Important for DPR & LPR People – Their Determination by Coming to the Elections by Ruslan Ostashko

November 10, 2018

Translated and captioned by Leo. Make sure to press CC for English captions.

The closer we get to the planned elections in the Republics of Donbass, the louder Ukraine and its Western sponsors are screaming. Like, the declaration of will is illegal, because it is not provided by the Minsk agreements. For this, Russia is pressuring its own line, from which it is not going to back up on.

Diplomatic picks between the West and Russia are growing as they approach November 11. Here is from a recent article:

“OSCE Special Representative, Martin Saidik, believes that the elections scheduled for November 11 in the self-proclaimed republics of Donbass do not correspond to the ‘spirit nor letter of the Minsk agreements.’”

Let me remind you, the OSCE is the very organization whose deaf-blind and silent observers that are still unable to notice that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are constantly violating the truce. In response to attacks from this organization and other Western structures, the Russian representative stressed that the elections are legitimate.

“The election of the heads of the self-proclaimed republics in the Donbass does not contradict the Minsk agreements, as they deal only with local government bodies,” said Russia’s permanent representative of the Minsk agreement, Boris Gryzlov.

He noted that “this is not the election of local governments, written in the Minsk agreements, it is the election of heads and people’s councils in the republics of Donbass, necessary for the management of territories, ensuring the daily lives of people in this situation.”

Gryzlov did not miss the opportunity to kick the “Ukraine is Europe” supporters. He recalled that it was Kiev that for more than three years has been delaying a political settlement of the conflict.

In general, there’s nothing new. It is worth noting here that in order to confirm the position of the Republics of Donbass, which Russia shares, we need a high voter turnout. Actually, we have absolutely no difference for whom the inhabitants of the DPR and the LPR will vote for, the main thing is for them to come. It is no secret how much the people of Donbass are tired of this sluggish war and the general situation of uncertainty. The elections will be a step towards resolving this situation – making changes.

You can, of course, criticize the authorities of the Republics, which did not allow some candidates to be elected before, but, by and large, doesn’t have a big impact. It is important that the residents of both Republics confirm their determination to build their lives according to their own project, which is radically different from the Ukrainian “Svidomo” (national conscious).

The activity of people on tragic occasions like the funeral of the murdered head of the DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko, shows that this determination has not gone away. Remember how many people were parting with the leader of the Republic? [Estimates of 200,000 – ed]

Now it is time to show the same unity for a much more positive reason. If the residents of Donbass appear in large numbers at the voting stations, they will again hit the “Ukraine is Europe” tales about the “Russian occupation”. And our diplomats will receive another argument that can be beat on the tinsel of “partners”, pointing to the high involvement of the residents of the DPR and the LPR in democratic procedures.

By the way, whoever is shoved as president of Ukraine, the transparency and the number of irregularities in the elections in Donbass can later be later compared with similar parameters of the expression of will of Ukrainians “who have not yet escaped from Sumeria”. I believe that the comparison will be in favor of Donetsk and Lugansk, and not Kiev.

In short, elections are necessary for the Donbass, these elections are important, and I hope that the people are aware of this, and therefore will appear at the voting stations. Ukrainian Nazis will not gain power over the DPR and LPR by force under any circumstances – this is already clear. But in the modern world, it would be nice to back up strength with support of the will of the citizens. It is never bad to have this kind of extra support.

The Non-Existent Sea of Azov Crisis

Via The Saker

The Non-Existent Sea of Azov Crisis

November 02, 2018

By Rostislav Ishchenko
Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard

cross posted with http://www.stalkerzone.org/rostislav-ishchenko-the-non-existent-sea-of-azov-crisis/
source: https://ukraina.ru/opinion/20181101/1021618870.html

After the resolution of the European parliament that, contrary to international law and common sense, condemned the actions of Russia in the Sea of Azov, Ukraine cheered up and achieved the bringing of the question concerning elections in the DPR/LPR to the consideration of the UN Security Council.

Russia couldn’t block the introduction of this issue into the agenda both for moral and long-term political reasons.

The fact is that Moscow in 2015 also tried to obtain, and actually did obtain, the approval of the Minsk Agreements via the decision of the UN Security Council. This allowed to put Ukraine on the hook of international legitimacy. Kiev, which desired to jump away from the topic, couldn’t state any more that it doesn’t consider itself to be bound to any agreement with “terrorist-separatists” and that it isn’t obligated to them at all. The decision of the Security Council also enshrined that Russia isn’t a party to the conflict. Kiev after this shouted a lot, caused a fuss, sabotaged the implementation of all without exception points of the Minsk Agreements, but didn’t at all dare to officially withdraw from them.

But every coin has two sides, it is possible to find something bad in any good situation, and in any bad situation – something good. The same thing applies here: cementing its position via the decision of the Security Council, Russia couldn’t, without suffering serious reputation losses, deny the Security Council its right to consider the implementation of the decisions approved by its resolution.

Of course, the Security Council couldn’t adopt an anti-Russian or anti-Donbass resolution in connection with the existence of Russia’s veto. But the 5 member countries of the Security Council (France, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and Great Britain) made a statement of non-recognition of the elections being prepared in Donbass and urged Russia to cancel them. The statement was supported by Germany, Italy, and Belgium. It is strange that there was no America among the declarants. However, this allows to present the statement as the collective position of the European Union, while Washington receives the opportunity to later express itself in support of its allies, but in the meantime to make one more attempt to carry out behind-closed-doors bargaining with Moscow.

Both parties are formally right. Ukraine and its Euro-American intercessors specify that elections in Donbass, according to the Minsk Agreements, have to take place under Ukrainian laws, but Minsk will be violated if they take place now. The People’s Republics, whose position Russia supports, state that this may of course be true, but Ukraine long ago had to adopt a whole complex of acts and carry out other measures, including disengaging troops and ceasing shelling before the turn of the People’s Republics to observe the Ukrainian electoral laws comes.

Judging by separate passages of the speech of the Russian envoy in the UN Security Council, Moscow suggests to consider these elections as the simple legitimation of the heads of the republics, who, unlike their predecessors, weren’t elected by anybody. The West is proposed to look at these elections as the solution to a purely technical problem. Moscow has a trump card on its side  – the fact that the head of the DPR Zakharchenko was killed and charges of organising murder were brought to official Kiev structures.

Europe, however, didn’t want to accept the arguments of Russia, which is demonstrated by the statement of 8 EU states. This, of course, can be the usual diplomatic demarche without consequences — occupying an advantageous position for bargaining in the great global game. But there can also be more serious undertakings that as a result will lead to the realisation of Kiev’s dream of disavowing Minsk, but for reasons that are not at all joyful for Ukraine.

We remember that Germany and France weren’t at all afflicted when Russia froze meetings in the Normandy Format until Ukraine took a more constructive position. They sighed freely, because Kiev bothered them worse than a bitter radish, and sat down in the first row of the parterre to see how Volker will get out of the situation. But they remain guarantors of the Minsk Agreements. It is clear to all that Minsk will never be fulfilled. Kiev doesn’t hide from the West that it is afraid of a domino effect if Donbass is given special status. But Paris and Berlin can’t just say “we changed our mind, Minsk doesn’t work any more”. It is for this same reason that Russia can’t deny the UN Security Council its right to periodically consider the question of implementing the Minsk Agreements. France and Germany themselves insisted on these agreements, they participated in their development, they declared that this is their big victory. The political losses that both countries and their leaders will incur if they change their position will be too great.

France and Germany need to have a pretext to free themselves from the obligation of solving the Ukrainian crisis. If it is impossible to withdraw from the agreements at their own will, and if it is impossible to allow it to be disrupted by a Kiev supported by the West, then it is necessary to shift the blame onto Russia and the People’s Republics.

The West perfectly understands that the refusal under obvious pressure to hold elections in the People’s Republics will cause essential damage to Russia’s international authority. That’s why it acts maximally publicly, up to the level of collective statements following the results of the UN Security Council meeting, closing for Moscow the option of changing its mind and once again “postponing” elections. After the elections have taken place, the West can refuse to recognise Pushilin and Pasechnik as negotiators in connection with the non-recognition of the elections that they were elected in. Also the powers of other delegates signed by them during negotiations can also not be recognised. This is enough to bury the Minsk process under an absolutely plausible excuse.

But if indeed the West does this, then it won’t be done to start a new round of negotiations and reach compromises that are more acceptable for Kiev. If there was the desire to save Ukraine, then it would be enough for Germany to stop the construction of “Nord Stream-2” and not prevent Poland from paralysing the work of “Nord Stream-1”. The geopolitical situation surrounding Kiev would immediately significantly change, and the chances – albeit tiny – of lasting at least 5 years while Russia searches for new markets and delivery routes for its gas would sharply grow for the regime. But Germany initially didn’t plan to opt for such sacrifices, which indeed granted us [Russians – ed] the right to affirm that the destiny of Ukraine, in principle, has been decided, therefore it is better for the Kiev regime to immediately die because long agony only increases the torture.

The West in general, and Europe in particular, needs to jump away from the toxic topic, because it is already clear that Russia will soon raise the question of who will pay for the restoration of Ukraine, like how it already raised such a question concerning Syria. By the time that such a question will be asked by Moscow, it is necessary not to have any formal connections with the Ukrainian crisis. The destruction of the Minsk and Normandy Formats — formally not due to their own fault — allows France and Germany to distance themselves from the problem, while at the same time keeping their finger on the pulse. After all, Poland, Hungary, and Romania won’t be able to avoid border problems connected with their minorities in the West of Ukraine. This means that the EU will anyway be involved in a settlement. But Germany and France will be free from obligations and will be able to dictate to their younger partners in the EU the conditions of support for their position, threatening to leave them alone with their problem in the event of obstinacy.

The Azov crisis should be considered from the same point of view. The West didn’t notice this problem during a year, and then suddenly the European Parliament started to care about it, while even Ukraine recognises that although the economic losses from Russia’s actions in the Sea of Azov and big, Moscow acts in full accordance with international standards – no violations of protocols by Russian customs groups were documented.

There is nothing extraordinary about Russia’s actions. The US examined the vessels going to Cuba not only in the days of the Caribbean Crisis. Israel examined the vessels going to Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, which even caused a diplomatic incident and the cooling of earlier excellent relations with Turkey. It is possible to give a plethora of examples: a warship’s right to examine a trade vessel in the high sea is the ABC of international law.

Nevertheless, the European Parliament started talking about a possible aggravation in the Sea of Azov and began to threaten with sanctions.

Who will aggravate? Russia has no need to do this, Ukraine can’t, and there isn’t anyone else there. Sofa “experts” already started talking about the entrance of the “NATO fleet” in the Sea of Azov. Those who are cleverer speak about its entrance in the Black Sea, understanding that a warship can only pass in the Sea of Azov with the permission of Russia, and a breakthrough – moreover, by a whole “NATO fleet” – equals war. In addition, large ships anyway can’t breakthrough there, but small cutter boats and dinghies can be brought to the Sea of Azov by Ukraine via land routes without any NATO. But this won’t change anything since Russia can sink everything that floats on this sea. This water area is completely exposed to barrelled artillery fire from the coast, not to mention missile systems. If someone wants to launch a war against Russia, then they will find a more convenient place than the Sea of Azov.

NATO ships, for the purpose of flying the flag, entered, enter, and will continue to enter the Black Sea. The Sea Breeze exercises are staged there annually, but, having an unsinkable “aircraft carrier” named Crimea, Moscow reliably dominates in its water area so much so that a hypothetical attack of Russia using the forces of a really large squadron or shock aircraft carrier grouping is possible no closer than from the region of the Aegean Sea. In the Black Sea a fleet hostile to Russia becomes too vulnerable. Because of Crimea it has nowhere to manoeuvre, and it can’t quickly leave in case of danger – a large grouping of ships can’t overcome the Turkish straits overnight.

So all of this is a fairy tale in favour of idle chatter. The non-existent Azov crisis is invented, on the one hand, for the purpose of mobilising Russophobic voters in the EU for the European Parliament elections in May, 2019, and on the other hand — this noise masks the real actions of the West, and allows it to drift away from Ukraine, imitating its comprehensive support.

Otherwise it is difficult to explain why the West didn’t see the danger of the situation being aggravated during a whole year (when it really existed), but saw it precisely now when the problem was solved. The fishermen of “Nord” were exchanged for the Ukrainian poachers lassoed by Russia. It is only left to exchange captains, then vessels, and then the crisis will fizzle out. Especially if Kiev doesn’t forget to return “Mekhanik Pogodin” after “Nord”.

By the way, apparently Kiev started to suspect that something was amiss, because the comments of Ukrainian officials concerning the Azov crisis were wonderfully weighted, especially against the background of the West’s hysterics. The Kiev regime doesn’t even want to denounce the agreement on the status of the Sea of Azov, contrary to its habit of disrupting all agreements with Russia. However, the regime is now concentrated on destroying the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and creating a pocket “local church”. It is too busy for the Sea of Azov.

War 4 Years On – the Outlook for Lugansk People’s Republic

October 29, 2018

by GH Eliason for The Saker Blog

Leonid Pasechnik, the acting Head of Lugansk People’s Republic (LNR)has been in office for almost one year. With the state of his reforms in LNR, you want to judge him against leaders of countries at peace, not as one that just formed in the middle of a war four years ago.

For the last thirty years, Donbass was neglected in Ukraine. The infrastructure across Ukraine was bad, but in Donbass it was notorious. Key infrastructure like the water supply has been neglected since 1983.

Political Leaders and oligarchs from what would become LNR historically were only interested in what they could take out of the region. Donbass coal and industry historically provided the basis of Ukrainian wealth. No other region contributed as much and no one including Victor Yanukovych had any interest in investing any of that money back in the region to build it up.

Pasechnik is providing a marked difference. During what is still considered nation building, his interim administration is taking the economic and social problems in the newly formed republic head-on.

In the spring of 2018, his administration introduced their five-year socio-economic development plan called “Our Choice.” His administration included input from 70,000 LNR residents to make sure people’s concerns about the future are addressed as reforms go forward.

LNR’s Current Outlook

For the last four years, LNR has worked to build a lasting peace. Fulfilling their side of the Minsk Agreements LDNR (Lugansk &Donetsk People’s Republics) negotiated with Poroshenko’s regime has been a key part deciding what direction the republic is taking. Kiev hasn’t attempted to fulfill any point agreed to and tries to use the agreement to beat Russia over the head within the US and the EU.

The often overlooked part of the Minsk agreement in the west is Ukraine is not negotiating with Russia. Russia is a guarantor for the agreement the same as the EU is, nothing more. If Poroshenko had any intention of reintegrating Donbass, Ukraine would negotiate in good faith and keep its word. This hasn’t happened.

Because of this, Pasechnik’s government recognizes the fact that until the government in Ukraine changes, real negotiation and progress remain impossible. For Ukraine to be taken seriously, decentralization in the form of federalization will have to take place. Ukraine will also have to start creating the conditions for building an economy in all its regions.

Even in view of this LNR has consistently fulfilled its part of the Minsk agreements.

The West’s Shortsighted Spectacle

Unfortunately, even recent history shows there is no reason to take any offer Ukrainian nationalists make or are part of negotiating seriously. Poroshenko is only after sound bites and not substance. Pravy Sektor nationalist leader Dimka Yarosh has announced he is pulling his troops away from the front line to monitor Ukrainian elections. Ultra-nationalists monitoring elections? Yeah, this should go well.

In a recent interview with Ukrainian “Novoye Vremya,” Condoleezza Rice commented it was “bad” that the world was starting to believe Russia’s version of what was going on in Donbass.

At the end of the day, world leaders still have to believe somebody. After four years of looking at the diplomatic and economic train wreck, Ukraine has evolved into, they have no reason to believe Ukraine.

Instead of becoming the promised European model they could all look to, Ukraine has taken away every safety net even marginal civilizations provide for their people. Manufacturing is gone and instead of working through internal issues, the new government attacked its powerhouse region in Donbass. LNR and DNR provided a lion’s share of wealth because of the coal industry and manufacturing. The nation’s most important engineering universities are ensconced in the capitals because of this.

That isn’t something the EU or the rest of the world can take lightly. With no possibility of recovery in the near to mid future, Ukraine’s only hope is to find work in Europe. Ukrainians making it to Europe are finding low paying bottom tier work as well as the illegal sex trade.

Under Donald Trump, there is no reason to believe the US would be willing to take in violent nationalists from a country that tried to destroy his candidacy and his presidency.

All of this is the result of Poroshenko’s Ukraine destroying every possible growth industry it had including rocket engines, weapons, and technologies, and traded that for giant corporate farms. Agribusiness giants and agro-holdings companies are the big growth areas but provide no jobs.

The outlook for Ukraine is very poor for the foreseeable future unless drastic policy changes are implemented.

When you contrast this to what LNR is accomplishing under Leonid Pasechnik, it’s easy to see why Condi Rice is so upset.

Lugansk People’s Republic’s Reform Renaissance

It’s easy to argue renaissance is too strong a term to use for the reforms going on in LNR because there is a war going on. The infrastructure and economy have taken serious hits over the past four years. Nineteen bridges have taken extensive damage or collapsed in LNR hampering transportation. Roads were also shelled and in many areas need to be rebuilt.

On top of this, starting at day one, Pasechnik’s government had to fight the civil war as well as the systemic corruption that had not been touched by his predecessor. It’s very difficult to imagine a government starting out with a weaker hand.

In the short time Pasechnik has been in office, his government not only formulated a five-year plan, but they also started implementing it in a grand way. It started with building an energy bridge to power the steel mill in Alchevsk. High voltage transmission lines were installed that not only allowed the plants to go into production, but they are also increasing production and hiring plant workers. Business is opening in other manufacturing sectors because the government has been able to negotiate its way around sanctions to a small degree. In the garment industry, this is creating jobs.

Large-scale road work and bridge work has commenced and the bridge connecting Lugansk to Donetsk is complete. Part of the 5-year plan is to restore the railways for large-scale transportation to service commerce and commuters. Pasechnik just announced fuel prices in LNR will be dropping to Russian levels. This is while a war is being fought.

Water has been an issue for the last four years and part of LNR’s water supply is purchased from Ukraine. Pasechnik has ordered pipelines from LNR’s own aquifers be rebuilt to solve this problem. Redundancy is a consideration for the design of the project. If one water main is down for repair or maintenance, a second water main will be put in use according to the building specifications.

The farming industry was in tatters because of the war. The current government is working to increase yields of high-quality grains like wheat. LNR has achieved food security for the republic. This by itself is an incredible feat given the fluidity of the situation with the civil war.

As part of the reforms, Pasechnik ordered the customs borders be taken down between LNR and DNR on April 1, 2018. DNR still needs to reciprocate but it is only logical considering how closely both republics need to cooperate.

Along with all these concrete reforms, LNR is also writing new equitable laws to replace the old corpus. More importantly, reformation of the judicial system is underway. Currently, the family courts are complete and work has begun on Supreme Court reform.

It is easy to see why Condoleezza Rice would be a little upset when little tiny upstart countries believe in federalized representative governance and can build a society even with all the stumbling blocks and chaff the US and Europe throw at it. While Ukraine, Rice’s model of what a European country should be, looks anemic by comparison.

It’s easy to have the support of the EU and the USA and make these reforms when they give you billions of dollars to do so. It’s certainly easier to jumpstart an economy when the economic zones are in safe areas.

Pashichnik and his political party Peace for Lugansk (Мир Луганщине) have shown the world they can do it on their own. This is what former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice is concerned Russia will tell the world.

We’re going to start exploring the reforms listed above as well as others going on in depth. We’ll also get to know his party and the other political parties in LNR. I like looking at concrete results and Pasechnik is providing that in a substantial way.

After being here from before the beginning of Kiev’s Euromaidan coup, you get a little-jaded writing about politics and political leaders. From my perspective, it’s a shame he and his party wasn’t elected in the first place. I believe both republics would be in a better place.

After taking a real look at this overview, how do political leaders where you live measure up?

The Lies Of Our (Financial) Times

By James Petras

October 06, 2018 Information Clearing House   The leading financial publications have misled their political and investor subscribers of emerging crises and military defeats which have precipitated catastrophic political and economic losses.

The most egregious example is the Financial Times (FT) a publication which is widely read by the business and financial elite.

In this essay we will proceed by outlining the larger political context that sets the framework for the transformation of the FT from a relatively objective purveyor of world news into a propagator of wars and failed economic policies.

In part two we will discuss several case studies which illustrate the dramatic shifts from a prudent business publication to a rabid military advocate, from a well-researched analyst of economic policies to an ideologue of the worst speculative investors.

The decay of the quality of its reportage is accompanied by the bastardization of language. Concepts are distorted; meanings are emptied of their cognitive sense; and vitriol covers crimes and misdemeanors.

We will conclude by discussing how and why the ‘respectable’ media have affected real world political and market outcomes for citizens and investors.

Political and Economic Context

The decay of the FT cannot be separated from the global political and economic transformations in which it publishes and circulates. The demise of the Soviet Union, the pillage of Russia’s economy throughout the 1990s and the US declaration of a unipolar world were celebrated by the FT as great success stories for ‘western values’. The US and EU annexation of Eastern Europe, the Balkan and Baltic states led to the deep corruption and decay of journalistic narratives.

The FT willing embraced every violation of the Gorbachev-Reagan agreements and NATO’s march to the borders of Russia. The militarization of US foreign policy was accompanied by the FT conversion to a military interpreter of what it dubbed the ‘transition to democratization’.

The language of the FT reportage combined democratic rhetoric with an embrace of military practices. This became the hallmark for all future coverage and editorializing. The FT military policies extended from Europe to the Middle East, the Caucasus, North Africa and the Gulf States.

The FT joined the yellow press in describing military power grabs, including the overthrow of political adversaries, as ‘transitions to democracy’ and the creation of ‘open societies’.

The unanimity of the liberal and right-wing publications in support of western imperialism precluded any understanding of the enormous political and economic costs which ensued.

To protect itself from its most egregious ideological foibles, the FT included ‘insurance clauses’, to cover for catastrophic authoritarian outcomes. For example they advised western political leaders to promote military interventions and, by the way, with ‘democratic transitions’.

When it became evident that US-NATO wars did not lead to happy endings but turned into prolonged insurgencies, or when western clients turned into corrupt tyrants, the FT claimed that this was not what they meant by a ‘democratic transition’ – this was not their version of “free markets and free votes”.

The Financial and Military Times (?)

The militarization of the FT led it to embrace a military definition of political reality. The human and especially the economic costs, the lost markets, investments and resources were subordinated to the military outcomes of ‘wars against terrorism’ and ‘Russian authoritarianism’.

Each and every Financial Times report and editorial promoting western military interventions over the past two decades resulted in large scale, long-term economic losses.

The FT supported the US war against Iraq which led to the ending of important billion-dollar oil deals (oil for food) signed off with President Saddam Hussein. The subsequent US occupation precluded a subsequent revival of the oil industry. The US appointed client regime pillaged the multi-billion dollar reconstruction programs – costing US and EU taxpayers and depriving Iraqis of basic necessities.

Insurgent militias, including ISIS, gained control over half the country and precluded the entry of any new investment.

The US and FT backed western client regimes organized rigged election outcomes and looted the treasury of oil revenues, arousing the wrath of the population lacking electricity, potable water and other necessities.

The FT backed war, occupation and control of Iraq was an unmitigated disaster.

Similar outcomes resulted from the FT support for the invasions of Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Yemen.

For example the FT propagated the story that the Taliban was providing sanctuary for bin Laden’s planning the terror assault in the US (9/11).

In fact, the Afghan leaders offered to turn over the US suspect, if they were offered evidence. Washington rejected the offer, invaded Kabul and the FT joined the chorus backing the so-called ‘war on terrorism which led to an unending, one trillion-dollar war.

Libya signed off to a disarmament and multi-billion-dollar oil agreement with the US in 2003. In 2011 the US and its western allies bombed Libya, murdered Gaddafi, totally destroyed civil society and undermined the US/EU oil agreements. The FT backed the war but decried the outcome. The FT followed a familiar ploy; promoting military invasions and then, after the fact, criticizing the economic disasters.

The FT led the media charge in favor of the western proxy war against Syria: savaging the legitimate government and praising the mercenary terrorists, which it dubbed ‘rebels’ and ‘militants’ – dubious terms for US and EU financed operatives.

Millions of refugees, resulting from western wars in Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq fled to Europe seeking refuge. FT described the imperial holocaust – the ‘dilemmas of Europe’. The FT bemoaned the rise of the anti-immigrant parties but never assumed responsibility for the wars which forced the millions to flee to the west.

The FT columnists prattle about ‘western values’ and criticize the ‘far right’ but abjured any sustained attack of Israel’s daily massacre of Palestinians. Instead readers get a dose of weekly puff pieces concerning Israeli politics with nary a mention of Zionist power over US foreign policy.

FT: Sanctions, Plots and Crises — Russia, China and Iran

The FT like all the prestigious media propaganda sheets have taken a leading role in US conflicts with Russia, China and Iran.

For years the scribes in the FT stable have discovered (or invented) “crises” in China’s economy- always claiming it was on the verge of an economic doomsday. Contrary to the FT, China has been growing at four times the rate of the US; ignoring the critics it built a global infrastructure system instead of the multi-wars backed by the journalist war mongers.

When China innovates, the FT harps on techno theft — ignoring US economic decline.

The FT boasts it writes “without fear and without favor” which translates into serving imperial powers voluntarily.

When the US sanctions China we are told by the FT that Washington is correcting China’s abusive statist policies. Because China does not impose military outposts to match the eight hundred US military bases on five continents, the FT invents what it calls ‘debt colonialism” apparently describing Beijing’s financing large-scale productive infrastructure projects.

The perverse logic of the FT extends to Russia. To cover up for the US financed coup in the Ukraine it converted a separatist movement in Donbass into a Russian land grab. In the same way a free election in Crimea is described as Kremlin annexation.

The FT provides the language of the declining western imperial empires.

Independent, democratic Russia, free of western pillage and electoral meddling is labelled “authoritarian”; social welfare which serves to decrease inequality is denigrated as ‘populism’ —linked to the far right. Without evidence or independent verification, the FT fabricates Putinesque poison plots in England and Bashar Assad poison gas conspiracies in Syria.

Conclusion

The FT has chosen to adopt a military line which has led to a long series of financially disastrous wars. The FT support of sanctions has cost oil companies billions of dollars, euros and pounds. The sanctions, it backed, have broken global networks.

The FT has adopted ideological postures that threaten supply chains between the West, China, Iran and Russia. The FT writes in many tongues but it has failed to inform its financial readers that it bears some responsibility for markets which are under siege.

There is unquestionably a need to overhaul the name and purpose of the FT. One journalist who was close to the editors suggests it should be called the “Military Times” – the voice of a declining empire.

James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York. 

“World War III” and the American Switcheroo

The Saker

October 06, 2018

“World War III” and the American Switcheroo

By Ollie Richardson for The Saker Blog

The person reading this article has most likely seen some form of re-enactment of a Roman trireme navigating some waters and being surrounded by fog, not being able to see further than 1km around them and thus possessing limited knowledge about what lies beyond the “draw distance” provided by their cerebrum. It is this fear (and handicap when it comes to survival) that pushed such ancient civilisations to improve the technology that they possess in order to reduce the risk that sailing the seas bears. The discovery of optics, mathematics, construction techniques, iron and metal works, physics, even astronomy brought the horizon within an arm’s reach and allowed vessels and their captains to become even more ambitious with their plans.

Even though at the time of writing this article it is late 2018 and we now have laptops that are almost paper-thin and electric cars that are almost noiseless, this fear of what may or may not exist beyond either the visible or proverbial horizon has not disappeared anywhere. But the manner in which it is expressed has acquired a more sophisticated character. If 28,000 years ago the human used cave drawings to pass on information about alleged dangers to their successors, then today the human uses contemporary means of mass communication to broadcast similar information about threats to survival. For example, in a recent article posted on the “strategic culture” website there is the following headline: “US Switching to Ukraine as Location to Start World War III Against Russia”. Now the title by itself is rather frightening, let’s agree. If one is seeing the expression “World War III” for the first time and they choose to use the digital library search engine known as “Google” to acquire some “knowledge” about this term, then they almost certainly will require a change of underwear. To illustrate matters, let’s refer to the image below:

http://www.stalkerzone.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/World-War-III.jpg
In a word: horrifying! We can see a whole city being blown to smithereens, with a fireball that would surely make the sun look like a coin in comparison. So a connection is made: “World War III” equals fire and explosions. But it is unlikely that the inquisitive person’s curiosity will end here. As is the case when someone drives past the scene of a car accident, it is seemingly impossible to not look. This fear, or more precisely – the fear of death (not knowing what happens when life ends), speaks to us and says: “Look, look, look!”. So, after satisfying the need to read more about this “World War III” by reading the information presented in the article, we learn that because Russia reached an agreement with some other countries over Idlib and America gave 2 boats to Kiev, this “World War III” will now not start in Syria, but in Ukraine!

But wait just a minute here, because the notion of cities being engulfed by fireballs is very serious and there is the chance that it might involve death… lots of death… And since descriptions of this “World War III” give the impression that it won’t be just one street or town that may be affected, but entire cities, regions, or maybe nations, one’s wish to have more specific details leaves one in a bit of a pickle, because it follows from the information in the specified article that there is fog on the horizon when it comes to providing specific details. So, without further ado, let’s pull out our modern-day equivalent of a “spyglass” and do some basic reconnaissance before running for the ejector seat and escaping to the moon.

On September 27th the US did indeed give Ukraine 2 vessels. According to the current President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko’s website, they are Island-class patrol boats. I.e., coast guard ships.

http://www.stalkerzone.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/1538076589-7857.jpeg
However, there was a caveat with the handing over of the boats: “America handed over the vessels for free but Ukraine will pay an estimated $10 million for their renovation in Baltimore, Maryland, where they will remain until, likely, next fall”. Ah, so already we are starting to see the real nature of this “generous gesture”. If we remember, in 2018 France reached an agreement with Kiev over the sale of 55 Airbus helicopters, which consists of “21 repurposed H225s, and 10 brand new H145s and 24 H125”. I.e., non-combat helicopters. Poroshenko’s propaganda machine, which consists of the media outlets that he personally directly owns and the agencies that are under his control, did not publicise the fact that most of the helicopters are second-hand. Furthermore, America was jealousof the fact that France was able to swindle Kiev in such a way. And back in 2017 there was the Javelin fiasco, where the US government was mulling (according to the media) over giving “Javelins” to Kiev. It was then reported in December, 2017 that Trump had given the green light for the sending of Javelins, but all we know from that moment is that they were “tested” by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in May, 2018 in Western Ukraine. However, many tabloid spin machines (for example) were adamant that the delivery of these Javelins signalled the beginning of this “World War III”. And they weren’t alone in this hysteria: social media “experts” pressed the “panic” button in unison and decided that if Russia didn’t drop Tsar Bomba on Kiev, it was game over. For them it doesn’t matter that the DPR/LPR don’t use tanks anymore because of the Minsk Agreements and what is happening in Donbass today can hardly be called a “war” (in a war there are offensives, not cowardly shelling on residential areas from a safe area, trying to bait Russia into responding).

But shock horror, as of the time of writing these Javelins have never been used outside the training ground near Lvov, something that your humble servant already predicted long ago. One would think that if Russia is so “aggressive”, as Kiev claims, and Ukraine’s economy is being decimated by “Russian troops”, then there would be some urgency concerning using these Javelins in order to repel the aggressor. But no…

So coming back to the topic of these boats: knowing that Poroshenko is willing to literally pay the Trump administration thousands of dollars just for a fake meeting that will give his Euromaidan and Banderist electorate back home the illusions that “America stands with us”, it is more than likely that this was yet another PR stunt concocted by Poroshenko’s campaign HQ, which has also authored the “autocephaly“, “Russian aggression in the Azov Sea“, and “termination of the Treaty of Friendship” bullet points of his 2019 Presidential electoral campaign.

So how can these splendid vessels be, as the author of the aforementioned “World War III” article put it, exploited “for use against Russia”? Well the first problem here is that Ukraine has no money. Yes, it is more than bankrupt. Its GDP is now exclusively being used to pay back the money that the West lent to it at extortionate interest rates. As soon as a hyrnia enters the coffers, it is immediately dispatched abroad. In fact, its GDP has been substituted with IMF/World Bank/EU/US loans – something that Greece is very familiar with. In fact, Ukraine’s economy makes most African countries look like paradises.

Secondly, the conveyor of the information about “World War III” being launched in Ukraine cites a comment made by a Mr Ryan Zinke, who is the US Secretary of the Interior. Yes, precisely Secretary of the Interior, and nothing else. For reasons that rhyme with “clickbait” various publications (for example) decided to report “US Hints At Naval Blockade Of Russian Energy Exports”. Again, the comment was made by the Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, at an “industry event in Pittsburgh hosted by the Consumer Energy Alliance”. And even if such a statement was made by the White House, so what? After decade upon decade of blah blah blah about how they are going to do this and that to Russia, actions never follow. After all, dumping a few tomahawks on empty warehouses in Syria (both “attacks” were coordinated with Russia beforehand because Washington is very afraid of its own incompetence) is not only a sign of weakness, but also actually helps Russia’s operations in Syria (the “democratic and just wolf” showed the “aggressive Bear” that behind the facade is a scared and futile puppy).

Thirdly, the events in the Azov Sea in the month of September can hardly be described as “war” or even fisticuffs. The fact is that Russian pilots were allowed to come onboard Ukrainian ships to help them navigate through the shallow waters of the Azov Sea. Does this sound like something a country would do if it were indeed “at war” with an “aggressor”? Here are two more referrals that cite other Ukrainians who debunked Poroshenko’s PR stunt: Link 1and Link 2.

So now onto the topic of Syria and the Idlib conundrum. On September 4th Donald Trump did indeed tweet the following:

“President Bashar al-Assad of Syria must not recklessly attack Idlib Province. The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy. Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed. Don’t let that happen!”

Yes, Trump tweeted. But what does it mean? The tweet in itself is designed for internal consumption, of course. I.e., for GI Joe Americans to feel like America is still powerful and can flex its muscles anywhere in the globe. The precise reason why no strike followed and Russia and Turkey instead reached an agreement to avoid another Sarin spectacle is beyond the scope of this article, but it can be summarised as international law (not the R2P version, but the S-400 version) triumphing over chaotization (the new format of the R2P version of international law). Furthermore, America would risk a direct war with Russia on Syrian soil no more than it would on Ukrainian soil. I.e., not at all. Assad already won in Idlib (and in the war in general) when Russian jets touched down at Hmeymim in 2015. This event gave impetus to processes that could not be stopped neither by token Israeli airstrikes at alleged “Hezbollah” cow sheds nor by Tomahawk PR extravaganzas. Thus, the actual cleaning of the city from jihadist filth is merely a formality, and by all accounts Nusra & Co are doing a pretty good job already – infighting, a lack of support, and Turkish arm twisting are softening the city itself up for the inevitable 2019 final deal (based on the terms of the Russia-Turkey-Iran axis) regarding Idlib. Thus, Russia is in no hurry to resolve the Idlib question, especially when Iran can launch missiles directly over America’s head in Eastern Syria (Albu Kamal).

It must be stated (once again) that at no point in the Syrian war (2011 onwards) was a direct clash between Russia and America an option. There is the misconception (or wishful thinking) that “the US Government was setting Syria up as the place to start WW III”, but this implies not only that the US government is suicidally unaware that it would be utterly annihilated if it decided to raise the stakes to the skies, but also that the UN is frozen in 2002, when a mock vial of anthrax was all that was needed to bulldoze Middle Eastern country “X”. And whilst America is “setting up Syria” for the “WW III” bonanza, do other processes stop? Does Nord Stream-2, the Silk Road, Turkish Stream, BRICS (T?), SCO, EEU, etc just freeze in time?

Also, if the US was “setting Syria up as the place to start WW III”, does it mean that: a) Assad helped America to “set up” Syria since it was his (and those of his father) socio-economic policies (free handouts + overpopulation) that weakened Syria enough for Wahhabism to grab it by the throat? And if the US was “also setting up Ukraine as an alternative possibility” for nuclear war, does that mean Ukraine’s problems started only when America started to do this? Or are things more complicated, and the roots of Syria’s and Ukraine’s problems extend beyond 2011 and 2014 respectively? Moreover, the causes of these problems are multi-faceted and have different layers of complexity. They are not just “America vs Russia” chess games. In fact, it is quicker to enumerate the countries that AREN’T meddling in Syria or Ukraine. And each party has their own interests and objectives (we are not in the 2002 Iraq/Afghanistan invasion era where the West is a single consolidated bloc dancing to Tel Aviv’s tune).

Lastly, as was touched on in passing earlier, the situation in Donbass is far from being what it was in even 2016. The Ukrainian Armed Forces (and its comrade “volunteer” battalions) and the mainstream Ukrainian society (those who were duped by the Euromaidan spectacle, didn’t fully commit to the idea that Russia is an aggressor, and slowly experience moments of clarity when they witness how their bank balance diminishes every month) is completely exhausted from what has happened not just in the zone of the “Anti-terrorist operation”, but also nationwide as a whole. And here the fact that various DPR political figures have already launched their electoral campaigns for the November 11th elections is very indicative of where priorities now lie. It is clear that America gave Poroshenko the green light to concentrate on the new front in the churches (replacing the old, failed one in Donbass).

And on this front there is an increased chance that Russia may indeed “do something” and intervene in one way or another, as the Minsk Agreements was designed to allow Russia to freeze the situation in Ukraine that arose in 2014 and enter Syria without overexposing its rear. We are now in 2018, fast approaching 2019, and Moscow’s operation in Syria is de facto complete. It was succeeded to keep Syrian statehood intact and to firmly remind Tel Aviv that there is a new sheriff – invited by the legitimate president of Syria! – in the town called “MENA”. Whether the OSCE will be obliged to protect Ukrainian canonical churches from the Banderist hoardes that are already trying to seize churches despite “Autocephaly” not yet being granted, unless the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is playing Poroshenko like a fiddle?

If the West is going to use Ukraine to do something “against Russia”, it will merely be an extension of what we have already seen: since reality has proven that defeating Russia militarily is a pipedream, Ukraine acts like a fifth-column battering ram designed to incite Russian society (and as much of the peripheral post-Soviet space as possible) against Putin. The Kremlin reacted quickly to save Crimea from the “love” of “Right Sector”, and the Minsk Agreements solved the problem of saving Donbass without giving America what it wanted – Russian troops inside Ukraine. Putin knows much more than you the reader or I know when it comes to what is best for the Russian nation, and it’s not a coincidence that he regularly meets with the President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko. The West’s attempts to turn this former Soviet Republic into another anti-Russia battering ram continue unabated, and the work of NGOs (both Soros-funded and non-Soros-funded) to subvert Belarusian society won’t stop just because the West is having an economic crisis.

However, the modern color revolution scheme that was tried and test in Egypt with the “Twitter revolution” has one major flaw – if the financial situation of the working man and woman is stable (assuming that the West’s toxic NGO’s haven’t already infected their brains and convinced them that the “dictator” represses them because they don’t have the latest sports car or Armani bag), then inciting them (along with the village people who are political outcasts and perhaps have sentiments for “heroes” like Stepan Bandera) to overthrow the legally elected President becomes difficult. A good example: the West tried to hijack the “pension reform” topic in Russia, but alas, they failed. In fact, it isn’t excluded that Jeff Monson’s observations played an important role in this.

What is “World War III”? We’ve heard so much about it and we’re always told by certain blogs that it is imminent, and sometimes learning more about it requires a PayPal transaction. But when some time has passed and nothing matching the description of “World War III” has happened, there is always some excuse as to why it hasn’t happened yet. And diplomatic solutions to problems are in general not promoted in the blogosphere. Why? Because they are “boring”. Talking around a table doesn’t quite have the same Hollywood effect as a “Kinzhal” missile hitting USS Donald Cook. And since social media has reduced attention spans and thinking patterns to 20 minute blocks, the cravings for endorphins become more and more stronger.

It is also said on forums that in 7.5 billion years the sun will engulf our planet. So should we all strap a stopwatch to our wrists and countdown for the “big one”? After all, how far can we take this pant-pooping? Could it be that (brace yourselves) there will be no nuclear exchanges in our lifetimes? Does any contemplation of this possibility make life “boring”? Why support Putin and the Eurasian project if we are all doomed? Why do Foreign Ministers hold bilateral meetings and coordinate raw material trade under contracts that will expire in 2050 if “World War III” is imminent? Does the blogosphere know something that Presidents, Cabinets, and recognised analysts/advisors don’t know? Why is the stock market not in mass panic if “World War III” is imminent? After all, in 2013 the price of the hryvnia had already plummeted but it wasn’t a fact back then that Yanukovych would be removed… Traders, like Ministries of Defence, have algorithms to help them forecast future movements. Like a complex spyglass. Why does Germany want Nord Stream 2 so badly (to counter America’s economic blackmail) if “World War III” is going to start soon? Why bother laying the pipes underwater, completing a mountain of paperwork, and signing long-term contracts for Gazprom gas? After all, Germany is meddling in Syria and Ukraine just as much as the US is…

In my previous article I was asked what the following expression means:

“…the core of fourth generation warfare is using simulacra to position a digital hologram over actual ground warfare in order to carve out space to manoeuvre diplomatically”

The answer as to why “World War III” – according to the alt-media’s definition of the term – hasn’t yet happened lies inside it. But this will be the topic for a future article. In the meantime it is wise to remember that as of this moment geopolitical processes are happening in PARALLEL, and not SERIAL.

 

The War of 08.08.08 and Ten Years of Struggle for Russian Sovereignty

The War of 08.08.08 and Ten Years of Struggle for Russian Sovereignty

August 09, 2018

By Aleksandr Rodgers
Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard
cross posted with http://www.stalkerzone.org/aleksandr-rodgers-the-war-of-08-08-08-and-ten-years-of-struggle-for-russian-sovereignty/
source: https://jpgazeta.ru/aleksandr-rodzhers-voyna-08-08-08-i-desyat-let-borbyi-za-suverenitet-rossii/

In reality, those processes that we now observe didn’t arrive “suddenly”, but developed (and were being prepared) over a long period of time.

And although on August 8th, 2018, it is ten years since 08.08.08, we will start the conversation with other events.

Because officially it is a completely different date, namely February 10th, 2007 – the Munich speech of Putin, that can be considered as the official beginning of events that followed. Where he, for the first time, described for the entire planet:

  • the injustice of the existing global system;
  • the fact that China already overtakes the US, and BRIC overtakes the EU;
  • the inevitability of the end of the unipolar world;
  • the need to put an end to the arbitrariness of the US, which leans on brute force;
  • his disagreement with injustice.

If to look at the video, it is possible to see that many in the hall smiled and thought that Putin jokes (how can it be possible to protest against American hegemony – it’s unheard of!). But he wasn’t joking.

It is clear that this speech of Putin was not spontaneous, and it was preceded by big preparation (removing semibankirschina from power, cancellation of the Production Sharing Agreement, reforming the army, and so on). But most laypeople think in the category “if I don’t see something, then it does not exist”.

That’s why the events on August 8th, 2008 were a surprise for them.

On August 8th the American puppet Mikheil Saakashvili, who came to power in Georgia as a result of an illegal coup (called by propagandists as the “Rose Revolution”), ordered his troops – armed and trained according to NATO standards (and on American money) – to perform a punitive operation against the inhabitants of South Ossetia, having started to massively shell the capital of the republic – Tskhinvali.

In the city there were Russian peacekeepers, which had a UN mandate, and such aggression, according to the plan of the American owners of Saakashvili, had to show Russia “its place”. But something went astray.

According to the plan (approved, among other things, by the former Minister of Defence of Georgia Irakli Okruashvili), the Georgian army had to firstly carry out the large-scale bombing of Tskhinvali and the surrounding villages by means of long-range artillery and MLRS, and then, after defeating the not numerous Ossetian army (in total about 3,000 people), to start ethnic cleaning.

In order to implement this plan the US developed a large-scale program of training the Georgian army – its main focus was on “anti-insurgent actions”.

In particular, the British “Financial Times” newspaper openly wrote that 80 Georgian special forces members were trained by American instructors by the order of the Pentagon according to a program that was tested in Croatia in 1995 within the framework of the operation of the Croatian armed forces for the capture of Serbian Krajina. The FT noted that this operation was one of the worst episodes of ethnic cleaning in the history of the Yugoslavian war (since Vietnam the Americans have had a wide experience of war against a peaceful and unarmed population, much like their current Banderist lackeys).

During Saakashvili’s reign, Georgia increased its military budget by 30-fold (at the same time, ordinary Georgians outside the capital survived on $30-40 a month, which is below the norms of the UN for absolute poverty). If in 2003 military expenses of the state budget of Georgia were $30 million (0.7% of GDP), then in 2007 it was already $940 million (8% of GDP). For comparison, now in NATO the standard is 2%, and even this is too much for the majority of member countries, which thus don’t implement it).

In 2008 the military expenses of Georgia totalled $990 million, which exceeded a quarter of the entire state budget of this poor country! All of this, of course, was done contrary to the interests of ordinary Georgians and at their expense.

At the same time, Georgia received some weapons from Ukraine by bypassing standard procedures. It happened at the personal order of Viktor Yushchenko – one more American puppet (who also came to power as a result of a “soft” coup d’etat inspired by the US).

But all of this preparation didn’t help.

It should be noted that the Ossetian conflict was preceded by the illegal recognition of the independence of Kosovo. On February 17th, 2008 the independence of Kosovo was declared, and on the next day it was recognised by a number of the countries – first of all, the US.

The recognition of the independence of Kosovo caused an extremely negative reaction in the leadership of Russia, President Putin at the summit of the CIS countries on February 22rd said:

“The Kosovo precedent is a horrifying precedent. <…> Those who do it don’t foresee the results of what they do. Finally, this is a double-edged sword, and the second edge will one day hit them on the head”.

Since the end of July, 2008 the Georgian army starts to shell the settlements of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Since August 1st the Prime Minister of South Ossetia Yury Morozov starts the partial evacuation of the residents of Tskhinvali.

On August 7th the Georgian army tried to occupy Prisi heights around Tskhinvali, but this attack was repelled. On the same day the American ambassador in Georgia John Tefft reported to Washington that the troops of Georgia, including units with MLRS “Grad”, move in the direction of South Ossetia.

In the afternoon of August 7th, 2008 the secretary of the Security Council of South Ossetia Anatoly Barankevich stated:

“The activity of Georgian troops is observed along the entire border with South Ossetia. All of this says that Georgia starts large-scale aggression against our republic“.

At 2 o’clock in the morning on August 8th, 2008 the Georgian army, hoping that Russia won’t react to aggression during the Olympic Games, started an offensive.

On the morning of August 8th the commander of Georgian “peacekeepers” Mamuka Kurashvili called the actions of Georgia in South Ossetia “an operation on restoring constitutional order in the Tskhinvali region”. Later, in October, 2008, during enquiries into the August events in the Georgian parliament, Kurashvili stated that his words were impulsive and weren’t authorised by the top political leadership of Georgia (they always start trembling when the time comes to answer).

Later, Saakashvili tried to lie by saying that the war started after “the offensive of Russian troops from the territory of Ukraine”. By this he implied the departure of ships of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation from Sevastopol, which took place several days before the beginning of the Georgian offensive (in general, they regularly depart ports for raids, and there is never any aggression).

Also, Saakashvili lied by saying that “the president of Ukraine Yushchenko tried to stop by his decree the Black Sea Fleet, but Russia ignored it”. In reality, Yushchenko’s decree appeared only on August 13th, i.e., 5 days after the beginning of the war, and already after the President of Russia Medvedev officially announced the termination of the military operation aimed at coercive peacemaking.

Having gobbled up his tie, overdosed on cocaine, changed his pants after fleeing from the“invisible Russian jets”, and again overdosed on cocaine, Saakashvili raved that:

  • “the Georgian army forced Russian generals to flee from the battlefield for the first time since World War II” (I am not joking, he spurted this out in all seriousness);
  • “95% of the efficient part of the Armed Forces of Russia fought against Georgia”;
  • “the 58th Russian army was actually burned by the 4th Georgian brigade”;
  • “when the 58th army was defeated, Russia used ground and air forces. They fired more than half their ‘Iskander’ ammo”;
  • and so on.

In general, Saakashvili is a worthy colleague of the alcoholic Poroshenko in terms of killing brains via substance abuse, as well as in terms of “destroying Russian armies in words”.

Everybody laughed, but only at the words of the little fool Saakashvili.

Because as a result of Georgian aggression (which, by the way, had the code name “Clear Field”, which openly hints at the intention to carry out the genocide of Ossetians and Abkhazians), which started at 00:15 Moscow time on August 8th with the “Grad” shelling of Tskhinvali, 15 Russian peacekeepers died (and about 40 were wounded), and about 1600 peaceful citizens of South Ossetia were killed (and almost as much wounded). The “Human Rights Watch” human rights organisation confirmed the fact of the destruction of the Russian peacekeeping posts in Tskhinvali and Khetagurovo.

At 00:30 Moscow time the commander of the operations of the armed forces of Georgia General Mamuka Kurashvili announced on the air of the “Rustavi-2” TV channel that, in connection with the refusal of the Ossetian side to hold talks on the stabilisation of the situation in the conflict zone, the Georgian side “made the decision to restore constitutional order in the conflict zone”, which completely disproves the latest Georgian insinuations – that Ossetians and/or Russians attacked first.

At 10:00 on August 8th the Georgian state Minister for Reintegration Temur Yakobashvili called on Russia to “act as a real peacekeeper” and stated that “Georgia controls almost all the settlements of South Ossetia, except Tskhinvali and Dzhava”.

On the morning of August 8th Russian aircraft started bombing military facilities on the territory of Georgia: the military base in Gori; the airfields of Vaziani and Marneuli, where Su-25 and L-39 planes, as well as a radar station 40 kilometers from Tbilisi were based.

At 14:30 Moscow time, the first unit of the Russian army – the 1st battalion of the 135th regiment – passed through the Roki tunnel.

At about 17:00 the Foreign Minister of Georgia Eka Tkeshelashvili called on foreign countries to put pressure on the Russian government in order to stop “direct military aggression” on the territory of Georgia. The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in reply reminded that on the morning of August 8th Georgia called on Russia to act as a peacekeeper. “So that’s what we are doing,” said Lavrov.

On the morning of August 9th the 76th Guards Air Assault Division based in Pskov was transferred to the area of military operations. Russian ships entered the territorial waters of Georgia and started fighting the patrol.

On August 10th the ships of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation sank two Georgian combat kayaks.

On August 11th the “proud Georgians” fled.

By the way, even when the Georgian army carried out a cunning strategic manoeuvre under the name “chaotic escape”, the grant-eating Georgian media continued to report that:

  • “as a result of fighting in the Tskhinvali region the Russian 58th army lost 1789 soldiers, 105 tanks, 81 fighting vehicles, 45 armoured troop-carriers, 10 ‘Grad’ units, and 5 ‘Smerch’ units”;

or

  • “in Georgia there are so many corpses of Russian soldiers that they aren’t transported back to Russia” (compare to the fake information about the losses of Russians in Donbass and in Syria – the similarity of propaganda methods is obvious).

In reality everything is on the contrary: it is the Georgian armed forces that didn’t take any action to recover the corpses of their perished soldiers from Tskhinvali region, and some of the perished Georgian military personnel were buried in mass graves without being identified (compare to the cauldrons in Donbass and several thousand anonymous graves of UAF soldiers).

But all of this is just details. The main thing is that on 08.08.08 Russia showed to the whole world (not only Georgia) that:

  • it won’t allow genocide to be carried out on its borders;
  • it won’t allow its soldiers to be killed with impunity any more;
  • it is ready to pursue an independent policy (both internal and external);
  • the Russian army isn’t in ruins at all and not as destroyed as the West thought, but completely on the contrary – it is capable of destroying in literally several days a NATO army armed with American weapons and trained by American military advisers;
  • Russians can’t be pushed around; it is only possible to reach an agreement with Russians.

The first milestone is the Munich speech of Putin.

The second milestone is the defeat of the Georgian army under the howling and hysterics of the West.

The third milestone is the failure of the Bolotnaya Square attempt at a white ribbon coup.

The fourth milestone is the return of Crimea.

The fifth milestone is the uprising in Donbass.

The sixth milestone is the essential strengthening of the presence of the state in the economy of Russia, especially in strategic spheres.

The seventh milestone is the crushing of Anglo-Saxon proxies (ISIS, al-Nusra, and other puppet terrorists) in Syria.

The eighth milestone is transferring the vector of activity further away from its borders – to Africa (in addition to the Central African Republic, at least four other African countries).

The ninth milestone is the dumping of American debt papers (treasuries).

And there are many other smaller and not so noticeable steps, like: the emergence of new types of weapons; accession to various international organisations, contracts and associations (trade and economic, as well as security contours), as well as the involvement in these organisations of new countries; import substitution; the introduction of the “foreign agent” status; the creation of its own payment system; and many other things.

And all of this is on the way to the restoration of the sovereignty and greatness of Russia.

But at first there was Munich and 08.08.08.

The Essential Saker II
The Essential Saker II: Civilizational Choices and Geopolitics / The Russian challenge to the hegemony of the AngloZionist Empire
The Essential Saker
The Essential Saker: from the trenches of the emerging multipolar world

IAF CROSS-BORDER RAIDS IN THE LARGER PICTURE OF HEZBOLLAH VS ISRAEL

IAF Cross-Border Raids in the Larger Picture of Hezbollah vs Israel

Illustrative image

Written by Dennis M. Nilsen exclusively for SouthFront

As has become worldwide news, on February 10 the Syrian Air Defense Forces succeeded in causing, directly or indirectly, the downing of an Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-16I.  The warplane comprised part of an eight-plane attack group returning from a raid on the Tiyas Military Airbase just west of Palmyra, launched in response to the shooting down of a drone over Israeli territory just beyond the Golan Heights.  An Apache attack helicopter of the IAF shot down what Israel claims was an Iranian drone launched from the Syrian airbase, and upon the demise of one of its F-16s the IAF launched further raids on Syrian and Iranian military targets in the vicinity of Damascus, including three air defense posts.  Syria claims its air defense thwarted the attacks, while the Iranian IRGC have refused to confirm the Israeli claims and, further, deny that they have set up military installations in Syria.  The Syrians and Iranians both claim that the drone was engaged in an operation against one of the several terrorist groups operating on the Syrian-Lebanese border.  Incidentally, the two Israeli pilots successfully ejected; while one is in serious condition in hospital, his partner walked away with minor injuries.  Casualties for their opponents have yet to be confirmed.

While Israeli consternation at the violation of its airspace is understandable, the fact that the IAF has done the very same to Syria on over 100 occasions since the beginning of the revolt against President Assad is getting lost in the media coverage.  This brings up the larger picture of the opposition between the US/Israel block and the Axis of Resistance.  The Zionists insist that the IRGC is taking advantage of the generally distracted state of Syria to move arms shipments to Hezbollah through the country and into the forward areas of that group in southern Lebanon, concerned as they have become at a pending Israeli attack to wipe them out.  They have further accused the Islamic Republic of building missile factories in southwest Syria near to Hezbollah-controlled areas in order to considerably cut the supply route distance.  However, the larger arsenal which Hezbollah possesses and which it continues to augment thanks to the IRGC only makes the Israelis that much more jittery over the existence of such a weapons cache just across their northern border.  Are both sides to blame here, or does the blame lay solely on one side?

Hezbollah formed in 1982 to oppose the secular Amal then engaged in the Lebanese Civil War.  Frustrated at the Shiite group’s refusal to seek an Islamic state and inspired by the recent revolution in Iran, a group of clerics actively sought the aid of the newly-established IRGC to form a military to pull away Shiite support from Amal and to organize a viable front to the South Lebanese Army, allied with the Israelis.  Though it has modified its militant stance considerably vis-à-vis internal Lebanese politics, Hezbollah continuously refuses to acknowledge the existence of the Zionist State and to stand against any compromise short of the full withdrawal of Israel to the 1948 borders (the Golan Heights, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip) and the return of the Palestinian exiles.  Since these objectives have not been met, Hezbollah continues to exist in opposition to both Israeli policy and the Israeli state.

The considerable missile arsenal which it possesses (thanks to the IRGC) is officially proclaimed to stand collectively as a defensive weapon against a potential Israeli strike, although Israel and its chief ally the United States refuses good faith to Hezbollah and as a consequence refuses this doctrine.  With their backs to the sea, it is entirely reasonable for the Israelis to face the southern Lebanese border with a strong military presence and to constantly plan and exercises for another war with the group.  Further, because the Zionist State was formed without the acceptance of most of the Arab world, its leadership cannot afford to abide by the ruling of any international body, particularly the UN and its refusal to acknowledge the legality of Israeli occupation of the three above-named territories.  The result, impossible for Western mainstream media comprehension, is the existence of Israel as a rogue state, not only occupying land foreign to it but also allowing and (depending upon the party in power) actively encouraging the creation of settlements in those territories by militant members of Israeli society who claim their right to do so based not upon international law, but upon a very worldly interpretation of the Old Mosaic Dispensation.

This may very well serve as the historical background to Hezbollah’s and the larger Muslim animosity against the Zionist State, but the immediate blame which Israel must shoulder is the continued violation of Syrian airspace to strike at targets they rightly or wrongly believe to directly aid Hezbollah’s military capabilities.  Even if their military intelligence is correct about the targets they hit, such strikes must only occur with the permission of the Syrian Government and, lacking this, constitute de facto acts of war.  This latest incident merely showed Syria responding in kind and the IAF suffering the loss of an aircraft, which perplexedly drove an additional IAF raid to destroy as much of the Syrian air defense system as possible, which was merely carrying out its duty in the first place.

What of the Hezbollah missile arsenal in Lebanon?  If it does indeed constitute a threat to Israel, does the latter have the right to invade another country to prevent its augmentation?  Certainly not.  Saying yes, as many apologists in the West do, is like agreeing that Russia, mutatis mutandis, has the right to send weapons to the forces of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics to oppose the Ukrainian armed forces bent on subduing them.  The Ukrainian means of waging war have been nothing short of savage and so it is reasonable for the rebels to wish to arm themselves as much as possible to prevent injustice against themselves, their families and their property.  Is Hezbollah’s arsenal likewise a reasonable precaution against a repeat of the 2006 Israeli aerial campaign that destroyed most of Lebanon’s infrastructure, or a primarily offensive weapon for use against Israeli population centers?  Even if it is the latter, Hezbollah will not risk fomenting a war against the Zionist state unless provoked by the latter, and so the Israelis have no choice but to allow this build up.  But with the military they possess – including the multi-layered missile defense system – what do they really have to fear?  The fact that they are seeking to prevent it only adds fuel to the regional fire and further ostracizes them diplomatically.

As for Iran, if it is establishing missile manufacturing bases in Syria with that country’s permission explicitly to supply Hezbollah and to create a deterrent to another possible massive Israeli military action against Lebanon, or the West Bank or Gaza for that matter, what of it?  As is admitted by all the world save themselves, the Israelis possess a nuclear arsenal in addition to technology and a military far superior to any of its neighbors.  Distrusting the Zionist state as it does, how can Hezbollah be blamed for seeking to acquire the only deterrent to give the Israelis pause?  Israel seeks the destruction of that group and vice versa so how can the one be blamed any more than the other?  If the Israelis continue to act as they do, this will only prove to Hezbollah as well as to Syria and Iran that the former cannot be trusted and to the further build up an arsenal to be ready as a counter to any Israeli attacks.  Iran is free to choose its regional partners and for religious, ideological and strategic reasons, it has chosen Hezbollah.

Western commentators, especially those who espouse the right of NATO to move troops right up to Russia’s border and to conduct military exercises in the teeth of Putin’s veterans, should take pause before leveling charges against the Axis of Resistance.

INTERVIEW WITH THE SAKER. RUSSIAN-ISRAELI RELATIONS AND THE CONFLICT IN SYRIA

It’s Nato that’s Empire-building, not Putin

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By Peter Hitchins and True Publica,

Propaganda is information that is not objective and is used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively to encourage a particular synthesis or perception, or using loaded language to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information that is presented. In Britain, the spreading of false information via the mainstream press and national broadcast media is universally accepted on topics such as bringing down the NHS for privatisation purposes, trashing foreign so-called enemy nation states such as Iraq, Libya et al and of course the really big foe of our time – Russia.

Unlike many so-called experts and commentators on Russia, Peter Hitchins was a former foreign correspondent in Moscow and Washington and understands the tension strings of the geo-political power plays being made against it.

Peppered with obligatory obeisances to western official narratives about Nato empire-building since 1990, Peter Hitchins – the self confessed reformed Thatcherite, deconstructs official state propaganda and gives clear personal insight into the realities and truth of these power plays.

The article below was originally published in March 2015 and as you will read, nothing for the better has changed but at least you get a sense that what you are being told officially – is a deception.


It’s Nato that’s empire-building, not Putin

by Peter Hitchins

The Spectator

March 2015

Just for once, let us try this argument with an open mind, employing arithmetic and geography and going easy on the adjectives. Two great land powers face each other. One of these powers, Russia, has given up control over 700,000 square miles of valuable territory. The other, the European Union, has gained control over 400,000 of those square miles. Which of these powers is expanding?

There remain 300,000 neutral square miles between the two, mostly in Ukraine. From Moscow’s point of view, this is already a grievous, irretrievable loss. As Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of the canniest of the old Cold Warriors, wrote back in 1997,

‘Ukraine… is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire.’

This diminished Russia feels the spread of the EU and its armed wing, NATO, like a blow on an unhealed bruise. In February 2007, for instance, Vladimir Putin asked sulkily,

“Against whom is this expansion intended?”

I have never heard a clear answer to that question. The USSR, which NATO was founded to fight, expired in August 1991. So what is Nato’s purpose now? Why does it even still exist?

There is no obvious need for an adversarial system in post-Soviet Europe. Even if Russia wanted to reconquer its lost empire, as some believe (a belief for which there is no serious evidence), it is too weak and too poor to do this. So why not invite Russia to join the great western alliances? Alas, it is obvious to everyone, but never stated, that Russia cannot ever join either NATO or the EU, for if it did so it would unbalance them both by its sheer size. There are many possible ways of dealing with this. One would be an adult recognition of the limits of human power, combined with an understanding of Russia’s repeated experience of invasions and its lack of defensible borders.

But we do not do this. Instead we have a noisy pseudo-moral crusade, which would not withstand five minutes of serious consideration. Mr Putin’s state is, beyond doubt, a sinister tyranny. But so is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Turkey, which locks up far more journalists than does Russia. Turkey is an officially respectable Nato member, 40 years after seizing northern Cyprus, which it still occupies, in an almost exact precedent for Russia’s seizure of Crimea. If Putin disgusts us so much, then why are we and the USA happy to do business with Erdogan, and also to fawn upon Saudi Arabia and China?

Contrary to myth, the expansion of the EU into the former communist world has not magically brought universal peace, love and prosperity. Croatia’s economy has actually gone backwards since it joined. Corruption still exists in large parts of the EU’s new south-eastern territories, and I am not sure that the rule of law could be said to have been properly established there. So the idea that the recruitment of Ukraine to the ‘West’ will magically turn that troubled nation into a sunny paradise of freedom, probity and wealth is perhaps a little idealistic, not to say mistaken.

It is all so much clearer if we realise that this quarrel is about power and land, not virtue. In truth, much of the eastward expansion of Nato was caused by the EU’s initial unwillingness to take in backward, bankrupt and corrupt refugee states from the old Warsaw Pact. The policy could be summed up as ‘We won’t buy your tomatoes, but if it makes you happy you can shelter under our nuclear umbrella’. The promise was an empty assurance against a nonexistent threat. But an accidental arrangement hardened into a real confrontation. The less supine Russia was, the more its actions were interpreted as aggression in the West. Boris Yeltsin permitted western interests to rape his country, and did little to assert Russian power. So though he bombarded his own parliament, conducted a grisly war in Chechnya, raised corruption to Olympic levels and shamelessly rigged his own re-election, he yet remained a popular guest in western capitals and summits. Vladimir Putin’s similar sins, by contrast, provide a pretext for ostracism and historically illiterate comparisons between him and Hitler.

This is because of his increasing avowal of Russian sovereignty, and of an independent foreign policy. There have been many East-West squabbles and scrimmages, not all of them Russia’s fault. But the New Cold War really began in 2011, after Mr Putin dared to frustrate western — and Saudi — policy in Syria. George Friedman, the noted US intelligence and security expert, thinks Russia badly underestimated the level of American fury this would provoke. As Mr Friedman recently told the Moscow newspaper Kommersant, ‘It was in this situation that the United States took a look at Russia and thought about what it [Russia] wants to see happen least of all: instability in Ukraine.’

Mr Friedman (no Putin stooge) also rather engagingly agrees with Moscow that overthrow last February (2014) of Viktor Yanukovych was ‘the most blatant coup in history’. He is of course correct, as anyone unclouded by passion can see. The test of any action by your own side is to ask what you would think of it if the other side did it.

If Russia didn’t grasp how angry Washington would get over Syria, did the West realise how furiously Russia would respond to the EU Association Agreement and to the fall of Yanukovych? Perhaps not. Fearing above all the irrecoverable loss to NATO of its treasured naval station in Sevastopol, Russia reacted. After 23 years of sullenly appeasing the West, Moscow finally said ‘enough’. Since we’re all supposed to be against appeasement, shouldn’t we find this action understandable in a sovereign nation, even if we cannot actually praise it? And can anyone explain to me precisely why Britain, of all countries, should be siding with the expansion of the European Union and NATO into this dangerous and unstable part of the world?

*

Featured image is from TruePublica.

Stop Saying, “Putin Invaded Ukraine and Annexed Crimea” , it’s nonsense

Stop Saying, “Putin Invaded Ukraine and Annexed Crimea”

By Chris Kanthan

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it” – Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda minister. This is perfectly applicable to the accusations about Russia and Putin regarding Ukraine. Every pundit and politician keeps repeating the mantra that Putin invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea. However, like many big lies, this narrative quickly falls apart under objective scrutiny.

Putin did not “invade” Crimea in 2014. Russia has a naval base in Sevastopol, Crimea, and thus it’s normal for Russian soldiers to be in Crimea.

Crimea wasn’t even truly a part of Ukraine. It was known as the “Autonomous Republic of Crimea” after the dissolution of the USSR.

Putin did not “annex” Crimea. Crimea had a referendum and the people overwhelmingly (>95%) chose to go with Russia.

Why the referendum was not “rigged”: More than 75% of Crimeans speak Russian as their native language. Obviously they would choose to join Russia. There’s also intense and overt anti-Russian racism in Ukraine. For example, since 2014, Ukraine has banned Russian TV stations, Russian social media, websites, etc.

Even without the ethnic factor, deciding whether to join Russia or Ukraine is a no-brainer – it’s similar to asking a region if they want to be a part of the U.S. or Mexico.

Nobody protested after or since the referendum. In fact, Crimeans called the outcome “going back home.”

Historical link between Russia-Ukraine-Crimea: It’s important to remember that Crimea has belonged to Russia for 200+ years (since 1783). In 1954, Russian leader Khrushchev – a Ukrainian by birth – transferred Crimea to Ukraine. He did it as a goodwill gesture to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Ukraine becoming a part of Russia. Nobody in Russia at that time could foresee the fall of the USSR.

Ukraine borders Russia, and Kiev was the birthplace of Russia more than 1000 years ago.

Half of all Ukrainians speak Russian. The eastern half of Ukraine is predominantly made up of ethnic Russians and would gladly secede and join Russia any time. In fact, Ukraine has been virtually split in half for the last three years.

Crimea’s Strategic Importance: Black Sea – where Crimea is located – is strategically important to Russia, since it’s the only gateway to the Mediterranean, Africa, etc. Thus it’s important for shipping, oil/gas pipelines, as well as for military operations. It’s not an exaggeration to say that it would be suicidal for Russia to give up Crimea and control of Black Sea.

Globalists Coveting Ukraine/Crimea: Going back 170 years, the British and the French attacked and stole Crimea from Russia. Thus the West attacking Russia has been a constant theme for two centuries (add in Napoleon, Bolshevik revolution funded by Wall Street, Germany during WWI, Japan funded by Wall Street, and then Hitler).

The US has also been planning on “stealing” Ukraine from Russia for a long time. Right after WW II, the CIA allied with Nazi and guerrilla groups within Ukraine to stir up trouble for the USSR. After the fall of the USSR, geopolitical strategist Brzezinski laid out the plan in his book, The Grand Chessboard, where he suggests that Ukraine should become a part of EU and NATO by 2010.

If Ukraine becomes a part of NATO, the US will place missile systems there, just 400 miles from Moscow. Moreover, Ukraine can start a war with Russia, and then US/EU will be obligated to join the fight. Hello, World War III.

Neocon Schemes: As Asst. Sec. of State Victoria Nuland admitted, since 1991, the US has spent more than $5 billion to lure Ukraine away from Russia. This was spent on propaganda, bribes, NGOs, recruitment of activists etc.

What happened in 2014 was a simple and illegal coup d’état. George Soros, John McCain, Neocons and EU leaders openly intervened in a sovereign nation’s democracy and manipulated the system.

Rather than waiting for a new election, Western elites staged violent protests in Ukraine’s capital and simply overthrew the government. (Neo-Nazi groups such as Svoboda played a major role in the riots.) Then new unelected President and Prime Minister were hand-chosen by the West and installed as puppets.

Horrific Results: Just like they destroyed Libya and Syria in “humanitarian wars” and then moved on with no guilt, the Neocons have done the same in Ukraine. For three years, a civil war has been raging on in Ukraine.

Its debt-to-GDP ratio has doubled and close to 60% of the people live below the poverty line. Its industries are crumbling, and pensions/social welfare have been deeply slashed. Neo-Nazi groups are on the rise, and 80% of young people are desperate to leave the country. One group estimates that one in four prostitutes in Europe are now from Ukraine.

Basically, the country is ruined and has no future. Congrats to Neocons and warmongers who keep repeating like robots, “Putin invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea.” Still bitter at Putin, the Pentagon has included $350 million of military aid to Ukraine for the coming fiscal year. More Ukrainians will keep dying for the globalist agenda.

Chris Kanthan is the author of a new book, Syria – War of Deception. It’s available in a condensed as well as a longer version. Chris lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, has traveled to 35 countries, and writes about world affairs, politics, economy and health. His other book is Deconstructing Monsanto.

In Ukraine a Political Struggle Between the Crooks, the Clowns, and the Nazis

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So far the crooks are in power but they’re terrified of the nazis and constantly making concessions to them

The latest big news out of the Ukraine

Have you heard what the latest big news out of the Ukraine is? No? There is a mini-Maidan under way and Ukrainian nationalists seem to hope that Poroshenko will be kicked out before the end of the week. You did not know? Well, that is the real big news, the fact that you did not hear about this.

Truthfully, what is going on is kind of interesting. Let me sum it up: the former President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili (who was stripped of his Georgian citizenship and of this Ukrainian citizenship) recently crossed the border (through Poland, of course) and proceeded to travel to Kiev to demand Poroshenko’s resignation.

You think that I am kidding? Check the Wikipedia article about him, it has all the details. It gets better.

 There is a consensus amongst analysts that Saakashvili is being used as a battering ram by somebody far more influential – Iulia Timoshenko, of course.

But what is really new is that many well informed analysts and commentators seem to think that the USA and EU are not the main driving force behind these latest developments (though they are involved, of course).

What is going on here?

Well, as I said, the big news is that you did not hear about it. You did not hear about it because fundamentally nobody cares, least of all the Trump Administration. True, the Trump Administration is so busy self-destructing that it does not really care about Kurdistan either and that implies that it does not even really care about the Holy of Holies : Israel (cry me a river Bibi!).

So never mind the Trump administration, even the Ziomedia mostly seems not to care anymore what happens in the Ukraine (of course, some hardcore hardliners still continue to hallucinate). Hence the (relative) silence on this issue. What this tells the Ukrainian politicians is that they are pretty much on their own. And that is why they are taking matters in their own hands.

I don’t think that it is worthwhile to plunge into all the personalities and factions which are currently involved in the political struggle. I can summarize it by saying that there are four main group currently identifiable: bad, worse, even worse and the silent majority. Let’s begin by the last one, the silent majority.

By all accounts (and from all my personal contacts) it is pretty obvious that the vast majority of those who could not leave the Ukraine are now depressed, silent and in a “survival mode”.

The Ukrainians, like the Russians, are extremely good at this survival mode which a very painful history has taught them: they could survive in conditions where everybody else would perish.

Their history has also taught them that there are times when you want to stay low, shut up and focus on making it through the day. I also think that most Ukrainians fully realize that there is no faction/force out there representing their interest and that means that they have absolutely no reason at all to get involved.

This has nothing to do with passivity or political ignorance: that is common sense. Getting involved is what gets you killed. Hunkering down until the worst of the storm passes is the only correct survival technique in times of very ugly political struggles.

The Crooks, the Clown and the Nazis:

Right now, the Crooks are still in power but they are struggling. Worse, the Crooks are terrified of the Nazis, so they constantly have to engage into a stream of concessions to try to appease them which, of course, fails, and only emboldens the Nazis (sounds exactly like Trump’s never-ending stream of concessions to the Neocons, doesn’t it?).

As for the Clowns, they can be bought by both sides, sometimes at the same time, and they keep the people entertained by their antics.

The Clowns are really a byproduct of the terminally lunatic Ukrainian nationalist ideology, but they don’t really represent a powerful constituency: the Crooks and the Nazis are far more powerful. Still, don’t dismiss the Clowns too soon, because they could suddenly switch to the Crooks or the Nazis depending who offers them a better deal (or scares them most).

The Crooks are barely holding on to power, and they might have to start a war to deflect the mounting political pressure against them in another direction. Wars are good for circling the wagons and crushing the opposition.

The Clowns, due to their ideology, would have to approve of a new war. They simply could not say anything against it. If a war is launched, they would have to give it a standing ovation. Besides, if they tried any form of disagreement they would be easily crushed by the Crooks and Nazis. So the Clowns will always support whatever the other two factions agree upon.

As for for Nazis, well, war against Russia and anything Russian is their raison d’être, the very core of their identity and the purpose of their lives.

The Ukronazis have a profoundly revanchist worldview and agenda and if defeating Russia is not an option (although some of them won’t even accept that as a fact of life) then killing or expelling all the non-Ukronazis from the Ukraine is an acceptable substitute for them.

Polandball: A ball representing Neo-Nazi group Right Sector saying “Those who don’t jump are Moskal”. Moskal is a derogatory term for Russians. The so called nationalists are destroying their nation.


Yup, they even have some convoluted racial purity theories (Ukie Aryans versus Finno-Ugric Russian Mongols). True, bona fide Nazis are a minority in the Ukraine, but the compensate for that by having guns, lots of guns.

What has kept the Ukronazis from attacking since their last attempt is the painful memory of the crushing defeat they suffered at the hands of the Novorussians. But herein also lies a very real risk: defeats often make armies better, victories often makes them complacent. When I hear the Novorussians speaking of “next time we go to Kiev” I hope that their confidence is warranted, but I am afraid that they might be underestimating the opponent.

Are the sides really ready for a resumption of warfare?

In truth it is very hard to assess the chances of another Ukronazi attack. On one hand, the Ukronazi forces have had two years to regroup, lick their wounds, reorganize, rearm, retrain, etc.

Most importantly, it appears that they have built defensive positions in depth, possibly including 2 or even 3 defensive echelons. Why does defense matter? Because if your defensive positions are strong, then the risk of counter-attack by the enemy’s forces are much lower and that, in turn, means that your offensive is far less likely to end up surrounded in a “cauldron” (I simplify here, in reality this is a little more complicated as it depends on the depth of your attack, but never mind that).

A couple of years is a lot of time to dig in and prepare for defense and without access to classified data it is hard to gauge how effective these efforts have been. In terms of new equipment (whether Ukrainian or new deliveries from the Empire), this will make no difference at all, that’s just political talk.

My advice is that as soon as you hear or read anything about the delivery of “lethal weapons” you ignore everything that comes after that. Ditto for training by Polish or US experts. That is just propaganda.

What is not propaganda is the intelligence support offered by the Empire overtly (satellites) or covertly (EU ‘observers’ etc.). That and the fact that the Ukronazis have a 2-2.5:1 numerical advantage over the Novorussians.

Much of the same could be said about the Novorussians: they also have had 2 years to dig in, by all reports they have now integrated their forces into a regular army capable of operational-depth counter-offensives, their morale and training is probably much higher than on the Ukronazi side and they can count on Russian support (intelligence, logistics, training, etc.). Also, they would have the home turf advantage.

Finally, and Putin very clearly stated that recently, Russia will not allow the military reconquest of Novorussia, which means that even if the Ukronazis somehow succeed in breaking through the Novorussian defenses they will be engaged by the Russian armed forces, primarily by missile/bombing strikes at which point the war will stop in less than 24 hours.

The big conceptual mistake, however, would be to assume that the Ukronazi really want to reconquer Novorussia (or Crimea, for that matter).

In reality, everybody knows that these territories are gone forever and that Kiev simply has no means to control them even without Russian assistance.

Let me repeat this: even if by some magical effect the Russians were to let the Ukronazis invade the Donbass this would result in a fantastically nasty guerrilla war by the locals which the Ukronazis would have no chance at all to defeat.

Yes, it would be a bloodbath, but it would never end with a workable pacification of the Donbass my the Ukronazis.

I would therefore say that the role of Russia is not to prevent Kiev from regaining the control of the Donbass, but to prevent a bloodbath in the Donbass.

The real goal: not to win, but to trigger a Russian intervention (same old, same old)

Now I have been saying for years that the real goal of the junta is to force Russia to openly intervene in the Donbass. As soon as the Russians overtly get involved that would kill the Minsk 1 and 2 agreements, it would turn the current disaster in the Nazi occupied Ukraine into a war of national liberation against the hated Moskals,

NATO would immediately put an end to all that recent cozying-up of various EU political parties towards Russia and the AngloZionst Empire’s wet dream would finally come true: such a Russian intervention would usher a new Cold, possibly even Tepid, War in Europe thereby giving a meaning to NATO (finally!) and crushing any kind of anti-imperial feelings in Europe.

The Balts and the Poles would finally be secure in their mission to “protect Europe from a resurgent Russia” and the US Neocons would have a big victory party.

True, Russia would liberate all of Novorussia in 24 hours or less and, yes, with Russian help the Novorussians could push the line of contact (well, at this point, the frontline) pretty much as far West as they would want to. But that would be a small victory in the context of a global political catastrophe (along with an ugly bloodbath).

This is why the Russians have made a huge effort not to intervene, even if that has costs them a lot of political capital (there are still those out there who speak of a Russian “sell-out” of the Donbass).

 The goal of the Ukraine Conflict is to divide the East Slavic people.

Unlike their western counterparts, who still don’t understand that the purpose of warfare is to achieve a political objective, the Russians fully realize that an (easy) military victory against the Ukronazis would come at a cost of an immense political disaster.

The last thing the Kremlin wants is to copy what the US Americans did in Iraq and Afghanistan: begin by an easy victory, declare victory, and then end up with an absolute disaster on their hands from which they sill are unable to extricate themselves.

In this respect, the Crimea was a totally different and unique case: a vitally important piece of land, which historically was Russian, populated by people who were overwhelmingly pro-Russian (or, simply, Russian), with easy to control choke-points connecting with the Nazi occupied Ukraine and fantastic economic prospects. And yet, even in these ideal condition, the Russian economy is struggling to rebuild this relatively small territory.

It is pretty clear that at the end of the day, Russia will also have to pay for most the reconstruction of the Donbass, however hard this will be. But as much as that is possible, Russia would much prefer to make the reconstruction of the Ukraine an international problem, yet another reason for her to try to avoid any real, overt, military intervention. Because once Russia occupies any territory, she owns it and she becomes responsible for it.

The bottom line is this: we don’t hear much about the Ukraine right now because at least the Americans seem to have given up on this entire project and because they are busy with more important issues (self-destructing, mostly). But that does not mean that the situation in the Ukraine cannot suddenly reignite with very serious international consequences.

So when I speak of Crooks, Clowns and Nazis, I am not taking these issues lightly at all. Yes, they truly are crooks, clowns and Nazis, but they also very dangerous individuals, especially collectively.

A tiny ray of hope for “less bad”?

Rumor has it that the two big figures behind the scenes in the Ukraine are Igor Kolomoiskii (who now has a personal vendetta against Poroshenko and Saakashvili) and Iulia Timoshenko.

I honestly have no means to assess these claims, but I will say that while these two are truly profoundly evil and hateful people (Kolomoiskii was probably deeply involved in the MH-17 false flag), neither of them is stupid.

Furthermore, they are both Crooks, not Clowns or Nazis, which means that they can be negotiated with, however distasteful this maybe.

Last but not least, they both have a real power base in the Ukraine, money in Kolomoiskii’s case, true popularity in Timoshenko’s case. In this I see a tiny ray of hope.

With the Americans busy fighting each other internally, and with the Europeans slowly waking up to the total disaster “their” (it is not really “their’s” – but nevermind that) Ukrainian policy has been, maybe, just maybe, there is a tiny chance of, say, some EU leaders getting together with, say, Timoshenko (Kolomoiskii will never be a public official again, he will pull the strings in the back) to sit down with the Russians and the Novorussians and finally seriously negotiate some kind of end to this very dangerous situation.

Remember, Poroshenko is a pure US puppet, and he is weak. There is no way he could negotiate anything of substance any more. All he needs to do now is to prepare his flight to the US, UK or Israel. But Timoshenko is still “for real” and she is far more capable of dealing with the Nazis than Poroshenko, his billions, his chocolate factory and his Eltsin-like dependence on alcohol.

 Petro Poroshenko

Of course, there is “the devil you know” argument. And in many ways, Poroshenko being the greedy weak booze-soaked coward that he is looks like the lesser evil.

The problem with that is that he is terrified of the Nazis and that they are either paralyzing him or making him do stupid things (like the recent law making Ukrainian the sole language used in schools).

And for all the desperate window-dressing the fact remains is that the Ukraine is already a failed state which is going down the tubes with a momentum which nobody can stop, at least not with the current political deadlock in Kiev. Still, we should also remember that Eltsin was also a greedy weak booze-soaked coward, but that did not prevent him form triggering the bloodbath of the First Chechen war. Greedy weak booze-soaked cowards can be extremely dangerous.


Source: The Unz Review

Why Vladimir Putin Deserves a Nobel Peace Prize

Source

For many years, and despite all evidence to the contrary, the Western media has forwarded the inane idea that Vladimir Putin ranks in the same club with some of history’s most loathsome creatures, up to and including Hitler.

The reality is that the Russian leader has done more to promote the cause of global peace and security than any other Western leader in recent times. That explains why he is the object of such intense scorn

Putin’s rise as a statesman of the first magnitude began, oddly enough, with the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 on the United States. Since that day, Washington has taken advantage of that national tragedy to achieve specific geopolitical ends, the majority of them – coincidentally or not – diametrically opposed to Russia’s own national security. Moscow, for its part, was expected to serve as nothing more participatory than a captive audience to the US war machine as it began its destruction tour through the Middle East, most notably in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In late 2013, the tide began to turn, as the violence began to roost on Russia’s doorstep. Kiev had suddenly erupted in protests against the government of then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, whose only crime had been to suspend the implementation of an association agreement with the European Union.

This was the moment when Washington’s long-term investment in Ukraine started to pay off handsome dividends (Victoria Nuland, the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs, shamelessly admitted at the time that Washington had invested more than $5 billion since 1991 to help Ukraine achieve “the future it deserves”).

With the blessing of myriad US-backed NGOs and think tanks, protesters took to the streets in the so-called Maidan uprising, barricading themselves in the capital and attacking police, eventually forcing the democratically elected president to flee the country.

As John J. Mearsheimer observed in the prestigious journal Foreign Affairs, “the United States and its European allies share most of the responsibility for the crisis.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov echoed that frank assessment last month when he told the UN General Assembly: “The West constructed its policy on the basis of a principle, ‘If you are not with us, you are against us,’ having chosen the path of reckless eastward NATO expansion and provoking instability in the post-Soviet space…. This policy is precisely the root cause of the protracted conflict in Southeastern Ukraine.”

Does Putin deserve a Nobel Peace Prize just because it was the West, and not Russia, to blame for the Ukrainian crisis? No, but the story does not end there. Although Western media continue to regurgitate the delusional psycho-babble of a ‘Russian invasion’ of Ukrainian territory, such wild conspiracy theories have never been documented by a single legitimate photograph or satellite image. Or are we now expected to believe Russia owns invisible tanks and artillery, too? The reality is not so complicated: it was the Americans who launched their own Ukraine invasion in the early stages of the protests that only served to fan the flames of discontent. And yes, there is proof.

Victoria Nuland, for example, was photographed on the streets of Kiev, happily handing out cookies to anti-government participants, some of them outright fascists who eventually went on to fill top positions in the new government.

As Mearsheimer argued: “The new government in Kiev was pro-Western and anti-Russian to the core, and it contained four high-ranking members who could legitimately be labeled neo-fascists.”

And the political intrigue went far beyond stale pastries. In a leaked phone call with US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, Nuland mentioned Arseniy Yatsenyuk as a candidate to lead the Ukrainian government. Was anybody surprised when Yatsenyuk became prime minister on February 27? In the course of that famous phone call, Nuland also expressed some incredibly candid sentiments toward America’s foremost ally when she remarked, “F*ck the EU”. 

Meanwhile, US Senator John McCain, Washington’s preeminent hawk, also crashed the party in Kiev at the height of tension, agitating the anti-government protesters in Independence Square by telling them “the destiny you seek lies in Europe.”

It should be remembered that no Russian politician had the sheer audacity to show up anywhere in Ukraine to tell the people where their destiny was to be found.

As the Western media continued to spin the mythical yarn of a “Russian invasion”, the Kremlin was working assiduously to clean up the mess in Ukraine caused by many decades of behind-the-scenes horseplay, much of it seeded by foreign-backed NGOs and assorted think tanks. Putin played a significant role in mediating and bringing together the leaders of Ukraine, Germany, and France to ratify the Minsk Agreements (Feb. 11, 2015) designed to end the violence in the Donbass region of Ukraine.

Despite international recognition of the demands set down by Minsk (which include the “immediate and full ceasefire in particular districts of Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts of Ukraine and… Pullout of all heavy weapons by both sides to equal distance with the aim of the creation of a security zone on minimum 50 kilometers (31 miles)…”), there have been numerous reports of gross violations.

Last month, Putin called for a UN peacekeeping mission to be sent to the war-torn eastern regions of Ukraine. The peacekeepers would be deployed on the demarcation line to protect the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] mission, which monitors the ceasefire between the government forces and rebels.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel embraced the idea, urging member states to “openly discuss with the Russian Federation the conditions of a UN mission.” Washington and Kiev, however, flat out rejected the proposal.

In the context of the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, there is one major footnote that cannot be overlooked, and that involves the Crimea Referendum, which eventually brought the peninsula into the Russian Federation.

Although Western pundits regularly speak of a Russian “Crimean invasion” as loosely as they talk of a Ukrainian one, nothing could be further from reality. The Supreme Council of Crimea considered the ousting of President Yanukovich as a coup and the new government in Kiev as illegitimate, stating that the referendum was a response to these developments, as well as to the breakdown of civil order that was sweeping the country.

In Crimea, a largely Russian-speaking republic that was an integral part of Russia until it was gifted to Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchev in 1954, the official results of the referendum were impossible to dispute: 96.77 percent of Crimeans voted in favor of integration of the region into the Russian Federation.

The Russian State Duma ratified the reunification with the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol on March 20, 2014. Western condemnation came fast and furious, but Putin reminded the critics the situation mirrored that of the Kosovo referendum for independence.

“In a situation entirely the same as the one in Crimea they recognized Kosovo’s secession from Serbia legitimate while arguing that ‘no permission from a country’s central authority for a unilateral declaration of independence is necessary,’” Putin said, adding that the UN International Court of Justice agreed with those arguments.

“That’s what they wrote, that’s what they trumpeted all over the world, coerced everyone into it – and now they are complaining. Why is that?” he asked.

Although few would admit it, Vladimir Putin’s peacekeeping efforts in Ukraine brought about a drastic reduction in violence at a time when many Western observers were predicting that Russia would launch a full-scale invasion of Ukrainian territory. Image their disappointment when just the opposite occurred?

Vladimir Putin’s peacekeeping efforts, however, did not stop at Russia’s borders.

Syria Intervention

Many people have probably already forgotten Russia’s immense contribution to securing peace in the Arab Republic of Syria, which has been suffering internal strife since 2011. And no, I am not talking about Putin’s decision to assist President Bashar Assad from eradicating ISIS terrorists in the country, although that is certainly a momentous event.

I am speaking about that day, almost exactly fours ago, when then-US President Barack Obama – a Nobel Peace Prize winner, mind you – was just about to give the signal to launch an all-out military assault against the sovereign state of Syria. The reason? Washington said the Assad government had used chemical weapons to attack a Damascus suburb just weeks earlier. Never mind that Assad would have known full well that to carry out such an attack would mean political and national suicide, and that the use of chemical weapons would only have assisted the cause of the anti-government rebels, who were praying for American airstrikes on Assad. But I digress.

When the British House of Commons refused to give then-PM David Cameron permission to join the Americans in their latest war game, Obama suddenly got very cold feet. In a bid to save face, then Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly ‘misspoke’ when he said the US would call off an attack on Syria if Assad agreed to surrender all of his chemical weapons within a week.

Enter Russian diplomacy at its finest hour. What followed was a marathon series of meetings in Geneva, Switzerland between Foreign Ministers John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov that eventually resulted in an agreement that not only deterred the threat of war, but removed chemical weapons from Syria.

Lavrov said the agreement removed any potential use of force against Syria, while underscoring that deviations from the plan, including attacks on UN inspectors, would be brought to the UN Security Council, which would decide on further action.

At the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, then Secretary General, gave a glowing account of the US-Russia-Syria agreement, which also made Syria a signatory to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

This premier example of diplomacy on the part of Vladimir Putin and his administration shows that war can always be diverted so long as their exists the will between men and nations. Sadly, the United States has gone on to demonstrate an insatiable determination to interfere – illegally – in the internal affairs of Syria, going so far as to even launch brazen attacks on the Syrian military (perhaps most disturbingly, the US media actually praised Donald Trump following such attacks). Although Russia has also become involved militarily in Syria, it has only done so at the expressed invitation of Damascus to help President Assad rid his country of terrorist forces that the US-led Western forces failed to destroy.

In summary, given Vladimir Putin’s extraordinary efforts to bring about the conditions of peace both in Ukraine and in Syria, it would seem that he is the most fitting candidate to win a Nobel Peace Prize. Of course, the Western capitals would never see things that way, which only highlights the great schism that now separates Russia from the West, which has lost its ability to judge right from wrong, truth from deception.

The Nobel Peace Prize is presented by the King of Norway on December 10 each year

War criminal Mikhail Saakashvili officially back in Ukraine

War criminal Mikhail Saakashvili officially back in Ukraine

SEE ALSO

On the run fugitive Saakashvili in Charge of Ukraine’s Odessa

Ukraine: Crackpot McCain and fugitive Saakashvili to advise Poroshenko

Saakashvili wanted over fraud case in Georgia becomes Ukraine Foreign Affairs Advisor

US puppet, Georgia’s Saakashvili, invaded South Ossetia to appease NATO

 

Source: The Duran

Mikhail Saakashvili has spent the better part of the day attempting to go back to Ukraine after Petro Poroshenko the leader of the Kiev regime stripped him of his Ukrainian citizenship in a power-play against the former Georgian leader who has incidentally also been stripped of his Georgian citizenship after numerous fraud allegations.

Saakashvili is probably best remembered for instigating a war of aggression against the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in 2008. Both Russia and the European Union found that Saakashvili was an aggressor in the short conflict.

After fleeing prosecutors in Georgia, the weakened strongman was appointed the Governor of the multi-cultural and traditionally Russian city of Odessa in 2015. This however did not last long as he left office in 2016, before being stripped of Ukrainian citizenship in the summer of 2017.

At the time, I described the power-play between Saakashvili and Poroshenko in the following way,

“If the Ukrainian regime was not engaged in a war of aggression that has included the use of chemical weapons against civilians , there would in fact be much to laugh at in respect of the situation in the country. Instead, the regime is a human tragedy but one that is solidly built atop a shaky farce. One of the more farsical elements of the Ukrainian regime has been the fact that its leader Petro Poroshenko recently stripped former Georgian President turned former Odessa Governor of his recently acquired Ukrainian citizenship.

In may of 2015, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko appointed disgraced former Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili Governor of Odessa Obslat. The appointment was immediately viewed as an insult to the people of the multi-cultural though overall historically and spiritually Russian city and region of Odessa, not least because this was the place where on 2 May 2014, young people were massacred by an armed mod while peacefully demonstrating against fascism.

It was doubly an insult because Saakashvili was a foreigner with no connection to the region. Finally, the fact that Saakashvili is wanted in Georgia on charges of high corruption including embezzlement, actions he was alleged to have committed after he started a war of aggression against the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, ought to make Saakashvili disqualified for any political position, anywhere.

When it comes to war criminality and domestic corruption, Poroshenko and Saakashvilli would both be competing for the gold if such things were Olympic events. That hasn’t stopped both men from accusing one another of being corrupt, a rare instance of both being correct, albeit it for the wrong reasons.

But one should not rely on habitual liars like Saakashvili and Poroshenko as reliable sources for the true nature of events. For this one is best understood by the fact that Poroshenko recently visited Georgia while Saakashvili would likely be arrested the minute he set foot in Georgia again.

On the 17th of July Poroshenko visited Georgia for talks with the country’s current political leaders. Georgia is currently governed by the Georgian Dream party, a kind of catch-all political movement that has somewhat toned down the Russophobic fanaticism of the Saakashvili years while still marching the country in a direction that sees it striving to join both NATO and the EU, in spite of being located closer to Iran than to the EU.

Poroshanko was clearly looking for an ally in Tbilisi, but as Georgia under its current leadership can barely save itself, he largely came back with nothing tangible. That being said, as Saakashvilli already resigned from his position in Odessa in November of 2016, stripping a wanted man in Georgia of Ukrainian citizenship, thus technically leaving him stateless, can be seen as a concession to the current Georgian authorities. Prior to this Georgia viewed Poroshenko as the Ecuador to the would-be Assange that was Saakashvilli, only whereas Assange filled the world with much needed truth, Saakashvilli filled his pockets with much sought after state cash.

Furthermore, shortly after leaving his post in Odessa, Saakashvilli registered a new party in Ukraine. While it is difficult to see how such a party could be a real political threat to Poroshenko’s power base which is already under threat from Ukrainian parties with an even more far-right ideology than Poroshenko’s, it seemed that Poroshenko did not want to take any chances. Thus, Poroshenko stripped Saakashvilli of his Ukrainian citizenship shortly after returning from Saakashvilli’s native country.

In short, Saakashvilli is a corrupt opportunist who ran to the power base of a second corrupt opportunist, Poroshenko. Then that second corrupt opportunist fired and deprived citizenship of the first corrupt opportunist under the guise that the first corrupt opportunist was a corrupt opportunist, who then took to calling the second corrupt opportunist a corrupt opportunist.

This literally is the farce that is post-coup Ukrainian politics”.

Initially, Saakashvili planned to enter Ukraine via train from Poland, but his train was stopped by the authorities, thought it is not clear if it was stopped by the Polish or Ukrainian authorities.

While forced to exit his train, Saakashvili was comically hounded by a protester in the midst of a striptease.

 

Now, Saakashvili has reportedly pushed through the Ukrainian border with his entourage in an open mockery of the waning power of the corrupt Kiev regime.

Reports indicate that while Polish authorities were happy to let him leave, Ukrainian regime authorities attempted to block his entry unsuccessfully.

The lawless nature of modern Ukraine, combined with Saakashvili’s famous persistence now means that a man who was once barely on the radar in Ukrainian ‘politics’ may now be able to attempted to rally support against the unpopular far-right leader Poroshenko. Already, the far-right former Prime Minister in Kiev, Yulia Tymoshenko has thrown her weight behind Saakashvili, ostensibly because Poroshenko has not offered her any position in the ruling elite of post-2014 Kiev.

While Saakashvili’s politics are not entirely different from that of Poroshenko, in a regime where power is built more on blackmail, bribes and undulating personal loyalties than on ideas or experience, Saakashvili may now be a threat, assuming he can find someone in the regime to reinstate his citizenship, something which is now entirely possible

Accelerated variables متغيّرات متسارعة

Accelerated variables

أغسطس 18, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

In a few days and despite the noise of the battles and the powerful statements there are accelerated indicators for the presence of comprehensive framework to calm the wars and to solve the crises, these indicators transcend their existential and regional borders. In the Korean crisis and after two days of exchanging powerful American and north-Korean statements that talk about overwhelming blows, the US Defense Secretary announced the intention of Washington to negotiate through third parties. It is known that it is an outcome of authorizing Russia and China for managing the negotiating of the crisis. The southern Korea announced its desire to negotiate directly with the northern Korea.

Regarding the Gulf crisis, the backgrounds which talk about decisive steps of the countries that boycott Qatar led by Saudi Arabia have declined and were replaced by the talk about negotiating review of the crisis; the talk about a dialogue has become the vocabulary that was repeated in the international and regional statements that concerned with the issue of the crisis, after the opportunities of the fatal blows which Saudi Arabia have betted on for more than two months have been exhausted. While in the war on Yemen the talks of the UN envoy are revolving around identifying a third agreed party that will take over the responsibility of Al Hodeida port and Sanaa airport as a preliminary step to raise the marine and the air blockade which was imposed by Saudi Arabia and which was its means to subdue the Yemenis. Now there is a talk about suggested international force, or Omani force, or joint Omani-Kuwaiti force for this purpose.

In Syria, the Syrian army is dashing with a military force eastward in Badia towards Deir Al Zour, but it is driven militarily by political accompaniment  in the south on the rhythm of the Russian-American understanding after the armed groups  have refused the voluntary handing over of their areas to the Syrian especially the borders with Jordan, so the Syrian army resolved the crossings in the province of Sweida away from the US aircraft which ambushed of its units as has happened on the Syrian-Iraqi borders. The militants have withdrawn after they got severe blows. At the political level, it seems that the formation of the opposition delegation for the next Geneva until the end of the year is the title of the dialogues which are taking place under the title of unified delegation of the opposition in parallel with the disintegration and alienating leaderships that have no place in the new equation. This new equation is based on forming Syrian government that includes a representation of the opposition under the Syrian presidency and the Syrian constitution, and the recognition of the fall of the project of overthrowing and the priority of the war on terrorism.

Regarding the Ukrainian crisis and despite all the differences about how to solve it and what has resulted on the diplomatic crisis between Russia and America after imposing US sanctions on Russia and the decision of Moscow to alienate the US diplomats, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced after Manila meetings with his US counterpart Rex Tillerson the ensuring of the understandings of the Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Therefore the American and Russian officials will soon meet to discuss revitalizing the solution efforts in Ukraine.

These accelerated developments and variables grant high credibility to what was leaked about an understanding between the Russian and the American Presidents on the sideline of Hamburg Summit about the seeking to make the international arena free of the tension elements by the end of the year, and the attempt to make the most prominent image of the international policy is the cooperation in the war on terrorism. This means extinguishing the spark that ignites fire or preventing its ignition. As a result we will gradually witness the loss of the incentives and resources of wars which they cannot last without them. This ensures that they are wars that have been broken out and continued by an external decision whatever were the local and the internal reasons, since no war lasts without the international incubator as what is presented by Washington or what it suggested to its allies that it is presenting, so when it decides then those who were contending stubbornly yesterday will obey today.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

متغيّرات متسارعة

أغسطس 11, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– خلال أيّام قليلة ورغم ضجيج المعارك والتصريحات النارية تظهر مؤشرات متسارعة على وجود إطار شامل لتهدئة الحروب وحلحلة الأزمات يتخطّى حدودها الكيانية والإقليمية. ففي الأزمة الكورية وبعد يومين من تبادل تصريحات نارية أميركية وكورية شمالية تتحدّث عن ضربات ساحقة، يعلن وزير الدفاع الأميركي عزم واشنطن على التفاوض بواسطة أطراف ثالثة، ومعلوم أنه نتاج تفويض لروسيا والصين للإدارة التفاوضية للأزمة، وتعلن كوريا الجنوبية رغبتها بالتفاوض المباشر مع كوريا الشمالية.

– في الأزمة الخليجية تراجعت المناخات التي تتحدّث عن خطوات حاسمة لدول المقاطعة لقطر بقيادة السعودية، وحلّ مكانها الحديث عن مراجعة تفاوضية للأزمة، وصار الحديث عن الحوار مفردة تتكرّر في التصريحات الدولية والإقليمية المعنية بملفّ الأزمة، بعدما استنفدت فرص الضربات القاضية التي راهنت عليها السعودية منذ أكثر من شهرين، بينما في الحرب على اليمن تدور محادثات المبعوث الأممي على تحديد هوية طرف ثالث مقبول من الفريقين يتولى مرفأ الحديدة ومطار صنعاء كخطوة تمهيدية لفك الحصار البحري والجوي الذي فرضته السعودية على اليمن والذي كان سلاحها الأمضى رهاناً على تركيع اليمنيين، ويجري التداول بقوة دولية أو بقوة عُمانية أو قوة عُمانية كويتية مشتركة لهذا الغرض.

– في سورية يندفع الجيش السوري بقوة عسكرية شرقاً في البادية ونحو دير الزور، لكنه يندفع عسكرياً بمواكبة سياسية في الجنوب على إيقاع التفاهم الروسي الأميركي، بعدما فقدت الجماعات المسلحة التي رفضت التسليم الطوعي للجيش السوري لمناطق سيطرتها، خصوصاً على الحدود مع الأردن، فيحسم الجيش السوري المعابر في محافظة السويداء من دون أن تكون الطائرات الأميركية تتربّص بوحداته، كما جرى على الحدود السورية العراقية، وينهزم المسلحون بعدما تلقوا ضربات قاسية.

 وعلى المستوى السياسي تبدو عملية تركيب وفد للمعارضة بمقاسٍ مناسب لمهمة جنيف المقبلة حتى نهاية العام، عنواناً للحوارات التي تدور تحت عنوان وفد موحّد للمعارضة، بالتوازي مع عملية فك وتركيب وإبعاد وتقاعد وتمارض لقيادات لا مكان لها في المعادلة الجديدة، التي تقوم على تشكيل حكومة سورية تضمّ تمثيلاً للمعارضة في ظلّ الرئاسة السورية والدستور السوري، والتسليم بسقوط مشروع الإسقاط وبأولوية الحرب على الإرهاب.

– في الأزمة الأوكرانية، ورغم كلّ مظاهر الخلاف حول حلها وكيفياته وما ترتب على الأزمة الدبلوماسية الأميركية الروسية مع العقوبات الأميركية على روسيا، وقرار موسكو إبعاد الدبلوماسيين الأميركيين، يعلن وزير الخارجية الروسي سيرغي لافروف أنه بنتيجة لقاءات مانيلا مع نظيره الأميركي ريكس تيلرسون وتأكيد تفاهمات الرئيسين دونالد ترامب وفلاديمير بوتين، فإنّ مسؤولين أميركيين وروساً سيلتقون قريباً للتداول في تنشيط مساعي الحلّ في أوكرانيا.

– هذه التطورات والمتغيّرات المتسارعة تمنح قدراً عالياً من المصداقية لما تسرّب عن تفاهم بين الرئيسين الروسي والأميركي على هامش قمة هامبورغ، على السعي لتنقية المشهد على الساحة الدولية من عناصر التوتر مع نهاية العام، وجعل الصورة الأبرز للسياسة الدولية هي التعاون في الحرب على الإرهاب. وهذا يعني إطفاء النيران التي تشعل الحرائق، أو منع ضخّ الوقود عنها لتنطفئ نارها، وبذلك نشهد تدريجاً فقدان محفزات وموارد الحروب التي لا تستطيع الاستمرار بدونها، ما يؤكد أنها حروب أشعلت واستمرت بقرار خارجي، مهما بدت أسبابها المحلية والداخلية وجيهة، وأن لا حرب تملك أسباب الاستمرار بلا حاضنة دولية بحجم ما تقدّمه واشنطن، أو توحي لحلفائها بتقديمه، أو تغضّ النظر عنهم عند تقديمه، وعندما تقرّر فإنّ من كانوا يكابرون بالأمس ينصاعون اليوم.

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It’s the Russia, Stupid

It’s the Russia, Stupid

JAMES GEORGE JATRAS | 16.06.2017

It’s another week in Washington and another horror show. This time it was Attorney General Jeff Sessions being grilled by Senators on whether, when, and how he might have met with certain Russians, or any Russian, or someone who might actually know a Russian. In addition to fishing for any inconsistency that could be used to support an accusation of obstruction of justice or perjury – the usual sleazy methodology of politically motivated investigations here – the transparent aim was to further poison the well on any possible initiative to improve ties with Moscow.

The strategy appears to be working. The Russian Embassy in Washington confirms that for the first time since the Russian Federation’s founding the State Department did not send pro forma national day greetings. Perhaps the bureaucrats were afraid they would be tainted and themselves become targets of multiple investigations into «collusion» with the Kremlin. (Luckily, this intrepid Washington analyst has no qualms about such associations.)

Or more likely, they themselves are part of the Russophobic mob undermining the White House. It has been reported that soon after the inauguration Trump sought to open dialogue with the Kremlin and set an early summit with President Vladimir Putin. This produced a hysterical counteraction from the Deep State. As reported by conservative columnist and former presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan:

«The State Department was tasked with working out the details.

«Instead, says Daniel Fried, the coordinator for sanctions policy, he received ‘panicky’ calls of ‘Please, my God, can you stop this?’.

«Operatives at State, disloyal to the president and hostile to the Russia policy on which he had been elected, collaborated with elements in Congress to sabotage any detente. They succeeded.

«‘It would have been a win-win for Moscow,’ said Tom Malinowski of State, who boasted last week of his role in blocking a rapprochement with Russia. State employees sabotaged one of the principal policies for which Americans had voted, and they substituted their own».

So much for constitutional government and the rule of law…

But now it gets even worse. This week Congress moved legislation designed to codify in statute sanctions imposed on Russia by Barack Obama over Ukraine and evidence-free charges of Russian election interference. Provisions for a presidential waiver, which are standard in any sanctions legislation, are unusually narrow. Congressional proponents are clear that their aim is to take the matter out of the president’s hands. Democrats, seemingly devoid of any other policy agenda or ideas, vow to keep banging the Russia drum through the 2018 Congressional elections.

When all is said and done, there are lots of reasons the political class hates Trump. His heresies on immigration and trade are near the top of the list. But make no mistake: for the Deep State and its mainstream media arm, demonizing Russia and Vladimir Putin personally is a dangerous obsession. (There is reason to suspect «Russian collusion» figured in the thinking of a fanatical Leftist’s shooting attack on Republican Congressmen: «The shooter also signed a petition calling for an investigation into Trump-Russia ties, confirming he was radicalized by the mainstream media’s obsession with conspiracy theories about Russia interfering with the election».)

It remains to be seen whether Oliver Stone’s extended interview with Putin on the Showtime network will have any impact. So far the commentary seems to be divided between descriptions of the substance of the discussion and attacks on Stone for talking with such a bad, bad man: «Speaking after the interview, Stone refuted allegations that he became an unwitting messenger of pro-Putin propaganda or of dishonest information given by the president».

With regard to substance, relatively little attention has been accorded in American media to Putin’s flat accusation that U.S. «special services» have supported terrorists, including in Chechnya. Of course anyone paying attention would know that arming jihadists is a standard part of U.S. policy, going back at least to Afghanistan in the 1980s and repeated in Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya, and today in Syria. Indeed, as early as the 1950s the U.S. had established a very close relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood and its terrorist elements as a weapon against Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser and Baathists in Syria and Iraq, who Washington thought were a little too cozy with the Soviet Union and far too socialist and secular for the taste of our pals in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

There is a real symbiosis between the anti-Russian imperative in American foreign policy and support for radical Islamic elements. It did not end when the Soviet Union and communism collapsed but rather was intensified. This is why Moscow’s constant calls for a common front against terrorism are always rebuffed. Such cooperation doesn’t make any sense for anomenklatura whose number one goal is hostility to Moscow and for whom jihadists are at worst «frienemies» – people who may be troublesome but useful.

We can only imagine how completely different the world would be if the U.S. were to recognize that Russia is a country that in many respects is not that different from the United States or Europe and that we had common interests. But for the U.S. Deep State, that would amount to switching sides in a global conflict, where we see jihadists essentially as «freedom fighters» against a geopolitical adversary. These same clueless «elites» are then puzzled when their carefully nurtured, cuddly, «moderate» jihad terrorists attack us back here at home.

This irrational pattern is at the root of the hostility of American policymakers toward Russia and any prospect of normalizing bilateral ties. In large part, it’s what underlies the «soft coup» being directed against Trump, of which the Sessions pillorying was an episode. (A late report based on unreliable, unverified sources suggests that Special Counsel on the Russia probe, Robert Mueller, is expanding his investigation to include potential obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump. Mueller, a close personal friend of ousted FBI Director James Comey, has already packed his team with partisan Democrats.)

Those behind this attempted coup think we can continue to treat Russia as though it were a minor power of the magnitude of Serbia, Iraq, Libya, or Syria, or even Iran. They think if we just keep pushing, pushing, pushing, either the Russians will collapse or back down. They will do everything possible to box Trump in and prevent him from pursuing any path other than the disastrous course laid out by Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama. They can see no other outcome than removing Putin and returning Russia to the condition of a Yeltsin-era vassal state – a term Putin used in the Stone interview – or, better yet, its territorial breakup along the lines suggested by the late Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Will the Oliver Stone interview change any minds? It’s too soon to tell. But if the soft coup against Trump succeeds, it might not matter, since then America could not be considered a self-governing constitutional republic even in a residual sense. We may have already passed our own Rubicon and just don’t know it yet.

Anti-Christian pogrom underway in Ukraine…while is ongoing the genocide of Donbass/Novorossiya population, Donetsk, Lugansk … by neo-Nazi gangs of Kiew regime […U.S.-NATO supported…]

Source


Anti-Christian pogrom underway in Ukraine…

…while is ongoing the genocide of Donbass/Novorossiya population, Donetsk, Lugansk … by neo-Nazi gangs of Kiew regime





ALL  VIDEOS  ARE  WITH  ENG-SUBT

Russia to supply electricity to liberated parts of Eastern Ukraine

Source

Ukraine Says Regions Weren’t Paying Their Bills

The Russian government has announced that they have begun supplying electricity to the Eastern Ukrainian oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk today, after all electricity supplies were cut by the Ukrainian government. over what they said were unpaid bills.

Donetsk and Luhansk are rebel-held parts of Ukraine, and have been since 2014. The regions have ethnic Russian majorities and rebelled over attempts to ban Russian as an official language, and curtail trade across the Russian border. Many of the rebels advocate secession.

Ukraine’s state power company claimed the regions were some $431 million in debt over non-payment of bills. Russia says that they will be providing power through pre-existing lines effective immediately to avoid loss of electricity to some 3 million people in the effected areas.

The decision by the Ukrainian government to cut power to the region appears to be an attempt to put pressure on the secessionist movement, though ironically by forcing them to turn to Russia for electricity they may further enhanced the region’s link to the Russian Federation.

 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview to the National Interest Magazine March 29, 2017

March 29, 2017
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview to the National Interest Magazine March 29, 2017

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the National Interest Magazine, published on March 29, 2017

http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2710445

Question: I’d like to start by asking you about your forthcoming meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, we’ve read in the press that the two of you may be meeting soon.

Sergey Lavrov: So they say.

Question: Could you perhaps tell us about your expectations and goals in dealing with Secretary Tillerson?

Sergey Lavrov: Well, after the American election, soon after Election Day President Putin and President-elect Trump talked over the phone. It was a good but very general discussion touching upon the key issues in our relations, and of course the key international issues. And they agreed that they would continue being in touch and after the inauguration they talked again, and they reconfirmed the need to look for ways which would be effective in handling international problems. And of course to see what could be done to bring the bilateral relations to normalcy. They also agreed that Mr. Rex Tillerson and I would look into the agenda in some more details, and would also discuss the preparation for the presidential meeting which should take place when both countries, both leaders feel comfortable.

And we met with Rex in mid-February in Bonn on the margins of the G-20 ministerial meeting, and covered quite a lot of the bilateral agenda. I briefed him about the relationship on bilateral issues with the Obama administration, the problems which accumulated during that period. We did not go into the substance of this, I just briefed him so that his team, which is still being assembled, could take a look at these issues and determine what kind of attitude they would have on them. And we discussed Syria, Iran, the Korean Peninsula, the Middle East in general, relations between Russia and the West, it was a very general, but rather substantive discussion, obviously it was the first contact and Mr.Rex Tillerson is just getting into the shoes of his new capacity. We discussed the possibility of personal meeting and have been continuing these discussions. As soon as we finalize them it will be announced.

But my feeling is that from the point of view of personal relationship, we feel quite comfortable. I feel quite comfortable, I believe Rex had the same feeling, and our assistants should work closer but of course this could only be done when the team in the State Department is complete.

Question: Of course. If I could follow up on your answer there, you mentioned bringing normalcy to the U.S.-Russia relationship. What do you think “normal” is?

Sergey Lavrov: “Normal” is to treat your partners with respect, not to try to impose some of your ideas on others without taking into account their own views and their concerns, always to try to listen and to hear, and hopefully not to rely on a superiority complex, which was obviously the case with the Obama administration. They were obsessed with their exceptionality, with their leadership. Actually the founding fathers of the United States, they also spoke of their leadership, and they believed that the American nation was exceptional, but they wanted others just to take the American experience as an example and to follow suit. They never suggested that the United States should impose, including by force, its values on others.

And the Obama administration was clearly different. Actually, long before Ukraine, long before Crimea, in early December 2012, there was an OSCE ministerial meeting in Dublin. And Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State and was the head of the delegation, we had a bilateral meeting with her, she was trying to persuade me on something which was a difficult issue on the agenda, but I recall this situation because in the margins of this ministerial meeting she attended a meeting in the University of Dublin, and she delivered a lecture in which she said something like: “We are trying to figure out effective ways to slow down or prevent the move to re-Sovietize the former Soviet space.” December 2012.

What kind of action she was considering as the move to re-Sovietize the space, I really couldn’t understand. Yes, there were discussions about Ukraine, about Kazakhstan, Belarus and Russia, forming the Customs Union, and if this was the reason, then of course it showed very obviously the real attitude of the Obama administration to what was going on in the former Soviet space and the area of the Commonwealth of Independent States, its obvious desire to take over this geopolitical space around Russia without even caring what Moscow might think.

This was the reason for the crisis in Ukraine, when the U.S. and European Union bluntly told the Ukrainians: either you are with us, or you are with Russia against us. And the very fragile Ukrainian state couldn’t sustain this kind of pressure, and what happened- happened: the coup, and so on and so forth (if you want I can discuss this in some detail later). But my point is that they considered normal that the people in Obama’s team should call the shots anywhere, including around such a big country as the Russian Federation. And this is absolutely abnormal in my view.

At the same time, when we visited Venezuela with our naval ships, they were raising such hell, as if no one could even get closer to what they believe should be their backyard. This mentality is not adequate for the twenty-first century. And we of course notice that President Trump is emphasizing the need to concentrate on U.S. interests. And foreign policy for him is important as long as it serves the United States’ interests, not just some messiah projects doing something just for the sake of showing that you can do it anywhere. It’s irrational, and in this he certainly holds the same position as we do in Moscow, as President Putin does, that we don’t want to meddle in other people’s matters. When the Russian legitimate interests are not, you know involved.

Question: You just mentioned at the end of your statement that the United States shouldn’t meddle in others’ affairs, and obviously many Americans today feel that Russia has meddled in American affairs, in the 2016 election. Your government has denied that. But how do you explain what happened in the United States? Do you feel that Russia had any involvement or any responsibility at all for what transpired?

Sergey Lavrov: I believe that these absolutely groundless accusations – at least I haven’t seen a single fact that this was substantiated. I believe these accusations were used as an instrument in the electoral campaign, which for some reasons seemed to the Democratic Party to be an efficient way to raise support among the American people, playing on their feelings that no one shall meddle with American affairs. This is a Russophobic instrument. It was a very sad situation because we never wanted to be unfriendly with the American people, and apparently the Obama administration, the elite in the Democratic Party, who made every effort during the last couple of years to ruin the very foundation of our relationship, decided that the American people should be brainwashed without any facts, without any proof. We are still ready to discuss any concerns of the United States.

As a matter of fact, in November 2015, long before this hacker thing started, we drew the attention of the U.S. administration to the fact that they kept hunting Russian citizens suspected in cybercrime in third countries, and insisting on them being extradited to the United States, ignoring the treaty on mutual legal assistance which exists between Russia and the United States, and which should be invoked in cases when any party to this treaty has suspicions regarding the citizen of another one. And this was never done.

So what we suggested to them in November 2015, that we also don’t want to see our citizens violating law and using cyberspace for staging all kinds of crimes. So we would be the last one to try to look aside from them. We want them to be investigated and to be disciplined. But since the United States continued to avoid invoking this treaty on legal assistance, we suggested to have a meeting between the Justice Department and the Russian prosecutor-general, specifically at the expert level, on cybercrime. To establish confidential, expert, professional dialogue to exchange information.

They never replied; when we reminded them that there was a request, they orally told us that they were not interested, but in December 2016, more than one year after our request was tabled, they said, “Okay, why don’t we meet?” But this came from Obama administration experts, when they already were on their way out, some technical meeting took place, it was not of any substance but at least they responded to the need to do something about cyberspace.

And of course on cybercrimes the discussions in the United Nations are very telling. When we are leading the debate on negotiating an instrument which would be universal and which would be mandatory for everybody, the U.S. is not really very much eager, and is not very enthusiastic.

Speaking of meddling with others’ matters, there is no proof that Russia was in any way involved either in the United States, or in Germany, or in France, or in the United Kingdom – by the way, I read yesterday that the Swedish prime minister is becoming nervous that they also have elections very soon and that Russia would 100 percent be involved in them. Childish, frankly speaking. You either put some facts on the table or you try to avoid any statements which embarrass you, even if you don’t believe this is the case.

It’s embarrassing to see and to hear what we see and hear in the West, but if you speak of meddling with other countries’ matters, where facts are available—take a look at Iraq. It was a very blunt, illegal intervention, which is now recognized even by Tony Blair, and those who were pathetically saying that they cannot tolerate a dictator in Iraq. Take a look at Libya, which is ruined, and I hope still has a chance to become one piece. Take a look at Syria, take a look at Yemen: this is the result and the examples of what takes place when you intervene and interfere. Yes, I’m sure you can say about Ukraine, you can say about Crimea, but for this you have to really get into the substance of what transpired there.

When the European Union was insisting that President Yanukovych sign an association agreement, including a free-trade zone with zero tariffs on most of the goods and services crossing the border between Ukraine and the European Union, and at that point it was noted that Ukraine already had a free-trade area with Russia, with some different kind of structure, but also with zero tariffs. So if Russia has zero tariffs with Ukraine, Ukraine would have the same with European Union but we have some protection, under the WTO deal with the European Union, so the only thing we said: guys, if you want to do this, we would have to protect our market from the European goods which would certainly go through Ukraine to Russia, trying to use the zero-tariff arrangement. And the only thing suggested, and Yanukovych supported, is to sit down the three—Ukraine, EU and Russia—and to see how this could be handled. Absolutely pragmatic and practical thing. You know what the European Union said? “None of your business.”

Then-President of the European Commission Mr. Jose Manuel Barrosso (my favorite) stated publicly that we don’t meddle with Russia’s trade with China, so don’t meddle with our deal with Ukraine. While the situation is really very different and the free-trade area argument was absolutely ignored. And then Mr. Yanukovych asked for the signature of this deal to be postponed, for him to understand better what will be the consequences—for his industry, for his finances, for his agriculture—if we would have to protect ourselves from potential flow of cheap goods from Europe. That’s so, and then the coup was staged, in spite of the fact that there was a deal between Yanukovych and the opposition, witnessed by Germany, France and Poland.

Next morning, this deal was torn apart under the pretext that Yanukovych disappeared, and therefore all commitments were off. The problem is that he did not leave the country, he was in another city of the country. But my main point is that the deal which they signed with him was not about him; it was about his agreement to go to early elections – and he would have lost these elections – but the deal started by saying, “We agree to create a government of national unity.”

And next morning, when they just tore apart this deal, Mr. Arseniy Yatsenyuk then a leader in Ukraine’s Batkivshchyna party and others who signed the deal with the President, they went to this Maidan, to the protestors, and said, “Congratulations, we just created the government of the winners.” Feel the difference: “government of national unity” and “government of the winners”. Two days later, this parliament, which immediately changed their position, announced that the Russian language is no longer welcome.

A few days later, the so called the Right Sector, the group which was an instrument in the violence in Maidan—they said that Russians have nothing to do in Crimea, because Russians would never honor the heroes of Ukraine, like Bandera and Shukhevych, who were collaborating with Nazis. These kinds of statements led to the people in the east of Ukraine just to say: “guys, you did something unconstitutional, and we don’t believe this is good for us”, so leave us alone, let us understand what is going on in Kiev, but we don’t want any of your new ideas to be imposed on us. We want to use our language, we want to celebrate our holidays, to honor our heroes: these eastern republics never attacked anyone. The government announced the antiterrorist campaign in the east, and they moved the regular army and the so-called voluntary battalions in the east of Ukraine. This is not mentioned by anyone. They are called terrorists—well, they never attacked a person.

And investigations of what actually happened on that day of the coup is going nowhere, the investigation of the murder in Odessa on the second of May, 2014, when dozens of people were burned alive in a trade-union office building, is moving nowhere. Investigation of political murders of journalists and opposition politicians is not moving anywhere. And they basically passed amnesty for all those who were on the part of the opposition during the coup. And they prosecute all those who were on the part of the government.

But even now they want to prosecute Yanukovych in absentia, but one interesting thing maybe for your readers to compare: there was a deal on the twenty-first of February, next morning they said, Yanukovych is not in Kiev, so our conscience is clean and we do what we please, in spite of the commitment to national unity. About the same time there was a coup in Yemen. President Hadi fled to Saudi Arabia. Not to some other city in Yemen, but he fled abroad.

More than two years passed, and the entire progressive international community, led by our Western friends, insists that he must be brought back to Yemen and that the deal which he signed with the opposition must be honored by the opposition. My question is why Ukraine’s situation is treated differently from the situation in Yemen. Is Yemen a more important country? Is the deals which you sign and the need to respect your word and your deals, is more sacred in Yemen than in Ukraine? No answer.

Sorry for getting into all these details, but people tend to forget, because they’re being brainwashed every day with very simple phrases like “Russia is aggressor in Ukraine,” “annexation of Crimea” and so on and so forth, instead of laboring your tongues, people should go there. Those who go to Crimea, see for themselves how the people live there, and they understand that all these hysterical voices about violation of human rights, about discrimination vis-à-vis Crimean Tatars, is a lie.

Question: Maybe coming back, just for a moment, to the U.S. election, and setting aside the question of evidence, because your government has its perspective, the U.S. intelligence community has its perspective—I don’t think those differences are likely to be reconciled. Setting that question aside, many Americans believe that Russia did interfere in the election; it’s contributed to a particular political climate in the United States. Do you view that as an obstacle to the U.S.-Russia relationship, and do you believe there is anything that Russia can or should do to try to address these widespread concerns?

Sergey Lavrov: You said a very interesting thing. You used the word “perspective.” You said, “Russia has its own perspective; the American intelligence community has its own perspective.” Perspective is something which many people have. We speak about facts, about proofs. And with all these perspectives, these hearings which sometimes are shown on CNN, on Russian TV, I haven’t heard any, any proof. Except the confirmation that the FBI and the NSA started watching what the Trump team is doing sometime in July. I heard this recently.

And I take this as acceptance by those who were doing this, for whatever reason, and they clearly said that this was not because of the suspicion that he had something to do with Russia but this was a routine process during which they find a trace leading to the Trump headquarters. Fine, this is a fact: they admitted that they started this. So what? If by admitting this they make their perspective regarding Russia a fact, I cannot buy this.

And then you said, they have their own perspective, and that the American people believe Russia had something to do with the American elections. Categories like perspective and belief are not very specific. And we speak about some very serious accusations. I understand that in the West, people who indeed profess Russophobic feelings, and unfortunately they are—they used to be very powerful, they are still very powerful even when they lost the elections: and Russophobic trends are obviously seen even in the Republican camp. You know, it’s very easy to find some external threat and then to put all the blame on this particular external threat.

When in 2014 the Malaysian plane was shot down over Ukraine, two days later I think, in the UN Security Council, when we insisted on adopting a resolution demanding further investigation, the American officials said yes, we believe investigation must be held, but we already know the result.

What about the presumption of innocence? The same happened on Litvinenko, the poor guy who was poisoned in London, when from the very beginning they said, we will have an investigation but we know who did it, and they never made this trial public. And they never accepted the offer of assistance which we were ready to provide. And so on and so forth.

Now, yesterday, this terrible murder of the Russian and Ukrainian citizen, who used to be an MP in Russia, and did not stay in the current parliament, and President Poroshenko two hours after the guy was murdered says that this was a terrorist attack from Russia—who also blew up the munition depot near Kharkov. It was said a few hours later by the president of a democratic country, whom our American and european friends call a beacon of democracy. I thought democracy was about establishing facts when you have suspicions.

And democracy is about division of power, and if the the chief executive takes upon himself the functions of the legal system, of the judicial system, that does not fit with my understanding of how Western democracy works. We’re ready to discuss anything, any facts, I mean. We’re ready to assist in investigations of whatever issues our partners anywhere might have. Whether this is going to be an obstacle to normal relations, I don’t think so. I believe the Russian people, at least if we are asked, I would say no, if it depends on us. I understand that there are some people in the United States who want this to become an obstacle, and who want to tie up the team of President Trump on the Russian issue, and I believe this is very mean policy, but we see that this is taking place.

What Russia can do to help? Unfortunately, not much. We cannot accept the situation, but some absolutely artificial hysterical situation was created by those who severed all of the relationship—who dropped the deal on the Bilateral Presidential Commission between Moscow and Washington with some twenty-plus working groups, a very elaborate mechanism of cooperation—and then after they have done this, after they prevent the new administration from doing away with this absolute stupid situation, to ask us to do something? I don’t think it’s fair.

We said what we did, that we are ready to work with any administration, any president who would be elected by the American people. This was our line throughout the electoral campaign, unlike the acting leaders of most European countries who were saying absolutely biased things, supporting one candidate, unlike those who even bluntly warned against the choice in favor of the Republican candidat, and this somehow is considered normal. But I leave this on the conscience of those who said this and then immediately chickened out and then started praising the wisdom of the U.S. electorate.

We said that we would be ready to come back to the relationship and to develop the relationship with the United States to the extent, and to the depths, to which the administration is ready to go. Whatever is comfortable for our partners, we will support and provide it. We talk on the basis of mutual respect and equality, trying to understand the legitimate interest of each other and to see whether we can find the balance between those interests. We will be ready to cover our part of the way, as President Putin said, but we will not be making any unilateral steps. We offered cooperation on very fair terms, and we will judge by the deeds of course.

Question: Perhaps we can pivot to international affairs. In the United States there’s been discussion of a new Cold War; you, for your part, recently talked about a post-West international order, which as you may imagine is not something that many in the United States and other Western countries would readily embrace. In fact, some may even be strongly inclined to resist the emergence of a post-West order. What do you think a post-West order is, and do you think that it makes confrontation between Russia and the United States, or Russia and the West, inevitable?

Sergey Lavrov: Well first, I don’t believe that we are having another Cold War. Ideologically, we’re not different, we’re not apart. Yes, there are nuances in how the countries in the West and Russia and its neighbors are run. But all in all the basis is democracy, which is elections, basically, and organizing the system, the way you respect the opposition  and it’s also market economy. Again with «give and take» you know in some countries the state is much more involved in economy than in others but this happened in France some time ago, in the UK some time ago, so this is all secondary details, I would say. There’s no ideological differences as far as democratic principles and market economy are concerned. Second, these days, unlike the days of the Cold War, we have much clearer common threats, like terrorism, like chaos in the Middle East, like the threat of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This was never the case during the Cold War days, which was a very negative balance with sporadic conflicts in periphery. This time we have global universal threats, not sparing anyone and this is what we witness almost daily, with these terrorist attacks in the Middle East and Europe, there was one in the United States, and so on and so forth.

So this absolutely makes it necessary to reassess where we are and what kind of cooperative structure we need. Post-West system, post-West order: I mentioned this term in Munich at the Munich Security Conference, and I was really surprised that people immediately made me the author, the coiner of this term, because the title of the conference contained “post-West order”—with a question mark, yes. I put the question mark aside for one very simple reason: if we all agree that we cannot defeat terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking, climate change without a universal coalition, if we all agree that this is the case, and I believe we do, then it would certainly be necessary to recognize that the world is different, compared to the many centuries than when the West was leading with culture, philosophy, military might, economic systems, and so on and so forth.

We all have, China, the whole Asia-Pacific region, which President Obama, by the way, said is the place where the U.S. would be shifting, which in itself means that he was not thinking of the West order but post-West order. And, of course, Latin Athe merica, Africa, which is hugely underdeveloped but has the potential with resources and labor, young and vigorous, still untapped. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson just a few days ago in Washington convened a coalition to fight terrorism—sixty-eight countries if I am not wrong, double the number of the countries in the West. This meeting was post-West order, or a manifestation of post-West order. So I don’t believe the Western countries should be really offended or should feel that their contribution to the world civilization has been underestimated—not at all. It’s just the time when no one can do it alone, and that’s how we feel. It’s a polycentric world. Call it multipolar, call it polycentric, call it more democratic—but this is happening. And economic might, financial might and the political influence associated with all this, they’re much more evenly spread.

Question: Let’s zero in on Syria. You mentioned the terrorism issue and certainly the struggle with ISIS is an important focus for the U.S., for Russia. There has been, as I’m sure you’re aware, some skepticism in the United States about Russia’s role in Syria. President Donald Trump, when he was a presidential candidate, certainly referred many times to a desire to work with Russia in Syria. How do you envision the opportunities and constraints on the U.S. and Russia in working together in Syria, and do you have any specific new ideas about how to do that?

Sergey Lavrov: First, when this coalition was created by the Barack Obama administration (the coalition which was convened in Washington just a few days ago) it was understood that out of sixty-some countries only a few would be actually flying air force and hitting the ground. Others were mostly political and moral support, if you wish, solidarity show—which is fine, it’s important these days as well to mobilize the public opinion in as many countries as you can. We were not invited. The Iranians were not invited. Some others were not invited, who I believe should be important partners in this endeavor. But this was motivated by some ideological considerations on the part of the Barack Obama administration. I just don’t want to go into the reason for why they assembled this particular bunch of people.

But what I can attest to is that one year into the creation of this coalition, it was very sporadically using the air force to hit some ISIL positions. They never touched the caravans who were smuggling oil from Syria to Turkey and, in general, they were not really very active. This changed after we responded to the request of President Assad, who represents, by the way, a legitimate government –member of the United Nations. After we joined, President Vladimir Putin and President Barack Obama spoke in New York in September 2015, and President Putin clearly told him that we would be doing this and we were ready to coordinate, and they agreed to have these deconfliction discussions, which did not start soon actually, not through our fault. But when we started working there the U.S.-led coalition became much more active. I don’t want to analyze the reason for this. I’m just saying before we moved there with our air force, the U.S. coalition was very rarely hitting ISIL positions and almost never hitting the positions of Jabhat al-Nusra, which many people believe has been spared just in case at some point they might be needed to topple the regime. And this feeling, this suspicion, is still very much alive these days, when Jabhat al-Nusra already twice changed its name, but it never changed its sponsors who continue to pump money and whatever is necessary for fighting into this structure. And people know this. So when we moved there, at the request of the government, we suggested to the U.S. to coordinate our efforts. They said, “No, we can only go for deconfliction,” and deconfliction procedures were developed and are being applied quite well, but we believed it was a shame that we couldn’t go further, and coordinate targets and what have you. And then my friend, John Kerry, who was very sincere in his desire to overcome the ideological—not ideological, but to overcome some artificial barriers, and to indeed start military coordination—we spent almost from February 2016 to September 2016 when, eventually, we had a deal to separate the armed groups, with whom the U.S. and the allies cooperate, from ISIL and Jabhat al-Nusra, and then to coordinate the targets and basically to strike only those targets which would be acceptable to both Russians and the Americans. Quite a few people really understood the quality of this deal.

I put myself in the shoes of those who were criticizing us for hitting wrong targets. You remember, there was so much criticism. So the deal we reached with Kerry, when none of us could strike unless the other supports, was solving this problem. And the fact that the Pentagon just disavowed what Kerry did, and Obama could not overrule the Pentagon, meant for me only one thing: that he, the president of the United States, Barack Obama, was motivated by the desire to have some revenge on Russia, for whatever reason and for whatever situation, rather than to capitalize over the deal reached between John Kerry and us, to make the war against terror much more efficient in Syria. But let God judge him.

Now, whether we have an opportunity to resume the cooperation: yes we do. Yes, President Donald Trump said that fighting terrorism is his number one international goal, and I believe this is absolutely natural. We will be sharing this approach, I am sure, and it’s also, in this sense, coming back to our first question which we discussed, about intervention in other parts of the world, terrorism is a universal threat. So when you interfere to fight terrorist manifestations, it’s in the interest of your country. It’s another matter that you have to be faithful to international law. And the coalition, of course, led by the United States, was never invited to Syria. We were, Iran was, Hezbollah was. Still, the Syrian government, while complaining that the coalition were there uninvited, they said, “If and since you’re going to coordinate with Russians, with those who fight ISIL and Nusra, we take it as this is what you want, to defeat terrorism, not to do anything else in Syria.” So deconfliction procedures continue to be applied.

You might have heard that the chief of general staff of the Russian Army, General Gerasimov, met with General Dunford.

Question: Twice, I understand.

Sergey Lavrov: Twice, at least, and they talked over the phone. And this is something the military discussed. I assume that if their discussions go beyond deconfliction, I don’t want to speculate, this would be a welcome sign that we can really do what is necessary to bring about the situation when everyone who confronts ISIL and Nusra on the ground acts in coordination. If not under the united command—this, I think is unachievable—but in a coordinated manner.

The Turks have troops on the ground. Iran, Hezbollah are invited by the government. Russian air force with some ground special military police helping keep law and order in the Sunni quarters of Aleppo and Damascus, the military police from Russia is largely composed of Russian Sunnis from the northern Caucasus—Chechens, Ingush and others.

The U.S. Air Force and the coalition air force; U.S. special forces on the ground. Apparently there are French and U.K. special forces on the ground. The military groups who are part of the so-called Free Syrian Army, the military armed groups who are part of the Kurdish detachments—there are so many players: I listed all those who declare that ISIL and Nusra are their enemies. So some harmonization is certainly in order, and we are very much open to it.

When the United States dropped from the deal, which we negotiated with John Kerry, we shifted to look for some other opportunities and we had the deal with Turkey later—which was later supported by Iran—which brought about some kind of cessation of hostilities between the government and a group of armed opposition. And we created, in Astana, a parallel track supportive of the Geneva negotiations concentrating on mechanisms to monitor the cessation of hostilities, to respond to violations, also to build up confidence by exchanging prisoners, and so on and so forth.

It is not welcome by quite a number of external players who try to provoke and encourage the radicals, radical armed groups in Syria, to make trouble and to stage some terrorist attacks. They launched a huge offensive now in the northern part of the Hama province, and they basically coordinate with Jabhat al-Nusra, under its new name. So it’s also a game for influence in Syria, unfortunately, which prevails in the minds of the people who promote such an approach, rather than the need to get united to fight terrorism, and then to have a political deal. It’s the fight for influence on the battleground, and this is unfortunate. We don’t need this now. What we need is to strengthen the cessation of hostilities and to support strongly the political process in Geneva, concentrated on the new constitution, which would be accompanied by a division of power between the government, the opposition, all ethnic groups, then elections and so on and so forth. But all this would be absolutely meaningless if people sacrifice the fight against terror for the sake of their goal, their obsession, with regime change.

Question: In Iran, the Trump administration seems to have signaled an intent to try to enforce the Iran nuclear deal, the JCPOA, more strictly, perhaps to be more assertive in challenging Iran’s regional role. And I’d be curious about your reaction to that and the degree to which Russia could work with, or not work with, the United States on either of those things. Then there is Ukraine. Clearly a very complex problem, the Minsk Process I think to many outside observers really seems to have stalled. Is that process dead? Is there any way to move forward?

Sergey Lavrov: On Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was a product of collective work—it’s a compromise. But the key things were never compromised. It’s a compromise which allows for all of us, with the help of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to be sure that Iran’s nuclear program is going to be peaceful, that all the elements which cause suspicion would be removed, and handled in a way which gives us all certainty and gives us control over the implementation of those arrangements.

I don’t think that the Trump administration is thinking in the same terms as the slogans during the campaign, that Iran is the number one terrorist state; we don’t have a single fact to substantiate this claim. At least when we were facing a huge terrorist threat, when we were under terrorist attack in the 1990s in the northern Caucasus, we detected and discovered dozens and hundreds of foreign terrorist fighters from very close neighborship to Iran, but not from Iran at all. And we know that the political circles in quite a number of countries were really encouraging these terrorist groups to go into the northern Caucasus. Iran had never challenged the sovereignty of the Russian Federation, never used its own links with muslim groups  to provoke radicalism and to create trouble. What we do now with Iran and those that cooperate with us and the Syrian army is fighting terrorists in Syria. Iran is a powerful player on the ground, legitimately invited by the government. Iran has influence over Lebanese Hezbollah, which is also legitimately on the ground. And if we all want, you know, to topple, to defeat terrorists in Syria, there should be some coordination. I have already touched upon this.

The IAEA regularly reports on this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action implementation. The latest report once again confirmed that there are no violations of the part of Iran, and that the deal is being implemented in line with the commitments of Tehran and all others. It’s another matter that the steps which were promised in return to the implementation, namely sanctions relief, are not being undertaken by all Western participants as fast and as fully as was promised. But that’s another matter.

On the Minsk agreements, I believe that the Ukrainian government and President Poroshenko personally want them dead. They want them dead in a way which would allow them to blame Russia and the people in the east of Ukraine. They certainly encountered huge opposition from the radicals, and the radicals believe that this government is weak enough just to wait it out and to have either early elections or to have another Maidan. The biggest mistake of President Poroshenko, I am convinced, was that after he signed this agreement in February 2015 in Minsk, and he came back with the success, with the support of Germany, France, then the Security Council in New York endorsed this deal, and he should have used this moment to impress upon his parliament, upon the opposition, that this was a good deal supported by the European Union, where he wanted to join.

Instead, he started apologizing in front of his opposition when he got back to Kiev saying, you should not think this is serious, I did not commit myself to anything in the legal way—in the legally binding way—this is not what you read. And so on and so forth. He cornered himself in the situation of an absolutely irresponsible politician who signed one thing and who was saying that this is not what he signed one week later when he came back. The opposition felt that this was his weakness and they started carving out of his position anything which was still reasonable. The fact that every day he is in contact with President Vladimir Putin, they talk over the phone sometimes, they talk on the margins of the meetings of the Normandy Format when the leaders have their meetings; the last one was in October in Berlin last year. But my impression is that he tries to be constructive, to find ways to come back to the Minsk implementation. But the next day he comes back to Kiev or goes abroad, and goes public saying things which are absolutely aggressive and are absolutely unfair.

One very simple example: the Minsk agreement, they provide for preparation for elections on the special status of these territories, the status itself is listed in the deal, and the law on this special status is already adopted by the Rada, but it is not in force. Then amnesty, because you don’t want to have a «witch hunt», and the constitutional confirmation that this special status is permanent. That was all. And after this is done, the Ukrainian government restores full control over the entire Russian-Ukrainian border. They are saying now: no elections, no special status, no constitutional change, no amnesty, until we first take control of the border. But everyone can read the Minsk agreement—it’s only three pages. And it says absolutely clearly that the border transfer is the last step, and everyone understood why when this was negotiated. Because if you just under these circumstances, with all these animosities, with all these so-called voluntary battalions, Azov, Donbass and all the radicals, not reigned in by the government—when you just say, okay, take the border and we trust you that will do everything else, these people would just be victims. They will be suffocated and burned alive like the people in Odessa. So the political guarantees are crucial, and Germany, France and others understood this very well, just like the Americans understood this very well, because we did have parallel track—parallel to the Normandy Format—with the U.S. and we are ready to revive it again.

But one very simple example. October 2015, Paris: the Normandy leaders meet. And there is very specific discussion regarding the law on special status. The logic and sequence of the Minsk agreement is that you first have the special status, and then you have elections. Because people would normally want to know what kind of authority those for whom they are going to vote would have. Poroshenko said, no, we first have to have elections. Then I, Poroshenko, would see whether the people elected are to my liking. And if they are, then, we will give them the special status.

Which is rather weird. But still, we decided just to move forward, we would be ready to have some compromise on this thing, in spite of the fact that it was absolutely clearly spelled out in the Minsk agreement. And then the former foreign minister of Germany, who was participating in the meeting, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who is now president of Germany, he said, why don’t we have a compromise formula which would mean that the law on the special status is adopted, but it enters into force on the day of elections temporarily, and it would enter into force, full fledged, on the day when the OSCE reports that elections were free and fair, and in line with democratic OSCE standards?

Everyone says okay. Poroshenko says okay. One year later, in October 2016 in Berlin, the same group of people, the leaders with the ministers. And President Putin is saying the formula of Steinmeier is still not embodied in any papers, in the Contact group process, because the Ukrainian government refuses to put in on paper. Poroshenko said, well, but it is not what we agreed, and so on and so forth. And then Putin said, well this is Mr. Steinmeier, ask him about his formula, and he reiterated this formula: temporary entry into force on the day of elections, full entry into force on the day the OSCE confirms they were free and fair. Merkel said the same, Hollande said the same, that this was absolutely what we agreed.

And then Poroshenko said, okay, let’s do it. October 2016 is almost half a year ago. And we are still not able, because of the Ukrainian government opposition in the contact group, to fix this deal on paper. So I can go for a long time on this one, but I am sure that those people who are interested can go and who follow the developments in Ukraine, they understand why we are not at the point of Minsk implementation.

The Ukrainian government wants to provoke the other side to blink first and to say, enough is enough, we drop from the Minsk deal. That’s why the economic blockade, that’s why the prohibition for the banks to serve the population in the east. By the way, in the Minsk agreements, two years ago we discussed the difficulties in banking services for this part of Ukraine and Germany and France committed themselves to organizing mobile banking, and they failed because they could never get cooperation from the Ukrainian authorities.

Well, I leave it to your readers to study what is going on, what is happening in Ukraine, Syria and elsewhere.

Related

World SITREP Heads and Tails

March 27, 2017
World SITREP Heads and Tails

Pentagon has finally discovered a “link between Russia and Libyan commander Haftar”

Marine General Thomas Waldhauser, the head of U.S. forces in Africa told reporters on Friday March 24 that there was an “undeniable” link between Russia and powerful Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar, underscoring U.S. concerns about Moscow’s deepening role in Libya.” as Reuters reported.

General Khalifa Haftar, commander in the Libyan National Army (LNA), visit to Moscow was announced last summer and he visited Moscow in November 2016,. His meeting with Sergey Lavrov took place on November 29, 2016

The information about the meeting between Lavrov and General Khalifa Haftar was posted the same day on the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs website.

The Pentagon’s presentation of this fact four months later as some kind of deeply classified Intel just discovered by their Intelligence services just to show you what kind of complete and utter morons work for the US military and intelligence.

That’s however, doesn’t mitigate an interference of the US into the relations of Russia with other countries.

It’s none of your business, Pentagon!

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A district court in Moscow threw out a civil complaint filed by Yuri Kanner, the head of the Jewish congress in Russia, and the vice president of the World Jewish congress (WJC). The complaint was filed against  Maksim Shevchenko, an opposition journalist and a member of the Council for Human Rights for the President of the Russian Federation.  A year ago Shevchenko published an article that criticized the policies of the state of Israel against occupied Palestine.

What makes this court decision truly remarkable is that the Jewish World Congress alleged his article to be an example of “anti-Zionist speech,” instead of traditionally used by them term “anti-Semitic speech.”

The court’s decision has underscore the fact that freedom of speech protects people as individuals, not political organizations and their geo-political concepts.

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An aftermath of Balaklaya arsenal explosion

The Balakleya lost one civilian killed, two wounded. And according to Vice Premier Zubko:

“We identified five destroyed private houses. Damages of different degrees were identified for 243 building, including 117 apartment buildings, 87 private houses, 12 social facilities, 22 facilities and industry. Assessment of volume of damage and destruction of these buildings is still underway”

90 servicemen were on duty at this military facility at any given time. Not a word a word about them from the government of Ukraine.

An unofficial  search was conducted across the local hospitals. No one reported any injured people arriving from this area. It looks like those 90 troops just vanished into thin air, literally or figuratively.

According to the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Center:

NATO troops are moving into the area around Kharkov.

NATO envoys arrive in Balaklia to assist in humanitarian demining NATO representatives are arriving in the town of Balaklia, Ukraine, to conduct demining operations in the area where a large-scale fire engulfed a military munitions depot on March 23, head of the Kharkiv regional state administration Yulia Svetlichna said on air of 112 Ukraine TV channel.

 “I can say that NATO envoys are already arriving to carry out demining the military munitions depot, at the request of the president,” Svetlichna said.

She also noted that the city’s electricity supply would be resumed on Sunday, while gas services would be renewed before next Thursday. Svetlichna emphasized that the residents had already been provided with humanitarian aid. She also reported on the preparation of applications for financial assistance from the Cabinet of Ministers to carrying out restoration work. Read also Almost 20,000 residents evacuated due to blasts at Kharkiv region military depot As UNIAN reported earlier, overnight Thursday, March 23, a fire broke out at Ukraine’s largest munitions depot in Balaklia, Kharkiv region. Mass detonations led to an evacuation of nearly 20,000 residents of nearby settlements. There were no casualties among the military, but one civilian woman was killed and several others were injured. Poroshenko said on March 23 that he instructed the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry and the State Emergency Service “to attract NATO assistance for humanitarian demining in Balaklia.” On March 24, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze said that the United States and Slovakia had already expressed their readiness to assist Ukraine in demining the military arsenal in Balaklia in the framework of cooperation with the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Center.”

 

Also, there are reports of NATO troops moving to take over Ukrainian nuclear stations.

This is a full-fledged overt NATO invasion of Ukrainian territory.

Now, we can safely suggest that it was NATO behind the organization and execution of this explosion at Balakleya in the middle of Donbass. Most likely, they will proceed with consolidating their army against the Donetsk and Lugansk republics.

By taking over the nuclear power stations with 15 nuclear reactors, NATO gets a tool to start blackmailing Russian government with the threats of nuclear explosions.

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Who makes claims for Daesh?

This question was asked by a blogger I closely follow, Cat (Matvey) Motja, after the attack on the military base in Chechnya left six servicemen dead and three wounded.  So, I decided to look into who or what was the initial source for this information.

After a bit of research, I came to a conclusion that an initial source of this claim was the SITE Intelligence Group.

It was their website  that has announced that it was ISIS, and not some kind of CIA special ops or Mossad, that organized and executed this attack on the territory of Russia and by the hands of the Russian citizens.

IS Claims 6-Man Suicide Raid on Russian National Guard Base in Chechnya http://tinyurl.com/m3mqh8d 

.@siteintelgroup Where did you get this image? Can you give us the url for this source? @katMotja pic.twitter.com/QqQGrS3UhR

View image on Twitter
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Last night, the Kulak had dropped me this link to an FP article about a new TV show recently broadcasted in Russia titled “Adaptation.” The FP recommends us to watch this show, which means that this shows is yet another Russophobic anti-cultural project financed by Gazprom.

The Kulak: “Reminds me of that old Russian joke from the 1980s Cold War: the CIA dispatched an elite operative whose Russian was perfect to infiltrate the country. When he parachutes in with his secret radio into eastern Siberia, a babushka captures him with the help of some local militsiya. As the CIA agent is led away to be flown to KGB headquarters the dejected agent asks ‘How did you spot me as an American spy?’ and the babushka ‘ Oh, dear, we don’t get many blacks in our region.’” It’s worth noting that the gas behemoth’s media arm, Gazprom Media, owns the TNT network.”

Gazprom Media also owns Echo of Moscow, one of the most liberal and anti-Putin and pro-Washington and pro Israel news opinions dump.

The question is, who owns Gazprom Media?

The Foreign Policy article quotes Alexey Kovalev, “a Russian journalist and founder of Noodleremover, a Russian site that monitors the media”

Just a reminder that he dedicates himself attacking RT, TASS and Sputnik News for  what he calls “Russian propaganda for the West.”

Another FP sentiments, which is exactly why they posted this article: “is that sanctions have put several oil and gas exploration and drilling projects on hold, such as a huge Arctic gas plan with ExxonMobil.”

This should explain to you why a Russophobic show that depicts “drunk Russians working for Gazprom” is made and why it’s being promoted by the FP.tru to get a Pro-Russian TV show to be promote by the FP.

To create a fake reality and to demonstrate that Russia cannot function under sanctions and without the US technologies.

In reality

In 2017 Russia LNG export from Yamal will increase by 12% to 11.2 million tons.

Photo gallery of  Russian Arctic gas exploration capital  Sabeta, Yamal

They went on without ExxonMobil, with mostly Russian made equipment

People living in Norilsk said that the show hurts their patriotic sentiments and that Yamal was much better than it was depicted in this show.
They even started a twitter hashtag #Yamalisbetterthaninthemovie #ЯмалЛучшеЧемВКино

In the US the entertainment industry depicts the US as ‘shining city upon a hill” above everyone else, disregarding the reality of how dilapidated and crumbling it really is.

In Russia, it’s a complete opposite. People employed by an entertainment industry try to instill gloom and doom upon the country that is growing, building, inventing, investing in its economy and has the best prospects for the future than anyone else in the world now.

Infrastructure of Yamal, a hometown for the liquefied natural gas project located deep in the Russian Arctic

View image on Twitter

infrastructure of Yamal, a hometown for the liquefied natural gas project located deep in the Russian Arctic http://sdelano-u-nas.livejournal.com/10833047.html 

The most colorful town in Russia – Anadyr, a capital of Chukotka

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

The most colorful town in Russia – Anadyr, a capital of Chukotka
https://sdelanounas.ru/blogs/84892/ 

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Kadyrov awards the servicemen of the Russian military police who have recently returned from Syria

Kadyrov awards the Chechen military police who have recently returned from Syria

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March 26th demonstrations in Russia

Red Jackets provocateurs

A professional provocateur “glued” himself to the road

 

Videos with the similar type of actions were also taken during the March 25th demonstration in Minsk.

In Belarus, these people were coming for the demonstration with arsenals of weapon and bottles of Molotov cocktail.

What kind of future do you think this arsenal owners would bring to Belarus?

On March 23rd, the Police searched a car that belonged to Sergey Kuntsevich, 32yo Minsk resident, and discovered bottles filled with flammable fluids.

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MOD video: Performance by Russian Knights at the Lima’17 International Expo

 

Cadets of the Ryazan Higher Airborne twice Red Banner Order of Suvorov Command School named after V.F. Margelov take horse-riding lessons

Known also as the Ryazan Airborne Senior Command School of the General of the Army Vasily Margelov

The Ryazan Higher Airborne Command School is one of Russia’s oldest military academies, having been established in 1918. The academy serves since 1941 as the premier staff college and advanced training center of the Russian Airborne Troops, named first in honor of the Komsomol and at present after one of the greatest commanders of the Airborne Troops, Vasily Margelov, who was instrumental in the modernization and capability upgrades done to the service in the 1950s, as well as for its full independence as a separate arm directly responsible to the Defense Ministry.

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Paris – the situation is very tense between the forces if law enforcement and 200 protesters

Paris – Tensions devant le commissariat du 19eme suite au décès d’un homme lors d’une intervention policière hier soir. pic.twitter.com/u6y9rlldr5

Paris – Situation tres tendue entre les forces de l’ordre devant le commissariat et 200 manifestants. pic.twitter.com/jchyTjuA8Z

Kuwait News Agency: France strongly concerned over Russian repression of demonstrations

“PARIS, March 27 (KUNA)– The French Foreign Ministry on Monday said that France was “deeply concerned” by the Russian break-up of an anti-corruption rally in Moscow.”

 

===============

Scott Humor

Director of Research and Development

author of The enemy of the State

Follow me on twitter

Could the fire at the Europe’s largest munitions depot be Ben Hodges’s fault?

March 25, 2017

Could the fire at the Europe’s largest munitions depot be Ben Hodges’s fault?

After hitting rock bottom will Ukraine begin to rise again? Hitting a rock bottom can be very educational, as I found out this week. After I dropped a piece of chocolate into a tin can with sweetened condensed milk, I decided that one cannot exist on sugar alone and bought a bottle of wine, to add an item of nutritional value to my diet. What else should I consume to keep up with the superhuman energy of our Ukrainian none-brothers?

For starters, a devastating fire at the 65th rocket and artillery arsenal died out on March 24th. Kiev authorities and the state controlled Ukrainian news agencies proclaimed the fire to be “extinguished,” which is their way to tell the world that the depot has burned out of its own.

A Ukrainian Daily News channel posted a video of what’s left of the 65th Arsenal  in Balakleya

 

The same news channel has also posted a video of some Ukraine military activities titled “How the military extinguished the fire with fire fighting tanks”

The video doesn’t show much with an exception of a serviceman transporting an artillery shell on his shoulder and two others assisting him.

 

The following is data posted by the Ukrainian news channel “Ukraine 112

“Military unit A 1352 (65th rocket and artillery arsenal) is deployed in the city of Balakliya. Until recently, it has been considered to be the largest place in Europe where different types of ammunition are stored.

It was established in 1918. Its technical area is 368 hectares. According to the passport, this base is designed for 150 thousand tons of ammunition, currently 125 thousand tons are kept there.

As of 2009, approximately 30% of all artillery shells in Ukraine were stored there. The media reported (with reference to some inner sources) that they store ammunition from small-caliber artillery shells to S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, but many of them were to be subjected to utilization. In 2010, Kharkiv regional state administration reported that the military unit A 1352 in Balakliya was by 20% loaded with ammunition; it was quite risky, so the object has been gradually unloaded.”

 

The last sentence gently guides us to a conclusion that for the past seven years, the load of ammunition was “gradually” “utilized” due to the “risks” of its “storage.”

I am sorry… I am laughing so hard, that I can barely type. God bless the Ukrainian journalists, they have got some ways with words that we have not even started to explore.

The Ukraine 112 channel confirms our common suspicion that the 65th Arsenal has been practically emptied out at the time of the fire. The most obvious reason is that the depot is located just 150 kilometers from Donetsk and was the source of munitions for the war on Donbass.

There are, however, a few other reasons why Ukraine is running out of its weapons, and few other places these weapons are going.

After the separation from the USSR in 1991, Ukraine had the largest military force in the world, after the US and Russia. The largest supply of the Soviet Union weaponry, like tanks, artillery, fighter jets, bombers, fire weapons and ammunition of all kinds, got concentrated on the territory of Ukraine. I personally believe that this was done by the people who divided the USSR with a war between Ukraine and Russia in mind.

Over the past twenty five years Ukraine has been the largest vendor of the Soviet made weapon in the world.

 “In the wake of the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union, Ukraine inherited from the USSR one of the biggest military-industrial complexes, employing over 3 million people at more than 3,000 enterprises across the republic.

Twenty-four years later a mere 140 such enterprises are still at work.” says the news-front’s report, “How Ukraine sells its weapons” due to an ongoing scandal over Ukrainian-made explosives and armor plates seized by Syrian armed forces from Daesh terrorists.

Just recently there were some sightings of the Cyprus-flagged cargo reefer with alleged load of illicit Ukrainian weapons destined for the North Africa.

 

What precipitated this fire, however, was the visit to Ukraine of Lt. Gen.  Ben Hodges, a commander of the U.S. Army in Europe. His visit was announced by the Ukrainian extremist nationalist online outlet maintained by SBU called censor.net. An announcement came just a few hours before the Arsenal went up in flames.

“Hodges visits Ukraine: NATO’s efforts to deter Russian aggression …en.censor.net.ua/…/us_army_europe_commander_hodges_visits_ukraine_asks_ukrain…3 days ago – Frederick Ben Hodges, commander, U.S. Army Europe visited Ukraine’s National Defense”

Another announcement from the same source about a mysterious “international inspection group” from the US that started working on the Ukrainian’s military sites

 

I can’t find any second source confirmation for this visit, with one exception being this video taken on March 23rd by someone in Balaklaya. At 1:30 a person on the video says that the arsenal was expecting some kind of foreign military commission that was supposed to do an inspection of the supplies, and that’s why he believes the depot was blown up.

It could be that this commission was visiting Ukraine in preparation for a full-fledged deployment of the American ground troops to Ukraine.

Over the past three years, the US conducts an ongoing deployment of its military servicemen to Ukraine, with no prove that any of the troops have ever left the country. Some 10,000 US Marines are guarding Poroshenko’s residence and Kiev authorities.

This is just one November 2016 announcement of deployment:

“1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Oklahoma Army National Guardsmen with 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), conduct squad-level lane training Nov. 22, 2016, during their pre-mobilization at Camp Gruber Training Center (CGTC), near Braggs, Oklahoma, in preparation for their deployment to Ukraine. The 179th is the first of two six-month rotations to the Ukraine as part of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, a training mission focused on providing defensive and security training to Ukrainian forces within the U.S. Security Cooperation agreement. (Photo Credit: 1st Lt. Leanna Litsch) VIEW ORIGINAL

 

There are many indications that the US troops are the driving force behind the war on Donbass.

On March 22nd,  addressing the US Congress Curtis Michael “Mike” Scaparrotti, a four-star general in the United States Army, and is the current Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO Allied Command Operations, said

“In terms of lethal support, the Ukrainians are in a very tough fight which you saw. They are very disciplined soldiers, but they are facing what we say are separatists, they are actually Russian proxies in my mind. They are being provided very lethal equipment; the Russians are providing the separatists that.”

 

Following his speech, on the night between March 22nd and 23rd, the munitions depot near Kharkov went up in flames.

On March 23rd, President Poroshenko announced on his twitter that he ordered his power ministers to bring the NATO troops to Ukraine.

Kharkov region has started its descent into hell, with thousands of people evacuating, and the national guards taking over the region and immediately, claiming a need to “fight with marauders” have started the arrests of the locals who  refused to leave their houses.

 

Prime Minister of Ukraine Vladimir Groisman promised seven days of this hell.

A few hours later everything suddenly stopped.

Don’t’ tell me that it’s because of the Friday night and  Sabbath.

There are two things I want you to think about while I am researching further.

First, a radiation level in the region went many times up.  Chief military Prosecutor Anatoly Matios has denied on Friday that Ukraine has any nuclear weapons.

Second, a few hours ago witnesses reported powerful explosions around the Mariupol region, which is south from Kharkov. According to the statement issued by the  “command of an anti-terrorist operation,” explosions were controlled and conducted due to the “scheduled utilization of munitions.”

to be continued

The Secretary General of Macron’s French political party “en Marche” takes aims at The Saker, RT & Sputnik News!!

The Secretary General of Macron’s French political party “en Marche” takes aims at The Saker, RT & Sputnik News!!https://en-marche.fr/contre-tentatives-de-destabilisation-de-campagne-presidentielle/ 

 Scott Humor
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