبا الى بيت الطاعة مجدداً، وستتيح جمع الطاقات الأميركية الأوروبية في حرب مشتركة تحت العنوان نفسه، محاصرة روسيا وإضعافها، وصولاً لإملاء الشروط عليها.

الحرب على روسيا لم تتوقف وفقاً لقراءة الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين، فعام 1990 انتهت الحرب الباردة من طرف واحد هو الطرف الروسي بينما بقيت مستمرة من الطرف الأميركي، والهدف تفتيت وحدة روسيا وتحويلها الى أشلاء ممزقة ضعيفة وعاجزة، وفق نظرية قوامها أن روسيا لا بد أن تقوم يوماً ما وتستعيد عافيتها وتعود للبحث عن مستقبل يشبه ماضيها، وطالما لديها الجغرافيا والموارد والسكان والجيش، كعناصر لهذا النهوض فهي خطر على الهيمنة الأميركية على العالم؛ ولذلك خاضت روسيا اختبارات عديدة لرسم سيناريو المواجهة لقطع الطريق على الحلقة الأخيرة من هذه الحرب التي بدأت مؤشراتها بالظهور، من بوابة قيام أوكرانيا بشن حرب لاستعادة دونباس، والبدء بفتح جبهة شبه جزيرة القرم، ولأن روسيا تفهم الشيفرة الأميركية وأميركا تفهم الشيفرة الروسية، لم يكن هناك التباس حول أن أوكرانيا، روسيا الثانية بالنسبة للغرب بحجم مساحتها وسكانها وتاريخها ومواردها وجيشها، هي رأس الحربة، من خارج حلف الناتو، منعاً للتورط في حرب مباشرة. والنظر الى حجم وسرعة الإجراءات المتبادلة التي اتخذتها دول الغرب من جهة وروسيا من جهة أخرى، يبدو واضحاً أن الخطط كانت جاهزة لكل الفرضيات على طرفي الصراع، باعتبار ما يجري آخر الحروب، وأم الحروب، والحرب الفاصلة.

بالنسبة لروسيا كانت كل الاختبارات التي تلت حرب أوكرانيا الأولى عام 2014، محور تجميع ودراسة لرسم السيناريوات والخطط، ولذلك توقفت موسكو عند حدود ضمّ شبه جزيرة القرم وأبقت وضع دونباس معلقاً، خشية أن يشكل نقطة الضعف التي تفجّر الحرب قبل ان تكون مستعدة لكل احتمالاتها، وكانت كلمة السر المفهومة من الطرفين الروسي والغربي، أن إعلان الاعتراف بجمهوريتي دونباس يعني إعلان الحرب، وأهم ما تحققت منه روسيا هو خشية أميركا وأوروبا من المواجهة العسكرية المباشرة وسعيهما لتفاديها، ورهانهما على العقوبات الاقتصادية والمالية المشددة كضربة قاضية تعادل حرباً نووية، لذلك تركزت خطة روسيا على كسب الوقت في احتواء أعلى درجات العقوبات المالية، عبر مراكمة مخزون احتياطي مالي يكفيها لسنتين، لا تطاله العقوبات، وترصد كل محاولة لتخزين احتياطات اوروبية تحرّر أسواق أوروبا من الارتهان للغاز والنفط الروسيين، وضبط أسواق النفط والغاز على حافة التوازن بين العرض والطلب، بحيث يؤدي أي تأزم إلى جنون السوق، بحيث تنتقل معركة تداعيات العقوبات إلى أوروبا، وتتحوّل التداعيات بنتائجها الى مصدر لزيادة العائدات الروسية النقدية السائلة. وإذا سارت هذه الجبهة كما يجب فتصبح إطالة أمد الحرب خطة روسية، لأن موسكو لا تريد تكرار تجربة الأميركيين في العراق، لا لجهة بسط احتلال أجنبي يصبح عرضة لحرب استنزاف، ولا لجهة بناء حكم مؤيد يعجز عن انتزاع ثقة الشعب، والحرب يجب أن تبقى نافذة مواربة مفتوحة لحل سياسي دولي شامل تكون أميركا وأوروبا شريكتين فيه.

يستغرب الروس الحديث عن معيار السرعة لقياس نجاح عمليتهم العسكرية، وينقلون عن الرئيس فلاديمير بوتين قوله، لماذا العجلة؟.. فالوقت معنا!

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Sergey Karaganov: Russia’s new foreign policy, the Putin Doctrine

23 Feb, 2022

Moscow’s confrontation with NATO is just the start

By Professor Sergey Karaganov, honorary chairman of Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, and academic supervisor at the School of International Economics and Foreign Affairs Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow

Sergey Karaganov: Russia’s new foreign policy, the Putin Doctrine
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his address to the nation at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 21, 2022. © AFP / Alexey NIKOLSKY

It seems like Russia has entered a new era of its foreign policy – a ‘constructive destruction’, let’s call it, of the previous model of relations with the West. Parts of this new way of thinking have been seen over the last 15 years – starting with Vladimir Putin’s famous Munich speech in 2007 – but much is only just becoming clear now. At the same time, lackluster efforts to integrate into the western system, while maintaining a doggedly defensive attitude, has remained the general trend in Russia’s politics and rhetoric.

Constructive destruction is not aggressive. Russia maintains it isn’t going to attack anyone or blow them up. It simply doesn’t need to. The outside world provides Russia with more and more geopolitical opportunities for medium-term development as it is. With one big exception. NATO’s expansion and formal or informal inclusion of Ukraine poses a risk to the country’s security that Moscow simply won’t accept.

For now, the West is on course to a slow but inevitable decay, both in terms of internal and external affairs and even the economy. And this is precisely why it has started this new Cold War after almost five hundred years of domination in world politics, the economy, and culture. Especially after its decisive victory in the 1990s to mid-2000s. I believe [1] it will most likely lose, stepping down as the global leader and becoming a more reasonable partner. And not a moment too soon: Russia will need to balance relations with a friendly, but increasingly more powerful China.

Presently, the West desperately tries to defend against this with aggressive rhetoric. It tries to consolidate, playing its last trump cards to reverse this trend. One of those is trying to use Ukraine to damage and neuter Russia. It’s important to prevent these convulsive attempts from transforming into a full-fledged standoff and to counter the current US and NATO policies. They are counterproductive and dangerous, though relatively undemanding for the initiators. We are yet to convince the West that it is only hurting itself.

Another trump card is the West’s dominating role in the existing Euro-Atlantic security system established at a time when Russia was seriously weakened following the Cold War. There’s merit in gradually erasing this system, primarily by refusing to take part in it and play by its obsolete rules, which are inherently disadvantageous to us. For Russia, the western track should become secondary to its Eurasian diplomacy. Maintaining constructive relations with the countries in the western part of the continent may ease the integration into Greater Eurasia for Russia. The old system is in the way, though, and so it should be dismantled.

The critical next step to creating a new system (aside from dismantling the old one) is ‘uniting the lands’. It’s a necessity for Moscow, not a whim. 

It would be nice if we had more time to do this. But history shows that, since the collapse of the USSR 30 years ago, few post-Soviet nations have managed to become truly independent. And some may never even get there, for various reasons. This is a subject for a future analysis. Right now, I can only point out the obvious: Most local elites don’t have the historical or cultural experience of state-building. They’ve never been able to become the core of the nation – they didn’t have enough time for this. When the shared intellectual and cultural space disappeared, it hurt small countries the most. The new opportunities to build ties with the West turned out to be no replacement. Those who have found themselves at the helm of such nations have been selling their country for their own benefit, because there’s been no national idea to fight for.

The majority of those countries will either follow the example of the Baltic states, accepting external control, or continue to spiral out of control, which in some cases may be extremely dangerous.

The question is: How to ‘unite’ the nations in the most efficient and beneficial way for Russia, taking into account the tsarist and Soviet experience, when the sphere of influence was extended beyond any reasonable limits and then kept together at the expense of core Russian peoples?

Let’s leave the discussion about the ‘unification’ that history is forcing on us for another day. This time, let’s focus on the objective need to make a tough decision and adopt the ‘constructive destruction’ policy.

The milestones we passed

Today, we see the inception of the fourth era of Russia’s foreign policy. The first one started in the late 1980s, and it was a time of weakness and delusions. The nation had lost the will to fight, people wanted to believe democracy and the West would come and save them [2]. It all ended in 1999 after the first waves of NATO expansion, seen by Russians as a backstabbing move, when the West tore apart what was left of Yugoslavia.

Then Russia started to get up off its knees and rebuild, stealthily and covertly, while appearing friendly and humbled. The US withdrawing from the ABM Treaty signaled its intention to regain its strategic dominance, so the still broke Russia made a fateful decision to develop weapon systems to challenge American aspirations. The Munich speech, the Georgian War, and the army reform, conducted amid a global economic crisis that spelled the end of the western liberal globalist imperialism (the term coined by a prominent expert on international affairs, Richard Sakwa) marked the new goal for Russian foreign policy – to once again become a leading global power that can defend its sovereignty and interests. This was followed by the events in Crimea, Syria, the military build-up, and blocking the West from interfering in Russia’s domestic affairs, rooting out from the public service those who partnered with the West to the disadvantage of their homeland, including by a masterful use of the West’s reaction to those developments. As the tensions keep growing, looking up to the West and keeping assets there becomes increasingly less lucrative.

China’s incredible rise and becoming de-facto allies with Beijing starting in the 2010s, the pivot to the East, and the multidimensional crisis that enveloped the West led to a great shift in political and geoeconomic balance in favor of Russia. This is especially pronounced in Europe. Only a decade ago, the EU saw Russia as a backward and weak outskirts of the continent trying to contend with major powers. Now, it is desperately trying to cling to the geopolitical and geoeconomic independence that is slipping through its fingers.

The ‘back to greatness’ period ended around 2017 to 2018. After that, Russia hit a plateau. The modernization continued, but the weak economy threatened to negate its achievements. People (myself included) were frustrated, fearing that Russia once again was going to “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.” But that turned out to be another build-up period, primarily in terms of defense capabilities.

Russia has gotten ahead, making sure that for the next decade, it will be relatively invulnerable strategically and capable of “dominating in an escalation scenario” in case of conflicts in the regions within its sphere of interests.

The ultimatum that Russia issued to the US and NATO at the end of 2021, demanding they stop developing military infrastructure near the Russian borders and expansion to the east, marked the start of the ‘constructive destruction’. The goal is not simply to stop the flagging, albeit really dangerous inertia of the West’s geostrategic push, but also to start laying the foundation for a new kind of relations between Russia and the West, different from what we settled on in the 1990s.

Russia’s military capabilities, the returning sense of moral righteousness, lessons learned from past mistakes, and a close alliance with China could mean that the West, which chose the role of an adversary, will start being reasonable, even if not all the time. Then, in a decade or sooner, I hope, a new system of international security and cooperation will be built that will include the whole Greater Eurasia this time, and it will be based on UN principles and international law, not unilateral ‘rules’ that the West has been trying to impose on the world in recent decades.

Correcting mistakes

Before I go any further, let me say that I think very highly of Russian diplomacy – it’s been absolutely brilliant in the past 25 years. Moscow was dealt a weak hand but managed to play a great game nevertheless. First, it didn’t let the West ‘finish it off’. Russia maintained its formal status of a great country, retaining permanent membership in the UN Security Council and keeping nuclear arsenals. Then it gradually improved its global standing by leveraging the weaknesses of its rivals and the strengths of its partners. Building a strong friendship with China has been a major achievement. Russia has some geopolitical advantages that the Soviet Union didn’t have. Unless, of course, it goes back to the aspirations of becoming a global superpower, which eventually ruined the USSR.  

However, we shouldn’t forget the mistakes we’ve made so we don’t repeat them. It was our laziness, weakness, and bureaucratic inertia that helped create and keep afloat the unjust and unstable system of European security that we have today.

The beautifully-worded Charter of Paris for a New Europe that was signed in 1990 had a statement about freedom of association – countries could choose their allies, something that would’ve been impossible under the 1975 Helsinki Declaration. Since the Warsaw Pact was running on fumes at that point, this clause meant that NATO would be free to expand. This is the document everyone keeps referring to, even in Russia. Back in 1990, however, NATO could at least be considered a “defense” organization. The alliance and most of its members have launched a number of aggressive military campaigns since then – against the remnants of Yugoslavia, as well as in Iraq and Libya.  

After a heart-to-heart chat with Lech Walesa in 1993, Boris Yeltsin signed a document where it stated that Russia “understood Poland’s plan to join NATO.” When Andrey Kozyrev, Russia’s foreign minister at the time, learned about NATO’s expansion plans in 1994, he began a bargaining process on Russia’s behalf without consulting the president. The other side took it as a sign that Russia was OK with the general concept, since it was trying to negotiate acceptable terms. In 1995, Moscow stepped on the brakes, but it was too late – the dam burst and swept away any reservations about the West’s expansion efforts. 

In 1997, Russia, being economically weak and completely dependent on the West, signed the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security with NATO. Moscow was able to compel certain concessions from the West, like the pledge not to deploy large military units to the new member states. NATO has been consistently violating this obligation. Another agreement was to keep these territories free of nuclear weapons. The US would not have wanted it anyway, because it had been trying to distance itself from a potential nuclear conflict in Europe as much as possible (despite their allies’ wishes), since it would undoubtedly cause a nuclear strike against America. In reality, the document legitimized NATO’s expansion.  

There were other mistakes – not as major but extremely painful nevertheless. Russia participated in the Partnership for Peace program, the sole purpose of which was to make it look like NATO was prepared to listen to Moscow, but in reality, the alliance was using the project to justify its existence and further expansion. Another frustrating misstep was our involvement in the NATO-Russia Council after the Yugoslavia aggression. The topics discussed at that level desperately lacked substance. They should’ve focused on the truly significant issue – restraining the alliance’s expansion and the buildup of its military infrastructure near the Russian borders. Sadly, this never made it to the agenda. The Council continued to operate even after the majority of NATO members started a war in Iraq and then Libya in 2011.  

READ MORE: Ukraine asks for help and mulls retaliation against Russia: Six key takeaways from Zelensky’s speech

It is very unfortunate that we never got the nerve to openly say it – NATO had become an aggressor that committed numerous war crimes. This would’ve been a sobering truth for various political circles in Europe, like in Finland and Sweden for example, where some are considering the advantages of joining the organization. And all the others for that matter, with their mantra about NATO being a defense and deterrence alliance that needs to be further consolidated so it can stand against imaginary enemies. 

I understand those in the West who are used to the existing system that allows the Americans to buy the obedience of their junior partners, and not just in terms of military support, while these allies can save on security expenses by selling part of their sovereignty. But what do we gain from this system? Especially now that it’s become obvious that it breeds and escalates confrontation at our western borders and in the whole world. 

NATO feeds off forced confrontation, and the longer the organization exists, the worse this confrontation will be. 

The bloc is a threat to its members as well. While provoking confrontation, it doesn’t actually guarantee protection. It is not true that Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty warrants collective defense if one ally is attacked. This article doesn’t say that this is automatically guaranteed. I am familiar with the history of the bloc and the discussions in America regarding its establishment. I know for a fact that the US will never deploy nuclear weapons to “protect” its allies if there is conflict with a nuclear state. 

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is also outdated. It is dominated by NATO and the EU that use the organization to drag out the confrontation and impose the West’s political values and standards on everyone else. Fortunately, this policy is becoming less and less effective. In the mid-2010s I had the chance to work with the OSCE Panel of Eminent Persons (what a name!), which was supposed to develop a new mandate for the organization. And if I had my doubts about the OSCE’s effectiveness before that, this experience convinced me that it is an extremely destructive institution. It’s an antiquated organization with a mission to preserve things that are obsolete. In the 1990s, it served as an instrument of burying any attempt made by Russia or others to create a common European security system; in the 2000s, the so-called Corfu Process bogged down Russia’s new security initiative.

Practically all UN institutions have been squeezed out of the continent, including the UN Economic Commission for Europe, its Human Rights Council and Security Council. Once upon a time, the OSCE was viewed as a useful organization that would promote the UN system and principles in a key subcontinent. That didn’t happen. 

As for NATO, it is very clear what we should do. We need to undermine the bloc’s moral and political legitimacy and refuse any institutional partnership, since its counterproductivity is obvious. Only the military should continue to communicate, but as an auxiliary channel that would supplement dialogue with the DOD and defense ministries of leading European nations. After all, it’s not Brussels that makes strategically important decisions. 

The same policy could be adopted when it comes to the OSCE. Yes, there is a difference, because even though this is a destructive organization, it never initiated any wars, destabilization, or killings. So we need to keep our involvement in this format to a minimum. Some say that this is the only context that provides the Russian foreign minister with a chance to see his counterparts. That is not true. The UN can offer an even better context. Bilateral talks are much more effective anyway, because it is easier for the bloc to hijack the agenda when there is a crowd. Sending observers and peacekeepers through the UN would also make a lot more sense.  

The limited article format does not allow me to dwell on specific policies for each European organization, like the Council of Europe for example. But I would define the general principle this way – we partner where we see benefits for ourselves and keep our distance otherwise. 

Thirty years under the current system of European institutions proved that continuing with it would be detrimental. Russia doesn’t benefit in any way from Europe’s disposition towards breeding and escalating confrontation or even posing military threat to the subcontinent and the whole world. Back in the day, we could dream that Europe would help us bolster security, as well as political and economic modernization. Instead, they are undermining security, so why would we copy the West’s dysfunctional and deteriorating political system? Do we really need these new values that they have adopted? 

We will have to limit the expansion by refusing to cooperate within an eroding system. Hopefully, by taking a firm stand and leaving our civilization neighbors from the West to their own devices, we will actually help them. The elites may return to a less suicidal policy that would be safer for everyone. Of course, we have to be smart about taking ourselves out of the equation and make sure to minimize the collateral damage that the failing system will inevitably cause. But maintaining it in its current form is simply dangerous. 

Policies for tomorrow’s Russia

As the existing global order continues to crumble, it seems that the most prudent course for Russia would be to sit it out for as long as possible – to take cover within the walls of its ‘neo-isolationist fortress’ and deal with domestic matters. But this time, history demands that we take action. Many of my suggestions with respect to the foreign policy approach I have tentatively called ‘constructive destruction’ naturally emerge from the analysis presented above.

There is no need to interfere or to try to influence the internal dynamics of the West, whose elites are desperate enough to start a new cold war against Russia. What we should do instead is use various foreign policy instruments – including military ones – to establish certain red lines. Meanwhile, as the Western system continues to steer towards moral, political, and economic degradation, non-Western powers (with Russia as a major player) will inevitably see their geo-political, geo-economic and geo-ideological positions strengthen. 

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Our Western partners predictably try to squelch Russia’s calls for security guarantees and take advantage of the ongoing diplomatic process in order to extend the lifespan of their own institutions. There is no need to give up dialogue or cooperation in matters of trade, politics, culture, education, and healthcare, whenever it’s useful. But we must also use the time we’ve got to ramp up military-political, psychological, and even military-technical pressure – not so much on Ukraine, whose people have been turned into cannon fodder for a new Cold War – but on the collective West, in order to force it to change its mind and step back from the policies it has pursued for the past several decades. There is nothing to fear about the confrontation escalating: We saw tensions grow even as Russia was trying to appease the Western world. What we should do is prepare for a stronger pushback from the West; also, Russia should be able to offer the world a long-term alternative – a new political framework based on peace and cooperation.

The West can try to intimidate us with devastating sanctions – but we are also capable of deterring the West with our own threat of an asymmetrical response, one that would cripple Western economies and disrupt whole societies.

Naturally, it is useful to remind our partners, from time to time, that there exists a mutually beneficial alternative to all that.

If Russia carries out reasonable but assertive policies (domestically, too), it will successfully (and relatively peacefully) overcome the latest surge of Western hostility. As I have written before, we stand a good chance of winning this Cold War.

What also inspires optimism is Russia’s own past record: We have more than once managed to tame the imperial ambitions of foreign powers – for our own good, and for the good of humanity, as a whole. Russia was able to transform would-be empires into tame and relatively harmless neighbors: Sweden after the Battle of Poltava, France after Borodino, Germany after Stalingrad and Berlin.

We can find a slogan for the new Russian policy toward the West in a verse from Alexander Blok’s ‘The Scythians’, a brilliant poem that seems especially relevant today: “Come join us, then! Leave war and war’s alarms, / And grasp the hand of peace and amity. / While still there’s time, Comrades, lay down your arms! / Let us unite in true fraternity!”

While attempting to heal our relations with the West (even if that requires some bitter medicine), we must remember that, while culturally close to us, the Western world is running out of time – in fact, it has been for two decades now. It is essentially in damage control mode, seeking cooperation whenever possible. The real prospects and challenges of our present and future lie with the East and the South. Taking a harder line with Western nations must not distract Russia from maintaining its pivot to the East. And we have seen this pivot slow down in the past two or three years, especially when it comes to developing territories beyond the Ural Mountains.

We must not allow Ukraine to become a security threat to Russia. That said, it would be counterproductive to spend too many administrative and political (not to mention economic) resources on it. Russia must learn to actively manage this volatile situation, keep it within limits. Most of Ukraine has been neutered by its own anti-national elite, corrupted by the West, and infected with the pathogen of militant nationalism.

It would be much more effective to invest in the East, in the development of Siberia. By creating favorable working and living conditions, we will attract not only Russian citizens, but also people from the other parts of the former Russian Empire, including the Ukrainians. The latter have, historically, contributed a great deal to the development of Siberia.

Let me reiterate a point from my other articles: It was the incorporation of Siberia under Ivan the Terrible that made Russia a great power, not the accession of Ukraine under Aleksey Mikhaylovich, known under the moniker ‘the most peaceful’. It is high time we stopped repeating Zbigniew Brzezinski’s disingenuous – and so strikingly Polish – assertion that Russia cannot be a great power without Ukraine. The opposite is much closer to the truth: Russia cannot be a great power when it is burdened by an increasingly unwieldy Ukraine – a political entity created by Lenin which later expanded westward under Stalin.

The most promising path for Russia lies with the development and strengthening of ties with China. A partnership with Beijing would multiply the potential of both countries many times over. If the West carries on with its bitterly hostile policies, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to consider a temporary five-year defense alliance with China. Naturally, one should also be careful not to get ‘dizzy with success’ on the China track, so as not to return to the medieval model of China’s Middle Kingdom, which grew by turning its neighbors into vassals. We should help Beijing wherever we can to keep it from suffering even a momentary defeat in the new Cold War unleashed by the West. That defeat would weaken us, too. Besides, we know all too well what the West transforms into when it thinks it is winning. It took some harsh remedies to treat America’s hangover after it got drunk with power in the 1990s.

Clearly, an East-oriented policy must not focus solely on China. Both the East and the South are on the rise in global politics, economics, and culture, which is partly due to our undermining of the West’s military superiority – the primary source of its 500-year hegemony.

When the time comes to establish a new system of European security to replace the dangerously outdated existing one, it must be done within the framework of a greater Eurasian project. Nothing worthwhile can be born out of the old Euro-Atlantic system.

It is self-evident that success requires the development and modernization of the country’s economic, technological, and scientific potential – all pillars of a country’s military power, which remains the backbone of any nation’s sovereignty and security. Russia cannot be successful without improving the quality of life for the majority of its people: This includes overall prosperity, healthcare, education, and the environment. 

The restriction of political freedoms, which is inevitable when confronting the collective West, must by no means extend to the intellectual sphere. This is difficult, but achievable. For the talented, creatively-minded part of the population who are ready to serve their country, we must preserve as much intellectual freedom as possible. Scientific development through Soviet-style ‘sharashkas’ (research and development laboratories operating within the Soviet labor camp system) is not something that would work in the modern world. Freedom enhances the talents of Russian people, and inventiveness runs in our blood. Even in foreign policy, the freedom from ideological constraints that we enjoy offers us massive advantages compared to our more close-minded neighbors. History teaches us that the brutal restriction of freedom of thought imposed by the Communist regime on its people led the Soviet Union to ruin. Preserving personal freedom is an essential condition for any nation’s development.

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If we want to grow as a society and be victorious, it is absolutely vital that we develop a spiritual backbone – a national idea, an ideology that unites and shines the way forward. It is a fundamental truth that great nations cannot be truly great without such an idea at their core. This is part of the tragedy that happened to us in the 1970s and 1980s. Hopefully, the resistance of the ruling elites to the advancement of a new ideology, rooted in the pains of the communist era, is beginning to fade. Vladimir Putin’s speech at the October 2021 annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club was a powerful reassuring signal in that respect.

Like the ever-growing number of Russian philosophers and authors, I have put forward my own vision of the ‘Russian idea’[3]. (I apologize for having to reference my own publications again – it is an inevitable side effect of having to stick to the format).

Questions for the future

And now let’s discuss a significant, yet mostly overlooked aspect of the new policy that needs to be addressed. We need to dismiss and reform the obsolete and often harmful ideological foundation of our social sciences and public life for this new policy to get implemented, let alone succeed.

This doesn’t mean we have to reject once again the advancements in political science, economy, and foreign affairs of our predecessors. The Bolsheviks tried to dump the social ideas of tsarist Russia – everybody knows how this played out. We rejected Marxism and were happy about it. Now, fed up with other tenets, we realize we were too impatient with it. Marx, Engels, and Lenin had sound ideas in their theory of imperialism we could use.

Social sciences that study the ways of public and private life have to take into account national context, however inclusive it wants to appear. It stems from the national history and ultimately is aimed to help the nations and/or their government and elites. The mindless application of solutions valid in one country to another are fruitless and only create abominations.

We need to start working towards intellectual independence after we achieve military security and political and economic sovereignty. In the new world, it’s compulsory to achieve development and exert influence. Mikhail Remizov, a prominent Russian political scientist, was the first, as far as I know, to call this ‘intellectual decolonization’.

Having spent decades in the shadow of imported Marxism, we’ve begun a transition to yet another foreign ideology of liberal democracy in economics and political science and, to certain extent, even in foreign policy and defense. This fascination has done us no good – we’ve lost land, technology, and people. In the mid-2000s, we started to exercise our sovereignty, but had to rely on our instincts rather than clear national (again – it cannot be anything else) scientific and ideological principles.

We still don’t have the courage to acknowledge that the scientific and ideological worldview we’ve had for the last forty to fifty years is obsolete and/or was intended to serve foreign elites.

To illustrate this point, here are a few randomly picked questions from my very long list.

I’ll start with existential issues, purely philosophical ones. What comes first in humans, the spirit or the matter? And in the more mundane political sense – what drives people and states in the modern world? To common Marxists and liberals, the answer is the economy. Just remember that until recently Bill Clinton’s famous “It’s the economy, stupid” was thought to be an axiom. But people seek something greater when the basic need for food is satisfied. Love for their family, their homeland, desire for national dignity, personal freedoms, power, and fame. The hierarchy of needs has been well known to us since Maslow introduced it in the 1940–50s in his famous pyramid. Modern capitalism, however, twisted it, forcing ever-expanding consumption via traditional media at first and all-encompassing digital networks later – for rich and poor, each according to their ability.

What can we do when the modern capitalism deprived of moral or religious foundations incites limitless consumption, breaking down moral and geographic boundaries and comes into conflict with nature, threatening the very existence of our species? We, Russians, understand better than anybody that attempts to get rid of entrepreneurs and capitalists who are driven by the desire to build wealth will have disastrous consequences for society and the environment (the socialist economy model wasn’t exactly environmentally friendly).

What do we do with the latest values of rejecting history, your homeland, gender, and beliefs, as well as aggressive LGBT and ultra-feminist movements? I respect the right to follow them, but I think they’re post-humanist. Should we treat this as just another stage of social evolution? I don’t think so. Should we try to ward it off, limit its spread, and wait till society lives through this moral epidemic? Or should we actively fight it, leading the majority of humanity that adheres to so-called “conservative” values or, to put it simply, normal human values? Should we get into the fight escalating an already dangerous confrontation with the Western elites?

The technological development and increased labor productivity have helped feed the majority of people, but the world itself has slipped into anarchy, and many guiding principles have been lost at the global level. Security concerns, perhaps, are prevailing over the economy once again. Military instruments and the political will might take the lead from now on.

What is military deterrence in the modern world? Is it a threat to cause damage to national and individual assets or foreign assets and information infrastructure to which today’s Western elites are tied so closely? What will become of the Western world if this infrastructure is brought down?

And a related question: What is strategic parity we still talk about today? Is it some foreign nonsense picked by Soviet leaders who sucked their people into an exhausting arms race because of their inferiority complex and June 22, 1941 syndrome? Looks like we are already answering this question, even though we still churn out speeches about equality and symmetrical measures.

And what is this arms control many believe to be instrumental? Is it an attempt to restrain the expensive arms race beneficial to the wealthier economy, to limit the risk of hostilities or something more – a tool to legitimize the race, the development of arms, and the process of unnecessary programs on your opponent? There’s no obvious answer to that.

But let’s go back to the more existential questions.

Is democracy really the pinnacle of political development? Or is it just another tool that helps the elites control society, if we are not talking about Aristotle’s pure democracy (which also has certain limitations)? There are many tools that come and go as society and conditions change. Sometimes we abandon them only to bring them back when the time is right and there’s external and internal demand for them. I’m not calling for boundless authoritarianism or monarchy. I think we have already overdone it with centralization, especially at the municipal government level. But if this is just a tool, shouldn’t we stop pretending that we strive for democracy and put it straight – we want personal freedoms, a prosperous society, security, and national dignity? But how do we justify power to the people then?

Is the state really destined to die off, as Marxists and liberal globalists used to believe, as they dreamed of alliances between transnational corporations, international NGOs (both have been going through nationalization and privatization), and supranational political bodies? We’ll see how long the EU can survive in its current form. Note that I don’t want to say there’s no reason to join national efforts for the greater good, like bringing down expensive custom barriers or introducing joint environmental policies. Or isn’t it better to focus on developing your own state and supporting neighbors while disregarding global problems created by others? Aren’t they going to mess with us if we act this way?

What is the role of land and territories? Is it a dwindling asset, a burden as was believed among political scientists only recently? Or the greatest national treasure, especially in the face of the environmental crisis, climate change, the growing deficit of water and food in some regions and the total lack of it in others?

What should we do then with hundreds of millions of Pakistanis, Indians, Arabs, and others whose lands might soon be uninhabitable? Should we invite them now as the US and Europe began to do in the 1960s, drawing migrants to bring down the cost of local labor and undermine the trade unions? Or should we prepare to defend our territories from the outsiders? In that case, we should abandon all hope to develop democracy, as Israel’s experience with its Arab population shows.

Would developing robotics, which is currently in a sorry state, help compensate for the lack of workforce and make those territories livable again? What is the role of indigenous Russian people in our country, considering their number will inevitably keep shrinking? Given that Russians have historically been an open people, the prospects might be optimistic. But so far it’s unclear.

I can go on and on, especially when it comes to the economy. These questions need to be asked and it’s vital to find answers as soon as possible in order to grow and come out on top. Russia needs a new political economy – free from Marxist and liberal dogmas, but something more than the current pragmatism our foreign policy is based on. It must include forward-oriented idealism, a new Russian ideology incorporating our history and philosophical traditions. This echoes the ideas put forward by the academic Pavel Tsygankov.

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I believe that this is the ultimate goal of all our research in foreign affairs, political science, economics and philosophy. This task is beyond difficult. We can continue contributing to our society and our country only by breaking our old thinking patterns. But to end on an optimistic note, here’s a humorous thought: Isn’t it time to recognize that the subject of our studies – foreign affairs, domestic policies, and the economy – is the result of a creative process involving masses and leaders alike? To recognize that it is, in a way, art? To a large degree, it defies explanation and stems from intuition and talent. And so we are like art experts: We talk about it, identify trends and teach the artists – the masses and the leaders – history, which is useful to them. We often get lost in the theoretical, though, coming up with ideas divorced from reality or distorting it by focusing on separate fragments.

Sometimes we do make history: think Evgeny Primakov or Henry Kissinger. But I’d argue they didn’t care what approaches to this art history they represented. They drew upon their knowledge, personal experience, moral principles, and intuition. I like the idea of us being a type of art expert, and I believe it can make the daunting task of revising the dogmas a little easier.

This article was first published online by the Russia in Global Affairs journal.

بوتين يتصدّى للموجة السادسة لتوسّع الناتو انطلاقاً من الدون الباس

 محمد صادق الحسيني

قدّم الرئيس بوتين يوم امس إحاطة شاملة عن تاريخ بلاده من ايام القيصرية فالاتحاد السوفياتي.

أطاح بالماركسية اللينينية، وبلينين الذي كان سبب خلق دولة أوكرانيا، كما قال، ثم اطاح بستالين ايضاً، وفنّد الحقبة السوفياتية، وبعد ذلك انقضّ على الرعاة الغربيين الذين يريدون الاستمرار بالتوسع شرقاً حتى يقضوا على دولة قوية مثل الاتحاد الروسي واستخدام أوكرانيا منصة جديدة لذلك.

الى أن وصل الى الحديث عن مراوغتهم وخداعهم في التوسع التدريجي نحو الشرق مجدّداً.

وحتى يسقط ما بيد الغرب من معول هدم لأمن بلاده القومي أعلن اعترافه بالجمهوريتين الشعبيتين المستقلتين في الدون الباس وبذلك يكون قد بدأ رحلة استعادة كلّ أوكرانيا الروسية من لينين!

والعودة بالناتو الى حدود العام ١٩٩٧.

من اجل القاء نظرة سريعة على ما فعله الغرب منذ نهاية تسعينيات القرن الماضي الى الآن من خطوات عدائية ضد روسيا اليكم تعريف بالموجات الخمس للتوسع شرقاً على حساب الامن القومي الروسي، كما يلي:

‎على الرغم من المعارضة الشديدة، التي أبداها الرئيس الأميركي بيل كلينتون، منذ توليه الرئاسة في البيت الابيض سنة ١٩٩٣، لتوسيع حلف شمال الاطلسي شرقاً، لاعتقاده ان روسيا، بعد انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي، قد ضعفت كثيراً ولم تعد تشكل اي تهديد للولايات المتحدة، الا انه اضطر سنة ١٩٩٧ الى الموافقة على فكرة التوسيع هذه.

‎ولكن تغيير الموقف هذا، من مسألة توسيع الحلف شرقاً، لم يكن منطلقاً من استراتيجية أميركية جديدة او توجهات سياسية مغايرة، لما كانت عليه تلك التوجهات في حينه، وانما نتيجةً لاستعدادات الولايات المتحدة لانتخابات الكونغرس الأميركي. اي ان هذا الانقلاب، في موقف الرئيس بيل كلينتون، جاء نتيجة لحسابات حزبية وانتخابية ضيقة ولا علاقة له لا بمصالح استراتيجية أميركية ولا خدمةً للاستقرار الاستراتيجي الدولي ولا غير ذلك.

‎الا انّ بعض المتغيرات والمؤشرات، الواردة من روسيا، والتي كانت تشير الى احتمالات بدء مرحلة تعافي روسيا، وعودتها لممارسة دورها كقوة عظمى في العالم قد ادّى الى انطلاق تغيير في موقف الرئيس كلينتون، من مسألة توسيع حلف الاطلسي المُشار اليه اعلاه باتجاه الشرق، وصولاً الى موافقة الرئيس الأميركي، في قمة حلف شمال الاطلسي، التي عقدت في مدريد يومي الثامن والتاسع من شهر ٧/١٩٩٧. حيث وجهت الدعوات، في تلك القمة، لكلّ من بولندا وتشيكيا والمجر (هنغاريا) لبدء محادثات مع قيادة الحلف، بهدف الانضمام الى عضويته لاحقاً.

موجة توسيع الحلف الاولى

 وعليه فقد انتهت مفاوضات الدول الثلاث المذكورة اعلاه، مع حلف شمال الاطلسي حول شروط العضوية، في بدايات سنة ١٩٩٩ واعلن عن انضمام الدول الثلاث رسمياً في شهر ٣/١٩٩٩.

وهذه المرحلة ١٩٩٧ – ١٩٩٩ هي ما يطلق عليها مرحلة التوسع الاولى.

ومن هنا تأتي تسمية «حدود حلف شمال الاطلسي سنة ١٩٩٧ «. اي الحدود قبل توسيعه وانضمام بولندا والمجر وتشيكيا الى عضويته.

موجة توسيع الحلف الثانية

وقد بدأت هذه المرحلة في شهر ١١/٢٠٠٢، خلال قمة حلف شمال الاطلسي التي عقدت في براغ، بمشاركة اعضاء الحلف القدماء وهنغاريا وبولندا وتشيكيا، التي كانت قد انضمت اليه حديثاً.

اذ تمّ توجيه الدعوات الى كل من : بلغاريا، رومانيا، سلوڤاكيا، سلوڤينيا واستونيا ولاتفيا وليتوانيا، لبدء محادثات للانضمام الى عضوية الحلف.

وهي المفاوضات التي افضت الى إعلان انضمام مجموعة الدول، المذكورة اعلاه، بتاريخ ٢٩/٣/٢٠٠٤.

موجة توسيع الحلف الثالثة

وهي الموجة التي اعلن عن بدئها في قمة حلف شمال الاطلسي، التي عقدت في بوخارست، في شهر ٤/٢٠٠٨، ودعيت فيها كل من البانيا وكرواتيا، لبدء مفاوضات الانضمام لعضوية الحلف.

واعلن عن المصادقة على انضمام هاتين الدولتين الى عضوية الحلف في شهر ٤/٢٠٠٩.

موجة توسيع الحلف الرابعة

اعلن هذه الموجة وزراء خارجية دول الحلف، خلال اجتماعهم في بروكسيل، بتاريخ ٣/١٢/٢٠٠٩، حيث اعلنوا عن ترشيح مونتي نيغرو ( الجبل الاسود …. وهي احدى جمهوريات يوغوسلافيا سابقاً ). وبتاريخ ٢/١٢/٢٠١٥ دعا وزراء خارجية دول الحلف، في اجتماعهم الذي عقد في بروكسل، جمهورية الجبل الاسود رسمياً للانضمام الى الحلف.

ونتيجة لتلك الدعوة، والمفاوضات التي اعقبتها، اعلن عن انضمام هذه الجمهورية لعضوية الحلف بتاريخ ٥/٦/٢٠١٧. وبذلك اصبحت هذه الدولة هي العضو رقم ٢٩ في الحلف.

موجة توسيع الحلف الخامسة

قامت الدول الاعضاء في حلف شمال الاطلسي، بتاريخ ٦/٢/٢٠١٩، بالتوقيع على بروتوكول انضمام جمهورية مقدونيا الشمالية (جمهورية يوغوسلافية سابقة ايضاً)، وهي العضوية التي تم الإعلان عنها رسمياً بتاريخ ٢٧/٣/٢٠٢٠. وقد اصبحت هذه الدولة هي الدولة رقم ٣٠ في الحلف.

علماً ان الازمة الخطيرة، التي افتعلتها الولايات المتحدة، مع روسيا بخصوص أوكرانيا هي تعبير عن إصرار واشنطن على استعادة هيمنتها الكاملة على مقدرات العالم والعودة بالتالي الى سياسة القطب الدولي الواحد. وهي السياسة التي ترفضها وتتصدى لها بكل صلابة كل من الصين الشعبية وروسيا وايران.

وما حالة الهستيريا، التي تعتري تصرفات الولايات المتحدة واذنابها، من قادة دول حلف شمال الاطلسي، الا تعبير واضح عن عجز واشنطن عن تغيير موازين القوى الجديدة في العالم. وهي الموازين التي تؤسس الى عالم جديد بقيادة جديدة تعمل على حماية الاستقرار الاستراتيجي الدولي لضمان وجود ظروف ملائمة لإطلاق عملية تنمية دولية هائلة ترتكز الى التعاون الاقتصادي المتبادل والمنافع المشتركة وإبعاد شبح الحروب والثورات التدميرية الملونة عن دول العالم قاطبة.

وفي هذا المقام لا بدّ من التأكيد على أن نتائج المواجهة الحاليّة، الدائرة بين قوى التغيير في العالم من جهة وبين القوى الاستعمارية الغربية بقيادة واشنطن من جهة اخرى، سوف تسفر عن هزيمة نكراء للولايات المتحدة واذنابها قادة الناتو وستنتهي برضوخها لمطالب محور التغيير، التي تنادي بالعودة الى حدود منظومة الاطلسي العدوانية سنة ١٩٩٧. اي ان تقتصر عضوية هذا الحلف على الدول التي كانت اعضاء فيه خلال حقبة الحرب الباردة، بين القطبين السوفياتي والأميركي. الامر الذي لن يتحقق الا بسحب الولايات المتحدة قواتها وقواعدها العسكرية ومنظومات حرب النجوم والدفاع الصاروخي، التي نشرتها في دول شرق وجنوب شرق أوروبا، الى جانب دول البلطيق الثلاث. وهو ما سيحدث قريباً وبشكل اكثر إذلالاً من المشهد الذي عشنا فصوله في أفغانستان صيف العام ٢٠٢١.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

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Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Western countries’ false accusations against Russia in the context of numerous historical examples of the West-fabricated pretexts for aggression

February 21, 2022

I would very much encourage you to read and listen to Andrei Martyanov’s article and youtube from yesterday.  Here it is, titled Why Would Putin Say This.  His talk and writing are about Mr. Putin’s statement of genocide in the Donbass.  Martyanov reckons that a world reckoning may be incoming.


https://mid.ru/en/press_service/articles_and_rebuttals/rebuttals/nedostovernie-publikacii/1799521/

Below, we have presented false statements by Western officials concerning Russia’s alleged fabrication of pretexts to invade Ukraine as well as numerous examples from the past demonstrating who in fact has been consistently creating false excuses to act aggressively against a foreign country.

Thus, London and Washington are the historical champions in fabricating pretexts for destructive actions, including the invasion of other states.

Clearly, the current long-term marathon of information terror is in the vein of the West’s traditional policy. With the prompting from the US and UK ruling circles, the world’s leading media are whipping up hysteria to brainwash their audiences and create a new reality by convincing everyone of Russia’s “imminent invasion of Ukraine”.

The volume of fake news fabricated and disseminated by US and European media outlets has grown by many times over the past few months. The collective West is planting more and more reports on the dates of Russia’s alleged invasion of Ukraine and non-existent attack plans while hypocritically denying the fact that Donbass residents are suffering from the crimes of the Kiev regime.

For our part, we are taking regular steps to disavow these allegations. Below, we have presented false statements by Western officials concerning Russia’s alleged fabrication of pretexts to invade Ukraine as well as numerous examples from the past demonstrating who in fact has been consistently creating false excuses to act aggressively against a foreign country.

Statements by US, NATO and UK officials on Russia’s alleged fabrications of pretexts to invade Ukraine

Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby on January 14:

“Without getting into too much detail, we do have information that indicates that Russia is already working actively to create a pretext for a potential invasion, a move on Ukraine.”

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on January 14:

“Our intelligence community has developed information that Russia is laying the groundwork to have the option of fabricating a pretext for an invasion, including through sabotage activities and information operations, by accusing Ukraine of preparing an imminent attack against Russian forces in Eastern Ukraine.”

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on February 17:

“Reports of alleged abnormal military activity by Ukraine in Donbass are a blatant attempt by the Russian government to fabricate pretexts for invasion.”

US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on February 17:

“In response to this manufactured provocation, the highest levels of the Russian Government may theatrically convene emergency meetings to address the so-called crisis. The government will issue proclamations declaring that Russia must respond to defend Russian citizens or ethnic Russians in Ukraine.”

According to the secretary of state, first Russia will manufacture a pretext to start a war. Blinken suggests that it could be, for example, a terrorist attack in Russia itself, a staged drone strike against civilians, or a staged – or even actual – sabotage using chemical weapons. Blinken says Russian media outlets have already started pushing the provocation story.

US President Joe Biden on February 17:

“They have not moved any of their troops out. They’ve moved more troops in, number one. Number two, we have reason to believe that they are engaged in a false-flag operation to have an excuse to go in. Every indication we have is they’re prepared to go into Ukraine, attack Ukraine.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on February 17:

“I wish I could give everybody better news about this [Ukraine] but I have to tell you that the picture is continuing to be very grim. Today, as I am sure you have already picked up, a kindergarten was shelled in what we are taking to be a false-flag operation designed to discredit the Ukrainians, designed to create a pretext, a spurious provocation for Russian action.”

US Department of State spokesperson on February 18:

The United States is considering reports of evacuation and explosions in Donbass as an excuse for a false-flag operation against Ukraine, the official spokesperson for the US Department of State told RIA Novosti.

“Announcements like these are further attempts to obscure through lies and disinformation that Russia is the aggressor in this conflict. This type of false flag operation is exactly what Secretary Blinken highlighted in his remarks to the UN Security Council.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on February 20:

“We are concerned that Russia is trying to stage a pretext for an armed attack against Ukraine, there is still no clarity, no certainty about the Russian intentions.”

Examples of Western countries fabricating pretexts for aggression against other states

Below is a brief review (the list is far from complete) of provocations prepared by the US and Great Britain, in particular, which show clearly the kinds of tools that have long been an integral part of the foreign policy of the Anglo-Saxons and their allies. We would also like to note our detailed report, Political Crimes Committed by the UK, dated April 19, 2018.

Latin America has been the main region of concentration for the US’s constant control and interference ever since the Monroe Doctrine was announced on December 2, 1823. For almost 200 years now, the US has been trying to dictate how and by what standards Latin Americans should live. The region became a testing ground for Washington’s intervention technology, later to be used all over the world. The most common (and cynical) excuses for incursions south of the US border have been:

  1. The protection of American citizens like in Haiti in 1922: “The crisis… called for immediate and vigorous action by the Navy to protect the lives and property of Americans and foreigners, and to restore order throughout this distressed country.” (From a report by Secretary of State Robert Lansing to Congress.)
  2. The delegitimization of official authorities, which is most often related to Washington’s dissatisfaction with sovereign electoral processes in Latin American countries. As US President Woodrow Wilson said after his inauguration in March 1913: “I am going to teach the Latin American republics to elect good men!”

In June 1835, an armed rebellion was organised by the American colonists living in Texas, which belong to Mexico at the time, against the Mexican authorities. A close friend of President Andrew Jackson, Colonel Samuel Houston, was sent there to seize the territory. At the same time, the US provided massive support (sending volunteers, weapons, and ammunition) to the rebels, who soon declared “independence” in Texas, and in March 1837 recognised it as an “independent state.”

The Mexican-American War of 1846-1848. The border between Mexico and Texas, previously annexed with the direct involvement of the US authorities, served as a pretext to start hostilities. American troops occupied the disputed area between the Nueces and Rio Grande rivers and blocked Mexican ports, which forced Mexico to declare war. Soon after the first skirmishes, US President James K. Polk, who had previously intended to justify the war with financial claims, turned to Congress, declaring that the Mexicans “invaded our territory and shed American blood on American soil.” Mexico lost the war and had to recognise Texas as part of the US. It lost more than half its territory, including today’s California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah.

The Anglo-French-Spanish intervention in Mexico in 1861-1867. The Government of Benito Juarez, who came to power after the Mexican Civil War 1858-1861, refused to recognise the debts of the previous allegedly unconstitutional authorities to foreign powers, which triggered its largest creditors – Great Britain, France and Spain – to intervene.

It is noteworthy that part of the British “media” preparation for the intervention took the form of a campaign in The Times with news of “terrible riots in Mexico where foreigners are suffering.” In turn, Paris quickly granted French citizenship to a Swiss banker whose debt Mexico City also refused to pay off, which served as yet another reason to legitimise the intervention.

London and Madrid soon withdrew from the war while French troops captured most of the Mexican territory. A referendum was held during the military occupation, where a majority of the population voted for the establishment of a monarchy. Archduke Maximilian, brother of the Austrian emperor Franz Joseph, then ascended to the imperial throne. After the invaders lost in 1867, the republic, led by President Benito Juarez, was restored in Mexico.

1854, Nicaragua. The Americans razed San Juan del Sur to the ground, a purely civilian town in Nicaragua, after the US Ambassador was slapped in the face for obstructing the prosecution of an American citizen suspected of murder.

In 1856-1857, American mercenaries led by Willian Walker staged a coup to seize power in Nicaragua. The United States recognised Walker as the legitimate president. He surrendered and was repatriated through the combined efforts of Central American states.

In the 1890s, the Americans occupied Nicaraguan ports several times. In 1909, relations with Washington soured again, the legitimate government of Nicaragua was overthrown, and American troops invaded the country. The United States occupied Nicaragua from 1912 to 1933, leaving the country only after the victory of the guerrillas led by Augusto Sandino.

February 15, 1898. The USS Maine, anchored off Havana, Cuba (then a Spanish colony), exploded and sank. A US commission investigating the incident came to the unsubstantiated conclusion that the ship had been sunk by an external explosion. The United States put the blame on Spain, using the incident to launch a war the result of which was taking over Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam. Cuba was declared an independent state but remained under strong US influence. Under the Cuban constitution, the United States could station troops on the island until 1934. After the USS Maine was lifted in 1912, and after new investigations by several US commissions, it was established that the explosion had been caused by spontaneous combustion in the coal bunkers.

During the 1910-1917 revolution in Mexico, the United States occupied the port of Veracruz after eight American sailors were arrested by the Mexican military patrol for entering off-limit areas in Tampico in April 1914. Although the sailors were released as soon as the circumstances were clarified and the Mexicans offered an oral apology, Washington sent an ultimatum demanding a written apology within 24 hours and a 21-gun salute to show respect for the American flag. When Mexico refused to honour that humiliating demand, US Marines landed in Veracruz and held it until November 1914.

In 1937, a military coup was staged in Nicaragua with US military assistance, as a result of which the Somoza dynasty held power in the country until 1979, when the people, led by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), replaced the Anastasio Somoza regime with the government of FSLN leader Daniel Ortega. This provoked the opposition of the anti-government fighters (contras), supported by the United States, to engage in a civil war, which lasted from 1981 and until 1990. When the US Congress officially prohibited the financing of the contras, the CIA provided the money covertly. The fact of direct US interference in Nicaragua was reaffirmed in the verdict handed down on July 27, 1986, by the International Court of Justice in The Hague within the framework of the Iran-Contra affair.

Several attempts have been made over the years since then to overthrow the Sandinista government under the pretext of protecting democracy and human rights. The last attempt was in April 2018, when a state coup was provoked against the backdrop of public unrest incited by external forces.

April 1961, Cuba. The Bay of Pigs Invasion is a failed attempt by American mercenaries to invade Cuba and a textbook example of US interventionist policy. The 1962 blockade of Cuba (John F. Kennedy’s Embargo on All Trade with Cuba) and the subsequent numerous measures to increase the sanctions against Havana, such as the 1992 Torricelli Act and the 1996 Helms-Burton Act, add up to an open economic aggression, which the United States has conducted despite international condemnation, including at the UN General Assembly.

After a short-lived thaw during the Obama administration, President Donald Trump resumed the policy of restrictions and added several new sanctions against Cuba. The Biden administration is pursuing the same policy. In May 2021, Cuba was again put on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. In July 2021, it was listed as a country that does not satisfy US standards for combatting trafficking in persons.

On September 7, 2021, President Biden extended trade restrictions with Cuba for another year. On December 21, 2021, the US Department of State reaffirmed Cuba’s position on the Trafficking in Persons list. In November 2021 and in January 2022, Washington adopted two packages of visa restrictions against Cuban officials over their alleged connection to suppressing protests in July and November 2021.

August 1953, Iran. The CIA and the UK Secret Intelligence Service orchestrated the joint Operation Ajax to topple Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh and his government who had nationalised the Iranian oil industry. The goal was to restore Western control over the country’s oil revenues and to create favourable conditions for pro-Western Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to return from exile.

London and Washington started their seditious activity against Mohammad Mossadegh with an international boycott of Iranian oil products. Then a full-scale information campaign was launched against the prime minister and his associates based on fabricated news about cooperation with Communists. That Anglo-American manipulation of public opinion, coupled with the palm greasing of Iran’s military and political elite, put General Fazlollah Zahedi’s puppet leadership in power. At the demand of his foreign bosses, he signed fettering oil contracts.

August 2 and 4, 1964, Vietnam —the Gulf of Tonkin incident. On August 7, 1964, US President Lyndon B. Johnson pushed Congress to adopt a resolution that granted him the right “to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States” in Southeast Asia. The alleged bombing of US destroyers by torpedo boats of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin the day before served as the formal pretext. Later, the Senate commission admitted that the reports of the incident had been intentionally distorted in order to launch military operations in Vietnam.

On April 28, 1965, the US Marine Corps started an intervention in Barahona and Haina, Dominican Republic. US President Lyndon B. Johnson claimed that the military intervention was necessary to protect US citizens in the civil war in the country after Francisco Caamano’s leftist government came to power. The country was occupied until July 28, 1966.

On September 11, 1973, with direct support from the United States, a military coup took place in Chile, deposing democratically elected president Salvador Allende and establishing the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet that lasted for a long 17 years, and that included executions, harsh repressions and deep discord in Chilean society.

In 1982 in Guatemala, extensive efforts by US intelligence to create certain newsworthy events put a military government in power. In the 1990s, the United States provided military aid to Guatemala’s pro-American government allegedly to fight Communism, a fight that was in reality manifested in mass murders. By 1998, 200,000 people had fallen victim to this “fighting,” tens of thousands had fled to Mexico and over a million had become internally displaced persons.

On October 25, 1983 United States military units and a coalition of six Caribbean countries invaded Grenada to topple the government of Maurice Bishop, who was unwanted by Washington. An official appeal for help from the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States following conflicts inside the People’s Revolutionary Government of Grenada served as a pretext for the operation. Maurice Bishop was killed as a result. The US administration claimed that the military intervention was necessary due to “concerns over the 600 US medical students on the island.” The invasion was criticised by a number of countries, including Canada. On November 2, 1983, the UN General Assembly also condemned the military operation as a “flagrant violation of international law” (108 countries voted for the resolution and nine against).

Since 1986 in Colombia, so-called social cleansing was conducted as part of the US policy to support favoured regimes, allegedly to counter drug trafficking. Trade union leaders and members of any movement or organisation with at least some influence, as well as farmers and unwanted politicians were eliminated. Tens of thousands of people were killed as a result.

1989, Panama —The United States invades Panama. Formally George H. W. Bush announced Operation Just Cause on December 21, 1989 to protect American citizens and ensure the security of the Panama Canal in accordance with the Torrijos-Carter Treaties, as well as to restore democracy and bring the informal leader of Panama, Manuel Noriega, to trial after accusing him of supporting drug trafficking. At the same time, Panamanian analysts noted that the real goal of the Americans was to install a government loyal to Washington, since the Manuel Noriega regime had begun distancing itself from Washington, something that did not fit into the US’s strategy to ensure reliable control over the Panama Canal.

The immediate reason for the American aggression was the alleged killing by Panamanian defence forces of an American Marine who was “lost” on Panamanian territory. In fact, a later investigation showed that this Marine and others in his unit were part of a special group acting under US Naval Intelligence, whose task was to provoke an open conflict with the Panamanian military. This armed group ignored Panamanian Defence Forces’ roadblocks, despite the warning signs, as well as orders to stop, and shot several local residents, including a child. In this situation, the Panamanian military simply had to use weapons; as a result, one of the attackers was killed.

American media reports that several bags of cocaine were allegedly found in a house frequented by Manuel Noriega was another fabrication that the US used to intervene. These bags allegedly confirmed the link between the Panamanian leader and drug traffickers, but during the search, ordinary flour was found instead of drugs, something that was later acknowledged by the US military.

During the invasion of Panama on December 20, 1989, the lawful Panamanian authorities were brought down, and the country found itself occupied by American troops for some time. According to the local association for victims’ relatives, the Americans committed numerous war crimes, including massacres of civilians (about 4,000).

March 24 – June 10, 1999 —Operation Allied Force against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. American citizen William Walker, head of the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission, made big news with a completely false allegation of a civilian massacre in the village of Racak (January 1999). It was proven later that these civilians were armed militants killed in action. The European Union later established this beyond a doubt. Back then, William Walker announced publicly that it was an act of genocide. He took it upon himself to announce the withdrawal of the OSCE mission from Kosovo. In fact, this was used as a trigger for NATO’s aggression against the former state of Yugoslavia.

March 20 – April 9, 2003, Iraq —The US and its allies invade Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein. For 12 years, the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) and then the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) had been searching Iraq for hidden stocks of biological, chemical and other weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the existence of which Baghdad denied. Nevertheless, during a UN Security Council meeting on February 5, 2003, US Secretary of State Colin Powell accused Iraqi leaders of manufacturing WMDs and showed a vial of white powder, which allegedly contained anthrax found in Iraq: “The facts and Iraq’s behaviour show that Saddam Hussein and his regime are concealing their efforts to produce more weapons of mass destruction. There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more. My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions…”

The powder did not convince the UN Security Council members, and they refused to sanction the invasion of Iraq. But that did not stop the Americans. In March-April 2003, under the pretext that these notorious WMDs must be destroyed, the United States, with support from its allies, launched an armed invasion of Iraq in violation of international law, which led to an occupation of the country. The legitimate president, Saddam Hussein, was overthrown and executed, and the country was plunged into many years of chaos, from which it has not fully recovered to this day.

No biological, chemical or nuclear weapons were ever found after the destruction of Iraq, and Powell apologised publicly. In July 2016, a British independent commission led by John Chilcot, which had been investigating Britain’s participation in the military campaign in Iraq for seven years, announced the results of its inquiry. Conclusion: the invasion in Iraq was a “terrible mistake,” and the Tony Blair government’s decision to become involved was “hasty” and “based on inadequate evidence.” Even Tony Blair himself admitted that the invasion of Iraq had been carried out on the basis of false intelligence and that the actions by the Western coalition, in effect, facilitated the rise of ISIS. Тhe former prime minister apologised to the families of the British soldiers who died in Iraq but somehow, in a typical British manner, forgot to apologise to the families of the murdered Iraqis.

the London played a particularly important role in this respect. It initiated a series of provocations starting with the Litvinenko case in 2006. Under the far-fetched excuse that Moscow refused to contribute to the investigation into his being poisoned, the United Kingdom imposed a number of sanctions on Russia in July 2007. Thus, it expelled four Russian diplomats from the country, suspended all contact with the Russian Federal Security Service and any work on military-technical agreements or a bilateral agreement on easing visa requirements. In addition, Britain insisted on the extradition of Russian citizen Andrey Lugovoy, which would be a crude violation of our constitution.

Russia was cooperating with its British colleagues in good faith, but London did not reciprocate. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office informed its British colleagues that if they provided the relevant materials, it would be willing to conduct legal proceedings in Russia.

In August 2014, the Investigative Committee of Russia had to refuse to take part in Britain’s public inquiry into this case. The problem was that, contrary to its name, it was not transparent for Russia. Hence, there were serious apprehensions about its potential for politicisation. Our apprehensions were eventually justified. Hearings on the open part of the “public inquiry” abounded in references to “secrecy,” various kinds of insinuations and undisguised bias, in part, as regards witness testimony that did not fit into the prosecution’s “general line.”

In September 2014, a US-led international anti-terrorist coalition was established in Iraq and Syria to counter ISIS. Indicatively, the SAR government was never asked for an agreement on the deployment of the coalition’s forces in this sovereign country. All coalition operations have been conducted without coordination with the lawful Syrian authorities under the pretext of implementing the right to self-defence as envisaged by Article 51 of the UN Charter.

The Syrian leaders have repeatedly called on the UN Security Council to hold the United States and its allies responsible for their actions. The coalition’s air forces have regularly subjected Syrian infrastructure, including oil facilities in ISIS-controlled areas, to massive attacks. According to the Syrian Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources, during the crisis, the oil-and-gas sector alone has sustained damaged of over $100 billion from these illegal actions and the continuing foreign occupation of parts of Syrian territory. Attacks have frequently targeted government troop units, after which the militants launch an offensive. Thus, airstrikes at Syrian Army positions in Deir ez-Zor killed 62 Syrian army personnel and wounded over 100 people. ISIS militants used this opportunity to seize the front lines of the besieged garrison’s defence in Deir ez-Zor that was surrounded by terrorists.

In April 2017 and April 2018, cases of fabricated uses of chemical weapons by Damascus, actually staged by Western secret services with the help of the notorious pseudo-humanitarian White Helmets (*) were used by NATO allies as a pretext for massive missile strikes at Syrian military and civilian facilities.

Accusations based on the fabricated use of “chemical weapons” and other false reports on Damascus’ alleged crimes (for instance, in Douma on April 7, 2018) became a dominant trend in the Western information war against the SAR. The persistent brainwashing of public opinion allowed the West to adopt the toughest, repressive measures and sanctions at the legal level, like the Caesar Act, which is pushing Syria towards a humanitarian disaster and is preventing post-crisis recovery and the return of millions of refugees.

(*) White Helmets (WH) NGO as a tool for staging fake chemical incidents in Syria.

The United State and Great Britain have actively relied on information from the WH for levelling accusations against the Syrian government by claiming that Damascus used chemical weapons. The UK later used these would-be accusations to buttress their line within the OPCW when they pushed for the introduction of an attributive mechanism to investigate and “punish” states for using chemical weapons.

The White Helmets is an informal designation of Syria Civil Defence, a non-governmental organisation that was formed in 2014 in Idlib as an umbrella structure for various rescue teams operating on Syrian territory not controlled by official Damascus.

The WH have been exposed multiple times for fabricating and planting fake news in the information space, including the following instances:

  • Even before Russia’s Aerospace Forces launched their counterterrorism operation in Syria in October 2015, the WH arranged for new stories to emerge from the West Bank, Palestinian territory, on the “victims from airstrikes by the Russian military.”
  • In September 2016, humanitarian organisations offered to evacuate a girl from Aleppo, who reported on Twitter about the “regime’s atrocities.” It turned out that it was an English-speaking WH activist who had written these Twitter posts in the girl’s name.
  • In December 2016, the Egyptian police in Port Said detained a group of WH activists who were filming what they presented as true reports about a “girl in Aleppo covered in blood.”
  • In late April and early May 2017, WH members and Al Jazeera worked on a report on what they claimed was a “chemical weapons attack by the Syrian regime” in Saraqib, Idlib, but this incident never happened.

In some cases, the organisation recognised the fact that it was spreading “posed news stories” and justified its actions by the need to “to raise awareness of the suffering of the Syrian people.”

Some of the stories planted by the WH resulted from their ties to terrorist groups, as Stephen Kinzer, a reporter with The Boston Globe, a US newspaper, pointed out. He wrote that on March 16, 2015, the Sarmin Coordination Committee provided to the WH what it presented as video materials exposing the Syrian government, and the CNN, an American television network, then gave these materials a lot of publicity. However, it turned out later that this “committee” was affiliated with al-Qaeda. This led Stephen Kinzer to the conclusion that the American TV network relayed al-Qaeda propaganda to the international public opinion.

Experts from the World Health Organisation’s office in Damascus were also critical of the White Helmets, saying that the WH, together with Doctors Without Borders and the so-called Syrian American Medical Society, were spreading misinformation and planting fake news on Syrian territories controlled by illegal armed groups, including by releasing fake reports on “destroyed hospitals in Aleppo,” and “mass starvation” in the besieged areas. In their undertakings the WH officials use as their cover the so-called UN cross-border humanitarian mechanism in Gaziantep, Turkey, whose financing bypasses the UN’s official call for humanitarian assistance.

Respected politicians and civil society figures from Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Slovakia, and the United States, acting independently from one another, have been exposing planted fake news, misinformation, and fabrications.

March 2018, the Skripal case. London used the incident in Salisbury linked with the suspected poisoning of former GRU employee Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia as a provocation against Russia. Without waiting for the results of its own investigation and ignoring an opportunity of using legal mechanisms and formats, including the OPCW and the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, the British government announced a number of unfriendly acts as regards the Russian Federation.

London expelled 23 Russian diplomats; drafted “new legislative powers to harden defences against all forms of hostile state activity”; adopted amendments to the draft law on sanctions so as to “strengthen powers to impose sanctions in response to the violation of human rights”; strengthened border control; threatened to “freeze Russian state assets where there is evidence that they may be used to threaten the life or property of UK nationals”; promised to take all the “necessary steps against organised crime and corrupt elites”; suspended all high-level bilateral contacts, in part, rescinded the invitation to Sergey Lavrov to visit the UK; cancelled the visit to the 2019 World Cup by members of the royal family and the government; and adopted other measures that “cannot be made public for reasons of national security.”

In addition, the British government initiated the further exacerbation of tensions by engineering the expulsion of Russian diplomats by some other countries, mostly from the EU and NATO.

Speaking in parliament in September 2018, the then British Prime Minister Theresa May said the Crown Prosecution Service was ready to bring charges for the attempted murder of the Skripals against two Russian nationals – Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Bashirov. She said they are “officers from the Russian military intelligence also known as the GRU.” According to Theresa May, Petrov and Bashirov were “names believed to be aliases” used to penetrate the UK for the attempted murder of the Skipal family in Salisbury.

In her address to the MPs, Theresa May emphasised that only Russia had the technical means and operational experience of using the toxic agent – the so-called Novichok. She referred to a report of the OPCW Secretariat on the results of the inquiry into the Amesbury incident. However, this report does not contain any references to the origin of the toxic agent and does not use the term “Novichok.”

On September 21, 2021, the British law enforcement bodies announced their decision to bring charges against a third Russian citizen “involved in the Skripal case” – a certain Sergey Fedotov. Commenting on a new turn in this case in her speech to the British Parliament, Britain’s Home Secretary Priti Patel emphasised London’s intention to continue the toughest possible response to the persisting considerable threat from Russia until relations with its Government improve.

Speaking on November 18, 2021, Secretary Patel said: “We are establishing an inquiry to ensure that all relevant evidence can be considered, with the hope that the family of Dawn Sturgess will get the answers they need and deserve.” According to British officials, Dawn Sturgess, a British national, was poisoned by the nerve gas “Novichok” in Amesbury in 2018. The planned political process has nothing to do with justice. Its only goal is to lay the blame for these events on Moscow without any proof and at the same time put it into a kind of a “legal framework.”

That said, British officials have not yet replied to our numerous requests for clear answers to our questions regarding many incongruities in the “Skripal case.”

During contact with our British colleagues, we have consistently insisted on a professional and unbiased approach to investigating all the circumstances of the incident. We have repeatedly told London about our readiness to cooperate via law enforcement bodies and experts, if our British partners are truly interested in investigating the crime.

Venezuela held presidential elections on May 20, 2018. For political reasons the US has failed to recognize the legitimacy of winning candidate Nicolas Maduro, while it has also failed to provide any evidence of election fraud. In January 2019 Washington recognized Juan Guaido, a Venezuelan MP, as “interim president of Venezuela” in violation of the country’s constitution, after which the US Department of the Treasury sought to “support the people of Venezuela in their efforts to restore democracy” by sanctioning the country’s central bank and key sectors of the economy, mainly the petroleum industry, which generates most of the country’s revenues. There is a de-facto petroleum embargo and an embargo on petroleum products exports to Venezuela, the assets and accounts of Venezuela in Western banks have been frozen, and the country cannot borrow on foreign markets. As of now, the cumulative cost of US sanctions against Venezuela ranges from between $130 billion and $258 billion. The sanctions pressure is sapping Venezuela’s economy, and undermining the government’s ability to purchase necessities, including vaccines, medical equipment and drugs to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to estimates by the leading economist at Columbia University, Jeffrey Sachs, US sector-wide sanctions have led to the death of 40,000 Venezuelans.
According to UNHRC Special Rapporteur, Alena Douhan, “sanctions have exacerbated the pre-existing economic and social crisis,” and crisis in development, “with a devastating effect on the entire population.” Today, Venezuela faces “a lack of necessary machinery, spare parts, electricity, water, fuel, gas, food and medicine,” as well as qualified personnel, namely, “doctors, nurses, engineers, teachers, professors, judges, police officers.” This situation has had “a great impact on all categories of human rights including the right to life, food, health and development.”
Bolivia has faced many coups orchestrated by the US and its allies. The coup of 2019 is the more salient example. President Evo Morales was illegally removed from office following a colour revolution-style campaign in domestic and international media about alleged election fraud, which was encouraged by the leaders of the Organisation of American States (OAS). Meanwhile, Western ambassadors took a direct role in promoting Jeanine Anez to the presidency, in clear violation of constitutional procedures, in particular, discussing domestic Bolivian policy at unofficial meetings at Catholic University of Bolivia on November 11 and 12, 2019. The ensuing clashes in the cities of Sacaba and Senkata between demonstrators and the police that sought to forcefully disperse them claimed the lives of almost 40 people.

Another instance of US interference in Bolivia’s domestic affairs was the events of 2008 that forced President Evo Morales to expel US Ambassador Philip Goldberg, who, per Bolivian government sources, met with the leaders of the city of Santa Cruz to discuss the secession of eastern departments from Bolivia. This discussion took place amid separatist demonstrations that damaged a Bolivian-Brazilian gas pipeline and killed 30 locals.

Moreover, the West put on an egregious display of disregard for international law and of engineering a pretext to breach the inviolability of a top Bolivian official when Evo Morales’ presidential plane was forced to land in Vienna on July 2, 2013 following his visit to Moscow. Spain, France, Portugal and Italy closed their airspace on suspicions that Edward Snowden was aboard the presidential plane. The then Spain’s Foreign Minister Jose Garcia-Margallo made public the receipt of this intelligence without naming its source. This provocation resulted in the humiliating inspection of the Bolivian President’s aircraft to confirm Edward Snowden’s absence. A day later, Department of State Spokesperson Jen Psaki acknowledged during a press briefing that the US had been “in contact with a range of countries across the world who had any chance of having Mr Snowden land or even transit through their countries.”

January 3, 2020. Major General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force, a unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was killed by a US drone strike at Baghdad Airport, Iraq. The Iranian military leader was on the US sanctions lists for the alleged “activities to disseminate disinformation” and assistance to the lawful Syrian government. The elimination of an official of one country on the territory of a third country is an unprecedented move. Many experts qualify this US crime as an act of state terrorism.

August 2020, the “poisoning” of Alexey Navalny. The EU, the UK and the United States imposed sanctions against a number of Russian citizens and GosNIIOKhT (State Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology) for the alleged involvement in Navalny’s poisoning with “Novichok.” They did not cite any facts or evidence of their involvement.

In August 2021, the British Government announced the imposition of sanctions as part of its national sanction regime under far-fetched and absurd pretexts. These were personal restrictions as regards “the individuals directly responsible for carrying out the poisoning of Mr Navalny.”

It was claimed that the imposed sanctions seriously curtailed Russia’s ostensibly irresponsible and harmful behaviour and were a logical extension of the October 6, 2020 OPCW statement, which “confirmed” the conclusions of three independent international laboratories on Navalny’s poisoning by a nerve agent from the “Novichok” group.

***

Thus, London and Washington are the historical champions in fabricating pretexts for destructive actions, including the invasion of other states, their occupation, inflicting damage with destructive strikes and use of illegal sanctions, to name a few.

Clearly, the current long-term marathon of information terror is in the vein of the West’s traditional policy. With the prompting from the US and UK ruling circles, the world’s leading media are whipping up hysteria to brainwash their audiences and create a new reality by convincing everyone of Russia’s “imminent invasion of Ukraine” with endless repetitions of Russophobic reports.

The Other Side of the Story: Russia’s view on Geopolitics, War and Energy Racketeering

January 21, 2022

by Nash Landesman

The following is an exclusive interview with Russian Duma deputy, Yevgeny Fyodorov, a high-ranking conservative, nationalistic lawmaker in President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party. He has been Chairman of the Committee on Economic Policy of the State Duma and a member of the Advisory Council of the President of the Russian Federation. Below we discuss war with Ukraine, principles of sovereignty and geopolitics, the ongoing energy battle, the nuclear option, and the reestablishment of the Soviet sphere, all within the context of US ambition and Russian counter-strategy.

INTRO:

Atop the unipolar priority list lies the looming Russian “threat” of providing European consumers with affordable, dependable heating and cooking gas at stable long-term contract terms amidst the dead of winter. Only America and its’ “allies”/ [subordinates/collaborators] can halt this menace by supplanting cheap Russian gas piped from relatively short distances with much more expensive, technically-complex US liquid natural gas shipped from across the Atlantic, capitalizing on America’s shale revolution while stamping out Russian influence in Europe—killing two birds with one stone. (Although at least twenty-nine multibillion dollar regasification intake terminals have been built across Europe under US pressure to import its supplies, a new Russian pipeline threatens to render them sunk costs).

The Russian pipeline would “pose an existential threat to European energy security,” states one US sanctions bill, implying that the very notion of energy security outside of US/EU auspices is the threat itself. Washington is trying to block this development, using various means that now include the threat of war under any pretext.

Since Soviet times as much as 80% of Europe’s Russian gas imports traversed Ukraine— but lately those flows have since slowed to a trickle, due to Washington’s eight-year proxy war in Donbas, NATO expansion, Kiev’s tendency to syphon Russian gas and not pay its bills, and other factors. It is little wonder Moscow is scrambling to establish alternate routes avoiding third-party generated instability.

This year European gas prices rocketed to record highs, adding fuel to Russian ambitions to circumvent its’ now-hostile neighbor with its’ latest project, the recently- completed $11 billion natural gas pipeline, Nordstream 2, running under the Baltic sea direct to Germany, crucially evading land transit states subject to external control.

Nordstream 2 could be a major geopolitical boon to both Russia and Germany, helping the latter achieve the energy independence it would need to take steps to chart an independent course and/or remove US occupation troops from its territory, still present under the NATO umbrella since WWII.

Despite the pipeline’s recent completion, the European Commission has delayed (indefinitely) the certification required in order for Russia to start pumping gas. Whether Moscow will go ahead and do it anyway remains up in the air.

What is clear is that US counter-strategy is a patchwork of threats, hysterics and racketeering. As Richard Morningstar, former US diplomat and founding director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Centre, bluntly put it, “I think Nord Stream 2 is really a bad idea…If you want to kill the [US-based] LNG strategy go ahead with Nord Stream [2]”.

The pipeline also undermines an interrelated, long-developing, radical globalization scheme—an internal EU gas market established under the European Energy Charter that’s designed to dismantle Gazprom by preventing Russia from owning or controlling its downstream energy assets.

Large land transit states like Ukraine help to ensure that Russia obey the rules. But after withdrawing from the aforementioned treaty in 2009, Russia has struck bilateral gas deals with states like Hungary and Belarus, enraging Washington and Brussels. Now Nordstream 2 would symbolize the ultimate affront to the internal energy market architecture as it involves Europe’s most powerful nation, Germany, with no transit states in-between.

(Berlin has been left in the cold ever since caving to pressure to phase-out its nuclear capacity and cease domestic coal production). The pertinent question is: on whose outside supplies will Berlin come to depend? Europe’s future may hang on the answer.

Ex-German chancellor Angela Merkel supported the pipeline, her foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, along with the Austrian Federal Chancellor, Christian Kern, complaining, “The draft bill of the US [sanctions regime] is surprisingly candid about what is actually at stake, namely selling American liquefied natural gas and ending the supply of Russian natural gas to the European market. We cannot accept the threat of illegal extraterritorial sanctions…involving Russia, such as Nord Stream 2, [which] impacts European-American relations in a new and very negative way.”

Detractors, meanwhile, insist that a pipeline avoiding Ukraine would give Russia more leverage over its weaker neighbor, despite the implied detachment, a piece of double-think requiring little to no explanation.

Nevertheless, one hard-headed member of Russia’s Duma explains what’s really going on, from Moscow’s view, and what’s truly at stake in this developing saga.

INTERVIEW:

Q: How does EU policy affect European states’ energy consumption?

Yevgeny Fyodorov

A: The alternative to our natural gas is, of course, importing US LNG, which is much more expensive. The crucial interested parties in our piped gas are Europe and especially Germany. The key question arises from the fact that the EU wants absolute control over the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline. They want to control everything. The principle of competition of nations is involved. Russia is also interested in full control over those gas supplies; it helps Russia to fulfill its obligations. We welcome no third party to play this game as an outside controller over the pipeline.

Hence the Germans’ position: they support Nordstream 2 because it provides for their gas balance and they understand that otherwise they will lack gas. Nord Stream 2 is a kind of “magic wand” for Russia because it helps Germany to get a stable gas supply and sign long-term contracts. Otherwise they will need to keep temperatures in their dwellings very low. If the EU refuses to certify Nordstream 2, Europe will freeze. It would be like shooting its’ own leg.

The position of Europe is this: give us all transport routes and gas fields—but it contradicts the Russian principle of state sovereignty. So Russia won’t agree to it. Our position is simple: we supply gas, you can either take it or not. We aren’t going to sort out your domestic problems.

Q: What are the impediments to gas flowing through the recently-completed Nordstream 2 pipeline?

A: Blocking Nordstream 2 is a result of pressure from the Americans. There we need to understand common sense. What is the Americans’ interest? It is a very basic interest. There is no economic profit in LNG supplied from the US. The interest of the US is that they are generally against German economic independence and independent resouces. Yes, we have American military troops in Germany, Germany is being controlled by the US. In case Germany becomes too independent it will simply throw away American control. This is how history works. Of course, this is why the Americans are against NS2. Not just because of the competition with their LNG, but also because of US Anti-German policy. They dislike that Germany would gain a new level of economic independence; such level which would allow Germany to get rid of American control.

It’s clear that the U.S. wouldn’t like European countries, particularly Germany, to become more powerful. So, the U.S.’s geopolitical interest consists in Germany not being able to solve its problems with gas supply beyond U.S.’s influence, without the influence from Ukraine, Poland etc… As a result Americans opposed Nord Stream 2 from the very beginning. It’s obvious. Because it’s one thing when you control a few countries and manipulate them and it’s absolutely different thing when Germany will get a regular gas supply and will be independent of the US. It’s the position of the US and it’s clear and understandable.

The position of Germany: it needs a reliable gas supply and independence. The position of Russia: to earn money for its gas supply. With every coming year, Germany will become more and more sovereign\independent and one day American troops will be withdrawn from its territory. I’m sure one day Germany will raise the question of withdrawal of American occupation troops from their land. You know, these troops were simply renamed from occupation troops into NATO’s troops. It’s in the interests of German people and at some point Germans will do it. Russia will definitely help them, not in a military way but by creating geopolitical foundation of free nations.

And now another question: the situation in the European Union. European regulations/treaties/charters/energy packages were adopted not by Germany but by the EU and which are greatly influenced by the U.S. They created the so-called energy packages … If EU countries had signed long-term contracts, there wouldn’t have been any price increase. They could have agreed on $300 per cubic meter for many years ahead. But without these contracts the price rocketed to $1000, harming Germany and other European countries.

A: How does the issue of sovereignty come into effect?

What’s the main motivation of any nation? Sovereignty and freedom. And if there are any occupation troop on their land, it’s anything but freedom. That’s why any nation will demand occupation armies to leave their country even if at present they don’t talk about it openly because of the propaganda. Germany is moving in this direction. It’s a normal process. A Unipolar world is neither normal nor legal in the historic context. Either there is one Empire, like the Roman Empire of Alexander the Great, or the world is multi-polar. There is no other option.

Today’s unipolar world is volatile. And Americans understand this. They have two options: either to create a colonial empire (but aren’t powerful enough to do it) or accept\embrace the multi-polar world model. They are guided by the rules of competition among nations according to which everyone is everyone’s enemy. That’s the way people live in the world. All the wars were caused by this. The logic is: you’re the most powerful and the rest are suppressed by you. Everyone is suppressed by you, not only major enemies like Russia, but allies as well. They are allies because American troops are on their territory but not because they love America.

Q: Why does the U.S. still insist on gas transit through Ukraine?

A: Another play is the game with Ukraine, where we still talk about keeping gas supply transiting through it. Nobody (in Russia) refuses to transit via Ukraine. But the talks and wishes are about the substantial profit Ukraine will obtain from transiting our gas over its’ territories. The Americans will continue to insist that Russia must finance its’ own war with Ukraine, until NS2 will start to function; until Russia manages to exclude Ukraine from financing its’ military actions with Russian money [via transit fees amounting to billions of dollars per year].

Frankly speaking there is a particular part of Ukraine that refused to follow the orders of the newly- emerged power in Kiev, who occupied power in 2014. The new undersea pipeline (NS2) shouldn’t involve a third party like what we have to deal with in the case of Ukraine. Our undersea pipeline is more convenient for Europe. It is clear that when the Ukraine pipeline was constructed in the middle of last century there were no underwater pipeline technologies. Now this new technology has emerged thanks to scientific progress.

Q: What are the economic implications of this energy battle?

A: Let’s look at this question from the viewpoint of science, history and geopolitics. What is the American dollar? The American dollar is a world currency. Let’s look at some figures: the American dollar turnover in the world is 40%, the euro turnover is 40% whereas the ruble turnover is only 0.18%. So, the ruble turnover is 400 times lower than that of the dollar or euro. The ruble doesn’t exist on the global scale.

Americans have built their consumption at the expense of the world dollar. Estimates show that Americans consume 4 times more than they produce on their territory. The situation in Russia is quite the opposite. Russia produces 4 times more of the global GDP than it consumes. As a result Russia is a contributor to the world economy while the US is a vermin\parasite. These are merely figures\data, nothing personal. So, the dollar is of great importance to the Americans.

The dollar requires worldwide jurisdiction – Anglo-Saxon law – because currency is worthless if it’s not supported by juridical system. Hence comes the mechanism of the world jurisdiction, the unipolar world as a vertical authority. According to Putin, “one power center means one decision-making center”. What’s Russia’s interest? To restore the ruble, which will allow Russia to immediately control 6% of the world currency turnover. And I’d like to remind you that at present we control only 0.18%. In the long run, taking into account that Russia has 1\3 of the world’s resources, we expect this figure to reach 1\3 of the world turnover. We want to have the right to print out currency.

Q: Do the aforementioned issues implicate a pivot to Asia?

A: There is a policy of reducing dependance of EU countries on Russian gas. We are ready to sell our gas to EU countries. But we see EU legislation creates harm to Europe, eg. Now the natural gas price jumped to $900 per 1000 cubic meters. But those are internal problems; they should be able to set up their legislation so that it will not harm their economy. Concerning Chinese – Russian relations and natural gas supply to China, the supply will continue to grow.

This is about geopolitical and economic profitability. There are certain issues that lead to this. Russia and China have a common goal: to establish sovereignty. I reiterate one figure for economists: in the world economy the USD and the Euro comprise 80% of the world economy. The Russian ruble comprises one twentieth of 1% of global reserves. Hundreds of times less. Naturally that is unfair and illegal. And we will carry on politics which will result in the situation where the Russian ruble will equal Russia’s economy and resource export capability. And China will be our ally.

Q: What is the general position of European states, notwithstanding EU internal market legislation?

A: Who is the enemy of American unipolar world? The enemy of any unipolar world, including the American one, is national thousand-year-old states\countries, like Germany, France, etc… because such countries don’t want to be given orders. France has been independent for more than 1000 years.

They don’t need any bosses in Brussels, let alone in Washington. So the policy of the US is to subdue them. The US has been trying to achieve this goal, firstly, by assisting in EU creation and by Mediterranean wars which led to millions of refugees who break French, German etc… national regimes. That’s the goal. Why did America bomb Libya, Syria? Why were they involved in the coup d’état in Egypt? It’s clear that they wanted to destroy national thousand-year-old states, which leads to economic destruction.

Q: What do you make of the de-Russification laws in Ukraine?

A: It is occupational tool intended to limit and prohibit the Russian language in Ukraine. The character and basic feature of Russian nation is that it is cultural people with big history. And the Russian language is a very important factor in consolidating and uniting multiple smaller nations.

In the territory of Ukraine, as Ukraine itself is not a legal state from the position of International Law. So in Ukraine outside extranational parties. First of all, the US and their allies carry out the politics to stop the process of reestablishment of the joint united Motherland within it’s 1945 borders. In turn the reestablishment process in many parts of the Soviet Union is being carried out by all interested parties.

From this fact emerges the conflict within Ukraine. This conflict could only be resolved by establishment of one single united state of Ukraine and Russia. Otherwise, it will never be resolved and will last forever. Actually, the reunion (of Ukraine and Russia) will definitely happen one day, is my strong belief. All serious leading experts understand that. The situation (between Russia and Ukraine) is still not regulated in accordance with the procedures guiding the liquidation of the Soviet Union. That is most important to understand. To say it in rough words, the situation with Ukraine and Crimea is prolonged and delayed until today. These are the roots of conflicts and arguments with Ukraine about Crimea and Donbass and Lugansk, and with Moldova, Transdniestria, Georgia, Abkhazia, etc…

Q: How does Russia view subversive actions in nearby states like Belarus, for example?

A: As an attempt to intrude by a third party into territory of an internationally recognized state entity, a joint Motherland within 1945 borders. Actually, we will react to intrusion into any other country, not only Belarus. Russia will use shield and defense tools. Defense tools we have include nuclear weapons, to protect and secure our borders and keep them safe and contain safely our nuclear weapons, and using those nuclear weapons. In other words, should America enter the territory of Belarus, our nuclear missiles are targeted at London, Washington, New York and other cities. The US will continue to manipulate Ukraine and Belorussia to oppose Russia. They will utilize the issue of unregulated state borders [see today: Kazakhstan] between these countries as a lever against its’ competitor and opponent, Russia.

Q: Do you feel that America’s missile bases in Eurasia are directed towards Russia?

A: We don’t ignore the reality that the US has installed missile bases throughout Eurasia. And the [US] State Department was saying that they will form new military nuclear bases there, including in Asian countries. Please understand this is very simple story. Russia plans to engage its nuclear weapons not against those countries where it was launched against Russia, but against the mastermind cities where the decisions were made. To be exact, it is Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and other American cities. Please fully understand, in case American nuclear weapons are launched from, eg. Taiwan, or Poland, the response will hit New York or Washington.

Q: Please elaborate on the EU’s long-unfolding internal gas market/energy treaty packages.

A: Sure. European policy was to reject long-term contracts. This policy was to start a competitive war in which, as they said, the price would be reduced as a result of competition. And here lies their error of judgment. Competition works only if there is excess supply.

But taking into consideration the post-Covid economy boost of China and Asia [among other factors], there hasn’t been any excess supply. As a result the EU failed. [higher prices, however, have increased demand for US LNG imports, perhaps implying that Russia’s plan backfired, playing into America’s hands]. Those who signed long-term contracts didn’t suffer at all. Some French companies, for instance, didn’t lose anything. They even benefited from this. So this price increase is the EU’s fault. What Russia wants is just to earn money for its produce. Russia thinks like this: if we don’t sell gas in Europe, we could sell it in China.

Q: What is the situation surrounding US negotiations with Germany regarding Russian energy?

A: Look: Who is more important: the supplier or the consumer who pays money? Surely, it’s the consumer. So, who is the main player in this situation: Germany or Russia? Germany. That’s why the U.S. opposes Nord Stream 2 by negotiating with Germany, not Russia. Germany is the main player here. So, the U.S. exerted pressure on Germany. And Germany, in its turn, tried to compensate by offering to invest in Ukrainian system, hydrogen etc… The negotiations regarding Nord Stream 2 were conducted between Germany and the U.S. but not between America and Russia.

Q: How do offhand events, like the “Russiagate” fraud, the alleged Navalny poisoning, hysteria surrounding Russian troop buildup along the Russian-Ukrainian border, etc… influence public opinion?

A: Russia is constantly blamed and there are two reasons why. Firstly, Russia doesn’t have influence on its own information sphere; it doesn’t have the necessary technology. Even Russia’s social networks, television are American. Mass media in Russia are beyond Russia’s jurisdiction. Russia doesn’t have “weapons” in the information sphere. Besides it’s very convenient to put all the blame on Russia in order to solve one’s own domestic problems. It’s common practice.

Q: Is the EU’s energy Treaty Packages/Charter unfeasible?

A: The EU’s energy packages are based on market excess supply. What I mean is they get gas supply from everywhere, from the U.S., Asia, Norway, and Russia. Europe wants to get the lowest price due to the competition between these suppliers. It only works providing there is excess supply due to different reasons, including transport logistics [plus Russia’s allegedly withholding supply from the market for leverage in Nordstrream 2 negotiations]. So it was a wrong strategy. I have only one question here: was this strategy was wrong because they are fools in Brussels or because they just played along with Americans? I think the latter. The situation got out of control: it led to price increase. Now they don’t know how to handle it.

Q: Will Russia accept the terms and conditions of these energy packages?

A: While drawing up this energy package (and it took years), they didn’t anticipate post-Covid syndrome which changed the situation globally. But Russia’s position is very simple. We support sovereignty. Historically, the concept of sovereignty in the Russian word is a priority. We respect the sovereignty of others. Russian position is simple: here is gas, you can either take it or not. We aren’t going to change your own internal regulations.

Q: How does US and Russian geopolitical strategy differ?

A: We have a different geopolitical strategy. The U.S. strategy is to support dollar turnover in the world. The U.S. domestic economy is dependent on external dollar. Hence 800 (military) bases abroad.

The strategic historical policy of Britain and later America – the so called “gunboat policy, is creating conflict zones and supporting both conflicting parties with the aim of controlling the situation. That’s the U.S. policy. It originates from the American principle of nation building. Russia’s policy is exclusively managing our own business. We are a country of defensive\protective policy. The only exception was the USSR with its Marxist ideology of world revolutions. But it was a temporary exception and it was rejected by Russia.

Q: Do you regard ecological complaints from Poland as a part of the American scheme?

A: Sure. Poland is under U.S. control. If Americans remove this control, it will be gained by Germany. But it’s not in the U.S. interests, so they use Poland and Ukraine. They tried to control Belarus but failed. It’s a clash of strategies. The American strategy is “divide and rule.” Americans want to divide Russia in order to get supplies separately from the Siberia, Ural. But since Russia has nuclear weapons, this plan won’t work out for them.

Q: Would Russia like to restore something like the USSR?

A: The priority here consists in re-establishing legal outcomes, in restoring something that was violated illegally. If a country is divided legally, they have the right to do so. For example, the Czech Republic and Slovakia decided to split. If they did it legally, that’s not a problem. But if it’s illegal, it should be revoked. Do you feel the difference?

As for Yugoslavia one should scrutinize the legitimacy of its division. What are the relations between international and internal\domestic laws? International law doesn’t interfere with domestic laws. A country can be destroyed\divided only by its own laws. If internal Yugoslavian laws were broken while dividing Yugoslavia, then this country should be restored. For the same reason Americans insist on Serbia recognizing Kosovo. Because Americans are well aware that until Serbia recognizes Kosovo’s independence, Serbia and Kosovo can’t be considered legally divided, no matter how many American (military) bases are located in Kosovo.

Without any doubt, the Soviet Union’s dissolution was illegal. By the way, from the viewpoint of law, it wasn’t dissolved because no republic, except for the Baltic States, took the decision to leave the Soviet Union. The republics decided on the state sovereignty but any union consists of sovereign states. So, it doesn’t mean the dissolution of the union.

Q: Who controls Russia’s Central Bank?

A: You must understand how our Central Bank works. The Central Bank is the Depositary of IMF and secures and answers for worldwide USD circulation and includes part of Russian territory. So the Central Bank is part of USD circulation. The Russian Ruble is a derivative of USD and Euro circulations. The Ruble emission is carried out proportionally to part of export deals, as part of USD and Euro income as a result of such operations. So, the Central Bank policy and ruble policy does not reflect the Russian economy at all. It just shows our export potential. So we understand we need reforms to nationalize our currency exchange system and Central Bank. And reforms would create a ruble currency bulk inside Russia in correlation with exports. Similar to what the ECB and Forex are doing. We plan this reform.


Nash Landesnan has written for a number of publications. He can be contacted at NashLandesman1@gmail.com.

Quick update on the Russian ultimatum

December 21, 2021

A few quick facts.

  • The Chinese Foreign Ministry has officially given its support to Russia: “China believes that in the current environment, Russian proposals are in line with the basic norms of international relations, help to increase mutual trust between countries, reduce the risk of conflicts, and uphold global and regional strategic stability
  • The Russian diesel-electric submarine Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii has just fired a 3M14 Kalibr from a submerged position in the Sea of Japan against a land target in Russia located over 1000km away.
  • German officials have declared that they will not attend the Winter Olympics in China.
  • Estonia has declared that it will ship lethal weapons to the Ukraine 🙂
  • The latest (3rd) US test of a hypersonic weapon has failed, like the previous ones
  • The cost of gas in the EU has broken through the $2’100/m3 for the first time.
  • German Chancellor Scholz and Putin spoke on the phone.
  • The US plans to submit counter-proposals to the Russian side.  Should happen this week.
  • The rating of President “Ze” is now as long as 16%
  • Ex-President Poroshenko has fled the Ukraine (were he is now accused of treason)
  • Several Russian officials are warning that US PMCs are involved in preparing a false flag using chemical weapons on the Donbass (like what the West did in Ghouta, Syria).
  • President Putin declared that the Russian ultimatum was not an ultimatum, as have several other Russian officials.  Putin said:

“We already see that some of our ill-wishers, frankly speaking, interpret them as an ultimatum from Russia. Of course not.  I remind you once again, I want to remind you: everything that our partners did, so we will call them, the United States, in previous years, allegedly ensuring their interests and supposedly their security thousands of kilometers from their national territory, after all, they did it, they are so tough and the most bright things, without any sanction of the UN Security Council.

Yugoslavia was bombed under what pretext? What, with the sanction of the Security Council, or what? Where is Yugoslavia and where is the USA? Destroyed the country. Yes, there is an internal conflict, there are their own problems, but who gave the right to strike at the European capital? No one. They just decided that, and the satellites ran behind them and nodded. That’s all international law.

And under what pretext did you enter Iraq? Development of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. We entered, destroyed the country, created a hotbed of international terrorism, and then it turned out that we were mistaken, and then they said: “The intelligence let us down.” Wow! The country was destroyed! Intelligence failed – and the whole explanation. It turns out that there were no weapons of mass destruction there, no one was preparing. On the contrary, once it was, [but] everything was destroyed as it should be.

How did you go to Syria? With the approval of the Security Council? No. They do what they want. But what they are now doing on the territory of Ukraine, or trying to do and planning to do, is not thousands of kilometers from our national border – this is at the doorstep of our house. They must understand that we simply have nowhere to retreat further.

Specialists sit here, I am in constant contact with them. There are no hypersonic weapons in the United States yet, but we know when they will appear, the same cannot be hidden. Everything is recorded: the tests are successful – unsuccessful. Clearly, we roughly understand when it will be. They will supply Ukraine with hypersonic weapons, and then under its cover – this does not mean that they will use them tomorrow, because we already have Zircon, but they do not have it yet – they will arm and push extremists from a neighboring state into including to certain regions of the Russian Federation, say the Crimea, under favorable, as they believe, circumstances for themselves.

Do they think we don’t see these threats? Or do they think that we will helplessly look at the threats posed to Russia? This is the whole problem, we simply have nowhere to move on – that is the question.”

In plain English, this means this: oh no, this is not at all an ultimatum.  But we remind you that you attacked other countries and all we are saying is that if you continue or do not heed our warnings, then we will be free to do whatever we deem necessary.  But no, of course not, this is not an ultimatum at all 🙂

I will end this by posting a transcript of Putin’s speech Expanded Meeting of the Defence Ministry Board:


Good afternoon, comrade officers,

Let us get down to work.

We have always prioritised and still prioritise the development of the Armed Forces and efforts to strengthen Russia’s defence capability, and we will continue to do this in the future.

Today, at the annual expanded meeting of the Defence Ministry Board, we will discuss what has been accomplished in the field of military development throughout 2021, what results have been achieved in the main areas, and, of course, we will chart future tasks. This is what we always do at the Board’s annual meetings.

I would like to note right away that, just like 2020, the outgoing year has been something extraordinary, mostly due to the continued coronavirus pandemic. You and I realise this. And it is of paramount importance that the Armed Forces efficiently and smoothly accomplish all of their tasks in this challenging context.

For example, work continued on the modernisation of the Army and Navy on a grand scale. Consequently, the share of modern weapons exceeded 71 percent in the troops and 89 percent in the strategic nuclear forces.

We continued to actively develop cutting-edge weapons systems. Some of them, namely the Avangard and Kinzhal systems, have been put on combat duty.

The Navy accomplished a wide range of tasks. Russian ships and submarines constantly patrolled all important sectors of the world’s oceans. A combined naval grouping and long-range aviation units successfully accomplished combat-training tasks in the Baltic and Northern seas and in remote areas of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. A group of submarines and other ships did the same in the Arctic Ocean, operating in difficult ice conditions.

I also want to note a further increase in the level of troops’ combat training. The results of the Zapad 2021 joint strategic exercises have shown this convincingly as the participants successfully practiced accomplishing the tasks of ensuring the security of the Union State of Russia and Belarus.

Our military members in Syria acted honourably, as befits Russian soldiers. Their presence and assistance to the civilian population in solving humanitarian problems is making a tangible contribution to strengthening stability in that republic.

Our peacekeepers have been helping to maintain stability in Nagorno-Karabakh for over a year now. Largely thanks to their efforts, the humanitarian situation has improved in the region; several districts have been demined, the social infrastructure has been restored, and historical and cultural landmarks have been preserved. I would like to thank the personnel performing peacekeeping tasks for their professionalism, endurance and perseverance.

Military doctors deserve the highest praise for their hard work in difficult conditions, for their invaluable help to the civilian population: more than 30,500 patients have been treated at the Defence Ministry’s medical facilities, almost half of them civilians.

Military doctors have helped the civilian population in nine regions fight the coronavirus; they have even helped with the rehabilitation of patients who have suffered moderate or severe cases of the coronavirus infection and continue doing it. People continue to undergo rehabilitation treatment at 32 Defence Ministry health centres. Thank you.

I would like to emphasise that the army itself has taken the necessary measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus in its ranks. Almost 100 percent of military personnel have been vaccinated. This made it possible to stem the tide of infection and protect service members’ health, thereby ensuring high combat readiness among army units and divisions. True, the army has suffered from the coronavirus; there have been severe cases and losses – non-combat casualties. But overall, the Armed Forces have dealt with this problem successfully.

The military construction force has been operating with high efficiency. I am referring to more than building a significant amount of infrastructure for the army and navy on time. The military builders have also helped to ensure uninterrupted water supply to Crimea and Sevastopol. They have also helped build multifunctional medical centres and other socially significant facilities in many regions.

Comrade officers,

Relying on the solid foundation and a powerful research and technology achievements of the past few years, we must definitely continue to improve and strengthen our Armed Forces, which is exactly what we will do.

The military political situation in the world remains complicated, with increased conflict potential and new seats of tension in several regions. In particular, the growth of the US and NATO military forces in direct proximity to the Russian border and major military drills, including unscheduled ones, are a cause for concern.

It is extremely alarming that elements of the US global defence system are being deployed near Russia. The Mk 41 launchers, which are located in Romania and are to be deployed in Poland, are adapted for launching the Tomahawk strike missiles. If this infrastructure continues to move forward, and if US and NATO missile systems are deployed in Ukraine, their flight time to Moscow will be only 7–10 minutes, or even five minutes for hypersonic systems. This is a huge challenge for us, for our security.

In this context, as you are aware, I invited the US President to start talks on the drafting of concrete agreements. Incidentally, during our conversation he actually proposed appointing senior officials to oversee this sphere. It was in response to his proposal that we drafted our proposals on precluding the further eastward expansion of NATO and the deployment of offensive strike systems in the countries bordering on Russia. As you are aware, we have sent the drafts of relevant agreements to our American colleagues and the NATO leadership.

We need long-term legally binding guarantees. Well, we know very well that even legal guarantees cannot be completely fail-safe, because the United States easily pulls out of any international treaty that has ceased to be interesting to it for some reason, sometimes offering explanations and sometimes not, as was the case with the ABM and the Open Skies treaties – nothing at all.

However, we need at least something, at least a legally binding agreement rather than just verbal assurances. We know the worth of such verbal assurances, fine words and promises. Take the recent past, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when we were told that our concerns about NATO’s potential expansion eastwards were absolutely groundless. And then we saw five waves of the bloc’s eastward expansion. Do you remember how it happened? All of you are adults. It happened at a time when Russia’s relations with the United States and main member states of NATO were cloudless, if not completely allied.

I have already said this in public and will remind you of this again: American specialists were permanently present at the nuclear arms facilities of the Russian Federation. They went to their office there every day, had desks and an American flag. Wasn’t this enough? What else is required? US advisors worked in the Russian Government, career CIA officers gave their advice. What else did they want? What was the point of supporting separatism in the North Caucasus, with the help of even ISIS – well, if not ISIS, there were other terrorist groups. They obviously supported terrorists. What for? What was the point of expanding NATO and withdrawing from the ABM Treaty?

They are to blame for what is happening in Europe now, for the escalation of tensions there. Russia had to respond at every step, and the situation was continuously going from bad to worse. It was deteriorating all the time. And here we are today, in a situation when we are forced to resolve it: After all, we cannot allow the scenario I mentioned. Is anyone unable to grasp this? This should be clear.

Sometimes I wonder: Why did they do all this in the then conditions? This is unclear. I think the reason lies in the euphoria from the victory in the so-called Cold War or the so-called victory in the Cold War. This was due to their wrong assessment of the situation at that time, due to their unprofessional, wrong analysis of probable scenarios. There are simply no other reasons.

I would like to emphasise again: we are not demanding any special exclusive terms for ourselves. Russia stands for equal and indivisible security in the whole of Eurasia.

Naturally, as I have already noted, if our Western colleagues continue their obviously aggressive line, we will take appropriate military-technical reciprocal measures and will have a tough response to their unfriendly steps. And, I would like to stress that we are fully entitled to these actions that are designed to ensure Russia’s security and independence.

As we know well, they are operating thousands of kilometres away from their national territory under different pretexts, including the need to ensure their own security. When international law and the UN Charter get in their way, they declare them obsolete and unnecessary. However, when something meets their interests, they immediately refer to the norms of international law, the UN Charter, international humanitarian law and so on. These manipulations are annoying.

In this connection, as I have already said, it is important to continue planned, steady, systemic development of the Armed Forces, including in line with their priorities, set forth in the latest version of the National Security Strategy and the Concept for Building and Developing the Armed Forces through to 2030.

Next year, we will have to focus on the following main tasks.

First, it is necessary to continue the planned and well-balanced procurement of modern weapons and equipment for military units and to devote special attention to deliveries of high-precision systems, cutting-edge reconnaissance, navigation, communications and control systems.

Second, combat and tactical training programmes should prioritise efforts to master modern weaponry, as well as new forms and methods of combat operations. In this connection, combat training programmes should be modified, so that they can be taken into account during exercises next year, including the Vostok 2022 strategic command post exercise.

Third, all-out success in many spheres now directly depends on well-thought-out and rapid decision-making. In the military sphere, during combat operations, decisions are made in minutes or even seconds. It is therefore necessary to develop systems to support the decision-making process by commanders at all levels, especially at the tactical level, and to introduce elements of artificial intelligence into these systems.

Fourth, it goes without saying that effective operational algorithms should be established at all levels, and advanced automatic systems should also be introduced. At the same time, we can see that modern military conflicts do not take place under pre-set patterns. As before, commanders play a key role in these conflicts. A lot depends on their knowledge, experience, personal qualities, and those who make truly unconventional decisions win battles. Consequently, during operational and combat training, it is necessary to train versatile commanders who possess knowledge in all fields. They should be listed in the personnel pool of top military commanders, and it is necessary to keep an eye on them even now, to guide them and to provide them with opportunities for subsequent promotion.

And, finally, here is the fifth aspect. Given the complicated international situation, it is necessary to develop military and military-technical cooperation with states that are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation and to pay special attention to strengthening the defence capability of the Russia-Belarus Union State.

Colleagues,

One of our absolute priorities is to increase the level of social guarantees for the military personnel. Defenders of the Motherland perform special tasks which are often highly complicated, demanding and perilous. We will make sure that they are duly rewarded for their service.

As in the previous years, the military allowance must be equivalent and even higher than the wages in the leading industries. We agreed on this with the Government several years ago.

For your information, we have managed to maintain this correlation. According to forecasts, the average wage across the economy as of the end of the year will be 55,000 rubles and the average wage in the leading industries (oil, finance and transport) will be 63,200 rubles. According to my data (the Finance Ministry’s numbers are slightly higher), the Defence Ministry’s average military allowance for lieutenants in 2021 is 81,200 rubles. The figure may differ as all lieutenants are different and serve differently – but the average level of compensation is 81,200 rubles while the leading industries show 63,200 rubles.

The Government must adjust the allowance for inflation and, of course, increase military pensions, in a timely manner and to the extent that will ensure that this correlation is maintained.

We continue to provide military personnel with permanent housing as planned. This year, 4,350 servicepeople purchased new flats using housing subsidies. In the course of the next three years, some 9,000 servicepeople will receive the subsidies. We plan to allocate around 113 billion rubles for this purpose from the federal budget.

The accumulative mortgage system continues to work effectively. Thanks to this programme, 15,000 military personnel have fulfilled their right to housing in 2021. Another 34,000 will obtain new housing in 2022–2024.

Service housing is provided at the same rate. Some 35,000 servicepeople will have obtained it by the end of the year, which is 14 percent higher than our plan.

We will continue to focus very closely on these and other issues concerning military personnel’s social security.

Finally, I would like to thank the leadership and staff of the Defence Ministry for their honest service and good performance. I am confident that you will continue to demonstrate professionalism and competence and use your best efforts to achieve high results. I wish you further success in your service for the benefit of Russia and our people.

Thank you.

Zakharova: The US is No Longer A “World Leader”

September 16, 2021 

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova divulges the US no longer holds the position of a “world leader.”

See the source image
Russian Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

The Spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry divulged that the US is no longer close to the position of a world leader, especially when it comes to democracy.

In response to Washington’s criticism of Moscow’s democratic record, Zakharova stated on a talk show broadcast on Russian Channel One, that every country and its leader must solve their internal problems.

Zakharova expressed that any country that is ideal and practices such high standards would be in a position to educate others, shedding light on the many domestic issues in the US.

The Russian Spokeswoman has previously attacked the US and its policies, stressing that before the US speaks of “law” it should hold itself accountable for what it did in Yugoslavia and Iraq.

In response to the arrest of Alexey Navalny, Zakharova advised the US National Security Adviser, Jack Sullivan, to focus on the US’s internal conflicts and respect international law.

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