ICC issues arrest warrant for Putin; Kremlin calls it ‘null and void’ 

Friday, 17 March 2023 5:35 PM  [ Last Update: Friday, 17 March 2023 6:00 PM ]

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an expanded board meeting of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office in Moscow on March 15, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin on war crime accusations, while the Kremlin rejected the warrant and said the court has no jurisdiction and the decision is “null and void”.

The Hague-based court said in a statement on Friday the arrest warrant was issued over Putin’s alleged involvement in the unlawful deportation and transfer of children from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia.

“There are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Putin bears individual criminal responsibility” for the alleged child abductions “for having committed the acts directly, jointly with others and/or through others [and] for his failure to exercise control properly over civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts,” the statement added.

The international court has also issued a warrant for Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the commissioner for children’s rights in the office of the Russian president, on the same charges.

The ICC has no powers to enforce its own warrants as ICC member states can make the arrests and hand over the individuals to the Huge.

Russia has repeatedly rejected accusations of committing war crimes by its forces during the year-long war in Ukraine.

Reacting to the development, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow did not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC. Describing the questions raised by the court as “outrageous and unacceptable”, he stressed that any decisions of the court were “null and void” with respect to Russia.

Furthermore, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the warrant is meaningless.

“The decisions of the International Criminal Court have no meaning for our country, including from a legal point of view,” she said on her Telegram channel, adding, “Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and bears no obligations under it.”

Russia charges 680 Ukrainian officials with war crimes

Russia charges 680 Ukrainian officials, including members of the security forces and defense ministry, with offenses that amount to war crimes, according to Russian media.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin lauded ICC’s decision as “a historic decision for Ukraine and the entire international law system” and said that “it is only the beginning of the long road to restore justice.”

The ICC decision was also welcomed by European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who described it as “an important decision of international justice and for the people of Ukraine.”

The move was just the start of “holding Russia accountable” for its alleged crimes in Ukraine, he said.

Russia launched the military operation in Ukraine in late February 2022, following Kiev administration’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements and Moscow’s recognition of the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

At the time, Russian President Vladimir Putin said one of the goals of what he called a “special military operation” was to “de-Nazify” Ukraine.

Over the past year, Western countries, led by the United States, have shipped billions of dollars worth of weaponry to Kiev while slapping unprecedented economic sanctions on Moscow to force it into submission. 

Amid the Western support for Ukraine, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan opened an investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity and genocide in Ukraine a year ago. He made four trips to Ukraine, noting that he was looking at alleged crimes against children and the targeting of civilian infrastructure.

In a statement on Friday, Khan claimed that hundreds of Ukrainian children have been taken from orphanages and children’s homes to Russia. “Many of these children, we allege, have since been given up for adoption in the Russian Federation,” he added.

According to Khan, Moscow has changed laws to facilitate the adoption of children by Russian families while Ukrainian children at the time of deportation are protected individuals under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Today’s arrest warrants were “a first concrete step”, he said, noting that other investigations into the Ukraine war are still ongoing.


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www.presstv.ir

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Western countries escalate the war and the International Criminal Court orders the arrest of Putin

Putin’s ‘civilizational’ speech frames conflict between east and west

February 22 2023

Photo credit: The Cradle

In his Federal Assembly address, President Putin emphasized that Russia is not only an independent nation-state but also a distinct civilization with its own identity, which is in conflict and actively opposes the values of ‘western civilization.’

By Pepe Escobar

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s much awaited address to the Russian Federal Assembly on Tuesday should be interpreted as a tour de force of sovereignty.

The address, significantly, marked the first anniversary of Russia’s official recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, only a few hours before 22 February, 2022. In myriad ways, what happened a year ago also marked the birth of the real, 21st century multipolar world

Then two days later, Moscow launched the Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine to defend said republics.

Cool, calm, collected, without a hint of aggression, Putin’s speech painted Russia as an ancient, independent, and quite distinct civilization – sometimes following a path in concert with other civilizations, sometimes in divergence.

Ukraine, part of Russian civilization, now happens to be occupied by western civilization, which Putin said “became hostile to us,” like in a few instances in the past. So the acute phase of what is essentially a war by proxy of the west against Russia takes place over the body of Russian civilization.

That explains Putin’s clarification that “Russia is an open country, but an independent civilization – we do not consider ourselves superior but we inherited our civilization from our ancestors and we must pass it on.”

A war dilacerating the body of Russian civilization is a serious existential business. Putin also made clear that “Ukraine is being used as a tool and testing ground by the west against Russia.” Thus the inevitable follow-up: “The more long-range weapons are sent to Ukraine, the longer we have to push the threat away from our borders.”

Translation: this war will be long – and painful. There will be no swift victory with minimal loss of blood. The next moves around the Dnieper may take years to solidify. Depending on whether US policy continues to cleave to neo-con and neoliberal objectives, the frontline may be displaced to Lviv. Then German politics may change. Normal trade with France and Germany may be recovered only by the end of the next decade.

Kremlin exasperation: START is finished

All that brings us to the games played by the Empire of Lies. Says Putin: “The promises…of western rulers turned into forgery and cruel lies. The west supplied weapons, trained nationalist battalions. Even before the start of the SMO, there were negotiations…on the supply of air defense systems… We remember Kyiv’s attempts to obtain nuclear weapons.”

Putin made it clear, once again, that the element of trust between Russia and the west, especially the US, is gone. So it’s a natural decision for Russia to “withdraw from the treaty on strategic offensive weapons, but we don’t do it officially. For now we are only halting our participation to the START treaty. No US inspections in our nuclear sites can be allowed.”

As an aside, of the three main US-Russian weapons treaties, Washington abandoned two of these: The Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty was dumped by the administration of former president George W. Bush in 2002, and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was nixed by former president Donald Trump in 2019.

This shows the Kremlin’s degree of exasperation. Putin is even prepared to order the Ministry of Defense and Rosatom to get ready to test Russian nuclear weapons if the US goes first along the same road.

If that’s the case, Russia will be forced to completely break parity in the nuclear sphere, and abandon the moratorium on nuclear testing and cooperation with other nations when it comes to the production of nuclear weapons. So far, the US and NATO game consisted in opening a little window allowing them to inspect Russian nuclear sites.

With his judo move, Putin returns the pressure onto the White House.

The US and NATO will not be exactly thrilled when Russia starts testing its new strategic weapons, especially the post-doomsday Poseidon – the largest nuclear-powered torpedo ever deployed, capable of triggering terrifying radioactive ocean swells.

On the economic front: Bypassing the US dollar is the essential play towards multipolarity. During his speech, Putin made a point to extol the resilience of the Russian economy: “Russian GDP in 2022 decreased only by 2.1 percent, estimates of the opposing side did not become reality, they said 15, 20 percent.” That resilience gives Russia enough room to “work with partners to make the system of international settlements independent of the US dollar and other western currencies. The dollar will lose its universal role.”

On geoeconomics: Putin went all out in praise of economic corridors, from West Asia to South Asia: “New corridors, transport routes will be built towards the East, this is the region where we will focus our development, new highways to Kazakhstan and China, new North-South corridor to Pakistan, Iran.”

And those will connect to Russia developing “the ports of the Black and Azov Seas, it’s necessary to build logistics corridors within the country.” The result will be a progressive interconnection with the International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) whose principals include Iran and India, and eventually China’s mega-trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

China’s plan for global security  

It’s inevitable that apart from sketching several state policies geared towards Russia’s internal development – one might even compare them to socialist policies – a great deal of Putin’s address had to focus on the NATO vs. Russia war till-the-last-Ukrainian.

Putin remarked on how “our relations with the west have degraded, and this is entirely the fault of the United States;” how NATO’s goal is to inflict a “strategic defeat” on Russia; and how the warmongering frenzy had forced him, a week ago, to sign a decree “putting new ground-based strategic complexes on combat duty.”

So it’s no accident that the US ambassador was immediately summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs right after Putin’s address.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Ambassador Lynne Tracey in no uncertain terms that Washington must take concrete measures: among them, to remove all US and NATO military forces and equipment away from Ukraine. In a stunning move, he demanded a detailed explanation of the destruction of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, as well as a halt to US interference in an independent inquiry to identify the responsible parties.

Keeping the momentum in Moscow, top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi met with secretary of Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev, before talking to Lavrov and Putin. Patrushev remarked, “the course towards developing a strategic partnership with China is an absolute priority for Russia’s foreign policy.” Wang Yi, not so cryptically, added, “Moscow and Beijing need to synchronize their watches.”

The Americans are doing everything to try and pre-empt the Chinese proposal for a de-escalation in Ukraine. China’s plan should be presented this Friday, and there’s a serious risk Beijing may fall into a trap set by the western plutocracy.

Too many Chinese “concessions” to Russia, and not as many to Ukraine, may be spun to drive a wedge between Moscow and Beijing (Divide and Rule, which is always the US Plan A. There’s no Plan B).

Sensing the waters, the Chinese themselves decided to take the offensive, presenting a Global Security Initiative Concept Paper.

The problem is Beijing still attributes too much clout to a toothless UN, when they refer to“formulating a New Agenda for Peace and other proposals put forth in Our Common Agenda by the UN Secretary-General.”

Same when Beijing upholds the consensus that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” Try to explain that to the Straussian neo-con psychos in the Beltway, who know nothing about war, much less nuclear ones.

The Chinese affirm the necessity to “comply with the joint statement on preventing nuclear war and avoiding arms races issued by leaders of the five nuclear-weapon states in January 2022.” And to “strengthen dialogue and cooperation among nuclear-weapon states to reduce the risk of nuclear war.”

Bets can be made that Patrushev explained in detail to Wang Yi how that is just wishful thinking. The “logic “of the current collective western “leadership” has been expressed, among others, by irredeemable mediocrity Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary-general: even nuclear war is preferable to a Russian victory in Ukraine.

Putin’s measured but firm address has made it clear that the stakes keep getting higher. And it all revolves on how deep Russia’s – and China’s – “strategic ambiguity” are able to petrify a paranoid west flirting with mushroom clouds.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Tanks for Nothing: NATO Keeps On Demilitarising Itself in Ukraine

January 17, 2023

Source

by James Tweedie

It has been said often over the past year, most recently by Emmanuel Todd, that the conflict in Ukraine is “existential” for Russia.

Certainly, the Great Bear cannot abide a NATO ballistic missile launchpad just 300 miles from Moscow in a country run my rabidly-Russophobic Nazis — not neo-Nazi skinhead cosplayers but the literal descendants of the real deal.

But others have argued that the Special Military Operation (SMO) is also a make-or-break roll of the dice for NATO and the US which dominates it. How else can we explain the latest mania for arming the regime in Kiev just as its ‘Siegfried Line’ in the Donbass starts to crumble?

How else can one explain cry-bully US National Security Spokesman John Kirby’s response to news that Russian Wagner ‘private military company’ had liberated the town of Soledar, a keystone of the Ukrainian defences? He simultaneously tried to cast doubt on the facts while claiming the town’s capture was strategically insignificant.

“We don’t know his it’s gonna go, so I’m not going to predict failure or success here,” Kirby said as Wagner were mopping up stranded Ukrainian conscripts. “But even if both Bakhmut and Soledar fall to the Russians, it’s not going to have a strategic impact on the war itself, and it certainly isn’t going to stop the Ukrainians or slow them down in terms of their efforts to regain their territory.”

To the contrary, reports indicate that several Ukrainian brigades being concentrated for a southward push on Melitopol, near the narrow isthmus to the Crimea, were redeployed to Donbass in a vain attempt to hold Soledar and Bakhmut, where they suffered huge casualties. Taking Bakhmut could allow the Russian forces to ‘roll up’ the Ukrainian line to the north and south and advance on Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, the last two major cities Ukraine holds in Donetsk.

Moscow has repeatedly said there can be no peace while the West keeps pumping arms into Ukraine. The most obvious interpretation of those statements is that NATO is only prolonging the suffering of the Ukrainian and Donbass peoples with its cornucopia of death. But another is, as blogger Andrei Martyanov said recently, that the ultimate end of the SMO is not just to de-militarise (and de-Nazify) the Ukraine, but all of NATO too.

Indeed, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in a January 6 TV interview that his country was already a “de facto” member of NATO, and that he had been thanked by unnamed Western politicians for fighting Russia on their behalf to defend their imperialist idea of exclusive “civilisation”.

I wrote last August that only NATO could de-militarise itself, and then asked in September if the Ukraine was doing the same. Now seems a good time to take stock of that.

A Farewell to (NATO) Arms

Western aid to the Ukraine since the start of the SMO — arms supplies and payments for fighting the war on NATO’s behalf — has long since exceeded Russia’s 2022 defence budget of around $75 billion, and even its projected 2023 spend of $84 billion. It’s widely recognised that the Russian arms industry gives you more ‘bang for your buck’, but the disparity has become stark.

On December 22, 2022, Russian Chief of the General Staff, Army General Valery Gerasimov said: “Since the beginning of the special military operation, the West has delivered to Kiev a total of four aircraft, more than 30 helicopters, over 350 tanks, about 1,000 armoured combat vehicles, at least 800 armoured vehicles, up to 700 artillery systems, 100 MLRS [multiple-launch rocket systems], 130,000 anti-tank weapons, more than 5,300 MANPADs, and at least 5,000 UAVs for various purposes.”

Russia’s initial estimate of Ukrainian military strength included 2,416 armoured fighting vehicles — probably about 800 main battle tanks (MBTs) along with 1,600 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) and armoured personnel carriers (APCs) — 152 fixed-wing combat aircraft and 149 helicopters, 180 medium- and long-rang surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, 1,509 artillery guns and 535 MLRS.

Various Western ‘military analysis’ sources say Ukraine had a lot more tanks and artillery to begin with, although those figures includes mothballed vehicles and guns that would have to be overhauled — while Russia continues to hit repair workshops with its long-range missiles.

In mid-June 2022, Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister Denys Sharapov admitted that his army had lost around half its heavy equipment: 400 tanks, 1,300 IFVs and 700 artillery.

At the end of August, the Ukrainian army launched its counter-offensive in the Kherson region. Just three weeks in, on September 21, Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu said his forces on that front had destroyed “208 tanks and 245 infantry fighting vehicles, 186 other armoured vehicles, 15 aircraft and 4 helicopters.” Those losses continued to mount until Russia pulled back across the Dnieper river from the city of Kherson in November 2022. The final tally was around 1,200 armoured vehicles of all types, 40 artillery pieces, 38 aeroplanes and a dozen helicopters.

As of January 14 2023, the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) claims to have destroyed more than 7,500 armoured fighting vehicles of all types, 372 planes and 200 helicopters, 400 SAM systems, 982 MLRS, more than 3,800 self-propelled and towed artillery and 8,000 soft-skinned military vehicles, which include civilian-model trucks and cars.

More specifically, Russia says it has hit at least 31 of the 38 M142 HIMARS MLRS launchers pledged by the US, plus six of the 13 M270 tracked MLRS, of the same nine-inch calibre, donated by the UK, Norway, Germany and France. Also on the clobber list are 122 of the 152 US-made M777 howitzers supplied — 80 per cent of them.

The MoD claims may be exaggerated. But, as The Saker blog points out, even if you halve those numbers then the Ukrainian armed forces are still on the verge of being completely ‘de-militarised’.

The arsenals of NATO’s eastern and southern European members have been scoured for Soviet-made arms and vehicles that the Ukrainian forces already operate and for which they have ammunition and spare parts.

As it turns out, Poland has one of the biggest armies in Europe. It has already supplied, among other things, at least 230 MBTs to Kiev, all variants of the T-72. Warsaw has also sent about 40 IFVs, 72 self-propelled 155mm howitzers, 20 122mm SP howitzers and 20 MLRS.

If, as some suspect, the defence ministry in Warsaw actively encouraged the thousands of serving soldiers to have gone to fight in the Ukrainian ‘Foreign Legion’, Poland has lent its very flesh and blood to the Kiev government.

But the cherry on the cake, announced by Polish President Andrzej Duda on a visit to Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky in Lvov, the western Ukrainian city Warsaw still covets, was “a company of Leopard tanks” — 10 to 14 in layman’s terms — which he hoped would be just the start of a new wave of largesse from the “international coalition.”

British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed on Monday January 16 that the UK was adding a squadron (company) of 14 Challenger 2 MBTs, 24 AS90 155mm SP guns plus an unspecified number of Bulldog APCs and “proected” (i.e. not really armoured) vehicles to the pile of chips on the Ukraine-shaped card table. Rumours of four AH-64 Apache helicopter gunships to follow had been swiftly denied over the weekend.

These tanks have been out of production since 2002 and the British army has just 227 of them. 148 of those are earmarked to be upgraded to the proposed ‘Challenger 3’ standard, although Wallace said that number could be increased — with the implication that there would be fewer to spare. The UK only had 117 AS90s in service as of 2015 and its replacement is still in development, so that pledge represents a fifth of the army’s tracked artillery.

In a leaked internal memo, British Chief of General Staff Sir Patrick Sanders admitted that “giving away these capabilities will leave us temporarily weaker as an army, there is no denying it.”

France has volunteered an unclear number (reportedly 30) of its AMX 10 RC wheeled, turreted vehicles. These have been variously described as “light tanks”, “tank destroyers” or “armoured recce vehicles”, he last reflecting how the French army actually use them. They’re certainly no match for a real MBT.

Marder, She Wrote

The Polish, British and French pledges of token numbers of tanks are explicitly a political move to pressure other countries, especially Germany, to hand over some — or many — of their own. US President Joe Biden already managed to twist German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’ arm in the first week of January to give up 40 Marder IFVs by pledging 50 US M2 Bradley IFVs as well.

The ultimate humiliation for Berlin was that the White House announced the move before the German government did. Meanwhile, the new Puma IFV (named after a WWII Nazi armoured car) that is meant to replace the Marder has turned out to be a complete disaster that constantly breaks down. The German defence minister Christine Lambrecht resigned on January 16 — ostensibly for failing to fix the equipment shortage, but also, paradoxically, amid criticism that she has not handed over enough arms to Kiev.

Germany is the biggest European importer of Russian gas and has been reticent to antagonise Moscow too much. It is not lost on the Germans that the last time their tanks were in Ukraine was when the Wehrmacht was perpetrating the genocide of 21 million Soviets.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was in Berlin on Monday in a bid to unlock that Pandora’s box, arguing NATO should not let tanks “rust away in the warehouses.” Of course, Russia’s approach since WWII of stockpiling old equipment, rather than scrapping or selling it, has been key to its ability to sustain high-intensity combat operations this long.

London also pressed Berlin to grant other countries permission to re-export the tanks it has sold them in the past.

“It is hoped that the example set by the French and us will allow those countries holding Leopard tanks to donate as well. I would urge my German colleagues to do that,” Wallace said, then claimed: “These tanks are not offensive when they are used for defensive methods.”

The Leopard 2 also massively out-sells the much-vaunted US M1 Abrams and the Challenger 2 on the export market. 21 countries have bought the German tank, compared to just eight for the Abrams and only one, Oman, for the Challenger 2. Social media videos of burnt-out and turret-less Leopards strewn across the Ukrainian steppes will really mess up German heavy industry’s bottom line. After the Nord Stream pipeline sabotage and the US ‘Inflation Reduction Act’, this would be the third time Berlin has been screwed by its so-called allies.

German tank-maker Rheinmetall’s CEO Armin Papperger tried to head off that outcome on Sunday. He told reporters that Germany could only spare 22 Leopard 2s for Ukraine, and no earlier than 2024. “The vehicles must be completely dismantled and rebuilt,” Papperger stated. The fighting could very well be over by the time they’re fixed.

Scholtz tried to put the ball back in Washington’s court on January 17. “We are never going alone, because this is necessary in a very difficult situation like this,” he said, reiterating that he was anxious to avoid “escalating” the conflict to “a war between Russia and NATO.” Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck more explicit, telling a journalist at the World Economic Forum in Davos the same day: “If America will decide that they will bring battle tanks to Ukraine, that will make it easier for Germany.”

The Pentagon’s excuse for not giving some of its stock of more than 6,000 M1 tanks (compared to Germany’s 300-odd Leopards) to the Ukraine is that they are high-maintenance, voracious gas-guzzlers, even by tank standards, and are fitted with technology that they can’t afford to let fall into Russian hands. But the US has previously exported ‘Nerfed’ versions of the Abrams to several Middle-Eastern countries without the depleted uranium armour inserts and other top-tier systems. The problem is that they turned out to be quite vulnerable.

Many announcements of arms deliveries to the Kiev regime so far have been short on specific numbers. One might speculate that is either because they are embarrassingly small, or because they mean disarming the donor country. Both can be true at once.

For example, Italy’s latest mooted donation is a SAMP-T surface-to-air missile (SAM) battery. Given that the Ukraine started the conflict with 250 long-range S-300 SAMs systems and hundreds of other types, one more is not going to make any difference to the outcome — nor the two Patriot SAM batteries prmised by the US and Germany. But the Italian army only has five SAMP-T systems, and two of those have already been deployed abroad in Kuwait and Slovakia.

Sweden and Finland are not even in NATO yet, and may never be while they both continue to harbour hundreds of Kurdish separatist terrorists wanted in Turkey, which as an existing member has a veto on their entry. But Stockholm may send up to 12 of its 48 Archer self-propelled howitzers to the Ukraine, while Helsinki has already supplied ‘classified’ numbers of APCs, heavy mortars and anti-aircraft guns.

Little Slovakia made headlines last summer when promised Kiev 11 MiG-29 fighters, its entire combat jet fleet. It turns out they still haven’t been delivered, however, and in the meantime Russia has claimed far more aircraft shot down leaving the Ukrainian Air Force at a net loss.

Slovakia’s neighbour the Czech Republic has supplied up to 40 T-72 tanks, 60 IFVs, 50 to 70 SP guns, 20 to 30 MLRS and at least 10 Mi-24 attack helicopters — which have been replaced by either gifts or sales of old AH-1 Cobra choppers from the US.

Latvia donated four helicopters — half its fleet — and six M109 155mm tracked howitzers, which was one in nine of its stocks. Lithuania sent 52 M113 APCs, which is a quarter of its armoured infantry transports, and 10 of its 32 120mm self-propelled mortars based in the same vehicle. Estonia gave nine of its 42 122mm howitzers and what appears to be all seven of its Alvis Mamba light armoured cars. It is these three Baltic micro-states, along with their neighbour Poland, who shout the loudest about the threat of ‘Russian aggression’, yet they are disarming themselves for the sake of the lost cause in the Ukraine.

Logistics? Fiddlesticks!

Mark F. Cancian of the Centre for Strategic and international Studies (a Washington think-tank) has been warning those who will listen about the US military’s logistics problems almost since the start of the SMO.

His latest article, published on January 9, contains a helpful infographic of how many years it will take to replace the arms sent to Ukraine.

Even at the “surge rate” of accelerated production, it will take five years for the US to replenish its stocks of 155mm artillery shells after sending more than 1 million to the Maidan regime. Replacing the 38 HIMARS MLRS launchers sent will take two-and-a-half to three years, while for the Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger shoulder-launched SAMs the time frame could be as long as eight and 18 years respectively.

US Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro appears to agree. Asked this week if the US Navy had reached the point of having to choose between arming itself and Ukraine, he said it was not their yet, but “if the conflict does go on for another six months, for another year, it certainly continues to stress the supply chain in ways that are challenging.”

This betrays a criminally-negligent lack of planning by NATO military staff. Why did the collective west start a fight it couldn’t finish? Did they really think they could bluff Russia into backing down with a few M777s and HIMARS launchers?

Too Little, Too Late

Retired German brigadier general Erich Vad warned last week that the latest round of arms was a “military escalation” even if the 40-plus-year-old Marders were “not a silver bullet.”

“We’re going down a slide. This could develop a momentum of its own that we can no longer control,” Vad said, questioning whether the NATO had a strategy at all. “Do you want to achieve a willingness to negotiate with the deliveries of the tanks? Do you want to reconquer Donbass or Crimea? Or do you want to defeat Russia completely? There is no realistic end state definition. And without an overall political and strategic concept, arms deliveries are pure militarism.”

Brian Berletic of The New Atlas has broken down the latest headline-grabbing pledges of heavy armour to Ukraine. He has explained cogently that nothing is indestructible, and most of the immensely-heavy Western MBTs have proven vulnerable in recent years by man-portable weapons.

Islamic State/DAESH wiped out about 10 Turkish army Leopard 2s when Ankara sent troops into northern Syrian four years ago, and destroyed or captured around Iraqi army 100 M1 Abrams during its sudden seizure of northern Iraq in 2014.

The US Bradley and German Marder IFVs are far more vulnerable. Both are about a third taller and half as heavy again as the Russian equivalent BMP series of vehicles, making them fat targets with the bonus of huge propaganda value when they are destroyed. Armour-wise, the Bradley is only fully protected against Russian 14.5mm heavy machine guns and the Marder against 20mm and 25 mm automatic cannon. The Russian BMPs and the newer wheeled BTRs carry a 30mm cannon, but more importantly anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), both quite capable of destroying any other IFV in service.

Berletic also puts the numbers to be supplied in context. Along with the 90 refurbished Czech T-72 tanks paid for by the US and Netherlands in the autumn, the new deliveries will only be enough to equip one armoured brigade with its attached mechanised infantry battalions.

Ukraine is now claiming that it will form up three whole new army corps of troops this year, each numbering 75,000 men, for a total of 225,000. That’s as large as the standing army Kiev commanded on February 24 last year. What will they be armed with and transported on, slingshots and bicycles?

Martyanov simply points to the commonly-used algebraic equations for force requirements and battle outcomes as proof that the latest ‘packages’ will make no difference.

General Lord Richard Dannatt agrees with Martyanov and Berletic that a dozen or so tanks is not going to be enough. While still claiming the Challenger is a wonder-weapon, he wrote for the Daily Mail that 50 would be needed to make a difference.

Kiev’s ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko, combines NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s killer android stare with Zelensky’s shameless passive-aggressive panhandling.

He took the whole argument to its logical conclusion by demanding “hundreds” of tanks in an interview with LBC radio, then upped the stakes to “thousands” when he went on Sky News — in the process admitting that Russia was able to field that many itself despite Western claims it is running out of everything.

Prystaiko probably realises that he is talking about the entire arsenals of the European NATO members, and probably a large part of US military stocks.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said simply: “These tanks will burn like the rest. The goals of the special operation will be achieved.”

The whole world has been on tenterhooks for almost a year now, wondering whether the conflict between NATO’s proxy Ukraine and Russia will escalate into full-blown World War Three or just end up as World War Two-and-a-Half: the sequel only the psycho fans wanted.

But instead of weakening Russia militarily and economically, as US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has stated is Washington’s goal, the conflict is destroying NATO’s ability to fight and only making Russia richer and stronger. Moscow may in no hurry to finish it.

In the mean time, let’s hope the West doesn’t throw a tantrum when Russia breaks its best war toys and drop the big one.

مثلث خلده الأوكراني والهزيمة المذلة للناتو في الدونباس

السبت 14 كانون الثاني 2023

محمد صادق الحسيني

تعتبر معركة السيطرة على البلدة الاستراتيجية المعروفة بإسم سوليدار، أشبه لنا بمعركة السيطرة على مثلث خلدة بما فيه بلدتا بشامون وعرمون اللتان يُعتبر أنّ مَن يسيطر عليهما يُسيطر عملياً بالنار على طريق الساحل الجنوبي كله حتى صيدا وكلّ منطقة بيروت المدينة من انطلياس حتى راس بيروت، بالإضافة الى المساحة البحرية التي تؤدّي الى عمق البحر، وكذلك كلّ الطرق التي تفتح على الجبل…

الفرق فقط هو انّ سوليدار ليست قريبة من البحر، وما يحيط بها ليس جبلاً، جبل ولكن مجموعة تلال شمال المدينة، تعتبر مهمة أيضاً، للسيطرة على المثلث، سوليدار.

انّ سقوط حصن مثلث سوليدار يعني سقوط سوليدار القلعة المهمة جداً والتي كان يسيطر عليها ويقود المعارك فيها جنرالات بريطانيين وألمان…
وما الغموض الذي اكتنف المعركة لمدة ٤٨ ساعة سوى انّ الروس تركوا ممراً غربياً مفتوحاً للجنرالات الغربيين بالخروج منه، منعاً من خلق ظروف معركة عسكرية مباشرة مع حلف الأطلسي، قد تؤدّي الى توسيع نطاق الحرب بما لا يتماشى مع الخطة الروسية…

ولكن ماذا يعني في الاستراتيجيا سقوط مثلث سوليدار:

اولا ـ يعني انّ التحصين والتدشيم الذي عمله الألمان والبريطانيون للقلعة قد انهار تماماً، وانّ الناتو بكلّ تكتيكاته العسكرية والعملياتة قد سقطت تحت أقدام الروس.
ثانيا ـ انّ مدينة كاملة أخرى تحت الأرض فيها أنفاق طولها ٢٠٠ كلم وعلى عمق ١٠٠ متر محصّنة تحصيناً كاملاً لحرب بديلة تحت الأرض قد سقطت أيضاً كانت مشيّدة بطريقة بحيث ان بإمكان السيارات والدبابات والمدافع ان تسير تحت الأرض وتقاتل الخصم منها.
ثالثا ـ انّ منجماً للملح بحجم ١٣ مليار طن من الملح كان يصدّر منه الى ٢٢ دولة في العالم منها دول عربية قد سقط أيضاً بيد الروس.
رابعا ـ انّ سقوط القلعة المحصنة هذه سيؤدي الى فتح الطريق جنوباً لتحرير مدينة باخموت الاستراتيجية الأخرى المهمة والتي تقع على بعد ١٢ كلم جنوب سوليدار.
خامسا ـ يعني انه لم بعد بإمكان الأوكران والناتو من قصف الدونيتسك بالمدفعية كما كانوا يعملون ليل نهار قبل هذه المعركة، لانّ كلّ هذه المعدات قد تمّ تدميرها.
سادسا ـ انّ سقوط هذه القلعة المدجّجة بالجند والعتاد يعني عملياً، انهيار الجبهة الأوكرانية في الدونباس، بشكل كامل، وانّ الاحتياط الاستراتيجي للأوكران والناتو هناك قد طار تماماً في المحرقة السوليدارية..

وحتى يتأكد المتابعون مما نقول يكفي ان نطلع على انّ حارس الناتو الجنوبي أردوغان كان قد تحدث خلال الساعات الماضية عن ضرورة تأمين ممرّ طويل ومهمّ لإخلاء الجرحى، والأخبار الميدانية تفيد بأنّ حجم القوات التي خرجت من المعركة نهائياً يبلغ نحو ٢٥ ألف مقاتل بين قتيل وجريح وهارب من الميدان…

وهذا يفضي عملياً الى انّ الروس سيتمكنون من السيطرة على كامل مساحة الدونباس خلال الأيام الـ 15 المقبلة.
وبعدها سيتوجه الروس الى منطقة شمال زاباروجيا وخيرسون ومن ثم الاندفاع غرباً باتجاه أوديسا التي هي في الواقع مدينة روسية تاريخية بُنيت على أيديهم من أيام حكم القياصرة والتي منها سيغلقون البحر الأسود على الأوكران.
هذا ما حققه عملياً تعيين رئيس الأركان العامة للقوات الروسية في أوكرانيا الجنرال زالاري غراسيموف، وهذا يُفهم منه استعداد كلّ صنوف الجيش الروسي في المعارك المقبلة، واذا ما أضفنا إليه تعيين قائد القوة الجو فضائية الروسية الجنرال سورفوتين، والذي كان مسؤولاً عن قوات بلاده في سورية، نائباً لرئيس الأركان، ومعاوناً لقائد العملية الخاصة الروسية الجديد في أوكرانيا، فإنّ ذلك يعني مزيداً من الرسائل المهمة التي يبعث بها للروس للأطلسيين.

روسيا تعدّ وتحضّر بعد ذلك كما تفيد المعلومات الميدانية الى معركة جديدة لا تقلّ أهمية عن معركة السيطرة على سوليدار ألا وهي معركة تحرير ممر سوالكي الشهير، وهو الممرّ الاستراتيجي الذي يقع شمال شرق أوكرانيا، والذي يقع في مثلث الحدود الأوكرانية البيلاروسية البولندية، والهدف المطلوب سيكون فتح الطريق البري الضروري بين الأراضي الروسية ومقاطعة كالينين غراد المحاصرة عملياً.
هذا كما سيكون هدفها الثاني مشاغلة القوات الأوكرانية وضباط الأطلسي شمالاً، بهدف تخفيف الضغط على الجبهة الجنوبية، وليس للعمل باتجاه كييف، كما يروّج الأطلسيون وإعلاميّو جبهة امبراطورية الكذب.

ختاماً يمكن القول بأنّ هزيمة الناتو المذلة في سوليدار، يمكن اعتبارها بداية العد العكسي لنهاية الحرب العسكرية الاطلسية على روسيا في أوكرانيا.
ولا ينبئُك مثل خبير.


بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

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What would it take?

January 10, 2023

How NATO “celebrated” the Orthodox Nativity

NATO did “celebrate” the Orthodox Nativity, but in its own way. First, a few headlines:

Remember the truce offered by Russia?  It was rejected.  Instead we got this:

And, just to clarify, NATO uses Serbia as a defenseless victim to show Russia what it can do to its allies, the message being, as Stoble Talbott said, “after Serbia, you are next”, so the link here is strong.

NATO did not stop at that, it also continued its policy of persecutions, see these headlines:

Speaking of issues of freedom of religion, NATO is planning to completely ban the parishes which used to have an autonomous status under the Moscow Patriarchate, which then turned against Moscow and condemned the SMO.  But that was not enough, so, just like in NATO occupied Kosovo, the persecution of Orthodox clergy and faithful is both a “feel good” operation for Orthodoxy-haters and a “message” to Moscow.

NATO did not stop at that, it also announced yet another military aid package for Banderastan: (no translation needed I suppose)

None of that will be enough to make a difference, but there are many more such “aid” programs being discussed, so NATO wants to continue to draw out this war for as long as possible and fight the Russians down to the last Ukrainian.

Not that any of this did any good to “Ze” and his gang: having rejected the Russian truce, the Ukronazis are now loosing the towns of Soledar and Artemovsk (see here for details), which are not only tactical victories for the Russians, but this now threatens the operational defenses of the Ukronazis which will have to fall back on what we could call a “third line of defense” if they want to restabilize the front.

Russia has also continued with her strikes, including an absolutely huge explosion at the NATO base in Ochakovo and a retaliatory attack following the HIMARS strike which killed nearly 100 Russian soldiers.  The retaliatory attack was aimed at two barracks in Kramatorsk and, according to the Russian, it killed 600 Ukronazis soldiers.  Finally, it appears that 40% of the Ukrainian electrical grid is down forever, since nobody (except Russia) can replace the extremely heavy (and costly) transformers needed to reconnect that grid (now all electrical power is local, with no means to distribute it through the grid).

Feel the hatred

I think that it would be fair to say that what we are witnessing is possibly the most intense demonization of a political leader – Putin – and a country – Russia – in history.  And it is absolutely *not* only something coming from the West’s ruling class.  A few days ago my daughter and I were laughing because she accompanied some kids to an comics/action figures store and, to her dismay, most customers were adults (lots of infantiles in the USA).  Then I asked her, just for fun, “was there any Putin action figure on sale”?  There were none, obviously, but we decided to check on the Internet, again, just for fun and, we saw what was on offer on Etsy.  Here is the link, see for yourself: https://www.etsy.com/market/putin_action_figure

Now Etsy is not a front for the CIA, and items sold there are mostly made by individuals.  I suggest you go through a couple of page of items in the link above and see for yourself: Putin-hatred is certainly a very “popular” thing in the West.

Another example, check out this website: https://fightforua.org/.  This is about a worldwide recruitment operation to send mercenaries to the Ukraine.  The traffic on that site is modest, but the effort directly linked to the Ukie military “intelligence” service (it goes through their military attaches) and that means that it is run by NATO.

And then there are all the mantric statements from Western politicians expressing their total love and support of “Ze”, his policies and Banderastan.

Which begs the question:

What would it take for the West to see the true (Nazi) face of Banderastan?

So far, the narrative has not changed: Putin is a megalomaniacal dictator who wants to restore the Soviet Union (or the Russian Empire), Russia attacked the Ukraine because that is what Russians do – they attack others for no good reason.  Banderastan is a de facto NATO member state who fight in a “NATO operation” (as per the Ukie Minister of “Defense”) and it now protects all of Europe from the Russian hordes.  And since the heroic Ukrainian soldiers are shedding their blood, the very least NATO and the EU can do is to supply infinite amount of money and weapons to this freedom-loving beautiful and heroic country.  Listening to that nonsense one could be forgiven for assuming that Country 404 is as democratic as Iceland or San Marino.

It is even more amazing, at least at the first glance, to see how strong the Israeli and Jewish support for a clearly Nazi regime has been.  Of course, the Israelis/Jews have no love for the Nazis, but they hate Russia even more than they hate the Nazis (which is quite ironic, since all the anti-Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire happened in the Ukraine and not in what is Russia today).  This is also true of all the doubleplusgoodthinking western politicians who ban Nazi symbols or “revisionist” books in their own countries, but who fully support the Nazis in NATO and Kiev.

[The topics of “Israel” deserves a separate article, as that country leaders go from bad, to worse to completely insane.  Their latest “brilliant idea”: call the Palestinian flag as a “terror flag” and then to ban its public display.  In Palestine.  Does that not sound Ukie to you?  It is not exactly the kind of batshit crazy action which both Banderastan and “Israel” are known for and which the freedom loving and doubleplusgoodthinking western politicans and media will never see, as their hate-filled eyes are only directed as Moscow.  In fact, I would argue that “Israel” is something of a precedent and even an “older brother” to Banderastan – infinitely ugly, infinitely evil, yet enthusiastically supported by the entire West.]

The Ukronazis can burn people alive, torture all their POWs, completely suppress the freedom of information, murder civilians by the many thousands, try to deprive entire regions of water and electricity (they never realized that karma can be a bitch!), persecute people for having the wrong photo on their cellphones, “disappear” many thousands of supposed political opponents, ban languages, close down churches, freely use a unambiguously racist terminology dehumanizing their own citizens, etc. etc. etc.  And for all that, they get a standing ovation (in Congress, literally), billions of dollars of “aid”, tons of weapons and thousands of “volunteers”.

And yet, far from being reviled, “Ze” and his gang are lionized by the West while “Ze’s” victims are demonized and Russia, as a civilization, “canceled” (and not only by authorities, most of that “canceling” is done spontaneously and quite voluntarily).

What is being ignored here is this: what does the West’s total support for the Albanian terrorists in Kosovo, the Israeli terrorists in Palestine and the Ukronazis in Banderastan say about the West itself?

Yes, I know, the Neocons who run the US don’t give a damn about what any “deplorables” might think about them as they see themselves as fundamentally superior and entitled to rule the world.  What they are completely missing in their narcissistic self-worship is that much of Zone B is absolutely disgusted with the AngloZionist Empire.  Just one example:

Are you aware that most of Latin America is taking an increasingly strong anti-US stance?  Following the attempted coup against President Lula in Brazil, all of the following countries immediately condemned that (obviously CIA run) coup including: Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador and even Colombia (which is a tectonic change in Colombian politics)!  I got that list from this article, but I am confident that we can add Bolivia and Nicaragua to that list.  In fact, I wonder if there is any Latin American country who backed the coup (if yes, please post it in the comments).  Yes, even Colombia, which used to be Uncle Shmuel’s bitch for decades, now elected its first President who is not a US puppet.

Much of the same is happening in Africa where more and more countries are openly (and covertly) supporting Russia and ditching their colonial oppressors – like France in Mali – see here for details.

And, again, we observe the same in the Middle-East were countries such as the KSA, which used to be joined at the hip with the USA, are now seeking Russian support and through the Russians, a channel of communications with Iran.  Again, these are immense geostrategic shifts which the western free and democratic media tries very hard to ignore.

There is a well-known saying which goes “tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are“.  Clearly, racist freaks like Bibi Netanyahu or “Ze” are not only the “friends” of the West, they are the West’s heroes, which deserve infinite support not matter what evil actions they commit, it all goes away under the “our son of a bitch” doctrine which makes is possible to support both Zionists in Palestine and Nazis in Banderastan.  As I wrote many times, both Zionism and National-Socialism are twin brothers, born from the same European nationalistic womb; and while they claim to hate each other, they mostly work together as we have seen in the example of, say, South Africa.  So yes, these two monsters do hate each other, but they hate Russia even more, hence their current alliance in Banderastan.

Conclusion: the true (Nazi) face of Banderastan is the true face of the West

The Ukronazis used to have a slogan “Україна – це Європа” (Ukraine is Europe).  The past eight years have shown us that the opposite is true – Europe is the Ukraine.  And since the original Ukie slogan very much includes the USA as part of being “European” (which I would very much dispute), we can basically conclude that “the West is the Ukraine”.

It would be stupid to expect Nazis to condemn other Nazis.  That is just not going to happen.  Not until Russia defeats NATO, at which point the European “great supine protoplasmic invertebrate jellies” (BoJo) will have to quickly rebrand themselves as peace loving “good neighbors” of Russia or live in terror (and poverty!), and not because Russia will attack any EU country, but because they will have lost even the illusion of US “protection” (aka colonization) of the EU.  And there will be A LOT of finger pointing, especially at the rabid Hyena of Europe and the UK (nobody will even notice the quite irrelevant Baltic statelets which nobody needs, including Russia).

It goes without saying that the West’s support for Banderastan and “Israel” is a wholesale and very public repudiation of the values which the West claimed to stand for.  I would argue that one of the biggest achievements of the SMO was to force the West to show it’s true (Nazi and Zionist) face.  Ironically, this is not unlike what happened in the Soviet Union where Marxist-Leninist propaganda was everywhere, but absolutely *nobody* took it seriously.  And here is the crucial factor to always keep in mind: every regime in history, no matter how brutal and oppressive, needs at least some degree of public support.  As Talleyrand, Bonaparte’s Foreign Minister, once said “My Lord, you can do anything you like with bayonets, except sit on them“, and this is quite true.  Furthermore, history shows that there is a critical moment when the rulers of a regime are seen has hypocrites the regime inevitably collapses.  Right now the ruling class which runs the West looks like a gang of meat-eating carnivores claiming to stand for “vegan values”, something nobody can take seriously (except maybe those truly too dull to be able to understand anything).

And then there is this: Russia is arguably the last Christian country in Europe (the other one would be Serbia).  The rest of the continent has now comprehensively caved to the “Woke” ideology, yet another reason for their hatred for Russia: compared to Russia, the post-Christian West looks idolatrous and even openly demonic!  Remove Russia, and that would be far less obvious (without any point of comparison).  Considering this state of affairs, I think that it is quite safe to assume that in the future it will be Islam, brought in by millions of emigrants, which play a much bigger role in European affairs than any remnants of pseudo-Christianity.  From a Russian point of view, this would be much preferable than to deal with Orthodoxy-hating pseudo-Christians.

But all that will only happen once NATO is defeated and the EU denazified and demilitarized.  Until then, the coven of witches which run NATO will continue to fully support Ukrainian Nazis and Israeli Zionists.

Andrei

People Power in the Donbass Republics

January 09, 2023

Source

by Francis Lee

It is an open question as to why Putin and the Russian government tolerated the 2014 coup which was blatantly funded and organized by internal and external actors followed by the war in the Donbass. The coup was bought and paid for by the usual suspects – The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) the ubiquitous Mr. Soros (The Open Society Foundation – OSF) and Human Rights Watch (HRW); this in addition to Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt adding their input into the Maidan during the stage-managed ‘revolution’. The shock troops of the coup were bussed in from all points in the west Ukraine to Lviv, then on to the battleground of Kiev and the Maidan. These rightwing ultras were to openly flaunt and use their improvised weapons – usually Molotov cocktails and medieval studded clubs, last used at the battle of Agincourt – against the riot police. The legitimate president, at the time Viktor Yanukovych – was ousted by this illegal show of force and forced to flee Kiev for other places outside the reach of the mob. Poroshenko – one time finance minister of Yanukovych – was thus ‘elected’ as the new President.

The first thing on Poroshenko’s agenda was the war against the Eastern provinces of Lugansk and Donetsk. According to Poroshenko this was going to be a simple ‘police operation’ which would be over in a few hours. The initial phase of the conflict was a sortie by the Ukrainian Army which rolled into Mariupol and began to shoot up the place killing a number of Russian civilians. News of this Ukie incursion began to trickle through to Donetsk and Lugansk where hastily formed local militias began to be created.

However, the significance of the events in the Southeast extended far beyond Ukraine. No sooner than the Donetsk republic was proclaimed, official Moscow let it be understood, in no uncertain terms, that it made no claim to Ukraine’s rebellious provinces. This was neither diplomatic nor a concession to the West; the conflict was far greater than anything the Kremlin found convenient or manageable. Unlike Crimea – where the process was controlled and where, after two or three demonstrations, the transfer of power was carried out by the local elite. But the process in Donetsk and Lugansk had borne witness to the elemental force of a popular movement which simply could not be managed from outside. But this spontaneous political uprising did not go down too well inside the more conservative elements in the Russian political hierarchy and the financial clique whose interests largely lie outside of Russia.

The movement itself was decentralized and rapidly threw up hitherto unknown leaders (such as Alexander Zakharchenko – see below – a heroic figure and leader who was later assassinated in a restaurant off Lenin Square in Donetsk by an unknown assailant who set off the bomb. Born: June 26, 1976, Donetsk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union. Died: August 31, 2018, Pushkin Boulevard, Donetsk, Donetsk People’s Republic/Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine). Zakharchenko had since May 2014 worked as a mine electrician in 2011 to manage the Donetsk branch of the martial arts club and eventually Pan-Slavic nationalist current and militia organization Oplot. And he had remained in situ during the war period 2014-15 and was heavily involved in the conflict.

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On the 14 August leadership changed hands in Lugansk, as skirmishes took place inside the city limits between the rebels and Ukrainian Army Units. Again, after a visit to Moscow ‘’Head of Republic’’ Valery Bolotov resigned due to war injuries. His replacement was former defence minister Igor Plonitsky. Locally born the 50-year-old Plonitsky had served as an officer in the Soviet Armed Forces before becoming a dealer in fuel and lubricants during the 1990s, and later, a consumer rights inspector for the provincial administration.

Another resignation at the same time was that of Igor Strelkov. As reported by TASS the DPR Council of Ministers avowed that the defence chief was leaving his post ‘’at his own request’’ and would take up another position. Strelkov, however, vanished from the Don Bass, only to reappear in Russia a few weeks later. His replacement as defence minister was Vladimir Kononov, a Donetsk-born judo instructor and mid-ranking militia commander described by the Interpretermag site ‘’as having a firm political position and organizational skills.’’ (1)

These organizational changes were seemingly made at the behest of Moscow. The goal was evidently to install leaders in the republics who were both more predictable and more attuned to the ways of Moscow officialdom than those they replaced. Whether or not these changes in organizational structures and practise made any difference to the eventual outcome of the war was of necessity a moot point.

It had formulated and developed its agenda as events became unfolded. Absorbing such an organized and active population at a time of growing crisis in Russia itself was hardly advisable. So, the rebel republics had to rely overwhelmingly on their own resources. To the extent permitted by popular support for their cause within Russia, increased by the governments own patriotic propaganda, official Russia surprisingly left them to their own fate – provisionally at least.

However, unofficial Russia had other ideas. Volunteers from Russia began to trickle into the rebel republics, as did arms and food were also smuggled into the two republics. Military training was becoming widespread among the population. It seems an open question as to whether Putin was behind the leadership of the rebel republics, but the ensuing events took on a momentum of their own. The Ukie army was stopped in its tracks at the airport and was then decisively halted at the battles of Ilovaisk and Debaltsevo – this was 2015. But the shelling of the Donbass continued to this day.

See below: Ukrainian Prisoners of War (POWs) captured or surrendered at Debaltsevo 2015. They looked pretty miserable, but who wouldn’t? It’s better than being killed after all.

And so here we are in January 2023 at the present conjuncture. The local war has become global, but that was always going to be the final outcome. The half-finished job (farce) of the Minsk/Normandy format was ultimately to receive its demise from the German/French delegation and the final funeral rites when Frau Merkel spilled the beans. Now that chapter is over, the Republics have finally been brought into Russia proper, and have taken their legitimate position in Russia’s heroic struggle.

But things were not always as unified and expected between Moscow and Donetsk, at least in the early stages of the war. Russia was just emerging from the disastrous period of political, social, and economic collapse. This was due in large part to what was in fact a class struggle between – a fortiori – the domestic Russian globalist neo-liberal agenda which was just as pervasive as it was in the West, if not also more acute than in the western hinterland of the globalist elite. Following the usual period of class struggle the Russian and Liberal intelligentsia had only hatred and contempt for the protesting workers, deriding them as ‘lumpens’ ‘trash’ and ‘hooligans’ and worse of all – Vatniks.

These simple Russian folk were derided to suggest simpletons unswervingly loyal to the state authorities and completely taken in by government propaganda. However, in this sense of course it was the ‘intellectuals’ uncritically parroting even the most absurd Kiev propaganda who deserved to be most regarded as being – Vatnik. Whilst the propaganda services of both Kiev and Moscow lied, the latter did so more recklessly and inventively, showing not the slightest regard for the truth and not even whether the television they showed bore any relation to the commentary. Like all elites in a period of intensified class struggle they hung on to their money, property, political and social contacts.

It would appear that this social-political upheaval was taking on a political class structure – how could it have been otherwise? The open social and political anomalies had been fermenting and the dramatic deterioration of the conditions of life that followed the change of government in Kiev was the last straw. Steep increases in the price of gas and medicines followed the IMF agreement to become a member of the EU, and ultimately NATO, so much so that a political and economic explosion was inevitable. The use of nationalist rhetoric and anti-Russian propaganda in the West, had the reverse effect in the East. The pro-Russian sympathies of the local population nor even the Kiev’s intention to repeal the status of Russian as a ‘regional language’ triggered the revolt. These open social and political anomalies had been gradually fermenting and became dangerously unstable. The dye was caste: war was to follow.

Yegorov Voronov, a resident of Gorlovka wrote on the Ukrainian site: Liva – In English – ‘The Left’.

‘’I find it hard to believe the change in my compatriots. Only six months ago they were simple folk who watched TV and complained about the bad state of the roads and of the communal services. Now they are fighters. In several hours by the provincial administration building, I didn’t meet a single person who’d come from Russia. The people were from Mariupol, Gorlovka, Dzershinsk, Artemovsk, Krasnoarmeysk … those people with whom I ride every day on the bus, stand next to in the queues, and argue with when they leave the door to the stairwell open. They were not the supercilious Kiev middle-class, set aside from the people by their special circumstances but everyday workers. And there is no denying, there are plenty of unemployed in these parts. Here were all the people who for the past month and a half had been ’begged’ in the private offices and state enterprises to take a cut in their miserable wages. So here is another conclusion – the more the wages of the Donbass residents are cut or squeezed today, the more protesters would emerge in the East.’’ (Voronov 2014 translated from Russian)

It would appear that the Donbass peoples’ militias having taken up arms converted themselves into partisan units and actually put the Ukies to flight in 2015. But the war went on with Ukie artillery pounding the Donbass, a policy which was allowed to the present day. During this 8-year period the Donbass was mercilessly targeted by the ukie artillery and suffered some 14000 casualties during that period. It has to be said that Putin and his advisers were perhaps somewhat gradual and deliberative in terms of putting an end to what was basically a massacre from 2014 until 2022 ongoing. But the decision was finally made to enter the war which was forced upon Putin by external factors which needed urgent resolution. By April 2022 Putin had made his move and if the cosmopolitan conservative elements in the Moscow bureaucracy, as well as the financial oligarch high-rollers didn’t like it – well, hard cheese old chap, as we say in the UK.

As the whole drama of the Ukraine/Russia moves into its final stages it became apparent that Ukraine, under its present leadership, was desperately looking for an exit from the imbroglio that it had initially and unwisely set for itself. Ukrainian politicians were a pretty rum bunch: all kleptocrats that had imbibed the neo-liberal weltanschauung and the promise of a golden age to come. Alas it was not to be. Even the corrupt Yanukovych only really became an enemy of the West when he committed the unforgivable sin of refusing to implement an EU/US-counselled austerity programme. Had he acted more like the Romanian leader Nikolai Ceausescu in Romania (1980s) who unwisely eagerly implemented the dreaded IMF structural adjustment policies it seems likely that Yanukovych would have become one of the darlings of the West. Ukrainians looking to the EU for their salvation – even today – are looking back to what was and not what it has now become. What we are bearing witness to are the last remnants of a social model that has been sacrificed on the altar of neo-liberalism. It would appear that those who wished to hitch their horses to the EU cart are always in for a disappointment, not even to say passe.

‘’The aim of the EU and the United States is to transfer public wealth into the hands of private individuals who will be steered by the ‘invisible hand’ (presumably the hand behind the ‘color revolutions’) to seek their gains by selling what they have taken to western investors. Finance is the new mode of warfare, as Michael Hudson notes. We are seeing a grab for finance that in earlier times was just a military option.’’

NOTES

(1) Russia, Ukraine and Contemporary Imperialism. Edited by Boris Kargalitsky, Radhika Desai and Alan Freeman. Passim.

(2) Seven Roads to Moscow – Lieutenant-Colonel – W.G.F.Jackson MC, BA, R.E. Instructor, Staff College, Camberley, 1948-50, Instructor, Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, 1950-53

Russian Troops Strike Four Command Posts in Ukraine Operation: Top Brass

December 29, 2022

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov

Russian missile troops and artillery struck four Ukrainian command posts in the past day during the special military operation in Ukraine, Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov reported on Thursday.

“Russian missile and artillery troops struck four Ukrainian army command posts in the area of the city of Kherson, the communities of Kupyansk, Novoosinovo in the Kharkov Region and Gavrilovka in the Dnepropetrovsk Region, and also 83 artillery units at firing positions, manpower and military hardware in 102 areas,” the spokesman said.

“In the city of Seversk in the Donetsk People’s Republic, a Msta-B howitzer was obliterated and D-20 and D-30 howitzers were wiped out in areas near the settlements of Ivanovka in the Donetsk People’s Republic and Orekhov in the Zaporozhye Region,” the general said.

Russian troops delivered strikes against Ukrainian army units in the Kharkov Region, eliminating over 20 militants in the past day, Konashenkov reported.

“In the Kupyansk direction, artillery strikes inflicted damage on the Ukrainian army units in areas near the communities of Timkovka, Kislovka and Berestovoye in the Kharkov Region. Over 20 Ukrainian military personnel, two combat armored vehicles and three motor vehicles were eliminated,” the spokesman said.

Russian artillery and combat aircraft eliminated over 70 servicemen of the Ukrainian army’s 95th air assault brigade in the Krasny Liman area in the past day, Konashenkov reported.

“In the Krasny Liman area, artillery fire, assault and army aviation strikes against units of the Ukrainian army’s 95th air assault brigade in the area of the Serebryansky forestry eliminated as many as 70 Ukrainian military personnel, three combat armored vehicles and five pickup trucks,” the spokesman said.

Russian troops gained new advantageous sites in their advance in the Donetsk area in the past day, Konashenkov reported.

“In the Donetsk direction, Russian troops continued their offensive operations, taking new advantageous frontiers and positions. The enemy’s losses in that area in the past 24 hours amounted to over 80 Ukrainian servicemen killed and wounded, four infantry fighting vehicles, three combat armored vehicles and six motor vehicles,” the spokesman said.

Russian forces eliminated about 30 Ukrainian troops in the southern Donetsk area in the past day, Konashenkov reported.

“In the southern Donetsk area, artillery fire and active operations of Russian troops inflicted damage on the Ukrainian army units in areas near the settlements of Sladkoye, Vladimirovka, Pavlovka and Velikaya Novosyolka in the Donetsk People’s Republic. As many as 30 Ukrainian troops, two combat armored vehicles and four pickup trucks were destroyed,” the spokesman said.

Russian troops eliminated two Ukrainian subversive groups in the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Zaporozhye Region in the past day, Konashenkov reported.

“In areas near the settlements of Vremevka in the Donetsk People’s Republic and Levadnoye in the Zaporozhye Region, two enemy subversive groups were eliminated,” the spokesman said.

Russian forces destroyed two US-made M777 howitzers in the Kharkov Region in the past day, Konashenkov reported.

“In the counter-battery warfare, two M777 artillery systems of US manufacture were destroyed near the settlement of Kruglyakovka in the Kharkov Region,” the spokesman said.

In addition, Russian troops uncovered and destroyed a US-made HIMARS multiple rocket launcher in the area of the settlement of Konstantinovka in the Donetsk People’s Republic, the general said.

Combat aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces shot down Ukrainian Su-25 and Su-24 warplanes and two enemy Mi-8 helicopters in the past day, Konashenkov reported.

“Fighter aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces shot down Ukrainian Air Force Su-25 and Su-24 planes in the areas of the settlements of Krasny Liman and Kramatorsk. In addition, two Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopters were downed in areas near the settlements of Suvorov and Orlovka in the Donetsk People’s Republic,” the spokesman said.

Russian air defense forces intercepted four HIMARS and Uragan rockets in the past day, Konashenkov reported.

“In the past 24 hours, Russian air defense capabilities intercepted four rockets of HIMARS and Uragan multiple launch rocket systems in areas near the settlements of Popasnaya in the Lugansk People’s Republic, Peremozhnoye and Tarasovka in the Zaporozhye Region,” the spokesman said.

During the last 24-hour period, Russian air defense systems shot down seven Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles near the communities of Pshenichnoye, Kremennaya, Chervonaya Dibrova and Koshelevka in the Lugansk People’s Republic, Kirillovka in the Donetsk People’s Republic and also Lyubimovka in the Kherson Region, the general specified.

In all, the Russian Armed Forces have destroyed 354 Ukrainian warplanes, 194 helicopters, 2,741 unmanned aerial vehicles, 399 surface-to-air missile systems, 7,296 tanks and other combat armored vehicles, 953 multiple rocket launchers, 3,742 field artillery guns and mortars and 7,810 special military motor vehicles since the beginning of the special military operation in Ukraine, Konashenkov reported.

Source: Agencies

Lavrov: US seeking to make conflict in Ukraine even more violent

December 27, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Russia’s foreign minister highlighted that Ukraine is fully aware of Russia’s demands and could simply meet them.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Source: AP.

The US and NATO are attempting to defeat Russia on the battlefield in order to destroy the country, Russia’s Foreign Minister said.

Sergei Lavrov made the remark late Monday, according to the ITAR-TASS news agency, adding that Ukraine is fully aware of Russia’s demands and could simply meet them to end the war.

“Our proposals for the demilitarization and denazification of the territories controlled by the [Kiev] regime, [and] the elimination of threats to Russia’s security emanating from there, including our new lands, are well-known to the enemy,” Lavrov said, adding, “The point is simple: Fulfill them for your own good. Otherwise, the issue will be decided by the Russian army.”

According to him, the main party that benefited from this conflict is the US, which has been seeking to make the most out of the war in Ukraine. 

“Washington has also been solving a key geopolitical goal of breaking the traditional bonds between Russia and Europe and making their European satellites even more dependent on them,” Lavrov emphasized, further adding that the US is currently planning orders for its defense sector for years to come.

“The Kiev regime is being pumped up with the latest weapons, receiving samples that have yet to enter into service with Western armies, seemingly in order to see how they will perform in combat,” he concluded.

Moscow said it started the war to protect the pro-Russian population in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Lugansk and Donetsk from Kiev’s persecution, as well as to “de-Nazify” its neighbor.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev recently warned in an article that Moscow would continue the war until Kiev’s “disgusting, almost fascist regime” was removed and the country was completely demilitarized.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday that Moscow was open to talks and blamed the lack of talks on Kiev and its Western backers.

Lavrov likewise affirmed in his remarks that when it comes to how long the conflict would last, “the ball is in the regime’s court and Washington behind it.”

Read next: What’s in the 9th package of EU sanctions against Russia?

Last week, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has stated that he is not optimistic about the possibility of “effective” peace talks between Ukraine and Russia in the near future. 

”I do believe that the military confrontation will go on,” said Guterres at the UN Headquarters in New York. Adding that they will have to wait for serious peace negotiations, Guterres said “We have no illusions that true peace negotiations will be possible in the immediate future.”

The UN, according to its SG, said that it is concentrating its efforts on Russian ammonia exports through a pipeline to a Black Sea port in Ukraine and accelerating exchanging prisoners of war. 

Turkish media outlet Anadolu Agency asked Guterres whether he would support an Erdogan-proposed trilateral mechanism between Ankara, Moscow, and Damascus in efforts to resolve the war. In response, Guterres said that the UN was not consulted and it is “premature” to make any comments on the proposal.

The UN’s main concern, for the time being, was Syria, particularly renewing its cross-border humanitarian aid mechanism. ”Now that we have made progress (on) indeed, and Turkey has played a positive role on that in increasing the cross-line support,” he said.

Read next: Lavrov anticipates demise of Western economic dominance

Related Stories

Interview With Senator Richard Black on Ukraine’s War on the Donbass, Russia’s Reaction, NATO’s Drive to Nuclear War

 

Eva Bartlett

There is this element of madmen—some of the politicians, some of them military people, many of them in the US State Department, the CIA—who would be willing to do the most reckless and insane of actions to risk nuclear war or even to initiate it.”

On December 16, I spoke with Senator Richard Black about Ukraine’s long war against the civilians of the Donbass, Russia’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine, and the Western warmongers behind it all and their drive for endless war.

Senator Black has had an extensive military, legal and political career, serving in the US marines, and after obtaining his law degree, serving in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps and head of the Army’s Criminal Law Division in the Pentagon. He served eight years in the Virginia State Senate.

He is one of the few sane American voices loudly advocating for the end to Ukraine’s genocide of the Donbass people, and for an end to the West’s proxy war against Russia.

Follow him at:

http://www.senatorblack.com/

Related Links:

*Chronology of events: the war didn’t start in February 2022

*My Donetsk & Lugansk People’s Republics playlist

*My Syria writings

*The Referendum on Joining Russia

*Ukrainian war crimes I’ve experienced or documented

14 YEAR OLD IS ONE OF 87 DONBASS CIVILIANS MAIMED BY PETAL MINES FIRED BY UKRAINE

CARNAGE: UKRAINE’S TERRORISM ON DONETSK SEPTEMBER 19 KILLED 16 CIVILIANS, 9 IN ONE SPOT

UKRAINE SHELLED A COMPLETELY CIVILIAN AREA OF CENTRAL DONETSK, KILLING AT LEAST 5 CIVILIANS

UKRAINIAN TERRORISM OF CENTRAL DONETSK SEPTEMBER 17 KILLS 4, USING WESTERN WEAPONS

MORE UKRAINIAN WAR CRIMES: KILLING & MAIMING HEROIC DONBASS MEDICS & EMERGENCY WORKERS

DONBASS FRONTLINE VILLAGER: “UKRAINE DOESN’T CONSIDER US HUMAN”, WANTS TO “ANNIHILATE US”

USING AMERICAN HIMARS, UKRAINE BOMBED CENTRAL DONETSK BUILDING NOV 7

UKRAINE’S BOMBING OF CENTRAL DONETSK AUGUST 4: 2 BALLERINAS AMONG THE 6 MURDERED BY UKRAINE

UKRAINE BOMBED JUST OUTSIDE THE HOTEL I WAS IN. WAS UKRAINE TARGETING JOURNALISTS?

UKRAINIAN TERRORISM: FIRING MUNITIONS CONTAINING PETAL MINES ON DONBASS ORPHANAGE, ANOTHER WAR CRIME

More

Grasping at the last Straw (Andrei Martyanov)

December 20, 2022

Please visit Andrei’s website: https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/ and support him here: https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=60459185

Dr Michael Vlahos interviews Col. Douglas Macgregor (MUST SEE!)

December 13, 2022

John Bolton Is Confused (Andrei Martyanov)

December 09, 2022

Please visit Andrei’s website: https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/ and support him here: https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=60459185

About Saving Face: Some Advice to Volodymyr Zelensky

November 28, 2022

Source

By Batiushka

It matters not how much you, gentlemen, bend down before them,
You will never gain Europe’s recognition:
You will always be for them,
Not servants, but serfs of their enlightened disposition.
F.I. Tyutchev, Russian diplomat and poet, May 1867

To be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal.
Henry Kissinger

Ditching the Ukraine

It is now dawning on the US elite that they totally underestimated Russia in all respects. For instance, on 25 March 2014 the arrogant Obama contemptuously called Russia ‘a regional power, threatening others out of weakness’ (sic!). (Clearly, he was talking about the USA). As a result, blinded by hubris, some in the US are now admitting that the Ukraine, the most corrupt country in Europe, is a dead duck, the game is simply no longer worth the candle. Apart from being a black hole for Western money and military equipment, the Ukraine is no longer the problem. It is a sideshow, a distraction, a mere symptom of something far more important. The real problem is what is now happening worldwide under Russian leadership – the ending of the unipolar world, of US global hegemony, camouflaged beneath the more innocent-sounding term ‘globalism’.

Following Russia’s decision and ability to stand up to the world’s bully, the whole Non-Western world is now also standing up to him. For example, at the recent G20 meeting in Indonesia, the debate was not about the Ukraine, but about whether or not to continue to accept American Fascist rule (‘the rules-based international order’). All the Latin American and African and four Asian countries said no, it’s finished, the world is now multipolar. Taiwan will inevitably be Chinese and soon – and wait till Chinese troops appear in Mesopotamia to take control of Iraqi oil and gas and rebuild that tragic country. Freedom beckons. Long-deluded Western elitists must be shocked: other ‘regional powers’ are now also standing up to the bully. Perhaps also out of weakness? Zelensky must have suspected that his boss, until now the self-imagined master of the universe, is going to get rid of him. He is a loser and the Yanks cannot stand losers.

As the US realises that the free nations of the world are turning against it, it will not hesitate to blame the Kiev regime. The US must save face. Kiev has been warned: it will have to start negotiating with Russia again. Zelensky had better plan his escape now, because Ukrainians will not forgive him for stringing them along with a pack of lies. Regardless of Zelensky’s delusional assertions that there will be no negotiations with Russia and that it will re-occupy Russian territories, including the Crimea, there are three reasons for him to throw in the towel now, before it all gets much, much worse.

Three Reasons To Surrender Now

Firstly, Russia has now reluctantly moved closer to the US ‘shock and awe’ strategy of destroying infrastructure, as the US did in Germany and Japan (World War II) and then Serbia and Iraq. Power stations and power networks, bridges and ‘decision centres’, such as certain government buildings in Kiev are being targeted. Russia is one or two mass missile strikes away from the knock-out blow which will disable the Ukrainian electricity, water and rail systems. With 50% of Ukrainian electricity infrastructure knocked out by the first three strikes on the electricity grid, demonstrations are starting against the deteriorating situation, with Zelensky sending in the hated and dreaded Ukrainian Secret Police, the SBU, to break them up. He is also banning coverage of them in his heavily-censored media. The electricity system has entered a stage of ‘arbitrary and uncontrolled imbalance’. Ukrainians have been told to leave the country for the winter. Where to? Who wants them anyway? And does this include the military too?

Secondly, once the infrastructure has been incapacitated, Russia’s 380,000 regular and newly mobilised troops will be fully incorporated into the Allied forces in eastern Ukraine. Even without them, Russian forces are continuing to advance in the Donbass. A winter offensive by some half a million troops will make huge gains on the whole front, advancing hundreds of kilometres and multiplying Kiev’s – and NATO’s – staggering losses. After success here, President Putin’s generals have the option of moving a serious force into the western Ukraine from Belarus in order to cut off NATO supply routes from Poland. This could easily lead to the total collapse of the already ravaged Ukrainian forces and their mercenaries. Now Russia is going all the way to Lvov and the Polish border. It has been forced to. The Kiev regime has brought it on itself. All Russia wanted was security for the Crimea and the Donbass and a neutral, non-nuclear Ukraine. It could all have been so simple.

Thirdly, Western countries, including even the brainless Stoltenberg, is suffering from Ukraine fatigue. The Ukrainian flags have nearly all come down in Europe. Support has waned as reality has dawned. NATO countries’ arms stocks have been seriously depleted and strikes and ensuing social chaos have appeared in Europe, This the result of double-digit inflation and economic recession, brought on by suicidal Western sanctions, yes, those ‘against Russia’ (!). ‘We are cold and hungry in our own country because you gave everything to that bunch of losers in Kiev and the Ukrainian freeloaders you invaded our country with’. The foul-mouthed thug Nuland has achieved her aim in Europe. All this makes Russia the strategic winner and is forcing the US/UK/EU to call on Zelensky to talk again. The British financier PM Sunak (who cares little for and knows even less about politics) used a modest British aid package, announced during his recent visit to Kiev, to tell Zelensky that bankrupt London can no longer pay. Kiev must negotiate with Moscow. Following this, there has been a delay in the fourth round of missile strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure. President Putin is waiting to see if Zelensky will cave in and start realistic talks before Russia unleashes the last assault on Ukrainian infrastructure and the winter offensive.

Ditching Zelensky

At least some in the Biden regime are realising (though not Biden himself, he is in no fit state to realise anything – a clear case of elder abuse) that they are going to have to drop the Jewish billionaire as the fall-guy for the Ukraine’s defeat. Just as they have done to countless Latin American, Middle Eastern and Asian tinpot dictators and gangsters in past decades, the US will also do the same to him in his Monsanto/Cargill banana republic. Can Zelensky still entertain any illusions about it? Of course, the US will deny that the war in the Ukraine was ever between the US and Russia and declare it was only ever ‘an internal conflict’ between the Ukraine and Russia. (Ukraine only supplied the cannon fodder for its transatlantic masters, who have controlled the country since their coup in 2014).

Ukraine’s former CIA asset, the actor Zelensky, has now acted up. The Ukrainian missile strike on Poland and the Ukrainian President’s insistence that it was a Russian strike, despite the clear evidence to the contrary, has hit Zelensky’s credibility. The intentional Ukrainian false flag strike on Polish/NATO territory, designed to provoke NATO or at least pathetic Poland into entering the war, is a pathetic embarrassment. Even compared to all of Zelensky’s other ridiculous staged false flags, like Bucha, which venal Western journalists were paid to report, this one has gone too far. The West is getting fed up with Zelensky’s antics. A bullet in the head is much cheaper than continuing to subsidise this clown.

Some are waking up to Zelensky, who is willing to unleash nuclear war in order to avoid negotiating. Some may now even understand that his crazy claims that President Putin always wanted to occupy all the Ukraine and restore the USSR, if not conquer all of Europe, are fairy-stories. These stories are told by Kiev to Western infants only in order to get military and financial aid and above all to draw NATO into the war. (The half-American Churchill spent all of 1941 trying to get the US into Britain’s war against Germany; unlike Zelensky, Churchill succeeded by emphasising his racial compatibility and dangling the Pacific Ocean carrot in front of the Yankees. Zelensky cannot offer either of those). President Putin has clearly stated on more than one occasion that: ‘He who does not regret the USSR has no heart, but he who wants to restore it has no brain’. A desire to restore the failed Soviet Union is a Western propaganda myth used by arms merchants and lying politicians to justify their greed and ambition.

Three Reasons To Run Now

Since NATO has categorically refused to send troops into the Ukraine and since there is no such thing as a ‘coalition of the willing’, apart from a few Polish and Baltic fanatics who are currently being wiped out as mercenaries in the Ukraine, what can Zelensky do? He could urge the Ukrainian commander-in-chief, General Zaluzhny, to open a last (yes, last) offensive in Donetsk or Zaporozhie in order to reboot support from the West. However, General Zaluzhny is fed up with sending his troops to commit suicide. He is, after all, a professional military man. Zelensky, on the other hand, is a White House court jester, who cares only about his own survival. Zaluzhny has other considerations. Here there is potential for a coup d’etat, a palace revolt in Kiev.

On the one hand, the self-deluded and murderous Neo-Nazis in the Ukraine who surround Zelensky and were all given power by the US, will not tolerate surrender. On the other hand, ordinary cold and hungry Ukrainians will ask why was not all of this avoided in the first place by agreeing to Ukrainian neutrality and fulfilling the Minsk 2 promises with their Russian brothers? (A good question, which should be asked of all the Western leaders who also rejected it). So Zelensky is stuck between the Neo-Nazis and the moderate Ukrainian people, between a rock and a hard place. It is lose-lose for him. Russians do not hate Ukrainians, they are brothers. But they do hate Nazis. They are enemies. The Nazis can expect no quarter from the Russians and they know it. The USSR cleared out its part of Germany of Nazis, liberating their German brothers. It is the same now in the Ukraine. With the Russian liberation of the whole of the Ukraine (not originally intended by Russia, but now necessary), a new wave of Ukrainian ‘refugees’ is going to hit Western Europe, maybe even before Christmas. This could be the last straw for a Europe full of refugees from other equally stupid and unnecessary wars of the US Empire: Iraqis, Afghans, Syrians, Libyans, Albanians and now Ukrainians. Europe cannot take it any more. It is collapsing in waves of social unrest and even Britannia cannot rule those waves.

The clueless Stoltenberg (him again) has declared that the defeat of the Ukraine means (yet another) defeat for NATO. Actually, the superfluous NATO was long ago defeated, but Stoltenberg is too clueless to have seen the writing on the wall and join the long queues of now unemployed ex-slaves of the US, Afghan and Iraqi interpreters among them. The US and its NATO vassals must now backtrack. Some statement like: ‘We were let down by those vodka-drinking surrender-monkey Ukrainians (what can you expect from those Slav subhumans?), but we have won the greatest victory in our history because we have triumphed in stopping the brutal Russian beast at the Polish border. Mission accomplished’. That would do the job. The US and its vassals cannot save face, but, since they only care about PR, they can at least pretend to save face – by blaming Zelensky. They could, conveniently, have him assassinated, so he does not tell the truth about what has really been happening behind the scenes over the last few years (he knows far too much), blaming it on ‘extremists’ and making him into a new Jewish martyr. If I were Zelensky, I would leave for Tel Aviv today. Does the Ukraine have any planes left?

Meeting with mothers of servicemen participating in the SVO (transcript)

November 26, 2022

Note: this is a machine translated (Yandex) translation of the full Russian text posted here:

http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/69935

It was sent to me from a reader.

Vladimir Putin met with mothers of servicemen participating in a special military operation in Novo-Ogaryovo.

November 25, 2022 17:30

Moscow region, Novo-Ogarevo

Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon again.

You know that the day after tomorrow we celebrate Mother’s Day in Russia. This is not some kind of pretentious noisy holiday, but still a day that is filled with a special, very kind content and emphasizes the attitude inherent in all the peoples of our country towards mom – respect, reverence, adoration.

In this regard, of course, I would like to recall this. But I understand perfectly well that for you, as well as for so many other women in Russia whose sons are in a war zone, of course, the attitude to this event is more than festive, but most likely connected with a sense of anxiety and concern, in thoughts about what is with your boys. Because for a mother, no matter what age her son is, [he is] always a boy, always a child. And for those, including those of you who are present here and who lost their son, of course, this is also connected with thoughts about this tragedy.

In this regard, I want to say that… You know, the language does not turn to say some formal standard things related to the expression of condolences. But I want you to know that I personally, the entire leadership of the country – we share this pain. We understand that nothing can replace the loss of a son, a child. Especially for mom, to whom we all owe the birth, who bore, nursed.

I want you to know that we share this pain with you and, of course, we will do everything so that we do not feel forgotten, we will do everything that depends on us to feel the shoulder next to us.

It is clear that life is more complicated and diverse than what is shown on TV screens or even on the Internet – you can’t trust anything there at all, there are a lot of all sorts of fakes, deception, lies. There are a lot of information attacks, because in the modern world it has always been so, but taking into account modern technologies it has become especially relevant and effective, information is also a weapon of struggle, and information attacks are one of the types, quite effective types of struggle.

This is why we have gathered with you, that’s why I proposed this meeting, because I wanted to listen to you firsthand, as they say, to hear your assessments – you have the same information coming from there. A lot of information flows to me from different sources, but it’s a completely different matter – it’s your ratings, your opinion, ideas, suggestions. I will try to make sure that everything that we are going to talk about today is taken into account and used in real life to the maximum.

This is what I would like to say at the beginning.

And concluding my brief introductory speech, I would like to say what I am constantly talking about, namely that, first of all, everything comes from the family. The fact that your guys – most of them – have chosen such a fate as serving the Fatherland, protecting the Fatherland, protecting the Motherland, Russia, protecting our people, in this case in Novorossiya, in the Donbas, is also the result of your work, without any doubt. This is not the result of some kind of instructions and moralizing – it is the result of a personal example. It’s always like that.

Because no matter what they say at school, which is very important, of course, but still the basis of any person’s self-consciousness, the basis of his value orientations is laid in the family by the personal example of parents. This is the most basic, most important and most fundamental method of education – a personal example.

Judging by the fact that your guys behave like this, heroically, that’s what I wanted to say, this is, of course, your huge contribution – yours and your men, your husbands, of course, this always happens in the family on both sides. But only they, the guys themselves, know that they are truly heroes.

Why? Because no one except them and their closest commanders, who are standing next to them, do not know what hard work it is and how much it involves a real danger to life and health. Only they themselves feel and understand it.

I talk to them sometimes – I talked to some of them directly on the phone, with the guys. In any case, I talked to those who even surprised me with their mood, their attitude to the case. They didn’t expect these calls from me, also through moms, by the way, these calls were. This gives me every reason to say that they are heroes. It’s true.

That’s all I wanted to say at the beginning. Let’s talk freely. As I said, I will definitely try to take into account everything that you will say today.

You are welcome.

S.Nabieva: I am Nabieva Suna Neifelovna from Dagestan.

My son, Enver, graduated from the Kazan Higher Military Tank School, serves in Buryatia. On his own from the first days, he was wounded twice, was in the hospital. After recovering, he returned to his unit.

We call him sometimes. And when he found out that I was going to meet you, he asked me to send greetings from all his guys and say that they would do everything that was required of them. He says: “My grandfather and two great-grandfathers served in the Great Patriotic War, I also must not let them down.” And his fighters on the front line also often remember their grandfathers. He has them from all over the country, republics. You said something recently, once you said: “I am a Lakh, I am a Dagestani, I am a Chechen, an Ingush, a Russian, a Tatar,” and everyone in Dagestan has heard and seen this speech of yours, and this is very correct.

Our family hails from the highland village of Jaba, Akhtyn district. We have a friendly big family, multinational. My mother–in-law is a heroine mother, she has 12 children. I would like to thank you very much for the fact that this high title of “Mother Heroine” – you have introduced it in our time – is very important for the mothers of Dagestan, Russia.

Vladimir Putin: Suna Neifelovna, first of all, thank you very much for the words conveyed from your son. From the very beginning, I asked the guys to have the most reliable and objective information about how the country treats their military work, the fulfillment of their duty.

I hope that our meeting today will also reach them, they will see it, modern means allow us to do this. Although, of course, radium communication poses a certain danger, so there are certain restrictions, but in the end they will certainly see it. Therefore, I want them, when they look, to see that the mother fulfilled her son’s request and this greeting was gratefully accepted.

For my part, I wish all the best to your son and his colleagues.

S.Nabieva: Thank you very much.

Vladimir Putin: What year did he graduate from college?

S. Nabieva: In 2010.

Vladimir Putin: I am sure that he fulfills his duty with dignity – in the way that is inherent in Russian wars in general, and even more so to soldiers from the Caucasus and Dagestan. There are people of a special temper there, we all know this well. I know this very well from 1999 and I will never forget these days and months that were associated with well-known events for Dagestan.

Dagestan is a multinational republic, and Russia as a whole is a unique civilization, where people of different nationalities, ethnicities, and religions have lived side by side for a thousand years. And the uniqueness lies in the fact that over these centuries of living together, people have not just found a common language with each other, but have learned to respect each other’s customs, religion, celebrate together with each other and, if some hard times come, overcome these hard times together.

Therefore, when I said the words that you have just remembered, of course, you can’t write it – I just spoke from the heart. And I know that it is, I know that the guys there do not divide themselves into any separate castes and nationalities: everyone is equal, everyone helps each other and understands that their lives depend on this mutual help and support – that’s what is very important. And they are very worthy of this service, as I have already said.

So thank you very much, thank you for your son. And to him, in turn, convey the best wishes, to him and his colleagues, to all his subordinates.

S.Nabieva: Thank you.

N.Pshenichkina: Vladimir Vladimirovich, I am from the Luhansk People’s Republic, from the small town of Kirovsk.

The city is on the front line. We are fighting and recovering thanks to the Russian Federation. Our bosses are the Irkutsk Region, and 55 objects are being restored now. Recently, the governor was with us, in my library, at school, and I was here.

But on September 30, as everyone already knows, my girls here, we had a great, joyful, long-awaited event: we have become a subject of the Russian Federation, which is what the militia of the first wave dreamed of.

Russian Russian word, when my son joined the militia in 2014, he said: “Mom, I’m going to fight for Russia, I’m going to fight for the Russian world, I’m going to fight for the Russian word, for the Russian memory.” My dad went through the whole war from 1941 to 1945, came with a Victory. We have been waiting for this event for a very long time, we went the hard way, we lost people dear to us, but we did not lose hope that we would be in Russia, we would come home. And this joyful event has come true for us.

But my son, Konstantin Pshenichkin, died in one of the morning battles defending the city. The situation so developed that the enemy came close to their positions. He jumped out of the trench, called the fire on himself, and his last words were: “Let’s go, brothers, chop “dill”. He was posthumously awarded the medal “For Bravery”.

My heart bleeds, my soul freezes, gloomy memories cloud my mind, tears, tears, and suddenly my son asks me: “Mom, don’t be sad, I’ll see you – you just have to wait. You will go through this life for me, and in that life we will be together again.”

I raised my head, straightened my shoulders and began to actively help the families of the fallen militia. I sought benefits, was a member of the public chamber. I was the organizer of the first two referendums, and the second referendum was a member of the public commission. You know, no one has ever seen such activity: old ladies with sticks were walking with flags and songs. “We’ll drive up to you.” – “No, we want to. And tell Putin hello.” They believe that we are envoys of Vladimir Vladimirovich, so to speak. So I know all this firsthand.

Allow me, Vladimir Vladimirovich, our dear President, to highlight a few issues after all.

Vladimir Putin: Of course.

N.Pshenichkina: We are young subjects, we are just integrating into the legislative field of the Russian Federation, as well as medicine. But we have a problem with the examination of the wounded. They need to go through so much, collect certificates, that a healthy one will not collect. And to drive from Kirovsk to Alchevsk, from Alchevsk to Beloe, where the hospital is, from Beloe back again, then to Lugansk, and the Military medical commission works in Lugansk – only once a week. Is it possible to walk from 20 cities and districts in one day? Is it necessary to hire? And if it’s legless? How to go? You, please, somehow give an instruction so that it is in the “one window” mode or these commissions leave.

And then there’s another thing: commanders don’t always make log entries carefully. He left for the hospital, they don’t write about what wound. And then the guys have to prove the obvious, but they gave their health for the Motherland, they became disabled. I know this because I am being addressed.

And one more question, it is floating in the Donetsk People’s Republic right in the air, and in our republic. Will the benefits that Russian servicemen or the families of the victims currently have be extended to the families of the victims before September 30?

Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich!

I would like to convey from all the residents of Donbass, from the women of Donbass, from the Union of Women of Donbass, from those mothers who took their sons to the front, words of gratitude to you, support, confidence – we believe in victory, it will be ours – to wish you the strongest health.

And if we are gathered here today, these are the best moms, moms with a capital letter. From the women of Donbass, a fighting greeting to you – from the patient women of Donbass. And, girls, you know what, be proud of your sons, you have brought up real heroes! Everyone who is there now, they are heroes!

I wish you the best of health, to wait for everyone alive and with victory.

Happy holidays, dear ones!

Vladimir Putin: Thank you.

Nina Petrovna, first of all, as for 2014. In hindsight, we are all smart, of course, but we proceeded from the fact that maybe Lugansk and Donetsk will be able to come to an agreement somehow within the framework of the Minsk agreements, which you probably know about, will still be able to somehow reunite with Ukraine. We sincerely went to this. But we didn’t fully feel the mood of the people, it was impossible to fully understand what was going on there. But now it has probably become obvious that this reunion should have happened earlier. Maybe there would not have been so many losses among civilians, there would not have been so many dead children under shelling, and so on.

It’s good that this happened at all. And this is happening thanks to your son, who is not with us today, and thanks to the sons of those women who are here, and thanks to our guys who are fighting there now, are on the front line, well, on the second, third line – it doesn’t matter, but they are in the zone of a special military operation, I mean the sight of all our fighters, including those who joined the ranks of the Armed Forces on mobilization. This is the first.

Second. Of course, this is a huge tragedy, this is a void that cannot be filled with anything, you have just said this so very convincingly and vividly when there is no loved one, especially a son.

But you know what comes to my mind, I already mentioned it once. We have about 30 thousand people killed in road accidents, about the same amount from alcohol. And it happens, unfortunately, this is how life develops, life is complex and diverse, more complicated than it is written somewhere in the papers, we are all under the Lord, under Allah, under Christ, I do not know, everyone who believes in higher powers, it does not matter what religion he adheres to, it is important that that we are all mortal, we are all under the Lord. And we will all leave this world someday, it’s inevitable.

The question is how we lived. After all, some people live or don’t live – it’s unclear, and how they leave – from vodka or something else – it’s unclear, and then they left. Lived or did not live – it also slipped unnoticed somehow: whether a person lived, or not. And your son lived, you know? His goal has been achieved. This means that he did not leave his life in vain. Do you understand? In this sense, of course, his life turned out to be significant, lived with the result, and with the one he aspired to. This is the first thing I would like to say.

Nina Petrovna touched upon a very important issue – the organization of the work of social services. Of course you’re right. If there are so many problems there that you just mentioned: with trips, with these endless documents. We have this “one-stop shop” system in the civil sphere in Russia.

N.Pshenichkina: Yes, we talked.

Vladimir Putin: And it works very efficiently.

This is probably more difficult to do here, because it is at the junction of several departments, including the military. The military always closes something, even where there is no need to close anything. Military people are sitting here – they probably know too. Where there are no secrets, they still tell something about some secrets.

But the fact that social services should work more efficiently, should work in such a way that they do not create any problems, is not burdensome for people, especially for the guys who have suffered, injured, this “one window” service, even if it is at the junction of civilian departments and the military, certainly needs to be organized. I will not just give some command and forget. We will bring this to an end.

N.Pshenichkina: Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: It may not work out right away, because it’s not easy to do it at the junction of these departments, but we will definitely do it. This is the first.

Now – benefits. Now we have adopted a law according to which all Russian benefits are extended to residents of Lugansk, Donetsk and two other territories. It is possible to spread this, as they say, retroactively, starting in 2014. Where there are one or two lawyers, there are at least three or four opinions, but we will work on this and we will make some kind of system of appropriate benefits.

N.Pshenichkina: For those who have this status.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, we need to see.

I will not hide it, before entering here, I talked with the Minister of Defense, I talked with Tatyana Alekseevna Golikova, I understood where I was going and what questions could be raised. Therefore, in principle, I have already talked to them in general terms, now I have written it down, and these will be more specific instructions. We’ll work on it. Ok?

N.Pshenichkina: Thank you, thank you very much.

Vladimir Putin: You know, of course, thank you for paying attention to this topic, I mean that you take care of other guys who are in the special operation zone, you think about their families. This once again underlines [that] special, I think, that is inherent in people from Russia – a multinational, but still a single people who live by the same values. This is very inherent in us.

Thank you very much.

You are welcome.

I.Sumynina: Hello!

Sumynina Irina Viktorovna, Krasnodar city.

First of all, I want to express my gratitude in general for being here today. Although there is no merit of mine, it was our Kuban Cossack army that sent me here.

Vladimir Putin: Are you a Cossack?

I. Sumynina: Yes. We have a Cossack family, we have four sons. The husband and two of the sons are now on combat duty, so to speak. They went as volunteers, not mobilized. Again, they went from the army as Cossacks.

The husband and the eldest son are together, they serve in the LEOPARD, and the youngest child is in the special forces, in intelligence. They have very well–coordinated groups, they support each other very much, in general, the fighters are not exactly my men, but in detachments.

Vladimir Putin: I know the Leopards fight well.

I. Sumynina: They are a mountain for each other, they help each other, support each other both physically and mentally, they will never abandon the fighters – neither the wounded nor the dead. You even have to throw off your uniforms, the same tactical belts, bulletproof vests, just to lighten yourself and could take out comrades, comrades and weapons, of course.

That’s why there is a big problem of staffing, especially in special forces. The Ministry of Defense dressed, shod, but exists… I will speak for the youngest son. He is in intelligence, and he needs a separate uniform so that it is light, warm, seasonal, even stripes in color. They don’t have any masks… Here is the eldest son – a sniper, he also, for example, does not have a camouflage, what kind of uniform is, this is what it is. The uniform generally falls into disrepair very quickly, because in the trenches, there, you know, mud, wet, cold, you can’t make a fire. Of course, a lot of guys are sick. But what’s the point? The fact is that the form should be as close as possible, and so that it would be easier and faster to replace the old form with a new one, because it becomes unusable very quickly. Even the same tactical belts. Here is a machine–gunner husband, and literally a few months – everything, his pouches are already unusable, to carry zinc.

Another big question. In the war zone, when new territories are liberated, there are a lot of street children, a lot. The good news is that our guys have very good food, that is, there are no problems with food. And they constantly feed the locals, especially the kids. They are so happy about these cookies, sweets and so on.

I know that, of course, work is being carried out to find these children, to help them, their families, and this, of course, cannot be abandoned. It is necessary to strengthen, probably, the help to these children. Moreover, in the Krasnodar Territory now, probably, sanatoriums will be free – at least to take them out here, because it is very cold, very wet, there is no light, no water, no food. This is a big problem.

The guys are very united, positive, do not lose heart. Everyone understands that he is in his place – they are like that. They say we even like to laugh – it’s such a release.

Vladimir Putin: Irina Viktorovna, of course, the Cossacks are a special caste here.

I. Sumynina: Cossacks – yes, of course. I forgot to say – our chieftains are constantly collecting cars, at least once a month they try to take humanitarian aid. We, of course, take part in all this – we collect and send the same boxes with sweets, with gingerbread, so that they give it to children. Because our fighters don’t really need it anymore, and the kids – yes, it’s food for them.

Vladimir Putin: The Cossacks have switched from horses to cars, but they use it successfully.

I. Sumynina: Yes.

Vladimir Putin: But this, I repeat once again, of course, is a special caste. The fact that they occupy a special place in the history of Russia, have always been serving people, have always been at a combat post and have always been ahead is an absolutely obvious thing. This has always been the case in the history of Russia. They were ahead, because it all started with the fact that their main task was to protect the borders. Well, then, as the country developed, the frontiers went further, and their service to the Motherland continued in different capacities.

The fact that today they fulfill their duty to the Motherland, to the Fatherland, is, of course, on the one hand, it seems to be in tradition, and on the other hand, it emphasizes that nothing disappears anywhere.

I.Sumynina: This suggests that the Kuban Cossacks are actively participating in a special military operation.

I also wanted to say about the family. We must show by personal example, educate children. Not just to say something somewhere, but by personal example. My husband has been working with children at school for 13 years, he is a Cossack mentor. The children were brought up in the same way, their father instilled military affairs in them – these are both hiking and shooting constantly with Cossacks in our military unit.

I worry, I’m nervous, of course, you forget everything here.

O.Shigina: We didn’t grow up in “golden” diapers.

I.Sumynina: Yes, they did not grow.

My husband was in 2014 in the Crimea and Novorossiya, he has awards. In the spring and summer I was in the Donbass, also has awards. Looking at the father, of course, the sons could not stay at home. This is a personal example of my husband.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, that’s right. That’s what I started with, everything from the family.

I.Sumynina: Yes, I confirm it.

Vladimir Putin: Firstly, there are several Cossack units there, not only the LEOPARD.

I.Sumynina: Yes, there is a “Kuban” there.

Vladimir Putin: And the fact that the supreme ataman is in charge is also important. I am aware of this, and, of course, we will support it in every possible way.

You have two sons, it’s time for one to return, at least to come on vacation.

I.Sumynina: They offered him to go on vacation now, he says: “I won’t go, because my guys are all there.” And he is the commander of the group. He says, “I’m not leaving, I’m staying there.” God forbid, they may be released in January. And so – no.

Now the youngest is 17, I think with horror – he will turn 18, and this one will go there.

Vladimir Putin: Don’t, that’s enough.

I. Sumynina: And everyone says to him: “They left you here for your mother, here are the guards.”

Vladimir Putin: Yes, of course.

I. Sumynina: But you can’t stop him.

Vladimir Putin: Yes. But it seems to me that one of the sons should also return, they have already fought, God forbid, of course.

Look, the fact that you are a Cossack, it is obvious, because such subtleties are tactical: both body armor, and unloading, pouches, zincs. This is a special terminology. It’s all from them, from your men.

About the clothes. I was pleased to hear that the situation with the supply and nutrition has improved. Is this the latest information with clothes?

I. Sumynina: Yes. Just why do I know? When it happens to my son, when they leave everything, and he just writes to me: mom, I need this, this, this. We have, well, in Krasnodar there are good shops where you can buy all this.

Vladimir Putin: I see. The Ministry [of Defense] is trying to organize this work as efficiently as possible, taking into account the time of year. Believe me, I’m telling you quite sincerely, looking straight into your eyes: every time I meet with the leadership of the Ministry of Defense, and they happen every day, I talk about it almost every day. Every day. We’ll see what happens there in the coming days, but I marked it for myself.

I.Sumynina: Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: The second important thing is that you mentioned street children. Now only the work of Russian social services is unfolding in these territories, they were not there before.

I. Sumynina: Yes, of course.

Vladimir Putin: There wasn’t much there at all, as far as I understand, but now this work is unfolding. But now that I’ve listened to you, I’ve thought about something – that it’s not enough to simply deploy the work of social services, there you need to take some special measures related to finding these children and supporting them. We will definitely do it.

I.Sumynina: Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you for paying attention to this. As well as equipment.

I.Sumynina: And, of course, the Cossacks of the Kuban Cossack army tell you: “Love!”

Vladimir Putin: And thank them very much for everything, for their service, for their loyalty to the Motherland.

I.Sumynina: Thank you. I’ll pass it on.

Elena Nikulnikova: Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich!

Nikulnikova Elena Viktorovna. I came to you from the Tula land and brought you strong hugs from the Tula people, especially from women, mothers, and handshakes from men. And they asked me to tell you that the people are with you and the people are for you.

I am the mother of a guard corporal of the intelligence unit, who was on another business trip at the time of the start of the special operation and was very sorry that he was absent from his homeland at that moment. But from the first days he announced to me that as soon as he returned home, after a few days of rest, he would immediately go to the front. And there was not an ounce of doubt in his words, and that’s right. Because every man’s duty is to defend his homeland. Just like his father once did, who is no longer with us, but he put 25 years of service to the Motherland. He also participated in hot spots, was a combat veteran. Just like his great-grandfather, who during the Great Patriotic War, from 1940 to 1944, defended our Homeland, and in September 1944, personally leading a battalion, went on the offensive, was wounded in this battle and subsequently died of wounds and was buried on the territory of Ukraine. He was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War I degree, the Order of Alexander Nevsky. He was a little older than my son, he was 26 years old.

Our sons defend our Homeland in the epicenter, and we try to support them in the rear. Our governor Alexey Gennadievich Dyumin, you know, he accepted the mobilization not even as the head of the region, but as a father who personally controls all the processes of providing uniforms, all the processes of training mobilized soldiers, for which everyone is very grateful to him. So we, the common people, do not stand aside. We have in every city, almost in every village, collection points of support for mobilized soldiers. Personally, I observe how everyone wants to participate, to support our soldiers. And even from our small, small town, nine cargoes have already been sent in different directions.

And I agree with the previous mother, Irina Viktorovna, who said about the lost things that it is paperwork that does not allow you to quickly make up for lost things. In the same way, the procedure for writing off both destroyed equipment and the same things is outdated.

Plus I would like to add – now the situation is a little different, of course, about quadrocopters. They should be on the balance sheet not only in special purpose units, but also in all other units that go to the front line.

In conclusion of my speech, I would like to thank you once again from mothers who love our country, and from women – for taking care of women who raised sons, defenders of our Motherland.

Vladimir Putin: Everything from Mom is true.

As for drones, quadrocopters and so on. We are aware of this, we are working on it, and the industry is working on it.

Unlike those with whom we have to deal, and in this sense we have to fight not with them, but with those who supply and pay them everything – they actually use them as cannon fodder. This, without any exaggeration, does not count with losses there, does not count at all. And those who behave incorrectly, as they believe, are shot in front of the line – our guys watched with their own eyes – and the bodies are lying around, they don’t even collect the executed.

Recently, there was another case – five people were shot in front of the formation – those who refused to go or left the positions. There is a completely different moral atmosphere there. This once again confirms that we are dealing with a neo–Nazi regime – without any exaggeration. Not to quarrel with someone, but on the fact of their behavior. They don’t behave like that. But it doesn’t matter. And what is important is that we feel like people and feel that we are doing the right thing, protecting those of our people who now live in the territories that became part of the Russian Federation, which should have been done a long time ago, judging by what Nina Petrovna said. They’ve been waiting for this for a long time.

Regarding the order of property write–off and so on – I marked it for myself, we’ll see. But this should primarily be related to the order of the update. We’ll see about that. And I’ll tell Dyumin what you said. I’m just going to see him today, we have a working meeting.

Thank you very much.

E.Nikulnikova: Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much.

You are welcome.

M.Kostyuk: I am Maria Kostyuk, the mother of an officer, Senior Lieutenant Andrey Kovtun, who was in the combat zone from the very beginning. As he said, he left to fight and protect us from fascist inhumans, but then, when he returned to his time, he continued, said: “While I’m there, they won’t come here.” “Because,” she says, “if you (I somehow, as a mother, tried to say that everything happens in life, I can make any decision you make, for which I got it very quickly, harshly) knew what they were doing to women and children there, you would even think I couldn’t. While I’m there, they won’t be here. And here you are, my wife, my son, so the boys and I are there.”

Initially, he was a company commander in the 40th engineer-sapper regiment. This is the same crossing over the Seversky Donets, which they have brought several times, the famous one. He returned home, on July 29 he turned 26 years old. He was delighted that he was celebrating his birthday at home for the first time in 10 years, on August 4 he again left for the combat zone as a company commander in the 74th Motorized Rifle Brigade, and on August 10, near the village of Disputable of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the reconnaissance group was ambushed, and, having received a signal for help, Andrey with his characteristic independence and with confidence he rushed to help the guys, covered the direction of fire with his BMP and himself.

He saved the sappers, Andrei himself died, but thanks to him the guys are alive. And you know, when, after his death, a video was played in the American media for a week that they had neutralized Senior Lieutenant Andrei Kovtun, I finally, probably, made his decision that he could not have done otherwise. And the belief in his work, which he did for life, for life, and – our case – at the cost of his own life, took root inside.

And today, as a mother, I tell all our girls, our mothers, that today we are the first to show an example of how to appreciate the feat of our sons, not to reset it and, first of all, to live. Life, no matter how painful, is bitter. Open your eyes every day and live. To live by ourselves, to help others live and to teach them to live and appreciate this life, for which our guys fought there and are fighting now.

Pain does not choose whether you are an entrepreneur, a teacher or an official, it hits a person. Here I am the mother of an officer, but I am the deputy chairman of the Government of the Jewish Autonomous Region. I am the same official about whom they write everywhere today that we hide our loved ones from our own, that we are trying to sabotage the mobilization. I do not know where they see them, where they see such officials, I know completely different examples.

The guys are doing their military duty there today, and we are here in the rear, really in the rear, we must all do civilian duty together today. Because my son defended his big homeland, but each of them has a small one in his soul. And the boys who are there today, they all have a small homeland: they have their own yard, their own entrance, they have the road along which they went to school. And when they come back from there, what will they see?

I think they should see a new country. They should see the country for which they are now fighting and fighting there. They should see it equipped, well-maintained, clean. And, probably, we all have to do this with you. Maybe we can multiply the funding of programs, maybe unite all together, local communities, but we have to change for them.

If I may, literally two examples. They wrote all around – again, social networks, the media – that Moscow was empty, big cities were empty as soon as mobilization was announced. We had queues. The small village of Teploozersk in the Jewish Autonomous Region – at the beginning of the working day, there is a queue at the military enlistment office. Half of the team came from the cement plant and they say: “Take us together with him (with the conscript), he is small, frail, he can’t cope alone, we will go with him.” Is this not an indicator? Isn’t it necessary to try for them?

Or, already when the combat coordination was taking place in the village of Bijan, a mobilized man, Mikhail, approaches the governor Rostislav Ernstovich [Goldstein] and says: “Talk to my wife.” Everyone tensed up: what can he ask, what can he talk about? He says: “She runs around, collects certificates that I am unfit for military service. She doesn’t listen to anyone, you talk. I’m not coming back, I’m not going, I’m going with the guys. I’ll come back from there with them later.” And for their sake, we need to do everything today.

You know, ITS united us all today, it really united us. Today there is such a surge of civic activity, volunteering – a great gratitude that it is supported today, and God grant that it will continue to be supported. Because you and I have replaced the iron curtain with iron doors, we have locked ourselves in our apartments and lost each other. And today it is such a real, big, powerful appeal, a powerful association.

And first of all, I would like to address you with such a request, if I may. Today it is necessary to organize memorable places, some squares of memory, places of memory, to name art objects in honor of our heroes, to break up parks and not listen to those who write everywhere today and say: when everything is over, then. Why? Are we shy of our heroes? Or do we doubt our victory? Who doubts? Here we are, mothers, there are millions more behind us, we can convince any inhabitant of our country and others of what kind of victory, what price is given, and that it will be ours, it is ours. Give us these people who doubt.

And you know, I would like to add here that … of course, I would probably hang stars on the doors of these heroes as a sign of respect from society, as in the Great Patriotic War. But the veterans who come from there, guys, here they need to fill the military enlistment offices today. Why? Because today they know the price of life, and they know that behind every combat unit there is a real human fate. So that there are no cases when a 25-year-old widow comes to the military enlistment office, lost, who does not know what to do and how to do, and they say to her: “Do you know how many people like you? Come back in a month.” And the girl gets lost. And then they stray, excuse the phrase, into the widow’s realms, there are three or four of them, 24-25 years old, and they are already lost. They hire some kind of military lawyers. For what? On the contrary, we must show them that their husband is a hero, that today we appreciate his feat and support this family.

Well, the boys are there – they help them: they fill the refrigerator, and help them to somehow hold on, and they are engaged in children. But then they leave for the tape, they continue to work, they continue to fulfill their duty. Who are these girls for?

They cannot get a pension, because for at least three months, I even say by my example, it is impossible to get a certificate. Our regional military enlistment office has already been connected, but we cannot simply get a certificate that the girl does not receive benefits there. But she has me. And those girls who are single, what do they live on now? How do they feel inside? Their husband gave his life for our country.

In general, I think that it is necessary to make sure that our veterans of the SVO – the guys who are now returning from there – are in schools every day. Because it is they who understand the meaning of life today, who can openly, truly tell who the hero is. They can form a real image of today’s hero, you know, maybe a hero of our time. They will succeed – not all of them, but these will succeed.

If I may, there is one more request. Today, in my understanding, it is a very terrible situation when chat rooms are spread on social networks, where the Ukrainian CIPsO [Center for Information and Psychological Operations] and our foreign agents – “ours”, what does “ours” have to do with it, Lord, I said something – mislead our moms. They convince them, playing on their anxiety, beat them to the most painful, vital point, that they should talk to their sons so that they surrender, leave their place of service, leave military operations. They convince them in such a way that they come there, promising to give up their son from captivity or promising to give up the body. They write to moms in chat rooms, communicating with them like moms. What are our moms doing? They write the current phone number of their son when he is there, and then they arrive there. When they correspond in these chats, they write where exactly the unit or company in which their son is stationed is stationed. And then there’s a flight. Her son and other sons, someone’s husbands, brothers, fathers are dying. It’s scary, I understand that you have to work with moms. We are ready to help in this situation. But here, it seems to me, it is impossible to do without such a very important department as the Ministry of Defense. Because here it is necessary to nip in the bud, here it is necessary to carry out a lot of explanatory work with relatives and here it is necessary to save moms, help them, support them in the fact that in fact everything is not so, everything is completely different.

You know, I have colleagues who are in all regions today, I think they all support me. We are all ready to work 24 by 7 on this story, because it is very important. I am speaking here today, of course, both as a mother and as a person who works in power, because help, care and support will certainly be there. And we are ready to provide it today.

I stopped, I can talk a lot. This is my sore subject.

Vladimir Putin: First of all, Maria Fedorovna, I would like to note. You said about the heroes of our time. Lermontov had another hero. He had an eternal spleen, he lacked something, he doubted. He was sorry, after all, that he had interfered in the lives of honest smugglers and so on and so forth.

You have another son, and here the mothers are sitting those guys, those guys of ours who are really heroes in the literal sense of the word. This is the first.

The second is about what happened. See, he’s a real hero, your guy. He consciously did what he passed away for, dedicated his life to.

I once said: “For my friends.” It’s, you know, in the Bible, in the Torah, and in the Koran – there are things of this kind everywhere, you know? Indeed, a person with only such an upbringing and with such an attitude to his neighbors and to the cause he serves could do as your Andrey did, judging by what you have told.

M.Kostyuk: The guys told me.

Vladimir Putin: The guys told me, especially. They won’t cheat, it’s not fakes from the Internet.

About what you said about families and about military enlistment offices. After all, all of us – and some big bosses, and lower officials, and ordinary citizens – are one people, no matter what position or position we hold. And there are always different people, and there are different officials: there are those like you and your family, and there are those who in some structures – and you have just spoken about them with indignation – and in military enlistment offices treat the families of our servicemen haughtily or bureaucratically, carelessly and with a chill. Therefore, our task, of course, is to get rid of such people and of such a manner of communicating with people.

In this regard, of course, what you are doing, what Nina Petrovna is doing, and many of those present here, is very important. It is very important to rip off this “crust of indifference” from officials of various levels, from some state structures. We need to do this.

Frankly speaking, after all, I asked you to gather today in order to make it clearer to me, too, where the problems are. Of course, I know a lot of what you say – almost everything. But it’s one thing when you know from paper reports, even from oral reports of colleagues, and another thing when directly from you, from life, directly, everything is alive, you know. It matters.

Therefore, what you are saying about it is very right and good, and even better is that you are doing it. Thank you for that. I know that there are various initiatives there, various public groups are being created. They are needed precisely in order for us to act more effectively. In the end, if we do as you suggest, this is the road to our more effective work and to achieving the result that you also said that the country would be different. We must act together in this direction.

And as for, frankly speaking, the actions of the enemy, and your guys are fighting directly with the enemy, he is right on the contrary, and in the information sphere is also an enemy. When you say that they are trying to convince someone of something, to throw in some false information, to encourage some actions. What actions do they encourage? They encourage destructive actions that nullify that, discredit that for which your son passed away.

That’s why it’s being done: to devalue what our guys are doing, and to devalue, in my opinion, our very noble impulse – to protect our people in Donbass, in Zaporozhye, in Kherson. That’s what they do: devalue all our efforts and what our guys are doing, devalue, compromise and ultimately achieve their goals. And we, as you correctly said, as everyone here says, must achieve our own, and we will achieve them, without any doubt.

As for being attentive to the guys, including the injured, who have injuries, so that they work in the same military enlistment offices, this team already exists. The Ministry of Defense is doing this and will continue to do it, but this is not enough. I think it is necessary to make a separate program for children who need additional support related to future employment. We need to make a separate program, and we will do it.

M.Kostyuk: Thank you very much.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you.

You are welcome.

I.Tas-ool: Hello.

Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon.

I.Tas-ool: Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich!

First of all, I would like to thank you for your sensitive attention and support of our guys.

My name is Irina Igorevna. I represent the Republic of Tyva. My eldest son serves in the 57th Motorized Rifle Brigade of the Khabarovsk Territory. On March 7, he began taking part in a special military operation. On April 30, as I later found out, he was seriously injured. I found out about it myself on May 7. He initially told me that he had problems, that he just had a cold. Of course, I understand him, he didn’t want to upset me. But then, of course, a few days later I still contacted our deputy of the Republic of Tyva, asked for his help – to understand the whole essence of his illness.

Then my son received more than six months of treatment in hospitals: for five months he was in the Vishnevsky Hospital in Moscow and for more than a month he was in a hospital in Khabarovsk. He is currently staying at our home, in the Republic of Tyva. I received help in the form of rehabilitation in the sanatorium “Serebryanka”, which we have in the city of Kyzyl.

As the mother of a wounded soldier who needs long-term treatment, I am concerned about the development of a rehabilitation system and support for their families when they are already injured. I would like some kind of targeted program to be developed, where not only wounded soldiers and fighters, but also their families would receive help, because these mothers, wives, children are also facing this for the first time, and not everyone understands, knows where to turn, to whom to turn. And some families solve this problem for a long time, let’s say.

Also, in the Republic of Tyva, on your instructions, a medical diagnostic center was built in 2020, the main focus of which was to protect the population from coronavirus infection, and this center played a huge help and support during the outbreak of this pandemic. But now this [virus] has been minimized, and I would like this center to have the status of a military hospital, so that the guys, after they arrive at home, in this case in Tyva, know that there is a place where they will receive treatment, rehabilitation.

It’s also good, you just mentioned that you need help finding employment for these citizens. Because my son, when he was just signing a contract, he thought that he would be a military man, his whole life would be connected with this. And when on October 25 of this year the military commission recognized him unfit for service in military units, there is already a rethinking: where, how, further employment. Therefore, it is also necessary to attract these guys to work in military enlistment offices, also in the educational sphere, where they will explain how to be a patriot of their country. In the military enlistment offices, they will give advice because they know, because they have passed it all.

I would also like to thank the Government of the Republic of Tyva. They, too, in turn, provided assistance to the families of mobilized citizens, to which we, the common people, are very happy and grateful.

Thanks for attention.

Vladimir Putin: Good.

Irina Igorevna, first of all, we will see how to help you. And in general: Maria Fedorovna has already said here about military enlistment offices that it is possible to attract children, especially after injuries, to involve them in this work. We will do that. This is the first.

Second. You have raised the issue more broadly. In general, we need to think and create a system not just for rehabilitation. The Minister tells me that military hospitals are only 38 percent full, but the healthcare system itself is ready to work with our guys, the civilian healthcare system, including rehabilitation. We will definitely come back to this, so that rehabilitation takes place not only in the medical institutions of the Ministry of Defense, but taking into account the readiness and desire of the civilian health care system to work with our guys, especially those who have been injured. But we need to sort it out between the departments. We will do this and make greater use of the opportunities of domestic healthcare. This also applies to regional, republican, and federal centers.

And of course, we need a separate rehabilitation program in the broadest sense of the word, including additional training and employment. Additional training is definitely absolutely in demand. Be sure to think about it. I’ve marked it, and we’ll do it.

I. Tas-ool: Thank you.

Yu.Belekhova: Vladimir Vladimirovich, my name is Yulia Belekhova. I head the regional branch of the Popular Front in the Moscow region. A mother with many children. The eldest son left for mobilization in October.

We discussed the topic of supporting the families of our soldiers on November 2 at the forum “Community”, which is held by the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation. By the way, in such a landmark place – the Victory Museum on Poklonnaya Hill, where public organizations and volunteers gathered. Today we talked a lot about the help of volunteers, which is necessary, about the project “We are together”, which has always helped and helps.

We talked about supporting the families of our soldiers today. The conversation was not easy, because almost everyone who has relatives or friends today is either in the zone of a special military operation, or in places of coordination and training was there. But everyone came to the same opinion: the entry point of information from the fighters today is the family. Who will the fighter call? Of course, mom or wife. Of course, in fact, the family is the first to find out what is missing, what worries and worries the fighters there on the front line today.

On the other hand, we understand today what difficulties families face here. These are issues, of course, of psychological, material, economic, organizational, informational assistance. Maria Fyodorovna is right to talk about information assistance, because we should not give our families offense to anyone today. We have to save them, we have to help them.

It was at this site that everyone agreed that we need to work together, we need to organize in order to improve this assistance – both to families and to fighters. We decided to create a committee of families of soldiers of the Fatherland, and the organizers were just our leading Russian organizations – these are “Women of Russia”, “Union of Military Families”, “Union of Women of Russia”, “Mothers of Russia”. It is clear that it is not easy, because there are quite a lot of issues that need to be solved, and solved today.

We have already built a relationship with Tatiana Nikolaevna Moskalkova, the Commissioner for Human Rights, but, Vladimir Vladimirovich, we really need help in building a dialogue with the Ministry of Defense today, because there are a lot of questions from families to this department. Of course, these are the security issues that were just discussed today, these are the issues of missing persons, these are the issues when they get in touch. This is not a matter of three days or a week, when it is no longer just anxiety and anxiety in the family, and here, of course, there are questions that need to be answered. This is a question of interaction with the Ministry of Health today, this is a question of interaction with the social block today. That is, everything that worries both families and fighters today.

Of course, for our part, we have already started work here, and our mothers have joined the Popular Front hotline, because we understand each other like no one else, we understand what we are talking about.

Of course, we will now make New Year’s holidays for children from families who participate in a special military operation. We plan to organize committees in the regions, because there are a lot of issues that can be resolved at the regional level. And we have just announced that we will create a committee, appeals have already been sent to us.

One of them was from Khakassia, where, unfortunately, – Nadezhda Uzunova is present here, – let’s just say that the attitude was not quite right to families and to explain the issues of regional support measures that exist. It is necessary to speak honestly and directly and give, among other things, tools – where to turn and how if this help is not received for some reason. Therefore, of course, there are questions, and here, most importantly, we want to become part of the solution, not part of the problem, we want to help. And here, Mr President, is a very big request to support us in our work.

And, no less important, we definitely need specific people assigned to us from each of the ministries and departments, some are able to answer questions and make decisions. Today we need to do everything quickly, without red tape, without delay. Therefore, here is such a request.

And of course, thank you very much for your trust, because today I am a member of the HRC, the Human Rights Council, and I think this will help today in implementing the plans that we have today, namely in helping both families and fighters.

Vladimir Putin: Yulia Alexandrovna, is that what you called yourself – the Committee of Families of Soldiers of the Fatherland?

Yu.Belekhova: Yes.

Vladimir Putin: Have you formalized it somehow? Is this already some kind of legal entity created?

Yu.Belekhova: Yes, we have already been created. You know, we are quite open here, because there are a lot of organizations that are somehow spontaneously and incomprehensibly formed. We are talking about what we are, we have an official legal status, we will not disappear from the open spaces tomorrow, as, you know, when groups are opened in social networks, and then they disappear somewhere, and families remain without answers to questions, they were simply thrown into an incomprehensible information war. And here we are, we have an official legal status, we have registered. And already today our mothers are helping, answering questions and sharing the experience and information that they have.

Vladimir Putin: You know, I will instruct the Administration and the Government, as you requested, to establish some kind of contact with you directly for the purpose of support. We will definitely do this.

Yu.Belekhova: Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: And in the course of the work there, some issues will be clarified that require special attention, require assistance from administrative bodies. Now it’s hard for me to just say – it’s clear about what questions arise, but in each particular case, probably, you need to take a special approach.

In general, this work should be individual. It always becomes the most effective when it is not conducted in general, but individually with each specific person and with each specific family. But each case is still unique, I mean the composition of the family, family problems, the social status of the family, housing issues, receiving all the necessary forms of support required by law, and sometimes even not required, but necessary, especially at the regional level.

I do not know if you have noticed whether it sounds on the air when I have some public events – I do not have time to watch what is happening and how – but always at meetings with the heads of regions, I either start with this, or end with this: I always demand from my colleagues in the regions, from the heads of the regions of attentive, informal, personal participation in the lives of the families of our guys who are fighting. Always. But in the vast majority of cases, I know that work is being built, not only in the capitals, but also in other cities, in almost all subjects.

The fact that you told me that in Khakassia they somehow treat this the wrong way, it’s strange for me, to be honest, but we will check what is really happening there. This work is certainly in demand.

You said it right, I even wrote down that the entry point of all information is the family. People write there, call there when there is an opportunity, and there appears the most objective information about what is happening, and what kind of help and support is needed.

Of course, we will help you, without any doubt.

Yu.Belekhova: Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: We just need some of your data, but I’m sure it will be, we will take it. Phones and so on.

You are welcome.

Zh.Agueva: I came from Chechnya, Aguyeva Zharadat Khozhaevna. The mother of two fighters who are currently on the front line. One is Aguyev Ismail, [battalion] “West”, battalion commander, and the second is the head of the Kurchaloyevsky district police department.

Our sons voluntarily went there for the first time, now for the second time, too, with their team, squad. Ismail is wounded, has not yet corrected his leg, walks on crutches, walks on a cane, fights in the Donbass. Maryinka, where they are. I am proud that my sons freely, voluntarily went for the first time. I don’t regret at all that they are there.

Our President Ramzan Kadyrov fully provides everyone with everything they need: clothes, shoes. Not that Ramzan Kadyrov provides them – even wives and children at home – with everything, helps everyone and the guys there too, food, food. Not that the military carries – even Ukrainian people are constantly getting humanitarian aid. Our president is very proud of our guys, looks at everything, does everything necessary. He does not leave his sons, husbands who are in the zone of a special military operation, helps all their families. We don’t have any street children in Chechnya, there are no hungry people, there are no needy people. Our president provides all mothers with everything they need, provides everything. Our guys are doing fine.

I’m proud. I have another son at home. If I have to go, I’ll send the third one. It’s the second time they’ve gone. Our guys who left Chechnya don’t need anything and they don’t need anything. Basically, they have everything. Our president is the best, I think. General – we don’t say. Especially his own. I am grateful to Putin that in 2000, thanks to him and the late Akhmat-Hadji, everything was done to end the war on our side.

We have already survived the war twice, I know. I had one missing in that war, now I have three at the moment. I am proud of my nation and my people – everyone. We have no one in Chechnya who is starving, in need, with outstretched hands. He constantly provides everyone with everything they need, all the children, all the mothers, he does not leave them, he provides everything they need. I’m proud of him.

Thank you too, Putin, that at that time with Akhmat-Hadji Kadyrov you also helped our people a lot so that this war would not happen.

I have nothing more to say.

Vladimir Putin: Zharadat Khozhaevna, thank you for your kind words. What happened on Chechen soil, and the normalization that took place, is primarily the merit of the Chechen people themselves and Akhmat-Hadji, who gave his life for his people.

Zh.Aguyeva: Yes, my people.

Vladimir Putin: For the Chechens. He gave his life for it.

We will see Ramzan Akhmatovich now, I have a working meeting with him, I will tell him your words.

Zh.Agueva: He is very much for his people. What he said – our guys are all mine, I think, even now they will give their lives for him, for his word. It’s the second time I’ve had them there, on the front line.

Vladimir Putin: The fact that you have two sons fighting there is well done.

Zh.Aguyeva: I have two grandchildren there too. And also with our husband’s surname, relatives, nephews, a cousin, four more of our namesakes, the Aguevs, there are a lot of them.

Vladimir Putin: Zharadat Khozhaevna, tell your third son that the order of the Supreme Commander–in-Chief is to stay at home. Let him control the situation in the family.

Zh.Agueva: I told those two: leave the third one for now, we need the third one here at home.

Vladimir Putin: I will tell Ramzan now that the third one is at home, controlling the situation.

Zh.Agueva: And so thank you, thank you very much.

And I am very grateful to my president, my people, my nation, for not leaving us, helping everyone. It doesn’t even happen that he didn’t help somewhere, that we didn’t get something. You can come to Chechnya at any time to find out whether my words are true or not.

Vladimir Putin: I know the difference between today’s Terrible and the Terrible that I saw from the side of a combat helicopter when I flew over the city in 1999 and in 2001.

Zh.Agueva: Yes, it has blossomed, it is a very beautiful city, the sights are very beautiful. This is thanks to our people, the president.

Vladimir Putin: I remember the square for a minute – complete ruins, as it was in Stalingrad.

Z.Agueva: Yes, there was nothing to catch there. We didn’t even think that it would recover like this.

Vladimir Putin: We thought more about moving the capital of Chechnya, because some believed that it was impossible to restore, everything was in ruins. Now a thriving city, chic.

Zh.Aguyeva: My grandson is also studying at Suvorov. “Grandma,” she says, “I will be 18 years old, I will also go to war with my uncles.” I say, “Wait, maybe it will end, it probably won’t reach you.” “No,” he says, “if there is, I will go.” He is studying perfectly at the Suvorov school, his grandson is already 16 years old.

Vladimir Putin: Please convey to all your loved ones, to all Chechens, the words of gratitude for that contribution to the common struggle and victory.

Zh.Agueva: I am proud of my nation and my people.

thank you.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you for what you have said and for what you have done by educating such men.

Thanks.

You are welcome.

M.Bakhilina: I am Marina Bakhilina, Sakha Republic. Also a mother of three sons.

My middle son is a career military man, as he was drafted at the age of 18, and he remained. He serves in the Airborne Forces, reconnaissance. He has been in his own since the first days.

Vladimir Putin: Airborne, right?

M.Bakhilina: Airborne Forces, 83rd Brigade.

When the special operation began, he was there from the first days. In April, he was awarded the Order of Courage.

Vladimir Putin: The Order of Courage is not given just like that.

M. Bakhilina: Yes. It was shown on TV.

He was very badly injured. But I gathered, as they say, willpower, recovered. At the moment, he is in the hospital, undergoing rehabilitation and plans to go back in January.

The eldest son was mobilized in September.

But what I want to say, I’ll be brief, I don’t know how to say much.

In a word, I raised my sons in patriotism. As they say, the party said, the Motherland said – go ahead! No one shirked from the army, everyone joined the army physically, mentally prepared. They don’t hide behind Mom’s skirt. The summons came to the son, he immediately got ready quickly – and to the assembly point. Now he is not far from the front in his own. The only thing (well, rarely, of course, we correspond) that he complains about is food, there is no hot food. Do you understand what’s going on? If our people can’t provide our soldiers with hot meals, I, as a master of sports and a shooting CMC, would love to go there, to the front line to cook. And what’s funny, really.

We have, excuse me, please, in Yakutsk, a lot of mothers want to go to help – someone as a nurse, someone as a cook. There is nothing so shameful. We have some young people running, hiding… Why are we worse than our sons, as they say?

Another question I wanted is that I would gladly go to serve, I don’t need money, my pension allows.

Last. I want to convey from the mothers, from the wives of servicemen – from them personally – a huge thank you, Vladimir Vladimirovich, to our Aisen Sergeyevich [Nikolayevich] and the Magansky Possovet for providing material and moral support to servicemen.

You know, everything was done so quickly, quickly and efficiently. I don’t know how it is in the city, but it seems that I go, I also collect parcels – it seems that all of us received compensation for 200-300 thousand, vegetable sets. In Magan, for example, in general, the administration of Magan has oriented itself very well: someone needs water, someone needs to clean the yard, someone needs to bring firewood – in that spirit. So many of us are very well provided for. About this, of course, thank you very much.

Yes, and the wish is for some moms who hide their children: it is not necessary to decide for them, the children themselves should, and not run, pay off and the like.

That’s it, Vladimir Vladimirovich. Thank you very much.

Vladimir Putin: Marina Konstantinovna, you said that you don’t know how to speak. You are able and speak in such a way that God grant everyone, in a meaningful and in form, very intelligible. But the most important thing is not even what you say, but what you do, and the results of your work are in your sons. This work is of the highest quality and the highest standard, if you have such children. I congratulate you on this and thank you.

As for Aisen Sergeevich, he is an experienced leader, a very sensitive person, he is persistent, able to achieve results. Your republic is gorgeous. It is not only huge in territory, it is inhabited by very talented people, different people, different nationalities, the people are very melodious, interesting, beautiful. A rich republic.

What you said about hot meals on the front line. It would seem that the issues have already been mostly resolved – they were just talking about what seems to be normal with this, but nevertheless, it means that not everything is normal. Let’s see what you need and where you need to do what additionally. First.

Second. Thank you for your willingness to take part in the combat work of your guys. But it seems to me that first the relevant departments in the Ministry [of Defense] should restore order there. With your submission, we will do this and strengthen this work, of course. It’s not the first time I’ve heard this, including recently. Therefore, what I have heard from you is very important.

I understand that you have everything set up in the republic, there are no questions to the local and regional authorities.

Mikhail Bakhilina: Yes, we have a very good setup, well done.

Vladimir Putin: (addressing Yu.Yulia Alexandrovna, keep in mind that there are good examples of the work of regional authorities.

Yu.Belekhova: Vladimir Vladimirovich, there is…

Vladimir Putin: And it is necessary to replicate it.

Yu.Belekhova: And it is necessary to replicate, and we will, and show, because there are really examples of good regional work and caring for families. Why do we want to create a regional committee on the ground – because in terms of issues, maybe even the authorities need to be told somewhere how this is done, how it is implemented. Because after all, there is concern for families today and help them in different situations they face.

Vladimir Putin: You need to tell me somewhere. And positive examples. They just need to be replicated, to show how it is possible and how it is necessary to work here.

O.Shigina: That’s what I’m talking about.

Vladimir Putin (addressing O. Shigina): Yes, please, Olesya Nikolaevna.

O.Shigina: Hello again. I’m sitting next to you here.

I am a documentary filmmaker, poet, mother of a son who was just on military service. But when all this started, he immediately said, “Mom, who if not me?” and signed up for those who are ready to serve the Motherland.

When I found out about my son’s decision, of course, poems and everything else flowed like a river. But most importantly, I realized that I would go to Donbass to understand what was happening there, I would personally go myself, I should see everything myself and understand who these guys are – the same as mine, or maybe what they say in the media…

Vladimir Putin: Not so.

O.Shigina: After all, however, at that time it was all very acute: “no war” and so on.

And, you know, I ended up making a movie. I went by myself, even without a bulletproof vest. The film is called “The Brave”.

Vladimir Putin: Was the film made?

O.Shigina: Yes.

Vladimir Putin: And on what technique, how did you shoot?

O.Shigina: I’m basically a documentary filmmaker, I have the technique. Not the most sophisticated, because the operators did not go with me.

Vladimir Putin: Are you a professional director?

O.Shigina: Yes. I have about 20 movies.

And when I arrived there, you know, as a mother, as a director, as a person who still passes through the soul, I, of course, saw that there were holy guys there. I saw this look of standing before death, before God in the first place. That is, they all understand that they are there for Russia. There is no Chechnya, – they are for all of us, for all together.

I told the women today (I deviate a little from what I wanted to say) how three prayed in one trench. A Dagestani man told me how the three of them, wounded in the trench, prayed in three languages – Chechen, Dagestani and Russian. The Dagestani man was holding a Spas Not made with hands – the flag that I gave him – and says: “I will wear it right under my heart.” And he read to me “Our Father” in Russian.

You see, we are raising Chechnya together, we are all together, and we are raising Donbass together now. And my first film was about the militia, about these people who have been standing on the borders there for eight years. (Addressing N. Pshenichkina.) About your son. Of course, these are heroes, these are our saints.

I have such a poem: “Time of times will hide the former power by turning milestones, // Sin will be called sin again, Russian – Poltava borscht. // The regiments of warriors and saints are growing every minute. // The Time of Times and its sons are sight for the blind.”

This vision [will become] now for the “blind”, for many blinded, whose brains have been clouded by these fakes, these endless terrible information attacks. To fight them off, we need to call up regiments of people who are ready to serve the Motherland in the same way as our sons serve.

We, patriots – documentarians, poets, writers, actors – are real patriots, we are ready to join the ranks of those who will create the cinema that the viewer is waiting for, and he is waiting for him.

A big request. For example, 20 of my films. It’s impossible to break into television, it’s impossible to break into cinemas, you know. The viewer says: where are your films, why don’t we see them? We want to see them. This wall needs to be breached.

By the way, when I went to shoot, I didn’t even have cameramen, the film is called “Absolute Life”. That is, the camera is shaking in my hands, I’m not a military commander, but I understand everything now, I understand how to shoot there.

Thanks to the Foundation for Cultural Initiatives, when I went there [to Donbass], for the second time when I went, I applied before that – this is a social elevator. Because the Ministry of Culture is very difficult to break through. And here I felt that the social elevator exists. That is, the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives picked up my project, they already helped me, and I felt that I was together with the state, that I was not working alone, you know? Just as our sons should now feel there that they are no longer alone, that they have uniforms [provided], that they are expected here. They are wounded, crippled – we will give them a “road map” of how to live on. And this is my first film about the militia coming out soon. I hope it will be shown.

Now I have conceived three more films, they have already suffered, I already understand how to make them. This is just the brave regular army, about our valiant regiments, in one of which my son serves. You just need to know – there is a lot of criticism of the army now, and it often has the right to be, but these valiant regiments exist, which are the honor and conscience of our army. They are there, we know them. I know that you know these commanders, brigade commanders, who are all wounded, with a mangled face, but they will lay down their lives for the guys, they will not leave them. And where the brigade commander does not know how to do this, the guys have problems there, and if the brigade commander is like our guys, everything is fine there. And they will reach you, and they will get everything. There would be more such brigade commanders for us, and I really want to make a film about them.

The second film I conceived about the Cossacks. Cossacks are not only here on the Don, we have Cossacks from Vladivostok to the south. And it is also very important that we have stopped dividing: Don Cossack, Ural Cossack, Vladivostok Cossack. I want to make a film where the Cossacks with their songs, with their courage, with their desire to serve “the faith, the tsar and the Fatherland” will be presented with that maternal love, you know, which is in me when I shoot.

I would like to make the third film about our mobilized guys. You know, the militia tell me on the front line: “Only fools are not afraid.” And this somewhat confused look at the wires – You can’t imagine how in two months it will turn into the look of a warrior, confident that he serves the Motherland.

As one hero of the film says: “Here we have some kind of connection. Because the spirit. For Russia, for Russia.”

Vladimir Putin: Unity.

O.Shigina: For complete unity, yes.

Indeed, patriotic creative people are easy to figure out, because they have not changed their patriotic attitude to the country for the last 20 years. It is very easy to find us – we are here, we are ready to serve the Fatherland. As it is written in my films: “Cinema in the service of the Fatherland.” This is the last frame always after all the movies.

I shoot about mothers with many children, about our soldiers or about people who really create in Russia – I have such films about heroes. I would really like a powerful festival to appear… I’m sorry, of course I’m worried anyway, because there’s so much to say inside.

Vladimir Putin: No, you are very informative, very interesting.

O.Shigina: But the excitement, you know, it is present. And so.

For how many years have festivals like Artdokfest and Kinotavr tormented our people with obscene content, films made with dislike – there is even a film of the same name called Dislike – namely films made about dislike of Russia. We have to call those now – and there the guard is standing and waiting: call us, we are ready to shoot about love for Russia, shoot about our heroes, write about them, live there, in the Donbass, and write books. I personally am ready to just sit in this trench and write about them.

And I hope that this institute – how do we get there – will appear, that the Ministry of Culture will begin to hear us. Because institutions such as the Internet Development Institute, the society “Knowledge” – this, as I understand it, you get directly to the people who hear you. It’s so rare, you know. And it’s such a blessing that we, patriotic writers, poets and filmmakers, began to be heard. That we are no longer “oh, somehow you have everything too there.” They started to hear us.

Vladimir Vladimirovich, the fact that I am here also shows that this social elevator… I think that the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives is still your initiative. And if Zharadat [Aguyeva] is very grateful to the Chechen leader, then, first of all, I think that everything that is being built and happening in Russia is our President who manages it, acts in coordination with people on the ground. If there is a competent leader there [in the region], there is also such a phrase from the front, you know, it does not matter that the company does not think anything, as long as the commander is not a fool. If you are not a fool on the ground, everyone hears all your orders, and everything is done there. Just like in social bodies. This ladder should appear.

Therefore, I have a big request (I formulate a lot, as a creative person I talk a lot).

First, I want to make these films with maternal love, you know, through love. I need the assistance of the Ministry of Defense for this, because it is almost impossible to break into such units. I am ready to shoot on the front line, I have already done this, I have experience now. I’m not afraid as much as possible.

I would really like other documentarians, poets, writers to have access to cinemas, to television, to leading TV channels, so that leading TV channels do not get carried away only with their entertainment content, but finally begin to see us.

I would really like to create a film festival “In the service of the Fatherland”. It doesn’t have to be a movie just about its heroes.

The heroes of my film build airplanes in the village, in an abandoned village they build airplanes, and they take off from chamomile fields. Isn’t that a hero? Or another hero of the film is an inventor who creates the most complex technologies in Russia, which are among the top five. Isn’t that a hero? Hero.

Therefore, I ask you. I am now speaking for the entire creative intelligentsia. I know what everyone really wants to say. Mr President, we are counting on you very much.

Thanks.

Vladimir Putin: Good. Thanks.

In this regard, you know what thoughts came to my mind right now when you spoke about people of creative professions who are patriotic, and said words that some of the cultural events tormented our people.

Why did this happen? I can say it’s very simple. Because we were in a state after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and it seemed to us – to many – that a sweet life would begin now, and tomorrow we would live like in Paris or somewhere else. Although now it turns out that many people do not want to live like in Paris.

O.Shigina: Absolutely, yes.

Vladimir Putin: And it was thought that it would be good there. In fact, this is not the case at all, there is a different cultural code. Probably, everything is possible, but the way we celebrate Mother’s Day, the way we are gathered together now and talking about the role of a woman, the role of a mother – in many places there they don’t even know what “mom” is. Really? There’s just “parent number one” and “parent number two”. And there are dozens of genders being measured there, some kind of “transformers” – I don’t even understand what they are talking about. This is not our culture at all, this is a completely different code of some kind.

What Olesya Nikolaevna said, that there are guys from Dagestan…

O.Shigina: Yes, it is a mixture of cultures, and the war, of course, is for spirituality, for our spirituality.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, of course. Our unique civilization is the unification of people of different ethnic groups, different cultures and different faiths into one single whole. This is the first.

Second. At the turn of the 2000s, 90s, it seemed to us that everything would be fine, but it turned out that this was not the case at all. Moreover, we began to live and play in some strange clearing and enthusiastically indulged in the fact that they were trying to control us. And in the end, those who tried to control us – in general, thanks to their efforts, we found ourselves in this situation, including in the zone of a special military operation. After all, they brought it to this.

I understand that we are not here for serious conversations on political issues, but still, if there had not been a coup d’etat in Ukraine in 2014, there would have been nothing, there simply would have been nothing. And so they had a lot of influence over this country, and after 2014 they actually took control of all the authorities and administrations in fact.

And who are they? The Banderites are essentially. And what is Bandera? Neo-Nazis. Bandera was Hitler’s henchman, shot both Russians, and, by the way, Poles, Jews, all in a row on Hitler’s instructions. And today they have elevated such people to the rank of national heroes, that’s what our guys are fighting today in the zone of a special military operation, that’s who. And those who oppose them, many do not even understand what they are doing, do not understand that they are being used simply as pawns in someone else’s game. They are playing someone else’s game, but we have to fight for our interests, for our people, for our country. That’s what we’re doing.

And what happened in previous years was largely due to the fact that we played as if we had always lived in someone else’s clearing. And today’s events are a path to some kind of inner cleansing and renewal. And of course, people like you, people of creative professions who think like you, of course, they have always been in demand, and in such difficult moments for the life of the country in particular.

But since everything has developed in a certain way over the previous years, clearing a clearing is quite difficult for you, believe me, even from my level. Because it’s deep enough there everything sits. But we will definitely do it.

O.Shigina: Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, we will. And of course, as for the assistance of the Ministry of Defense, you will be provided with assistance. I don’t even doubt it at all. How to organize this work so that it is with a good result and as safe as possible – we will think about it and try to do it. Ok?

O.Shigina: Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: As for the rental and so on. You said that it is difficult to do this through the Ministry of Culture. Probably, there is also its own bureaucracy there. But the Ministry of Culture will also get involved. The Minister [of Culture Olga Lyubimova] is also a woman of patriotic beliefs, views, a very active young woman, already experienced. I’ll talk to her too, we’ll connect her.

O.Shigina: Yes, now is the time for documentaries. By the way, Russian documentary filmmakers are considered to be among the best in the world, because the level of penetration into the problem is very high among documentary filmmakers.

Vladimir Putin: Yes.

And what you said about the guys you saw there, practically on the front line, is, of course, worth a lot. And it was useful for me to hear it now.

O.Shigina: I can show you.

N. Pshenichkina: We watched this movie. She sent it to us.

Vladimir Putin: I will ask you to [send] too, please.

Are we going to finish, everyone? Or something else?

Please, please.

L. Rubanik: Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich!

I am a mother of seven children from St. Petersburg, Rubanik Lyubov Sergeevna.

Vladimir Putin: We have such families in St. Petersburg – it’s nice to hear that. Not only in Chechnya, not only in Dagestan, but also in St. Petersburg.

L. Rubanik: We have six sons and an adopted daughter.

Vladimir Putin: That’s great.

L. Rubanik: The eldest two sons, Dmitry and Daniel, have already served in the army, and are now ready to go on mobilization. The middle son, Panteley, went to the military enlistment office himself in June and joined the army. In October, he signed an agreement, and is now in preparation. Vladislav is also with us now, in December, going to his brother’s service. The two youngest children are 11 and 12 years old.

I would like to tell you about patriotic education, since our grandparents went through the entire blockade. Grandfather was a hearing invalid, but from the age of 14 he worked at the Baltic factory, then he reached Berlin, although he was deaf, he fought. And a few years ago, he was already 92 years old, our dad passed away. He also devoted his whole life to the Navy, served in Murmansk. It turns out that this is the grandfather of my children, so we have such an upbringing, initially all children are patriots, everyone knows what our Homeland is.

When we were at school in our time, we had initial military training, we were proud that we were Octobrists, then pioneers, and, of course, everyone was happy and aspired to be in the Komsomol.

I would like to tell you a little about our organization. This is the charity foundation “Tide” of the city of St. Petersburg, which is part of the All-Russian movement “Mothers of Russia”, St. Petersburg branch.

Due to the recent events in the country, of course, we could not stay away either. We do our best to help internally displaced persons who come to St. Petersburg, help pregnant women, and also support the families of [participants] of the SVO who find themselves in a difficult life situation.

Just the other day, one mother turned. She has to give birth to a baby one of these days, and the others are babies, she says: “There is no one to meet me now – dad is fighting – from the maternity hospital.” And our volunteers, respectively, will go to conduct, meet. This is our organizational work. The older children, until they had to mobilize now, they also help us as much as possible as volunteers – they work on targeted assistance, we support families.

What I would like to say, of course, about the “Committee of Mothers of the Fatherland” together with the All-Russian People’s Front. I would like to develop with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Defense exactly step–by-step support for military personnel – post-traumatic support for those guys who return from military operations.

So that we can develop support for everyone while disability registration is underway, and psychological assistance to the family, which we just talked about, and help for these guys, because many, of course, fall into depression. We also have a psychologist at the foundation’s site who also works with families of internally displaced persons. A lot of mothers and even teenagers are in such a difficult state, and the families of the mobilized also tell about their nervous state, and this help is needed.

Vladimir Putin: This problem of rehabilitation, which we have already talked about, is multifaceted, multifaceted. This is not only a purely medical, but also psychological help should be social. I have already said that it is very important, I think, to help people get additional skills, knowledge, some additional education, to help with employment. This is a whole range of works.

And I have already marked, of course, it needs to be done. And of course, Lyubov Sergeevna, with the help of your structures, public organizations, yours, as Yulia Alexandrovna said, we will support everyone in every possible way.

L. Rubanik: Yes. Only together we can win.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, I absolutely agree with you.

L. Rubanik: I would like to say just a few more words that only Russian mothers give birth to the best sons and daughters of our Motherland.

Vladimir Putin: So it is, of course. That’s the way it is, it’s true.

N. Uzunova: Hello, Vladimir Vladimirovich!

Republic of Khakassia, my name is Nadezhda. And as Nina Petrovna has already said, as we all believe, on September 30, an important event really happened for our whole country, and I was lucky enough to be on Red Square, take part and be in this united impulse with our whole country. There are more children in our country, a large number of families have been added. And what is it? It means responsibility, a huge responsibility for these people.

Donbass is familiar to me firsthand, it has been familiar to me since 2017. As part of my favorite organization “Combat Brotherhood”, of which I am a member, under the leadership of Alexander Vekshin, head of the Khakass branch, we evacuated seriously ill and wounded children from the territory of Donbass. And then I saw with my own eyes for the first time this pain of Shakhtersk, Donetsk, Gorlovka, when you pull children out of basements, when you have boys, girls…

Olesya is making a film about the brave, and at that time I had short films, small ones, which we are now showing in schools, because peers understand better than peers – we have developed this system. And when we shot these short films, we shot them with the same name: the name of the child is the name of the film.

My first film is “Vovka”. The boy is ten years old, he takes me to the basement and says: you know, I know how to lie down, I know how to sit, I know how to stand on orders, as I need to, as a soldier, but I’m afraid not to survive this moment. Artem, whose sister died in front of his eyes. How can you forgive it, how can you forget it? And someone also pressed this button when it exploded. Vadim. I know everyone by name.

And I am a mother with many children, this will not surprise anyone here, we are all well done, I also raise foster children myself, alone. Therefore, of course, there are no other people’s children, definitely. And from that moment I decided to help, I decided to go forward.

Recently I was in St. Petersburg, but it is already morally impossible to rest, because you have been rebuilt, you have been rebuilt for a completely different task. And we visited the hospitals of our fighters – the 442nd, VMA. And of course, we visited with our fraternal republic, the Republic of Tyva, because Khakassia and Tyva are native republics, we are very closely connected.

Vladimir Putin: Side by side.

N. Uzunova: And with the women from the fraternity of the Republic of Tyva of St. Petersburg, of course, we visited our guys. You know, even here our unity is manifested. In what? How to please the fighters, how to surprise them? We decided to cook a national dish. And of course, with these buckets of pies, when you go into these wards, communicate with the fighters, somewhere you hear, you know, this: “How delicious, how at home.” Well, what do you need more? When you realize that you are the conductor of the love of these moms who can’t be with our guys today.

When the mobilization began, of course, all the women of our country experienced a great sense of anxiety, this is unequivocal, this is one hundred percent. But at the same time, having literally survived for a couple of hours, I got up and wrote down an appeal, and it is about the unification of forces in our republic, consolidation, female power in women’s energy, that we cannot give up, and the last thing is to lose heart, you can’t do this.

And we began to gather the sons of Khakassia. I am sure that women in other regions did the same. We collected from backpacks to their destination, to their place of deployment with prayers, with provisions, with food. All women united, indeed. It’s such a force, it’s such a power, it’s such a charge. And you realize that you’re getting so strong.

When the guys left, you see everyone off, and 1400 people left us. Then I followed them to the exercises, to the training grounds, accompanying them in hopes, because everything was happening quickly, and some questions and problems remained. Of course, you solve these issues on the ground.

We will go further, Vladimir Vladimirovich, do not doubt, we already know, that’s for sure.

Of course, there are difficulties, as in any problem, case, new case, complicated. Of course, I will tell you this, that in Khakassia everyone still works 24 to 7: both the regional authorities, the municipal authorities, and the residents of the Republic of Khakassia are those who have really united today. There is no caring person.

What difficulties there are, now, probably, I will tell you about them a little and very briefly.

For example, it seems to me, based on experience, because you work all the time, the fighters are always in touch. If I used to ask how the day went, only with my children, sons, now I understand that my evening is increasing. They call, speak, report, roughly speaking, how it is going, what is needed, how to help, what needs to be delivered to the front line, because the list is changing: uniforms are over, there are special communications facilities, other moments.

What is happening on the ground with regional support and assistance, why Yulia made an emphasis. I will explain to you: you need to hear every family, of course. Today, the common task and our task – people who work directly with families – we understand and pay attention to each family. You can’t forget it here, you can’t miss these moments.

At the moment, it seems to me, the hearings before the adoption of the budget are open, and it is impossible to adopt a regional budget without aspirations, without wishes and without problems of mobilized families. They can, they should take part, and then there will be no problems.

And what problems do you get? The following problems are obtained: we are making amendments. What is an amendment? The correction is ten days. So, for ten days some family will not receive certain payments.

At the moment, I will tell you that everything has been settled. Just Julia was making an emphasis, already next Tuesday 29 of these families will receive a regional payment, that is, everything is fine. Because it was a bureaucratic delay, again a residence permit – such moments. I would like to emphasize once again that the topic is new, a complex topic.

Another point that I would like to draw attention to is, of course, benefits. The Government of the Republic of Khakassia has developed a large, serious package of additional measures, in addition to financial payments. But when any benefit is being developed, its mechanism must be worked out. Again, for example, coal. It is clear that we have no problems with coal in the republic, I mean with its quantity, but the mechanism of study was not fully completed. It turns out as follows: coal begins to be issued under this regional system only literally now, and it is already cold in Siberia.

But, again, I will tell you that not a single family was left without him, because we have partners, sponsors, the work of the heads of municipalities, who are very quickly resolving issues on the ground today. Naturally, Khakassia is a small family, and, of course, issues are resolved in a fairly fast mode.

And there is one more point that I would also like to draw attention to. It is clear that everyone is trying, all municipalities. We have 12 municipalities that were affected by the mobilization, and each head of the municipality, of course, tries for his municipality, and there is a difference in benefits. And if there is a difference, it means somewhere less. Of course, next week we will discuss these points, because the heads are always in contact and in direct communication. Of course, we believe that there should be no difference. These are very important points.

And you know, Vladimir Vladimirovich, very strong women have gathered here today. Women who can really show by their example how to live, how to educate, because we are guided, of course, by the examples, probably, of their grandmothers, grandfathers who forged Victory in the rear, unequivocally. That is, we have a good school, a good example.

But no matter how strong we are, we need a strong man’s shoulder – your shoulder, your support, support for our committee. Thank you very much for receiving us today, from us, from mothers. We are moving forward, we are moving forward with our families, because families are all the families of our mobilized guys, volunteers, of whom, by the way, we have a lot. Indeed, there are a lot of them, and we are proud of them.

And, of course, I also can’t help but send you greetings from our fighters, because they talk about it, they know that I’m here today. From all the fighters, from all the guys and volunteers of the Republic of Khakassia, I wish you a huge hello. Please accept it.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much.

The issue, it would seem, is such a household one, but it is also significant – these are benefits and their uniform application, mechanisms and speed of decision-making. To do this, you don’t even need any complicated decisions within the budget process, you just need to foresee everything in advance, and this will be done automatically, there are no problems here. But nevertheless, I still marked it, I will pay attention to it.

N. Uzunova: Thank you very much.

Vladimir Putin: And as for associations – those that are created at the call of the heart, as they say, we have already said here, I already see several such associations here, representatives of these associations are present. And yours, of course, too.

N. Uzunova: I’m talking about our committee, it’s already ours.

Vladimir Putin: Oh, is it common?

N. Uzunova: Of course, this is our common cause. We are burning with our common cause.

Vladimir Putin: Okay, I’m sorry.

N.Uzunova: The committee that Yulia spoke about, I ask you to support it. We are already active, we are already working on the ground, we have experience.

Vladimir Putin: Everything is clear.

Are we going to finish?

What I would like to say in conclusion. Nadezhda Alexandrovna said that support is needed, on the one hand. On the other hand, there will certainly be support, as I have already said.

But you know what I want to tell you: that the most important support is your position and how – I will not be afraid of any big words here – you have lived up to now, and how you have brought up your guys. This is the main foundation and foundation of Russia’s existence.

I’m not just talking about you, about those present, but in general about our mothers, about our mothers. This is the main foundation on which the country stands. This is everything – this is our history, our culture, our traditions, this is confidence in the future of the country, confidence in our victories in the broadest sense of the word, not only within the framework of this military operation.

As Marina Fedorovna said, and I understand that you were talking about the future of the country, that it should be different. In this, if you have noticed, despite all the issues related to the special military operation, we do not change our plans for the development of the state, for the development of the country, for the development of the economy, its social sphere, for national projects. We have huge, big plans, but they can be implemented if we work together to solve all the problems, all the issues that the country faces – both within the framework of this special operation, and within the framework, as we said earlier, of our everyday work.

The most important guarantee of our success is unity. The unity that Olesya Nikolaevna spoke about here, about which Zharadat Khozhaevna spoke, Suna Neifelovna spoke, all from all regions, from our Cossack regions, from new regions, from those who have always believed that they are the very heart and foundation of the Russian state. All this together: the so–called periphery, the center, the south, the north, the east, the west – this is all our huge country Russia.

But this is not only a territory and not so much a territory – it is primarily people, their traditions, their culture, their history, which is passed down from generation to generation and absorbed by all of us with mother’s milk.

All thanks to you.

Thank you very much

Maligned in Western Media, Donbass Forces are Defending their Future from Ukrainian Shelling and Fascism

 

Eva Bartlett

*The author with Pyatnashka commanders at outpost near Avdeevka, Donetsk People’s Republic. [Source: Photo courtesy of Eva Bartlett]

Published Nov 19, 2022, Covert Action [See the comments section, some apologists for the West’s war on Syria have resurfaced…]

Smeared, stigmatized, and lied about in Western media propaganda, the mostly Russian-speaking people of the Donbass region were being slaughtered by the thousands in a brutal war of “ethnic cleansing” launched against them by the neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv, which the U.S. installed after the CIA overthrew Ukraine’s legally elected president in a 2014 coup.

Although the Donbass people had been pleading for Russian military aid to defend them against the increasingly murderous military assaults by the Ukraine government forces, which killed more than 14,000 of their people, Russian President Vladimir Putin declined to intervene. Instead, he tried to broker a peace agreement between the warring parties.

But the U.S. and Britain secretly colluded to sabotage peace negotiations, persuading president Zelenksy to ignore the Minsk III peace agreement that the Ukraine government had previously signed, and which had been countersigned by Russia, France and Germany.

Realizing that the U.S. and its NATO allies would never permit peace negotiations to succeed, Putin finally sent troops into Ukraine on February 24. Russian troops went in to support and reinforce the outnumbered and outgunned Donbass Forces who had been defending their land against attacks by the Kyiv government for nearly eight years.

Voices From the Frontlines of Former Eastern Ukraine Republics

In the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in October, I went to a frontline outpost 70 meters from Ukrainian forces in Avdeevka (north and west of Donetsk), according to the Donbas commanders I spoke with there. [Watch our interview here]

To reach that position, I went with two other journalists to a meeting point with two commanders of Pyatnashka—volunteer fighters, including Abkhazi, Slovak, Russian, Ossetian and other nationalities, including locals from Donbas.

From there, they drove us to a point as far as they could drive before walking the rest of the way, several minutes through brush and trenches, eventually coming to their sandbagged wood and cement fortified outpost.

It has changed hands over the years, Ukrainian forces sometimes occupying it, Donbas forces now controlling it.

*“Vydra,” a unit commander of the Pyatnashka fighters. [Source: Photo courtesy of Eva Bartlett]

One soldier, a unit commander who goes by the call sign “Vydra” (Otter), was formerly a miner from the DPR who had been living in Russia with his family. In 2014, he returned to the Donbas to defend his mother and relatives still there. He spoke of the outpost.

“We dug and built this with our hands. Several times over the years, the Ukrainians have taken these positions. We pushed them back, they stormed us…Well, we have been fighting each other for eight years.”

There, artillery fire is the biggest danger they face. “You can hide from a sniper, but not from artillery, and they’re using large caliber.”

His living quarters is a dank, cramped, room with a tiny improvised bed, with another small room and bed for others at the outpost.

A sign reads: “If shelling occurs, go to the shelter.” The kind of sign you see all over Donetsk and cities of the Donbas, due to Ukraine’s incessant shelling of civilian, residential areas. In a frontline outpost where incoming artillery is the norm, the sign is slightly absurd, clearly a joke.

An Orthodox icon sits atop the sign. Ukrainian nationalists hang and spray Nazi graffiti and slogans of death; these fighters revere their faith.

A poster, with the DPR flag, reads: “We have never known defeat, and it’s clear that this has been decided from above. Donbas has never been forced to its knees, and no one will ever be allowed to.

The only things decorating the space are tins of tuna and canned meat, instant noodles, and washing powder. Their existence is bare minimum, nothing glamorous about it; they volunteer because, as they told me, this is their land and they will protect it.

Perhaps surprising to some, when Vydra was asked whether he hates Ukrainians, he replied emphatically no, he has friends and relatives in Ukraine.

“We have no hatred for Ukraine. We hate those nationalists who came to power. But ordinary Ukrainians? Why? Many of us speak Ukrainian. We understand them, they understand us. Many of them speak Russian.

I’ve been involved in sports a lot of time, wrestling. So, I’ve got a lot of friends in Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov, Kirovograd, Odessa, Lvov, Ivano-Frankivsk, Transcarpathia.

I have relatives in western Ukraine, and we still communicate. Yes, they say one thing on the street, but when we talk to each other, they say, ‘Well, you have to, because the SBU is listening.’

Ukraine shouts about democracy, then puts people in handcuffs for no reason. My aunt got in trouble because they found my photo on her Skype.

And I’m on the Myrotvorets [kill list] website.” [As is the author, see this article.]

He spoke of Ukraine’s shelling from 2014, when the people of the Donbass were unarmed and not expecting to be bombed by their own country.

“When the artillery hit the city of Yenakievo, east of Gorlovka, we were defenseless. We went with hunting rifles and torches to fight them. Most of the weapons we had later were captured from them. We had to go to the battlefield without weapons in order to get the weapons.”

When asked if he was concerned that Ukrainian forces might take Donetsk he replied no, of course not, they didn’t succeed in 2014, they won’t now.

When asked whether he had a message for soldiers of the Ukrainian army, Vydra replied without hesitating, “Go home! We’ve been saying that since 2014: Go home. Unequivocally, we don’t want them here, but we don’t want to kill them. I’m not speaking about nationalists, I’m speaking about Ukrainian soldiers, who are drafted or forcefully employed in the Ukrainian army. Guys, go home, either surrender or go. This is our land. We’re not leaving, we’re not going anywhere.”

I asked how he felt to be treated and described as sub-human, to be called dehumanizing names, a part of the Ukrainian nationalists’ brainwashing propaganda. As I wrote previously:

“Ukrainian nationalists openly declare they view Russians as sub-human. School books teach this warped ideology. Videos show the extent of this mentality: Teaching children not only to also hate Russians and see them as not humans, but also brainwashing them to believe killing Donbas residents is acceptable. The Ukrainian government itself funds neo-Nazi-run indoctrination camps for youths.”

“It’s offensive,” Vydra said, “We are saddened: There are sick people. We need to heal them, slowly.”

I asked whether he thought friendship between Ukrainians and Russians would be possible.

“It will take years for any friendship. Take Chechnya, one region of Russia, it was at war. But slowly, slowly…We must all live together. We are one people.” Indeed, now Chechen fighters are one of the most effective forces fighting alongside Donbas and Russian soldiers to liberate Donbas areas from Ukrainian forces.

He opened a zippered trousers pocket and proudly brandished a small plastic sleeve containing children’s drawings, also containing icons of saints and Christ, and prayers…

“This is very personal, it’s like my guardian angel. I put it in plastic, I don’t even keep my ID in plastic. I’ve been carrying this one in my pocket since February. I’ve been in all sorts of hot spots. A child drew this, we receive letters from children. It’s very nice to look at them when it’s hard and we are under fire.”

He read one letter:

We are waiting for you. Thank you for risking your lives to defend Donbas. Yulia and Ira.

“I don’t even know who are Yulia and Ira,” he said smiling.

Showing the icons, he said, “This is Saint Ushakov, our great commander. This is Jesus Christ, our Heavenly Protector. This Abkhazi icon was given to me by the guys. This is a prayer book. And here is a prayer,” he said of one page prayer.

“These words are to support when times are very hard. When there is heavy shelling, it can go on for hours. So, while you’re sitting there, you can read this.

Especially for the younger guys, 22, 23 years old, just finished college. This is new to them.”

Commanders Speak of Geopolitical Reasons for Ukraine’s War

Outside, sitting in front of an Orthodox banner and a collection of collected munitions—including Western ones—two platoon commanders, “Kabar” and “Kamaz,” spoke of the bigger geopolitical picture. [See video]

“America is running the show here,” Kabar said. “It builds foreign policy on the basis of how its domestic policy is built, which is through conflicts with external countries. They are accustomed to proving their power to their people through terrorism around the world, inciting fires in Syria, in the east. They played the card of radical Islam there.

And now they are playing the card of fascism. They do not see themselves on the other side of good. They need wars, blood, cruelty, and they signed Europe up for this.

However, they’ve missed one point: Russia, since the days of the Soviet Union, has never retreated in large scale wars. They took Europe and pushed it to slaughter Russia, and they put Russia in such a position that it must secure its national interests. Europe needs to understand this, to pay attention to history, to stop being led by the United States.”

“Kabar,” a commander of the Pyatnashka fighters. [Source: Photo courtesy of Eva Bartlett]

When asked about his feeling regarding Ukrainians, “Kabar” replied similarly to Vydra.

“We don’t blame the whole Ukrainian people. Ukrainians are our friends, they are our relatives. They’ve been struck by evil, and it’s not their fault, ordinary people are not to blame for this. We will liberate them from fascism, we’ll show them brotherhood, and we’ll make friends.

This is a good opportunity for us to defeat evil. God has honored us with this right to fight evil.”

Kamaz, when asked why he is fighting, replied that this is his homeland, he was born here, and that he has a son who he doesn’t want to inherit Ukraine’s war on the Donbas.

“I myself am Greek by nationality. Ukrainians are Slavs, they are our brothers, their grandfathers fought together shoulder to shoulder with our grandfathers against Nazism and fascism. We are here to finish it, so that our children live a normal happy life. We are fighting for the future.”

He spoke of America’s continuous need for war.

“We’ve seen it in Syria and Yugoslavia, where they destroyed everything and then set everything up their own way, so the people must submit, almost like slaves.”

I asked whether he thought peace between Ukraine and Russia is possible.

“Yes, possibly, why not? But at the moment, the President of Ukraine said there will be no negotiations.

Negotiations are possible, but I think not with this president. When he comes to his senses, he will not be able to negotiate, because he took a lot of money.”

Before leaving the outpost, we chatted a bit with the commanders. A puppy sought the attention of a young soldier. Another puppy ran around our feet. The outpost commanders and soldiers take care of the dogs. Their presence added a somewhat surreal touch to the scene: an outpost which is routinely shelled, where life can cease to exist at any moment, and these happy, well-cared for puppies running around like dogs anywhere.

Western Media Inverted Reality, Lauding Nazis and Demonizing Defenders

While many in the West think that this conflict started in February 2022, those following events since 2014 are aware that, following the Maidan coup and Odessa massacre, and the rise of fascism in Ukraine against the Ukrainian people, the Donbas republics wanted to distance themselves from Ukraine’s Nazis and fascism.

The sacrifices which the people of the Donbas republics have endured, particularly those fighting to protect their families and loved ones, have been and continue to be immense.

Just as the heroes of the Syrian Arab Army were maligned, so too have Donbas forces have been maligned by Western media, though both are defending their homelands from terrorist forces trained and funded by the West. Terrorists given the freedom to commit endless atrocities against Donbas civilians.

These defenders, many living in dank trench conditions didn’t choose war, they responded to it, to protect their loved ones and their future. In spite of more than eight years of being warred upon by Ukraine, they retain their humanity.

Donbass Frontline Villager: “Ukraine Doesn’t Consider Us Human”, Wants To “Annihilate Us”

 

Eva Bartlett

Zaitsevo, a front-line village north of Gorlovka, in the north of the Donetsk People’s Republic, has been extremely hard-hit by Ukrainian shelling, since 2014. What was once a village of 3,500, with a school & kindergarten, is now a shell of a village, with at most 1,000 residents, most of whom don’t stay in the village, but come for brief visits & retreat to relative safety in Gorlovka,a city likewise heavily shelled, including with HIMARs on November 12.

Not far away, in Golmovsky, I spoke with some of the residents who remain. One told me he’d fled his own town, Dolomoti, NE of Golmovsky, which he said was destroyed by Ukrainian shelling, and has lost three homes, burned down after Ukrainian shelling. He said they were evicted from Dolomoti in 2019, and in 2020, Ukraine completely destroyed the village, “every single house”.

He collected money to rent an apartment in Golmovsky, “but three days ago it was hit. I just bought it, and it was already hit. They don’t consider us humans. They say it on tv, that we are not human. In 2019, 2020, they told us they don’t consider us human and if they enter this place there would be nobody left, they’d annihilate us.”

These are but glimpses of the horror Donbass civilians have been living since Ukraine began shelling them in 2014. Complicit media, with blood on their hands, claim this isn’t happening. The people being bombed beg to differ.

Interviewed By Trish Wood, On What I’m Seeing In The Donbass (Under Ukraine’s Fire)

 

Eva Bartlett

I’m extremely grateful to Trish Wood for reaching out to me, spending the time talking with me, and for her professional interview style. She is incredibly well-informed on the matters we discussed.

Trish uploaded the interview here:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCgCHcqR4c0

This is an interview I did in October, but hadn’t shared, due to Youtube strikes preventing me from uploading.

Uploaded now on Odysee and on Rumble.

Follow Trish:
Podcast: www.trishwoodpodcast.com
Substack: https://trishwood.substack.com/

*I am moving from Youtube to Odysee & Rumble, given Youtube’s ridiculous censorship. My Rumble is quite new, please be patient as I juggle doing on the ground journalism here in the DPR, write, edit & publish footage, and also try to maintain my various platforms.

RELATED LINKS:

Ukrainian Terrorism of Central Donetsk September 17 Kills 4, Using Western Weapons
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzew0mXOo2Y

Carnage: Ukraine’s terrorism on Donetsk September 19 killed 16 civilians, 9 in one spot.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJpXcwMAVeI
Ukraine shelled a completely civilian area of central Donetsk, killing at least 5 civilians
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWqeFG7DhIs

Ukraine bombed the hotel I was in. Was Ukraine targeting journalists?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqZgG7s-Sjw
https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2022/08/06/ukraine-bombed-a-donetsk-hotel-full-of-journalists-heres-what-it-felt-like-to-be-inside-at-the-time/

Ukraine’s Bombing of Central Donetsk August 4: 2 Ballerinas Among the 6 Murdered by Ukraine
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQNQ_vT_j-k

More Ukrainian War Crimes: Killing & Maiming Heroic Donbass Medics & Emergency Workers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJZvxWQfSHc

Ukraine Bombarded Donetsk, Including Bombing a Maternity Hospital, Then Claimed Russian Did It
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsLWcR21iK8

Ukraine Bombed a Busy Donetsk Market Yesterday, Killing 5 Civilians…Where is the Media Outrage?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mYD2oasyuU

https://www.mintpressnews.com/under-fire-from-ukraine-everyday-life-in-the-donetsk-peoples-republic/262363/embed/#?secret=zGJB0w9cJm#?secret=XNHvpFVaKH

https://www.thepostil.com/the-military-situation-in-the-ukraine/
https://www.thepostil.com/the-hidden-truth-about-the-war-in-ukraine/

https://www.youtube.com/@smoothieX12
https://www.youtube.com/@TheNewAtlas

-Ukrainian-fired Petal mines
https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2022/08/25/in-just-under-three-weeks-ukrainian-fired-prohibited-petal-mines-maim-at-least-44-civilians-kill-2-in-donetsk-region/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6wJbPJv0kk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61wJDFqUl9s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCpRy1iDXcA

The Kherson question

November 15, 2022

Source

Notes and reflections by Nora Hoppe

To retreat or not to retreat…

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Preface:
I have no idea about war… I have never experienced one. I understand nothing of military campaigns, strategies, manoeuvres, weapons, etc. I’ve only seen several war films, read novels featuring war and followed the news on various wars…

* * *

I have heard that each war is different, and that comparisons are only useful for “certain aspects”.

I follow the news regularly on Russia’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine. And I have recently read and heard many varying and divisionary views on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Kherson, a city that is now lawfully part of Russia.

Dispensing with the views of the pro-NATO side, which are of no interest, I am observing the division of thought amongst analysts, journalists and commenters in forums siding with the Russians: There are those who are outraged and see the withdrawal from Kherson as “a disgrace”, “a sign of weakness”, “an embarrassment”, “a poor strategy”, “unattractive optics”, etc. Others see it as the outcome of a difficult but wise decision – that was primarily made to save the lives of Russian soldiers, who would have been cut off by a massive flood if NATO were to blow up the Kakhovka Dam. (There may well be additional tactical reasons for the withdrawal, but they are not (yet) known to the public.)

When people speak of the “optics not looking good“… a film set immediately comes to my mind (I have worked in the film world for many years). And that immediately tells me how some people view this operation – as spectators: it has to have a good catchy script, suspense, uninterrupted action and – heaven forbid – no lulls! It has to ultimately supply a dopamine release. It has to have a “Dirty Harry Catharsis”.

This reminds me of similar reactions to the prisoner exchange in mid-September, where some saw it as a sign of weakness to even think of releasing Azov prisoners… or when the Chinese government did not deliver a dramatic retort when Pelosi went to do her skit in Taiwan.

What is at the base of these kinds of reactions? Why such impatience? Why such concern with “appearances”? Why such a need to satiate one’s own personal sense of justice and retribution? Does it have something to do with consuming? Especially in the western world one has become an addicted consumer of not only things but “experiences” that can be lived indirectly.

Today we witness events of other peoples’ wars and battles on computer screens from the comfort of our homes or on our tiny phones from chic cafés… these events can accessed at any moment – just press a key… and they appear – like a scene in a film, a game, a contest, a sports match. Even the dead bodies that lie mangled, bloodied or in gory stumps strewn over the mud become the pieces of a broken puppets on a stage. “Hell, one gets used to it…” The sacredness of Life is gone.

We have become spectators… and our world has become a spectacle.

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In his philosophical work and critique of contemporary consumer culture, “The Society of the Spectacle”, Guy Debord describes modern society as one in which authentic social life has been replaced with its representation: “All that once was directly lived has become mere representation.” He argues that the history of social life can be understood as “the decline of being into having… and having into merely appearing.” This condition is the “historical moment at which the commodity completes its colonisation of social life.”

I don’t want to veer off into the film world or into a philosophical discourse here… but I just want to ask the question: When are we going to wake up to the real, authentic world?

When are we going to stop fussing about “cool appearances”, “sensational manoeuvres” and “snappy rebuttals”… and start remembering what this operation is all about in the first place?

Isn’t it essentially about LIVES? Not only about the lives of those who have been suffering injustices and atrocities in Donetsk and Lugansk (and elsewhere) since 2014 (at least)… but also the lives of those fighting for the salvation and survival of those other lives… and – by extension – the lives of sovereign human beings on the planet who yearn to live in a better, multipolar world?

President Vladimir V. Putin had tried to avoid a military response in Ukraine for many long years until the Russian people and Russia began to be faced with its devastation from outside, especially with the burgeoning NATO menace and the enhanced cultivation of the neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine. It is not an easy decision to take risky military measures to confront an inevitable clash. In his speech on National Unity Day before the historians and representatives of Russia’s traditional religions on 4th November he visibly expressed his horror and personal pain over the profound tragedy of this clash and over what was befalling the Ukrainian people: “The situation in Ukraine has been driven by its so-called ‘friends’ to the stage where it has become deadly for Russia and suicidal for the Ukrainian people themselves. And we see this even in the nature of the hostilities, what is happening there is simply shocking. It’s just as if the Ukrainian people do not exist. They are thrown into the furnace and that’s it.”

Untitled:Users:Nora:Desktop:"They are thrown into the furnace and that's it.".png

Perhaps the “transient” retreat from Kherson is not a setback and can be even seen as a victory, another kind of victory – a moral victory.

In his powerful masterpiece, “War and Peace”, Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy depicts the Battle of Borodino as the greatest example of Russian patriotism… The collective engagement of all those involved in the Battle of Borodino is what ultimately attained the end result: despite all their losses and the sacrificial need to evacuate Moscow and burn its resources – in order to save the army and Russia, the Russians, achieved a moral victory in this battle… which ultimately led to the comprehensive victory of the Russian army and the entire campaign.

“Several tens of thousands of the slain lay in diverse postures and various uniforms on the fields and meadows belonging to the Davýdov family and to the crown serfs—those fields and meadows where for hundreds of years the peasants of Borodinó, Górki, Shevárdino, and Semënovsk had reaped their harvests and pastured their cattle. At the dressing stations the grass and earth were soaked with blood for a space of some three acres around. Crowds of men of various arms, wounded and unwounded, with frightened faces, dragged themselves back to Mozháysk from the one army and back to Valúevo from the other. Other crowds, exhausted and hungry, went forward led by their officers. Others held their ground and continued to fire.” [“War and Peace” – book 10; chapter 39]

General-in-chief Mikhail I. Kutuzov’s motto of “patience and time” allowed the Russian army to be victorious when he was able to embrace, as opposed to trying to know, the contingencies of war and prepare his soldiers as best he could for such battle. He knew that, by fighting the pitched battle and adopting the strategy of attrition warfare, he could now retreat with the Russian army still intact, lead its recovery, and force the weakened French forces to move even further from their bases of supply.

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“By long years of military experience he knew, and with the wisdom of age understood, that it is impossible for one man to direct hundreds of thousands of others struggling with death, and he knew that the result of a battle is decided not by the orders of a commander in chief, nor the place where the troops are stationed, nor by the number of cannons or of slaughtered men, but by the intangible force called the spirit of the army, and he watched this force and guided it in as far as that was in his power.” [“War and Peace” – book 10; chapter 35… bold script mine]

According to Tolstoy: “In military affairs the strength of an army is the product of its mass and some unknown x. … That unknown quantity is the spirit of the army, that is to say, the greater or lesser readiness to fight and face danger felt by all the men composing an army, quite independently of whether they are, or are not, fighting under the command of a genius, in two—or three-line formation, with cudgels or with rifles that repeat thirty times a minute. Men who want to fight will always put themselves in the most advantageous conditions for fighting. … The spirit of an army is the factor, which multiplied by the mass gives the resulting force. To define and express the significance of this unknown factor – the spirit of an army – is a problem for science.” [“War and Peace” – book 14; chapter 2]

This Russian approach to war opened up an entirely new option: for “the destiny of nations” to depend “not in conquerors, not even in armies and battles, but in something else.” That “something else” Tolstoy explains, was in fact the spirit of the people and of the army, that made them burn their land rather than give it to the French.

The highest qualities of a human being, according to Tolstoy, are: simplicity, kindness and truth. Morality, according to the writer, is the ability to feel one’s “I” as a part of the universal “we”. And Tolstoy’s heroes are simple and natural, kind and warm-hearted, honest before people and before their conscience.

Tolstoy notes that, whatever the faith may be, it “gives to the finite existence of man an infinite meaning, a meaning not destroyed by sufferings, deprivations, or death”. … “I understood that faith is a knowledge of the meaning of human life in consequence of which man does not destroy himself but lives. Faith is the strength of life. If a man lives he believes in something. If he did not believe that one must live for something, he would not live. If he does not see and recognize the illusory nature of the finite, he believes in the finite; if he understands the illusory nature of the finite, he must believe in the infinite. Without faith he cannot live… For man to be able to live he must either not see the infinite, or have such an explanation of the meaning of life as will connect the finite with the infinite.”

“I understood that if I wish to understand life and its meaning, I must not live the life of a parasite, but must live a real life, and – taking the meaning given to live by real humanity and merging myself in that life – verify it.”

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For us to attain a true victory – for a better world… we may need to recalibrate our thinking and values. This is indeed a spiritual struggle… not one just being fought in Donetsk, Lugansk and Ukraine. It is a struggle now within our own selves – whatever one’s beliefs are… What has meaning for us? Perhaps it is necessary for each of us to first define what we hold “sacred” in our own lives.

* * *

some references:

http://kremlin.ru/catalog/keywords/78/events/69781

https://www.marxists.org/archive/tolstoy/1869/war-and-peace/index.html

https://thestrip.ru/en/smoky-eyes/kakim-bylo-otnoshenie-tolstogo-k-voine-prichiny-obyasneniya-voiny-po/

https://hum11c.omeka.fas.harvard.edu/exhibits/show/reading-history/differing-perspecitives-on–re

Using American HIMARs, Ukraine Shelled a Cultural Building in Gorlovka, Destroying the Roof and Theatre

 

Eva Bartlett

On November 12, using American HIMARs (according to DPR military experts), Ukraine fired two shells directly at a cultural building in the DPR’s northern city of Gorlovka, destroying parts of the roof and the theatre hall within.

[See my video here]

Built in 1951, the Shakhtar Palace of Culture was formerly a movie theatre and in recent years, a venue for concerts and various cultural events. Alexey, a Gorlovka resident & friend of mine to said that he saw the Donetsk philharmonic play there, and as a youth went there to see movies. He said that children take dancing or singing classes there, though due to Ukraine’s intensified shelling, those classes have been paused.

According to the centre’s director, it was one of the best movie theatres in the Donetsk region, one of the oldest, most beautiful and most beloved buildings in the city.

He noted that HIMARs system is a very precise weapon, the attack was not accidental.

Given that there was no military target there, it is yet another example of Ukraine’s terrorism against the people of the Donbass.

Sun Tzu Walks Into a Kherson Bar…

 NOVEMBER 10, 2022

PEPE ESCOBAR 

The announcement of the Kherson Retreat may have signaled one of the gloomiest days of the Russian Federation since 1991.

Leaving the right bank of the Dnieper to set up a defense line on the left bank may spell out total military sense. General Armageddon himself, since his first day on the job, had hinted this might have been inevitable.

As it stands in the chessboard, Kherson is in the “wrong” side of the Dnieper. All residents of Kherson Oblast – 115,000 people in total – who wanted to be relocated to safer latitudes have been evacuated from the right bank.

General Armageddon knew that was inevitable for several reasons:

no mobilization after the initial SMO plans hit the dust; destruction of strategic bridges across the Dnieper – complete with a three-month methodical Ukrainian pounding of bridges, ferries, pontoons and piers; no second bridgehead to the north of Kherson or to the west (towards Odessa or Nikolaev) to conduct an offensive.

And then, the most important reason: massive weaponization coupled with NATO de facto running the war translated into enormous Western superiority in reconnaissance, communications and command and control.

In the end, the Kherson Retreat may be a relatively minor tactical loss. Yet politically, it’s an unmitigated disaster, a devastating embarrassment.

Kherson is a Russian city. Russians have lost – even if temporarily – the capital of a brand new territory attached to the Federation. Russian public opinion will have tremendous problems absorbing the news.

The list of negatives is considerable. Kiev forces secure their flank and may free up forces to go against Donbass. Weaponizing by the collective West gets a major boost. HIMARS can now potentially strike targets in Crimea.

The optics are horrendous. Russia’s image across the Global South is severely tarnished; after all, this move amounts to abandoning Russian territory – while serial Ukrainian war crimes instantly disappear from the major “narrative”.

At a minimum, the Russians a long time ago should have reinforced their major strategic advantage bridgehead on the west side of the Dnieper so that it could hold – short of a widely forecasted Kakhovka Dam flood. And yet the Russians also ignored the dam bombing threat for months. That spells out terrible planning.

Now Russian forces will have to conquer Kherson all over again. And in parallel stabilize the frontlines; draw definitive borders; and then strive to “demilitarize” Ukrainian offensives for good, either via negotiation or carpet bombing.

It’s quite revealing that an array of NATO intel types, from analysts to retired Generals, are suspicious of General Armageddon’s move: they see it as an elaborate trap, or as a French military analyst put it, “a massive deception operation”. Classic Sun Tzu. That has been duly incorporated as the official Ukrainian narrative.

So, to quote Twin Peaks, that American pop culture subversive classic, “the owls are not what they seem”. If that’s the case, General Armageddon would be looking to severely overstretch Ukrainian supply lines; seduce them into exposure; and then engage in a massive turkey shoot.

So it’s either Sun Tzu; or a deal is in the wings, coinciding with the G20 next week in Bali.

The art of the deal

Well, some sort of deal seems to have been struck between Jake Sullivan and Patrushev.

No one really knows the details, even those with access to flamboyant 5th Column informants in Kiev. But yes – the deal seems to include Kherson. Russia would keep Donbass but not advance towards Kharkov and Odessa. And NATO expansion would be definitely frozen. A minimalist deal.

That would explain why Patrushev was able to board a plane to Tehran simultaneous to the announcement of the Kherson Retreat, and take care, quite relaxed, of very important strategic partnership business with Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council.

The deal may have also been the inbuilt “secret” in Maria Zakharova’s announcement that “we’re ready for negotiations”.

The Russians will leave the Dnieper riverbank in a managed military retreat. That would not be possible without managed military-to-military negotiations.

These back channel negotiations have been going on for weeks. The messenger is Saudi Arabia. The US aim, in the short term, would be towards a sort of Minsk 3 accord – with Istanbul/Riyadh attached.

No one is paying the slightest attention to coke clown Zelensky. Sullivan went to Kiev to present a fait accompli – of sorts.

The Dnieper will be – in thesis – the settled and negotiated frontline.

Kiev would have to swallow a frozen line of contact in Zaporizhye, Donetsk and Lugansk – with Kiev receiving electricity from Zaporozhye, hence cease shelling its infrastructure.

The US would come up with a loan of $50 billion plus part of the confiscated – i.e. stolen – Russian assets to “rebuild” Ukraine. Kiev would receive modern air defense systems.

There’s no doubt Moscow will not go along with any of these provisions.

Note that all this coincides with the outcome of the US elections – where the Dems did not exactly lose.

Meanwhile Russia is accumulating more and more gains in the battle for Bakhmut.

There are no illusions whatsoever in Moscow that this crypto-Minsk 3 would be respected by the “non-agreement capable” Empire.

Jake Sullivan is a 45-year-old lawyer with zero strategic background and “experience” amounting to campaigning for Hillary Clinton. Patrushev can eat him for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night snack – and vaguely “agree” to anything.

So why are the Americans desperate to offer a deal? Because they may be sensing the next Russian move with the arrival of General Winter should be capable of conclusively winning the war on Moscow’s terms. That would include slamming the Polish border shut via a long arrow move from Belarus downwards. With weaponizing supply lines cut, Kiev’s fate is sealed.

Deal or no deal, General Winter is coming to town – ready to entertain his guest of honor Sun Tzu with so many new dishes at their dinner table.

(Republished from Strategic Culture Foundation by permission of author or representative)

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