LPR, DPR, Kherson and Zaporozhye vote for reunification with Russia

Sep 28 2022 00:15

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

All four regions have said their word; they voted overwhelmingly in favor of joining Russia.

A woman voting in a referendum

The results of the referenda on the accession of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), as well as the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions to the country, have been released by Moscow.

The head of the regional electoral committee Galina Katyushchenko declared that 93.11% of voters supported reunification with Russia, as 100% of ballots have been counted in the Zaporozhye Region.

Lugansk People’s Republic

In the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), 98.42% of voters backed accession to Russia, as per the head of the regional electoral committee, Elena Kravchenko.

“With 100% of the protocols of precinct commissions processed, 98.42% voted for the republic’s entry into the Russian Federation,” Kravchenko said.

Kherson

In the Kherson region, 87.05% of voters supported reunification with Russia, according to the head of the regional election commission, Marina Zakharova.

“A total of 497,051 (87.05%) participants in the referendum answered ‘Yes’ to the question put forward at the referendum ‘Are for the withdrawal of the Kherson region from Ukraine, the formation of an independent state by the Kherson region and its entry into the Russian Federation as a constituent entity of the Russian Federation?'” she said.

Donetsk People’s Republic

With all referenda counted, Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) reported 99.23% of voters in favor of becoming part of Russia.

There were 2,133,326 voters who voted, accounting for 97.51% of the total number of voters, as per the DPR central election commission.

Meanwhile, more than a hundred foreign observers from 40 countries, excluding specialists from Russia, attending the referenda in the Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics, as well as in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, on joining the Russian Federation, reported no violations, with the exception of threats and shelling from Ukraine.

The voting in the referenda of DPR, LPR, Zaporozhye, and Kherson’s accession to the Russian Federation has begun early on Friday.

Residents of the Zaporozhye and Kherson areas joined the initiative last Tuesday after local public organizations submitted identical demands to their authorities.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has lately indicated in a televised address last Wednesday that Russia will support the referenda results.

NATO countries came together to condemn the referenda, according to a statement revealed last Thursday.

On his account, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has lately threatened Russia with new sanctions in the event of referenda after White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that the US condemned the DPR, LPR, Zaporozhye, and Kherson referenda to join Russia as “sham” actions and asserted that the US would not recognize the results.

The referenda, according to Sullivan, and a reported Russian plan to mobilize more soldiers, reflect Moscow’s recent military defeats, including ceding sizable amounts of land to the Ukrainian military.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the Russian military took control of the Azov part of Zaporozhye and Kherson, liberating large cities, such as Kherson, Melitopol, and Berdiansk, and cutting off Kiev from the Sea of Azov.

Related Stories

Referendum in Kherson to continue despite deadly Ukrainian shelling

DPR Referendum NGO observer: UN ‘asleep’ as Ukraine shells civilians

Over 90 percent of voters favor joining Russia: Reports

Ukraine update: Dugina murder and blacklisting of Roger Waters

August 22, 2022

(Machine translation)

The FSB reported on the identification of the customers and perpetrators of the murder of Daria Dugina.

The murder was planned by the Ukrainian special services.
The direct perpetrator of the murder was a citizen of Ukraine Natalia Vovk, born in 1979, who left Russia for Estonia on August 21. She arrived in Russia on July 23.

It is also reported that:

1. Vovk and her daughter Sofya Shaban rented an apartment in the house where Daria Dugina lived in Moscow.
2. A “Mini Cooper” was used to spy on Daria Dugina. The numbers were changed three times on it — the license plates of the DPR, Kazakhstan and Ukraine were used

As reported, Daria’s car was blown up using a remote detonation of an IED with a capacity of 400 grams of TNT.

The car was driven from the parking lot to the explosion site. The suspects’ phones have disappeared from the network.The investigation continues.

Documents and photos of the murderer of Daria Dugina – a “serviceman” of the terrorist organization “Azov Regiment” – Natalia Vovk (nee Shaban).

source

According to Russian sourcesNatalia Vovk is now hiding in Estonia, and EU and NATO member state.

In other Ukronazi news,

Roger Waters has been added to the infamous website “Mirotvorets” (peacemaker) which lists the so-called “enemies of the Ukraine” and publishes their personal information:

Who killed the POWs at Yelenovka? All signs on the ground point to a Ukrainian attack

 

There is every reason to believe that the July 29 bombing of a detention center holding Ukrainian POWs was carried out on Kiev’s orders

Eva Bartlett

There is every reason to believe that the July 29 bombing of a detention center holding Ukrainian POWs was carried out on Kiev’s orders

https://twitter.com/EvaKBartlett/status/1553045892109934592

The next morning, I went around Donetsk to document the extremely dangerous “petal” mines Ukraine has dropped on the city. According to DPR Emergency Services, eight civilians had been killed by these mines just the day before. If you step on one of these tiny-but powerful-explosives, chances it will merely tear off a leg instead of outright killing you. And they are insidiously toy-like in appearance, likely to attract children’s attention.

Who benefits from the war crime at Yelenovka? 

Ukraine and Western media, as would be expected, blame Russia for the bombing of Yelenovka detention center, which killed 53 people. Russia and the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), in turn, point the finger at Kiev.

In addition to those killed, the 2am bombing, which DPR officials say was carried out using American-supplied HIMARS, injured at least eight employees and over 70 POWs held there. The prisoners were captured Ukrainian combatants, mainly members of the Azov neo-Nazi militia who’d surrendered in Mariupol in May.

If HIMARS, or High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System, were indeed the source of the destruction and death, then it is almost certain it was Ukraine who bombed the prison, given that Kiev had the coordinates and is the only side in the conflict that possesses such weapons. Even the Pentagon admits it is possible, albeit characterizing the strike as “unintentional.”

From a logical perspective, Russia had no motivation to bomb the prison. For Ukraine, on the other hand, these POWs represented a liability, in that they could testify to the alleged war crimes they committed against Donbass civilians.

Ukraine has made a litany of claims meant to incriminate Russia throughout the current conflict –the Bucha massacre, the strike on the Mariupol maternity hospital, the Ghost of Kiev hoax, the supposed mass graves of civilians, the outlandish false allegations of Russian soldiers committing sexual crimes, which even saw the former Ukrainian Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights fired by Kiev’s own parliament.

Russia has invited the UN and the International Red Cross to investigate the Yelenovka prison bombing. Meanwhile, observers online have used the publicly available data to put together a picture of what occurred. Here’s an insightful analysis from the Rybar Telegram channel (with more than 627,000 followers), specializing in military analytics:

“The eastern part of the building suffered the most damage, where a powerful fire and explosion occurred, which blew out the windows.” Judging by the angle of impact, the analyst concludes that “the shooting was carried out from the trajectory of Marinka-Kurakhovo –the Sergeevka triangle– Pokrovsk-Udachnoe.” This is Ukrainian-controlled territory. The analysis could not conclude whether HIMARS was used, from the information at hand. 

Along the ‘who benefits?’ line of thinking, a number of circumstances also point to Kiev. These have also been pointed out by Russian observers and compiled into a chronology. The captured Azov Nazis were taken to the Yelenovka detention center in late May. While prisoner exchanges between Ukraine and Russia have included Azov fighters, there is a strong opposition to handing them back over to Kiev, meaning that there’s no guarantee that they would be exchanged in the future – potentially making them a liability to Kiev. By June 20 reports of Ukraine shelling the prison already appeared on Russian channels watching the conflict. On July 28 the confession of an Azov member emerged, claiming that neo-Nazis in Kharkov and Kiev had direct orders from Zelensky’s office to torture and murder Russian prisoners of war. Late that night/early next morning, Ukraine struck the very detention center holding the Azov member who confessed, as well as others who might have done so.

Elsewhere, other neo-Nazis in captivity have confessed to deliberately murdering civilians, a PR disaster for Ukraine, made worse were the prisoners in Yelenovka to follow suit.

Last but not least, just two days before the Yelenovka strike, the US Senate passed a resolution urging the State Department to recognize Russia as a “sponsor of terrorism.” By perpetrating an attack and blaming it on Moscow, Kiev could be aiming to push that decision through – even though the State Department is reportedly reluctant.

Given Ukraine’s multiple attempts to incriminate Russia, and eight years of bombing Donbass civilians, killing their own soldiers is not too far-fetched. In fact, surrendered Ukrainian soldiers have claimed their commanders threatened to shoot them if they attempted desertion, and indeed Ukrainian nationalists firing on them when they attempted to surrender, in one case killing or wounding dozens .

It is left to Russian and DPR doctors to preserve the lives of Ukrainian POWs – even those apparently injured by friendly fire. Outside a Donetsk hospital after the Yelenovka bombing, one of the doctors working on wounded Ukrainians said that five had already had successful surgery for their shrapnel wounds, and two more were to undergo operations.

“It doesn’t matter which side you’re on, we will help you,” he said

The ghastly scenes of charred flesh and shrapnel-studded bodies I saw at the prison will remain etched in my mind for a long time. Yes, war is ugly, but Ukraine is upping the ante when it comes to both war crimes and hypocrisy.

*Warning: below are extremely graphic images, which I’ve blurred slightly, but still, not for the weak of stomach.*

RELATED LINKS:

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

Western media and politicians prefer to ignore the truth about civilians killed in Donetsk shelling

5 thoughts on “Who killed the POWs at Yelenovka? All signs on the ground point to a Ukrainian attack”

  1. Tom Welsh‘Even the Pentagon admits it is possible, albeit characterizing the strike as “unintentional.”’One minute with Google Maps or equivalent will show that the prison compound stands in open fields, some way distant from the nearest houses. And even those are just a small hamlet. There is literally nothing else in the vicinity that could have been the target.
  2. 5onic5ocialistEva I can’t imagine what kind of spirit you must have to be able to do what you do and have done. Looks like fucking Empire like rust will never sleep. They would only be too happy to put us all to sleep permanently. Admire your passion and adhesion to the truth and not bullshit propaganda. If only Empire had the qualities you possess. The world would turn unfettered by nascent greed. Peace Dear Sister. And much thanks.
  3. EsmondThank you, Eva. It’s heartbreaking but it’s reality. I can’t help but be concerned over the effect these horrible events have on all our human psyches particularly you who has witnessed it firsthand. You and those around you are in our thoughts and meditations. Much love to you.
  4. 10 to 1Very tragic. How low has the US leadership sunk to support the Ukrainian government which does this to their own soldiers. When their own soldiers become liabilities of the Ukrainian government and are slaughter like cockroaches. Not to mention was the US leadership a party to the decision to attack the Ukrainian POW’s, to hide the US involvement and possibly being the ones making the decisions to commit them?As word of this gets out, my guess is the defense of Ukraine will collapse very rapidly and the US will have few friends. Now how far will the US leadership go to stop this story in its tracks and do all it can to bury it?Please stay safe Eva.
  5. Mark ChapmanGreat work, Eva. This incident has gotten quite a lot of notice, and here’s a good piece from Awful Avalanche which affirms many of your details – although to the best of my knowledge, the motive of having Russia declared a state sponsor of terrorism is unique to your site.https://awfulavalanche.wordpress.com/2022/08/03/ukraine-war-day-161-yelenovka-erratum/

Dead Men Tell No Tales: Why Kiev Bombed Its Own Imprisoned Soldiers In Donbass

Jul 30 2022

Source

By Andrew Korybko

It certainly seems to be the case that Kiev panicked that its imprisoned soldiers would soon spill the beans about the wide range of war crimes they’ve been accused of committing and therefore decided to kill them with HIMARS before they could talk.

Friday morning’s shelling of a detention center in Donbass killed at least 50 people and injured an estimated 75. Russia and the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) both accused Kiev of carrying out this war crime against their own imprisoned soldiers that were being held there, while that former Soviet Republic ridiculously alleged that its opponents bombed themselves. Objectively speaking, the first-mentioned’s interpretation of the incident is much more realistic than the second’s.

To explain, there’s a certain logic inherent in Kiev using US-supplied HIMARS to kill its imprisoned soldiers – including those who were captured during Azovstal’s surrender – so that they don’t spill the beans about their war crimes. It wants to silence its militants at all costs so that they don’t provide evidence that can be used against Kiev in the court of law or at the very least give Moscow a so-called “propaganda victory”. As they say, dead men tell no tales.

On the other hand, this US-led NATO proxy’s claims don’t hold up to scrutiny. Russia and/or the DPR could have just quietly killed those imprisoned soldiers if they really wanted to cover up torture like Kiev speculated. Furthermore, those people were prized assets in proving that their opponents aren’t the innocent angels that they present themselves as. It doesn’t make sense to kill them off, let alone by bombing themselves in such a dramatic way that adds to the infamy of that US-supplied missile system.

The reader should also be aware that Russia and the DPR claim to have found wreckage of some HIMARS missiles at the site of the incident, which adds further credence to their claim Kiev was responsible for the strike. It also doesn’t help that former Soviet Republic’s cause any that a senior American defense official already started making excuses for his country’s proxy during a press conference on Friday when preemptively arguing that Kiev “didn’t mean to do that”.

The exact quote from the Department of Defense’s official website reads as follows: “Here’s the last thing I’d say, if it happened to be a Ukrainian strike, I promise you, number one, they didn’t mean to do that, right? They certainly care about their own people and they care about the civilians and military in uniform of their own army.” It’s not very convincing when the same institution responsible for spewing countless lies over the years starts covering up for its partner ahead of time by alleging an accident.

That in and of itself suggests that American intelligence is likely very well aware of the high probability that Kiev used the HIMARS to kill its own imprisoned soldiers so that they wouldn’t share evidence of the war crimes they were tasked with committing in Mariupol and elsewhere. There’s no other logical explanation for why the Department of Defense would behave so suspiciously if they were supremely confident in their proxy’s innocence like they’re attempting to make it seem.

Additionally, a senior Ukrainian official told Newsweek just the other day that his side was “shooting blind” because they “do not have the technology to find and correct targets for artillery strikes.” He later clarified that “his comment was intended to highlight the necessity of Ukraine’s Western partners continuing to provide a full complement of military equipment, and not that Ukraine was improperly identifying or striking its targets”, but it still raised eyebrows in light of what happened days later.

This slip of the tongue might have been intentional in hindsight, the purpose being to preemptively manufacture a cover-up in the event that evidence was discovered (as it later was) implicating Kiev in the strike that it carried out a couple days afterwards. This also explains why the US defense official started speculating that Kiev’s complicity in the attack could simply have been an accident. They’d rather make the HIMARS look bad in a couple headlines than take responsibility for what just occurred.

That’s unrealistic though since the HIMARS are praised for their accuracy so there’s no reason to believe that the strike was anything other than intentional. Nevertheless, this excuse might be sufficient enough to distract the Western public if Russia succeeds in convincingly making its case that Kiev was responsible. The US can just point to that senior Ukrainian official’s claim in his Newsweek interview and blame improperly trained troops for “accidentally” bombing their own imprisoned soldiers.

Despite that explanation going against everything that the US-led Western Mainstream Media (MSM) hitherto claimed about the HIMARS’ accuracy, it’s still much more believable that Kiev’s conspiracy theory. After all, there’s no coherent explanation for why Russia and the DPR would bomb themselves to cover up alleged torture when they could very easily just silently do away with the supposed witnesses without drawing global media attention to that facility.

Returning back to the incident in question, it certainly seems to be the case that Kiev panicked that its imprisoned soldiers would soon spill the beans about the wide range of war crimes they’ve been accused of committing and therefore decided to kill them with HIMARS before they could talk. This cover-up might ultimately have been all for naught though since some might have already provided their testimony, which would mean that Kiev killed them for nothing.

Ramzan Kadyrov Forms Brand New ‘Akhmat Regiment’ Within the Russian Defense Ministry

July 21, 2022

Translated by Leo V.

Ramzan Kadyrov Forms a New Regiment

National units are a long tradition of the Russian Army.

Original link:

https://nvo.ng.ru/concepts/2022-07-14/5_1197_tradition.html

Article by Sergei Kozlov, a military historian and Soviet-Afghan War Veteran.

In relation to the Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine, President of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov demonstrates a solid patriotic position. And he personally oversees the activities of the national Chechen units of the Russian National Guard (Rosgvardiya) operating in Ukraine.

These units, which are often called special forces, perform the corresponding tasks: cleaning occupied territories, protecting the rear and communication between the Russian Army and the People’s Militias of the DPR and LPR.

They Showed Themselves in Battle

These units include: OMON “Akhmat-Grozny”, the 249th Separate Special Motorized Battalion “South”, the 46th Separate Brigade of Operational Purpose of the Rosgvardiya, the 141st Special Motorized Regiment of the Rosgvardiya named after Akhmat-Khadzhi Kadyrov (formerly known as “North” Battalion) and the SOBR “Akhmat”.

OMON “Akhmat-Grozny” is by far the oldest structure that operated during the first and second Chechen campaigns. In total, there are about 30 thousand people in the units.

Since these are not army units, but units of the Russian National Guard, all of them (except for the 141st Special Motorized unit) are armed only with small arms and light equipment. The 141st Regiment has combat equipment on staff.

Participating in Mariupol and Volnovakha, in the battles for Severodonetsk and Lisichansk, Chechen armed formations demonstrated a high level of discipline, field training and the will to win, achieving significant results.

Special Upbringing of Men

Information about the fighting of Chechen units regularly reaches the residents of Chechnya and causes pride among young people. At the same time, attention should be paid to the upbringing of Chechen youth, which explains the patriotic impulse among conscripts. The boy is initially brought up there as a warrior, as a man.

I remember how in 1985, a batch of young recruits arrived in our detachment in Kandahar, and among them four guys from Chechnya. Many officers were wary of them. But I selected two of the newcomers to my group and never regretted it.

One was a gunner-operator in my vehicle, and the second was a squad commander, he later became my deputy.

Of course, there are national peculiarities that need to be taken into account in communication. These people will never respect the boss just because of the position they hold. You need to prove that you really deserve respect – and then you will not find more reliable and loyal subordinates! I succeeded. The newcomers did not study in the training regiment for Spetsnaz in Pechora, but were trained in ordinary infantry training schools. But in spirit they were special forces, and they fought excellently and fearlessly.

And this is not an exception, but rather the rule. Which was later confirmed by the soldiers of the Zapad (West) Battalion, which was formed in 2003 by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff (the 305th Separate Spetsnaz Detachment) and supervised by him. The battalion was commanded by Said-Magomed Kakiyev, Hero of Russia. A man of boundless courage and devotion. And the soldiers were a match for the commander. There was not a single former militant in the squad. Everyone fought against Dudayev’s regime from the very beginning.

A little later, the Vostok (East) Battalion was created under the command of Sulim Yamadayev. But in 2008, it was disbanded and the “North” and “South” Battalions were created. They became the basis for modern formations of the Rosgvardiya.

In August of the same 2008, Chechen units distinguished themselves during the operation to force Georgia to peace.

Historical Experience

The Russian Army has a wealth of experience in creating national, or, as previously said, native formations.

So, on August 23, 1914, at the beginning of the First World War, the Caucasian Native Cavalry Division was created. It was staffed by 90% Muslims – natives of the North Caucasus and Transcaucasia. According to the laws of the Russian Empire, these people were not subject to military service. But being volunteers, they enlisted in the ranks of national formations.

The division fought bravely on the Southwestern Front since November 1914, its merits are great. In 1916 alone, the division conducted 16 mounted attacks. In general, the entire division accounts for the number of prisoners, four times its composition.

There is an important nuance that should be paid attention to now. As the witnesses of those events write, there was a special moral and psychological atmosphere in the division, which largely determined the relationship between its officers and riders. An important feature of the highlander rider was a sense of self-esteem and a complete absence of servility and sycophancy. Above all, it was not ranks and titles that were valued, but personal bravery and loyalty. This is confirmed by my personal observations.

And one more interesting fact. At first, the Muslims of the division were awarded St. George’s Crosses for distinction in battle, where instead of St. George, the coat of arms of the Russian Empire was depicted so as not to infringe on the feelings of the faithful. But after a while, the mountaineers demanded to be given the same awards as Christians. After all, there was a picture of dzhigit George on a horse, and not a “chicken”, as they called the coat of arms.

Following the Traditions of the Ancestors

Thus, it can be argued that the Russian Army has a long tradition of creating national units in the North Caucasus. The competent national policy pursued by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief makes it possible to use this force more widely and effectively. After all, in mid-March 2022, according to Kadyrov, a thousand volunteers went to Ukraine. At the beginning of April, another thousand, in May 600 more volunteers left for the war.

The Spetsnaz training center established in Gudermes has been training not only special forces fighters, but also has been training volunteers for months. Moreover, volunteers who specially come from all over Russia to get trained and go to war. And they are fighting as part of national units.

So don’t be surprised when you see a soldier of absolutely Slavic appearance who proudly shouts: “Akhmat – power!”

Akhmat Regiment

Now the formation of new battalions is beginning in Chechnya. But not from volunteers from all over the country and not on the basis of the Russian National Guard, but exclusively from citizens of the republic and as part of the Ministry of Defense. In total, it is planned to create four battalions under the general name “Akhmat”. According to the staffing size, we can say that the Motorized Rifle Regiment “Akhmat” is being formed, which will include the battalions: “North-Akhmat”, “South-Akhmat”, “West-Akhmat” and “East-Akhmat”.

The composition of a modern motorized rifle battalion, depending on the state, may include management and headquarters, three motorized rifle companies on either BMPs or BTRs, a tank company, one or two artillery batteries, a mortar battery, an anti-air defense platoon, an anti-tank platoon, communications platoons, reconnaissance platoons, an engineering platoon and a logistics platoon.

In order for the units to become a real force, careful training of both individual soldiers and units as a whole is needed. According to Ramzan Kadyrov, the places of formation, smoothing and training of two battalions on the territory of the republic have already been determined, bases will be deployed in Khankala for two more.

“Together with the Chairman of the Parliament of the Chechen Republic, Magomed Daudov, I visited the inner-city village of Khankala to inspect a potential building that is to be converted to the needs of two battalions being formed. An approximate location has already been chosen for the first two groups,” Kadyrov said.

The Head of the republic instructed the members of the government to prepare design and estimate documentation, to bring the necessary communications and to asphalt the roadway leading to the territory of the facility.

For the education and training of the military, all amenities are provided, starting with comfortable living and staff quarters and ending with football, volleyball, tennis and sports grounds. There will be a parade ground and a shooting range, the entire surrounding area will be equipped.

Selection of Officers

An important success factor is the competent selection of officers.

It is assumed that for the new battalions they will try to select Chechen officers who are already serving in the ranks of the Russian Army. But they may also be officers of other nationalities. Just as many officers of the Cossack army served in the Native Division at the beginning of the last century.

Special work will be required with candidates for command positions. They are obliged to study the national characteristics of the Chechen people in order to understand their subordinates. To earn their trust and respect, an officer must show that he is better, more professional, stronger and braver than his subordinates. Only then will they follow him into fire and water. At the same time, the officer must know and respect national customs.

For example, mountain customs were strong in the regiments of the [First World War] Native Division: respect for elders, hospitality, etc. This left its mark on life and service in the division.

The guests in the units of the division were welcomed as at home in the Caucasus. The young officer showed respect to his older riders – especially at a rest area, during their break. Contrary to the charter, but according to mountain customs.

It seems to me that it is appropriate to send candidates for the positions of commanders to Chechnya, where they, communicating with the residents, would study local traditions. And as commanders, they could subsequently correctly apply their power to subordinates.

For example, in the Native Division of the 1914 model, newly accepted volunteers made a solemn promise to serve throughout the war. For misconduct, a volunteer could be dismissed from the service. In this case, he lost his shoulder straps in front of the formation, his offense was reported to his native village, benefits were collected from him, weapons and uniforms were taken away. Those dismissed in this way were permanently deprived of the right to hold any elected positions.

In a combat situation, the Native Division proved to be strong, distinguished by high discipline and did not have a single case of desertion before the February Revolution.

The use of such educational techniques will help to form and prepare a new combat-ready unit in a short time. Which is what I sincerely desire for their command, and personally to Ramzan Kadyrov.

Government-Funded CBC Smears Me. Interview With Maverick Media: “CBC Fake News: Hit Piece Targets Journalists (Eva Bartlett)”

 

Eva Bartlett

Government-Funded CBC Smears Me. Interview With Maverick Media: “CBC Fake News: Hit Piece Targets Journalists (Eva Bartlett)”

Rick Walker had me back on his show (listen to our previous conversation about Ukraine’s kill list), this time to discuss CBC’s deceitful, unprofessional, lie-based, smear piece on me.

In the interview, I note how disingenuous the entire piece is, from moment of emailing me to request an interview (no thanks, not interested! I know how corporate hacks roll.); how they intentionally omitted any mention of Ukraine’s kill list, which I am on and which Rick Walker & colleagues specifically contacted the CBC about; their deceitful framing of my journalism (on the ground in the Donbas under Ukrainian bombing) as me being a duped “frontline soldier” in Russian researcher and journalist, Maxim Grigoriev (who I know and respect)’s plot to frame Ukraine as being overrun with Nazis (it is) and committing war crimes (Ukraine & its Nazis are)…and more, including the things CBC omits: Ukraine’s bombing of the DPR & LPR, targeting civilians, apartments, hospitals, schools, city streets, rescuers, etc…

CBC thinks its viewers are idiots, clearly.

I’d like to note, however, that since the smear, I’ve gotten many supportive emails, messages and comments, and an increase in people who ask to support me financially. So, thanks, CBC, and more importantly, thank all of you who support in any manner.

I’ll put related links at the bottom of this post.

Please see also:

My Twitter thread deconstructing the CBC smear:

Karin Brothers’ excellent open letter to the CBC

Some Thoughts On Journalism:

As I wrote in a rebuttal to a Guardian smear, “Addressing “the propaganda that is so often disguised as journalism, ”award-winning journalist and film maker, John Pilger, said (emphasis added):

Edward Bernays, the so-called father of public relations, wrote about an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. He was referring to journalism, the media. That was almost 80 years ago, not long after corporate journalism was invented. It’s a history few journalists talk about or know about, and it began with the arrival of corporate advertising.

As the new corporations began taking over the press, something called ‘professional journalism’ was invented. To attract big advertisers, the new corporate press had to appear respectablepillars of the establishmentobjectiveimpartialbalanced. The first schools of journalism were set up, and a mythology of liberal neutrality was spun around the professional journalists. The right to freedom of expression was associated with the new media.

The whole thing was entirely bogus. For what the public didn’t know, was that in order to be professional, journalists had to ensure that news and opinion were dominated by official sources. And that hasn’t changed. Go through the New York Times on any day, and check the sources of the main political stories, domestic and foreign, and you’ll find that they’re dominated by governments and other establishment interests. That’s the essence of professional journalism.

On a publicly-shared Facebook post, journalist Stephen Kinzer wrote:

“I happen to agree with Eva’s take on Syria, but from a journalist’s perspective, the true importance of what she does goes beyond reporting from any single country. She challenges the accepted narrative–and that is the essence of journalism. Everything else is stenography. Budding foreign correspondents take note!!”

In a later interview with Kinzer, he told me:

“The great curse of our press in the West is willingness to accept the official narrative. So many people in the American press who write about the world are merely stenographers. The great qualification you need for a journalist is the confidence to go out and see for yourself, and believe that your eyes are actually telling you more than press releases from some other country.

It’s amazing to see how many people have built reputations as commentators on foreign countries and world affairs who have never been there, have no idea, beyond vague tropes, of what those countries are. The intellectual laziness of the American press in covering the world has never been as extreme as it is now. It’s just as dangerous in most what’s called NATO countries to be contradicting the narrative as it is in the United States.”

Author Maximilian Forte recently wrote:

“Regime media may call themselves “news media,” but there is next to no actual journalism involved in their work. In that spirit, students at contemporary Canadian schools of “journalism” are in fact being trained in the methods of policing restive subjects with “unacceptable views”. Embracing “advocacy,” they have degenerated into mere practitioners of propaganda whose ultimate aim is the reproduction of the ideas of the ruling faction of the regime.

Regime media’s public scripts involve a regression to some of the most outmoded forms of propaganda seen since World War I. Their work involves a classically crude command structure: they tell people what to think, plain and simple. Then they tell people what to think about, and here the agenda-setting is particularly exclusive…”

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Sergey Lavrov: Presser following talks with Vladimir Makei, Belarus

July 02, 2022

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions at a joint news conference with Foreign Minister of Belarus Vladimir Makei following talks, Minsk, June 30, 2022

Esteemed Mr Makei,
Ladies and gentlemen,
As my colleague and friend has just said, our talks took place in a truly friendly atmosphere of trust and were very substantial, as they should be between allies and strategic partners. First, I would like to thank our Belarusian friends once again for their traditional hospitality in the wonderful city of Minsk and for the brilliant, streamlined organisation of our work.

The visit is timed to an important historical date – 30 years of diplomatic relations (June 25). Of course, this is just one more, albeit important, landmark in the centuries-old history of our truly fraternal nations. To mark this occasion, we have just cancelled postal envelopes specially issued for this date and signed an anniversary joint statement that I hope you will read. It is worth it.

We emphasised that in the past few years we have traversed a long road in developing our integration. The foreign ministries of Russia and Belarus provide diplomatic support for implementing 28 union economic integration programmes endorsed by the Supreme State Council of the Union State in November 2021.
Today, we reviewed topical bilateral issues. We also discussed the schedule of forthcoming contacts, including preparations for a joint meeting of the foreign ministry collegiums of Russia and Belarus, scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year. We reviewed implementation of the plan for foreign ministry consultations in 2022-2023.

We believe we have managed to achieve remarkable success in trade, and economic and investment cooperation. Last year, bilateral trade reached about $40 billion. Major joint projects, such as, for example, the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant, are underway. Industrial cooperation is on the up and up, paving the way for new industrial and logistics chains.

We have a high opinion of the vigorous and broad development of interregional ties. Today, the 9th Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions is to kick off in Grodno, where contracts worth an estimated $1 billion, a record-high amount, are expected to be signed.

We spoke at length about regional and international matters and agreed to continue enhancing foreign policy coordination and stand up together for the interests of our two countries in the world arena, in keeping with the two-year programmes on coordinating our actions in foreign policy.

We supported further steps towards more active cooperation in multilateral associations, primarily, in the EAEU, CSTO and the CIS. We have almost identical views on how Eurasian cooperation should develop in the future.

We agreed that we would also continue to coordinate our approaches in other multilateral formats, first and foremost, at the UN and the OSCE. We discussed the progress on the projects that are being carried out in Belarus under the auspices of the United Nations, many of which are being funded by the Russian side. We will vigorously continue to oppose any attempts to politicise human rights issues. We see hopeless attempts like this being made at the UN and the OSCE. The West keeps making them with enviable persistence.

We are seriously concerned about NATO’s activities in close vicinity to our borders, primarily in the Baltic states and Poland. We share the opinion that these activities are openly confrontational and tend to lead to more tensions, as well as the division of the European security and cooperation space, that is, they are producing the results which the establishment of the OSCE was supposed to help prevent. Now they are dismantling all this with their own hands, waiving, among other things, the principle of indivisible security, which was publicly declared at the highest level in the OSCE in the late 1990s and in 2010, when it was said that no country should enhance its security at the expense of others. The West’s actions have buried this principle.

In the light of the manifestly unfriendly steps taken by the United States and its satellites towards our countries, we reaffirmed that we are firmly determined to further preclude any attempts by the West to interfere in our domestic affairs. We agreed to continue to join efforts to oppose illegitimate unilateral actions by Washington, Brussels and their allies in the international arena.

We advised our colleagues of our assessments of the special military operation in Ukraine. We maintain regular dialogue on these issues. Our presidents discussed this topic at a top-level meeting in St Petersburg on June 25.

We are grateful to our Belarusian allies for completely understanding the causes, goals and tasks of the special military operation. President Vladimir Putin discussed these issues in his remarks yesterday concerning the results of the Caspian Five Summit in Ashgabat.

We focused on biological security, while exchanging opinions on strategic stability and arms control. We agree that US activities on post-Soviet space are quite dangerous and non-transparent. The activities of Pentagon’s biolabs in Ukraine highlight the risks they bear. We exposed these facts but failed to obtain a US response. 

[Biological Security] … we initiated a process, stipulated by the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention …

We sent inquiries to countries, parties to this important international treaty. We perceive threats to the national security of Russia and Belarus, the reluctance of the United States to ensure the transparency of its military-biological activities in many countries on post-Soviet space, primarily those around Russia and Belarus. We have an agreement, within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, to establish close and transparent interaction on these issues, in order to counter attempts to advance such projects (that cause concern in our countries) behind the scenes and without due transparency.

We are also cooperating in order to counter the dirty information war unleashed by the collective West against our countries. We agreed to expand and upgrade Russian-Belarusian media cooperation, and you should be particularly interested in this issue.

We are satisfied with the results of the talks. They help advance our foreign policy coordination still further on the basis of allied and strategic partnership for the benefit of our countries and fraternal nations.

Question:  A risky redivision of the world’s energy sector is taking place. What are the United States and the EU counting on, while renouncing Russian imports?

Sergey Lavrov: I believe that everyone understands what they are counting on. They have no misgivings about openly discussing this issue. They noted this once again yesterday, at the NATO summit in Madrid. They are expecting all other states to unfailingly obey their will, reflecting their selfish interests, primarily those of the United States. We have repeatedly been convinced that modern Europe, in the form of the EU, is losing its independence or even the signs of independence that it once had. Europe completely obeys positions that the United States imposes on it, including those in the sphere of economic sanctions. It is renouncing Russian imports and demolishing logistic and financial chains that had taken decades to create.

Look at the current list of sanctions. I suggest that you conduct this interesting analysis. Compare restrictions that European countries are imposing on Russia and Belarus with the relevant US restrictions. The United States is sparing itself and is trying not to encroach on various spheres that could seriously damage its own economy. Yes, the United States is also experiencing negative effects from this activity, but Europe is suffering much more. I believe that, apart from “punishing” our countries, the United States wants to weaken the European Union as its rival.

Question: At the Madrid summit, NATO stated that Russia was the main threat to the Alliance according to its new strategic concept. Following this statement and their decision to fortify the eastern flank, does Moscow consider itself bound by its commitments under the Russia-NATO Founding Act, or has this document lost its validity?

Sergey Lavrov: In the legal sense, the Founding Act continues to exist. We did not initiate the procedure for terminating this agreement. In the run-up to the summit, NATO had lengthy and vocal discussions about whether they still needed the Act or whether they would be better off abandoning it. As a result, they decided to let this matter be, but 

[NATO] … their decisions grossly violate the Founding Act …,

primarily with regard to NATO’s commitment not to permanently deploy significant combat forces on the territory of new (Eastern European) Alliance members.

We will analyse the situation and decide on our further moves depending on how and in what form NATO will move forward with the decisions it adopted and announced.

Question: Will it be possible to restore more or less acceptable political and diplomatic relations with EU countries in the future? Will there be another Iron Curtain? Do we have a bloc like NATO or the EU?

Sergey Lavrov (adding after Vladimir Makei): I agree with almost all of that. As for our relations with the EU, Russia has not had them since 2014. Brussels swallowed the humiliating move by the opposition forces which perpetrated a coup in Ukraine in defiance of EU guarantees. In response, the Crimea residents refused to live in a neo-Nazi state. Ukraine’s eastern regions did the same, and the European Union failed to muster enough courage to talk sense into the putschists who carried out an illegal power grab, and in fact began to support them in their attack, including physical, on the people of Crimea and eastern Ukraine. When the referendum took place in Crimea and the DPR and the LPR were proclaimed, the European Union, instead of pushing for compliance with the agreements between President Yanukovych and the opposition it had co-sponsored, sided with the ultranationalist and deep down neo-Nazi regime which proclaimed fighting the Russian language and culture as its goal. In the years that followed, the regimes led by Poroshenko and Zelensky proved Kiev’s loyalty to this particular course.

In 2014, when it all happened, the EU, feeling powerless and aware of its own inability to enforce implementation of its own proposals, said the Russian Federation was to blame. It imposed sanctions on our country and cancelled the Russia-EU summit planned for June 2014, destroyed every other mechanism that it took us decades to create, such as biannual summits, annual meetings between the Russian Government and the European Commission, four common spaces that underlay four road maps, 20 sector-specific dialogues, including a dialogue on visa-free travel and much more. All of that was ruined overnight. Relations have been non-existent since then. There were occasional technical contacts, but nothing major. No wonder there are no relations now, but we never close ourselves off. From now on, we will never trust the Americans or the EU. We are doing our best not to depend on them in the sectors that are critically important for survival of the state, the people and our security. When and if they get over their obsession and come back with some kind of a proposal, we will see what exactly it is about. We will not play along with their self-serving plans. If it comes to resuming the dialogue, we will push for a level playing field for everyone and a focus on balancing the interests of all participants on an equal footing.

With regard to the Iron Curtain, it is already on its way down. They should make sure they don’t get anything caught in it as it goes down.

In all other matters, we have a straightforward position: we are for things being fair.

In 2014, our “partners” refused to hold a summit amid serious events, including a coup, a referendum in Crimea, and a radical change in the situation in the Black Sea region. If you were serious about searching for solutions, this meeting was the way forward. It could have been used to have a candid discussion about the complaints and the counter questions the partners in the Russian Federation had for the EU. The withdrawal from all contacts that took place after March 2014 only goes to show that the EU is not interested in a dialogue, and does not want to understand our interests or listen to what we have to say. What it wants is for everyone to agree with the Brussels’ decisions which are a carbon copy of the decisions made in Washington. We have been able to see that in recent years.

Question: Norway has refused to allow Russian cargo, including food, medicines, and necessary equipment, to Spitsbergen. What steps will be taken to resolve this issue? What might our response be, if any?

Sergey Lavrov: First, we want to see Norway respond to our reaction that immediately followed the incident. We sent an official request demanding clarification as to how this move aligns with Norway’s commitments under the Spitsbergen Treaty of 1920. I hope they will respond promptly. Then, we will analyse the situation. And we will act quickly.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the BBC TV channel, St Petersburg, June 16, 2022

June 18, 2022

Ed Note:  This transcript is not complete and we will issue an update when it is completed.  We post it now because of the renewed DDoS attacks on Russian infrastructure.

In addition, Mr Lavrov had two more quite serious interviews.  They are available here:


https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1818228/

Question: Did President Putin, before taking the decision and announcing the start of what he calls a special military operation, consult you on whether he should?

Sergey Lavrov: Every country has a decision-making mechanism. In that case, the mechanism existing in the Russian Federation was fully employed.

Question: Did he consult you?

Sergey Lavrov: Again, there are things we do not speak about publicly. There is a mechanism for taking decisions. It was followed in full.

Question: I am asking because you have been foreign minister for 18 years, and invading a sovereign neighbouring state is a foreign matter. The President surely assumed that there would be international repercussions. I thought he would consult you.

Sergey Lavrov: You are an experienced journalists well-aware of the realities in Russia, around Russia, and in the post-Soviet space. Your question seeks to cancel everything prior to February 24 of this year. For eight years, we had been promoting the necessity of implementing the Minsk agreements, unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council, with the help of our intelligence agencies, Foreign Ministry, and Defence Ministry.

Throughout those eight years, we were insisting that Donetsk and Lugansk (which initially, as you may remember, in 2014, declared their independence in response to the neo-Nazi coup d’etat in Kiev) should sign the Minsk agreements, which guaranteed Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. When nowadays Chancellor Olaf Scholz claims that Russia must be forced to reach agreements with Ukraine, agreements that would respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Ukrainian state, I have a feeling that he is not of this world but someone from “outer space.” Because all those eight years we were trying to ensure the implementation of agreements which guaranteed the territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state.

Question: But the situation changed four months ago …

Sergey Lavrov: The situation has not changed. We are going back to what the Minsk agreements were coordinated for: protecting Russians in Donbass, who have been betrayed by the French and Germans. The British also played a leading role. All our Western colleagues kept saying they were unable to make Kiev honour the Minsk agreements.

Question: If the goal is to protect Russians in Donbass, why have more civilians been killed in the DPR and LPR in the four months since the start of the special military operation than in all of last year?

Sergey Lavrov: Did you also watch German ARD television and the main French TV channel, which declared recently that a maternity clinic and a marketplace had been shelled by the Russian army killing dozens of civilians? They declared without any qualms that this had been done by the Russian military. Just like they claimed some time ago that a railway station in Kramatorsk had been hit by Russia. Although the Western journalists proved that the missile had come from the territory controlled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Question: Last year, eight civilians were killed in the LPR and DPR, and seven the year before. While every death is a tragedy, that did not constitute the genocide Russian officials often invoke. With these numbers in mind, can you say that invading Ukraine was a reasonable decision?

Sergey Lavrov: We did not invade Ukraine. We announced a special military operation after being left with no other means to make it clear to the West that it is engaging in criminal activity by dragging Ukraine into NATO, by coddling and doting on a neo-Nazi regime, whose president Vladimir Zelensky said in September 2021 (you didn’t tell your viewers about it, did you?) that, if someone in Ukraine feels Russian, they should leave for Russia. He said that publicly. When a CNN correspondent told him that the Azov Regiment was listed as an extremist and terrorist organisations by some Western countries, the US, and Japan, Vladimir Zelensky shrugged his shoulders and said they had many such battalions and regiments, and they were what they were.

Question: Let’s look at the consequences. Four months have passed. The result: thousands of civilians have been killed; over 14 million Ukrainians have fled their homes; Russian troops sustained considerable losses and a host of sanctions have been imposed on Russia. Do you still call it the right decision?

Sergey Lavrov: I will tell you again: we didn’t have any other choice. We have explained this many times, a thousand times. Today, the Ukrainian regime is attacking civilians with your Western weapons just like they did in 2014 when the putschists came to power, when the centre of Lugansk was bombed by aircraft and 50 people were burned alive in Odessa. Does anyone recall this now?

Question: If you didn’t attack, there wouldn’t have been any weapons from the West.

Sergey Lavrov: We didn’t attack anyone. Russians were attacked in Ukraine. Imagine you are English. English or Scottish?

Question: I mentioned the figures to you. Eight dead in the past year, seven…

Sergey Lavrov: I am telling you that the Ukrainian regime is bombing its own population and you are selling weapons to it so it can continue doing this. Now about genocide. Are you English? What if Ireland (not Northern Ireland but the Republic of Ireland) banned the English language? How would the English feel?

Question: They wouldn’t invade Ireland for certain.

Sergey Lavrov: Wouldn’t you feel humiliated? The Russian language is banned in Ukraine. Try to speak Russian in a street in Kiev when young people with a certain look are walking there.

Question:Why do you consider NATO a threat? Why do people in Russia often talk about five waves of NATO’s expansion?

Sergey Lavrov: I think that NATO is a threat because we have been close friends with Serbians for a long time. They told us what the North Atlantic Alliance is about. The Afghans with whom we maintain relations in Afghanistan (and that includes practically all ethnic groups) also told us about the alliance and how it bombed wedding ceremonies. Just because these pilots wondered why some people had got together. They must be bombed, just in case.

I will explain to you why NATO is a threat. Talk to citizens of Iraq and Libya. Their countries were razed to the ground. After this, NATO still claims to be a defensive alliance. We are told not to worry, that Ukraine’s accession to NATO wouldn’t pose a threat to the Russian Federation. This is what we were told. With all due respect for our colleagues from the North Atlantic Alliance, I must say that Russia has the right to decide for itself what threatens its security and what does not.

Question: There were no NATO troops in Eastern Europe before the annexation of Crimea in 2014…

Sergey Lavrov: Moreover, there was no annexation of Crimea, either.

Question: As a result of Crimea’s annexation, there appeared 4,500 troops in 2016, and 40,000 after February 24, 2022. This is the result of Russia’s actions.

Sergey Lavrov: You are a clever man. These are facts. I will cite different facts for you. Your entire analysis is based on “cancel culture.” You are changing everything that preceded the event that you call an invasion or annexation. What happened in Ukraine on February 21, 2014? What we call a coup d’etat. How do you call it?

Question: I was the first to ask you. How do you call it?

Sergey Lavrov: I’ve already said that this was a coup d’etat that took place the morning after France, Poland and Germany affixed their signatures under the agreement between the then president and the opposition leaders. In the morning, the opposition leaders spat in the faces of Germany, France and Poland which  swallowed it. We called this a coup d’etat. And how did you call it?

Question: Do events of eight years ago give you the right to do what you are doing?

Sergey Lavrov: This is not about the right. I want to hear your honest response. We called it a coup d’etat. How do you call it in Britain?

Question: I wanted to ask you about this.

Sergey Lavrov: I want to understand your logic because if you want me to give you clear answers you must clearly explain to me what you are talking about.

Question: I want to grasp your logic. You say that NATO is a threat. Now you are saying that there is too much NATO on Russian borders. And yet now “there is even more NATO” as a result of Russia’s actions. Finland and Sweden are joining the alliance.

Sergey Lavrov: Finland and Sweden have long been subordinate to the Anglo-Saxons as the EU and NATO have drawn closer together. The EU has lost its meaning.

Question: Is the fact that Finland and Sweden are becoming NATO members a failure of Russian diplomacy?

Sergey Lavrov: Sweden and Finland are exercising their sovereign right and they are acting according to their governments’ decisions. They also are not overly concerned with public opinion, just as they didn’t concern themselves with public opinion in different countries as they carried out the objectives set by NATO.

Question: Does that mean it is not a threat to Russia?

Sergey Lavrov: We shall see how it will end. When and if Sweden and Finland join NATO, we will see what will go into effect on the ground. Whether weapons are delivered there and new contingents deployed. That said, I assure you that nobody is going to listen to either Europeans, or Finland or Sweden. They are telling us now that they will have no foreign troops or military bases. Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin that the US intends to increase its military presence in Europe, they have not yet decided if it will be permanent, rotational or permanent-rotational. He never said the EU should be consulted. He does not want to hear from European allies. He just decided, and announced that decisions will be made in Washington.

Question: Russia says that Ukraine is fighting Nazis.

Sergey Lavrov: Ukraine is not fighting Nazis. Nazism is flourishing in Ukraine.

Question: Listen to what the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says. She spoke in May following a monitoring mission and said that the Russian military kept 360 people including 74 children and 5 disabled persons for 28 days in a school basement in the village of Yagodnoye, Chernigov Region, without a toilet and water. Ten elderly people died. Is this fighting Nazism?

Sergey Lavrov: International bureaucrats, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and, to my immense disappointment, the UN Secretary-General and many other UN representatives, are being put under pressure by the West and are often being used to amplify fake news spread by the West.

Question: So Russia is squeaky clean, isn’t it?

Sergey Lavrov: Russia is not squeaky clean. Russia is what it is. And we are not ashamed of showing who we are.

May I inquire with you to better understand your media outlet’s policy on the Bucha tragedy? Did you report on the frame-up job in Bucha? You definitely said it had been carried out by Russia, right? The Guardian newspaper published in London later got preliminary forensic results which showed that most people whose dead bodies were shown by all the world’s TV channels got their wounds from artillery shrapnel.

Question:  Why do you ask? We have little time.

Sergey Lavrov: We have little time but you do not want to tell me why you keep saying untruths, to put it mildly. I asked you a question about how the BBC had covered the events in Bucha.

Question:  I wasn’t in Bucha. I am in Russia and this is why I am asking you about Russia’s position. The purpose of the operation as it was stated by President Putin back then is regime change, isn’t it?

Sergey Lavrov: The purpose of the operation is to protect the rights of Russians which have been blatantly ignored not only by the Kiev regime but also by the entire West and the civilised community which refused to implement the Minsk Agreements.

If you did not want to secure the rights of the Russians in Donbass through Kiev’s adherence to a UNSC resolution, we will ensure the rights of Russians ourselves. That is what we are doing.

Question: On February 25 of this year, Vladimir Putin addressed Ukrainian soldiers and urged them to take power in their hands because it would be easier for Russia to come to terms with them than with this gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis in Kiev. This sounds like a direct call for a military rebellion.

Sergey Lavrov: No, it sounds like a direct call for fulfilling their military duty instead of serving Nazis who are cancelling everything that their regime doesn’t like, including Russian education, culture and media. They didn’t cancel BBC because you haven’t told the truth about what was happening there for eight years. I asked you a question: Did you or any of your BBC colleagues go to Donbass during the eight years when Kiev soldiers were bombing civilians there?

Question: Over the course of six years, the BBC had many times contacted the leadership in the separatist-run areas asking for permission to go and see what was happening. We were refused entry every single time. I think if genocide had really taken place there, they would have been interested in letting us come and see but no. Why were we denied entry?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t know why you were denied entry. Our journalists worked there 24/7 and showed the results of bombing by Kiev battalions. You should have gone to the Ukrainian side of the contact line. They do not have such destruction there.

Question: Recently, your President praised Peter the Great for reclaiming primordial Russian territories and even added that “to return and strengthen is also our lot.” How many more territories and what territories are you going to reclaim?

Sergey Lavrov: President Vladimir Putin said it all. I have nothing to add. I will tell you again: you want to forget everything that preceded this event. You deny, cancel and do not want to hear what happened before February 24 of this year, what happened before the voting in Crimea. You cannot accept that we are very patient. But when our patience runs out, we respond to rudeness and the humiliation of the Russian people, like the coup in February 2014 when power was taken by people who cancelled the regional status of the Russian language and were going to oust Russians from Crimea (they sent armed people there). What did BBC report about this? Nothing at all. You said this was a normal democratic process.

Question: Can you say categorically that Russia won’t launch another special operation and won’t invade neighbouring territories?

Sergey Lavrov: We believed words for a very long time. Your comrades-in-arms, your compatriots together with other members of the North Atlantic Alliance solemnly proclaimed a principle of indivisible security where nobody has the right to enhance their security at the expense of the security of others. When we said that NATO’s five expansions undermines our security, we were simply ignored. Now President of France Emmanuel Macron said they must talk to Russia and should not humiliate the Russians. Do you know who replied to him? Some Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky. He said Macron didn’t understand anything, implying that Russians must be humiliated. What is your attitude to this?

Question: I want to ask you about the Brits who recently got a death sentence …

Sergey Lavrov: You should do an interview in the Donetsk People’s Republic about it.

Question: Russia is the only country that recognises the DPR.

Sergey Lavrov: No, it is not the only one, several more countries have recognised them.

Question: I think the DPR has a lot of influence in Russia.

Sergey Lavrov: We are friends and allies.

Question: In the eyes of the West, Russia is responsible for these people. Do you think the death sentence …

Sergey Lavrov: I am not interested in the “eyes of the West” at all. I am only interested in international law, according to which mercenaries are not combatants. So nothing in your eyes matters.

Question: They are not mercenaries, they were serving in the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Sergey Lavrov: This should be determined by the court.

Question: Do you think the court there is independent?

Sergey Lavrov: I am confident they have independent courts there. Do you think your courts are independent? After Alexander Litvinenko’s death your “independent” court announced “public process,” that is, had the case classified. You did the same with the Skripals. That’s your law.

Question: Did the UK government contact you about the fate of these boys?

Sergey Lavrov: I have no information about their contacting us. They are used to doing everything publicly. They began saying they are worried about the fate of their subjects. I do not know if they contacted us or not. They should contact the DPR.

Question: How would you characterise relations with the UK now? Saying they are bad would be putting it mildly.

Sergey Lavrov: I think there is no room for manoeuvre left in the relationship. Boris Johnson and Elizabeth Truss say publicly that they must defeat Russia and bring it to its knees. Come on, do it!

Question: How does Moscow view Great Britain now?

Sergey Lavrov: This is a country which is once again sacrificing the interests of its people for the sake of politicians’ ambitions, who only think about the next election and nothing else.

Question: You criticise the countries, which are supplying weapons to Kiev. Who is more to blame – the countries supplying weapons to a country, which is defending its lands, or the country that has attacked it?

Sergey Lavrov: How is it defending its lands, when it bombs its own citizens? Let me remind you once again: Vladimir Zelensky said in September 2021 that those who think in Russian and feel they are Russian should beat it back to Russia. Why don’t you talk about that? Why do you ignore past events? Now, when they are shelling their own cities, towns, markets, maternity homes, and hospitals – everything is all right [with you]. You ask me why Russia is waging a “war” – in response to what we are showing. If they do not show in Britain the aftermath of the [Ukrainian] shelling of Donetsk, Kramatorsk and other places, you can certainly watch it here. Do you report anything on that?

Question: You said that you are defending Donbass and the people in Donbass. I told you that since the start of the operation twenty times more people had died …

Sergey Lavrov: And I told you that those people are being killed by neo-Nazis. I ask you: Do you show the results of the AFU’s shelling of towns and villages? Or you don’t show them in your reports? You don’t show it, correct? That is why you want to squeeze some words of regret from me about the current developments so as to send a report to London and use my words to back up the false version of events in Ukraine, which you keep broadcasting.

Question: You are wrong about that.

Sergey Lavrov: Being in Moscow, you cannot fail to see what journalists in Donbass are showing, what is happening as a result of [Ukrainian] artillery attacks on  peaceful towns and civilians. Do you report on that or not?

Question: I want to ask you…

Sergey Lavrov: So that means you don’t.

Question: I have been in Russia for almost 30 years. I have toured the country. The phrase I heard most in the villages and cities I visited was “if only there is no war.” I understand that your country suffered terrible losses, that is why it beggars belief that your country has “unleashed a war” in Ukraine. I don’t understand why it was needed. To ruin Ukraine and the future of your own country?

Sergey Lavrov: I got your point. You have no problems with understanding the political course pursued by Kiev in the past ten years – to cancel anything Russian – do you? You think “if only there is no war” means a possibility to humiliate Russians and Russia (as the Czech foreign minister said replying to Emmanuel Macron who had spoken out against humiliating the Russians). For some reason, nobody is speaking about that. You grabbed what you needed for your line, for the narrative of your broadcasts.

The phrase “if only  there is no war” is deeply ingrained in the Russian people. But it also has pride ingrained, what we call self-respect, which they are trying to take away from all the Russians in Ukraine, with your support.

To be continued…

Lavrov: Russia does not care about “the eyes of the West”

June 18, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The Russian Foreign Minister interrupts a BBC reporter and says that Donetsk People’s Republic courts are as legitimate as British courts , and Russia has no interest in what the West has to say about that.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) and BBC reporter Steve Rosenberg (L) in an exclusive interview

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told BBC in an interview, on Thursday, on the sidelines of the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), that the fate of the British mercenaries captured in Ukraine and sentenced to death is a matter pertaining to the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), an independent state as recognized by Russia. Ultimately, the DPR, under international law, has the right to make the decision on their fate and Russia does not care how that looks “in the eyes of the West.”

Steve Rosenberg, the BBC reporter, attempted to hold Russia accountable for the fate of the captured Brits beginning with “In the eyes of the West, Russia is responsible for the fate of these people,” but Lavrov cut him off.

The Russian FM said that he is not interested in the West’s perception of Russia, rather he is only interested in international law. According to international law, said Lavrov, mercenaries are not combatants and in that regard, the opinion of the West is of no interest to Russia.

Read more: Russian Ambassador: Pumping Kiev with weapons could lead to major war

Rosenberg once again attempted to protest Russia and the DPR’s conviction of British fighters as mercenaries, arguing that they were fighting with the Ukrainian Army. However, Lavrov interrupted him once again and told him this is a matter for the DPR courts, ones as legitimate as the British courts.

When asked about whether the British government enquired about its captured citizens, Lavrov said he is unaware of such communications and insists this is a matter for the DPR and Russia will not interfere in it.  

The FM added that relations between Moscow and London were dreary and described Britain as “a country that once again tries to sacrifice the interests of its people for the ambitions of politicians, who only think about the next election and nothing else.”

DPR captures two UK mercenaries

Three mercenaries, two from the UK and one from Morocco, were sentenced to death on Thursday in the DPR for fighting alongside Ukrainian militias and armed forces.

The president of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, has accused the three of “monstrous crimes”.

British mercenaries Aiden Aslin, 28, and Shaun Pinner, 48, in addition to Moroccan Saadun Brahim, were convicted by a Donetsk court on charges of terrorism.

The three defendants plead guilty to the charges. Russian media outlet RIA Novosti reported that the three are set to face a firing squad.

Read more: City of Donetsk targeted by Ukrainian troops again

Western media and politicians prefer to ignore the truth about civilians killed in Donetsk shelling

16 Jun, 2022

Remnants of the Uragan MLRS rocket which struck the Donetsk maternity hospital June 13. ©  Eva Bartlett / RT

When Kiev’s guilt in attacks on a maternity hospital cannot be denied, it’s simply brushed under the carpet

Eva Bartlett

@evakbartlett

Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine (where she lived for nearly four years). 

Following intense Ukrainian shelling of Donetsk on June 13, some Western media sources, in tandem with outlets in Kiev, unsurprisingly claimed that the attack – which killed at least five civilians and struck a busy maternity hospital – was perpetrated by Russian forces.

Why Moscow would launch rockets at its own allies wasn’t explained, nor would it make much sense. 

The Donetsk People’s Republic’s foreign ministry reported“Such an unprecedented. in terms of power, density and duration of fire, raid on the DPR capital was not recorded during the entire period of the armed conflict [since 2014]. In two hours, almost 300 MLRS rockets and artillery shells were fired.”

The Ukrainian shelling began late morning, resumed in the afternoon, and continued for another two hours in the evening, a deafening series of blasts throughout the city, terrorizing residents and targeting apartment buildings, civilian infrastructure, the aforementioned hospital, and industrial buildings.

Locals say this was some of the heaviest bombing of Donetsk since 2014, when the eponymous region declared its independence from post-Maidan Kiev.

In the Budyonnovsky district in the south of the city, Ukrainian shelling of a market killed five civilians including one child. Just two months ago, Kiev’s forces hit another Donetsk market, leaving five civilians dead.

In the hard-hit Kievskiy district, to the north, the shelling caused fires at a water bottling plant and a warehouse for stationery, destroying it. The building was still in flames when journalist Roman Kosarev and I arrived about an hour after the attack. Apartment buildings in the area also came under firer, leaving doors and windows blown out and cars destroyed.

The destroyed gas station was on a street where I stayed in April, which is completely residential.

DPR head Denis Pushilin said“The enemy literally crossed all the lines. Prohibited methods of warfare are being used, residential and central districts of Donetsk are being shelled, other cities and settlements of the DPR are also under fire now.”

Hypocritical silence after maternity hospital shelling

In a world where media reported honestly instead of manufacturing its own reality, there would be outrage over Ukraine’s attack on the Donetsk maternity hospital. But history shows that is not a world we live in.

As I wrote last year, Western media and talking heads also diligently avoided condemnation when terrorists attacked or destroyed Syrian hospitals, including the shelling of a maternity hospital in Aleppo, which killed three women.

At the damaged Donetsk hospital, I saw the gaping hole in the roof and remnants of the Uragan MLRS rocket which struck it. Most of the windows of both buildings were blown out.

Images shared on Twitter noted, “Both gynecology and intensive care have been bombed.”  Other footage, taken by Donetsk war correspondent Dmitri Ashtrakhan, showed dozens of women, some heavily pregnant, taking shelter in the basement of the shelled maternity hospital.

Were these women and this hospital in Kiev, you can bet Western media would be loudly reporting it 24/7 for weeks. Instead, just as the West has steadfastly ignored Ukraine’s eight years of war on Donbass, they also omit reporting on the hospital.

Grotesquely, some Ukrainian and Western media instead disingenuously reported that it was a Russian attack, not Ukrainian, which terrorized, injured and killed civilians on June 13.

Just as Western media’s lack of reporting, or twisting of the narrative, on Ukraine’s shelling was to be expected, so too was the UN’s weak-worded condemnation, with the Spokesman for the Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, calling it “extremely troubling.” You can bet that were the situation reversed and Russia responsible for bombing a Ukrainian maternity hospital, his words would have been far stronger.

In fact, they already have been: Three months ago, when Kiev accused Russia of an attack on a maternity hospital, in Mariupol.

Back then, the Guterres emphatically tweeted, “Today’s attack on a hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, where maternity & children’s wards are located, is horrific. Civilians are paying the highest price for a war that has nothing to do with them. This senseless violence must stop. End the bloodshed now.”

RT

RT drone footage shows hole in Donetsk maternity hospital roof where Ukrainian-fired Uragan MLRS rocket struck. ©  Eva Bartlett / RT

A strong reaction to what later emerged to be a hoax claim, when the UN itself even admitted it could not verify the story. But a mild reaction to a documented reality in Donetsk.

The UN did, at least, rightly note the attack on the Donetsk maternity hospital was, “an obvious breach of the international humanitarian law.” So there’s that.

The thing is, Ukraine has violated international law for its eight years of waging war on the Donbass republics, using prohibited heavy weapons and targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure. This is only the latest incident.

Tears flow for hoax hospital bombing

In March, Western corporate-owned media supported Kiev’s claim that Russia had launched air strikes on a Mariupol maternity hospital, claiming three civilians had been killed. At the time, as reported“The White House condemned the ‘barbaric’ use of force against innocent civilians, and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted that ‘there are few things more depraved than targeting the vulnerable and defenceless’.”

As it turned out, witnesses reported there hadn’t been any air strike. There were explosions: just as terrorists bombed an Aleppo home in 2016 and used a mildly injured boy for their propaganda against Syria and Russia, so too did Ukrainian forces in Mariupol, setting the stage to incriminate Moscow.

Russia called the accusations “a completely staged provocation,” analyzing photos from the area and noting “evidence of two separate staged explosions near the hospital: An underground explosion and another of minor power, aimed at the hospital building,” and further noting that a “high-explosive aviation bomb would destroy the outer walls of the building.”

Russia also pointed out that the facility had stopped working when Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Battalion expelled staff in late February and militarized the hospital, as Ukrainian forces did elsewhere in Donbass.

Marianna Vyshemirskaya, one of the women featured in the Western propaganda around the hospital, later spoke out and said there was no air strike, and that prior to the alleged event, Ukrainian soldiers expelled all the doctors and moved pregnant women to another building.

She also maintained that she and other women were filmed without warning by an Associated Press journalist dressed in a military uniform and wearing a helmet.

RT

Fires still raging in Donetsk warehouse after Ukrainian bombing June 13. ©  Eva Bartlett / RT

Even now, two days after Ukraine’s intense bombardment of Donetsk and targeting of the maternity hospital, when still more testimonies have emerged, Western media and politicians remain silent.

The suffering, and deaths, of the people of Donetsk doesn’t fit the Western narrative, so they misreport it or simply just don’t reference it at all, enabling Ukraine to continue to commit war crimes.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

US tested neuromodulators on socially vulnerable Ukrainians: Russia

16 Jun 2021

The Russian armed forces expose the atrocities of the US military biological programs in Ukraine and Cuba.

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The US administration acknowledged the financing of 46 Ukrainian biolabs

Igor Kirillov, the head of the radiation, chemical and biological defense of the Russian Armed Forces, revealed Thursday that employees of the laboratory in the village of Sorokovka in the Kharkov region tested highly active neuromodulators that caused irreversible damage to the central nervous system as part of the US military biological program in the region.

Sorokovka hosted a branch of the Merefa laboratory, built at the expense of the Pentagon, Kirillov said. In Merefa, laboratory staff performed experiments on patients from psychiatric clinics in Kharkov, he added.

“In accordance with the available information, highly active substances of neuromodulators were tested on socially vulnerable citizens of Ukraine, which caused, among other things, irreversible damage to the central nervous system. This is a clear violation of the norms of international treaties in the field of human rights,” Kirillov warned.

Experiments have been ongoing since 2011

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the laboratory in Sorokovka was listed as a company for the production of food additives, and with the start of the war in Ukraine, the equipment under the control of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) was taken to the western regions of Ukraine.

Kirillov mentioned that experiments on mentally ill people in Ukraine have been ongoing since at least 2011, adding that one of the curators, US citizen Linda Oporto Alharoun, has repeatedly visited the laboratory near Kharkov.

He recalled that earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry had reported that employees of the biological laboratory in Merefa, built with US funding, had conducted experiments on patients of psychiatric clinics in Kharkov in the period from 2019 to 2021. One of the organizers of this illegal activity was US citizen Alharoun.

US confirmed link between Pentagon & biolabs in Ukraine

The Russian official pointed out that the US had confirmed the connection between Pentagon and biolabs in Ukraine.

Kirillov told a briefing that “on June 9, the Pentagon website published an official statement on US biological activities in the post-Soviet space. In it, the US administration acknowledged the fact of financing 46 Ukrainian biological laboratories and the connection of the US Department of Defense with the Ukrainian Science and Technology Center.”

He also noted that Russia has documents proving the connection between the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and the US on biological laboratories.

Infectious diseases on the rise in Donbass due to biolabs

Kirillov underlined that infectious diseases have become more frequent in the Donbass region after Pentagon started funding Ukrainian biological programs in 2015.

“Infectious diseases have become more frequent among residents and military personnel of the LPR [Lugansk People’s Republic] and DPR [Donetsk People’s Republic] after the start of funding of Ukrainian biological programs by the Pentagon in 2015,” he said.

He also noted during the briefing that the incidence of tularemia in the DPR increased by 9.5 times in 2016 when compared to 2007.

Biolabs in Ukraine caused dengue outbreaks in Cuba

In the same context, the Russian official revealed that biological laboratories in Ukraine cultivated dengue mosquitoes that caused artificial outbreaks in Cuba during the 1970s and 1980s.

Kirillov considered that the history of the outbreaks induced in Cuba in the 70s and 80s of the last century is completely silenced, especially the use of Aedes mosquitoes as biological weapons – the same ones that the US military cultivated in Ukraine.

Sitrep Operation Z: Messy Grind again and more Great Walkback

June 15, 2022

Source

By Amarynth

We start with the broader environment:

It is Zelensky’s decision, says the Chorus of the Great Walkback.

“The people and the government of Ukraine, led by President Zelensky, must decide on their own the issue of the possibility of territorial concessions.” – US Secretary of State Blinken. According to the head of the State Department, the United States does not intend to impose its position.

(You have lost, and you don’t want to say it Blinken!)

We see more and more western statements that Ukraine can end the war, via loss of territories. This is sheer desperation to avoid even an iota of responsibility for the loss of lives that they caused. They don’t know how to get out, they have to get out, they have to save face for their domestic audiences in the face of a spectacular loss of prestige, so again, Zelensky is being thrown under the bus and the Ukraine is an orphan.

Russia in any event says nyet! It will be on our terms, not yours.

A moment of skewed brilliance struck the former commander of NATO forces in Europe, Wesley Clark. He says that without the direct intervention of the Alliance, it will not be possible to end the war in the Ukraine. He is of course wrong, but his calculus is interesting:

Moreover, if NATO does not intervene in Ukraine, it may dissolve itself. “The idea that Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is now advocating, and which finds support among other members of the alliance – that NATO can not actively intervene unless it is directly attacked – this idea has remained in the 90s.”

So, he wants to order the Russians to cease fire.

“It’s time to learn the lessons “NATO must intervene. Let’s officially recognize this and order the Russians to cease fire.”

According to this retired US Army general, the alliance must either “go beyond the outlined framework, or stop its activities.”  (But .. but, all this time, you said NATO was only a defensive alliance.)

Maybe, at last, he got it! The idea here is to push NATO back to its own borders and if it won’t go, the Russians will make it go!

Maria Zakharova, perfectly on time and topic during the St Petersburg Economic Forum:

“If you’re looking for media objectivity, best not focus on the West’s portrayal of Ukraine.”

Meanwhile in China, Xi Jinping signed a legal framework as to how China’s military forces will operate in a war, that is not a war. Like, as an example, a special military operation. And then, Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation today. “China is ready to continue to support each other with Russia on issues of sovereignty and security” – Xi Jinping in a conversation with Putin. Your guess here is as good as mine, but it looks like the two leaders are expecting more Special Military Operations, or military/technical work.

From there, we again follow Dmitry Medvedev: “I saw a message that Ukraine wants to receive LNG from its overseas owners under Lend-Lease with payment for delivery in 2 years. Otherwise, next winter it will simply freeze.
Just a question.

And who said that in two years Ukraine will even exist on the world map? Although the Americans don’t care anymore – they have invested so much in the “anti-Russia” project that everything else is a trifle for them.”

The Great Walkback is visible to all who care to look!

And he did not stop there and spoke on sanctions: It turned out that the specially gifted characters I wrote about began to realize that Russia is our beloved Motherland. And it also dawned on them that without our country they could not survive.
After all, otherwise they will not receive:
– food for their citizens;
– fertilizers to produce food for their citizens;
– sources of energy for the production of food and heating of their citizens;
– metals and other products for the production of machines and mechanisms for their citizens;
– fuel for European and American nuclear power plants, which provide 20-40% of electricity to their citizens.
The list goes on.
Now we are looking forward to the next package of European sanctions and Grandfather Joe’s great sanctions decisions, about which the authors of these same sanctions immediately begin to come up with circumvention schemes.
I will not remind you about inflation, prices for all types of fuel and forecasts for the fall of economies. All data is publicly available.
And this is only the first month of summer.
We are waiting for autumn… when we will have to collect the main sanctions harvest.
In the meantime, the locomotive of their economy of services and digital currencies is flying into the wall at full steam. Smile, gentlemen, smile!”
https://t.me/medvedev_telegram/110

On the battlefield, it is mostly a replay now.

The work of the humanitarian corridor from the Azot plant in Severodonetsk was disrupted by the Ukrainian side on its first day, 1 person came out, the DPR military reported.

Latest Russian Mod Statement:  https://t.me/mod_russia_en/2197

And Military Summary from Rumble is as detailed as possible during another Grind phase. https://rumble.com/v18fye1-ukraine.-military-summary-and-analysis-14.06.2022.html

Some comments say that they still do not understand the small Ukrainian environment vis a vis the SMO and even less of the broader environment viz a viz a move to a multipolar world. Here is a Ukrainian map of the oblasts, and then, we follow with a Readovka map. Simply eyeball the two maps, and you will see the progress.

Ukrainian troops burn wheat and grains as they leave Mariupol

6 Jun 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The sea port of Mariupol has witnessed a blazing fire that left all grains unfit for consumption.

Ukrainian troops leave Mariupol but first, they set fire to tons of grain

Despite the looming danger of global food shortage, Ukrainian troops set fire to tons of grain in storage facilities in Mariupol hoping to impact food security in the Donetsk People’s Republic. 

Yan Gagin, the adviser to the chairman of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), said “There is a large amount of grain on the territory of the Mariupol port, this is both corn and wheat. Judging by the smell and appearance, it is unsuitable for further use… And this is due to the fact that the enemy, retreating from the port, set fire to the granaries so that this grain would not go to the Donetsk People’s Republic, so that it would be impossible to use it in any way.”

According to Sputnik, firefighters have been trying to contain the fire for several days within the Mariupol grain storage facility -which could contain up to 57,000 tons of grain-, thus spoiling all grains and leaving them unfit even for cattle consumption. 

Recently, wheat and grain exports have become a global concern as many countries have either banned exports or limited and taxed wheat exports, due to national and global food security threats. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), slower growth and faster inflation threaten the global economy amid the conflict in Ukraine.

“The conflict is a major blow to the global economy that will hurt growth and raise prices,” an article was written by Alfred Kammer, Jihad Azour, Abebe Aemro Selassie, IIan Goldfajn, and Changyong Rhee said. 

While countries like Egypt, Lebanon, and Turkey are all threatened by wheat prices and limitations of exports, Ukrainian troops have chosen to burn food instead of allowing the DPR to consume and export the grains. This further plays a role in the climate crisis tragedy as it increases carbon emissions and

Read more:

Sitrep Operation Z: + consequences = petty Tabaquis howling

May 26, 2022

by Saker Staff

After the Russian forces took POPASNA, the pace increased. There are still battles, but the Russians are now rolling over everything else in the Donbas. The Ukrainians are being annihilated, more and more soldiers are refusing to fight, reports of mass surrenders pour in, and the Russian strategy of cauldrons and partial cauldrons is proving incredibly effective. It is a bloody war in that area exacerbated by the Ukrainian leaders because orders for a sensible retreat are not forthcoming.

Two videos today – both quite detailed:

This first video from Military Summary on Rumble, describes the logjam against sensible retreat.

This second video describes some of the very recent battles and how these brought the Ukraine to this point.  Very detailed and he draws his maps on the fly as he talks.

A few hours ago reports started filtering in of huge forces of the Russian Aerospace Forces passing over Lugansk towards the front, and powerful explosions thundered everywhere. The correspondent of “Russian Spring” rusvesna.su from the capital of the LPR reports that he sees this for the first time, a lot of combat aircraft and helicopters swept over the city in several waves. Of course we do not know yet the what, why and where of this, excepting the Russian MoD report of this morning tells the story of the increased pace.

Take a look at the numbers:

💥High-precision air-based missiles have hit 48 areas of AFU manpower and military equipment concentration, 2 artillery batteries, and 2 ammunition depots near Nikolaevka and Berestovoe in Donetsk People’s Republic during the day.

▫️1 Ukrainian electronic reconnaissance centre near Dneprovskoe, Nikolaev Region, has been destroyed, including 11 servicemen from the combat unit, as well as 15 foreign engineering specialists who arrived with security guards.

▫️In addition, 1 Osa-AKM anti-aircraft missile system launcher has been destroyed near Nikolaevka in Donetsk People’s Republic, and 1 radar of the Ukrainian S-300 anti-aircraft missile system near Chuhuev in Kharkov region.

✈️💥Operational-tactical and army aviation have hit 49 areas of AFU manpower and military equipment concentration, 2 mortar crews, as well as 1 depot of missile and artillery weapons and ammunition.

▫️The attacks have resulted in the elimination of more than 350 nationalists and up to 96 armoured and motor vehicles.

💥Russian air defence means have shot down 1 Ukrainian Mi-24 helicopter over Husarovka, Kharkov Region. 1 Ukrainian Air Force military transport aircraft delivering ammunition and weapons has been also shot down in mid-air near Kremidovka, Odessa Region.

▫️In addition, 13 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles have been shot down near Zelenyi Gai in Kherson Region, Bolshie and Malye Prokhody, Gavrilovka, Veseloe in Kharkov Region, and Epifanovka and Kirovsk in Lugansk People’s Republic, including 2 Soviet-made Tu-143 Reis jets near Melovatka in Lugansk People’s Republic.

💥Missile troops and artillery have hit 62 command posts, 407 areas of AFU manpower and military equipment concentration, 47 artillery and mortar units at firing positions, as well as 3 ammunition depots.

▫️Units and military equipment of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ 10th Mountain Assault Brigade, which arrived to reinforce the Ukrainian grouping in Donbass, have been destroyed during unloading near Pokrovsk railway station in Donetsk People’s Republic.

……………

Ukrainian General Staff says “The invaders are actively advancing in several directions at once.” — Specifically, the Russians are advancing simultaneously in Severodonetsk, Bakhmut, Avdeevsky, Novopavlovsk and Liman directions.

……………

We also had a short explanation of why the perceived slow down in the Russian operation. The slowdown of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine is intentional with a view to evacuating the population and avoiding casualties among civilians, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said.  Russia’s Armed Forces are creating humanitarian corridors and announcing ceasefires to ensure the safe evacuation of residents from encircled settlements, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu explained, despite this approach stalling the progress of the country’s forces.  “Of course, this slows down the pace of the offensive, but it is being done deliberately to avoid civilian casualties,” he explained at a meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Council of Defense Ministers.

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev spoke on the Ukraine specifically and geopolitics:

▪️All the goals set by the President of the Russian Federation during the special military operation will be achieved, it cannot be otherwise. Russia is not chasing deadlines in the course of a special military operation in Ukraine.

The ideal scenario for US-led NATO is an endlessly smoldering conflict in Ukraine.

▪️Nazism must either be eradicated by 100%, or it will raise its head in a few years, and in an even uglier form.

▪️Ukraine, if it had remained an independent country, and not controlled from outside, “would have long ago expelled all Nazi evil spirits from its land.”

▪️Moscow will be obliged to respond to the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO, which is a direct security threat to Russia. Finland and Sweden will be accepted into NATO, despite the objections of Turkey and Croatia, “because Washington decided so.”

▪️The West is today obscuring Russia’s contribution to the preservation of other states in different historical periods with all its might.

……………

The political and geopolitical situation is heating up and at the same time becoming more surreal.

They’re even dusting off Kissinger at Davos.  (Note Pepe Escobar’s ascerbic entry to his telegram channel at the end.)**

There is a small window of opportunity to wind down the armed conflict in Ukraine and find a peace settlement, former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger has told a gathering of Western elites in Davos, Switzerland. Beyond that, Russia may break from, the rest of, Europe for good and become a permanent ally of China, he said on Monday during a speech at the World Economic Forum.

“Negotiations on peace need to begin in the next two months or so, [before the conflict] creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome,” the 98-year-old veteran diplomat said of the crisis. The outcome will determine the rest of Europe’s relationships with Russia and Ukraine alike, he said. “Ideally, the dividing line should return to the status quo ante,” he said.

“I believe pursuing the war beyond that point would turn it not into a war about the freedom of Ukraine, which had been undertaken with great cohesion by NATO, but into a war against Russia itself,” he added.

There are more voices from Europe asking for a peace process to start but first, the Ukrainian response:

Ukrainian presidential advisor Alexey Arestovich resorted to obscene language to criticize those in the West urging Kiev to cede part of the country’s territory to Russia for the sake of peace.

“Go f**k yourselves with such proposals, you dumb f**ks, to trade Ukrainian territory a little bit! Are you f**king crazy? Our children are dying, soldiers are stopping shells with their own bodies, and they are telling us how to sacrifice our territories. This will never happen,” Arestovich said in an interview on Wednesday.

Soros calls for Putin’s defeat:  George Soros told the World Economic Forum in Davos the West needs a quick victory over Russia in Ukraine so it can focus on climate change

The process of ‘disowning’ the Ukraine has started.

Gen. Milley notes that the US has reopened military-to-military level talks with the Russians. His call to his Russian counterpart last week was “important” and it was “purposeful”

Of course, the talk of another peace plan is not born of care for people or human rights or democracy or deep held care for the Ukrainian people.  It is driven by desperation and is a desperate grasp at avoiding a psychological defeat bigger than Afghanistan.

TASS/ Russia’s State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin took to his Telegram channel to highlight that the US and its partners do not plan to provide real assistance to Ukraine.

  • Ukraine will only get 15% of the $40 billion promised by the US, he said.
  • “Washington and Brussels do not really intend to help Ukraine, or solve its economic and social issues. They only need Ukraine to fight Russia till the last Ukrainian,” Volodin said.
  • According to the recent aid to Ukraine legislation signed by President Joe Biden, 35% of the $40 billion is going to finance the US Armed Forces, he explained. Meanwhile, 45.2% of that amount is set to be spent on other countries, not Ukraine, while another 4.8% will be earmarked to support refugees, and restore the US diplomatic mission in Ukraine. “Ukraine will only receive 15% of the allotted sum,” the speaker revealed.
  • But Ukrainians will have to pay off the whole sum, he said. The US is aware that Kiev will not be able to service the debt in the future. “That is why they are seizing Ukraine’s last reserves, including grain, which is what we are seeing right now”.

Quo Vadis Ukraine?

A list of those that want a piece of the pie is shaping up. Of course, Poland is not suddenly in love with the Ukraine without a reason.  They want their piece of the land pie. I suspect Hungary is also not innocent in this matter. Will the Ukraine be apportioned? Or will it lose its nation-state status completely, and cease to exist? Nobody knows because nobody knows the Russian plan. In Europe and the US/NATO, fear is taking hold. Nobody knows where Russia plans to stop after liberating the two new Republics, Donesk and Luhansk. Is this the moment that they will choose to push NATO back to its agreed borders?

Maria Zakharova noted that these peace proposals that are appearing (talking about the Italian one specifically) could show that Rome is perhaps “beginning to think about the depressing consequences of the military psychosis that was caused by the reaction of the West to the special military operation of Russia in Ukraine” – and the supposed plan could be an attempt “to offer some alternatives to the current escalation, which threatens to develop into a full-scale military conflict between Russia and NATO.”

The deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, said that “any peace proposal built purely in the interest of NATO and the Western world order should simply be ignored.”

“Or rather, their authors should be told to go in a certain direction,” Medvedev said.

Russia is ‘building back better’ and major reconstruction is starting as well as President Putin signed a decree relaxing rules for granting Russian citizenship to residents of Ukraine’s Zaporozhye and Kherson Region.

The amendments are added to the decree that previously introduced a similar procedure for residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR).

Russia continues to do business.  Delegations from over 90 countries have confirmed their participation in the 25th edition of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) scheduled for June.  Russia and Iran also agreed to implement the MIR payment card system in Iran.

That is it for today. Enjoy your discussion and careful on the Ukie propaganda. It is still everywhere.

**Escobar Telegram Channel:

THE PLIGHT OF DR. K – IN ONE MINUTE

War criminal Kissinger’s performance at Davos should be summed up as yet another massive failure of his master’s trademark Divide and Rule.

Ukraine/404 has always been a sort of Rubicon in terms of downsizing Russia (think Brzezinski).

It consumed A LOT of capital – physical and political. It was THE red line – success or failure – setting the stage for the triumph of the NWO and its top secretion, The Great Reset.

Kissinger – even as a mere Rockefeller messenger boy – was at the center of this racket for DECADES. It was Kissinger, under Rockefeller’s orders, that groomed cypto Dr. Evil Klaus Schwab to build the WEF and the Davos ethos.

Even if Davos is a mere outlet for the people who really run the show, the WEF remains the premier Influence Scoundrels club on the planet bent on forcing their agenda all across the spectrum. Still toxic after all these years. Yet now even Kissinger knows it’s bound to fail.

Sitrep Operation Z: ‘The Grind’ is mainly done for now – Donbas Arc lights up like a solar storm

May 24, 2022

by Saker Staff

This is an open thread on the entire Donbas Arc where the ‘grind’ is now paying off and the Russians are running and counting coup, working like a well-orchestrated orchestra.  (Unforgivable hyperbole in writing, but it is quite a thing to watch!).

Over to the commentators to give us the details.

Keep eyes on for confirmation:  UNCONFIRMED but oh boy this would be juicy if confirmed.  How about those Poles?  From Intel Slava:

Against the background of information about the arrival of units in Pavlograd from the territory of Poland, a missile attack was launched on a military facility in the city.

Which object was hit is still unknown. It is likely that the target was precisely the place of concentration of those same armed groups that arrived from Poland.

Pavlograd is the most important transport hub for supplying the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Donbass.

Roads run from it to Pokrovsk, Kurakhovo and Marinka, as well as towards the Kramatorsk-Slavic agglomeration. The railway goes towards Avdiivka.

For now, Readovka’s report and map.

Today from Avdiivka to Estuary Russian Armed Forces and allied forces storm Estuary.  Most of the city has been liberated and serious military operations are underway. The entire Donbass arc is in motion. Ukrainian sources report the withdrawal of troops from Severodonetsk. The main supply routes are under the fire control of the Allied Artillery.

Kharkiv Front. Today, fighting continued in the area of Liptsov, Ternovoye and Rubezhnoye.

Izumo-Luhansk front. In the morning, it was reported that a bridge across the Lugan River was blown up near Svitlodar, then information appeared about the breakthrough of the Allied forces in this direction. Later it became known about the beginning of the assault on Krasny Liman, and about the capture of almost half of the city by the Allied forces.

Russian aviation and artillery are also working in the area of Soledar and Bakhmut (Artemivsk). From the Popasnyansky front, they reported the end of the battles for Toshkovka (in favor of the Allied forces) and successes in the Zolotoe area. The Russian Armed Forces and allied forces storm Zolotoe Positions are occupied at the entrance to the city The 6th Regiment of the People’s Militia of the LPR occupied two streets in Kamyshevakh. Access to the borders of the LPR and DPR from Troitsky was also made.

This morning, the Russian Aerospace Forces launched a missile attack on the railway infrastructure in Korosten, Zhytomyr region. Powerful explosions thundered in Kharkiv and Pavlograd-military facilities were destroyed.

Repulsed provocations of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on our territories. A Ukrainian drone was shot down in the Rostov region. Air defense systems were destroyed APU made an unsuccessful attempt of provocation in the Kursk regionAir defense systems destroyed all air targets in the Kursk region. Anti-aircraft missiles flew into the sky over the Belgorod region in the evening.

Sitrep Operation Z: Yes, it is ‘The Grind’

May 22, 2022

Source

by Saker Staff

This is a short sitrep just to bring the latest information together.  First, Brian Berletic does a fine job of describing the battlefield for us, without drowning it in detail.  He makes a lot of sense and touches on those ‘wonderful M777 howitzers’, which, if we believe the Wurlitzer Media, are making a decisive difference.  Well, they are not.

A summary of Berletic’s update for Russian military operations in Ukraine for May 21, 2022:

  1. Ukrainian militants in the Azovstal steel works have unconditionally surrendered numbering between hundreds (current Red Cross count) to thousands according to Russian sources;
  2. Mariupol has been secured by Russia since mid to late-April – Ukraine finally admits however that its “combat operations” have fully ended;
  3. Russia continues to make progress in the Donbas region – Ukrainian forces are being encircled in Severodonestsk and Lysychansk – the salient around Papasnya is expanding both west and north as part of this major encirclement;
  4. Pentagon admits Russia still poses the majority of its combat power – possess a “numerical advantage” over Ukraine – and is making “slow, uneven” progress, but progress nonetheless;
  5. Kharkov “offensive” has either stalled or is in the process of being rolled back;
  6. US M777 howitzers have been found, tracked, targeted, and destroyed by Russian forces;
  7. Additional attempts to send heavy weapons will face similar technical, tactical, strategic, and manpower challenges;

https://odysee.com/$/embed/russian-ops-in-ukraine-ukraine-losing/c9d121ac03c4c4841aec214bf5a17b178aa4efee

While ‘The Grind’ continues, take a look at Brian’s update in order to fully understand the shape of the battlefield according to Readovka’s short machine translated report:

Kharkiv Front. Medium-intensity fights. The collision occurs in the area of the village of Liptsy and Rubezhnoye.

The Izyum front. One of the most stressful areas. Serious battles are taking place near Kurulka, Velikaya Kamyshevakha, and Dolgenky. The military is heading for the encirclement of the Krasnolimansk group. The front is leaning towards Slavyansk.

Luhansk front. The offensive of groups of fighters continues in several directions from Popasna, the main one of which is now Severodonetsk. Thanks to the destruction of the automobile bridge between Lisichansk and Severodonetsk, the situation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the latter is becoming increasingly difficult. Fighters go to Vozdvizhenka, threatening to cut the route “Artemovsk-Svetlodarsk”, fight in Pilipchatino, directly on the way to Artemovsk. An active clash near the Soledar-Lisichansk highway, a cauldron is being erected for the Gorsky and Zolotoye grouping, battles in Viktorovka, Kamyshevakha, on the approaches to Vrubovka, Toshkovka.

Donetsk front. Heavy fighting continues at Novobakhmutovka and Novoselovka-Vtoroi, as well as near New York. In the area of Marinka and Ugledar, there are no changes yet.

In Russia. They were applied on the villages of the Kursk border area-Tetkino and Popovo-Lezhachi, as reported by the governor of Starovoit. The Ukrainian Armed Forces also shelled Gorlovka, hitting the surrounding villages of Panteleimonovka and Aksenovka. Over Ilovaisk, where a large train with humanitarian aid arrived, was shot down of “Tochka-U”, two women were injured.

What is heartwarming is Graham Philips with a short video essay of Mariupol coming back to life. However, the area was extensively mined, and currently de-mining is underway by the DNR / Russia side, before any journalistic access is permitted.

https://t.me/grahamwphillips/168

The size of the Russian Aid to liberated areas is massive.  The Donbass Aid Train arrived in Ilovaisk. It was formed on the initiative of the All-Russian People’s Front and Russian Railways.  It departed from Moscow, consisted of 68 wagons, of which 27 were intended for the LPR, and 41 for the liberated territories of the DPR. This is more than 2,400 tons of humanitarian cargo: food, personal hygiene products, medicines, flour, stationery, building materials and equipment, generators.

Zelensky babbled on about ‘diplomatic solutions’ but he changes daily, as Lavrov says, depending on what he had to drink or what he smoked.

Remember the Russian Pain Dial?  We’re seeing it being notched up slowly.  Russia bans 963 Americans.  Is this tit for tat?  Not really: it is anything you can do we can triple up on!  The political and diplomatic landscape is heating up and in this next week we will see some of that being reported on.  Major new reveals came in this past week on the biolabs issue.  Pepe Escobar weighs in via his Telegram channel.  https://t.me/c/1394010098/3649

The big news is more tests of Sarmat.  🔎 “…today, they say that air defense does not exist for the Sarmat missile system, and it probably will not exist in the coming decades,” Commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces, Col. Gen. Sergei Karakaev, says.

That is it for today. Enjoy your discussion and be careful with the Ukie propaganda. It is everywhere.

Azov surrenders. Who will be the sacred martyr now?

May 22, 2022

Source

By Batko Milacic

On the night of May 17, after brief negotiations, Ukrainian army units, blocked by Russian troops at Azovstal in Mariupol, began to surrender. Initially, it was announced that the Ukrainian military wanted to hand over to Russia their wounded whose condition in the cellars of a huge factory was hopeless. However, it soon became clear that the entire “Mariupol garrison” as the remnants of the nationalist volunteer regiment “Azov” and the units of the Ukrainian army that had joined it were called by the Kiev-controlled media, were laying down their arms. So, on the morning of May 17, 90 wounded soldiers were pulled out of the basements and were joined by more than 250 healthy, albeit exhausted and filthy fighters. In a few days, that number reached 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers. That’s why we wonder, what fate awaits them and other members of the Ukrainian army who surrender to Russian troops?

For President Zelensky and his team, Azovstal was a kind of a sacred symbol of Mariupol’s resistance. Many hopes were pinned on the Azov Regiment, considered a terrorist organization in Russia. First of all, those in Kiev believed that the nationalists would hold out to the end and die as heroes, especially since in Russia they face a trial. And they will be lucky if it is in Russia, because in the DPR, unlike in the Russian Federation, they have the death penalty. And still, the Azov fighters began to surrender. In the morning, Russian social networks exploded with indignation after it became known that the militants leaving Azovstal had negotiated a bunch of conditions. No prosecution, priority exchange, no video footage and respectful treatment. The fuming Russian patriots soon calmed down though.

First, because the video with the prisoners almost instantly appeared on TV channels, and second, the State Duma adopted an appeal demanding that new prisoners be carefully filtered out and all those involved in war crimes be brought to justice. In addition, the surrender negotiations went too quickly to discuss exchange conditions and other terms at the highest level.

The heroes of “Azov” are also human and just want to live. Even behind bars. This creates very big problems for Kiev, though. The commanders of the Azov Regiment, Svyatoslav Palamar and Denis Prokopenko, two leaders of Ukrainian ultranationalists, also surrendered to the Russian army. In this way, they publicly humiliated all Ukrainian ideology. Until yesterday, they were celebrated as immortal heroes, who swore that they would lay down their lives for Ukraine in the fight against the Russian occupiers. And despite all that – they surrendered to the Russian army.

For official Kiev, only two options were acceptable. The first to liberate Palmar and Prokopenko, along with other Ukrainian soldiers. While the other option was “glorious death”. That is, Palmar and Prokopenko would die in the fight with the Russian army. That would enable Kiev to make Ukrainian anti-Russian heroes out of them. Thus, the fact that the best Ukrainian troops surrendered to the Russian army represents a strong psychological blow to the entire Ukrainian army, especially to the Ukrainian forces in Donbas. When Zelenski saw where things were going, he tried to alleviate the humiliation from Mariupol.

In the face of an imminent surrender, all that the command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces could do was to officially allow the surrender under the pretext of “saving the lives of soldiers.” President Zelensky issued an appeal, stating that “we need Ukrainian heroes alive.” The latter is certainly a lie. After all, if the Russians really exchange the nationalists and they return to Ukraine, the Ukrainian leader will have to explain to his right-wing allies why he did not even try to pull them out of Mariupol.

What Kiev fears the most, however, is that this may have a domino effect. After the fall of the Mariupol Fortress, the garrisons of other cities may also begin to surrender. And this will be the end of the Zelensky regime, at least in the east of the country.

In January 1943, an encrypted message arrived in Stalingrad, besieged by the Red Army. Hitler had sent his personal congratulations to the German commander Friedrich Paulus on being promoted to the rank of field marshal. The same telegram noted that not one German field marshal had been taken prisoner. In fact, it was a direct order to commit suicide. Now, Zelensky would probably like to send the same encryption to Palamar and Prokopenko…

Sitrep Operation Z: The Ukrainian fighters’ will to resist is deteriorating fast

May 20, 2022

Source

by Saker Staff

Khodakovsky’s (commander of Vostok Battalion) noted that they have +1,800 prisoners of war in custody. Another 80-90 surrendered over the past 24 hours and the estimate is that a few hundred is still in the hole.

It is visible! It is palpalable! Morale in the both the Armed Forces of the Ukraine as well as in the general society is dropping like a stone. Soldiers are laying down their weapons, surrendering or simply try to walk home after Azovstal, because the fairy tale, the fantasy of proud and committed nazi soldiers bravely resisting, has shattered. The will to resist from the Ukrainian side is crumbling fast.

These are just a few and reports of Ukrainian forces surrendering are many and increasing.

  • 11 servicemen of the 25th airborne brigade and 17 soldiers of the 54th mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine voluntarily laid down their arms and went over to the side of the DPR – Yevgeny Poddubny 2022-05-18 https://t.me/greatrussia1/8253
  • We are now witnessing the breakdown of Ukrainian forces in the Donbas. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdKWfPLO_Emwqd8HnTOeJkw/community?lb=UgkxXrkzaSFo2aE_q38cwwpgE-XuCwsIT1SC
  • The period of disintegration of the Ukrainian army has begun.  https://voenhronika.ru/publ/vojna_na_ukraine/period_raspada_ukrainskoj_armii_nachalsja_2022/60-1-0-12136
  • We are now witnessing the breakdown of Ukrainian forces in the Donbass.  http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2022/05/they-are-getting-message_18.html
  • RusVesna Reports: There is a mass surrender of Ukrainian soldiers in the LNR against the backdrop of the surrender of the Azov militants from Azovstal: “We want to live,” says a serviceman of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
  • … they were sent to go on the offensive, despite the fact that the commanders had already fled, abandoning their subordinate soldiers. The remaining Ukrainian servicemen surrendered because they “wanted to live”. https://t.me/EurasianChoice/13843
  • War correspondent Yevgeny Poddubny reports that in the DPR, twenty servicemen of the 95th Airborne Assault Brigade of Ukraine voluntarily laid down their arms and surrendered.
  • During the night, five more servicemen from the 95th Air Assault Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine surrendered to the DPR forces.
  • The prisoners said that the command recently used them as ordinary infantry, which was tasked with “being in the trenches and trying to hold back the offensive.”
  • In the trenches, from where the Ukrainian paratroopers surrendered, at least three dozen of their colleagues died, who could not withstand the attacks of artillery and armored vehicles, and then collided with an assault unit of the special forces of the allied forces of the DPR and the Russian Federation. The survivors refused further resistance and raised the white flag.

We can fill a page or two with similar reports.

The rule of thumb is that if you have a competent fighting force of say 600 ‘bayonets’, and 200 walk off the job, either by attrition or by surrender or by simply going awol, the fighting force cannot fight any longer. Yes, they can do a lot of damage still, and as many reports of surrenders as there are, unfortunately, there are as many reports of these forces willy nilly firing on villages and towns, taking over houses and larger structures (schools, hospitals) and hiding behind civilians and non-combatants where Kadyrov’s special forces take them out in brutal hand to hand combat while these combatants torture the civilian inhabitants.

It remains a hard and bloody grind. Yet, cauldrons are forming and the Russian forces continue the grind, day by day, and night by night. Here are some sketches of what looks like four forming now. Cauldrons https://t.me/russianhead/3173

It seems that these settlements have truly now been liberated by Russian forces/LPR National Militias over the last 24 hours as part of the offensive from Popasnaya:

  • Vladimirovka
  • Tripolye
  • Khamyshevaka
  • Vrybovka
  • Zolotoe.

At least in this area of the Lugansk People’s Republic the Ukrainian defense lines are crumbling.  Shoigu confirms:

Shoigu gave an overview of the situation:

Opening speech by the Russian Minister of Defence, General of the Army Sergei Shoigu, at the Russian Defence Ministry Board Session  (https://t.me/mod_russia_en/1749)📑Key points

🔻About the special military operation

▫️ The liberation of the Lugansk People’s Republic is nearing completion. The Ukrainian Armed Forces, trying to delay the advance of Russian troops, are not letting local residents out of cities and towns and are using them as human shield.

▫️ Suffering defeat on the “ground”, the Kiev regime seeks to achieve at least short-term successes in certain areas, passing them off as major ones.

▫️ On the eve of Victory Day, the Ukrainian authorities made an adventurous attempt to seize Snake Island. This dubious action turned out to be a complete failure. Any provocation in the future would be severely dealt with

▫️ The blockade of the Azovstal plant continues. Nationalists blocked inside the plant are actively surrendering. To date, 1,908 people have laid down their arms.

▫️ The Russian Armed Forces are doing all they can to prevent civilian deaths. More than 1,377,000 people have been evacuated to Russia from dangerous regions of the people’s republics, as well as from Ukraine, since the beginning of the special military operation.

▫️ I would like the personnel for their professionalism, courage and heroism in accomplishing the tasks set by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief.

🔻On the situation in the Western strategic direction

▫️ The situation in the Western strategic direction is characterised by growing military threats near Russia’s borders. Over the past eight years, US strategic bomber flights in Europe have increased 15-fold. American ships with guided missiles have entered the Baltic Sea on a systematic basis.

▫️ Finland and Sweden have applied to join NATO. Tensions continue to rise in the Western Military District’s area of responsibility. Adopt adequate countermeasures.

▫️ By the end of the year, 12 military units will have been formed in the Western Military District. The ongoing organisational measures are synchronised with the supply of modern weapons and military equipment to the troops.

🔻On equipping the Aerospace Forces and the Navy with medium- and long-range unmanned aerial vehicle systems

▫️ Unmanned aerial vehicles are actively used by the Armed Forces for a wide range of missions. Over the past 10 years, their flight intensity has increased sevenfold and their annual flight time has risen 23-fold. Since 2015, unmanned aerial vehicles have been monitoring almost all of Syrian territory around the clock.

▫️ During the special military operation in Ukraine, UAVs conduct aerial reconnaissance and carry out selective point-blank strikes against enemy targets in dense urban areas, preventing damage to civilian infrastructure and civilian casualties. Information obtained from UAVs is transmitted in real time to consumers. This enables troops to react quickly to changes in the situation and act as effectively as possible.

▫️ The army and navy continue to receive modern systems with unmanned aerial vehicles for operational purposes.

▫️ Strategic UAVs are expected to be delivered in the near future. Their use will save pilots and significantly reduce the cost of reconnaissance and firing missions by reducing the consumption of ammunition and the resource of aircraft.

Let’s take a quick look at the battlefield through the eyes of the intrepid reporters at Readovka:

The topic of the day was the surrender of the touted “Azovstal hero” radical Sviatoslav Palamar with the call sign Kalina. Our sources reported in the morning that the “manure” was already (https://t.me/readovkanews/34318) in Rostov-on-Don. By evening, however, a video appeared online (https://t.me/russianonwars/701) in which “Kalina” himself was broadcasting that the 85th day of the war was going on, and that he and his command were still at the Azovstal plant. He also talked about some kind of secret special operation. Some authors ironically say that it is most likely a sex change operation.

⚔️ The situation on the fronts remains tense, but the successes of the Allied forces are hard to ignore:

▫️ On the Kharkov front, losses in manpower, equipment, and concentration by Ukrainian forces are beginning to be felt. Today ours were able to liberate (https://t.me/russianonwars/691) Ternovaya near the Russian state border.

▫️Izium front – fighting near Krasny Liman, where up to 1,500 enemy soldiers are under threat of being surrounded. Heavy fighting is going on in the woods near the village of Dolgenkoye.

▫️The Lugansk front is becoming a black mark for the Ukrainian army. Even the commanders on the ground themselves are already telling the top military leadership about the lack of heavy equipment and the incompetence of some leaders. So the 3rd battalion of the 115th brigade of the AFU refused (https://t.me/voenacher/18972) to go into battle near Severodonetsk. Meanwhile, our forces are developing a grandiose offensive from Popasna in several directions – it is not for nothing that they fought so hard for this bridgehead for almost a whole month. It is reported that Allied troops from the north of the city entered (https://t.me/boris_rozhin/49516) Viktorovka, to the south they took (https://t.me/boris_rozhin/49498) Troitskoye, to the northeast they half-cleared Toshkovka, and to the west they are fighting for Pilipchatino. There is also information that our paratroopers have liberated (https://t.me/boris_rozhin/49523) the village of Vladimirovka, near Soledar, and Wagner’s “music” has liberated Tripillya. In fact, all this work that has been done guarantees tight fire control of our artillery over the Soledar-Lisichansk highway. The storming of Severodonetsk does not stop either – the fighters go into battle from three directions at once.

▫️On the Donetsk Front, fighting is taking place near Novoselovka-2 and Novobakhmutovka, as well as on the outskirts of New York – the Avdeevka cauldron continues to “forge”, the front is pushing further away from Gorlovka.

▫️ In Mariupol, more than half of the garrison in bunkers left Azovstal (https://t.me/readovkanews/34327). This was reported by the head of the DNR Denis Pushylin. More than 2,000 heavily armed fighters have now surrendered (https://t.me/readovkanews/34329).

▫️The Southern Front appears to have taken an operational pause to bring in reserves and strike assets. “Courtesies” are being exchanged between artillerymen on both sides.

💣 Our border territories have once again been hit by chaotic Ukrainian shelling. This time it was (https://t.me/readovkanews/34319) the village of Tetkino in the Kursk region, where, according to the governor, one person was killed by shrapnel. In the evening, there was another report from Kursk region that AFU fired mortars at (https://t.me/readovkanews/34397) the villages of Alekseevka and Dronovka.

🚀Air Arrivals. Yasinovataya again received (https://t.me/RtrDonetsk/5970) strikes on civilians by the AFU. They also reached (https://t.me/RtrDonetsk/5953) the settlement of the mine named after them. Lenin. The Petrovsky district of Donetsk was also shelled (https://t.me/readovkanews/34326). There was air defense work in Kherson.

👁From interesting things: swastikas, prayers and pagan rituals – Azov people, who in a hurry left the base near Mariupol, abandoned (https://t.me/readovkanews/34361) all their nationalist paraphernalia on it

👁It’s no secret that stopping the supply of weapons and ammunition to the AFU on the front line is the main task of our army. We found (https://t.me/russianonwars/692) on the net a list of large ammunition depots in the central part of Ukraine, which is definitely worth “calibrating”.

The grind will continue and so will the reconstruction. The Russian government has now created a special office responsible for the restoration of the liberated territories of the Ukraine, says the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Marat Khusnullin.

It is interesting to note also if you read the Russian MoD early morning report, the numbers of military targets being hit, are increasing.  Notable this morning is: 17 Ukrainian Smerch multiple-launch rockets intercepted near Topolskoe, Malaya Kamyshevakha, Snezhkovka in Kharkov Region and Chernobaevka in Kherson Region.

We close with two wonderful reports on the Azovites where the meme: ‘I laughed my Azov’ took root.

Translate this one for sure. It is the journalist Steshin who was on the spot and probably still is.  https://www.kp.ru/daily/27393/4588115/

That is it for today. Enjoy your discussion and be careful with the Ukie propaganda. It is everywhere.

Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Moscow, May 18, 2022 (Extensive)

May 20, 2022

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1813888/

Table of contents

  1. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to attend BRICS Foreign Ministers’ meeting
  2. Sergey Lavrov’s participation in the 100 Questions for the Leader project at the Yevgeny Primakov Gymnasium
  3. Update on Ukraine
  4. Involving minors in Ukrainian nationalist formations
  5. Statement by Western leaders accusing Russia of cyberattacks against the Ukrainian communications infrastructure
  6. EU allegations of Russia’s “responsibility” for global food insecurity
  7. Biological warfare research in Ukraine
  8. Closing Canada’s CBC bureau in Moscow
  9. Situation at the JCPOA reactivation talks
  10. The situation in the Republic of Moldova
  11. Russia’s stance on Cyprus settlement
  12. Growing terrorist activity in Burkina Faso and neighbouring countries
  13. Desecration of Soviet military graves in Gdansk
  14. Desecrating a memorial to Generalissimo Alexander Suvorov’s comrades who died when crossing the Alps in 1799, in the Shollenen Gorge (Switzerland)
  15. 13th International Economic Summit Russia – Islamic World: KazanSummit 2022
  16. 2nd Kostomarov Forum
  17. Eurasian Economic Forum in Bishkek

Answers to media questions:

  1. Russia’s withdrawal from the Council of the Baltic Sea States
  2. The transportation of grain from Ukraine
  3. The death of Al Jazeera journalist
  4. Calls for “regime change” in Russia
  5. Ukraine’s decision to nationalise Russian banks’ property
  6. Russia’s reaction to Finland and Sweden’s decision to join NATO
  7. Mass shooting in the United States
  8. Russian diplomats working in new conditions
  9. Russia’s reaction to the Western embargo on Russian energy exports
  10. Finland’s economic losses
  11. The future of Ukrainian militants who surrendered at Azovstal
  12. Situation with individuals detained in Ukraine
  13. Russia’s stand on NATO membership for Ukraine and Finland
  14. Russia’s response measures to Finland’s NATO membership
  15. Exchange of prisoners in Ukraine
  16. The possibility of Russia-Ukraine talks
  17. Trilateral working group
  18. Meeting of the Armenian-Azerbaijani commission on border delimitation and border security
  19. Acts of vandalism in Nagorno-Karabakh
  20. CSTO response to developments in Afghanistan
  21. Escalation in the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous region of Tajikistan

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to attend BRICS Foreign Ministers’ meeting

On May 19, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will attend a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the BRICS countries via videoconference.

The ministers will review global and regional issues, as well as the problems of maintaining peace and security and settling acute international conflicts. They will focus on coordinating the approaches of the BRICS nations at key multilateral platforms and intensifying cooperation in countering new challenges and threats.

The ministers will review the BRICS strategic partnership in three key areas – political, economic and humanitarian – in the context of preparing for the upcoming 14th summit of the association.

At the initiative of the Chinese Presidency in the Council of Foreign Ministers, a separate session will take place in BRICS-plus format with the participation of the foreign ministers from a number of developing nations.

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Sergey Lavrov’s participation in the 100 Questions for the Leader project at the Yevgeny Primakov Gymnasium

On May 23, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will meet with students at the autonomous non-profit general education organisation Yevgeny Primakov Regional Gymnasium as part of the 100 Questions for the Leader project.

The project represents a special format for trustworthy conversations held by students with famous politicians and outstanding representatives of science, art and sports. It provides a priceless experience for direct dialogue between the rising generation and today’s leaders.

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Update on Ukraine

The special military operation continues in Ukraine. As Russian leaders have said more than once, it is going according to plan, and new territories are being freed from the Nazis every day.

The Ukrainian military personnel and militants in Azov nationalist units that entrenched themselves in the underground bunkers of the Azovstal Plant, began to surrender in Mariupol this week. According to the Russian Defence Ministry, 959 Ukrainian nationalists, including 51 with severe wounds, have laid down their arms over two days. They receive medical aid at the Novoazovsk hospital in the DPR, and the rest were sent to a pretrial detention centre in Yelenovka in the suburbs of Donetsk. Indicatively, on May 17, this centre was shelled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine with multiple launch rocket systems (MLRSs). The Kiev regime has always treated its citizens like this, and this case was no exception.

Russian leaders had repeatedly stated that resistance was senseless and announced the opening of humanitarian corridors for militants and Ukrainian military personnel to leave the Azovstal Plant after laying down their arms. They were urged to stop the hostilities. In the meantime, the Kiev regime was doing all it could to prevent civilians, military personnel and militants from leaving the plant. Why? They were brainwashing the public.

It was Russia that urged the UN to look into this situation and persuade the Kiev regime to let people walk out. Later, Russia organised humanitarian corridors in cooperation with the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross. I would like to emphasise that the initiative on announcing and opening these corridors was ours.

The wounded troops are provided with professional medical help. This fact is being turned upside down and misrepresented in the Ukrainian and international media. Remember the footage showing how the militants and the Armed Forces of Ukraine treat POWs in Ukraine? Everyone saw it. It horrified many, others pretended not to have seen it. Russian POWs were shot to death by militants from the nationalist units that became part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Russia has adopted a different approach. You see footage showing professional help being provided to the wounded [Ukrainian troops]. It is not being provided “for show.” It is provided to real individuals regardless of their background. Humanitarian law is not just something we abide by; it is of fundamental importance for us. No one should have any doubt about this.

According to Ukrainian POWs, the military leadership of Ukraine forbids the troops to retreat or surrender. Their key goal is to destroy as much civilian infrastructure as possible in order to leave behind uninhabitable ruins and make it hard to restore peaceful life. This is not our messaging, but the testimony received from the Ukrainian side over the past weeks.

The nationalists, who have long been using the tactics of ISIS terrorists, do not hesitate to use kindergartens, schools and hospitals as ammunition depots and strongholds. They are not hiding this. They take pictures inside preschools or with preschool buildings in the background to show how they fight there. The civilians are not allowed to evacuate. They are forcing people to leave their apartments so that they can set up firing positions there. They are driving people to basements that are used by militants or as weapons depots. The other day, Ukrainian nationalists began to bring in ammunition and deployed air defence systems on the grounds of the Odessa film studio. The territorial defence force militants go door-to-door in order to identify residents who do not accept the nationalist way of thinking. They are taken away to unknown locations and there’s no information about the fate of many of them.

Earlier, the Zaporozhye administration banned the evacuation of civilians under the pretext of security. All attempts by the citizens to leave the city in private vehicles and on foot are stopped by the territorial defence militants at checkpoints. Those who resist are subjected to physical violence. Their vehicles are seized and they are sent back on foot.

On May 16, Ukrainian nationalists used the Smerch MLRS to attack Kherson’s residential areas. There are no Russian troops in Kherson, which the Ukrainian side is well aware of. This means they specifically targeted civilians in retaliation for supporting Russia’s actions. This is yet another war crime committed by the Kiev regime. Fortunately, all 10 missiles have been intercepted by Russian air defence systems.

Unfortunately, we do not see the international organisations, Western countries or their media respond to the criminal methods used by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. To be sure, it’s because there is no response. Moreover, the Western countries continue massive arms supplies to the Kiev regime. We consider this as direct support for neo-Nazis and an effort to make the fighting last as long as possible. We cannot ignore the fact that Western weapons are used to kill Russian troops and shell Russian territory.

Arms deliveries are running into the billions of dollars which is comparable to military budgets of large states. The United States, Great Britain, France, Canada, Poland and the Baltic countries are doing the most to arm Kiev. Washington alone sent $3.8 billion worth of military equipment to the Kiev regime which is close to the military budgets of Austria, Portugal and Finland. The US Congress is considering a proposal to provide another $40 billion in “aid”, including about $25 billion worth of military equipment. This is half the military budget of Germany and France. I would like to draw the attention of the US public not so much to the size, which is comparable with the military budgets of other countries, as to the needs of the American people. They can put these funds to good use. If this money were sent as subsidies, aid, or sponsorship related in some way to humanitarian aid, one would understand it. But money is being sent to the Kiev regime for it to kill and to continue this phase of the crisis.

More and more weapons abandoned by the Armed Forces of Ukraine are becoming the spoils of war for the People’s Militia of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics and the Armed Forces of Russia. These include Javelin and NLAW ATGMs, Starstreak and Stinger MANPADS, Bayraktar drones, Switchblade loitering munitions, Skynet Longbow EW systems, CAESAR and PzH 2000s self-propelled and M777 towed howitzers.

EU, US and UK officials keep saying that “victory must be achieved on the battlefield,” that “Russia must sustain a strategic defeat” and “cannot be allowed to win.” All these statements, in addition to the trade and economic blockade that has in effect been imposed on our country and the hybrid war unleashed against it, prove once again that the Western countries are waging war against Russia in Ukraine and that Ukraine itself and its citizens are an expendable resource for them. Our Chinese partners used the expression “cannon fodder.”

In their information war, the Western countries resort to outright lies. They are trying to accuse our country of creating a global food shortage. We commented on this many times. Each time we cite facts, figures and other information that cannot be refuted. But nobody is trying to refute them. Western-spread lies are not supposed to be refuted. They are too absurd to comment on. It is forgotten that crisis phenomena in the world food market are linked with the West’s accumulated mistakes and miscalculations in macroeconomic, energy and agricultural policy. The coronavirus pandemic has contributed as well. In the middle of 2020, Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme David Beasley warned about the threat of “famines of biblical proportions.” Unilateral Western sanctions exacerbated this trend. So, millions of people will have to go hungry because of the geopolitical ambitions, egotism and stupidity of the collective West.

At the same time, we are seeing a striving of the Western curators to take out of Ukraine everything that may be of some value. This is also a repetition of history of 80 years ago. Hundreds of grain carriers are crossing the Ukrainian border on the way to Europe. The Kiev regime has organised massive daily exports of agricultural products to Europe in exchange for weapons by road and rail, as well as by river on the Danube to Romania via the port of Ismail.

Think of what is happening. Against the backdrop of statements by the collective West about the imminent famine (the Kiev regime is supposed to trust the West), the leaders of Ukraine are getting rid of food products. Ukrainian citizens need them now. The Armed Forces of Ukraine also need them since the Kiev regime is not going to stop hostilities. However, food products are being sent abroad instead. Where to? To NATO countries. The Ukrainians receive weapons in exchange for these products so that they can continue killing themselves. This is not Nazism. This are even more terrifying maniacal ideas that are even worse than the misanthropic concepts applied to the population of Ukraine, Russia and the rest of the former USSR in the middle of the 20th century.

These are tremendous amounts of grain, maize, oil crops and livestock animals. On May 10 of this year, US President Joseph Biden said that Washington was thinking about ways of exporting from Ukraine 20 million tonnes of grain, supposedly with a view to reducing prices in the world markets. You know how much the United States and the White House care about the needs of hungry people in Africa and Asia, how much they want all people in the world to live a better life, eat well and be wealthier. We know this bewitching American pacifism and striving to do good for everyone. But this is not the case. This is about robbing Ukraine, its citizens and military of the last things they have. Washington obviously is not concerned about what the Ukrainians will be left with after this feast. Ukrainian citizens did not believe us 10 years ago and five years ago. Maybe it’s time to wise up. To realise that they are being deprived of the last things they have. Food products, grain – the results of their labour – are being taken out of the country. When we were in school and university, we were told that the fascists and Nazis hauled away Ukrainian natural soil by railway and this was presented as the supreme manifestation of their hatred for Soviet citizens. Now the logic is even more gruesome – Ukrainian citizens are being deprived of the fruits of their labour at a time when their country is engaged in hostilities.

For our part, we are paying close attention to the humanitarian situation in the liberated areas and facilitating the restoration of peaceful life. Russian military are clearing Ukrainian mines in cities and farming lands. People in the DPR, LPR and a number of regions in Ukraine have already been supplied with 20,000 tonnes of basic necessities, food products, medications and medical devices.

We regret that the United States, Britain and several European countries are supporting and sponsoring those who are preaching in Ukraine the ideas of aggressive nationalism and neo-Nazism. They continue supplying the Kiev regime with arms and robbing the Ukrainian people. However, these efforts will not change the situation.

As the Russian leaders said more than once, Russia will achieve the goals of its military operation on denazifying and demilitarising Ukraine, defending the DPR and the LPR and removing the threats to its own security.

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Involving minors in Ukrainian nationalist formations

As the nationalist formations of Ukraine continue to be driven out of Donbass, new facts have come to light which confirm the involvement of children in these hate-crazed units. We have repeatedly stated that right-wing radical organisations operating under the patronage of the Kiev regime have systematically spread extremism among minors in order to embed the ideas of militant nationalism in Ukrainian society.

Neo-Nazis from Azov began large-scale recruitment of children back in 2015 when, upon the initiative of the National Corps leader Andrey Biletsky, they set up the Youth Corps’ “children’s camps.” In 2015, they took in children aged 9 to 18 and since 2016, 7 to 18.

A military youth wing called National Squads was formed at the National Corps in 2018. Hundreds of young people over the age of 14 joined it. The instructors from Azov taught them how to fight the “enemies of Ukraine,” including with firearms.

The specialised Youth Corps’ needs are covered by the Ukrainian state budget. Does that sound familiar? In 2019, organisations associated with the National Corps received $17,000 to hold events for children and youth. We see it. And we know what kind of values people with Azov insignia on their sleeves and nationalist and neo-Nazi symbols are teaching ​​young people. There are training camps for teenagers such as Azovets, Bukovynets, and Dnepryanin in different parts of the country. Teenagers were lured through social media and messengers.

Eyewitnesses are saying that neo-Nazis from Azov do not limit themselves to “children’s camps” and have expanded their group by bringing aboard minor orphans which fact is corroborated by the situation at the Piligrim orphanage in Mariupol. Azov worked closely with the children from this orphanage training them in combat, including sharp shooting, during eight years beginning in 2014. Reportedly, in 2014, children from Piligrim helped the Ukrainian army dig trenches outside Mariupol and build checkpoints later in October. Residents of Mariupol say that during the events of February-April 2022, the Respublika Piligrim Children’s Rehabilitation Centre was the headquarters of the territorial defence, where militants from Azov and other radical groups were based. There’s video evidence showing that teenagers from Piligrim took part in the hostilities on the side of the neo-Nazis, and also set fire to civilian homes.

“The neo-Nazi Ukrainian group Azov-operated Piligrim orphanage in Mariupol is a prototype of Ukraine that the Nazis wanted to build and what it would inevitably become if it were not for the special operation by the Russian Armed Forces,” Alexey Selivanov, former (until 2014) Advisor to the Defence Minister of Ukraine and Deputy Head of the Main Directorate of the Interior Ministry for the Zaporozhye Region, said. This is what someone who served in the Armed Forces of Ukraine had to say.

According to Selivanov, Piligrim can stand in for all of Ukraine, and the orphanage, in which children were converted into militants, is a clear confirmation of the fact that something drastic had to be done with this Ukrainian project.

These facts clearly show that Ukraine violated its obligations under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child concerning the involvement of children in armed conflicts. When ratifying this international treaty in 2005, Ukraine declared that the minimum age for voluntary (on a contract basis) enlistment into national armed forces was 19.

We call upon relevant international organisations, such as the UN and the OSCE, as well as the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, to pay special attention to Kiev’s involvement of children in criminal neo-Nazi organisations and spreading of radical ideas among minors.

There is no need to pretend that in a surge of patriotism these children went to the barricades in February 2022. They have been trained to make war for many years. And the militants of the nationalist battalions are the ones who did it.

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Statement by Western leaders accusing Russia of cyberattacks against the Ukrainian communications infrastructure

The West continues its attempts to portray Russia as a cyber-aggressor. We perceive the recent statements, made on May 10, 2022, by foreign policy agencies of the United States, the United Kingdom and their allies in precisely this context. These statements accuse Russia of launching cyberattacks against the Ukrainian communications infrastructure in February 2022. Predictably, they did not provide any evidence. As usual, they follow their favourite “highly likely” logic.

Western capitals think of themselves as supreme rulers of cyberspace. They rubberstamp accusations that have nothing to do with reality. They probably believe that they will also get away with this anti-Russia provocation. They think all states will perceive this propaganda as a sufficient reason for bringing to account culprits arbitrarily appointed by the US administration. After depleting the potential of sanctions, they are now resorting to other ploys from their rich cinematographic legacy, including promises to pay handsomely anyone who will testify in favour of Washington’s allegations.

Obviously, the policy of intimidation and deception is called on to camouflage the futile US attempts to impose its own perception of an international political order, to conceal its own flaws regarding protection of personal data, the right to privacy and inability to maintain constructive cooperation between specialised agencies to thwart illegal activities in the IT sphere.  Consequently, they want to continue their long-term digital dictate against the public at home and in other countries and to plunder their intellectual resources with the help of companies and agencies affiliated with security services.

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EU allegations of Russia’s “responsibility” for global food insecurity

The EU, the United States and their supporters have unleashed a campaign accusing Russia of provoking a global food crisis. The main thesis is that Moscow’s actions in Ukraine, including the “blocking” of the Ukrainian grain exports via Black Sea ports, are leading to food shortages and hunger in the world’s poorest countries. We know how the “collective West” is “helping” these countries. They are considering ways to turn ordinary countries into poorest states (by transporting grain to their own countries), and they never or hardly ever think about the poorest countries.

As usual, Brussels is deceiving the international community by openly distorting the reasons for the current situation. The EU is openly trying to use the allegation of Russia’s “responsibility” for the deteriorating global food security to convince other countries to support the anti-Russia policies of the West. They simply tell the countries that have a neutral and balanced position that there is a dire shortage of food in their region and that this situation can be remedied if these countries assume the anti-Russia position. They ask them to sign certain documents, vote the “right way” or make a required statement, saying that this will ensure food supplies. It’s a staple of the genre, not a new invention. At the same time, Brussels is using open blackmail, offering food for loyalty.  It has not yet stooped to heavy-handed interference, but this approach cannot be ruled out in the ideological and political spheres. Countries are being forced to make a choice, and this is being done with media assistance.

Meanwhile, the EU has done nothing to prevent the “Ukrainian crisis” and continues to send weapons to Kiev, which makes it responsible for tensions on the global food market. There are numerous indications of this.

The EU has openly declared a total trade and economic war on Russia. We know that Washington actually pressured the EU into doing this, which the United States has openly admitted and trumpeted. The EU politicians who are advocating and shouting about new sanctions are comfortable with the fact that Russia is a global leader in the supply of basic agricultural products, which have no or very few alternatives, such as grain, barley, sunflower seeds and feed crops, as well as mineral fertilisers, a major share of which are exported to the low-income countries that are facing food shortages. The EU politicians do not care about this, because nobody has ever called them to account.

The disruption of trade, logistics and financial chains and, consequently, a sharp rise in food prices throughout the world are a direct result of the irresponsible adoption of even more anti-Russia restrictions and threats of increased sanctions pressure on Russia. Russia’s bank settlements and flights to and from EU countries have been blocked. Isn’t this a direct cause of the situation on the food market? Only those who live in a vacuum can think so. Brussels has adopted unprecedented restrictions on Russian fertiliser exports and individual sanctions on major Russian fertiliser producers and exporters. The declared goal of this policy is to undermine Russia’s economy, including agriculture, which moved into top gear over the past years. Blinded by their hatred for Russia, nobody stopped to think about the consequences for the countries which traditionally depend on our supplies. When they became aware of what happened, they attempted to shift the blame on Russia. It’s crossing the line beyond good and evil.

Cynically claiming to be concerned about humanitarian matters, Brussels is rushing to offer its help. They simply love to create problem and then break their brains over them. The question is who should tackle the current problem. The so-called “solidarity lanes” plan to improve EU-Ukraine connectivity for grain export, which the European Commission presented the other day, is nothing other than requisitioning. Actually, Brussels has declared a full-scale mobilisation campaign to remove the available Ukrainian grain to the EU. When Ukraine, prompted by the West, shouted about the Holodomor, when grain was taken from producers in a bad harvest year, and presented it as the genocide of Ukrainians, the West applauded and looked for other pretexts to accuse Russia of unimaginable sins. What will it do now? It has announced that “hungry times” are coming. Why are they trying to remove the last remaining grain stocks from Ukraine? This is impossible, but it’s a fact. This is requisitioning.

The EU plan provides for creating alternative lanes to export Ukrainian agricultural produce to the EU and other countries, because the sea route has been blocked through Kiev’s fault. The EU will ease the formalities, expedite the sending of additional freight rolling stock, vessels and lorries to the Ukrainian border for transporting grain, transfer mobile grain loaders, make rail slots available for these exports, and suspend customs duties on Ukrainian exports for a year. Is this a licence to take advantage of Ukraine’s situation? To grab what you can lay your hands on? That’s rich!

Brussels views the large-scale transportation of grain from Ukraine as part of its “fundamental geostrategic goal.” The EU intends to achieve it even though international experts believe that Ukraine’s grain harvest will be much smaller this year. They expect problems in Ukraine, and yet they are taking away its last grain stocks. To present this as a noble act, Brussels has announced that it is guided above all by a desire to protect the world from Russia, which allegedly wants to take advantage of the global insecurity problem it presumably created in the first place, and to “steal” Ukraine’s share on the global market, so as to gain geopolitical weight in its confrontation with the West by supplying food to the most vulnerable poor countries. This is inhuman. We would like to tell our EU neighbours that this is not our but their methods.

The soaring prices of grain, feed crops and fertilisers, not to mention energy, and the unprofitability of farming and fishing businesses were a major concern for the EU member states long before the current crisis. Take a look at your own statements, reports and television shows. In late March 2022, a regular EU summit adopted a decision on the need to ensure food affordability in the member states. Several weeks later, the European Commission presented a detailed initiative on the urgent transportation of 20 million tonnes of Ukrainian grain, which can seriously undermine the food security of Ukraine. However, Brussels, which is being guided by “the worse for Ukraine, the better for the West” principle, is not concerned about that.

We urge the international community not to rise to Western provocations, to accept reality and to rely on facts, since the West is willing to use the global food security problems, which it itself is actively creating and which did not appear yesterday, to attain its time-serving political interests. This is a historical fact. The “collective West” is accusing us because it is “highly likely” that we did it because we “always did it.” They say that we “always” did it, but they are not providing examples, let alone any proof. The West is plundering Ukraine now, just as the colonial West plundered other countries in the past, taking whatever it needed. It is doing exactly the same now.

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Biological warfare research in Ukraine

The Russian Federation has obtained materials indicating that biological laboratories in Ukraine operating with support from the Pentagon’s Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and its affiliated companies – Black and Veatch and CH2M Hill – engaged in biological warfare research in violation of Articles I and IV of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BTWC).

The laboratories conducted research into dangerous and highly dangerous pathogens in the interests of the Pentagon’s National Centre for Medical Intelligence, with the BSL-3 Central Reference Laboratory based at Ukraine’s Mechnikov Anti-Plague Research Institute in Odessa playing the key role in these programmes.

The following research centres were also actively involved in their implementation:

– State Scientific and Research Institute of Laboratory Diagnostics and Veterinary and Sanitary Expertise,  Institute of Veterinary Medicine of the Academy of Agrarian Sciences, and the Central Sanitary and Epidemiological Station of the Ukrainian Ministry of Health in Kiev;

– Research Institute of Epidemiology and Hygiene of the Ukrainian Ministry of Health, State Laboratory of Veterinary Medicine, and Regional Centre for Disease Control and Prevention of the Ukrainian Ministry of Health in Lvov;

– State Regional Laboratory of Veterinary Medicine in Dnepr;

– Regional Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Kherson;

– Sanitary and Epidemiological Station Laboratory in Ternopol;

– Transcarpathian Regional Laboratory Centre of the Ukrainian Ministry of Health in Uzhgorod;

– Regional Laboratory Centre of the Ukrainian Ministry of Health in Vinnitsa;

– National Scientific Centre Institute of Experimental and Clinical Veterinary Medicine in Kharkov.

Thirty Ukrainian laboratories in 14 cities were involved in full-scale biological warfare research in Ukraine. The registration card of the relevant programme was signed by Deputy State Secretary of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Viktor Polishchuk.  The legal framework was provided by the Agreement between the Department of Defenсe of the United States of America and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine Concerning Cooperation in the Area of Prevention of Proliferation of Technology, Pathogens and Expertise That Could be Used in the Development of Biological Weapons.   The RC determined the commissioner of the work – the Pentagon’s Defence Threat Reduction Agency – and a list of biological facilities.

The employees working with dangerous pathogens in Ukraine were US citizens who had diplomatic immunity. The group included biological weapons experts; they established contacts with Ukrainians, who were previously involved in Soviet biological warfare programmes. For example, Project UP-8 studying the Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever and Hantaviruses is evidence that all serious high-hazard research was directly supervised by US specialists.

The documents obtained allow us to state that the Ukrainian biological laboratories (including divisions of the Central Sanitary and Epidemiological Directorate of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry) engaged in activities aimed at enhancing the pathogenic properties of agents inducing plague, anthrax, tularaemia, cholera, and other deadly diseases, using synthetic biology methods.

On February 24, 2022, the Ukrainian Health Ministry publicly issued instructions to immediately dispose of the reserves of dangerous and especially dangerous pathogens stored at biological facilities, which proves that the Kiev regime did try to sweep any traces of these operations under the carpet. The review of the disposal statements confirmed that these facilities worked with the plague, anthrax, leptospirosis, and brucellosis agents. In the Lvov laboratory alone, they destroyed 232 containers of leptospirosis agents, 30 of tularemia, 10 of brucellosis, and 5 containing plague pathogens, and in total, over 320 containers. This inventory, coupled with the excessive quantity of pathogens, demonstrates that we are dealing here with biological weapons programmes carried out in violation of Article 1 of the BWC.

We also obtained evidence that two biological laboratories in Mariupol were working with the Pentagon. The preliminary review of the remaining documents showed that Mariupol served as a regional hub for collecting and classifying cholera agents. The selected strains were then transferred to the Public Health Centre in Kiev, which then forwarded these biological samples to the United States. Carried out since 2014, this activity is evidenced by statements confirming the transfer of the strains. Why did it start in 2014? The reason lies in the anti-constitutional coup. It upended Ukraine’s independence in making decisions, and overseeing and analysing activities of this kind. People from the United States, Canada and other NATO countries flocked to Ukraine to take charge of the main domestic, foreign policy and economic activity and everything related to defence, military and strategic affairs, etc.

A statement was discovered in a sanitary and epidemiological laboratory. Dated February 25, 2022, it provides for the disposal of a collection of pathogenic microorganisms, demonstrating that the facility worked with cholera, tularemia, and anthrax agents.

In the rush to dispose of the inventory, part of it remained in this veterinary laboratory. The fact that it contained agents that are not typically found in livestock, such as typhoid, paratyphoid, and gas gangrene, is quite perplexing. This could mean that this laboratory, too, took part in the biological weapons programme.

We have every reason to assert that the DTRA focused its operations in Ukraine on collecting strains of dangerous microorganisms and exporting them to the United States, as well as studying naturally occurring agents in this region, which can be transmitted to people, with the aim of potentially using them in biological weapons. In 2020, two mobile laboratories arrived in Donbass in order to collect biological samples from the local population, primarily in the country’s eastern regions, and study them. Black and Veatch acted as DTRA’s contractor in this project.

It was with DTRA’s support that the laboratories in Kiev, Kharkov and Odessa in Ukraine took part in the UP-4 project before 2020 to study the transmission of especially dangerous infections (highly pathogenic influenza A H5N1, which has a mortality rate of over 50 percent for humans, as well as the Newcastle Disease, which affects poultry) by wild birds migrating between Ukraine, Russia and other Eastern European countries.

In addition, the documents we obtained show that the United States planned to work on bird, bat and reptile pathogens in Ukraine this year, followed by a study of whether they could transmit the African swine fever and anthrax (P-781, UP-2, UP-9, UP-10 projects). This was a system-wide research effort carried out since at least 2009 and controlled directly by US specialists as part of projects P-382, P-444 and P-568. DTRA’s office head at the US embassy in Kiev was among those overseeing this activity.

One of the goals of the UP-2 project consisted of locating places where animal carcasses had been buried and collecting soil samples from burial sites of cattle infected with anthrax. The epidemiological situation in Ukraine as far as anthrax was concerned was quite positive, which begs the question: What was the Pentagon actually looking for? I would like to remind all geography buffs out there in NATO (we saw incredible people who thought that the Baltic and the Black seas form one big lake) that the United States does not share a border with Ukraine. Even if they want to find one, it is still not there. Attempts by the Pentagon to present this as a national security concern are groundless and do not hold water. But what was the Pentagon doing in the Ukrainian biological laboratories in the first place? The fact that the US military biologists were so keen to study disease-transmitting insects near cattle burial sites was not a coincidence, since during the 2016 anthrax outbreak in Russia there were cases where flies, including horseflies, transmitted the disease.

In addition, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation discovered three drones, equipped with 30-litre containers and sprays, in the Kherson Region on March 9, 2022. In late April 2022, they discovered 10 more devices of this kind near Kakhovka, after Russia released documents demonstrating Ukraine’s attempts to obtain drones equipped with sprays from the maker of the Bayraktars.

More than 4,000 people took part in studies under project UP-8. According to the Bulgarian media, some 20 Ukrainian soldiers died and 200 were hospitalised in the Kharkov laboratory alone during the experiments. The United States cannot carry out this activity on its own territory, so its military carry it out abroad. Where? Where they can, where there are no laws, where there is nobody to implement or enforce the law. This happened to be Ukraine.

It is an established fact that potentially dangerous biological agents were tested on the most vulnerable social group – patients at Kharkov’s regional psychiatric hospital No. 3. We have evidence describing in detail the Pentagon’s inhuman experiments with Ukrainian citizens at psychiatric hospital No. 1 (Strelechye, Kharkov Region).

The research results on the spread of dangerous deadly diseases like cholera, smallpox, anthrax, and botulinum toxins, were sent to military biological centres in the United States. These include the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Naval Medical Research Centre, as well as US Army Biological Warfare Laboratories at Fort Detrick, which used to be the key facilities in the US biological weapons programme. The US virologists focused on analysing the obtained samples to identify gene mutations in the agents and assess their virulence, pathogenic power and resistance to treatment.

Incidentally, about 2,000 blood serum samples taken from Ukrainian citizens of predominantly Slavic ethnic background have been sent to the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. More than 140 containers with bat ectoparasites such as fleas and ticks have been transferred to Germany.

The programmes were financed either directly under DTRA contracts with private American companies (mainly СН2М Hill) as part of the Defence Department’s project to counter especially dangerous pathogens in Ukraine until 2024, or through the Science and Technology Centre in Ukraine. Overall, more than $1.5 billion has been allocated for the implementation of bioprojects over the past 10 years. In particular, the Rosemont Seneca investment fund with financial resources of at least $2.4 billion has been involved in financing this activity. At the same time, it has been found to be closely linked with the main Pentagon contractors, including Metabiota, which, along with Black and Veatch, is the main equipment supplier for Pentagon’s biolabs across the world.

According to reports, DTRA informed the Pentagon in early March that the facilities in Ukraine used by US biological research programmes were a growing danger for European countries due to the hostilities on Ukrainian territory.

Worse still, the experiments with dangerous and highly dangerous pathogens carried out in Ukraine in the interests of the Pentagon had long been attracting attention from Ukrainian nationalist groups. In case of a military defeat, the nationalists could use those materials to implement the so-called scorched earth tactic, which was an additional threat.

Furthermore, during the special military operation, Russia obtained materials that evidenced the deliberate use, in 2020, of a multidrug-resistant tuberculosis pathogen to infect the population, including minors, in the Slavyanoserbsky District of the LPR by distributing flyers that looked like counterfeit banknotes. According to the Lugansk Republican Sanitary and Epidemiological Station report, “… the banknotes have most likely been infected artificially because the sample contains extremely dangerous strains in a concentration that can ensure infection and the development of the tuberculosis process.” The chief physician of the Lugansk Republican TB Prevention Centre has confirmed in a letter that “there are all signs of deliberate, man-made contamination of flyers with highly pathogenic biomaterial.” Do you know what they are testing the Ukrainians’ samples for in the EU? Tuberculosis. Why? Because they know what NATO agencies have been doing there.

DTRA has proposed to the Pentagon chiefs to take additional measures to monitor the epidemiological situation in Ukraine and neighbouring European countries. In case of any infection outbreaks, the recommendation is to immediately accuse the Russian Armed Forces of “attacking research and medical institutions,” or blame “Russian sabotage groups.” They have already established the necessary communication channels with the Pentagon’s partners in Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

According to available information, DTRA demanded that the Ukrainian ministries of defence and health ensure the guaranteed destruction of all remaining materials from the bio-research projects in Ukraine. The people who are now in the EU countries, many of them suffering from tuberculosis, are not victims of airstrikes on Ukrainian research centres used by the Pentagon. They weren’t subjected to any of that. They are just carriers. Because the United States has been carrying out that activity on the territory of the country where they lived. DTRA was afraid the international community would interpret the information about the results of their experiments as a violation of the BTWC by the United States. Most of the documents have been removed from the labs in Kiev, Odessa and Kharkov to the Research Institute of Epidemiology and Hygiene and American diplomatic institutions in Lvov.

The materials obtained by the Russian Federation suggest an unambiguous conclusion that private American companies affiliated with the Pentagon had been supporting the development of bioweapons in labs on the territory of Ukraine in the immediate vicinity of Russia. The urgent destruction of especially dangerous pathogens was required to prevent the discovery of violations of Articles 1 and 4 of the BTWC. This has confirmed the validity of Russia’s repeated claims, in the context of the implementation of the BTWC, about the biological warfare activities the United States and its allies have been conducting in post-Soviet countries.

We are preparing to invoke the mechanisms of Articles 5 and 6 of the BTWC, according to which the states parties must consult one another and cooperate in solving any problems that may arise in relation to the purpose of the Convention or the implementation of its provisions, as well as cooperate in any investigation of possible violations of BTWC obligations.

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Closing Canada’s CBC bureau in Moscow 

With deep regret we continue to note blatant attacks on Russian media in the countries of the “collective West.” They call themselves civilised, developed democracies. Among recent examples is Canada’s ban on the Russian television channels RT and RT France. We said that we would respond. The response would be symmetrical, similar, proportional, it does not matter. But it would be adequate.

We have repeatedly warned that such unilateral restrictive measures that defy the principles of freedom of speech and hinder the work of the Russian media will not be left unanswered. Everybody must realise that our response is inevitable and will happen following any such incident.

In this regard, a decision has been made to respond to Canada’s actions, namely, to close the Moscow bureau of CBC, the Canadian state television of radio broadcasting corporation, including cancelling the accreditations and Russian visas of its journalists.

Unfortunately, it is blatantly clear that the official Ottawa is pursuing an openly Russophobic course. It is understandable. Who had been steering the country’s foreign policy for many years? A person with roots going back to mid-20th century collaborationism. It is clear why they turn a blind eye to neo-Nazism in Ukraine: they were the ones who encouraged it. In addition to direct political, military and financial support of the Kiev regime, the attacks on dissenting views and media censorship have been part of their Russophobic course. Any alternate point of view is always dubbed the Kremlin’s disinformation.

Ottawa’s anti-Russia policy is reflected in the most negative way in the actions of Canada’s state television and radio. In fact, CBC has transformed into the voice of propaganda that distributes fake news and questionable information regarding Russia, consigning journalist ethnics and even elementary rules of decorum to oblivion. We would have put up with that. We did for many years; we ignored or disavowed fake information, disclosed and refuted it. But there have been actual restrictions against Russian media. So, we respond in kind.

Once again, we emphasise that Moscow’s retaliation measures towards the hostile actions of the Trudeau’s government are not aimed against the people of Canada, who our country traditionally respects. The problem is with Canada’s ruling elite and the media that serve it. They are deliberately destroying Russia-Canada relations to the detriment of its own national interests.

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Situation at the JCPOA reactivation talks

Despite a certain lull at the talks in Vienna, the countries, parties to the nuclear deal, as well as US representatives, continue to exert vigorous efforts, while searching for the most effective and mutually acceptable way of resuming the full-fledged implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) under its initial parameters. All the concerned parties realise that there is no alternative to the nuclear deal.

The parties to the negotiating process continue to maintain their contacts. Enrique Mora, Deputy Secretary-General of the European External Action Service and Coordinator of the Joint Commission of the JCPOA, visited Tehran last week. European and Iranian colleagues positively assess the meetings that took place during this visit, and note incipient progress. This instils a certain hope that we have taken one more step towards our main goal, namely ensuring the full-fledged reactivation of the JCPOA.

In turn, we intend to continue doing everything possible to ensure the positive outcome of the talks in Vienna, which require wholehearted efforts from all the participants, including Iran, the United States and European countries. This is our firm and objective position. We are urging all healthy forces to use their energy to preserve the JCPOA and restore the calibrated balance of interests on which it hinges.

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The situation in the Republic of Moldova

We have noted a number of events in Moldova that are a cause for concern.

On May 11, 2022, Moldova’s TV-8 television channel broadcast a Skype interview with Leonid Volkov, a member of the Russian opposition. He is a person of interest in criminal cases that have been opened in Russia, and arrest warrants have been issued for him in CIS member states under the Agreement on Interstate Search for People of December 10, 2010, of which the Republic of Moldova is a party. At the same time, the country stipulates tough broadcasting restrictions for Russian media outlets, claiming “unbalanced” information content provision. Has Moldova banned CNN or BBC broadcasts? Has it banned the websites of the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Financial Times? Or do they provide completely balanced information content?

On May 13, 2022, the Moldova Post said it was temporarily suspending the delivery of all letters and parcels to the Russian Federation, citing “technical reasons.” Over 220,000 Russian citizens now live in Moldova, and Moldovan diaspora in Russia has more than 200,000 members. The Moldova Post’s decision infringes upon the right of Russian and Moldovan residents to maintain business, cultural, humanitarian and personal contacts.

The above-mentioned actions of official Chisinau, as well as some of its other actions and statements, make one doubt that the country’s leadership is really committed to the Republic’s neutral status, to honouring the rights and interests of its residents, as well as to maintaining pragmatic and mutually beneficial partnership with Russia.  I know that Chisinau reacts sensitively to our statements, but we are no less sensitive to their actions.

Although the Moldovan authorities did not announce this, various national agencies are applying Western anti-Russian sanctions in the banking sphere and during the re-export of Russian goods. With the connivance of the Moldovan authorities, protesters have been staging daily anti-Russia rallies near the Russian Embassy in Chisinau for almost 60 days, and these rallies hamper the normal work of the diplomatic mission. A recent outrageous ban on using St George ribbons in the Republic caused a public outcry in Russia and Moldova.

We are once again urging the Moldovan party to refrain from actions that are detrimental to relations with Russia and not to follow in the wake of forces striving to involve the Republic of Moldova in the anti-Russia campaign. This negatively affects the citizens of our countries, in particular.

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Russia’s stance on Cyprus settlement

Once again, we are seeing certain media outlets spreading rumours that Russia is changing its principled stance on the Cyprus settlement. These provocative rumours have nothing to do with reality and pursue just one goal: to discredit our country and its foreign policy.

We have never questioned the principles of the peaceful solution to the Cyprus issue. We continue to consistently support a solution in line with international law and UN Security Council resolutions, which provide for creating a bicommunal bizonal federation with common international identity, sovereignty and citizenship.

Once again, our approach to the situation in Cyprus is widely known and remains unchanged concerning all aspects, including the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFYCIP), which plays an exceptionally important stabilising role in the current environment of uncertainty. We believe it is important to continue the operation of UNFYCIP as it was important to appoint a UN Secretary-General Special Representative in charge of the settlement that reports to the UN Security Council.

I would like to note for Cypriot media that we are always ready to comment on any leaks they may get to prevent misinformation on their pages.

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Growing terrorist activity in Burkina Faso and neighbouring countries

We are concerned about significantly intensified extremist activity in Burkina Faso and increasingly frequent cases of the extremists crossing over to the neighbouring countries.

In particular, on May 14‒16, 2022, a series of attacks on gendarmerie posts and self-defence groups, as well as attacks on a column of civilians near the border with Benin took place in the northern and eastern regions of Burkina Faso. The attacks resulted in more than 40 victims, including among civilians.

Earlier, in the early hours of May 11, 2011, as a result of a large-scale attack from the northern territory of Burkina Faso targeting an advance outpost of the Togolese armed forces, eight members of the military were killed and 13 sustained injuries of different severity levels. This was the first terrorist attack with casualties in the history of the state.

We strongly condemn these crimes and extend our condolences to the loved ones of those killed and wish speedy recovery to the injured.

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Desecration of Soviet military graves in Gdansk

We were outraged by an act of vandalism committed on May 11, 2022, in Gdansk, where perpetrators tore out and damaged 20 stars on the memorials to Soviet liberators on the graves of the Red Army soldiers killed while liberating the city.

The nature of this heinous act is absolutely clear: insulting the memory of the dead is now an integral part of Polish political provocateurs’ arsenal. This latest incident is not a random occasion but part of a deliberate campaign pursued by official Warsaw to disparage everything that is sacred for the people of Russia and those who fought against the brown plague.

Sadly, regular reports on criminal and immoral acts against the Soviet military legacy in Poland have long become ordinary news indicating that Polish officials have unleashed a Russophobic campaign. Recently, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki publicly confessed to his hatred of everything Russian thus revealing the nature of Warsaw’s policy against our country. Or is it just his personal opinion?

We can confidently say that Warsaw, neglecting all moral and international legal norms, has embarked on a course of state-supported vandalism against the memory of Soviet soldiers who gave their lives to save Poland from extermination by Nazis.

We want to remind any frenzied Russophobes that all their barbaric acts and dirty pillaging will not destroy the truth about the Victory. We will not allow it.

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Desecrating a memorial to Generalissimo Alexander Suvorov’s comrades who died when crossing the Alps in 1799, in the Shollenen Gorge (Switzerland)

On May 15, 2022, unidentified individuals desecrated the memorial to Generalissimo Alexander Suvorov’s comrades who died while crossing the Alps in 1799, in the Shollenen Gorge in Switzerland. The memorial cross and inscription were splashed with paint. What did Suvorov do to offend them?

We are deeply outraged by this horrendous act of vandalism. The incident demonstrates the level of culture in Switzerland. It has nothing to do with us. It has everything to do with you and those who stand behind this kind of campaigns, condone them and fail to search for or covers for the perpetrators.

We sent a protest note to the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation demanding that it takes urgent measures to rectify the damage caused, find and prosecute the guilty and ensure proper security of the memorial.

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13th International Economic Summit Russia – Islamic World: KazanSummit 2022

On May 19‒21, 2022, the 13th International Economic Summit Russia – Islamic World: KazanSummit 2022 will take place in Kazan. The event is held under the aegis of the Russia – Islamic World Strategic Vision Group, chaired by President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov.

KazanSummit is a well-established platform for presenting the Russian Federation’s economic opportunities and investment potential to its partners from Islamic countries. It serves as a modern dialogue platform for building new connections between representatives of international organisations, financial institutions and government bodies, embassies, and the senior managers of major Russian and foreign companies. Several events are scheduled on the sidelines of this year’s summit, including Russia Halal Expo 2022, the Machine Engineering Cluster Forum, World Halal Day and festivities marking the 1,100th anniversary of Volga Bulgaria’s adoption of Islam.

Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East Mikhail Bodganov and Ambassador-at-Large Konstantin Shuvalov will take part on behalf of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The 6th OIC Young Diplomats’ Forum (hereinafter the “forum”) will also take place during the summit, to be attended by representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Council of Young Diplomats, as well as invited guests and experts.

The forum will focus on issues of indivisible security, prospects for cooperation with OIC countries, countering new challenges and threats, and the role of young diplomats from the Islamic world in forming a major foreign political agenda. The International Association of Young Diplomats will hold its first induction ceremony.

The forum has been held since 2015, with more than 160 representatives of the OIC foreign ministries and agencies attending over the years. The forum is organised by the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Council of Young Diplomats, the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Academy of Youth Diplomacy public organisation.

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2nd Kostomarov Forum

One of our country’s priorities on the foreign humanitarian track is supporting and promoting the Russian language abroad. The Kostomarov Forum, organised by the Alexander Pushkin State Institute of the Russian Language, significantly contributes to developing international cooperation in this area.

This year, the forum will be held on May 24‒25 and will focus on the role of the Russian language and its functioning in the new conditions created by the information revolution and technological breakthrough of recent decades.

The forum programme includes a presentation of the Pushkin Institute’s research paper, 2021 Russian Language World Index, a panel discussion on preparations for the Year of the Russian Language as a Language of Interethnic Communication Across the CIS, to be held in 2023. The Cyril and Methodius Readings research and practice conference will comprise 30 sessions on sharing experience in linguistics, literature studies, teaching Russian as a foreign language, and social sciences and humanities. A roundtable meeting on the history and modern issues concerning the Cyrillic alphabet will be held. The detailed programme is available on the forum’s website.

Russian and foreign scholars, teachers, literature researchers and journalists, as well as representatives of government bodies, professional and public associations and business organisations are expected to attend.

The forum’s working language is Russian. The event will be held in the hybrid format. Sessions will also be streamed online on its website.

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Eurasian Economic Forum in Bishkek

On May 26, Bishkek will host the Eurasian Economic Forum. Its topic will be ‘Eurasian economic integration at the time of global change. New investment opportunities.’

We expect the forum to serve as a networking platform where businesses, government agencies, academia and experts can discuss the key matters on the development agenda of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), promoting entrepreneurship across its space and green energy, as well as strengthening region-to-region ties and cooperation.

The forum’s main programme includes six panel discussions covering the strategic prospects for Eurasian integration, ensuring economic stability for EAEU member states, manufacturing, agriculture, energy, and transport infrastructure, the digital agenda, as well as new areas of cooperation for the EAEU.

You can register for the forum and explore its programme on its website. You can also follow its online stream.

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Answers to media questions:

Question: Russia withdrew from the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference, citing the lack of dialogue. What is your assessment of the diplomatic contacts in this region?

Maria Zakharova: Let me draw your attention to the statement that we made yesterday announcing Russia’s withdrawal from the Council of the Baltic Sea States.

The situation within the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) has been deteriorating. NATO and EU countries within CBSS rejected equal dialogue and the principles that lie at the very foundation of this regional structure in the Baltic, consistently striving to turn it into a tool of their anti-Russia policy. Illegal and discriminatory decisions have been made in violation of the consensus rule. Russia has been suspended from further participation in the Council’s activities and projects, and Belarus, which has an observer status within the Council, was also suspended.

The CBSS has been riddled with contradictions for a long time now, and we pointed out many of them. You can find this in our briefings, statements and comments. Our former partners sought to politicise the Council’s activity by promoting their own ideology-driven agenda. Russia, in turn, focused on practical cooperation, prioritising stable socioeconomic development for the Baltic region. Unfortunately, the destructive logic of the other side prevailed.

The Western countries – to call them what they are – monopolised the Council for the sake of their momentary interests and they want to make it work against Russia’s interests. They project extra-regional issues onto the Baltic, pressure those who are interested in continuing full and unabridged cooperation, threatening to undermine everything that has been achieved over the past years, as well as regional stability. On May 25, 2022, Kristiansand, Norway, is expected to host the CBSS Ministerial Session without Russia. They de facto stole our contribution to the CBSS budget and refuse to return it, citing sanctions.

We don’t see any prospects for putting the Council back on track. Instead, it is sinking deeper and deeper into Russophobia and lies. We believe staying in the CBSS would be unreasonable and counterproductive for our country. Russia will not participate in turning this organisation into yet another platform for subversion and Western self-admiration.

In response to these hostile acts, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov sent a message to CBSS ministers, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, as well as the Council’s Secretariat in Stockholm to notify them of Russia’s withdrawal from this organisation. At the same time, the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation took the decision to leave the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference.

Ending Russia’s CBSS membership will not affect its regional presence. Attempts to expel our country from the Baltic are doomed to failure. We will continue working with responsible partners and hold events on the key issues on the development agenda of the Baltic region that we all share, as well as to defend and promote the interests of our compatriots.

The current situation within the CBSS rests on the conscience of those who undermined the very foundations of this organisation.

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Question: The United States, the EU and UN have stated they are willing to assist in the removal of grain from Ukraine. Have they discussed these initiatives with Russia?

Maria Zakharova: The EU member states were seriously concerned over the rapid rise in the prices of grain, fodder and fertilisers, let alone energy prices, even before the current crisis, as well as the unprofitability of private farming and fishing. All of this was put in black and white. The EU summit held in late March passed the decision on the need to guarantee, under the existing circumstances, the affordability of food in the EU member countries.  A few weeks later, the European Commission came up with a detailed initiative to this effect (I spoke about it earlier today).

We urge the international community not to succumb to provocations. I have no information confirming that the initiatives I have mentioned were in any manner discussed with Russia.

Question: What can you say about the murder of Al Jazeera’s Shireen Abu Akleh?

Maria Zakharova: This tragedy has stirred up the entire Arab world. Few people remain indifferent to it. The Palestinian journalist was killed in the line of duty as she was selflessly covering an Israeli raid on the refugee camp in Jenin on the West Bank.

Yesterday, while meeting in Moscow with Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), member of the Fatah Central Committee and Head of the General Authority for Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh, Sergey Lavrov expressed condolences on the death of Shireen Abu Akleh and voiced his support of the Palestinian demand to hold an unbiased investigation into her death.

We should focus separately on the outrage that occurred during her funeral, when the military assaulted the people carrying the body and accompanying the funeral procession. I can tell you honestly that I have never seen anything like that.

As for a response to what was going on at the funeral from related international institutions… Were they there?

I would like to note that the lack of progress in the settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the stalemate in the negotiating process repeatedly explode into fierce standoffs that leave in their wake numerous victims among peaceful civilians, including women and children. These tragedies could be avoided by achieving mutually acceptable compromises regarding the final status via a direct dialogue based on the generally recognised international legal framework of Middle East settlement that provides for the creation of an independent Palestinian state. The Russian leaders have repeatedly spoken about this.

Question: How will the Russian Foreign Ministry respond to the Lithuanian Foreign Minister’s call for a regime change in Russia? 

Maria Zakharova: This is an attempt to interfere in Russia’s internal affairs and destroy what remains of our bilateral relations. He is trying to curry favour with his overseas masters.

Mr Landsbergis, who lives in a state that tramples underfoot the basic human rights and freedoms, has clearly forgotten that the Russian President is elected by the people. This has nothing to do with his personal views or his country’s position. But the pathological hatred that he feels for Russia is blurring his vision and depriving him of the last of his reason. Consequently, he can’t see the obvious. This is Russophobia, pure and simple.

Let us take a look at the people who make these statements. We always comment only on statements. But who makes them? They are made by people who have Russophobia in their blood. It is inherited as a specific “legacy” or, possibly, a genetic trait.

I have a lot to say about the Landsbergis regime. They are a dynasty. Let me give you just a few widely available facts. You will understand who I am talking about. All materials are from open sources. They are also available in the archives.

Suffice it to recall the great-grandfather of the current Lithuanian foreign minister, Vytautas Landsbergis-Zemkalnis, who in 1941was the utilities minister in the Ambrazevicius-Brazaitis Government that collaborated with the Nazis. Landsbergis was directly involved in the effort to create concentration camps all over Lithuania, including in Kaunas. He was the Landsbergises regime’s great-grandfather. It was there, at Fort Nine, that on October 29, 1941, the Nazis committed a heinous crime, executing 9,200 Jews, including 4,273 children.

Landsbergis-Zemkalnis also collaborated with Gestapo, the German secret police. After the war, he fled to Australia (which also does not notice neo-Nazism in today’s Ukraine, but has introduced all sorts of sanctions against Russian citizens) but was granted the right to return to the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1959 after he contributed information about other Nazi fugitives to the Soviet security bodies.

The foreign minister’s grandfather, Professor of the Vilnius Philharmonic Society Vytautas Landsbergis, continued the family tradition of conformism and change of political position. He actively collaborated with the USSR secret services: at their recommendation he was appointed the leader of the movement of the Lithuanian intellectuals in support of the perestroika (Sajudis). At his will, it later transformed into a separatist movement for the withdrawal of Lithuania from the USSR. So much for the family.

Vytautas Petkevicius, Landsbergis’s colleague at the Sajudis action group, wrote the following about this grey eminence of Lithuanian politics: “From the very first days, Landsbergis sought to turn the organisation into his pocket political party, with membership, party cards and membership fees.”  In all evidence, he was motivated by his knowledge of the best totalitarian practices. Later he started mixing up Sajudis money with his own. This was something in the liberal economy genre. Still later, contributions from compatriots became this gentleman’s personal money box, a source of payments to his allies, extras for participating in rallies, and funds for foreign travel. The same pocket ate up one million dollars collected by Canadians for Lithuanian orphans and a Norwegian donation to the Lithuanian people. But Landsbergis again managed to get himself out of the mess, declaring that he had created a fund bearing his name.

Autocracy pales in comparison with the Baltic democracies and their representatives. If you only knew how Baltic officials start cringing when you come to citing facts from their biographies or those of their relatives who have directly influenced their civil service promotion or career advancement.  Do you know how much they dislike it? But why are you so embarrassed about it? These are the facts of your biography, and you should be proud of them. We didn’t invent anything. We have just facts and quotes. And you have disproved nothing. So, take it and sign for it.

Question: Could you comment on the Ukrainian authorities’ recent decision to nationalise the property of Russia’s banks VEB and Sberbank?

Maria Zakharova: The Kiev regime stopped caring about the norms and principles of international law and the Ukrainian Constitution long ago, both with regard to its own citizens and those of other states. It is hardly surprising that, on May 12, 2022, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine approved the executive order of President Vladimir Zelensky on the so-called enforced confiscation of Russian property in the country. In effect, this amounts to a brazen theft of assets owned by subsidiaries of Russia’s Sberbank and the State Development Corporation of Russia VEB.RF located in Ukraine. These assets are worth $860 million. This is a continuation of the same logic. However, no one in Kiev has any misgivings about the fact that the nationalised subsidiary banks also manage the money of Ukrainian citizens and legal entities, and that the Ukrainian authorities are simply robbing them.

This unconstitutional escapade of the Kiev regime replicates the worst actions of this kind by Washington, Brussels and London. Let them call it whatever they like. In reality, this is banal theft.

Question: The President of Finland described Vladimir Putin’s response to his country joining NATO as surprisingly calm. How does this calm Russian response tally with the Deputy Foreign Minister’s statement that Russia will not simply reconcile itself to the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO?

Maria Zakharova: This was how the Finnish party perceived reality. You should ask them why they got this impression and whether it was correct. This is their perception. Let’s not confuse things. Everyone has a right to perceive things the way he or she sees fit.

The Russian party has set forth its position regarding the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO. We have published our arguments and statements.

Every state has a sovereign right to choose specific options to ensure its national security. However, no one should ensure its own security at the expense of other countries’ security.

The Russian Federation will respond, and the content of its countermeasures, including military-technical elements, will largely depend on specific NATO membership terms for Finland and Sweden, including the deployment of foreign military bases and strike weapons systems on their territory. Our response will feature less words and more actual steps.

Question: An 18-year-old neo-Nazi who shot at a crowd in the United States sported the insignia of the Azov battalion. Can you comment on this coincidence?

Maria Zakharova: This is not the first mass shooting based on such hatred. It goes without saying that a comprehensive investigation should be conducted, including confirmation of the fact that the shooter used Nazi symbols, the so-called “black sun.”  We saw the video and think that an investigation must be held. This is important because a lot of unverified information is now circulating. Let’s be guided by the facts.

However, the very atmosphere of a deep public fissure in American society, as well as neglected problems of racism and institutionalised violence, due to free access to weapons, generate new manifestations of crime that are horrendous in terms of their scale and the ways they are carried out.

Regarding the link with Nazi symbols and Azov, which you have mentioned, this amounts to the flirtation of the US administration and its security services with neo-Nazis all over the world, with obvious consequences. They forget that all this will also spill over into the United States. In fact, this has already been happening for a long time. If they see nothing unusual in the fact that neo-Nazi ideas are spreading in “client” countries, then why should they be surprised that such symbols are actively used in various US states? The problem lies elsewhere. This isn’t just about symbols, it is about a revival. Many do not grasp the gist of this. We are talking about the actions that these symbols provoke. They explain a person’s planned future actions, and they are like a warning danger sign or a semaphore.  Many perceive this as an endorsement of such symbols and the related actions in the United States. This flirtation, which we have mentioned, leads to such tragic results.

Question: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the 30th Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy that “in the current environment, we are witnessing a serious shift in the mindsets of many of our comrades in all spheres of Russia’s life.” What effect is this having on the staff of the ministry’s central office, the embassies and consulates general?

Maria Zakharova: Like the rest of the country, we have rallied even closer together. Awareness of the historical shift underway in the world, which is life-changing for Russia, has given a fresh impetus to the resolve of our personnel to do their professional duties even more professionally and diligently.

Crises can catch you unawares, when you can’t think straight, feel at a loss and lose heart, or it can give you more inspiration. The latter is our case. We have rallied together and joined forces and efforts to attain the goals set for us by the nation.

The completely unprovoked outbreak of Russophobia in the West, the illegal trade and economic restrictions and the desire to demonise everything Russian have reinforced the belief of our staff and their families that truth, justice and moral probity are on the side of Russia and its people. They have found themselves at the forefront of the political stage, that’s for sure. You can’t imagine the situation they’re living in now and the actions that are being taken against them, from provocations and threats to open violence, psychological pressure and the creating of conditions that those behind these things believe will make their work impossible. We are proud of our people!

They have shown remarkable personality traits, such as comradeship and professionalism. I am referring both to our rank-and-file employees and to the senior officials in our foreign offices, as Sergey Lavrov pointed out.

We are reshuffling our personnel. Those who are returning home will be offered new positions. The relevant departments are regularly reporting on this to the minister.

As for foreign policy guidelines, we have redoubled efforts to strengthen our diplomacy on the eastern track and in Africa, Latin America and the CIS. The results will not be long in coming.

Question: Dmitry Birichevsky, director of the Department of Economic Cooperation at the ministry, noted recently that the EU’s decision to suspend Russian oil and gas imports would have an extremely negative effect on the European and global economies. What effect will this embargo have on Russia? What countermeasures can your ministry take?

Maria Zakharova: The physical volume of Russian hydrocarbon exports has decreased amid the foreign sanctions pressure. However, we believe that our export revenues will at least not decrease, due to rapidly rising oil and gas prices. The so-called embargo, which the EU is now considering, could send oil prices soaring.

Our obvious logical response in this event would be to reorient our oil and gas exports.  This is not an easy task. It will involve changing logistics routes, as well as legal and business matters. Russia is already reorienting its coal, oil and gas export infrastructure towards the East. It is worth noting that energy needs around the world, and especially in the Asia Pacific region, will be growing. We have no doubt about demand for Russian energy resources. The Foreign Ministry is helping Russian companies find counterparties, including in Asia Pacific.

Question: Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has pointed out that joining NATO will not strengthen the security of Sweden and Finland. As for economic ties, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin has made several other unfriendly moves towards Russia, notably regarding the nuclear power plant project with Rosatom. Maybe a picture of possible economic losses should be provided to Helsinki?

Maria Zakharova: Finland is aware of its economic losses because of the European sanctions and our response measures. We regard the decision taken by Finland’s Fennovoima to stop cooperating with Rosatom companies within the framework of the agreement on the construction of the Hanhikivi 1 Nuclear Power Plant as openly politicised. It is obvious that the decision to stop that commercial project was forced on the client by the Finnish authorities, who were pressured by their foreign partners. It is not a coincidence that the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, which is responsible for energy matters, hastily welcomed that decision, which it described as “principled and consistent.” We know very well where such instructions are issued.

Rosatom State Corporation put forth its position on that matter in a May 2 statement. It expressed disappointment at the decision of Fennovoima Oy, which was taken without any detailed consultation with the project’s shareholders, the largest of which is RAOS Voima, which has a 34 percent stake in the project. Rosatom concluded that it reserved the right to defend its interests in accordance with applicable contracts and laws.

Question: Can you provide any information about those who left Azovstal? We know of discussions on a possible exchange on the Ukrainian side. Is there any discussion underway in Russia? We heard that Russian lawmakers are considering reinstating the death penalty for these people. What is the real situation?

Maria Zakharova: This is the competence of the Russian Ministry of Defence. At the same time, we would like to note that all the wounded and seriously injured people and anyone who needs medical assistance has been receiving it. They are in the Novoazovsk hospital in the DPR. The rest have been placed in a pre-trial detention centre in Yelenovka, a suburb of Donetsk.

As for other issues, they will be resolved in due course. At this stage, the most important issue is the safe exit of everyone from Azovstal, and providing them with medical care, other necessary humanitarian assistance and accommodation.

As for other questions, we will certainly provide regular updates.

Question: Is an exchange being discussed?

Maria Zakharova: At this stage, the information I shared is all I have. I have nothing to add.

Our priority, the one we have been stating for three weeks, was their exit from Azovstal. We have persuaded people to come out every day, and made several announcements of humanitarian corridors for everyone including civilians, militants and military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Only now has the Kiev regime allowed them to do so. At the moment, our priorities are their safe exit and the provision of assistance to them. This problem needs to be solved, and it is being solved now.

Question: What happens to those civilians who came out through the humanitarian corridors, but were stopped by the “filtering” procedure? Where are they being held? Will they be entitled to due legal procedure? What are the conditions of where they are kept?

Maria Zakharova: You mean the people who came out – when? Today? Who are exiting now? Those who needed medical assistance are receiving it, or have received it by now. I can check where the rest went, because this matter is the competence of the Russian Ministry of Defence. I promise to find this information. I’ll check and get back to you.

Question: Why does Russia consider Ukraine’s NATO membership and its cooperation with NATO such a big threat, while, according to Sergey Lavrov, Finland’s NATO membership does not have such great importance for Russia?

Maria Zakharova: I do not remember Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov saying it the way you quoted. Let me find the exact quote.

We have long insisted that any expansion of NATO has a bearing on, and significance in the context of global international and, in particular, European security. This was the security guarantees we demanded, because we have seen the alliance expand and reach our borders. You certainly understand the difference between the situations in Finland and Ukraine.

I don’t know, maybe you have some additional information about growing numbers of nationalist battalions in Finland, for example? Maybe dozens of Pentagon biological laboratories are deployed in Finland and experimenting with dangerous pathogens? I am unaware of any information about Finland being pumped full of the same types of weapons that have been supplied to Ukraine under contracts or without contracts to an area of an armed intra-Finnish conflict, but perhaps you know about it? I don’t know anything about it. This is just a brief overview of the differences between Finland and Ukraine in the last decade.

The developments in Ukraine followed a dramatic scenario due to blatant interference by Washington, with the anti-constitutional coup in Kiev being one of the strongest catalysts. Perhaps you have information on a similar revolution in Finland? I don’t know anything about it. This is why the two situations are different, in broad strokes.

The choice of ways to ensure national security is (this is our underlying approach) the sovereign right of each country, but at the same time, it should not be ensured at the expense of other states.

We have no other choice left but to take retaliatory measures. The specifics – including the military-technical aspect – will depend on the terms of Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership, including the deployment of foreign military bases and strike weapon systems on their territory.

As for the differences in our reactions to Finland joining NATO and Ukraine’s ambition to become a member of this military bloc, as the Russian side emphasised earlier, in particular, they stem from Kiev’s decision to include in its doctrinal documents its intention to return Crimea, a sovereign Russian territory, possibly by military means. Finland has no territorial claims to the Russian Federation. There are no documents where it would say it could use any means to return any Russian territory. This is another argument to add to the previous ones.

Question: What kind of military-technical measures does Russia plan to apply to Finland, and what might their timeframe be?

Maria Zakharova: It will be a surprise. A question is for the Defence Ministry. The corresponding decision will factor in the full scope of details and specifics of how Finland’s membership in NATO will unfold. The decision will be made based on all these parameters, and primarily, it will be up to the military.

Question: Is there any discussion on exchanging Azovstal prisoners for the Russian, DPR or LPR soldiers being held captive? We would also like to know something about the fate of Artyom Ryabovichev and Daniil Romanov from a DPR tank brigade. Some Russian journalists wrote about them. According to their reports, they have been prisoners since May 1. Ukrainian militants were torturing them on camera and posting the videos online. Earlier, Ukraine refused to exchange them, saying it would negotiate only with Russia rather than with the DPR. Is the Foreign Ministry aware of the fate of Ryabovichev and Romanov and are there plans to put them on the exchange lists?

Maria Zakharova: Normally, we join in when there are diplomatic relations. After February 24, when Kiev broke off diplomatic relations with Russia and closed the Russian foreign missions in Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry lost its channels for dealing with issues like this. Nevertheless, during the special military operation, these problems are being handled by the Defence Ministry of Russia and Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova. The Foreign Ministry constantly informs them of any case of a Russian citizens being detained in Ukraine. All this information is being consolidated.

We are able to raise these issues at international venues. We put these questions to Kiev’s Western sponsors, drawing their attention to the Ukrainian neo-Nazis’ cruel and inhuman treatment of detained Russian soldiers and of People’s Militia fighters from the DPR and LPR. We demand that the standards of international humanitarian law be rigorously observed with respect to these men. We urge related international organisations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, to take exhaustive measures for their protection, specifically to gain access to them and honestly inform the international community about the results. We hope these efforts will help us find out more about the fate of these two DPR servicemen.

Question: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov went on record as saying that Moscow has information indicating that Ukraine lacks independence at the talks and that it is “guided” by London and Washington. He also said that Russia had received no concrete proposals on Ukraine from the West. Does this mean that Moscow is losing interest in direct negotiations with Ukraine and wants the “collective West” to join the process?

Maria Zakharova: We showed an interest and displayed a lot of patience, an interest in all types of talks, for eight years. We came up with many possible scenarios on how these talks could be conducted. Currently, everything is being decided primarily on the ground.

When Ukraine showed an interest and signaled a desire to hold talks with Russia, we responded. But they started doing all they could to drag out the talks. When there was interest on the Ukrainian side, it was supported by Russia. At this point – the Russian Foreign Ministry and other agencies have commented on this – the Kiev regime is doing everything it can to prevent the talks from being held in a normal negotiating format.

The West has always been behind the Kiev regime, both the current and previous authorities. A “Western hand” has always guided the pen that was allegedly held by any representatives from Kiev. There is nothing new here, no breakthrough.

Question: How would you assess the work of the trilateral working group engaged in unblocking regional economic ties and communications, which is co-chaired by the deputy prime ministers of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan? What stage is the process at now and when can we expect obvious results?

Maria Zakharova: We have high regard for the work of the Trilateral Working Group (TWG). The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan gave similar assessments during their meeting with Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the CIS Foreign Ministers Council meeting in Dushanbe on May 12.

We believe that the unblocking of all transport and economic connections in the South Caucasus is one of the key goals in the context of the effort to normalise Armenian-Azerbaijani relations and, more broadly, to harmonise cooperation in the region.

The TWG co-chairs have regular meetings designed to work out solutions that will suit all sides. Last week, the Russian co-chair, Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Overchuk, visited Yerevan for talks with Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan. Among other things, the officials discussed how to open communications in the region. The co-chairs inform the media of the specific results of the joint work on an individual basis.

Question: Are there any clear agreements between Armenia and Azerbaijan regarding a possible meeting of the Commission on Border Delimitation and Security, where Russia is expected to provide advisory support?

Maria Zakharova: We are consistently advocating the creation of a bilateral commission for the delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, with its subsequent demarcation with Russia’s advisory assistance. Simultaneously, as the trilateral statement from the November 26, 2021 Sochi summit stipulates, steps are to be taken to increase stability and security on the border between the two countries.

This matter was discussed during the trilateral meeting of foreign ministers in Dushanbe. Our partners said they were close to completing the formation of their national delegations. Russia has already built an expert team. We hope that in the near future, we could launch practical work on the delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.

We would like to emphasise that Russia has unique expert potential in border delimitation and settlement of border disputes between post-Soviet countries. We will be happy to share our experience and practices with our Armenian and Azerbaijani friends as part of the commission.

Question: The Azerbaijani side continues to violate the ceasefire on the border. On May 7, at around 1.50 pm, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces fired from different calibre firearms at the Sotk gold mine, injuring one of the mine employees. How would you comment on the Azerbaijani side’s actions against the civilian population?

Maria Zakharova: We are confident that the expeditious launch of the commission on the delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border would effectively prevent any further border incidents. The commission could contribute to developing confidence-building mechanisms, including, for example, by creating contact groups to ensure stability in the border areas.

Question: Recent photos of the Armenian Holy Resurrection Church in Hadrut, a province controlled by the Azerbaijani side, on social media show that its cross has been dismantled and the Armenian inscriptions erased. How would you assess the acts of vandalism against Armenian cultural and religious sites in Nagorno-Karabakh?

Maria Zakharova: I have no information on this score. As Russian representatives have repeatedly emphasised, we call on both parties to preserve the region’s cultural and historical heritage, involving specialised international agencies including UNESCO, if necessary.

Question: The situation in Afghanistan and border security was one of the main issues at the CSTO summit in Moscow. What measures are planned to ensure the security of member countries within the framework of this organisation?

Maria Zakharova: The situation in the CSTO area of responsibility and in the immediate vicinity of our borders makes us be as vigilant as possible and ready, if necessary, to respond timely and appropriately to emerging threats to the security of member nations. This is a task of the organisation.

Pursuant to the instructions given by the leaders at the CSTO Extraordinary Summit on August 23, 2021, CSTO member states prepared proposals for joint response measures to challenges and threats from the territory of Afghanistan. The Russian Federation has proposed a number of specific measures through its foreign policy departments, including:

– Strengthening foreign policy coordination to ensure a unified position of CSTO member states on the political settlement in Afghanistan. Involving representatives of the CIS and SCO secretariats in the meetings of the Working Group on Afghanistan under the CSTO Foreign Ministers Council;

– Intensifying contacts between the CSTO and the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia;

– Stepping up cooperation between the competent agencies and special services of CSTO member states in detecting and neutralising extremist and terrorist cells in the countries of the Organisation;

– Taking a range of preventive measures as part of the unscheduled operations Nayomnik (Mercenary), PROXY and Nelegal (Illegal Alien);

– Focusing Kanal (Channel), a CSTO’s anti-drug operation, on suppressing drug trafficking along the “northern route”;

– Implementing joint measures to counter subversive propaganda by terrorist organisations in cyberspace on the basis of the CSTO’s 2016 List of Additional Measures to Counter International Terrorism and Extremism;

– Increasing cooperation between the CSTO and the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee.

All these measures are being consistently implemented and serve to strengthen the security of all member states of the Organisation, as well as to maintain stability in the region as a whole.

Question: How does the Russian Federation view the escalating tensions in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region of Tajikistan?

Maria Zakharova: We are concerned by the information provided by the official authorities of Tajikistan on the escalation of tensions in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, which, according to reports, was provoked by criminal elements and extremist sympathisers, who joined them. As a result, there were victims and casualties, including among Tajik law enforcement officers.

The Russian Embassy in Dushanbe is in constant contact with the country’s competent authorities. According to preliminary information, there are no Russian citizens among the victims.

The Tajik authorities promise to take the necessary measures to stabilise the situation and ensure the safety of Russian citizens who may be present on the scene.

Sitrep Operation Z: NATO surrenders in Azovstal

May 18, 2022

Source

by Saker Staff with thanks to Pepe Escobar for that prescient title

Nazi Azovites – from rats in a hole to fish in a barrel – This is what denazification looks like!

The New York Times prevaricates as follows:  Ukraine ended its “combat mission” in Mariupol and said fighters were being evacuated, signaling that the battle at a steel plant was over. https://nyti.ms/3sIon9B

Zelensky adds some Ukrainian/Cocainian dreams to that: “The evacuation mission from Azovstal continues. It is led by our military and intelligence officers.”  (OK, Mr PianoDick, they’re being led straight into war criminal prison! – thank your military and intelligence officers for doing the job for the world!)

Dmitry Polyansky says it differently:  “I didn’t know English has so many ways to express a single message: the #Azovnazis have unconditionally surrendered.”

Nightfall did not stop the surrender process.  Ukrainians are still surrendering in crowds without stopping.  Sufficient forces to deal with this are on the terrain and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the DPR are kicking ass and taking prisoners.

Illumination rockets are constantly launched into the sky, which at least somehow facilitates the crawling out of underground inhabitants 🙂

These invincible heroes are emaciated, ragged, hungry and a pitiful sight.

Donetsk Defense HQ – 962 Azovites surrendered and the process continues.  In the meantime, 11 servicemen of the 25th airborne brigade and seventeen of the 54th mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine voluntarily laid down their arms and went over to the side of the DPR.  We hope this is the start of a mass surrender.

This is denazification and movies will be made and books will be written.  After this major loss of prestige, expect a doozy of a false flag.

Starting point today is the MoD report and somewhat reformatted for ease of use.

💥Over a day, high-precision air-based missiles of the Russian Aerospace Forces have hit

  • 2 command posts, including the territorial defense headquarters near Soledar in the Donetsk People’s Republic,
  • as well as 31 areas of concentration of Ukrainian manpower and military equipment, including locations of foreign mercenary units from European countries in Nikolaev and Krasnogorovka.
  • In addition, 2 Ukrainian Su-24 aircraft have been destroyed at a military airfield near Dnepropetrovsk, 1 division of Ukrainian S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems near Nikolaev, as well as 4 ammunition depots for missile and artillery weapons and ammunition of the Ukrainian Armed Forces near Ugledar, Pokrovskoe, Soledar and Bakhmut, Donetsk People’s Republic.

✈️💥Operational-tactical and army aviation have hit

  • 3 command posts,
  • 41 areas of concentration of AFU manpower and military equipment, as well as
  • 1 ammunition depot near Ugledar, Donetsk People’s Republic.
  • The attacks have resulted in the elimination of more than 270 nationalists and up to 54 armoured and motor vehicles.

💥Missile troops and artillery have hit

  • 76 command posts,
  • 421 areas of manpower and military equipment concentration, as well as
  • 147 artillery and mortar units at firing positions, including
  • 1 Ukrainian battery of US-made 155mm M777 howitzers near Pogornoe.
  • 1 pontoon crossing point equipped by Ukrainian Armed Forces to cross the Severskyi Donets River has been destroyed near Protopopovka, Kharkov Region.

💥Russian air defence means have shot down

  • 1 Ukrainian Su-25 aircraft over Tripolie, Donetsk people’s republic.
  • 1 Ukrainian Air Force MiG-29 has been shot down near Kamennaya Yaruga, Kharkov Region.
  • 15 Ukrainian UAVs have been shot down near Semenovka, Velikie Prokhody, Balakleya, Malye Prokhody, Velikaya Kamyshevakha in Kharkov Region, Rudnichnyi, Grabskoe, Staromikhailovka, Volnoe in Donetsk People’s Republic, Belyaevka, Chernobaevka in Kherson Region.
  • 8 Ukrainian Smerch multiple-launch rockets have been also intercepted near Kamenka and Malaya Kamyshevakha, Kharkov Region.

Not too shabby for a day’s work. And they will repeat it, and repeat it, and rinse, and repeat it again.

Secrets from Azovstal and surroundings are beginning to be revealed.  There will be many!

How the OSCE mission cooperated with the Azov terrorists

The filming crew of IA “Arbelet” was the first to visit the territory where the OSCE mission in Mariupol was located. Among other valuable finds, they found two mortar positions, equipped directly near the mission’s administrative building. The mortars themselves and their ammunition are of Italian origin, as evidenced by the markings. Another noteworthy fact: the last delivery of the Italian BC is dated March 11, 2022.

Do ordinary Italians know that their authorities are helping outright terrorists of the national battalions? How will the OSCE comment on the fact that they were in clear collusion with the terrorists, allowing “Azov” to fire from their territory? How, after these facts, will the OSCE be able to clean up their reputation at all?

(Sidebar:  Do you now understand why Russia is leaving international organizations?  Simple, these organizations are corrupt to the extent that they cannot be reformed but they have to be broken.  Mr Lavrov today is meeting with SCO Secretary-General Ming where new structures are being built.)

Update from Brian Berletic:  He views the canoodling from western sources and he hoists them on their own petard.  Do take a listen, specifically Brian’s explanation of how the Russian command and soldiers keep certain areas ‘fixed’.

Here is another example of such a ‘fix’. The Russian army attacked Ukrainian defense facilities in the Odessa region with precision weapons from the Black Sea. This information is confirmed by the Ukrainian operational command “South”. https://t.me/intelslava/29149

(Sidebar:  Today in Odessa – On this day “Russian Spring”

May 18, 2014 – “Odessa is a Russian city”, “Donbass – we are with you” – such slogans sounded at the House of Trade Unions in Odessa.

Hundreds of protesters with Russian flags and banners of the Victory came out not only to honor the memory of those killed in the May 2 tragedy, but also to show the Ukrainian Nazis that Odessans are Russian people who are not afraid of the Kyiv punishers.)

Is the Russian SMO beginning to touch hearts and minds?  Remember the stories that Russia underestimated the willingness of the Ukrainian people to support the denazification. 

Telescoping into the current pic on a map­ we see that cauldrons do not come in onesies any longer but in threes:

Readovka on the fronts

Kharkiv Front. The fighting in the area of Kazachya Lopan and the village of Liptsy is of a positional nature. The enemy in the area of Ternovka reached the border MASS MEDIA: Ukrainian Armed Forces have reached the Russian-Ukrainian border in Kharkiv region. Ukraine conducted a counterattack in the north-east of the Russian Federation, and is also probing the positions of the Russian Armed Forces in the area of Volchansk. The Russian Armed Forces do not conduct active offensive operations in the Kharkiv direction.

On the Izyum part of the front, fighting continues in the area of Kamyshevakha, Kurulka and Dolgenky. The enemy continues to try to strain the flank of the Russian group to the north-west of Izyum, forcing the Seversky Donets. In the Slavic direction, the troops took Drobyshevo and Krasny Liman in a semicircle. The front also approached Svyatogorsk.

In the Luhansk-Donetsk part of the front, fighting continues in the area of Kamyshevakha, north of Popasna. There are also battles for Toshkovka. There are attempts to enter the flank and rear of the fortified area in Gorsky and Zolotoy. Fighting continues on the outskirts of Severodonetsk, as well as to the west of Lisichansk in the area of Privolye and Belogorovka. According to unconfirmed reports, Russian troops occupied the town of New York.

On the Zaporozhye part of the front without any special changes. An attempt by the Ukrainian Armed Forces to attack in the area of Malinovka ended in failure and heavy losses. The battles here are of a positional nature all the way from Gulyai-Pole to Velikaya Novoselovka. The enemy is moving part of the reserves from the Zaporizhia direction to the Donbass, where the situation for the Severodonetsk group is rapidly deteriorating. Heavy fighting continues in the area of Novomikhailovka and Ugledar.

On the Southern Front, the development of the offensive is not yet taking place. The Ukrainian Armed Forces are waiting for the landing of Russian troops in the Odessa region and are working on mining the entire coast. In the Nikopol and Kryvyi Rih directions, the Ukrainian command is accumulating forces to uncover weaknesses in the Russian positions.

On arrival, it is already traditional – the APU shelled Petrovsky district Ukrainian Armed Forces shelled Petrovsky district of Donetsk.  The shell hit the school grounds Donetsk, a shell hit the school territory. The Ukrainian side also shelled the outskirts of Kherson, which resulted in the death of one civilian.

SmoothieX12 is correct when he says that the only battle that the Ukrainians know, is the battle taught to them by their NATO advisors, which is to shell civilian territory and hide behind civilians.

The battlefront is still in a relatively chaotic state, but Russia is now forming and shaping it.

Let’s take a look at Martyanov’s levels of war as we can categorize from this handy depiction:

Finland and Sweden formally submit applications to join NATO – currently, it is harassment but may well move up the scale to major operations.  We cannot say where Russia will stop.

FM Lavrov: “Ukraine… No one wants Ukraine. They are an expendable country in this hybrid war against Russian Federation. No one has doubts anymore”.   The language from Russian sources has changed and they now say clearly that Ukraine is a tool and the fight is against Russia by the West.

Weapons

Russian self-propelled howitzers “Msta-S” and “Acacia-M” are being put to good use and they destroy armored vehicles and fortified positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.  Distance of fire is up to 30 km and they use high-explosive fragmentation projectiles that can destroy buried concrete fortifications of the enemy. https://t.me/intelslava/29140

Incoming weapons.  On the Polish-Ukrainian border, seven South African-made Mamba Mk2 EE armored vehicles transferred to Ukraine by Estonia as military assistance were seen. These vehicles were specifically produced for the Estonian army.

We have to conclude if we can see these armored vehicles via telegram channel on the Polish border, then the Russian forces can see them too.  And ditto for all other incoming weapons.

There are smaller reports of new Russian artillery weapons appearing in the field of battle, but it is limited as yet.

Major Fail, other than war. 

Washington failed to get the summit with the ASEAN countries to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

ASEAN nations are Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.

Another failure of freezing funds:  Switzerland released $6.33 billion of Russia’s frozen funds.

We end with biolabs

Russia’s First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy gives key takeaways from the last UN Security Council meeting on US biolabs in Ukraine:

  1. The US refuses to explain its engagement in military bio activities in Ukraine. Keeps shrugging off several hundred pages of evidence. “These are all lies and Russia’s propaganda, and we are good guys because it can’t be otherwise”. Not a word on the point of discussion.
  2. Western delegations are praising the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and calling on us to make use of its mechanisms. They fail to mention however that it is the US who is blocking the elaboration of BWC verification mechanism. Such a hypocricy!
  3. The US refuses to explain why it doesn’t want an effective international verification mechanism for bio weapons. Why act like this unless you are trying to conceal something? Why does Washington position itself above the international law? American exceptionalism at its best.

Main conclusion: we have definitely hit their soft spot. It’s clear for any unbiased observer that they are obscuring the issue and trying to divert attention from this uncomfortable topic trying to discourage us to raise it by repeating mantras on “Russian aggression” etc.

So stay tuned, there’s more evidence on US military biological programs to follow!

Top level headline in China’s Global Times today:  ‘Neo-Nazism’ poisons Ukraine, Europe under US, West’s connivance

That is it for today. Enjoy your discussion and be careful with the Ukie propaganda. It is everywhere.

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