Traitors and Patriots

June 10, 2022

Source

By Batiushka

The prolific Russian nationalist author of 91 books, Oleg Platonov (born 1950), relates in his work on the fall of the Soviet Union how in the 1980s, on the eve of the country’s collapse, Westerners, whom The Saker rightly calls ‘Euro-Atlanticists’, betrayed the USSR. These ‘Euro-Atlanticists’ were the ‘Communists’ who in the 1990s overnight became super Capitalists, bought shares for almost nothing in valuable, about-to-be privatised national companies and so became ‘oligarchs’. Their shameful acts, in fact thefts of national property by those with insider knowledge, created an underclass of homeless. They reveal how these money-launderers sold out their own country and people and souls, often then going to live in Tel Aviv, New York, London, Nice, Marbella, Nicosia etc.

The Traitors were opposed by the Patriots, some of whom worked in the national intelligence services, where some of the best brains met. One of these Patriots, the future President Putin, was then a lowly colonel in Dresden in East Germany, working in the Soviet intelligence services (not a head of it, like so many US Presidents, heads of the CIA). When the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989, his office sought answers from Moscow as to what to do. And there was no answer. ‘Moscow is silent’. I believe the story is related in many places, among them in ‘The Putin Interviews’ by Oliver Stone. It was that paralysis and silence of the Centre in Moscow that was among the most decisive events in the future President’s life. He realised that Moscow was betraying the Soviet Union, that it had been taken over by the Traitors, the ‘Nomenklatura’. They believed in nothing, except in their own disgraceful gain. They were anti-Patriots.

Since coming to power in 2000, V. V. Putin has very slowly and very cautiously, but incrementally, been remedying the situation. It is his life’s work – to reverse treachery. In 19th century Russian history people like him were known as ‘Slavophiles’ and they were opposed by ‘Westerners’. These are very vague and rather crude terms, for there are many types of Slavophiles, from primitive and bigoted nationalists to genuine Patriots, who are well-educated realists and seek only the well-being of their people. Similarly, the term ‘Westerners’ can describe outright Traitors and murderers, like Litvinenko and Skripal, but also those who realise that if Russia is to defend itself against the West, it must fight obscurantism and make use of, and then improve on, Western technology. President Putin would probably not identify with either of these historical tags, but rather perhaps with aspects of both of them.

History

The Slavophile and Westerner tendencies go back far beyond the invention of the terms in the 19th century. Western influence, but not domination, is already there in the late 15th century, in the Italian-built Moscow Kremlin and in the Italian manufacture of cannon under Ivan III, the Great (died 1505). This was positive. However, during the reign of Ivan IV (died 1584), called ‘the Threatening’ in Russian, which is deliberately mistranslated into English as ‘The Terrible’, Prince Andrei Kurbsky became the first Russian political émigré. Today we would call him an oligarch, or a Traitor, for in his correspondence he clearly betrays his Homeland, fleeing to the enemy in Lithuania. He was the first of the Traitors, a stereotypical ‘Westerner’.

In the second half of the 17th century the protest against State-imposed ritual religious changes led to the nationalistic Old Ritualist reaction, popular among merchants and ‘boyars’, in the 19th century called ‘aristocrats’, today called ‘oligarchs’. They were ‘ultra-Slavophiles’, some would say obscurantist nationalists. Then, conversely, came the Westerner Tsar Peter I, called ‘the Great’ (died 1725) who imposed by force Western technology and a Western way of life wholesale, even cutting off beards. This 18th century later saw the reign of the enserfer Catherine II, called ‘the Great’ (died 1796), who in reality was the German Princess Sophie von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg, who did not stop persecuting Russian traditions. Westerners and Slavophiles, Traitors and Patriots.

In the 19th and 20th centuries three Romanov Tsars were assassinated by Westerners. The first of these was Paul I in 1801, with close British support because Paul wanted to free India from the yoke of British imperialism. In 1825 a revolt of Westerner aristocrats led to the Decembrist plot straight after the mysterious disappearance of Tsar Alexander I, Paul I’s son. In 1881 Alexander II, the Liberator from the enserfment of the people by the aristocrats, was assassinated by a Westerner terrorist. In 1918 his grandson, Nicholas II, hated by the aristocrats for providing virtually free education and health care and giving away land to the people, was also assassinated, again with close Western support. After the British-orchestrated coup d’etat of 1917 (absurdly called a ‘Revolution’), Westerner upper and middle classes had taken over over, but they were ousted a few months later by Westerner Bolsheviks. The vast majority of these were not Russian, and indeed their idol Karl Marx was not Russian either. Thus, they felt free to genocide the Slav population of the USSR.

Make Russia Great Again

Since the failure of the 1917-imposed Communist experiment of the USSR after three generations, the West has finally had to face a new reality. This was one which the Russophobic Brzezinski had feared so much that in the 1990s he urged the destruction and dismemberment of Russia and her Church. As Samuel Huntingdon put it so well: ‘As the Russians stopped behaving like Marxists and began behaving like Russians, the gap between Russia and the West broadened. The conflict between liberal democracy and Marxist-Leninism was between ideologies which, despite their major differences, were both modern and secular…A Western democrat could carry on a debate with a Soviet Marxist. It would be impossible for him to do that with a Russian Orthodox nationalist’ (1). In other words, the Brzezinskis of this world feared that the Patriots would return to power after rejecting Western secular ideologies, as they mostly did temporarily between 1941 and 1945 in the ‘Great Patriotic War’.

This is also what happened in 2000, when V. V. Putin came to power. Since then he has been very patient, putting up with all sorts of insults and humiliations from the Western world, from one US President after another. Many of the opposite extreme criticised him in those years, those whom The Saker rightly calls ‘sixth columnists’. Similarly, many also criticised Dmitry Medvedev as a ‘Westerner’. Perhaps he was a Westerner then, but now the chips are down and the Collective West has shown its Nazi hand, there is no mistaking whom he supports. And maybe he never was a Westerner anyway. Maybe he was emollient at the time, simply because Russia was so weak and he had to court popularity in the West. We cannot say, but whatever his past, his present is clear.

Now that Russia is strong, President Putin, with his Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and all the Russia that counts behind him, is in no mood for weakling Westerners and their compromises. The Special Operation is all or nothing, and the West is losing fast. All has been carefully prepared. For over twenty years the Russian Federation has been gathering allies in a coalition all over the world, wisely using its international diplomatic skills. There will never be a repeat of Yeltsin’s betrayal of Serbia again. There will never be a repeat of the betrayal of Libya again. Technologically and economically, Russia has become independent. And militarily Russia has become stronger than the combined NATO West. The Patriots are in power and the cack-handed West and its sanctions are making Russia great again.

The Great Cleansing

The Great Cleansing has been under way since 24 February 2022. Many internal traitors in Russia soon fled – one of the first was the notorious economist and privatiser Anatoly Chubais. Millions of other traitors also soon fled from the Ukraine westwards, much to Russian satisfaction. Russia will not welcome so many of them back. Only those who left from mistaken or brainwashed panic, or because they did not want to be enlisted in the suicidal Kiev Army, will return. Let the others stay in Poland and elsewhere, living off Western ideological stupidity and humanist naivety. Other internal traitors who infiltrated positions of responsibility over the last 30 years have also been removed in Russia, as they have been found out. We know some of their names. There are still a few left to clear out. The Great Cleansing is here. Dewesternisation is being delivered.

The Special Operation has revealed who is who. The Traitors have been revealed. As also the Patriots. Those who only in fair weather supported have disappeared. Those who in foul weather still support have been revealed. The multilateral world, led by Russia, China, India and Iran, is taking shape; the unilateral world is over, as Russian sanctions bite. Forget the US vassal and client-state called ‘Ukraine’ – it is over; instead, there will be a smallish Russian Protectorate centred around Kiev. Never again will traitors in Kiev threaten Russians with NATO, nuclear weapons, bioweapons or ban the Russian language and culture, forbidding ‘War and Peace’, but allowing ‘Mein Kampf’. Never again will Kiev promote the Western Nazi ideology of ‘Cancel Russia’. It is over. This is the Great Cleansing.

But let it be said that, just as in Russia, so in the West too there are Traitors and Patriots, the elite and those among the people who have retained some integrity. They have always been there, suppressed and repressed, but still alive. The English historian Robert Bartlett put it very well in his study of Western Europe in the period from 950 to 1350, devoting a whole chapter to ‘The Europeanisation of Europe’. This relates how the West was ‘Westernised’ from the 11th century on (2). In other words, if even after all this time the underclass of Patriots, people of integrity, were to come to power in Europe as a result of the present catastrophic situation there, as decided by the elite, and replace the treacherous Establishment traitors, then the West too could begin a process of Dewesternisation. This would be the even Greater Cleansing.

9 June 2022

Notes:

1. The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, Chapter 6, Torn Countries, Samuel Phillips Huntingdon, 1997

2. The Making of Europe, Conquest, Colonisation and Cultural Change 950-1350, Chapter 11, Robert Bartlett, 1993

The Third Patriotic War

May 07, 2022

Source

A St George’s Day Contribution by Batiushka

Introduction: War

I am not a technical-military man, but I have very strong military connections and a keen interest in military history, both Russian and Western, and also in geopolitics, having lectured on it. I lived in Soviet Russia in the 1970s, experienced its weaknesses, its strengths and also its hollowness, understanding that it would eventually fall, for even then nobody believed in Communism any more. All continued by inertia. Collapse was inevitable. I also know contemporary Russia, the Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltics and Moldova very well. In fact, I was in Kiev only last October, being shown the SBU/CIA Secret Police building in the centre and being told to hush my voice as we walked past. No-one wanted to visit the torture-chambers in the basement.

The special operation to free the Russian Donbass from Fascist oppression which began on 24 February 2022 meant a war between the Russian Federation and the Kiev regime, which under Western pressure would refuse to back down. This would inevitably mean a war between Russia and NATO, even if the actual battleground would still be limited to the Ukraine. I firmly believe that the Russian government knew all this and foresaw the consequences, that the West would intervene with all the economic, political, military and technological might of the US/NATO military complex. This knowledge was why the Donbass had had to wait for liberation for eight long and grim years. Russia had had to get ready for the inevitable very carefully.

The Preparation

Let us recall how Soviet Russia fell through treason, ending up dissolving itself on 25 December 1991. In October 1993, 4,000 US Marines (I know one of them) were flown to a base outside Moscow. This was just in case the popular rising against ‘democracy’ and the drunkard Western puppet and traitor Yeltsin went Russia’s way and against the neocons and their privatisers’ ‘shock therapy’. The repression of the October bid for freedom left 5,000 Russian dead. The US support had been there, though it did not have to be used, as there were enough Russian traitors to do the dirty deed themselves.

Russian weakness and internal treachery was why the Russian government betrayed Serbia in the 1990s and Libya in 2011 – it was far too weak to stand up to the West. After the Crimea democratically returned to Russia after 60 years (1954-2014) with the internationally-observed referendum in 2014, the West still applied illegal sanctions to Russia. Then Moscow knew that any action to free the Ukraine from the Western junta in Kiev would have to be prepared very carefully, for the sanctions would only be multiplied. What preparations had to be made?

Firstly, there was the diplomatic and trade front. Allies had to be brought onside, in Eurasia with China, Iran, India, Turkey (Russia rescuing Erdogan from the US assassination attempt at the last moment in July 2016), Hungary, then, from Venezuela to Brazil, Latin America and then, from Egypt to South Africa, Africa. As regards the Western world, especially the EU, there was a chance to present the Russian point of view through RT, as at that time Western censorship was not yet total.

Secondly, there was the modernisation of the Russian Armed Forces to be undertaken, with new, non-nuclear weapons, hypersonic missiles, drones, electronic technology, some of which would be tested out in Syria.

Thirdly, there was the policy of import substitution to be implemented in order to make Russia independent in case of further illegal Western sanctions.

Why Did It Start on 24 February 2022?

There were four triggers which sparked off the special operation on 24 February.

Firstly, the Zelensky regime wanted the Ukraine to become a NATO member. The weak post-Communist Russian Federation had already made that mistake many times, allowing Eastern Europe, notably the Baltics, Poland and Romania, to join that aggressive protection racket. In that way the post-War buffer states of Eastern Europe, providing a demilitarised zone for Russia, ended. After all, if you have been invaded from the West very regularly for 800 years, leaving 27 million of your citizens dead in the most recent invasion, would you not also want a demilitarised buffer zone to protect you? Post-War offensive NATO was the only reason why the defensive Warsaw Pact had to be set up.

Secondly, with missiles on American bases in Poland and Romania and NATO troops smugly parading at the Estonian border with Russia, the Ukraine then threatened to obtain nuclear arms. Did Zelensky, reading his American script as a true actor, really expect Russia not to react to this?

Thirdly, the US, not without the help of its local pronconsul, the cocaine-addled Hunter Biden, had set up some thirty biolabs in the Ukraine. Their target? To find genetically-concocted viruses to infect Russians. Would Russia not defend itself?

Fourthly, though possibly this may not have been discovered by Russia until a day or two after the special operation began, though possibly they knew perfectly well beforehand, the NATO-manipulated, instructed and armed Kiev Army had a plan to invade the Russian Donbass and genocide its people. Had they succeeded, it is doubtful they would have stopped at the Russian border. Truss, the supremely stupid British Foreign Secretary, let slip that NATO already had Russian Rostov and Voronezh in its sights.

After eight years of attempts to negotiate, which Russia used to buy time to prepare for the War in case of Western idiocy, it was only because there was no alternative that it sent in some troops in an initially limited military operation.

A Fight for Survival

This is now a war of attrition. Russia has to destroy all Western/NATO arms and troops that get into the Ukraine from Poland or elsewhere as soon as possible, quicker than they can be sent. And this must go on until the West caves in, because so much Western war material will have been destroyed at huge financial loss to itself.

Russia is also relying on the self-imposed economic problems that the West faces. The West, and not just the EU, is already suffering economically. There could easily be popular uprisings as a result of inflation and the incredible cost of energy. This will hit very hard next autumn and winter. And the embargos on Russian grain and fertilisers have not hit yet. Wait till food costs go up by 100% in Western countries, instead of just going up by 10% as now: then you will have rioting in the streets and looting of supermarkets. As for the Ukrainian currency, it is worthless, propped up by the IMF run by the US, which in 2014 stole the $15 billion of Ukrainian gold reserves in expectation. Otherwise, the Ukraine would long ago have defaulted.

The stakes are huge for all. China stands behind Russia because Russia is like a shield for it. If Russia falls, then China is next and it knows that, which is why it supports Russia. The White Peril will next head towards China, making the British-imposed mass suicide of the so-called ‘Opium Wars’ look like a picnic. There will be no taking back of Taiwan in the near future, instead there will be Harvard economists and merchant bankers taking power and grasping billions in Beijing, as in Russia after 1991. And then, amid civil wars, millions and millions of Chinese will take the path of suicide, exactly as happened in 1990s Russia. Make no mistake, this is a battle for survival of the world’s seven billion against the one billion.

This is why today Russia remains firm, with 80% of the population behind President Putin, unlike in the Western world where it is rare to find a leader who has more than 30% of support. Why? It is simple: President Putin loves his country, he is a patriot: Western leaders are not patriots, they are venal mercenaries, no more so than the US puppet governments in Eastern Europe. The only Russians against President Putin are the traitors, recruited by the CIA, and there are still quite a few in Moscow and elsewhere, but we will not here name names.

True, many of the fifth column of traitors in Moscow have already left or are leaving, Tel Aviv being a popular destination for them. For Russia this is not some localised conflict on its borders, as it still appears to most Western people, lulled into delusions by their Goebbels propaganda ministries (‘media’). For Russia this is just as much a fight for survival as World War Two. This is the Third Great Patriotic War. Let me explain.

For those who do not know, the 1812 invasion of Russia by Napoleon and his multinational barbarian hordes is known as the First Patriotic War. The 1941 invasion by Hitler and his multinational barbarian hordes is known as the Second Patriotic War. It is our view that just as the 1941-1945 defensive War was called the Second Patriotic War, the 2022- ? defensive War will be known as the Third Patriotic War. Warsaw and Bucharest, Berlin and Paris, pay attention.

When Did It All Begin?

When did it all begin? Actually, it was not on 24 February 2022. Some, grudgingly, will admit that it was the US-run regime change of 2014 with its $5 billion price-tag for the hapless US taxpayer. Grudgingly, some might admit that it goes back even further to November 1989, the Fall of the Wall. Some might suggest two generations before that, in September 1939, when Stalin took the poison-chalice of the western Ukraine, Galicia, from Poland and had to fight a CIA-supplied war there against Fascist partisans until 1958.

Some might suggest exactly 100 years ago in 1922, when the brain-syphilitic Lenin transferred from Russia the southern and eastern half of the present Ukraine to the Ukraine, as he wanted the pro-Communist industrial proletariat of the south and east to counterbalance the real Ukrainian agricultural north and west. But we could also go back to 1914, the invasion of the Russian Empire by Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey. This is exactly 100 years before the 2014 US-orchestrated colour-revolution in Kiev, with its Lithuanian snipers on the roof of the American Embassy in Kiev murdering Ukrainian policemen and then the US blaming ‘repression’ on the democratically-elected pro-Russian government.

Conclusion: A Fight to the End

Russia must win this War against NATO. However, the last thing Russia wants is a nuclear war, however much some fools in the West talk that up. And however tempting as targets the 1,000 or so US bases around the world may be, Russia certainly does not want the war to spread outside the current Ukrainian territory. If Russia does not win, the Russian Federation will be humiliated and dismantled and become just another group of colonies for Western asset-strippers and slavers. Then the British dream for its 1917 coup d’etat, turned into a nightmare because the stupid dream permitted Bolshevism to come to power, will become real.

After that, China will fall next and then the rest of the still free, if for the moment impoverished and exploited, world will fall just like dominos into neo-colonial Western hands. And that will be the end of the world under a US Global Dictatorship, euphemistically known as ‘the Unipolar World’. We are not ready for that. We prefer to fight. As President Putin has said, a world without Russia is not one we wish to live in. As we have said before, this is our ONLY chance to work towards a Union of Sovereign (NOT Soviet) Social (NOT Socialist) Republics and an Alliance of countries which favour Prosperity and Justice, not Poverty and Injustice.

Russian Orthodox St George’s Day 2022

Does Paul Craig Roberts like Genocide?

April 22, 2022

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By Dmitry Orlov

Or maybe he, like Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz, grandson of Fritz von Scholz, SS lieutenant-general who supervised the slaughter of Jews in Poland and the Ukraine, thinks that genocide is a joke? Let’s explore…

A reader has asked me to comment on a recent post by Roberts titled “The Kremlin Has Missed the Opportunity to End the Provocations of Russia that Are Bringing the World to Nuclear War.” And so I took a look at it. At first, it made me angry, but only for a moment, because there is no possibility of actual harm from his scribbling: his unsolicited advice to “the Kremlin” will pass unnoticed and therefore unheeded. Rather, it made me sad. I used to think highly of Roberts, but now he is just another confused old man who, like our friend Brendan, has missed a perfectly good opportunity to hang it up and fade away. Mind you, I am trying to be kind and polite here.

Roberts saw it fit to write that “If Russia had hit Ukraine with a devastating conventional all-inclusive attack, the war would have ended before it started,” and, after some additional musings, that “the failure of Russia to impress the West with an overwhelming exercise of military force in Ukraine means another step has been taken toward nuclear armageddon.” And then he rambles along to “The Kremlin’s inability to be proactive and unwillingness to clear Washington’s fifth column out of Russia’s ruling circles will be the hallmarks of Russian defeat.”

Really? No, not really.

I should make no assumptions on what you or Roberts know or don’t know about the Ukraine or “the Kremlin,” so I will simply state the obvious.

There is no easily discernible difference between Russians and Ukrainians: same culture, language, religion and history. As a state, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic is a failed state; as a territory, it is part of Russia. Therefore, an all-out attack on the Ukraine would be essentially an attack on Russia itself. Apparently, Roberts feels that Russians should kill millions of other Russians in order to impress the West. That’s really cute, you know, in a genocidally maniacal sort of way, but completely impossible.

The complexity of the Russian Special Operation in the Ukraine had to do with disentangling the civilian population (which needed to be evacuated) and the regular Ukrainian military (which needed to be given a chance to surrender peacefully) from the Nazi battalions (which need to either be killed in battle or captured, convicted by a tribunal and shot). That is not something that can be done quickly.

There are other, less important but still very significant reasons to take it slow:

1. There is a rather large group of Ukrainians who wanted the Ukraine to be part of Europe, not part of Russia. These are now departing Ukrainian territory, mostly to Poland, and that, from the Russian point of view, is a wonderful thing because the Ukraine isn’t Europe, it is Russia, and those who believe it is Europe or want it to be Europe should be given a chance to go to the Europe of their dreams and stay there forever, helping Europe’s general dire demographic predicament and specific shortage of white people. For this reason, it has been important to keep the Ukraine’s western border open to exiting migrants, even though this allows weapons and mercenaries to filter in (for the Russians to blow up).

2. The Europeans’ willingness to absorb millions upon millions of Ukrainian migrants, whereas they balked at accepting anywhere near similar numbers of migrants from the Middle East or North Africa, exemplifies their essential racism. As it is, two-thirds of the world is either neutral or supports Russia in its effort to reclaim the Ukraine; as the message that the EU and NATO are essentially white supremacist organizations sinks in around the world, more and more countries will shift from neutral to supportive without Russia having to lift a finger to convince them. From this point of view, it is really helpful that a lot of the Ukrainians like to draw swastikas on monuments and shout Nazi slogans such as “Slava Ukraini” (of World War II Nazi collaborator vintage) and “Ukraina ponad use” (the Ukrainian version of “Ukraine über alles.”

3. Russia has a great and prosperous future as a wealthy, well-educated, civilized, vast and resource-rich country, but this future has nothing to do with Europe or the rest of the West, which are going to collapse. The fact that Russia has been rather tightly integrated with the West ever since Peter the Great moved the capital to St. Petersburg has complicated its transition away from the West and its turn eastward. Western sanctions, rampant Russophobia and the application of cancel culture to Russian culture has made this transition inevitable in the eyes of most Russians, but the process takes time. It would not be helpful if tensions with the West decreased prematurely or if anti-Russian sanctions were removed before they are made completely irrelevant. Also, the West’s unwillingness to buy Russian energy, metals, fertilizer and other essentials speeds up its collapse timeline and that, for Russia, is also a positive.

4. Immediately after Russia commenced its Special Operation in the Ukraine, much of Russia’s remaining fifth-columnists departed for other lands. They already had no impact on Russian politics, but they still exerted some amount of influence in culture and education, and their departure has been most welcome. Given the absolutely overwhelming public support for the Special Operation in Russia, those liberals who have spoken out against it have thereby excused themselves from Russian public life, making room for new talent and new blood. This is also a process that needs to run its course and should not be rushed.

5. The Special Operation has allowed Russia to demonstrate the overwhelming superiority of its armed forces vis-à-vis NATO. All of the weapons that the West has managed to infiltrate into the Ukraine are either being destroyed by rocket attacks or are accumulating in stockpiles after being abandoned by retreating or surrendering Ukrainian troops. None of the obsolete Stingers, Javelins or other military junk has made much of a difference at all. There is very little of any significance that the West can do to hurt Russia’s careful and measured progress in the Ukraine. Once more, time is on Russia’s side: it will take another few months for it to register in the West that all those billions spent on aid to the Ukraine have gone into a black hole with nothing to show for it.

6. Finally, there is what Russia has to do beyond taking care of the situation in the (former) Ukraine, and that is to dismantle NATO. This will require some sort of small demonstration project: take over some small, insignificant NATO member and watch all the other NATO members run away instead of going to war against Russia over it. The myth of NATO as a defensive (as opposed to an offensive) organization would be dispelled and NATO would be no more. The demonstration country could be Lithuania, for instance: Peter the Great purchased the Baltics from Sweden for 1000 pieces of silver at the Treaty of Nystad on September 10, 1721, so it’s Russian territory. Unlike the Ukraine, which is huge, Lithuania is tiny and the entire campaign would be over in about a week. But if Finland or Sweden would like to volunteer for the role of exemplary victim by attempting to join NATO, that would be fine too. Finland’s security is guaranteed by its commitment to neutrality, based on which Russia (USSR at the time) removed its military base from Finnish soil. If Finland moves to renege on that treaty, it would forfeit its security.

Roberts seems to believe that Russia’s refusal to destroy the Ukraine with overwhelming force makes nuclear war more likely because it “gives Washington control of the explanation.” Russia’s superior position with regard to any potential nuclear provocation is subject for another article, but I assure you that it has absolutely nothing to do with “Washington’s control of the explanation” because how the hell would Washington explain its desire to commit national suicide over the Ukraine? The thesis that “Russia’s failure to quickly destroy the Ukraine raises the likelihood of nuclear war” is… I am grasping for a word here… stupid.

Sitrep: Operation Z

April 14, 2022

Source

By Nightvision

Let’s start with the biggest news today, the Black Sea Fleet flagship Moskva cruiser suffered some sort of major ‘incident’. I had an entire writeup planned to explain how Ukraine could (or could not) possibly have shot it, but now I won’t waste valuable analysis time because more and more it appears Ukraine either was not overtly involved, or if it was it was through some sort of asymmetric/sabotage methods, etc. Even the Pentagon now reports there’s no data to confirm that Ukraine hit it with any missiles and all such claims come only from Ukrainian OSINT propagandists on twitter.

In fact they seemed to have cleverly combined several real life data points to try to weave their tale, i.e. using the fact that a Russian frigate shot down a TB2 drone a couple days ago as a means to “prove” that Ukrainian TB2’s are operating over the Black Sea and that their alleged strike on the Moskva consisted of a TB2 running a decoy/screen op to “distract” the ship’s crew, while Ukrainian Neptune missiles simultaneously were fired on it. This is not very believable as these ships are capable of tracking dozens of objects, nor is the damage now being reported consistent with massive ship-killing missiles (based on the Soviet Kh-55) successfully hitting the ship.

“The nature of the damage to the cruiser is still unclear. According to the statement of the RF Ministry of Defense, the main caliber of the cruiser survived, which hints that either the artillery ammunition or the anti-aircraft gun detonated, which caused damage to the ship. There is not enough information yet to talk about the cause of the fire and explosion, whatever it was caused by.”

Anti-ship missiles like Neptune are sea-skimming and would have hit low on the hull and not on top where the ‘artillery/AA’ are stationed.

The latest reports state that the ship has reached Sevastopol on its own power and that the ammunition fires were contained. We have no info how accurate any of this is, so we have no choice but to standby for further updates. All photos/videos released by the Ukr side so far have been fake, various manipulations of photos of burning Iranian ships, fake Norwegian missile strike test videos, etc.

It seems logically that Ukraine was somehow involved but we simply don’t have any real data to even speculate as to what could have happened. All we know is Russian MOD claims they are ‘investigating the cause’ of the fires to the ammunition on board. It could be negligence, to sabotage, to a number of other things. Very unlikely but, nothing is impossible. After all just last year the U.S. lost an entire modern amphibious assault ship, completely burned down via sabotage. U.S. is supposed to be the ‘greatest Navy on earth’, right?

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/dec/14/sailor-charged-over-fire-that-destroyed-us-warship-disgruntled-prosecutors-say

“On 12 July 2020, a fire started on a lower vehicle-storage deck while the ship was undergoing maintenance at Naval Base San Diego. It took four days for firefighters to extinguish the fire, which injured at least 63 sailors and civilians and severely damaged the ship. After a long investigation into the cause of the fire, a sailor was charged with arson.[3] Repairs to the ship were estimated to take up to seven years and cost up to $3.2 billion so the ship was decommissioned on 15 April 2021 and sold for scrap.”

Not to mention the general incompetence of the U.S. Navy – who remembers this incident 

https://youtu.be/SYwglnZ7Qyo?t=35

The damage was over $2 billion.

In fact it was a string of incidents: https://maritimecyprus.com/2017/08/25/why-do-u-s-navy-ships-keep-crashing/

The USS John Mccain only a year later had another collision with 10 dead sailors: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-navy-crash-singapore/u-s-destroyer-mccain-collision-which-killed-10-sailors-caused-by-sudden-turn-singapore-idUSKCN1GK0HU

And USS Champlain collided with a South Korean vessel in a display of “shoddy seamanship” according to the Navy: https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2017/11/07/shoddy-seamanship-to-blame-in-lake-champlain-collision/

Or the U.S.’s most expensive ship in history breaking down immediately after launch: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/most-expensive-destroyer-zumwalt-navy-history-breaks-down/

Or how about “the second breakdown in 2 years” for the Navy’s most advanced and expensive (13 billion) aircraft carrier https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/navy-ships/a20521726/americas-newest-aircraft-carrier-suffers-a-breakdown/

And the fact that tests of its anti-air/interception systems failed and there were doubts that the carrier could even ‘protect itself’ https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-01-25/navy-s-13-billion-carrier-sows-doubt-that-it-can-defend-itself

The Navy’s $13 billion supercarrier still can’t do the one thing it’s absolutely required to do

So in short, accidents do happen, things fail: in fact they happen much more in the U.S. Navy than any other navy on the planet. So before anyone raises too many questions on how the Russian navy can suffer an incident during high-stress wartime, then you should first investigate how the U.S. lost over $10-20 billion worth of warships in the past few years alone in peacetime.

And let’s not forget this thing from the infamous crash a few months ago belonged to the Navy as well, when it failed to land on the aircraft carrier:

Add another $100+ million down the drain.

With that said, in regard to the Moskva. It is still a terrible and huge loss, even if the loss is ‘temporary’ (as “temporary” in Naval parlance usually means years). This is not only the flagship but one of the most powerful ships in the entire Russian Navy, even modest damage will likely keep it out of action for years as repairs on these capital ships take a very long time. This will reduce the firepower projection capabilities of the Black Sea fleet by as much as 10-15% alone, if not more. IF the loss is in fact confirmed to be from a Ukraine strike I’ll write up a separate analysis on it, but for now don’t want to waste valuable space on ‘hypotheticals’ as even the Pentagon refuses to say Ukraine did it.

As pertains to this specific conflict however, the loss is irrelevant as the ship was not doing anything in terms of abetting the military actions against Ukraine. The ship does NOT have Kaliber missiles or any ground-target cruise missiles so it was not really involved in the hostilities apart from adding an extra layer of S-300 and various air defense protection over the Black Sea. The ship is basically a carrier killer and its most potent armament of P-500 missiles is specifically designed to kill other large warships. But since Ukraine has no real navy left the loss is only one of prestige, not of actual current combat capability. However it does weaken Russia against future/potential NATO intervention and makes Russia’s ‘deterrence’ in the Black/Mediterranean Sea areas much less effective. But with all that said, the official reports from MOD indicate the main missile payloads on the ship are undamaged and so there is a small chance that the damage in general was such that it could be repaired in a semi-timely fashion. We’ll have to see.

Of course this all comes on the heels of a new wave of Ukrainian attacks on Russian soil, after days ago the order was reportedly given by Zelensky for the armed forces to begin attacks on Russian soil. Afterwards, Russia released a statement that if Ukraine continues over-the-border strikes, Russia will begin targeting Ukrainian leadership in Kiev and elsewhere, something they have obviously refrained from doing previously. https://www.rt.com/russia/553830-kiev-strike-possible/

Not only did Ukraine initially strike the oil depot in Belgorod, but they then shelled some farms and settlements on the Russian side of the border. Then two days ago, after Zelensky’s order, a Ukrainian sabotage DRG group snuck over and blew up a Russian railway bridge in Nezhegol, Belgorod region.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/12/key-russian-railway-bridge-destroyed-in-belgorod-border-region-with-ukraine

Of course western sources inflate its importance to “key bridge” which it’s not, nor did the Ukrop forces manage to blow it up, in fact having failed and mostly ‘damaged it’.

“Apparently – the work of the Ukrainian DRG. There was not enough wearable mass of explosives or time for a serious undermining – but near the abutment they were able to blow up the RSHP, without visible damage to the power structure of the bridge spans. For a day or two of work for the restorers.”

Now today there is new additional attacks where Ukrainian helicopters have shot up a village/settlement in a Russian region north of Kiev. For the first time there are now wounded casualties (no killed), with one Russian person said to have their leg torn off in the attack. Now keep in mind the village of Kimovo that was attacked is 5km from the Ukrainian border. A Mi-24 would travel this distance in about 1 to 2 minutes or less, and the location can also be shelled from within Ukraine itself, so this is not a deep border breach.

And another village was reportedly shelled as well: https://www.rt.com/russia/553876-village-shelling-ukraine-belgorod/

In short, Ukraine has taken up Russia’s challenge and threat of attacks on its leadership. The question is why? There are several possible reasons:

1. Zelensky and co. are not really in charge of the nationalist forces and in fact the nationalists want to escalate as much as possible even at the expense of Ukrainian leadership being hit, because after all that would actually serve their purpose of escalation since they know such a hit on the leadership would create more international support.

2. Zelensky and the leadership believe themselves safe enough from these strikes as they’ve all bunkered up, and Zelensky mostly lives in Poland now anyway apart from when he has to make a photo-op appearance in Kiev (as for Boris Johnson, etc) and so is not worried about such ‘strikes against leadership’.

This brings us to the greater point of all this – the Moskva cruiser (let’s assume Ukraine had SOME hand in this), the cross-border strikes. All of these are ‘prestige’ incidents. Not a single one of them is actually aimed at crippling the Russian military nor are objectives for Ukrainian military victory. The new cross-border attacks were on civilian targets in villages. The Moskva I’ve already explained above has no real relevance to the actual Ukrainian conflict as Ukraine has no navy of their own, nor does the Moskva launch missiles at ground targets.

This underlines the thesis we’ve established in earlier SitReps, which is:

  • Ukraine’s chief strategy at this point has devolved into a ‘psychological war’ of prestige targets and sowing political controversy within Russia
  • Ukraine absolutely needs the ‘image’ and illusion of victory to keep the morale of its own diminishing armed forces afloat, after every single major Russian victory.

To the above point, we know that in the past two days, Russia has won a major victory in the mass-surrender that occurred in Mariupol. This was a huge psychological blow to the UAF and the UAF leadership clearly needed an immediate boost to its morale. They require “media victories” they can show to their soldiers to continue the illusion that the UAF is actually winning against Russia.

One of the key revelations of the past week was that some of the captured soldiers had a complete ignorance of other major important setbacks that occurred in the same time period. It is clear they are being kept completely in the dark by their own leadership. UAF soldiers in Lugansk had no clue Mariupol was surrendering and vice versa, POWs in Mariupol seemed to have little clue as to the condition of any other part of their forces apart from the fake psychological reinforcement that they are ‘winning’ or ‘help will arrive soon’, etc.

So let’s look again in a broader scope at the Ukrainian’s current objectives in general. They know they can’t win militarily, so what is it they’re really trying to accomplish lately?

I posit the following main objectives:

  • To prolong the conflict long enough that an accumulation of ‘tragedies’ (by way of falseflags) can mount political consensus against Russia more and more towards an eventual presumed goal of NATO intervention.
  • To psychologically affect Russia’s political class (the ones that lean westward, 5th columnists, etc) into putting increasing pressure on Russia’s leadership, thereby creating tension, disagreement/conflict, etc., with the eventual “ideal” goal of the complete rebellion of one side of Russia’s political class against Putin and his ‘siloviks’.
  • The presumed goal of also affecting Russia’s citizenry by demoralizing them to such a way that they would revolt against Russian leadership. However this goal by far is the least realistic as the West has greatly overcalculated in how much they can influence the Russian ‘narod’. The increasing confirmed atrocities from the Ukraine side, which now even openly target Russian civilians, is something that continues only to galvanize Russian solidarity for their troops and leadership. In fact the only anger Russian citizens are currently reporting is that Putin and the leadership are going too soft on Ukraine.
  • To slowly affect Russia’s allies into viewing Russia as weak, militarily incapable, etc, and demoralizing the allies (particularly the ones closer to being ‘on the fence’) into decreasing their support for Russia’s SMO and becoming gradually more critical of the SMO on the world stage (via supporting UN resolutions against Russia, etc). Also combine this with the first point – the hope that the prolongation of conflict can allow the accrual of enough tragedies (falseflags) for Russian allies to start reconsidering their support.
  • To keep afloat the morale of UAF troops under the illusion that Ukraine is winning, by amplifying militarily insignificant ‘achievements’ into a status of relevancy.

Like I said earlier, it’s no ‘coincidence’ that right after the single largest surrender not only of the current conflict but probably of modern history, there is suddenly all sorts of Ukrainian sabotage activity – maybe the Moskva hit – but at the least the cross-border attacks on Russian civilian / village targets. It’s obvious to anyone with a brain that Ukraine is desperate to go ‘tit-for-tat’ on Russian ‘psychological victories’ in order to keep morale afloat in its troops, which by the way are surrendering more and more all over the place. Not only was there an ADDITIONAL surrender in Mariupol today, but there was another large surrender in Lugansk as well (this is on TOP of the earlier Lugansk surrenders from 2-3 days ago).

In fact, their morale is so low, that some units have resorted to selling their tanks to Russia for Rubles.

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/cqBS1rVILCjB/?feature=oembed#?secret=61BT2Alihy

“It is significant that the Ukrainian military is happy to accept Russian rubles as payment, obviously assuming that this currency will soon become their main one.”

The problem for them is, Russia continues to accrue actual battlefield victories, while Ukraine desperately fights to keep morale afloat with fake psychological ones. On the topic of real victories we have several in the new cycle.

Let’s start with the surrenders. We now have confirmation the British mercenary Aiden Aslin / Cossackgundi is apprehended, and the famed “warrior” is now claiming – “I did no actual fighting!”

His family, meanwhile, begs for him to be treated kindly (read: opposite to how Russian POWs are treated)

Unconfirmed reports from the DPR state that he will NOT be viewed as an official enemy combatant / POW adherent to Geneva codes, but as a mercenary.

Other videos of the mass surrenders that occurred that might not have been seen yet:

LDPR now report they have around 3000 total POWs of the UAF. Presumably Russia itself has many more as well.

An American mercenary is also said to be caught: https://twitter.com/MapsUkraine/status/1514559272633384962

As for Mariupol, the map currently looks something like this:

A small swath of Primorski district by the captured port in SW. Then the Illych Factory (north area) and Azovstal factory (south) is all that’s left. During the breakout attempt where mass amounts of UAF marines were caught, some of them reportedly made it from the Illych to the Azovstal to consolidate there, while others attempted to scram north to freedom. They were hunted by drones/artillery and gunned down. https://www.bitchute.com/video/VQVnvgZX1b8H/

Azovstal is being saved for last, after they clean up the other two. Contradicting reports state that Illych factory is fully clear while some state there are still some stragglers hanging on in its bowels and are being cleared.

Some even have the map like this, with Illych gone: https://twitter.com/Suriyakmaps/status/1514397409723432960

Elsewhere:

A Russian strike completely obliterated a field camp of the AFU where many soldiers were sleeping, presumably many dead

https://twitter.com/200_zoka/status/1514003279365259276
(alt link https://ok.ru/video/3392651463296)

And the most important advances once again occurred in Izyum where Russian forces reportedly captured the village of Borova to secure Izyum’s eastern flank: https://twitter.com/michaelh992/status/1514589758554529798

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3NwYWNlX2NhcmQiOnsiYnVja2V0Ijoib2ZmIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1514588083353788424&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fthesaker.is%2Fsitrep-operation-z-9%2F&sessionId=ef0b030ad7fbc5b13fd64ff9c320520cfeae15f3&theme=light&widgetsVersion=c8fe9736dd6fb%3A1649830956492&width=550px

While simultaneously attacking Lyman https://twitter.com/GeromanAT/status/1514585692600475653/photo/1

And more importantly, made large headway westward to capture Velyka Komyshuvakha

This would likely allow RF forces from Balakleya in the north to link up with this new salient, thus capturing a swath of territory to secure Izyum’s western flank. And further puts a lot of pressure on the very strategic/important town of Barvinkove, which has been in RF’s sights for a while now and may soon become the next objective.

This are fairly major captures in a single day which seems to imply that Phase 2 may be starting to kick off in a gradual way. We know Russia has not fully repositioned everything yet but on some axes they have already begun major advancements.

Here is further confirmation of my previously written thesis on the new strategies Russia will employ. From an Austrian Military source:

—-

Other western sources report (from the Pentagon): “There are 65 Russian BTG’s in all of Ukraine right now focused on south and east says sr. US defense official. Recall that Russia had amassed 130 BTG’s prior to invasion.”

What happened to the alleged 180 BTGs? The numbers keep dwindling, proving the accuracy of our reports that Russia never had anywhere near the numbers they claimed. By the way, 65 BTGs could represent as much as 130,000 men due to Russian brigades on paper being divided into 50% BTGs, the other 50% regular brigade structure. But as reported previously it’s impossible to really tell how widespread these dispositions are.

A few other random tidbits:

“⚡️🇬🇧🇬🇪 The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation revealed the names of 24 militants of the “Georgian Legion” who are fighting on the side of Ukraine and involved in the executions of Russian soldiers:

According to the investigation, they were Georgian citizens aged 22 to 58: Levan Fifia, Lasha Rukhaya, Levon Hayrapetyan, Vasil Alibegashvili, Erekle Amiranashvili, Veka Apresovi, Elguja Bagration, Vakhtang Barabadze, Giorgi Baramidze, Beka Basilaya, Zurab Bedoshvili, Gela Belashadze and 12 others.

❗️ Soon you will receive yours!”

And by the way here’s confirmation that the UAF continues to ‘reinforce’ by way of mass civilian transport as they have relatively very little ‘armor’ left (all armor is kept in strategic areas, cities etc for defense purposes, but has almost no fuel) https://twitter.com/Militarylandnet/status/1514665125692772352

Anyway, it was a day of major military defeats for Ukraine, but a few illusory and ‘symbolic’ (albeit ephemeral) psychological ‘victories’, which is pretty much characteristic of the conflict so far. Once Mariupol falls and Phase 2 kicks off in full stride, the UAF will be decimated with with an unprecedented scale. But there are some dark clouds on the horizon in the form of massive NATO/U.S. arms escalations which we will expound on next time.

p.s. there are several new videos of extremely gruesome kills of Ukrainian military in the past day. Not only was a new Su-25 shot down https://www.bitchute.com/video/bnqF4lYfir4g/ (vid without the gruesomeness) and photos of the pilot appeared which are extremely nasty, but a Russian Spetsnaz force ambushed some Ukrops near Kharkov with very disturbing results which I won’t post (if anyone is interested I can maybe show you where to find it). In short, the UAF continues to suffer very horrid losses each day.

Here’s one that’s not too bad though (still 18+): https://www.bitchute.com/video/C1aTkj4lGtwJ/

Sitrep: Operation Z

April 08, 2022

The biggest news of today’s cycle is the wild admission by the Pentagon, U.S. media, etc., that the U.S. has in fact employed a “strategy” of outright lying and making up fake intelligence to ‘combat Russia’.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/us-using-declassified-intel-fight-info-war-russia-even-intel-isnt-rock-rcna23014

Astounding quote from article: “President Joe Biden later said it publicly. But three U.S. officials told NBC News this week there is no evidence Russia has brought any chemical weapons near Ukraine. They said the U.S. released the information to deter Russia from using the banned munitions.”

They also admitted that most of the intelligence surrounding the conflict, such as the infamous ‘China is providing Russia with equipment’ was complete ‘malarky’, as the demented zombie-in-chief would say. How any reasonable and self-respecting country or people could trust the U.S.’s ongoing claims from this point on are beyond me. How could you possibly take in this announcement, and yet still believe the U.S. side of the story about the ‘Bucha massacre’ amongst other things?

This amazing feat of neuro-linguistic-programming must be seen to be believed: 

The reporters here celebrate the ‘novelty’ of this method of utilizing intelligence (as if the amazing technique of ‘lying’ has only just been discovered by them). They dance around the real description of the concept as basically being “lying”, by continually describing it in fancy ways to frill it up and legitimize the “technique” as something other than what it is on its bare-faced surface: outright lies and propaganda meant to control the narrative of the conflict favorably.

And by the way, the reporter in the video is this guy:

And was actually fired by the LA Times for how deeply in bed he was with the CIA

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/la-times-disowns-reporter_b_5770388

After these admissions how can ANYTHING from the U.S. be believed? Russian “casualties” of 30,000+? Bucha massacre? Chemical weapons usage? Russia’s “failed objectives” and “failing campaign”? These are all individual claims that fall under the purview of this ‘new’ and ‘amazing’ technique called complete b.s. from the CIA.

Obviously this has been U.S.’s chief tactic for decades. But the full admission brings up a starker reality. That behind the curtains, the CIA has in recent times shifted to conducting its Ops “in the open”, but presenting them in a way that makes them seem acceptable. For instance we know during the last election, a remarkable series of articles came out in the MSM detailing the entire deep-state covert ops, how various apparatuses of the democratic party came together with corporate assets, Facebook, NGOs, etc., to take control of the 2020 election. They even fully admit to it being a secretive “shadow campaign”, but rebranded as a ‘good cause’.

https://time.com/5936036/secret-2020-election-campaign/

In previous times this would have been an unprecedented scandal but now, rebranded and ‘in the open’, it’s given the cachet of legitimacy. The reason for the method shift is obvious: in today’s integrated online/social media environment, it’s pretty much impossible for the western intel agencies to operate in pure secrecy anymore. That era is over with. And so they’ve shifted to a strategy of conducting their Ops in full view but utilizing their media arm to repackage them to look justified in a certain light.

It’s akin to this – Hannity proudly and openly wearing a CIA pin (the Mockingbird is no longer caged, as you can see, it can fly freely and proudly in the open now) while decrying that, “Vladimir Putin has forfeited his right to live.”

Onto other things:

The U.S. has admitted to training Ukrainian saboteur groups to operate the new Switchblade kamikaze drones. Reportedly they are being trained on U.S. soil, in secret. https://thehill.com/policy/defense/3260827-u-s-training-small-number-of-ukrainian-troops-on-switchblade-drones/amp/

“The “very small number” of Ukrainian soldiers, who have been in the U.S. since last fall for military training, were taught to use the drone with the expectation that they would soon return to their country to train others on the equipment, press secretary John Kirby told reporters.

“We took the opportunity — having them still in the country — to give them a couple of days’ worth of training on the Switchblade so that they can go back — and they will be going back soon, back home — to train others in the Ukrainian military,” Kirby said.”

More confirmation of how deeply invested and entrenched the U.S. is in this war. But no different than the billions spent on training Syrian rebels and ‘moderate terrorists’ to fight against Russians and Assad in Syria.

The U.S. has even reactivated the Lend Lease program for the first time since WW2 to massively arm Ukraine: https://www.politico.com/news/2022/04/06/senate-unanimously-approves-lend-lease-00023668

And also:

“U.S. For 1st Time Publicly Announces Transfer Of Intelligence To Ukraine’s Armed Forces For Donbas Operations”

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/pentagon-reveals-it-giving-ukraine-intelligence-donbas-operations-201709

Here’s today’s print-up from the Pentagon itself. I can’t stress enough how massive the scale of this operation by the west to fund/supply Ukraine is. It dwarfs anything in history. When you consider that less than ~2000 Stingers were provided to the Taliban in the 80’s war, and that was considered an unprecedented scale operation at the time, then look at the above list and realize we’re only at the very earliest stages of what the West will be supplying to Ukraine (tanks, jets, etc likely all incoming eventually). There are some unconfirmed reports that even British Harpoons are already delivered and placed in Odessa. This is orders of magnitude more powerful/dangerous than the ‘Sea Skuas’ they were talking about, but this rumor may be fake propaganda from the Ukrop side.

More and more each day the scale of this operation is revealed and how deeply invested the west is, and it is breathtaking. New videos appear daily of large groups of foreign fighters, Georgian, etc., being heavily equipped and sent into the Ukraine.

And this list above is only from the U.S., there is much more from the other western ‘allies’ as well. Planes from North Macedonia landed in Reznow airfield in Poland today, likely bringing goodies as every other European country has. And add that to the billions already allotted recently in general aid and the billions spent on achieving Euromaidan, as admitted by Nuland when she said over $5 billion had been spent by the U.S.

The entire project has been in development for a very long time and it is the culmination of the western empire’s attempts to destroy Russia. Just listen here how Soros himself explains his involvement in the events of Ukraine dating back to the late 80’s and early 90’s. And how Adam Schiff admits that “the U.S. is fighting Russia over there so it doesn’t have to do it over here.”

On frontline news: As the big showdown in Donbass looms, a lot of forces are pouring in on both sides. Russia has shifted strategies and is now striking railway stations and reinforcement hubs / corridors, as many have hoped it would do. Overnight there were several reports of important railway hubs being hit by missiles. One near Zhytomir, which is possibly the single most important reinforcement hub to the frontlines in all of western Ukraine. Reinforcements being sent to frontlines were reportedly destroyed in the strike, though there’s no visual confirmation. And another in Kharkov region – just south, in Lozovaya – which evoked a video message plea from the Kharkov mayor who said railways were hit, oil has run out, but pleaded for people not to flee (presumably because the militants who control him need citizens to use as hostages / human shields just like in Mariupol).

#KHARKOV Region—#Lozovaya#Russia|n forces conduct precision missile strikes at a major supply/logistics centre of #Ukraine|ian forces in Lozovaya, which boast a key intersection of rail tracks enabling the supply and reinforcement of the #Donbass grouping of #UA military.”

As can be seen on this map, the Lozovaya junction is a critical resupply / reinforcement route for the Ukrop Donbass cauldron and specifically their stronghold of Kramatorsk, which had been the central headquarters of the entire JFO for some time. And other reports said a railway bridge was hit leading to that junction as well.

Just north of there, Russia continues to progress around Izyum. Our forces are now fighting at Sulihyvka/Suligovka on the way to Dovhen’ke in the direction towards Slavyansk.

Not only does this photo below show the progress downward from Izyum, but you can start seeing how this salient is now beginning to create the opening pincer that will enclose the ‘Great Cauldron’.

The battle for Kam’yanka, directly south of Izyum was quite destructive for the UAF, they suffered many losses and there are fields littered with their dead, as well as many trophies taken. https://www.bitchute.com/video/2qjB8t89mK2a/

Reports indicate that UAF forces are now amassing a huge force in the Kramatorsk / Druzhkovka region in preparation for RF’s advances. But they continue putting up stiff resistance along the road towards Slavyansk as well. The highways from Horlivka towards Kramatorsk are said to be filled with UAF troops. This appears to be their single largest agglomeration of the cauldron.

In the south, RF have blockaded Ugledar and Novomikhailovka, and begun storming the latter. Also, Basurin has estimated 3,000 to 3,500 enemy fighters remain in Mariupol. And the map there looks something like this:

With that said, most of the ‘weak’ ones have surrendered and only the most hardened Azov fanatics remain, so there is some possibility that the fighting can still go on for a decently long time. With that said, the more they retreat towards the ports, the more they are running out of residential areas with civilians to use as human shields, which allows allied forces to use increasingly heavy-handed tactics and strikes against them. I reported last time how for the first time heavy duty artillery units like 2S3 and 2S4s were brought in, such as those you can see in the latest Wargonzo video 

So it’s difficult to guess – the fight could take another two weeks, or it can suddenly collapse in the next day or two if the remaining Azov abruptly surrender. Unfortunately cities take a long time to siege, many of us remember following the events of Aleppo or Sarajevo, and the years it took. Even in the final stages of Aleppo when rebel forces were already collapsing and SAA had the upper hand, it was weeks for every neighborhood, and months to clear districts.

But right now things are advancing according to plan. Large Russian reinforcements have poured into the Kharkov area to head to the Izyum front, and meanwhile Ukrop reinforcements/resupplies are finally being hit in their train stations and railyards by the RuAF, so the stage is being favorably set for our forces.

And for those that continue to doubt that the RF has vastly destroyed the Ukrainian military in terms of armor and capabilities. New videos continue to show the total lack of Ukrainian armor or vehicles. Here is one showing a large Ukrainian force, all on foot, not a vehicle among them – forced to use a civilian truck to evacuate their wounded – whom, by the way, have obvious swastikas on their person.

A force this large should always be supported with mechanized units and some sort of infantry fighting vehicle at the minimum, yet here they are taking lots of casualties in the video, no armor in sight.

And here, we see Ukrainian soldiers forced to ride bicycles to get to where they’re going. https://www.bitchute.com/video/ULjN5yH3IcJn/

A week or so ago, the American mercenary James Vasquez bragged on twitter how him and his squad “commandeered” (read: stole) a Lexus in Kiev so they can get to the frontline, such is their lack of military transport vehicles or APCs.

The U.S. by the way says that Russia has not responded to any calls from the Pentagon since February: https://www.rt.com/news/553500-pentagon-russia-phone-silent/

General Milley keeps calling, and Russia is not answering.

A quick note on the topic of Russian ‘traitors’ and 5th columnists, it’s interesting how many of them are fleeing to Israel specifically.

https://www.rt.com/business/553285-russian-billionaire-prokhorov-israel-citizenship/

Prokhorov was once a Russian presidential candidate and one of Russia’s richest and most powerful oligarchs.

And now the CEO of Yandex https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/tech-news/yandex-ceo-relocates-to-israel-cannot-work-for-a-country-at-war-1.10722163

Lastly, the Ruble is now in the mid 70’s to the USD.

 To the utter bewilderment of the West, it just keeps gaining in strength against the dollar.

I’ll leave you with this last video: to those that still question the Russian air power, or say Russia is not utilizing it, or doesn’t have air supremacy, etc. Here’s what a Ukrainian soldier said when asked what he fears most in this war: https://www.bitchute.com/video/xbWbfp7v5nJH/

Sit back and watch Europe commit suicide

If the US goal is to crush Russia’s economy with sanctions and isolation, why is Europe in an economic free fall instead?

April 07, 2022

Washington’s competition with rising power Russia is so fierce, it is willing to sacrifice Europe.Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Pepe Escobar

The stunning spectacle of the EU committing slow motion hara-kiri is something for the ages. Like a cheap Kurosawa remake the movie is actually about the Empire of Lies-detonated demolition of the EU, complete with subsequent rerouting of some key Russian commodities exports to the US at the expense of the Europeans.

It helps to have a 5th columnist actress strategically placed – in this case astonishingly incompetent European Commission head Ursula von der Lugen – with her vociferous announcement of a crushing new sanctions package: Russian ships banned from EU ports; road transportation companies from Russia and Belarus prohibited from entering the EU; no more coal imports (over 4.4 billion euros a year).

In practice, that translates into Washington shaking down its wealthiest western clients/puppets. Russia, of course, is too powerful to directly challenge militarily, and the US badly needs some of its key exports, especially minerals. So, the Americans will instead nudge the EU into imposing ever-increasing sanctions that will willfully collapse their national economies, while allowing the US to scoop everything up.

Cue to the coming catastrophic economic consequences felt by Europeans in their daily life (but not by the wealthiest five percent): inflation devouring salaries and savings; next winter energy bills packing a mean punch; products disappearing from supermarkets; holiday bookings almost frozen. France’s Le Petit Roi Emmanuel Macron – perhaps facing a nasty electoral surprise – has even announced: “food stamps like in WWII are possible.”

We have Germany facing the returning ghost of Weimar hyperinflation. BlackRock President Rob Kapito said, in Texas,“for the first time, this generation is going to go into a store and not be able to get what they want.” African farmers are unable to afford fertilizer at all this year, reducing agricultural production by an amount capable of feeding 100 million people.

Zoltan Poszar, former NY Fed and US Treasury guru, current Credit Suisse grand vizir, has been on a streak, stressing how commodity reserves – and, here, Russia is unrivaled – will be an essential feature of what he calls Bretton Woods III (although, what’s being designed by Russia, China, Iran and the Eurasia Economic Union is a post-Bretton Woods).

Poszar remarks that wars, historically, are won by those who have more food and energy supplies, in the past to power horses and soldiers; today to feed soldiers and fuel tanks and fighter jets. China, incidentally, has amassed large stocks of virtually everything.

Poszar notes how our current Bretton Woods II system has a deflationary impulse (globalization, open trade, just-in-time supply chains) while Bretton Woods 3 will provide an inflationary impulse (de-globalization, autarky, hoarding of raw materials) of supply chains and extra military spending to be able to protect what will remain of seaborne trade.

The implications are of course overwhelming. What’s implicit, ominously, is that this state of affairs may even lead to WWIII.

Rublegas or American LNG?

The Russian roundtable Valdai Club has conducted an essential expert discussion on what we at The Cradle have defined as  Rublegas – the real geoeconomic game-changer at the heart of the post-petrodollar era. Alexander Losev, a member of the Russian Council for Foreign and Defense Policy, offered the contours of the Big Picture. But it was up to Alexey Gromov, Chief Energy Director of the Institute of Energy and Finance, to come up with crucial nitty-gritty.

Russia, so far, was selling 155 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe each year. The EU rhetorically promises to get rid of it by 2027, and reduce supply by the end of 2022 by 100 billion cubic meters. Gromov asked “how,” and remarked, “any expert has no answer. Most of Russia’s natural gas is shipped over pipelines. This cannot simply be replaced by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG).”

The risible European answer has been “start saving,” as in “prepare to be worse off” and “reduce the temperature in households.” Gromov noted how, in Russia, “22 to 25 degrees in winter is the norm. Europe is promoting 16 degrees as ‘healthy’, and wearing sweaters at night.”

The EU won’t be able to get the gas it needs from Norway or Algeria (which is privileging domestic consumption). Azerbaijan would be able to provide at best 10 billion cubic meters a year, but “that will take 2 or 3 years” to happen.

Gromov stressed how “there’s no surplus in the market today for US and Qatar LNG,” and how prices for Asian customers are always higher. The bottom line is that “by the end of 2022, Europe won’t be able to significantly reduce” what it buys from Russia: “they might cut by 50 billion cubic meters, maximum.” And prices in the spot market will be higher – at least $1,300 per cubic meter.

An important development is that “Russia changed the logistical supply chains to Asia already.” That applies for gas and oil as well:  “You can impose sanctions if there’s a surplus in the market. Now there’s a shortage of at least 1.5 million barrels of oil a day. We’ll be sending our supplies to Asia – with a discount.” As it stands, Asia is already paying a premium, from 3 to 5 dollars more per barrel of oil.

On oil shipments, Gromov also commented on the key issue of insurance: “Insurance premiums are higher. Before Ukraine, it was all based on the Free on Board (FOB) system. Now buyers are saying ‘we don’t want to take the risk of taking your cargo to our ports.’ So they are applying the Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) system, where the seller has to insure and transport the cargo. That of course impacts revenues.”

An absolutely key issue for Russia is how to make the transition to China as its key gas customer. It’s all about the Power of Siberia 2, a new 2600-km pipeline originating in the Russian Bovanenkovo and Kharasavey gas fields in Yamal, in northwest Siberia – which will reach full capacity only in 2024. And, first, the interconnector through Mongolia must be built – “we need 3 years to build this pipeline” – so everything will be in place only around 2025.

On the Yamal pipeline, “most of the gas goes to Asia. If the Europeans don’t buy anymore we can redirect.” And then there’s the Arctic LNG 2 project – which is even larger than Yamal: “the first phase should be finished soon, it’s 80 percent ready.” An extra problem may be posed by the Russian “Unfriendlies” in Asia: Japan and South Korea. LNG infrastructure produced in Russia still depends on foreign technologies.

That’s what leads Gromov to note that, “the model of mobilization-based economy is not so good.” But that’s what Russia needs to deal with at least in the short to medium term.

The positives are that the new paradigm will allow “more cooperation within the BRICS (the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa that have been meeting annually since 2009);” the expansion of the International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC); and more interaction and integration with “Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Iran.”

Only in terms of Iran and Russia, swaps in the Caspian Sea are already in the works, as Iran produces more than it needs, and is set to increase cooperation with Russia in the framework of their strengthened strategic partnership.

Hypersonic geoeconomics

It was up to Chinese energy expert Fu Chengyu to offer a concise explanation of why the EU drive of replacing Russian gas with American LNG is, well, a pipe dream. Essentially the US offer is “too limited and too costly.”

Fu Chengyu showed how a lengthy, tricky process depends on four contracts: between the gas developer and the LNG company; between the LNG company and the buyer company; between the LNG buyer and the cargo company (which builds vessels); and between the buyer and the end user.

“Each contract,” he pointed out, “takes a long time to finish. Without all these signed contracts, no party will invest – be it investment on infrastructure or gas field development.” So actual delivery of American LNG to Europe assumes all these interconnected resources are available – and moving like clockwork.

Fu Chengyu’s verdict is stark: this EU obsession on ditching Russian gas will provoke “an impact on global economic growth, and recession. They are pushing their own people – and the world. In the energy sector, we will all be harmed.”

It was quite enlightening to juxtapose the coming geoeconomic turbulence – the EU obsession in bypassing Russian gas and the onset of Rublegas – with the real reasons behind Operation Z in Ukraine, completely obscured by western media and analysts.

A US Deep State old pro, now retired, and quite familiar with the inner workings of the old OSS, the CIA precursor, all the way to the neocon dementia of today, provided some sobering insights:

“The whole Ukraine issue is over hypersonic missiles that can reach Moscow in less than four minutes. The US wants them there, in Poland, Romania, Baltic States, Sweden, Finland. This is in direct violation of the agreements in 1991 that NATO will not expand in Eastern Europe. The US does not have hypersonic missiles now but should – in a year or two. This is an existential threat to Russia. So they had to go into the Ukraine to stop this.  Next will be Poland and Romania where launchers have been built in Romania and are being built in Poland.”

From a completely different geopolitical perspective, what’s really telling is that his analysis happens to dovetail with Zoltan Poszar’s geoeconomics: “The US and NATO are totally belligerent. This presents a real danger to Russia. The idea that nuclear war is unthinkable is a myth. If you look at the firebombing of Tokyo against Hiroshima and Nagasaki, more people died in Tokyo than Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These cities were rebuilt. The radiation goes away and life can restart. The difference between firebombing and nuclear bombing is only efficiency. NATO provocations are so extreme, Russia had to place their nuclear missiles on standby alert. This is a gravely serious matter. But the US ignored it.”

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


Day 39 of the Russian SMO – a few developments

April 04, 2022

Source

First, in Hungary, Viktor Orban won a supermajority in the latest elections.  This makes perfect sense, as Orban’s policies have guaranteed that Hungary will get her energy at a low and stable price for the next 15 years (if I remember correctly) while the Eurolemmings will get their at astronomic prices on the spot markets which they themselves chose over long term contracts.  The same goes for food items, fertilizer, etc.

I want to congratulate the Hungarian people not only on being the smartest in Europe, but for showing and proving that even a nation which is part of the EU and NATO can defend its own national interests.

Now about the Bucha fake, I won’t repeat it all here, I rather simply refer you to these:

I also would like to use this opportunity to point you to the YouTube channel of Patrick Lancaster: https://www.youtube.com/c/PatrickLancasterNewsToday

Unlike Gonzalo Lira who is in Kharkov, Lancaster reports from Mariupol.  They have very different styles, but they both deserve the recognition for the crucial work they are doing.

I also noticed that the Chinese channel CGTN has very good correspondent in the Ukraine, although I have heard him only on the Russian-language CGTN chanel.  Here is the main one, FYI: https://www.youtube.com/c/cgtn.

Finally, it appears that the USA is trying to color-revolutionize Imran Khan in Pakistan and that this might even involve a plot to kill that man.  Makes me wonder – did the CIA really learn nothing from Belarus or Kazakhstan???

In Russia the mass exodus of pro-western 5th columnists is continuing, which is a real cause for celebration.  The sad part is that the official spokesman for the Kremlin, Peskov, seems to think that these folks are not traitors.  Considering how the Atlantic Integrationists in the Presidential Administration and the Russian Government have totally mismanaged PR war, and then sent a pitiful figure like Medinsky to talk, which resulted in a real panic in Russia as most Russians are much more afraid to have diplomats negate all the efforts of the military.  Frankly, sending Ramzan Kadyrov to negotiate would have been a much better move.

If the first phase of the war has shown that the Russians could achieve amazing results against a major force with a smaller force and the focus on maneuver, it has, alas, also shown that Russian PYSOPs and Civil Affairs capabilities are minimal and mostly ineffective.  Now, wars can be won with little or not efforts allocated to PYSOPs and Civil Affairs, but such wars are much more costly not only in time and money, but also in human lives.  Negotiations, PSYOPs, Civil Affairs and military operations have to work together, towards a common goal – then they act as a force multiplier.  But when civilians do their own thing and the military their own, this needlessly complicates military operations and make wars much harder to end.

In all fairness to the Russians, they never had the kind of propaganda resources the Empire of Lies has.  In fact, since US forces are typically of poor military value, the US has developed very sophisticated capabilities which they now bring to bear with great efficiency.  So Russia faces two very different enemies:

  • The Ukrainian soldiers who are just the cannon fodder for Uncle Shmuel
  • The formidable propaganda machine of the Empire of Lies

The only good news here is that INSIDE Russia the Empire of Lies has totally failed, Putin’s personal popularity is now well above 80% and the popular disgust with the Russian fake “intelligentsia” (the self-applied label of “creative class” the Russian 5th columnist always claim for themselves) is real.  So more and more of them are resigning, moving abroad, or openly caving into the immense pressure of the Empire to condemn their own President and country.

Lastly, remember how for YEARS I wrote that a Russian invasion of the Ukraine would be a dream come true for the Neocons?

Now that this has happened, do you see what I was referring to?  We can now say that thanks to this war, the Empire of Lies can now officially “cancel Russia” – their 1000 year old dream.

That being said, I think that the West also overplayed its hand.  Yes, they managed to make hatred for Russia and Russians a new type of woke virtue signalling, but they went so far overboard that they got the undivided attention of the Russian people who now see the true face and intentions of the Empire of Lies.  And now that most Russians have understood that:

  • Russia and the Empire of Lies are in an existential war which only one side can walk away from and
  • The Empire of Lies wants to genocide the Russian nation (by a combo of means), this is a fight for survival, and for the right to live in a sovereign country

At this point in time, Ze has indicated that he will make no concessions, etc. etc. etc. so the negotiations are going nowhere.  Good.  I think that the Russians need to get rid of the Ukrainian force inside the Donbass cauldron first, and then offer negotiations again.  But until that battle is over, I don’t see the point of talk unless these are talks about the surrender of this force.

Andrei

The many “great coming outs” triggered by the war in the Ukraine

March 20, 2022

Source

Dear friends,

For four weeks now we have been discussing the Russian special military operation in the Ukraine and most of what we looked at was happening either in the Ukraine proper or near it.  I did mention plenty of time that “this is not about the Ukraine, this is about the future collective security arrangement of Europe“, which is true.  But even that does not show the full picture.  So today I propose to widen the scope further and look at some absolutely crucial developments inside Russia.  Beginning with the most amazing result, at least in my opinion:

The total failure of US PSYOPs inside Russia

I wrote many times already that the Russians got their collective asses handed to them by the massive propaganda machine of the Empire of Lies.  But when I wrote that, I should have been more accurate and write that this is true OUTSIDE Russia.  Inside, almost the polar opposite happened.

First, let’s remember the various existing movements inside Russia:

  • Putinists.  My preferred term for them is Eurasian Sovereignists.  These are the folks in/near power who see the future of Russia as a truly sovereign country fully integrated into the Eurasian landmass. They see the future of Russia in the South, East and North, and want nothing to do with the West anymore.  They are opposed by those whom I call the
  • Atlantic Integrationists.  These are the folks in/near power who want Russia to be accepted as an equal partner into the world order favored by the ruling elites of the United States.  According to some, this faction does not exist.  Yet we can very clearly see their immense influence, especially on the Russian economic financial sector.
  • The official, “systemic”, opposition.  These are the parties which made it into the Duma and while they talk and protest a lot, they are a loyal opposition which supports the Kremlin every time that support is needed.  I would call them all “uninspiringly acceptable”.
  • The 5th columnists.  These are the self-declared “creative class” and gender-fluid “liberals” who dream of the day Russia becomes the next Poland (they think that Guadio or Tikhanovskaia are heroes).  These folks are totally sold out to the Empire of Lies and are the voice of that Empire in Russia.  Their incomes almost always depend on maintaining the political system created during the Eltsin years and which now the Kremlin has (FINALLY!) began to shut down.
  • The 6th columnists.  Ruslan Ostashko calls them the “emo-Marxists”, which is a good expression which I shall adopt.  These are also called “hurray patriots” or “turbo patriots”.  They blame Putin for being weak, sold out to the West, corrupt and dishonest.  They also oppose Putin’s ideology (patriotism instead of nationalism, and economic liberalism) and for decades now they are the ones who say 1) Putin has sold out or 2) Putin is about to sell out 3) all is lost.  For them a “Putin victory” in the Ukraine would be way WORSE than the total defeat of Russia by the West.  Thus they wrap themselves in the flag of patriotism, but in reality they are what Russians call “defeatists” (пораженцы).

Here is how the leaders of the Empire of Lies most likely relate to these groups:

GroupRelationship of the Empire to these groups
Eurasian Sovereignists (aka Putinists)Putin is basically the devil incarnate and removing him is the single most important goal upon which the West has already spent many BILLIONS of dollars on.  Yes, this is a Crusade, an anti-Putin Crusade by the self-same folks who waged all the crusades…
Atlantic IntegrationistsThey were extremely useful for decades (since the early 80s at least), but their shrinking influence makes them much less useful than in the past.  Putin is responsible for that degradation of their influence.  But they still have enough power to maintain agents of influence in the Russian ruling elites.
The official, systemic, oppositionUseful poodles, they give Russia all the “democratic trappings” needed, but they don’t threaten the Kremlin in any real way.  Besides, they often hate the West even more than the official party of the government (United Russia).
5th columnistsThey have become useless.  They have zero traction and, at most, they can get less than 1000 people in the streets in multi-million cities.  Also, their legal and IT “wings” have been clipped by various new laws.  At best, they can now emigrate to the Zone A and pretend to be political refugees or “dissidents”.  I recommend the UK or Israel.
6th columnistsThey were the last and biggest hope of the western PSYOPs.  Their mission: break the morale of the Russian society and, if at all possible, try to either overthrow Putin or force him to deal with mass protests.  As we shall see below, they failed as miserably as the 5th columnists.

So what happened?  Here is a quick list of factors which contributed to this outcome:

  • New laws were passed forcing foreign agents to publicly declare when they are getting money from abroad (irrespective from whom, CIA, MI6, NED, Soros, etc.).
  • Many western-run social media outlets, who were banning any non-russophobic voices, have now been banned in Russia, again, FINALLY!  Telegram is booming, let’s hope the Empire does not bring Telegram to heel next.
  • Russian foreign policy successes forced the Atlantic Integrationists to keep a low profile because it is hard to criticize a regime which, for example, so successfully dealt with the pre-2022 sanctions while saving a country like Syria.  Furthermore, the steady increase in hostility between the West and Russia made it hard for them to sing the virtues of that same West which now openly backs Nazis in the Ukraine with every resource the Empire of Lies has.  This is why even Dmitri Medvedev has now quickly rebranded himself as a patriot!
  • The 6th columnists and their mantra “Putin is about to sellout the Donbass” now look totally stupid since far from selling out the Donbass, Putin has used the Donbass as a cover and pretext to change the entire collective security architecture of Europe and, really, the entire planet.  Also, the 6th columnist made a HUGE mistake about the war in the Ukraine: their theses became increasingly indistinguishable from those of the 5th columnists.  Keep in mind that in the Russian culture to wish or advocate for a defeat when Russia is at war is basically an act of treason (lots of new laws passed recently by the Duma, the 5th and 6th columnists better be careful with what they say and do next!).
  • The first week of the special military operation was by far the most difficult one not only for the Russian military, but especially for the Russian society which not only got truly HAMMERED by the most intense PSYOP in history coming from the West, via not only propaganda outlets like BBC or Deutsche Welle, but also western IT giants (Google, Meta, etc.) censuring and banning not only post perceived as “prop-Russian” but even entire domain names like .su and .ru.  The HUGE mistake both the 5th and the 6th columnists did was to jump unto that “PSYOP horse” thereby revealing their true agenda.
  • In direct retaliation for the banning of all things Russian by the western-controlled social media, Russia finally began to slap on fines and, better, totally shut down all these vomit spewing sewers, at least in Russia.

The first week of the war went extremely well from a purely military point of view, but from a socio-political point of view, I know that a lot of Russian vacillated and really freaked out.

But then, the western PSYOPs made a huge mistake: they gave free reign to truly rabid and racist russophobia while, at the same time, openly proclaiming the Nazi regime in Kiev as “heroic” defenders of the West.  It is one thing to hear that your dictator Putin and his Mordor will be sanctioned to smithereens and quite another to feel the overt, direct and targeted hatred against you and your people, that is something you perceive less with your mind and more, I would say, with you “skin” or “guts”.  Once it became obvious that the West’s hate for Russia is absolute and total and that the “best” Russians can hope from our “western friends” is to be treated like Native Americans or the Boers by the Anglos, which is not different at all from how the Nazis treated Russians, most Russian figured out what this was really all about since Day 1 and even much before (I would argue since about 1000 years).

That was pretty much all it took to “switch over” the mode of many Russians from “of my God, what will happen next?” to “we shall never surrender” or, on the words of Molotov, “Ours is a righteous cause. The enemy shall be defeated. Victory will be ours” (June 22, 1941).

To give you an idea of the magnitute of the defeat for the 5th and 6th columnist, I could mention that both Putin’s personal popularity and the popular support for the denazification and disarmament of the Nazi regime in the Ukraine is over 70%.  Instead, I just want to share this short video with you:

(official translation, source here)

“We, the multi-ethnic nation of the Russian Federation, united by common fate on our land…” These are the first words of our fundamental law, the Russian Constitution. Each word has deep meaning and enormous significance.

On our land, united by common fate. This is what the people of Crimea and Sevastopol must have been thinking as they went to the referendum on March 18, 2014. They lived and continue to live on their land, and they wanted to have a common fate with their historical motherland, Russia. They had every right to it and they achieved their goal. Let’s congratulate them first because it is their holiday. Happy anniversary!

Over these years, Russia has done a great deal to help Crimea and Sevastopol grow. There were things that needed to be done that were not immediately obvious to the unaided eye. These were essential things such as gas and power supply, utility infrastructure, restoring the road network, and construction of new roads, motorways and bridges.

We needed to drag Crimea out of that humiliating position and state that Crimea and Sevastopol had been pushed into when they were part of another state that had only provided leftover financing to these territories.

There is more to it. The fact is we know what needs to be done next, how it needs to be done, and at what cost – and we will fulfil all these plans, absolutely.

These decisions are not even as important as the fact that the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol made the right choice when they put up a firm barrier against neo-Nazis and ultra-nationalists. What was and is still happening on other territories is the best indication that they did the right thing.

People who lived and live in Donbass did not agree with this coup d’état, either. Several punitive military operations were instantly staged against them; they were besieged and subjected to systemic shelling with artillery and bombing by aircraft – and this is actually what is called “genocide.”

The main goal and motive of the military operation that we launched in Donbass and Ukraine is to relieve these people of suffering, of this genocide. At this point, I recall the words from the Holy Scripture: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” And we are seeing how heroically our military are fighting during this operation.

These words come from the Holy Scripture of Christianity, from what is cherished by those who profess this religion. But the bottom line is that this is a universal value for all nations and those of all religions in Russia, and primarily for our people. The best evidence of this is how our fellows are fighting and acting in this operation: shoulder to shoulder, helping and supporting each other. If they have to, they will cover each other with their bodies to protect their comrade from a bullet in the battlefield, as they would to save their brother. It has been a long time since we had such unity.

It so happened that, by sheer coincidence, the start of the operation was same day as the birthday of one of our outstanding military leaders who was canonised – Fedor Ushakov. He did not lose a single battle throughout his brilliant career. He once said that these thunderstorms would glorify Russia. This is how it was in his time; this is how it is today and will always be!

Thank you!

Of course, the 5th columnists and the 6th columnists dismiss any election in Russia (they are all faked!), any opinion poll (they are all faked too!) and even any such mass events (the people are bused in for money!).

Which is EXACTLY what the western PYSOPs say too (in those rare cases when the report about that at all).  In French there is an expression “those who look alike gather together” (qui se ressemble s’assemble) and now that “stain” of “being with” the CIA/MI6/etc. and against your own President while your country is at war for its survival is a mark which neither the 5th nor the 6th columnists will ever be able to wash off, at least not in Russia.

I want to repeat here something which is crucial: truth is the first casualty of war, that is true, and lying on behalf of your side (whichever side you are on) is only morally wrong, but also effective only short term, in the mid to long term the truth begins to seep in through the cracks in the wall of lies.

Furthermore, criticism of a government, even during a war, is also fair and, in fact, needed.  But when a full scale war is going on and people are dying (including your own people, whichever side you are on), you have to ask yourself that simple question: cui bono from what I just wrote?

Many “patriots” and “friends of Russia” clearly won’t.  Okay.

I think that when your own arguments become indistinguishable from the talking points of the western letter soup’s PSYOPS and when the 5th and the 6th columns basically unite to try to overthrow the commander in chief, then we are not talking about honest criticism, but either treason (if you are Russian) or ignorance (if you are not).

Whatever may be the case, I would argue that the West’s PSYOPs triumph over Russia outside Russia has been more than compensated for by the Kremlin’s triumph over the West’s PSYOPs inside Russia.  And since the serfs living in Zone A decide nothing, all they can do is talk, talk and talk even more, that western triumph over Russia in the societies which are under the dominion of Uncle Shmuel, I think that while in the short term the Kremlin rather lame efforts (RT & Co.) did get a bloody nose, that initial period of shock is over and far from demoralizing Russians, the western PSYOPS are now uniting them in the determination to prevail and survive, at any cost, bar absolutely none.

Russia is now in full WWII mode.

I know expect the 5th columnists to emigrate en masse and the 6th columnists to steadily melt into utter irrelevance.

What about the Atlantic Integrationists?

Alas, they are very much still there 😦

They keep a low profile and say the right words when needed.  Yet the latest SNAFU with the Russian foreign currency and gold reserves places a direct spotlight on them.  There are two crucial problems with these folks:

  1. Putin is a liberal, at least in economic terms.  Hate it or love it, but that is a fact.  Or was until now.  This gang was never popular in Russia, and that latest controversy has resulted in A LOT of angry accusations.  Mind you, Putin has just re-nominated Elvira Nabiulina to head the Russian Central Bank and it shall be very interesting to see how the Duma will vote on this.  I would just say that if I was a Duma member I would not vote for confirmation not only because I don’t like the Kremlin’s economic policies, but also because that might be a very politically costly move.  So let’s wait and see.  By the way, Putin has also appointed Sergei Glazyev to the position of Minister for Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Union.  Interesting times…
  2. The Atlantic Integrationists still wield a lot of power because they are not some secret society which meets in secret locations and exchanges some secret handshakes, but they are a socio-political class, I mean that in a fully Marxist sense, including the notion that these people have class interests and a class consciousness.  Furthermore, a lot of regular Russians fully depend on the institutions created by the Atlantic Integrationists since the early 1990s.  So to “simply eliminate” them sounds like a great idea until you realize that you are talking about an entire class of people.

[Sidebar: especially for those red-blooded US Americans who, if they were in charge of the Kremlin and Russia, would have easily solved that and all other Russian problems, by whatever means, they ought to remember that in the land of the free home of the brave you are ALSO all serfs of a political class – I call it the US Nomenklatura – which they have totally FAILED to remove and which crushed Trump in less than 30 days!  So, how about “doctor, heal thyself” and “motes in other eyes?”  First liberate YOUR OWN country – then give lessons to Russians!  Ditto for the stupid claims that the Russian military is moving too slow.  It took the US military SIX MONTHS to prepare for invasion during “Desert Shield” – in spite of huge prepositioned stores and a totally supportive KSA – and another MONTH to invade Bagdad which was basically undefended.  In fact, the US has not won a single war since WWII and never waged an existential war in its entire history.  Do you REALLY think that you are competent to teach Russians how to fight?  At least, next time you prepare to give Russians lessons, try to remember this factoid: during WWII the Soviet Army liberated one thousand two hundered (1’200!!!) cities from Nazi occupation forces.  As for civilians casualties, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden and “500’000 dead Iraqi children as “worth it” – that all you.  As is the vicious and genocidal bombing of the DPRK and Vietnam.  So, remind me, who are you again to give us lessons???]

But yes, the Atlantic Integrationists are still there.  If Putin decided to ignore Russian law and act like Stalin, he could fire all those Atlantic Integrationists we all know and love to hate (I do!), but that would NOT remove their power base.  So, instead, what he needs to do is gradually (and legally!!!) weaken their power base, which is *exactly* what he has been doing since at least 2014 (and, in reality, even before; he is a slow, deliberately acting person, and he does wait as long as needed before striking).

Which brings me to my last topic: the super-pooper “sanctions from hell”

Okay, there is very little doubt that just as the post MH-17 sanctions, the current sanctions will hurt Russia and, more specifically, some sectors of the Russian economy.  However, just like the post MH-17 sanctions forced Russia to FINALLY diversify and invest in such crucial sectors like agriculture, the current sanctions will simply FORCE Russia to completely remove herself from most of Zone A, especially in her political and economic activities.  In other words

By committing economic suicide (which is what these sanctions will be for the West!) the leaders of the AngloZionist Empire FORCED the Russians to cut a lot of, shall we say, “umbilical cords” which still tied them to western controlled interests.  I would even go as far as to say that ignorant imbeciles like “Trump” and “Biden” did more to destroy the 5th and 6th columns and to immensely weaken the Atlantic Integrationists than all the efforts of the FSB or the (very lame and weak) Russian counter-propaganda efforts.

The toxic 5th and 6th column abscesses have finally been punctured.  Yeah, it stinks and yeah, a lot of “disinfection” will be needed, not “only” in the Ukraine, but also in Russia.

Oh, I know, the leaders of the West did not do all that out of some kind of love for Russia, they did that because their own class interest depends on doubling down over and over and over again.  Add to this the entire “best military in the history of the galaxy” narrative, and lots of “WE will teach the Russian a lesson they will never forget!” (yeah, both of these idiots, and Obama too, see themselves as much scarier and tougher than the united Europe under Napoleon or the united Europe under Hitler, funny, no?).

As Andrei Martyanov very accurately described in his latest videothe West’s insane push to “Cancel Russia” has been received loud and clear by the Russian people, and now they are in the “existential war for survival” mode (well, at least most of them, no less than 70+ percent).

The result?

Russian caption: we will finish this war together spelled with a Latin “Z” rather than a Russian “З”.

I think that these two images illustrate the current dynamic very well: Woke-drones can think that when they display the unanimity of a lynch-mob they are scaring Russians.

To some degree, the Russians themselves are too blame, we accepted way too many plastic beads in exchange empty promises.

But not because we treasured these beads, but because until 2021 we simply did not have what we needed to stop accepting these beads.

Putin’s 2021 ultimatum to the entire united West was, in fact, the last concession Russia was willing to make.

As I wrote many many times, the difference between Russians and the West is that the West does not fear war but is not ready to fight one, whereas the Russians very much DO fear war, but they are also totally ready to fight.  We have lived in this reality for 1000 years, and we know that war is always the ultimate evil.  So now, far from being ashamed or unhappy about how the Kremlin did everything it could to avoid that war (which I was absolutely opposed to, if possible and if given an alternative choice, of course), but the West gave Russia no choice.

And, in doing so, it flipped the mental “we will unite to win this war” switch in the minds of most Russians.

You could say that the West has finally truly “canceled itself” in the mind of a vast majority of Russians.

I think that the Kremlin STILL would prefer a negotiated solution, not just to the war in the Ukraine, but even in the semi-covert (or even not so covert) war going on with NATO.  But the recent strikes at ammo dumps and foreign mercenaries in the western Ukraine are a clear sign that 1) Russia will not accept any outside intervention and 2) that Russia will, if needed, strike Poland, Romania or whatever other self-prostituting state, and their membership in NATO will make no difference whatsoever.

Guys, one of the main reasons why Russia chose a low-manpower strategy is precisely because the bulk of the Russian military is ready for any type of war against NATO and the US, even a nuclear one if needed.

Yeah yeah, in the West they announce with a strait face that Russia is running out of bullets for her AKs.  If that kind of nonsense makes some woke freak feel good – by all means, enjoy!

In Russia, it only strengthens the determination to cut all ties with the West whose true face all Russians have FINALLY seen again, for first time since WWII.

Conclusion – the “Great Coming Out”

This war, which I abhor and ENTIRELY blame on the Empire of Lies had at least one consequence which I welcome with all my heart: this war has triggered a massive “Great Coming Out” in which not only politicians, countries, societies or celebrities have shown their true face, this also applies to those I thought were my trusted and respected friends, family member and even clergy!

Sometimes these *true* faces turned out to be ugly and hypocritical, in other times they radiated kindness, compassion and love for all our fellow human beings.  Yes, some of it was painful, even heartbreaking.  But some of it was unexpected and deeply deeply touching.

I personally welcome this clarity with all my heart!

Now I know the answer(s) to this crucial question: with whom are you, whose side are you really on?

I hasten to add that I am not Dubya, I don’t need to tell the world “you are either with us or with the terrorists”.  In reality, I very much welcome any neutral or indifferent position.  After all, why should a Chilean fisherman or a coffee-shop owner in the Azores care about any of that?

My disgust is not with those who don’t care or don’t know – it is with those who either ought know better or, if not, ought to to shut-up and mind their business (especially if they are totally clueless about the nature of this conflict).

[Sidebar for doubleplusgoodthinking Orthodox Christians: Orthodox Christians, especially those who struggle to truly uphold the fullness faith “which the Lord gave, was preached by the Apostles, and was preserved by the Fathers” ought to realize two simple things: Orthodox Christians are the sole heirs of the East Roman Empire and it behooves us more than anybody else to recognize the modern day Franks and Crusaders for whom/what they are.  To neutral or “opposed to aggression” is not only moral cowardice, it is a negation of our ethos and our collective memory.  Christ told us “my Kingdom is not of this world“, and your manic determination to remain in harmony with the secular mainstream of our fallen world is really pathetic.  If that is not yet another form of Neo-Sergianism then I don’t know what it is!]

Yet again, as during most of in my life I now again see what I have always seen: my own, personal, “good Samaritans” very rarely were Russian or Orthodox, and even less so Russian Orthodox.  All my life I have see FAR more brotherly love, compassion and kindness from atheists, secular Jews and (non-Takfiri!) Muslims than from my putative “brothers”.

Yes, this hurts me deeply and shames me too.  But that is a truth I am not willing to forget or remain silent about.

Finally, I owe it to my TRUE “good Samaritan” brothers/sisters to repeat this truth either until my last breath or until my fellow Orthodox Christians at least begin to show the moral probity so often shown to me by my heterodox brothers and sisters.

The same will prove true of Russia as a country: this war, bad as it is, will show all Russians who our real brothers, friends and allies are, and who are but the garden variety servants of the Empire.

This could be a fantastic opportunity for Russia, but that is a topic I will address in a future post.

Kind regards

Andrei

PS: please expect regular stuff, yes, with maps, either tomorrow or Tuesday.

Day 20, a few short updates

March 16, 2022

Putin made an important speech today which the Russians officials are in no hurry to translate.  So here is a machine translation from Boris Rozhin (aka Colonel Cassad): (only partial extracts from the full transcript, emphasis added by me, Andrei)

The operation of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine is developing successfully, strictly in accordance with plans.

The tactics of the Russian Defense Ministry in Ukraine have fully justified themselves, everything is being done to avoid civilian casualties. Before the operation began, Moscow offered Kiev to withdraw troops from Donbass, but they refused. All the tasks set will certainly be solved.

If Russian troops had stopped at the borders of the Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, this would not have been the final solution, it would not have removed the threat to Russia.

Russia is not going to occupy Ukraine.

There was no task to storm major cities.

The strike on Donetsk on March 14 is a bloody terrorist attack.

Russia will not allow Ukraine to remain a springboard for anti-Russian actions.

The whole planet has to pay for the ambitions of the West, the myth of the “golden billion” is collapsing.

The West is trying to convince its citizens that their difficulties are the result of Russia’s actions, but this is a lie.

Sanctions against the Russian Federation are hitting the Europeans and Americans themselves, “it is not necessary to shift from a sick head to a healthy one.”

The US and the EU actually defaulted on their obligations to Russia, freezing its reserves – now everyone knows that the state’s reserves can simply be stolen.

Russia – unlike Western countries – will respect the right of ownership.

Arrests of foreign assets of the Russian Federation and business – a lesson for Russian entrepreneurs, there is nothing more reliable than investments at home

We now know who cowardly betrayed their partners and failed to fulfill their obligations to employees.

Trying to “cancel” Russia, the West has torn off all the masks of decency.

I am sure that after blocking the accounts of the Russian Federation in the West, many countries will convert their reserves into goods, which will increase the deficit.

It is obvious that the current events draw a line under the global dominance of Western countries both in politics and in the economy.

Moreover, they themselves question the economic model that has been imposed on developing countries in recent decades. Yes, in general, the whole world.

I emphasize that the sanctions obsession of the United States and its supporters is not shared by countries where more than half of the world’s population lives. It is these states that represent the fastest growing, most promising part of the global economy, including Russia.

The “empire of lies” of the West is powerless against truth and justice, Russia will continue to bring its position to the whole world

The West relies on the fifth column, national traitors, such mentally are there, in the West, and not in Russia. The West is trying to split our society, speculating on combat losses, on the consequences of sanctions.  The people will be able to distinguish patriots from scum and traitors and just spit them out like a fly that accidentally flew in. The natural self-purification of society will strengthen our country.

***

I would just add “better late than never”!

In a very different style, I found the video below on this website: https://www.brighteon.com/a51d063f-a8da-48b2-b3d6-95d783940a98

Finally, here is the usual Readovka map, to “use with caution” and don’t make too much of it:

Day 6 – Mr President, is Ukraine winning the war? (not a joke!)

March 01, 2022

This question was asked by some pressitute while Biden was walking to his helicopter today: Mr President, is Ukraine winning the war?

Wow, just wow.  Either she fully believes it, and then WOW or she doesn’t and then WOW again.

This is a “Let’s Go Brandon” on a geostrategic level! 🙂

By the way, she followed up with a question about whether he worried about a nuclear war.

I think that this exchange sums of the entire and total delusion which folks in the West are holding on.  The inevitable wake up phase will be painful, very painful.

Clearly, “Biden” is winning this one. Not 🙂

Then there is this (see graph) to keep in mind.  Biden is down in the proverbial shits and, worse, pretty much anything he does next will only make things worse.  The fact that this is an entirely self-inflicted wound makes no difference as to how hard it bleeds…

In other news from the “back to reality” corner: the UK and Poland have had to announce that, no, after careful thought and all things considered, they won’t be sending fighter aircraft into the Ukraine.

What a surprise to everybody in Kiev (and to nobody in Moscow)!

As for Uncle Shmuel, he declared that (trying to) imposing a no-fly would mean “shooting down Russian aircraft” which, for some unfathomable reason, the USA did not want to do.  That might have something to do with Putin’s very blunt warning yesterday.

Maybe the western leaders are very slowly coming to realize that while Russians don’t threaten, they don’t bluff either.  That is a “new normal” which is going to cause a lot of buttaches to the narcissists ruling the West…

The Eurorodents in all heroically walk out of the room when Lavrov addressed them by video.  If the intention of the Eurorodents was to convey to the Russians that “we won’t ever listen to a single word you have to say” then I am confident that the Russians heard that message and will keep that factoid in mind in planning future unilateral Russians actions (of which there are plenty more to come, that is quite obvious now).

A few good news now: the nuclear plant at Zaporozhie is safely in Russian hands.  Thank God for that.

So what has been the triumphant President “Ze” up to?

He signed an application to be immediately accepted into the EU.  The new Europeans loved it.  The old ones, not so much.

The Eurorodents are also forming what I would call “internationalist Nazi brigades” of volunteers who can go and fight for Banderastan.  No visa needed – show up, declare your willingness to kill Russians, and, voila, you are shipped to…

… to the almost closed operational cauldron in the Donbass!

In fact, I suppose that by now getting in is about as hard and dangerous as getting out.  Yes, technically, there is a no man’s land between the two Russian prongs (the one from the north and the one from the south), but it is now a Russian “free fire zone” which, considering both the presence of very heavy weapons systems (MLRS and TOS-1A) and the sharp increase in Russian air operations would be a very very dangerous attempt indeed.

Speaking of cauldrons, Russia has cut off the entire Ukrainian coast from the Sea of Azov and Mariupol is the first “cauldron” to be officially locked.

The civilized and winning West is showing that it really knows the score: Russian students are expelled from EU colleges (a similar idea is now floated in the USA), even neutral countries like Switzerland have closed their airspace to Russian carriers (which Switzerland really did not have to do since all the countries neighboring Switzerland already did that), and Russian citizens can’t even fly across Canadian airspace on their way home to the EU from the USA (just happened to a friend of mine).  I fully expect “Russian Standard” vodka to disappear from US stores (we bought all the last ones we could).

Maybe we will soon be treated to YouTube videos showing (US or Ukie) Nazis machine-gunning Russian “matrioshka” dolls followed by thunderous cries of “Glory to the Ukraine!  Glory to the heroes!“?

Russians are being expelled from sports clubs, musical events, cultural events and pretty much from everywhere where something “Russian” can be treated with hate and contempt.

These are Orwell’s two minutes of hate, but drawn out over days.

This is an russophobic Kristallnacht, but officially organized and praised.

I want to add one more thing about all this: nobody, absolutely NOBODY, is forcing the folks in the West to act the way they are.  No Gestapo, no SA/SS patrols – nothing.  Just the US PSYOPs and the eager willingness of these folks to “show Russia” in some way.

And since there are practically NO voices denouncing all this, this is also an important “message” from the people of Europe to the people of Russia.

And,

This is EXACTLY what the Russian nation needs to understand the world it lives in.

THAT is the reality, not their smiles or promises.

Yesterday, Putin used the expression “Empire of lies” – and he is spot on.  I will adopt that expression alongside my two favorites “AngloZionist Empire” and “the Axis of Kindness”.

In other “rodent news” – the OSCE is leaving the Donbass.  Not that these fake humanitarians ever made a difference, but now that they are gone, it also sends a very clear message to the Russian people.

Remember how Woke-thugs approached white people in restaurants and demanded that the white “take a knee” or see “black lives matter”?  The same is being done to Russians (and even non-Russians thought to be Russians) all over the democratic and civilized West.

“Cancel Russia” might be the unifying slogan (and goal) of the entire Zone A.

I have an idea: I think that western dictionaries should remove the word “Russian” and western maps should, from now on, just write “here be bears” on the map of Russia.  THAT would show ’em accursed russkies 🙂

And it is all repeated ad nauseam on Russian TV channels and on the Runet.

That will be neither forgotten nor forgiven.

The West is very much “talking to us” and “sending us a strong message”.  We all need to hear and carefully record it all.  For our children and for posterity.

I have to say that in Zone A the US PSYOPs gave Russia a massive thrashing and soundly defeated all the Russian counter-propaganda efforts.  The Russian PR people got a black eye and lost this one.

Inside Russia, it is more complicated.  As I mentioned, the Atlantic Integrationists (in power), the 5th column (liberal) and the 6th column (emo-Marxists) all joined forces and tried has hard as can be to inject a lot of fear, uncertainty and doubts (FUD) in the Russian society, from rumors of a NATO invasion to hallucinations about how the “sanctions from hell” will result in hunger, abject poverty and chaos.

The good thing is that by working hand in hand, they showed their true face and agenda.  Their ideology can be summed up as follows “we cannot allow Putin to win this one”.

This is a very positive development as the disgust and anger against them is clearly on the rise while the latest polls show that:

  • 68% of Russian approve of this military intervention
  • 22% oppose it
  • 10% are unsure

Of course, the Atlantic Integrationists, and the two columns (from now on I will refer to them all together AI+5+6) will quickly dismiss these polls because, as all AI+5+6 know, “Russian polls are as fake as Russian elections”.  I am confident that there is going to be legal action taken by the Duma and the Kremlin to, no, not “crush free speech” or anything like that, but to further unmask the real goals of this AI+5+6 coalition.

What about the situation on the ground?

  1. Mariupol cauldron confirmed locked (a very large number of hardcore Nazis are surrounded)
  2. Operational cauldron in the Donbass closing but not physically closed yet
  3. Kiev blocked on all directions except the humanitarian corridor

In plain English this means:

  1. Several days, difficult and violent combats to denazify Mariupol.  The outcome is not in doubt, but all the ingredients are here to indicate a truly intense urban assault operation.
  2. Donbass.  Again, the outcome is not in doubt, I will announce it here as soon as I get enough convergent info to confirm the closure of this operational cauldron
  3. Kiev – here I really don’t know.  I get the need to resolve the Kiev situation in some way, but I remain deeply concerned by any Russian operation to liberate the city.  Kiev is not Mariupol and while in Mariupol there are no other options than to kill all the Nazis, I will keep hoping for some negotiated solution similar to what is happening in a lot of (admittedly much smaller) towns in recently liberated eastern Ukraine.

Then there is the issue of Odessa.  Honestly, there are a lot of rumors on the Runet that Russia intends to liberate the entire Ukrainian coast, including Odessa, and open a land corridor to the Russian forces in Transnistria.  Putin, Shoigu and Gerasimov are infinitely smarter than me and they have the real info, which I don’t.

But I don’t want Russia to occupy in the mid-to-long-term a single inch of legally 404 land (outside the official borders of the LDNR, of course!).  But then, I was also very concerned when Putin ordered the Syrian military operation, and he proved me wrong, so all I can do is try to not worry too much, hope that if there are any such plans, they will be similar to the 08.08.08 format: quick in, disarm, quick out.

I am encouraged by all the statements by Russian officials and analysts that Russia has no intention of holding on to any Ukrainian territory and that as soon as the Ukraine is disarmed and denazified, all the Russian forces will be pulled back.  God willing, that is exactly what will happen soon.

Lastly, the Black Sea fleet.  It seems to have cut off Ukie port from shipping and several ships have been stopped and turned back (not simply stolen like the French just did!).  I am quite sure that before this is all over, we will see the Black Sea Fleet in action, possibly as part of an operation to liberate Odessa, here I defer to Andrei Maryanov and his expertise.

That’s it for now.  Over the past 6 days I have been posting two, sometimes three, updates.  Now since the situation on the ground is pretty clear, I will wait for a major development before posting a commentary.  That could happen as soon as later today, but tomorrow seems more realistic to me.  We shall see.

Andrei

Russian operation in the Ukraine – end of day 2

February 25, 2022

Today was only day two of the Russian military operation.  And yet, what a day it was!!!

First, a quick update on the progress of Russian forces.  Here is a bulletpoint summary for today:

  • Kherson: liberated
  • Nikolaev: fighting taking pace in outskirts
  • Konotop: taken by Russians
  • Chernigov: blocked by all sides by Russian forces
  • Melitopol: surrounded
  • Mariupol: is under attack, street fighting
  • Severodonetsk: under attack
  • Kharkov: very heavy mopping up operation
  • Suma: mopping up operations
  • Kiev: blocked from the West and under attack, the authorities are distributing weapons
  • Gostomel airport has been captured by Russian forces
  • Zaporozhie: Russian forces expected there tomorrow
  • A land corridor from Crimea to Russia should be opened by tomorrow.
  • Odessa: big question mark – so far, not Russian attacks reported (that I know of!)
Ukie Tochka-U intercepted by LDNR air defenses

Now about Donetsk and Lugansk:

  • Both cities are still under fire, and that goes to show that the advance of the LDNR forces has been slow, which is hardly surprising considering that the Ukronazis had 7 years to prepare their defenses.  Still, things ARE getting better.  Not only that, but the LDNR air defenses shot down a Ukie Tochka-U missile aimed at Donetsk.  So it sure looks like the long awaited A2/AA “protective cupola” is being extended over the LDNR.
  • That being said, the LDNR forces did break through in at least two directions today, which means that the life left for the Ukie artillery shelling the LDNR will soon come to an end.

But that does not really tell the full story.  So I will try to clarify things a little.

A typical battalion has about 400-600 men, depending on the type.  Let’s also assume that that battalion has 3-4 companies with APCs, a mortar battery, an air defense platoon, an automatic grenade launcher platoon, a signal platoon, supply platoon, and a few smaller more specialized subunits.  If that battalion loses its APCs it has basically lost its most important source of firepower.  If its communications are down (destroyed or jammed), then that battalion cannot operate as part of a bigger force and if its supply routes are cut, then its ability to operate (more or fire) will rapidly dwindle down.  So, on paper this battalion will remain combat capable, but in reality it will have broken up and cannot be considered a truly combat capable battalion anymore.

So, to destroy/incapacitate a battalion only a few precision strikes are needed.  Such strikes though, will leave most of the soldiers alive and quite capable of resistance, but not as a battalion anymore, but more like a typical infantry company or even squads armed with small arms, machine guns, PRG, mines, etc..  They cannot maneuver very much, but they can conduct small hit and run operations against the enemy force.  Which means that specialized infantry/police forces must now be send to find these small forces and deal with them in potentially bloody mopping up operations.

Of course, rather than a few precision strikes, it is much more effective to strike the entire battalion with, say, MLRS strikes which will not only destroy most of the hardware, but which will kill most of the soldiers, especially if they did not prepare and seek cover.  But that means 400-500 dead in one single strike.  That is if this battalion is somewhere in the steppe.  But if it is in downtown Mariupol such a strike will inevitably result in even more scores of dead civilians, especially since the Ukies are very careful to always position their artillery near or even on top of buildings.

Does Russia want that?

Not if there is ANY other option left.

Please keep in mind that Russia has the reconnaissance-fire complexes needed obliterate an entire battalion anywhere in the eastern Ukraine in one single salvo.  They have deliberately NOT done so today (with one possible exception during the very heavy battle for the Gostomel airport, which was taken by Russian special forces and is now secured as a safe bridgehead for Russian Military-Transport aviation right next to Kiev).

Something similar can be seen in urban offensive operations.  It is one thing to get to a city or town’s outskirts, and quite another to penetrate inside the city or town.  If the city is lightly defended by small arms fire, that is one thing, but if the city is well defended, in specially engineered defensive circles, with minefield, IEDs, very strong building used as command posts and if the city’s houses and basements have been prepared by combat engineers, then it is much harder to take.  Again, one option is to send it dedicated urban combat groups while the other is flatten any building which is used by the defenders as a fortress.

The Russian forces have the means to flatten any building anywhere in the Ukraine, including by cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, MLRS with cluster or fuel-air munition or by using howitzers, heavy mortars and even the TOS-1/TOS-1A heavy flamethrower multi-barrel rocket launch systems.

But, again, that can only be done at a major cost in human lives.  Russians won’t hesitate to obliterate some Nazi deathsquads, but to massacre hundreds of regular Ukrainians, irrespective of their personal views, is only and truly a last resort option.

There is a lot of evidence that the Russian forces have moved into the outskirts of many Ukrainian towns, including Kiev, Mariupol and others.  Here is how Russian military practice works:

  • First, approach and try to block or surrender the city
  • Second, suppress the main enemy firing positions
  • Third, make sure that the city is truly blocked (except for a few special corridors, see below)
  • Fourth, hold your position and reconnoiter the outermost enemy lines (by fire when appropriate)
  • Fifth, send in special reconnaissance groups inside the city to observe and coordinate attacks
  • Sixth, once the city is surrounded/blocked and once you get a pretty decent picture of what is inside you take the next decisions which might include any of the following: open corridors for civilians to flee and for military personnel to surrender and cross over, determine the main axes of attack and begin slowly grinding down the opposition with heavy firepower (artillery, air, missiles).
  • Seventh, once the city’s defenses have been sufficiently disorganized, begin a house to house mopping up operation by specialized forces.

Before I go further, I want to remind you that during WWII the Soviet Military freed a whopping 1’200 (one thousand two hundred!) cities from the Nazi forces.  Russians know how to do this better than anybody else.

Furthermore, during both Chechen wars, the Russians always managed to take Grozny, which was extremely heavily fortified and defended by some of the toughest fighters on the planet in spite of the fact that at that time the Russian army was it its lowest and badly disorganized, especially during the first Chechen war!  But even in the first Chechen, the Russian did seize Grozny, twice, admittedly a huge cost (on both sides), but they did.

That was almost three decades ago.

Speaking of the Chechen war, in the first one the Russian military lost a big part of an entire brigade which had quickly entered the city, moved into the city center only to find itself surrounded and cut off, with terrible communications, quasi-non existing reconnaissance capabilities.  That debacle left a very painful memory in the Russian collective memory and if somebody was expecting Russian APCs to reach the Mariupol or Kharkov at full speed with flags and screams of “hurrah!” – they don’t understand what is taking place: the (truly criminal) mistake made by Eltin’s generals during that first Chechen war will never be repeated by modern Russian commanders.

Any defeat is always a terrible tragedy, the only and best thing anybody can do after a defeat is to understand why and how it happened, and never repeat such a (criminal) mistake again.

That is the true reason why today Russians stopped on the outskirts of so many cities.

The bottom line is this.  These are things which the Russians are trying to achieve

  • Destroy the Ukie armed forces but kill the absolute minimum number of Ukrainian soldiers (real Nazi will probably be destroyed no questions asked).  Why?  Because these surviving Ukrainian soldiers and officers are the ones who will play the main role in finally cleaning the Ukraine from the Nazi scum.
  • Get to the outskirts of as many major Ukrainian cities and gradually begin the steps I outlined above.
  • Convince civilians to flee and convince Ukrainian solders to lay down arms
  • Delay any Russian penetration inside the cities until the moment is “just right” (not too early, not too late)

Why?

Because Russia has ZERO intention of occupying or, even less so, rebuild or police the Ukraine, that’s why.  The LDNR (in its legal borders) is as far as the Russians will go (with only a few possible exceptions).

The Kremlin decided that the goal of the operation was to 1) disarm and 2) to denazify the Ukraine.  As soon as these goals are reached, the Russian want to get the hell out of the Ukraine and back into the LDNR and let the Ukrainians fight their own anti-Nazi civil war.  That means that:

  • The Russians now must identify reasonable Ukrainian commanders and/or politicians to negotiate with
  • That Russia needs to offer the leftover Ukrainian ground forces the same deal which the Ukrainian forces which were tasked with the control of the Chernobyl nuclear planet were given today by the Russian forces: let’s secure this facility together and keep it secure together, with no combats of any kind.   The Ukrainians gladly accepted, by the way, and now they are jointly patrolling area.
  • The Russian might also try something which worked well in Chechnia: tell the local town/city authorities that if they guarantee that not a single bullet will be fire from that town/city not a single Russian bullet will fly back and not a single Russian solider will enter the city, unless accompanied by locals and in order to ascertain the reality of the situation.  But if a city is declared “open and peaceful” and then is used to attack Russian forces, it will be simply flattened with artillery.  I call that the “Shamanov ultimatum” and, after a few false starts (and subsequently flattened towns) it worked very well.

The crucial factor is this: during the two Chechen wars or during 08.08.08 the Russians never saw the local people as their enemy and, if anything, they were hoping that the locals would start their own “housecleaning operation” which was a bad joke in the first Chechen war, but worked very well in the second Chechen war, and failed again during 08.08.08.

In military/combat terms the Ukies are much more similar to the Georgians than to the Chechens, so there is a good chance Russia might have to leave unconditionally and let the locals slug it at between each other for as much as they want (which is what Russia did in 08.08.08 even though Russia Airborne units were at the outskirts of Tbilissi).

Which brings me to THE QUESTION for tomorrow: how will the Ukrainian soldiers and civilians behave?

Right now, Ukrainian losses have been minimal (considering the undeniable fact that this is a fullscale strategic offensive), the Russian forces have reached their positions on the outskirts of many towns and tomorrow or the day after will be “decision time”.

I hope and pray that Russian and Ukrainian soldiers find a common language in as many locations as possible.  Those who will chose a heroic stance (hardcore Nazis mostly) will be offered the possibility to die for their ideas.

In that context, “Ze” released a video in which he offered to negotiate directly and unconditionally, even about neutrality and any other topic.  The Russian reply was simple and to the point:

  • Russia is immediately ready to start negotiations after the Armed Forces of Ukraine lay down their arms.
  • The Ukraine must be demilitarized and declared neutral.
  • The Ukraine must be denazified.
  • Russia will no longer allow the Nazis to rule in Ukraine.  Ever.

After that reply, “Ze” and his aides stopped communicating.

I personally doubt that he has any control over anything.  And the fact that a huge amount of weapons has been distributed to whomever wanted one today in Kiev shows that “Ze”‘s handlers have given him the order to make the biggest possible mess and bloodbath before he is evacuated.

This is very sad, and utterly immoral, but there is nothing Russia can do about that: the Ukraine will be flooded by well armed criminals gangs and Nazi insurgents for years to come.

Putin today made a speech in which he suggested that Russia’s beef was only with the Nazis and their deathsquads but that Russia would seek to cooperate with the Ukrainian armed forces (well, what’s left of them, really) should they overthrow the Nazis.  See his full message here.

So, today was “we get to our staging positions” day.

So what did not happen (yet)?

  • The operational envelopment of the Ukrainian forces along the LOC with the LDNR forces has not happened yet, there is still a corridor by which these forces can withdraw.  The Russian could have shut it down already “by maneuver by fire” but, apparently, they want to keep it open for a little longer.
  • The Russian Black Sea fleet has not engaged in any major combat activities (that I know off, so take that with a grain of salt).

Will that happen tomorrow?  Maybe, it all really depends on whether the regular Ukrainian units will agree to surrender or whether they will fight to their last solider.  It also depends on how the Ukrainian civilians will react at the sight of approaching Russian forces.

So what to look for tomorrow?

  • A further penetration of Russian forces deeper inside Ukie territory, with cities bypassed.
  • The gradual penetration of Russian forces into blocked/surrounded cities
  • The intervention of the Black Sea Fleet in combat operations (with maybe Odessa as a strategic target, not necessarily to take, but at least to threaten and weaken).
  • A western false flag (some “Russian atrocity” no doubt)

One more thing:

Western PSYOPs are in “max attack mode” and they are being helped by Russian 5th columnist websites.  For example, I was trying to find a halfway decent map of the combat operations today, and ALL the Russian websites which offered such maps were hardcore 5th element.  Okay, I get it – 5th columnists don’t need any real facts to make their maps, while the real patriots are afraid of both getting it wrong and leaking info.  Still, I remember during the first two wars in the Donbass, there were some pretty decent maps available out there.

Today I see such zero.  If anybody can recommend semi-decent military maps of the combat operations I would be most grateful.

The fact that the Russian 5th column is allowed to continue to operate the way it does really frustrates me.  Could the Kremlin not tell them to “zip it” at least during active combat operations?

I did not even bother checking the output of the 6th column today, I fully expect it to be indistinguishable from the output of the 5th, and so I have no interest in it.

What is certain are two things: the joint efforts 5th and 6th column efforts have had some success, especially in locations where Putin his hated and pro-western views more common than in most of Russia.  The best poll I have seen says “Three-quarters of the respondents rather support the decision of the President of Russia to recognize the independent Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (73%), rather do not support – 16%, and every tenth Russian found it difficult to answer (11%). The majority of Russians – 78% – expressed support for the President’s decision to sign an agreement on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance between Russia and the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. Rather, 14% of respondents do not support this decision“.  Putin personal rating is at 67,2%. 

My guesstimate that no more than  5% of Russian support the 5th column and not more than 15% support the 6th column. Toss in another 5-10% which is afraid and on the fence. This is only a guess following my readings of the Russian social media, not a precise figure or even one based on serious research!

Next, the main thesis of US PSYOPs today was “the Russian movement is very slow, much slower than expected” hinting at some formidable Ukrainian defense operations.  I hope that while I did not post any maps today, the above will tell you all you need to know to identify this thesis for what it is: western information operations, nothing more.  The problem is that there is no “smartphone confirmation” of any of that, and by tomorrow I expect the main western PSYOPs thesis to change from “no/slow advance” to “Russian atrocities” (the smartphone coverage for that will, of course, be provided by the western press corps).

So, in conclusion, and once more – the “fog of war” is real, and to read through it takes both time and experience.  By tomorrow, I only expect this “fog of war” (powerfully augmented by PSYOPs) to drown us all in all sorts of nonsense, rumors and wild claims.  Again, please don’t post panicked questions such as “is it true that the Ukrainian forces are already on the Red Square in Moscow” or something equally insipid.

Two quick ones just in, then I need to crash (sorry, I am exhausted).

The US decided to impose personal sanctions personally on Putin (and others) which will result in a full termination of any diplomatic relations (as Russians warned the US many times).  Note: such sanctions are entirely symbolic but maximally offensive, so a full break with Russia is what the US wants.

Twelve thousand Chechens will be sent to the LDNR if needed,  so promised Ramzan Kadyrov, the President of Chechnia.  Actually, I think that this is a very good idea, like in Syria, the Chechens should get involved in policing and public security operations.  FYI – when the “toughest” and “NATO trained and equipped” Georgian brigade heard that the Chechen battalion Vostok was approaching, they all ran abandoning all their fancy (and secret) equipment.  Russia then organized exhibits of all that NATO kit.

Today, the LDNR authorities report the seizure of large Ukie weapons depots including the famous Javelins and NLAWs.  This is all very good news.

I am done for tonight barring some huge event.

I hope to “see you” all tomorrow.

And, again, thanks for all the help (see ADDENDUM in yesterday’s post if you have not yet)!!

You are simply the best 🙂

Andrei

PS: I don’t have the energy to proofread what I wrote, sorry.  I have to prioritize info over form.

NATO No Longer a Defensive Alliance Is a Tool of Aggression

The situation is worsening

February 21, 2022

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Global Research,

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***

Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO who answers to Washington declared today (Feb 19) at the Munich Security Conference that “if the Kremlin’s aim is to have less NATO on its borders, it will only get more NATO.” He says NATO is beefing up its forces “across the alliance,” that is, in the NATO countries on Russia’s borders. See this.

This is an extremely aggressive response to Russia’s concern about missile bases placed on her borders. To speak frankly, Stoltenberg is inviting a Russian attack before she finds herself with more missile bases on her borders.

As if this isn’t enough and with Russia already concerned with the unwillingness of the West to abide by any agreements, treaties, and international law, the president of Ukraine declared today at the Munich Security Conference that Ukraine was on the verge of renouncing the Budapest Memorandum in which Ukraine agreed to abstain from nuclear weapons in exchange for its independence from Russia.  As Ukraine has already broken the Minsk Agreement, there is no reason for Ukraine to keep to the Budapest Memorandum. See this.

So, Russia goes to the US and NATO and says frankly: “You are making us uncomfortable by putting missile bases on our borders and by your plans to bring Ukraine into NATO.  This is not something we can accept.  Here is our proposal for mutual security.”  And the reply is more NATO military expansion and Ukraine developing nuclear weapons.

There was never any possibility of any success of Russian negotiations with Ukraine, because Ukraine is not a sovereign country and cannot make its own decisions.  Ukraine is Washington’s pawn used to cause trouble for Russia. Russia brought this upon herself by standing aside while Washington overthrew the Ukraine government and installed a Washington puppet.  Biden, Blinken, Stoltenberg, and the rest of the crew have made it completely clear that they intend to make Russia less secure.  The West thinks that this is riskless because all the Russians will do is complain and ask for more negotiations.  Washington has Russia trapped in the self-defeating process of answering Washington’s accusations. 

Perhaps Biden, Blinken, and Stoltenberg are right.  But on the other hand, what would you do if you were the government of a vast country allied with China and armed with a military force that can walk through any force NATO can muster as if it were a wet paper bag?  Would you sit there wasting time and energy in negotiations that only make things worse while your enemies build up their forces on your borders and Ukraine acquires nuclear weapons?  

Washington Has Been Predicting a Russian Invasion of Ukraine for Eight Years. Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

You would only if you were foolish.

I don’t know what Putin has learned.  I have learned that previous Russian and Soviet governments were correct in realizing that Russian security required buffers.  There are solid reasons Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, and Central Asia were integral parts of Russia and the Soviet Union. The Soviet government formed the Warsaw Pact (East European countries) as a buffer to NATO, which was formed first.  The weak Yeltsin government, by agreeing to strip Russia of her buffers, has produced the insecurity that Putin has tried to resolve peacefully.

Biden, Blinken, Stoltenberg, Inc. have made it clear that there will be no peaceful resolution except the Kremlin’s acceptance of Washington’s hegemony.  As I have written for years, Russia’s choice is surrender or fight.  

I still think peace is achievable, but not until there is a demonstration of judicious Russian force. The West needs to understand that Russia means it when she says she has had enough.

What would be an example of judicious force?  Perhaps this:

  • The Kremlin accepts the vote of the Donbass Russians to be returned to Russia like Crimea.  This would end the violence in Ukraine as not even the Ukrainian neo-Nazis are stupid enough to attack Russia.
  • The Kremlin announces that Ukraine is in no danger from Russia unless Ukraine becomes a NATO member, accepts US missile bases, or begins developing nuclear weapons, in which case Ukraine will be destroyed.
  • The US missile bases in Poland and Romania will be removed or Russia will remove them.
  • There will be no further strengthening of NATO military forces in NATO countries bordering Russia.  Any such forces will be destroyed upon arrival.

The red lines would be clear.  If the West crosses them, it will be the West that is responsible for the violence. 

If nothing of this sort is done, Washington will keep pushing until Russia has to take far more drastic action that would bring a much greater chance of nuclear war.  

It is clear from Washington’s negative response to Russia’s demand that her security concerns be addressed that negotiations are pointless.  Washington controls the Western media, and the media spins the outcome to Washington’s satisfaction.  More negotiation just means more Russian frustration.

It is difficult for the Kremlin to act in Russia’s interest because of the Russian fifth column consisting of the Atlanticist Integrationists. These are influential people and organizations who are more concerned to be a part of the West than they are with Russian sovereignty.  Globalism is everywhere, including in the Russian government and economic establishment.  Russian economists have been indoctrinated by their Western counterparts that Russia needs foreign exchange in order to develop the Russian economy.  Consequently, they think energy sales to Europe should be billed in dollars or euros, which strengthens the dollar and the euro instead of the ruble.  It is a sad situation when a country’s economists recommend a policy that strengthens the enemy’s currency instead of its own.

Washington is relying on the Atlanticist Integrationists and the Western-financed NGOs, which the Russian government foolishly permits to operate against itself inside Russia, to make it difficult for Putin to meet the challenges that Washington is bringing in order to weaken and destabilize Russia.

Russia cannot negotiate away either the US military/security complex’s need for an enemy to justify its power and budget or Washington’s desire for hegemony.  This is the reality that Putin faces.

Putin and Lavrov keep trying to rely on reason and fact, but in the West reason and fact have lost their influence.  Reason is a “white construct” that white people who are “systemic racists” use to oppress people of color.  Biologically-based gender is not even a fact.  A physical man can declare himself a woman, and a physical woman can declare herself to be a man. Employers, schools, even the military have to accept the self-declaration of gender regardless of fact, or courts rule they are in violation of the Civil Rights Act and are discriminating on the basis of sex.

The Western world has replaced reason and fact with narratives.  Narratives are official explanations that no matter how false carry the imprimatur of truth. To challenge them can be life-threatening.  We are not yet shot in the back of the head in the Lubyanka.  Instead, we are declared to be “domestic terrorists,” “Russian agents,” “disinformation agents,” “enemies of democracy.”  We are deplatformed, fired from our jobs, our medical licenses are taken away, we are arrested and our property seized for protesting a narrative as is currently happening to the Canadian  protesters.  

Independent scientists of the highest reputation have proven that the Covid narrative is incorrect, that the mRNA vaccines are more dangerous to most people than Covid itself.  Yet the scientific facts do not correct the narrative.  Instead, the narrative bans the facts.  

How is it possible that Putin and Lavrov expect to negotiate with a culture in which reason and fact do not exist? Why do they continue in this folly? Is the reality they face too much to accept compared to the pretend world of negotiation?

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Revisiting Russia’s 5th and, especially, 6th columns (UPDATED)

February 08, 2022

First, the easy one.  Russia has a typical 5th column: pro-western “liberals”, assorted agents of influence, nostalgic of the 90s (when they could plunder Russia as much as they wanted), Washington Consensus types, folks who hate Russia (for whatever reason) and dream of the day Russia will break apart, etc. etc. etc.  They are, objectively, agents of influence for the western PSYOPs.  I coined the term “Atlantic Integrationists” because, at best, these folks want Russia to be accepted by the West as an equal partner and then join all the western institutions and become the next Poland.  Of course, these folks are all russophobes, whether they admit it or not.  They think of themselves as “elites” (they like to call themselves “intelligentsia”) and they feel much superior to the “dark, illiterate, masses” who vote for monsters like Putin.  I think this is all pretty simple and I won’t discuss that any further.

Now the much more complex issue.  Russia ALSO has a 6th column.  I wrote an entire analysis of these folks in a post entitled ” Is there a 6th column trying to subvert Russia?” which you must read to understand what I am going to describe below.  I will not repeat it all here.

I will, however, offer a few reminders:

  • The western PSYOPs understood that when most Russian hear the the West and the Russian 5th column that calling Putin a “brutal dictator” they think “well, if they hate him this much, he must be defending our, Russian interests, and not the West’s imperial agenda” (Russians also remember how the West absolutely *loved* Eltsin!).  Considering that pro-western liberals represent something in the range of 1-3% (max!), the folks at the CIA or MI6 figured out that they were wasting their energy and had to come up with a different plan.
  • And somebody pretty sharp came up with the idea of calling Putin not patriotic enough, sold to the WEF and Davos, an agent of Israel and a traitor to true Russian interests.  Of course, this is NOT what western PSYOPs told the audience in the West, but in Russia the folks from the CIA and MI6 found a very fertile ground amongst the folks who, for whatever reason, were disillusioned by Putin and who were instantly willing to pick up and repeat the narrative “Putin is not patriot, he is, in fact, a weak figurehead at best, and a traitor at worst“.

Again, I wrote an entire article about that, so please do read it to understand the “hows” and the “who” of all this.

My article was written on April 30, 2020, and I think I did a decent job describing a phenomenon nobody else, at least to my knowledge, discerned or described.  But what I did not have is a “smoking gun”, the proof that my analysis was not all the product of conjectures or my misreading of the reality of Russian internal politics.

Yesterday I found that smoking gun.  And, boy, it is good, really good.  Let me explain.

There is a Russian retired Colonel-General named Leonid Ivashov.  Here is his English Wikipedia page.  It so happens that I had the chance to meet him and have a long conversation, one on one, with him in Moscow in 1993 when he was the Secretary of the Council of Ministers of Defense of the CIS States.  It was quite a meeting, outside nearby firefights were taking place between the supporters of Eltsin and those who defended the Russian Parliament, so I had to pass two rings of heavily armed and very stern looking Special Forces to meet Ivashov (we met in the building where he had his offices and the guard was very strict).  The fact that he was willing to meet me, a young Russian emigre and a nobody, in such crazy circumstances speaks to the kind of man Ivashov is: very nice, soft spoken, humble and very welcoming.  We drank some Turkish coffee with cardamon (which he called “Moldavian style coffee”) together and even shared one glass of (excellent) Moldavian brandy.  If I remember correctly, Ivashov served in Moldavia, hence his love for all things Moldavian.  He made a great impression on me, he was very sober minded, superbly educated, amazingly open (especially for a Soviet-era general) and I think we parted on very friendly terms.  I want to share all this with you to be as honest as I can about what I will write next about Ivashov.

Politically Ivashov was clearly a real patriot, no doubt about it.  However, over the years, his criticism of the Kremlin policies and, eventually, Putin personally become harsher and harsher.  Over the years he became one of the figureheads of what I would call the “anti-Putin patriotic movement” in Russia.  Here are some of the talking points members of this movement often expressed:

  • Putin is a pure product of the Eltsin “family”.  He was deeply involved with the likes of Eltsin, Sobchak and the rest of the gang which took power in 1991.
  • Putin’s elections are all fake, the people of Russia hate him.
  • Far from saving Russia from disaster, Putin very much continued the Eltsin policies of the 90s, only wrapped in a pious pseudo-patriotic claptrap.
  • Putin is selling out Russia to both the West AND China.
  • Putin also sold out to Russian Jews, international Zionists and the Israelis.
  • Putin betrayed and lost Russia when he recognized the Ukronazi regime in Kiev and stopped the LDNR forces from liberating more (some would even say “all”) of the Ukraine.
  • Putin is surrounded by oligarchs whose bidding he does and whose interests he really upholds.
  • The Putin regime does nothing against all the western agents of influence in the Russian media and government structures, but he viciously represses real Russian patriots.
  • Russia is all but dead, we lost against the West, China will eat us up, economically Russia is dead too, import substitution did not even work, and Russia is still totally dependent on the West for basic stuff ranging from simply metal bolts, to microchips to entire machines.

I could go on for much longer, but I want to point out two crucial things here:

  1. The Russian liberals and the Russian anti-Putin patriots agree on many things.
  2. If what these folks say is correct, then its all over, Russia is done, and everything is lost.

That latest concept, “everything is lost”, even created a special words for those who believe that to be the case: “allislosters” (всепропальщики).

I have always contended that pro-US liberals and the allislosters fundamentally share the same ideas and are, whether they are aware of this or not, objectively advancing the kind of defeatism which the western PSYOPs want to inject in the Russian collective psyche.  That idea is what I call the “Borg ultimatum” (from the Star Trek the Next Generation series): “resistance is futile, you shall be incorporated”.

When degenerate liberals a la Muratov or pseudo-democrats like Navalnii spew that crap, they get traction with only a tiny proportion, a few percents max, of the Russian population.

But when real patriots say these things, it bring FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) into a MUCH bigger percentage of the Russian population, probably no less than 20%: not a majority, but a very sizeable minority.

Here is a machine translated (and slightly corrected) version of the text penned by General Ivashov and his supporters which was released yesterday and, very characteristically, immediately mentioned by the entire western media within hours.  Read it for yourself before we continue.  I bolded out some key sentences.

***

The Chairman of the All-Russian Officers’ Assembly, Colonel-General Leonid G. Ivashov, wrote an Appeal to the President and citizens of the Russian Federation “The Eve of War”:

Address of the All -Russian Officers’ Assembly

to the President and citizens of the Russian Federation

Today, humanity lives in anticipation of war. And war is the inevitable human sacrifice, destruction, suffering of large masses of people, the destruction of a habitual way of life, disruption of the life systems of states and peoples. A big war is a huge tragedy, someone’s grave crime. It so happened that Russia was at the center of this impending catastrophe. And, perhaps, this is the first time in its history.

Earlier, Russia (USSR) waged forced (just) wars, and, as a rule, when there was no other way out, when the vital interests of the state and society were threatened.

And what threatens the existence of Russia itself today, and are there such threats? It can be argued that there are indeed threats – the country is on the verge of ending its history. All vital areas, including demography, are steadily deteriorating, and the rate of population extinction is breaking world records. And degradation is systemic, and in any complex system, the destruction of one of the elements can lead to the collapse of the entire system.

And this, in our opinion, is the main threat to the Russian Federation. But this is an internal threat emanating from the model of the state, the quality of power and the state of society. And the reasons for its formation are internal: the non-viability of the state model, the complete incapacity and lack of professionalism of the system of power and management, passivity and disorganization of society. Any country does not live in such a state for a long time.

As for external threats, they are certainly present. But, according to our expert assessment, they are not critical at the moment, directly threatening the existence of the Russian statehood, its vital interests. Strategic stability is maintained in general, nuclear weapons are under reliable control, NATO forces are not being built up, and they do not show threatening activity.

Therefore, the situation being escalated around Ukraine is, first of all, artificial, self-serving for some internal forces, including the Russian Federation. As a result of the collapse of the USSR, in which Russia (Yeltsin) took a decisive part, Ukraine became an independent state, a member of the UN, and in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter has the right to individual and collective defense.

The leadership of the Russian Federation has not yet recognized the results of the referendum on the independence of the DPR and LPR, while at the official level more than once, including during the Minsk negotiation process, it emphasized the belonging of their territories and population to Ukraine.

It has also been said more than once at a high level about the desire to maintain normal relations with Kiev, without singling out special relations with the DPR and the LPR.

The issue of the genocide committed by Kiev in the south-eastern regions has not been raised either in the UN or in the OSCE. Naturally, in order for Ukraine to remain a friendly neighbor for Russia, it was necessary for it to demonstrate the attractiveness of the Russian model of the state and the system of power.

But the Russian Federation has not become such, its development model and the foreign policy mechanism of international cooperation repel almost all neighbors, and not only.

The acquisition of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia and their non-recognition as Russian by the international community (which means that the overwhelming number of states of the world still consider them to belong to Ukraine) convincingly shows the inconsistency of Russian foreign policy and the unattractiveness of domestic policy.

Attempts through an ultimatum and threats of the use of force to make the Russian Federation and its leadership “fall in love” are senseless and extremely dangerous.

The use of military force against Ukraine, firstly, will call into question the existence of Russia itself as a state; secondly, it will forever make Russians and Ukrainians mortal enemies. Thirdly, there will be thousands (tens of thousands) of young, healthy children killed on one side and on the other, which will certainly affect the future demographic situation in our dying countries. On the battlefield, if this happens, Russian troops will face not only Ukrainian servicemen, among whom there will be many Russian guys, but also military personnel and equipment of many NATO countries, and the member states of the alliance will be obliged to declare war on Russia.

The President of the Republic of Turkey, R. Erdogan, clearly stated on whose side Turkey will fight. And it can be assumed that two field armies and the Turkish navy will be ordered to “liberate” Crimea and Sevastopol and possibly invade the Caucasus.

In addition, Russia will definitely be included in the category of countries that threaten peace and international security, will be subject to the heaviest sanctions, will turn into an outcast of the world community, and will probably be deprived of the status of an independent state.

The president and the government, the Ministry of Defense cannot fail to understand such consequences, they are not so stupid.

The question arises: what are the true goals of provoking tension on the verge of war, and the possible unleashing of large-scale hostilities? And that there will be such, says the number and combat strength of the groups of troops formed by the parties – at least one hundred thousand soldiers on each side. Russia, baring its eastern borders, is moving formations to the borders of Ukraine.

In our opinion, the country’s leadership, realizing that it is not capable of leading the country out of the systemic crisis, and  , with the support of the oligarchy, corrupt officials, lured media and security forces, decided to activate the political line for the final destruction of the Russian statehood and the extermination of the indigenous population of the country.

And war is the means that will solve this problem in order to retain its anti-national power for a while and preserve the wealth stolen from the people. We can’t think of any other explanation.

From the President of the Russian Federation, we, the officers of Russia, demand to abandon the criminal policy of provoking a war in which the Russian Federation will be alone against the united forces of the West, to create conditions for the implementation in practice of Article 3 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation and resign.

We appeal to all reserve and retired military personnel, citizens of Russia with a recommendation to be vigilant, organized, support the demands of the Council of the All-Russian Officers’ Assembly, actively oppose propaganda and the outbreak of war, prevent internal civil conflict with the use of military force.

Chairman of the All-Russian Officers’ Assembly, Colonel-General L.G. Ivashov

Source here

***

Next, what I want to do is bring all the parts I bolded out into one single paragraph.

I would call it their “creed”, the symbol of their “faith”.  Here we go:

The country is on the verge of ending its history. The non-viability of the state model, the complete incapacity and lack of professionalism of the system of power and management, passivity and disorganization of society. External threats, they are certainly present. But, according to our expert assessment, they are not critical at the moment. NATO forces are not being built up, and they do not show threatening activity. The situation being escalated around Ukraine is, first of all, artificial, self-serving for some internal forces, including the Russian Federation. (The Russian) development model and the foreign policy mechanism of international cooperation repel almost all neighbors, and not only. The acquisition of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia and their non-recognition as Russian by the international community convincingly shows the inconsistency of Russian foreign policy and the unattractiveness of domestic policy. Attempts through an ultimatum and threats of the use of force to make the Russian Federation and its leadership “fall in love” are senseless and extremely dangerous.The use of military force against Ukraine, firstly, will call into question the existence of Russia itself as a state. There will be thousands (tens of thousands) of young, healthy children killed on one side and on the other, which will certainly affect the future demographic situation in our dying countries. Military personnel and equipment of many NATO countries, and the member states of the alliance will be obliged to declare war on Russia. It can be assumed that two field armies and the Turkish navy will be ordered to “liberate” Crimea and Sevastopol and possibly invade the Caucasus. The question arises: what are the true goals of provoking tension on the verge of war, and the possible unleashing of large-scale hostilities? The country’s leadership, realizing that it is not capable of leading the country out of the systemic crisis. This may lead to an uprising of the people and a change of power in the country (and) activate the political line for the final destruction of the Russian statehood and the extermination of the indigenous population of the country. War is the means that will solve this problem in order to retain its anti-national power for a while and preserve the wealth stolen from the people. We can’t think of any other explanation. We, the officers of Russia, demand to abandon the criminal policy of provoking a war.

I submit that this is unambiguously a terminally defeatist text.  It basically says the same thing as what the Ukronazis were chanting in streets “Russians, surrender!  Russians, surrender!”. 

I am on record as saying that Russia has been at war with the Empire since at least 2013.  Yes, that war is 80% informational, about 15% economic and about 5%  kinetic.  But it was (and still is) a very real war: the Empire lost that war on January 8th 2020 and the USA lost this war on January 6th, 2021.  What is taking place now are truly mopping up operations, especially after the Joint Declaration of Russia and China!

Objectively, General Ivashov by his open letter is serving the interests of the CIA/MI6 PSYOPs, now the entire western media can say “Russian generals are opposed to Putin’s aggressive campaign against the Ukraine”.

The fact that this text was released at a time when Putin and Macron had a SIX hours long negotiation is also very telling, to put it mildly.

And then, there is this: this latest text DIRECTLY CONTRADICTS everything which Ivashov said many times over the past years.  I don’t have the time or energy to give you all the quotes, but I recommend this video from the exiled Ukrainian blogger Anatoly Sharii, who shows and explains that all in details.  The video is in Russian, but I believe that there is a way to get an auto-translation going in the YouTube captions.  If you can, I highly recommend you listen to what Sharii says.  I would summarize it by saying that Sharii correctly point out that Ivashov made a 180 and now even contradicts his own, past, views.

Personally, when I first saw that text I had to rub my eye and make sure it was not an optical illusion or a hallucination.  My next thought was that somebody must be blackmailing Ivashov.  But that is highly unlikely.  The man is already retired, I doubt that anybody has any “dirt” on him and, frankly, I don’t believe that he is a coward who would yield to such pressure or abandon his principles.  Neither is Ivashov senile, at 78 he is still has very articulate mind (as shown by his live inteviews and videos on the RuNet; he ain’t no Sleepy Joe).

Was this text a fake?

Nope, Ivashov even doubled down this video.

So what in the world happened here?

Before I answer that question, I want to touch upon something very important.

In any PSYOPs or propaganda, WHAT you see is much less important than the EFFECT of what you said will have.  So PSYOPs and propaganda are not aimed at “everybody” because people are different.  Which I won’t even bother debunking all the factual falsehoods, logical fallacies or outright idiotic nonsense this text is full of.  Most of the readers of the Saker blog easily can do that by themselves anyway.

Let me give you one example: these anti-Putin patriots constantly “warn” that there will be an uprising, an insurrection or even coup against Putin.  So the WHAT is “a warning about something”, but from an EFFECT point of view, it is very simple: FUD – to try to induce fear, uncertainty and doubt.

In the real world, there is exactly *zero* possibility of any revolt, insurrection or coup against Putin.  If anything, should the liberals or the anti-Putin patriots try to organize a Maidan in Mocow, they will be crushed not as much by the security services, as by the much larger ANTI-Maidan forces in Moscow (that already happened once in 2011-2013).  So the argument is idiotically counter-factual.  But the intended EFFECT is FUD at a time when Russia is winning on all fronts.

Not a coincidence.

That being said, what happened to Ivashov?

I see only one explanation: I would call it “ideological drunkenness”.  That is when a person’s ideological inclinations become so acute and the reality in the real world so unacceptable, that a person becomes literally “drunk” with his/her ideology.  We can currently observe that with the US Neocons, the Trump 2024 supporters, the anti-vaxxers and COVID-dissidents, and every single religious sect/cult out there.  Notice that cults always emphasize emotions over rational analysis.  You could say that their operating principle is “don’t confuse me with facts, I have my opinion made“.

And if you insist of facts, they get really mad really fast.

The main reason why the pro-western liberals and the anti-Putin patriots are so angry and even directly mad at the Russian people, is that both of these camps failed to get enough traction with the Russian public to truly weaken Putin or the Kremlin.  So the crazy “defeatist stream of consciousness” shown in Ivashov’s text is the result from many decades of deep frustration and anger.  Frustration because the Russian people did give their support to Putin over and over again and anger because far from failing, Putin is winning on all fronts.

When a rational mind finds that a prediction or an effort failed, it seeks to correct its initial assumptions and policies and develop new, more effective ones. You know, the scientific method and all that.

When an ideological mind finds that a prediction or an effort failed, far from analyzing reality, it seeks refuge in doubling-down over and over again or, if dates are involved, these ideological minds simply push back the date of the “inevitable collapse”.

And if that means that a 3 star general must write stuff he MUST know (due to his excellent education) are factually false and utter nonsense in order to push his ideological agenda, then we see that this is truly a desperate effort.

BTW – let me reassure everybody, this letter will also go to the trashbins of history even if it is used for a while by the unison of the chorus of the western propaganda machine.  Folks in the West mostly believe the “Putin the evil dictator of Mordor” anyway.  As for Russia, those who were already anti-Putin patriots don’t matter much, in this case Ivashov is preaching to the choir.  As for the rest of Russians, they will “twist their finger at the temple” (Russian gesture to say “crazy”) and quickly dismiss it.

But for our purposes, this open letter is truly precious, priceless even.

In French we could say “Navalnyi ou Ivashov – même combat!” meaning “Navalnyi or Ivashov – same struggle”.

Mind you – Ivashov is so blinded by his hatred for “the regime” (he would say “the family”) that he is probably totally oblivious to how he comes across and whose interests he de facto very much serves.

This is very sad, and for personally too, I still like the man very much.  Navalnyi is a sad, immoral piece of scum.  But not Ivashov: I am certain that he is a good, honorable and sincere person.  But like an alcoholic, he drank too much of his own cool-aid – his actions are not an expression of his personality, but of his (ideological) pathology.

Ideologies are probably the single most dangerous (mental) toxins out there.

My only hope is that the ridiculously over-the-top contents of this truly deeply delusional letter will open the eyes of those who are on the fence (in Russia and abroad) about both Putin and the anti-Putin patriots.  If they are ideologically sober enough they might remember the words of Christ “ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matt 7:16) and realize that de facto anti-Putin Russian patriots are collaborationist with the western enemies of Russia.

As for Putin, oh sure, he does have his faults.  And yes, there are still plenty of Atlantic Integrationists in the Russian circles of power (media, Presidential Administration, Government, Central Bank, etc. etc. etc.).  In medicine, it is important to take note of two things: the condition of the patient and the evolution of the disease.  I would argue that any honest appraisal of Putin’s actions over the past 20 years show two things:

  1. He failed to solve all the problems of Russia (I wrote about this in distant 2016!)
  2. But the evolution of Russia since Putin came to power an improving one, going from bad, to better and sometimes to even very good.  Yes, it did take a lot of retreats and compromises to achieve the current situation, but there is no denial that in 1999 Russia was breaking apart while in 2022 it is clear that Russia prevailed over both the Empire and its main constituent, the USA.

Real, sober, patriots understand that, for all his faults, now is NOT the time to subvert or undermine Putin.  Let him prosecute the war until Russia’s full victory, and then let’s put maximum pressure on him to finally develop a truly sovereign Russian internal policy and even polity.

I fully expect most anti-Putin patriots to never EVER admit that.  That would invalidate no less than two decades of their (misguided) efforts to get rid of Putin were in vain and that they will never come to power themselves.

My personal biggest hope is that you, the readers, will now become fully aware of what I call the 6th column in Russia, as opposed to the 5th, traditional onethe next time you hear somebody deny the existence of the Atlantic Integrationists, the Russian liberal 5th column or the allislosters 6th column, please ask yourself: cui bono –  who benefits from this denial?

The current standoff between Russia and the West has already yielded numerous very good results.  To use an metaphor, Putin stuck a stick into the “western anthill” and all the ants (western politicians) are now running around like crazy.  Putin’s success also stuck another stick into the “allislosters” anthill and all these ants (anti-Putin patriots) are now also running around like crazy.

How much comfort can the leaders of the West get from all of the above?

Not much.

It is pretty clear that both 5th column and 6th column PSYOPs have miserably failed.  In fact, both the 5th and the 6th column can only preach to their choir, most Russians absolutely hate liberals and a majority also disagrees with the 6th columns defeatism.  Putin’s recent series of major successes (politically, militarily, economically) really leave the 6th column no hope at all to prevail.  At most, they will lash out and continue to predict an insurrection or coup, but that ship has sailed long ago.

That is not to say that we should dismiss that toxic and evil trio: Atlantic Integrationists, the 5th column and the 6th column.  For one thing, there still are Atlantic Integrationists everywhere, from RT, to the Russian Central Bank, to the Presidential Administration, the Kremlin, the Government and A LOT in the media, including entertainment.  Putin has pushed them back to some degree, the situation now is MUCH better than, say in 2017, but the enemy is still there.  And Russia’s history clearly shows that the internal enemy is far more dangerous than the external one.

Furthermore, Russia is still a “one man show”: remove Putin and Russia will immediately undergo a major crisis, internal and external, if only because there is no credible successor to him, not by a long shot. I can name many very good people near Putin, his Eurasian Sovereignist allies, but none of them have his stature.

And he still has not found the opportunity to get rid of some dangerous snakes which are also in his close entourage.  I believe that Putin is much more threatened by Russian financiers than he is by NATO or the US.  And, always keep this in mind, Putin is no Stalin.  He cannot just fire, expel, arrest or execute anyone for no reason: he has to follow the law which very much limits his power.  Nor do I believe that a majority of Russians would approve if Putin started to act like a dictator: been there, done that, paid a huge cost and won’t ever do it again.

Still, should something happen to Putin (disease, death, incapacitation, etc.) we can be sure that the Atlantic Integrationists, the 5th columnists, the 6th columnists and the entire united West will pounce on Russia which will result in a major crisis which potentially could truly threaten the future of Russia.

The truth is that as long as Russia will still be in the process of redefining herself on the fly Russia will be unstable and vulnerable.  But that is a topic for a future analysis.

Andrei

UPDATE: as soon as I posted this up, several commentators quasi immediately chimed in with “Ivashov is right”, “I agree with him”, etc. etc. etc.  All commentators from the West, buy the way.  Considering how disruptive my analysis is to the western PSYOPs, I expect a deluge of trolls trying to “retake control of the narrative” in the comments section.  Needless to say, I will eject them all without any hesitation.  After 15 years of blogging I can easily distinguish a sincere critical comment from the typical output of trolls (paid or not).

Iran – New Member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Iran – New Member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

September 18, 2021

Peter Koenig and PressTV

On 17 September 2021 Iran has become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). It is an extraordinary achievement and new beginning for US and wester sanction-badgered Iran. On the occasion PressTV interviewed me on what this great move might bring for Iran. See the transcript below.

PressTV Question:

1.       Iran is finally a member of the SCO. It is said this solidifies a block to stand up to the West and US hegemony: will it be able to do that, and is the era of unilateralism over?

PK Reply:

First, my deepest and heartfelt congratulations for this extraordinary event – Iran the latest member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization – SCO.
Bravo!

Yes, this will definitely open new doors, prosperous doors with new relations in the East. SCO with the current membership covers close to 50% of the world population and accounts for about one third of the world’s GDP.

Being a member of this organization, will take a lot of pressure away in terms of western sanctions, western impositions, monetary manipulations via the US dollar as a remedy for payment.
No more.

Iran is now free to deal in her own currency and in Yuan as well as in any currency of the SCO members, because western-type trade currency restrictions do not exist in SCO member countries.

This will drastically reduce the potential for US / western sanctions and will increase on the other hand, Iran’s potential to deal with the East, i.e., especially China and Russia; entering partnership agreements with these and other SCO countries, benefitting from comparative advantages. It may open-up a new socio-economic era for Iran.

Also, in terms of defense strategy – although SCO is not a military defense organization per se, but it offers strategic defense assistance and advice – and as such is a solidifying force for member countries.
SCO also respects countries’ autonomy and sovereignty – and facilitates trade arrangements between member countries.

Having said this, Iran must not lose sight of potentially disrupting internal factors, like the so-called Fifth Columnists – those who will keep pulling towards the west, and they are particularly dangerous as infiltrates in the financial sector, Treasury, Ministry of Finance, Central Bank, and so on. They are everywhere, also in Russia and China. But internal Iranian awareness and caution will help manage the risks and eventually overwhelm it. Russia has gone along way in doing so. And so has China. And so will Iran. I’m confident.

Again, excellent momentum to celebrate. – Congratulations!

——-

2.       Iran will also be part of the different regional bodies in neighborhood regions, including Eurasia, that could spontaneously break the “sanctions wall” and lead to diversified fruitful foreign relations. Does this mean the US sanctions will not be as effective?

PK Reply

Yes, absolutely. Regional bodies and trading arrangements within Eurasia – such as The Eurasian Economic Union – EAEU – has an integrated single market of 180 million people and a GDP of some 5 trillion dollars equivalent and growing. It covers eight countries of which 3 have observer status.

Other than trading with the members of the Eurasian Economic Union, the EAEU also has trading agreements as an entity with other countries, for example with Singapore.

Then there is maybe the most important trade deal in world history, the ten ASEAN countries, plus China, as well as Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand – but not the United States. Thus, no dealings in US dollars, no potential for US sanctions. This Trade Agreement is called The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). It was signed in November 2020 on the occasion of the annual summit of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

RCEP countries have a combined GDP of US$ 26.2 trillion or about 30% of global GDP, and they account for nearly 28% of global trade (based on 2019 figures). Total population of RCEP countries is 2.3 billion, roughly 30% of the world’s inhabitants.

Negotiation of this trade deal took 8 years. The longest ever. And it will of course, take time to reach the full potential of integrating the sovereign countries economies. In contrast to the European Union, RCEP will to the utmost possible preserve each country’s sovereignty. This is important in the long-run, especially for conservation of national cultures, ideologies and national development strategies.

There maybe a good chance for Iran to negotiate early entry into the RCEP Agreement. It will definitely be a blow to US sanctions – and on the other hand a tremendous opportunity for diversification of markets, production and consumption.

Again, congratulations. Being a member of the SCO is an extraordinary achievement. As, I always say – the future is in the East.

Best of luck to Iran, with new partners and new friends.

—–
Peter Koenig is a geopolitical analyst and a former Senior Economist at the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO), where he has worked for over 30 years on water and environment around the world. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals and is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed; and  co-author of Cynthia McKinney’s book “When China Sneezes: From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Politico-Economic Crisis” (Clarity Press – November 1, 2020)

Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He is also is a non-resident Sr. Fellow of the Chongyang Institute of Renmin University, Beijing.

Interview with A.B. Abrams about his latest book and the war in Syria

September 12, 2021

Interview with A.B. Abrams about his latest book and the war in Syria

by Andrei for the Saker blog

A.B. Abrams has just released a new book entitled World War in Syria – Global Conflict on the Middle Eastern Battlefields.  Here are two locations were you can order this most interesting volume:

For those who don’t remember who Abrams is, here are two of his previous contributions to the Saker blog:

The book got A LOT of praise already, so I posted a few endorsements at the end of this interview (see at the bottom)

Rather than offer my own endorsement or write a full review, I decided to interview Abrams about both his book and his views on the international aggression against Syria.  I hope you enjoy it and, yes, get the book!

Andrei


1)–Please introduce us to your new book!  Tell us what was your main purpose in writing it and whom, what audience, did you want to reach?

I wrote this book to provide one of the first comprehensive histories of the Syrian War published to mark ten years after it began in 2011. The book places the war in the context of both the history of Syria’s decades long conflict with Western interests which began in the late 1940s, as well as broader Western geopolitical goals in the region and beyond. The title ‘World War in Syria’ reflects an assessment of the conflict primarily not through the paradigm of a civil war, as is more common in the West, but rather as a global conflict which has pitted the Western Bloc and its regional partners against Damascus and its allies – namely Russia, Iran, North Korea and Hezbollah. The war has seen special forces and other assets from all these parties deployed to Syrian soil, with the West, Turkey, the Gulf States and Israel undertaking considerable military, economic and information warfare efforts to bring about the Syrian government’s overthrow.

The book shows the Syrian War as part of a broader trend towards countries outside the Western sphere of influence, namely the minority of countries without Western military presences on their soil, being targeted for destabilisation and overthrow. For targeting countries with significant Muslim populations, Western cooperation with radical Islamist elements to support such objectives has been common, as seen in Indonesia (1950s and early 60s), Chechnya, Afghanistan (1979-92), and Yugoslavia among others. These precedents are explored at the beginning of the book to provide context to Western efforts to employ similar means against Syria.

The book is not aimed at any specific audience, but at anyone with a general interest in the Syrian War, Western, Russian, Iranian or Turkish foreign policy, Middle Eastern politics, contemporary military affairs, insurgency or terrorism. It follows a previous book published in 2020 on the history of North Korea’s 70 year war with the United States, which similarly sought to provide a comprehensive analysis of a major conflict between the U.S.-led Western Bloc and a targeted country including the Western way of war and the use of both economic and information warfare.

2)–Do you believe that Putin is “allowing” (or even helping!) Israel to bomb Syria? Or maybe the Russian and Syrian air defenses are totally ineffective?  How do you explain all the Israeli strikes?

Russia’s position on Israeli strikes has been interesting and caused a great deal of debate and in some cases controversy. I assess that Russian military intervention in Syria in 2015 had the limited goals of supporting counterinsurgency efforts and limiting Western and Turkish efforts to illegally occupy Syrian territory through the imposition of safe zones and no fly. The Russian presence has also served to deter Western and Turkish attacks, as evidenced by the vast discrepancy between the massive strikes planned under Obama to topple the government in 2013, and the very limited attacks carried out under Trump in 2017 and 2018. A longer term goal has more recently materialised with the entrenching of the Russian military presence in Latakia on Syria’s western coast, with Russia’s sole airbase in the region expanded and increasingly oriented away from counterinsurgency operations and towards providing a strategically located asset against NATO.

The expectation among many that Russia ought to prevent Israeli strikes on Syria may well be a result of the Soviet position in the 1980s, when the USSR threatened to intervene if Israel attacked Syria. This resulted in the confinement of Israeli-Syrian clashes that decade to within neighbouring Lebanon’s borders. A number of factors, however, mean that this is no longer feasible. Unlike in the 1980s, Israel is today far from the most pressing threat to Syrian security, while the discrepancy in military capabilities favours Israel much more strongly. Under the Netanyahu government, Russia also cultivated close ties with Israel as a valuable partner with a degree of policy independence from the Western world which could, for example, sell on sensitive Western technologies as it did with the Forpost drone to Russia or with American air defence technologies to China. Israel’s ability to act independently of Western hegemonic interests to some degree has been an asset to Moscow as well as Beijing to strengthen themselves against the West through cooperation. Thus the relationship between Moscow and Tel Aviv is very different from what it was in the 1980s, as is Moscow’s relationship with Damascus, meaning that Russia will be less inclined to take a hard line against Israeli strikes.

Perhaps most importantly, the fact that Russia has not taken a harder line in protecting Syria from Israeli attacks reflects Russia’s much diminished power to influence events beyond its borders compared to the Soviet era. The Russian military intervention in Syria was its first major military action outside the former USSR since the 1980s, and was a major feat considering the poor state of the military just seven years prior in its war with Georgia. The Russian military is nevertheless already stretched protecting its own forces in Syria and deterring Western or Turkish escalation, which is far from easy considering how far these operations are from Russian soil. Unlike in the late Soviet era, Russia no longer has the world’s second largest economy, a large sphere of influence of developed allied economies for support, a blue water navy, 55,000 tanks or 7000 fighters/interceptors. Its military is capable, but if it took on Israel directly as well as Turkey, the West, and the jihadist insurgency at the same time for all attacking Syria, the risk of escalation would be significant and would force it to divert considerable resources away from its own defence – resources which are far more scarce than those the USSR had 40 years ago.

Russia has nevertheless deployed its top fighters the Su-35s, and on at least one occasion Su-34s, to intercept Israeli F-16s before they could attack Syria, which alongside the strengthening of Syrian air defences has made it more difficult for Israel to strike. Russia does not condone Israeli strikes, but they have not been an immediate priority. Although they are damaging particularly to Iranian interests, such strikes do not seriously threaten Syria’s stability and have generally pursued limited goals. While Israel has called for greater Western intervention against Syria in the past, Tel Aviv’s own limitations mean it is not looking to overthrow the Syrian government singlehandedly. This contrasts to Turkey, whose president has stated multiple times and recently in 2020 that the intention is to maintain an occupation and hostile relations until the Damascus government is overthrown. This also remains a long term objective for the West currently through economic warfare, theft of Syrian oil and targeting of crops.

Israeli aircraft have since February 2018 relied in the large majority of attacks on launching standoff weapons from a safe distance outside Syrian airspace, meaning for Syrian ground based air defences to engage them and they must instead intercept the missiles as they approach and cannot target the aircraft themselves. Syria is itself aware of its limitations, and against both Israeli and Turkish strikes it has refrained from escalating by deploying its own fighters/interceptors to attack the enemy aircraft. Syrian aircraft optimised for air to air combat have instead been held in reserve to respond to more serious full scale attacks like the kind the U.S. and is allies were planning in September 2013. As Syrian defences improve with the delivery of the first new fighters as aid from Russia in 2020, the refocusing of resources away from counterinsurgency, and the possible placing of new S-300 systems under Syrian control, the country’s airspace may again begin to be respected as it largely was before the war began. If Syria does begin to deploy fighter units for air defence duties it will reflect a renewed sense of faith in the country’s security, although Turkey rather than Israel is likely to be the first target due to the heated nature of conflict over the Turkish occupation of Idlib and the much weaker state of Turkey’s air force.

3)–I have always suspected that the former Syrian regime (of Assad Sr.) was full of Israeli agents.  My evidence?  The impossible to organize without top complicity murder of Imad Mughniyeh (his widows also believes that, by the way, she is in Iran now) or the huge list of defectors/traitors and other officials/officers who quickly took their money and joined the international war in Syria.  Has that now changed, do you feel that the government is stable and in control?

Based on my knowledge of Syria and Arab nationalist republics more generally, while strong fifth columns have almost certainly been prevalent they are unlikely to be predominantly pro-Israeli and much more likely pro-Western. Although Syria’s Ba’athist government aligned itself very closely with the USSR particularly from 1982, much of the elite and the population maintained strongly pro-Western sentiments. This included the current president in his initial years who, according to Western sources cited in the book, was looking to pivot the country towards closer alignment with the West while sidelining Russia, Iran and the Ba’ath Party. Many in the Arab world even in states which are formally aligned against Western interests aspire to integration and a degree of Westernisation, which has long been a leading weakness in Arab nationalist states’ efforts to establish themselves as independent powers.

The West’s colonial legacy provided a strong basis since the middle of the last century to cultivate considerable soft power in the Arab World. This was perhaps most clearly alluded to by Mohamed Heikal, a leading intellectual of the non-aligned movement and Minister of Information for the United Arab Republic, who noted regarding the political and military elites of Arab republics in the 1950s, 60s and 70s: “All the formative influences in the new leaders’ lives- the books they had read, the history they had learned, the films they had seen- had come from the West. The languages they knew in addition to their own were English or French – Russian was, and remained, a mystery to them. It was impossible for them to remain unaffected by all that they had heard about the communist world- the closed society, the suppression of thought, the ‘Stalinist terror’… they wanted to keep their distance.” Heikal stressed that many of these leaders would turn to the West for assistance “almost automatically,” as the psychology of colonialism persisted. Many of those who turned to a partnership with the Soviets did so only because they were given no other choice, having been refused by the West.

This remains largely true until today at many levels of Syrian society. Perhaps one of the most striking examples was documented by a journalist accompanying the Syrian Arab Army to the frontlines engaging Western-backed insurgents. While the West made war on Syria, it was clear that strongly Western supremacist sentiments persisted throughout the population as a result of Western soft power, with Syrian soldiers on the frontlines reported to exclaim regarding their country: “Look how beautiful this land is! It is almost as beautiful as Europe!” Such sentiments were common even in wartime. The idea of Western primacy and supremacy, long engrained across much of the world through colonial rule, remained a key weakness which made it far from difficult for the Western world to cultivate westphilian fifth columns. According to multiple sources, including British journalist Patrick Seale, this included the President Hafez Al Assad’s brother who had a love for all things American and for parties with Western belly dancers. In this way Syria and Arab nationalist states bear a strong contrast to Western adversaries such as North Korea, which placed a strong emphasis on political education and on ensuring new generations did not grow up seeing the world through paradigms that promote Western supremacy (see Chapters 18 and 19 of my prior book that cover that topic.)

Regarding Israel, while there are strongly pro-Western sentiments within Syria and the Arab world, there are also strong anti-Israeli sentiments which, combined with Israel’s lack of any comparable soft power, makes pro-Israeli fifth columns much more difficult to cultivate. It is highly possible, however, that pro-Western elements in Syria could be led to pursue actions which, while furthering Western interests, also benefit Israel as you mentioned.

4)— How did the war in Syria really start?  Can you give us a summary of the true story (the full story is in your book) of how what began with some local protests (almost) ended with the Takfiris in control of Damascus?

It is difficult to do this question justice with a summary answer as there are so many factors at play. One could trace the origin back to 2007, when following Hezbollah’s unexpected military successes against Israel the previous year the Bush administration began to perceive Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, rather than Al Qaeda, as its primary adversaries. This also led to the first mentions of the possibility of manipulating Al Qaeda-type jihadist groups with the help of regional allies (Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in particular) to focus on attacking Syria and other Iranian partners. By 2009 militants were receiving Western training for operations in Syria. Pro-Western activists in Syria and other Arab countries were also receiving training in the U.S. supported by the State Department, Google, Facebook and others on how to stir unrest using tools such as social media. Media networks and most notably Al Jazeera, which had a long history of being heavily influenced by Western intelligence, began in 2011 to be put to use to vilify the Syrian government, and the Qatari monarchy soon after would lead calls for a Libya-style Western assault.

On the ground in the war’s initial weeks the Syrian government faced large scale incursions by well armed and trained militants from across the Turkish and Jordanian borders, and simultaneously a number of largely peaceful protests against living conditions in some cities. Confusion was sown and the situation quickly escalated out of control. Mass privatisation of public property, years of crop failures, and disparity between the conservative Muslim rural population and the much more liberal lifestyle in major cities, were among a multitude of factors detailed which fuelled unrest and provided foreign powers with an opening to destabilise the country. These details are all fully referenced in the book itself as well as a much more elaborate explanation of the multitude of preparations and incidents which paved the way to war.

5)–Could you please compare and contrast, HOW the Russian and Iranian interventions happened, WHAT these forces did to turn the tide and then tell us WHAT the Russian and Iranian PLANS were and are for Syria – do these two actors more or less agree, or do they have different visions for the future of Syria?

The Russian and Iranian stances towards Syria have contrasted from the war’s outset, with Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev administration in particular being openly resigned to seeing the Syrian state toppled and offering Damascus little in the way of support in the conflict’s critical early stages. Although Russian support increased from 2012 almost as soon as a new administration came to power, namely with arms sales and a blocking of Western efforts to target Syria through the United Nations, it would be three more years before Russia felt the need to deploy its forces. Iranian efforts to make a case for Russian intervention to Moscow, namely through Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani who met with President Putin in 2015, was an important factor.

Iran by contrast, alongside Hezbollah and North Korea, had boots on the ground from 2012-13 and were all committed to supporting counterinsurgency efforts and preserving the Syrian state. For Iran the fall of Syria to Western-backed jihadists as Afghanistan had fallen in 1992 was seen as unacceptable. As senior Iranian cleric Mehdi Taeb famously said: “If the enemy attacks us and wants to take either Syria or [the outlying Iranian province of] Khuzestan, the priority is to keep Syria… If we keep Syria, we can get Khuzestan back too, but if we lose Syria, we cannot keep Tehran.” Iran has thus been much more heavily invested in supporting Damascus throughout the war than Russia has.

There have been similarities between Russian and Iranian support for Syria. Both have sought to support the Syrian economy with Iran emerging as the country’s largest trading partner shortly after the war began, although it has since been displaced by China, while Russia has shown a strong interest in post war investment. Both sought to avoid relying too heavily on deployment of their own manpower on the frontlines as the Soviets had in Afghanistan, and instead focused on arming and training auxiliary forces. Russia, for example, oversaw the creation and arming of the Syrian 5th Corps and provided T-62M and T-72B3 tanks from its own reserves, while Iran facilitated the deployment of allied paramilitaries such as the Afghan Hazara Fatemiyoun. Russia’s military intervention was aimed largely at demonstrating new capabilities to NATO, with many of its strikes meant more than anything as shows of force. An example was in November 2015 when its air force flew Tu-160 supersonic bombers from the Arctic around Ireland and through the Straits of Gibraltar to fire cruise missiles over the Mediterranean at insurgents in Syria before returning to Russia – which was initially widely dismissed by Western officials as phantastic before being confirmed several hours later. Iran’s intervention was significantly quieter and received less fanfare in local media, but was more persistent and tenacious due to the much higher stakes the conflict represented for Tehran. The Iranian and Hezbollah campaigns have also involved much more significant clashes with Israel, as well as with Turkey in Hezbollah’s case, while Russian units have seldom fired on or been fired on by forces from state actors. A significant number of other major contrasts between Iranian and Russian interventions exist, but for the sake of brevity I will restrict the examples to those above.

Although both share the goal of restoring Syrian territorial integrity and bolstering Damascus, Russia and Iran certainly have different visions in accordance with their very different ideological positions, which themselves contrast with Syria’s Ba’athist socialist party-state that is much closer to the USSR, China or North Korea than to either of them. Iran’s influence has led to the growth of Shiite paramilitary groups in Syria which have been major supporters of the Syrian Arab Army on the ground, but their presence contrasts with Syria’s long history of secularism and separation of religion from the state and the security apparatus. This influence may well have an impact on Syrian political culture and policies as it did in neighbouring Iraq. Russia under the current liberal democratic capitalist system, or ‘Western liberalism with Russian characteristics’ as some have referred to it, also has a much greater ideological gap with Damascus than it did in the Soviet era. Russia has been known to try to influence states to move in this direction with reform, most notably Belarus, and could well seek to have a similar influence in Syria. Syria’s ruling party, for its part, is likely to resist both influences but accommodate Russian and Iranian interests on its soil in exchange for their continued economic and military support.

6)–How do you see the future of Syria, Israel and the future of the Middle East?  What has that war changed?

The Syrian War, and the NATO assault on Libya which began almost simultaneously in March 2011, have reshaped the Arab world and Middle East profoundly by in one case removing, and in the other seriously weakening the two Arab states which had longest and most persistently opposed Western hegemony. From the late 1970s and early 1980s, as Iraq and Egypt pivoted to align themselves with the West, Syria and Libya alongside South Yemen and Algeria remained the only countries which had not been absorbed into the Western sphere of influence.

The Syrian conflict marked a turning point in several trends in regional affairs. The U.S.’ refusal to invest heavily in the conflict, particularly in 2013 when a full scale assault had been expected, marked an important step in the Obama administration’s Pivot to Asia initiative. This has since been carried forward by Trump and Biden to focus resources on countering China and North Korea specifically and reduce commitments in the Middle East. The Syrian War set an important precedent for how the Western Bloc could seriously erode an adversary at a very low cost. The campaign avoided the need for tens of thousands of Western boots on the ground as in Iraq and instead relied on jihadist militant groups, with much of the funding to support them coming from the Gulf States and Turkey. While the CIA was responsible for organisation and logistics and for coordinating between the insurgency’s Western-aligned sponsors, the Pentagon budget was not seriously affected by the war. A similar mode of attack was seen in Libya, although jihadists there were less effective and had a much smaller support base and Western air power was applied much more to compensate. Attempts to replicate this low cost means of neutralising Western adversaries are likely.

Other major turning points were seen in Turkey, where its attempt to play a leading role in forcing the overthrow of the Syrian government marked the beginning of a more assertive and interventionist foreign policy stance which recently materialised in its intervention against Armenia in 2020. In Egypt Western support for jihadists in Libya and Syria, and ties between these jihadists and the Muslim Brotherhood domestically, contributed to alienating the Egyptian Military from the West after it took power in 2013. The region also saw Russia remerge as a major player with its first significant combat operations since the early 1970s. Moscow sought to use the strong impression its intervention had made to capitalise on discontent among traditional Western clients such as the Gulf States and Egypt and form new partnerships of its own.

For Syria itself, as the war largely comes to an end, the world in the 2020s is one very different from when the war begun with China having since emerged as the world’s leading economy and Russia having seemingly abandoned its hopes for integration into the West to pursue a more independent foreign policy. This shift has seriously dampened the impacts of Western sanctions on Damascus, with Huawei rebuilding its telecoms networks and China providing everything from busses to power generators as aid which make it far easier Syria and other Western targets in similar positions to survive. Nevertheless, the continued occupation in the north by Western powers led by the U.S., and in Idlib by Turkey, will continue to pose a serious threat until restored to Syrian government control. Occupied areas reportedly hold 90% of Syria’s oil output, which will continue to be illegally expropriated to undermine Damascus’ reconstruction efforts. Idlib meanwhile, as the largest Al Qaeda safe haven the world has seen since September 2001, continues to be a launching pad for jihadist attacks into Syria. Both Idlib and the northern regions could form the bases for Kosovo-style partitioning of Syria enforced by NATO, and for Damascus it will thus be a leading priority to prevent this and impose continued costs on Western and Turkish forces. An example of how this could be done was the Syrian government ballistic missile strike on an oil facility run by militants under Turkish protection in March 2021.

7)– Last, but not least, what is, in your opinion, the US end goal for Syria (and Lebanon)?

The primary goal is the removal of the Ba’ath Party and Syrian military establishment as organisations which can arrange their domestic and foreign policies and their security with a great deal of independence from the West, and are thus able to oppose Western hegemony in the region. Their continued existence has for decades been a thorn in the side of Western efforts to shape the Middle East in line with its interests. In Lebanon the same applies for Hezbollah. This is hardly a U.S. goal exclusively, but is shared by the major NATO members such as Britain, Germany, France and Turkey and is in the common interests of furthering Western global hegemony.

Should the West achieve its objective, what follows could be a civil war as seen in Libya after Gaddafi’s death, in which NATO powers support both sides to ensure any outcome is favourable to Western interests, or the establishment of a client government as the West recently achieved in Sudan with a coup April 2019. While five major motivations for making war on Syria are explored in detail in the book, at the heart of all of them is that the Syrian government was not part of the Western-led order, did not align itself with Western policy objectives against Iran, China and others, and did not house Western soldiers on its soil. This made the state’s existence unacceptable to the West, as did its close security cooperation with Iran, North Korea and Hezbollah. Whether the outcome of Western intervention is a partitioning, a unified Syria remade as a client state, or an indefinite civil war, the primary goal of neutralising Syria as an independent actor would be achieved. Once the goal of destroying the party, state and military was thwarted, and it became clear from 2016 that the Syrian government would retain power, the Western and Turkish goal changed to prolonging the conflict, creating Kosovo-type enclaves under NATO control, and placing downward pressure on Syrian living standards and the economy. They could thereby impede post-war recovery and a return to normality and ensure that Syria would remain weakened and a burden to its allies.

–Thank you!!

PRAISE FOR WORLD WAR IN SYRIA

“Impressive in its scholarship, pondered in its judgements, above all
searing in its dissection of Western powers’ war on Syria waged over

many decades, the book is a must-have on the bookshelves of any seri-
ous fair-minded student of Syria.”

– Peter Ford, British Ambassador to Syria from 2003–2006.
“The most detailed history of the war in Syria so far, providing a richness

of highly interesting details, as well as a critical analysis of its com-
plex international and domestic dimensions, rarely encountered in other

Western publications.”
– Nikolaos van Dam, former Special Envoy for Syria, 2015–16.
Ambassador of the Netherlands to Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, Germany and
Indonesia, 1988–2010. Author of Destroying a Nation: The Civil War
in Syria.
“A. B. Abrams explores the widening scope of the Syrian conflict in his
important book. Solving Syria’s civil war will require a regional approach
engaging stakeholders whose interests are fundamentally opposed.”
– David L. Phillips, Senior Adviser in the Clinton, Bush, and Obama State
Departments. Former Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. Director of
the Program on Peace-Building and Human Rights, Columbia University
ISHR.

“Abrams is a meticulous guide to the labyrinth of Syria’s modern polit-
ical history.”

– Richard W. Murphy. U.S. Ambassador to Syria, 1974 to 1978. Consul in
Aleppo, Syria, 1960–63.
“A. B. Abrams has written an extremely informative and illuminating

account on the international dimension of the origins, outbreak and evo-
lution of the Syrian conflict. His empirically rich analysis in this nuanced

and comprehensive study make it one of the best books, if not the best
book, written about the Syrian crisis. This book is a MUST read for
anyone who wants to understand the Syrian conflict, the Middle East,
and the role of the great powers in the region.”
– Jubin Goodarzi, Professor and Deputy Head of International Relations,
Webster University, Geneva. Former consultant and political adviser
on Middle Eastern affairs for the UNHCR. He formerly held posts at
Chatham House, CSIS and the Ford Foundation.
PRAISE FOR WORLD WAR IN SYRIA

“An insightful and dispassionate record of the Syrian Maelstrom and the
West’s role as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”
– John Holmes, Major General and Director Special Forces (ret.), British
Army.
“This is a sad tale of betrayal and conspiracy. Not just theory but facts
meticulously uncovered by Abrams. The conspiracy was part of broader
trends in the United States and Europe towards the non-Western World.

Since its fight for independence from French rule in 1946, Syria’s strug-
gles to remain free of Western hegemonic ambitions have continued to

play out for decades culminating in the crisis which emerged in 2011 and
became a proxy war of international proportions.”
– Dawn Chatty, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and Forced Migration
at the University of Oxford. Fellow at the British Academy. Author of
Syria: The Making and Unmaking of a Refuge State.
“Abrams’ book provides essential historical and geopolitical context to
Syria’s ten-year war, reflecting a particularly deep and comprehensive
understanding of the conflict and of the country’s strategic importance.”
– Military Watch Magazine.
“Supported by a weight of evidence, this book sets out the context and
details of the Syrian conflict and effectively helps the reader to chart a
course between the overwhelming complexity of the crisis and Western
efforts to tell a simplified story of events on the ground. It will be of
interest to researchers, students and those interested in the messy reality
of one of the past decade’s foremost crises.”
– Jack Holland, Associate Professor in International Security at the
University of Leeds. Author of Selling War and Peace: Syria and the
Anglosphere.

“A well-researched and well-written book. Abrams provides the his-
torical context of post-independence Syria within which one can find

the reasons why the war became such a nodal point for regional and
international intrigue. While doing so, he also hones in as no one else
previously has – on some critical turning points during the civil war that
determined the direction of the conflict.”
– David Lesch, Leader of the Harvard-NUPI-Trinity Syria Research
Project. Ewing Halsell Distinguished Professor of Middle East History
at Trinity University. Author of Syria: A Modern History and Syria: The
Fall of the House of Assad.

“The countries intervening in Syria without approval of the Security
Council under Chapter VII were consciously violating international
law. Abrams’ intensive, highly-documented work provides an excellent
resource for understanding the historical and present dimensions of the
conflict.”
– Alfred De Zayas, Professor, Geneva School of Diplomacy. Former UN
Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable
International Order.
“A. B. Abrams has written a timely, balanced and insightful account
of the Syrian war. The book is well-researched and provides both the

necessary historic context but reveals also present-day drivers that re-
sulted in Syria becoming a theater for regional and global competition

for influence.”
– Alex Vatanka, senior fellow in Middle East Studies at the U.S. Air Force

Special Operations School. Senior fellow and director of the Iran pro-
gram at the Middle East Institute, Washington D.C. Adjunct professor at

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
“An impressive and comprehensive feat of in-depth research, most
notably concerning developments in political and military strategy of
international actors in the Syrian war. The author provides a unique and
sophisticated chronological overview of pre-war socio-political and
economic realities in Syria, a detailed description of the conflict over its

entire duration, and an outline of possible post-war scenarios. An excep-
tional feature of the book lies in the author’s profound understanding of

how supplies of specific armaments on both sides influenced the course
of the war. World War in Syria is an excellent work, highly beneficial for

war and security studies professionals and students, as well as for histo-
rians, international relations scholars and the general public wishing to

better understand the effects of external involvement on the development
and outcome of the Syrian conflict.”
– Daria Vorobyeva, Centre for Syrian Studies, University of St. Andrews.
Co-Author of The War for Syria: Regional and International Dimensions
of the Syrian Uprising.

“A superb narrative dealing with tactical, operational and strategic mat-
ters of that war, in as fine military history writing as any by the first rate

military historian, and also shows a horrendous toll this war exerted on
the people of Syria. It is a superb book which makes a great contribution
to the field of study of the Middle East and of global politics and balance
of forces.”
– Andrei Martyanov, former naval officer. Frequent contributor to the U.S.
Naval Institute Blog. Author of The (Real) Revolution in Military Affairs.

Leader: Revolution of Imam Khomeini is stronger than ever

Imam Khamenei Marks Imam Khomeini’s 32nd Demise Anniversary: Islamic Revolution Stronger Than Ever

Source

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says Iran is stronger than ever as the country marks the 32nd anniversary of the passing away of its revolutionary founder Imam Khomeini.  

“I start the discussion from here that among the revolutionary systems and establishments that have been formed in the last one or two centuries, I do not know of any system that has been predicted as much as the Islamic Republic to collapse,” the Leader said Friday in a televised address. 

“From the first day of the revolution, the ill-wishers and those who could not digest and tolerate this great phenomenon, both inside and outside the country, said that the Islamic Republic would not last for another two months, six months or a year,” the Leader said.

“It was one or two years ago when the esteemed Americans said the same thing and a high-ranking American official stated that the Islamic Republic would not see its 40th anniversary. I do not remember so many predictions of decay and collapse to have been made about any other system,” he added.

Ayatollah Khamenei was apparently referring to former US national security advisor John Bolton’s infamous prediction while addressing a terrorist MKO convention in Paris in 2017.

At the conference Bolton said, “The outcome of the president’s policy review should be to determine that the Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1979 revolution will not last until its 40th birthday. And that’s why, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran.”

“But, thank God, the revolution and the system of Imam Khomeini not only did not collapse and did not stop, but became stronger day by day,” Ayatollah Khamenei said Friday.

“It did not surrender, did not give up and rather showed its independence day by day. It achieved great success and overcame obstacles.”

The Leader said despite many successive political, security, economic obstacles created for Iran, “the Islamic Republic today is more developed than 40 years ago and is ahead in all respects by the grace of God.”

“The question arises, what is the secret of this permanence? Why did the Islamic Republic not face the fate of other revolutions in spite of all this hostility? Here I announce that the glorious and proud secret of this system is two words: the Republic and Islam. The existence created from these two words has every right to remain permanent, because it includes both people and Islam.”

Every year on the anniversary of the passing away, a commemoration ceremony is held at Imam Khomeini’s mausoleum in southern Tehran, with large crowds of mourners attending.

Like last year, authorities scrapped the ceremony and other events across the country this year to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Nevertheless, people in different cities attended local events by observing social distancing, to pay tribute to the late Imam.

Iranians pay tribute to late Imam Khomeini on 32nd anniversary of departure

Iranians pay tribute to late Imam Khomeini on 32nd anniversary of departureIranians are commemorating the 32nd anniversary of the passing away of Imam Khomeini, the revered founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Ayatollah Khamenei said Imam Khomeini’s outstanding initiative was that he created and introduced the idea of the Islamic Republic and then realized it.

“The great work of our esteemed Imam was to create this idea and theory of the Islamic Republic and to introduce it into the field of various political theories, in which there were various Eastern and Western political theories,” the Leader said, adding Imam Khomeini then took action and put his theory into practice.

“The Imam had many initiatives but the Islamic Republic is the most important initiative of the Imam,” the Leader said. “This is the same religious democracy that was recognized as the Islamic Republic.”

Addressing the youth, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “You, the youth, who have not experienced the pre-Revolution era, it is hard for you to feel that era.”

He recollected that people played no role at all in their destiny, especially during the dark tyranny of the Pahlavi dynasty.

“The Imam brought the people to the field with a leaping movement. The nation believed in itself and the Imam used the great capacity of the nation’s ability and will, and with his leadership and guidance, he was able to take it to a stage where he could do great things,” he added.

There was a time, the Leader continued, when the Islamic Republic was a sapling, and now it is a robust tree which cannot be uprooted by any storm.

Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Rouhollah Mousavi Khomeini, better known as Imam Khomeini, passed away on June 3, 1989 at the age of 87.

Plot to divide nation, eradicate religious democracy 

Ayatollah Khamenei called Iran’s religious democracy a “divine gift”, but warned of plots by the enemies to undermine it. 

“Thank God, after the departure of the Imam, the Iranian nation preserved this divine gift and this religious democracy,” he said. 

“The enemies of Iran, who made all kinds of efforts to separate the people and make them lose belief in religious democracy, had their plot thwarted and every time they tried a new way they faced the steel barrier of the Iranian people,” the Leader said.

“It is the same today. The enemies are lying in ambush to drive a wedge between the people and the Islamic system, but they are facing the steel barrier of the Iranian people. They plotted both security and intellectual invasion, all of which failed.”

Ayatollah Khamenei said there are some people inside Iran, who either knowingly or unknowingly repeat the claims of the enemies.  

“The idea that democracy does not go hand in hand with religion is also the claim of the enemies. Of course, some may say this out of negligence. They should know that this is the talk of the enemy and the enemy wants to eradicate Islam… It is a great mistake if we alienate democracy from Islamic thought and spirit.”


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

www.presstv.tv

Related Artiles

Why Did RT Hire Liberals That Are Bringing Harm to Russia? (Ruslan Ostashko)

Source

Translated and captioned by Leo.

Guess who started the cycle of documentaries about the “main people of the country” on the state channel RT Russia? From the editor-in-chief of the disgusting Russophobic radio station Echo of Moscow, Alexei Venediktov. It is this person who, in violation of the law, does not liquidate the media despised by the people, according to RT, is worthy of the title of “the main person of Russia.” The question arises: maybe it was for this that Margarita Simonyan recruited liberals like Anton Krasovsky on RT?

No matter how politically active a Russian is, they will not say a few sweet words after hearing the name of the most odious liberal media of the country. The same editor-in-chief whose editorial office apparently gets saved from closing due to pressure on shareholders. Against this background, personally for me it was disgusting to see the TV channel RT bends to Venediktov along with Anton Krasovsky. “And here is the first non-related directly with me product by RT Russia. This is a series of documentaries about the most important people of Russia. Starting off with Venediktov. Watch it.”

It turns out by the opinion of editors at RT Russia, the liberal leader of Echo of Moscow stands first on the list of important people in the country. And in order to film a movie about it, a whole week was wasted of workers time which was paid by the state budget.

RT Russia’s description on the video: “For a whole work week, we followed Alexei Venediktov with cameras. We filmed how he conducts meetings on Echo of Moscow, comes up with new radio shows, follows the live broadcast, threatens to fire employees, jokes with Tina Kandelaki, criticizes Stanislav Belkovsky, meets with Moscow prefects, meets in the Moscow public chamber, generates ideas and new projects. And from this video you will learn why Venediktov lives in a hotel, how he raises his son and why, as he himself says, ‘arranges the fate of the world.’”

Like a Pathos. Look at that, Venediktov not only arranges the fate of the world, but he also raises his adult yet dodging-the-army-conscription son. As if the society is not aware of the product of this raising. Tell me, respectable subscribers, if it was up to you regarding what work time should be spent on for the RT journalists, would you have approved the filming of movie about a liberal as one of the most important people in the country? I would say that not only would it not be approved, but they would get a loaf stuffed in them for those trying to approve it. However, you political Russian media managers like Margarita Simonyan do not depend on us. Which is why they do what they want.

For example, they bring to work specific people like Krasovsky himself. In the past I was calmly reacting to him, sometimes even citing his attacks on other quacks. But just like with the other ones, I think he has a lower side to himself. While journalist Krasovsky was doing documentaries about the Coronavirus epidemic and the problems with medicine, he was in his own spot. But as soon as he was assigned to do an interview with the press secretary of the president of Russia [Dmitry Peskov], then that was it, he went down a pediment. And for me, it’s hard to not agree with what the publicist Alexander Rogers wrote about it:

Zhurnalistskaya Pravda (Journalist Truth), Alexander Rogers: “Now explain to me, I sincerely do not understand. In Russia there are thousands of journalists, tens of thousands, but for some reason they sent the only openly gay one to interview the president’s press secretary. Why?! Is he an outstanding journalist, a shining interviewer? Never once! This interview is impossible to listen to the end. It is impossibly boring, and not because of Peskov, but namely because of Krasovsky. He came to the interview with fishnet socks, laid his leg on his other leg, rolled his shoe around, and for more than an hour licked the earpiece of his glasses. Generally, he behaved like ‘not even a man with reduced social responsibility.’ Thank you Putin for the precision of wording.”

Sitting and having your mouth on the earpiece of glasses in front of an interviewee is what? An increase in journalistic professionalism? Or is it a method to show your orientation? What is this new form of interviewing state officials? The content however is even worse:

Alexander Rogers: “This interview is absolutely liberal in essence, and completely not interesting to the Russian people. For almost 15 minutes discussing the ‘poisoning’ of Navalny. Despite half of the Russian population in general does not know who that is! And the rest will say ‘Oh, this is some kind of schmuck that they want to use for imposing new sanctions against Russia.’ Then the tying attempts by Krasovsky to make Russia look extreme. From betraying the Armenians, to betraying Ukrainians and Belarussians. Everything was made into a stupid template according to a boring manual. Peskov also burned in certain points. On his words about the political wisdom of Pashinian, I almost hit myself with a facepalm. And about what kind of talks that Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin] is carrying out there.But at the end, a little talk on an actual topic – how the fight against the pandemic is going. Although this topic actually needs to be discussed not with Peskov, but with relevant ministries and specialists.”

So like in the case of the film about Venediktov, the work time by journalists which was paid by Russian state money was wasted on the promotion of the anti-Russian liberal narrative. Do you need that content? I definitely don’t. If it went in that direction, then Rogers wrote it correctly. Peskov like a PR spokesman should have been asked not about the ‘wisdom of the crapped-pants Pashinian’, but instead about the information war of the West against Russia. There is a whole section of hot topics there:

Alexander Rogers: “For example, how does Mr. Peskov feel about the censorship in Western social networks and platforms? Or to the fact that ‘The New York Times’ journalists calls to ban even truthful information if it can be used against the US Democratic Party? Or even how Twitter censors the acting US president? And how TV channels cutoff the broadcast to his statements, because ‘we don’t like what he’s saying.’ Or how for example, YouTube deleted the channel ‘News-Front’, which had 460,000 subscribers and almost half a billion views on their videos, without any explanation for it? And also, why Google and other Western search engines cut from their search results many Russian medias. (Including Zhurnalistskaya Pravda in that regard)?

But Krasovsky did not ask about any of the named subjects. He only continuously licked the earpiece of his glasses, rolled his shoe around and broadcasted an anti-Russian agenda. Does RT need such employees like him, Maria Baronova, or other liberals picked by Margarita Simonyan? In my opinion, no. What do you think, respectable subscribers?

Putin Expels the Families

November 19, 2020

Putin Expels the Families

by The Ister for The Saker Blog

The 1990s was a time of immense suffering for the Russian people. As the impending collapse of the USSR became discernable, insiders such as Nikolai Kruchina, Viktor Geraschenko, and Leonid Veselovsky created a planning group to ensure the continued influence of Soviet-era officials by transferring Russian state assets to offshore shell companies and thus stripping the country’s wealth. One such offshore company, FIMACO, was used to pilfer an estimated $50 billion from the nation. Viktor Gerashchenko, the head of the central bank of Russia, sent a memorandum demanding transfers from FIMACO be covered up. It was through this looting that liquid capital was generated and used by future oligarchs to build their fortunes. An early beneficiary of this arrangement was Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who had started his career as a minor Soviet official and whose Yukos oil conglomerate was tied to FIMACO. In return for his help Viktor Gerashchenko was later given a position as the chairman of Yukos by Khodorkovsky.

In 1991 the Soviet Union finally collapsed. That August, state treasurer Nikolai Kruchina, responsible for Russia’s gold reserves, died by falling from his window. He had been a member of the planning group which originated the plot to steal state assets. His successor Georgy Pavlov fell to his death from a window two months later: the oligarchs were cleaning house.

In September, the Russian central bank announced the Kremlin’s gold reserves had inexplicably dropped from the estimated 1000-1500 tons to a mere 240 tons. Two months later, Victor Gerashchenko announced Russia’s gold reserves had actually entirely vanished. While the Russian public was horrified at the revelation, European bankers were less surprised. It was whispered frequently among those circles that Soviet transport planes had been flying to and from Switzerland for months and selling off large amounts of gold. Boris Yeltsin announced his plans to privatize the nation’s assets and the real looting began.

During the privatization period, international capital wasted no time in opportunistically swooping in to take over Russian industries. The Clinton administration sought to redesign the economic policies of the nascent Russian Federation according to the Washington Consensus: privatization, deregulation, austerity, and the opening up of Russia’s companies to purchase by ultra-wealthy Americans. They gave the role of economic planning in Russia to the Harvard Institute for International Development, which sent Harvard economists to meet with Anatoly Chubais, Boris Yeltsin’s head of privatization. The close relationship with Anatoly Chubais allowed a select group of American investors to be on an inside track of financial dealings in the new Russia. One Harvard grad involved in this scheme was Jonathan Hay, convicted inside trader. He became senior advisor to the GKI, Russia’s new state privatization committee.

Certain members of this network, which included Harvard graduates Hay, Jeffrey Sachs, Andrei Shleifer, Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, David Lipton, and others, misused funds from USAID that were intended for Russian economic development and rigged deals for privatization to gain control of key Russian industries in backroom negotiations. In one 1995 off market deal, Anatoly Chubais created a closed bidding process for prime national properties in which the only approved bidders were Harvard Management Company and George Soros. This resulted in the acquisition of major stakes in Sidanko Oil, Novolipetsk Steel, and Sviazinvest.

Foreign investors flocked in and the level of greed among this fifth column of new Muscovites was truly astonishing. The 1999 RICO suit Avisma Titano Magnes v. Dart Management is particularly enlightening. RICO allows victims of a racketeering conspiracy to sue conspirators for damages caused by their illegal conduct, and the following defendants were named in the action:

Kenneth Dart; Dart Management Inc, address unknown
Jonathan Hay; Dart Management Inc, address unknown
Michael Haywood; Dart Management Inc, address unknown
Michael Hunter; Dart Management Inc
Francis E. Baker; Andersen Group Inc
William Browder, Hermitage Fund
Barclays Bank, PLC

The complaint document alleges the following: the defendants and a cooperating bank called Bank Menatep, owned by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, had a controlling interest in titanium producer Avisma. They forced Avisma to sell its titanium below market price to offshore companies which they secretly controlled. Next, these offshore companies sold the titanium at a correct price on international markets for profit, which was then funneled back from the offshore companies to the defendants and Bank Menatep. Money that should have been booked as profits for Avisma was siphoned away, and the majority shareholders who were in on the scam benefitted at the expense of minority shareholders, the company, and Russian tax authorities.

Defendant Francis E. Baker described the actions in a private letter as, “An immense Russian bank money laundering scheme, clearly a criminal matter.” According to the complaint, the actions were discovered when defendants attempted to swap Avisma shares for shares of mining company VSMPO and replicate the same scam at VSMPO. Baker and other defendants later excused their actions by claiming the suit was Russian targeting. Sound familiar?

The criminality was not limited to foreign speculators. During the early period of privatization in the 90s a secret society of seven Russian oligarchs entirely controlled Boris Yeltsin’s administration. This group called itself Semibankirschina, named after the Seven Boyars who controlled Russia during the 17th centuryThe secret society included the following oligarchs: Boris Berezovsky, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven, Vladimir Gusinsky, Vladimir Potanin, and Alexander Smolensky.

A Russian journalist named Andrey Fadin described their overwhelming power in an article, “they control the access to budget money and basically all investment opportunities inside the country. They own the gigantic information resource of the major TV channels. They form the President’s opinion. Those who didn’t want to walk along them were either strangled or left the circle.” Less than one year after publishing the article Andrey Fadin was killed. Through their front man Anatoly Chubais, Semibankirschina used control of television networks to prop up Boris Yeltsin’s low approval ratings. From the mid-90s to 1999 this clique had total authority over Russian policies and industries, judiciously using violence to enforce its monopoly. In one case Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his underling Leonid Nevzlin carried out the murder of the mayor Vladimir Petukhov, who was pursuing Yukos Oil Company’s evasion of taxes.

In late 1999, Vladimir Putin became president of Russia and the fortunes of these self-appointed rulers rapidly turned for the worse. A new group of Putin insiders such as Gennady Timchenko, Vladimir Yakunin, and Sergey Chemezov formed and began supplanting the previous access that the Semibankirschina had to the president. In 2001, a state takeover of media seized the television networks previously owned by oligarchs Boris Berezovsky, Vladimir Gusinsky, and Badri Patarkatsishvili, prompting Patarkatsishvili to denounce Russia to the New York Times and flee the country. While exiled in the UK, Patarkatsishvili died suspiciously at the age of 48. The Georgian government has called his death an assassination. Boris Berezovsky also died suspiciously in the UK after having sold his Russian assets and denounced Putin. After his television networks were seized, Vladimir Gusinsky was criminally charged with money laundering and forced to flee the country as well.

The sweep continued as three other allies of the Semibankirschina were killed: Nikolai Glushkov, Alexander Litvinenko, and Boris Nemtsov. Bill Browder was deported in 2005, and later convicted in absentia for fraud. Fraudster Konstantin Ponomarev was also convicted, sentenced to 8 years in prison for crimes relating to his extortion of $1 billion from IKEA. Jamison Firestone, an associate of Ponomarev and Browder, was forced to flee Russia due to his involvement in the Magnitsky case, and his associate Alexander Peripilichny mysteriously died while jogging near London. George Soros was banned from Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.

Once the richest man in the country, Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s fortunes turned for the worse as well. In the early 2000s, Putin pushed through a number of populist reforms for criminal, tax, and land law, which the oligarchs of the 90s had strongly opposed. As the most blatantly criminal member of the original Semibankirschina, Khodorkovsky’s Bank Menatep had been founded with funds stolen as part of the looting of state assets. The bank operated as a hub of money laundering and engaged in countless financial scams, even delaying government funds to Chernobyl victims while using their money to financially speculate. It was Bank Menatep through which American fraudsters had allegedly ripped off Avisma shareholders with the titanium dumping scam.

In 2003, Khodorkovsky was criminally prosecuted by Putin for tax evasion and fraud for which he ended up serving 10 years in prison. His protege Leonid Nevzlin was convicted of ordering multiple contract murders on Khodorkovsky’s behalf, and sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia. Associate Platon Lebedev was also convicted and imprisoned. This wave of prosecution sent a message and gave Putin a strong position, which was used to negotiate a “grand bargain” with the remaining oligarchs: they retained most of their existing assets in return for alignment with Putin’s vertical rule of Russia. The era of financial gangsterism from the 1990s was over.

Stolen Russian gold reserves have now been restored and are at the highest levels in history. Because of the lack of collaboration with other central banks it is certain that Russian gold is present in Moscow’s vaults: there are none of the surreptitious leasing or swap agreements which call into question the claimed size of Western bank holdings. So instead of buying US treasuries or dollars for its reserves, the Bank of Russia can demand physical gold delivery into Moscow vaults. This will continually strain the fraudulent COMEX and London Bullion Market systems with the pressure of physical shipments and threaten the dollar. Unlike China, Russia is in the position to attack the dollar as a net commodity exporter, meaning when its gold purchases bid up the price of metals it is simply increasing the receipts of its own domestic commodity producing companies like Norilsk Nickel and VSMPO-AVISMA.

The economic crisis of 1998 has heavily influenced the Kremlin’s financial policy, and the last twenty years have been spent creating a resilient system. One of Putin’s first agenda items was to pay off all debt to the IMF and holdover loans from the Soviet era. Russia is now positioned to attack the dollar, as the only powerful state not operating on a debt-based system. A decade of economic warfare in the form of sanctions has cut off access to international capital: the result is one of the lowest levels of external debt of any country in the world, with cash reserves large enough to pay off all debt at once. These low debt levels have tangible benefits, primarily that Russia is now able to withstand large economic fluctuations without crumbling as a result of internal defaults. By comparison, the financial system of America would disintegrate if it attempted to sustain the decline in GDP Russia incurred from 2013-2016.

The Bank of Russia actively enforces stringent lending standards in order to prevent the emergence of consumer credit bubbles, and forces banks to hold extra cash on their balance sheets (as a result, most applications for personal credit are declined). So sanctions have actually made the country stronger, as hubris of the McCain class of American politicians has created a competitor state with no stake in the survival of the existing debt-based financial order. Russia’s mission to create resiliency and restore sovereignty foreshadows a tumultuous future, while America bets everything that the world will remain the same. The concerted plot to loot Russia has been foiled.

In December of 1999, Edmond Safra was murdered at his fabulous mansion, the Villa Leopolda in Monaco. The Safras are one of the oldest and most secretive of the banking families, with a fortune dating back to the gold trading caravans of the Ottoman Empire. Coincidentally, Safra means yellow, or gold, in Arabic. It was Edmond Safra who served as Bill Browder’s mentor in Russia, providing him with an initial seed funding of $25 million to start his Hermitage Fund. When Browder needed protection during a business dispute with an oligarch, Safra sent his emissary four armored vehicles and fifteen bodyguards led by a former Mossad agent. While Edmond Safra spent much of his later life defending himself from drug trafficking and money laundering allegations, he was accomplished, nonetheless. He founded his first bank at 23 years old and had dreamed of creating a banking dynasty that would last 10,000 years.

Just after Putin’s takeover as president, Villa Leopolda was broken into. Safra’s nurse, a former Green Beret named Ted Maher, was stabbed by two masked intruders who entered the premises, after which Safra was killed. Under pressure from Monacan authorities, Ted Maher was forced to sign a nonsensical confession in which he claimed that he stabbed himself and admitted to setting the fire in order to attempt to gain his employer’s adoration. He has since recanted this confession, saying that his defense attorneys coerced him into signing and threatened he would never see his family again otherwise. Jean-Christophe Hullin, the chief judge in the case, revealed in 2007 that the guilty conviction was a predetermined outcome which had been planned in a secret meeting with himself, Maher’s attorneys, and the chief prosecutor of Monaco: in short, Ted Maher was a fall guy for the real murderers of Edmond Safra. Now free, he believes Safra was ordered killed by Putin, “in retaliation for a plot orchestrated by Safra and Russian oligarchs to take control of all of Russia’s assets.”

It was during the purge of oligarchs and vulture capitalists that the true power behind Mikhail Khodorkovsky emerged. When it became likely he would be arrested, he arranged to have all his shares from the Yukos Oil Company transferred to the ownership of Jacob Rothschild. The transfer took place in November of 2003, giving Lord Rothschild control of shares estimated by the Sunday Times to be worth $13.5 billion. Putin subsequently liquidated and nationalized Yukos by seizing and selling off its shares to state oil companies at much below market value.

So Putin has declared war on the most powerful people on the planet.

The Ister is a researcher of financial markets and geopolitics. Author of The Ister: Escape America

Is the Russian Ministry of Finance Sabotaging Putin’s Decision? (Ruslan Ostashko)

Is the Russian Ministry of Finance Sabotaging Putin’s Decision? (Ruslan Ostashko)

August 12, 2020

Translated and captioned by Leo.

The attempt to sabotage the [Russian] President’s decision to pull the tail of offshore optimizers seems to be the work of the Ministry of Finance. The profile of the ministry, with the head of Anton Siluanov, has set back the actions of preventing withdrawal of dividends without taxation until the beginning of 2024. Which once again brings up the question about, “who do the Russian liberals in power work for?”

A very controversial decision was made at the end of July by the Ministry of Finance. I’ll remind you. Earlier, Vladimir Putin proposed to introduce a 15% tax on the output of dividends into offshore zones. And the government quickly went into a decisive action. For example, with the laws of the Republic of Cyprus, there was a letter about the change in their agreement for taxation. A few months went by with negotiations. Cypriots didn’t agree with terms, so as a result of this, Russia recently tore up the agreement in a one-sided manner. It would seem that everything is going according to the plan proposed by the President. But in light of the actions by the Ministry of Finance, it puts the question on the refusal of actually attaining the proposed goals for upcoming years.

Article title: “The Ministry of Finance Will Extend the Possibility of Withdrawing Dividends Abroad Without Taxes”. Businesses have lobbied for the transition period until 2024 to pay for the dividends offshore with a 0% tax under certain conditions. The Ministry of Finance wanted to completely close this loophole by the beginning of next year.

As RBK Group media reported in the Ministry of Finance: “The proposed bill was discussed with the involvement of the business community to develop an optimal mechanism for applying the benefits as for the state, and the same way for business, in order to prevent a sharp increase in the tax burden, following the discussion, a compromise decision was made on a transition period (before December 31, 2023) for the application of this long process and the need to comply with certain conditions for its retrieval. The amendments were submitted for consideration to the government.”

Am I the only one who sees that with the phrasing of these words, businesses lobbied for actions of criminal offense? I’ll remind you that it’s in the USA where lobbyism is legalized. But here [in Russia] it’s in fact called ‘corruption’. Maybe the Ministry of Finance’s press service will sound out the name of the company which influenced the official on the question about delaying the term in introducing the 15% tax on outsourced dividends? Which would allow our comrades from the FSB to visit these companies.

It looks like Russia’s liberal Minister of Finance completely confused which side of the ocean he’s supposed to be on. We know very well what happens with the output of money from Russia into offshore accounts with no taxes. For those who don’t know, it won’t be that hard to find out after reading on the aftermath of the accident in the Arctic. (Article featured in video: https://www.forbes.ru/obshchestvo-photogallery/402193-krupneyshaya-katastrofa-v-arktike-chto-izvestno-o-razlive-topliva) Which was caused by the ‘I don’t care’ attitude by the company leadership of Nornickel. This corporation exploits Russian natural resources and shareholders move them into the offshore accounts without paying any taxes. But if they had paid it, then the government could have used this money to make decisions themselves, without expecting responsibility from light clothes-wearing talk-managers to answer those same questions related to ecology. But for the Minister of Finance, the opinions of entrepreneurial networks are more important.

When it comes to buying out recent proposals by turning up the heat on privatization, it is characterized by this very Minister of Finance like the lackeys of major businesses:

Source: Lenta.ru – “From the period until 2025, the number of companies with state participation should be reduced 1.5 times to 961 enterprises, such figures are contained in the plan of activities of the Ministry of Finance of Russia for 2020 until 2025. The department is gathered to consistently fight against state participation in the economy. In 2020, the number of state companies should fall to 1465, in 2021 – down to 1319, in 2022 – down to 1187, in 2023 – down to 1068.”

Has there been not enough privatization frauds in Russia with their consequences? There were only a little amount of ‘effective owners’ that harmed our fellow citizens, like that same owner of the shopping center ‘Winter Cherry’ in Kemerovo. While sitting abroad and regularly receiving his rent money, he hired ‘effective managers’ which didn’t care about fire safety. Do we really need more effective bloodsuckers to cause accidents and death? Or maybe we need to get rid of the rotten liberals in the Ministry of Finance who are clearly serving not the government of the Russian society, but instead those same ‘effective owners’. Otherwise it’s looking like the Prime Minister changed, but the liberal path of independent ministries has remained unchanged:

Source: Lenta.ru – “In January, even before the resignation of Dmitry Medvedev’s government, the Ministry of Finance published forecasts for a privatization plan for 2020-2022. It mentioned within three years the sale of 86 federal unitary enterprises, 186 joint-stock companies, 1168 facilities and 13 shares of state participation in limited liability companies.”

I am personally against a written path, and I express my lack of trust in the Minister who pushes these kind of politics. If you agree with me, then I suggest you to spread this information on social media, demanding that we remove Anton Siluanov from the post of Minister of Finance. Enough already, he’s ruled long enough. Let the post become available to someone who will carry out the orders of the President of Russia, instead of sabotaging them.

Russia and the next Presidential election in the USA

Source

Intro: not a pretty picture

Let’s begin with a disclaimer: in this article, I will assume that there will be a US Presidential election in the Fall. Right now, it appears to be likely that this election will take place (there appear to be no legal way to cancel or delay it), but this is by no means certain (see here for a machine translated and very interesting article by one Russian analyst, who predicts a diarchy after the election). Right now, the state of the US society is both extremely worried (and for good reason) and potentially explosive. It is impossible to predict what a well-executed false flag attack could do to the US. There is also the possibility of either a natural disaster (hurricane, earthquake, etc.) or even an unnatural one (considering the condition of the US infrastructure, this is almost inevitable) which could precipitate some kind of state of emergency or martial law to “protect” the people. Finally, though at this point in time I don’t see this as very likely, there is always the possibility of a coup of some kind, maybe a “government of national unity” with the participation of both parties which, as Noam Chomsky correctly points out, are basically only two factions of what could be called the Business Party. There might come a point when they decide to drop this pretense too (just look at how many other pretenses the US ruling elites have dropped in the last decade or so).

Alexander Solzhenitsyn used to explain that all governments can be placed on a continuum ranging from, on one end, “states whose power is based on their authority” to, on the other end, “states whose authority is based on their power“. In the real world, most states are somewhere between these two extremes. But it is quite obvious that the US polity currently has gone very far down the “states whose authority is based on their power” path and to speak of any kind of “moral authority” of US politicians is really a joke. The (probable) upcoming “choice” between Donald “grab them by the pussy” Trump and Joe “creepy uncle” Biden will make this joke even more laughable.

Right now, the most powerful force in the US political system must be the financial sector. And, of course, there are many other powerful interest groups (MIC, Israel Lobby, the CIA and the ridiculously bloated Intel community, Big Pharma, the US Gulag, the corporate media, Oil, etc.) who all combine their efforts (just like a vector does in mathematics) to produce a “resulting vector” which we call “US policies”. That is in theory. In practice, you have several competing “policies” vying for power and influence, both on the domestic and on international front. Often these policies are mutually exclusive.

Last, but certainly not least, the level of corruption in the US is at least as bad as, say, in the Ukraine or in Liberia, but rather than being on the street and petty cash level, the corruption in the US is counted in billions of dollars.

All in all, not a pretty sight (see here for a good analysis of the decline of US power).

Yet the US remains a nuclear power and still has a lot of political influence worldwide and thus this is not a country anyone can ignore. Including Russia.

A quick look at Russia

Before looking into Russian options in relation to the US, we need to take a quick look at how Russia has been faring this year. The short of it would be: not too well. The Russian economy has shrunk by about 10% and the small businesses have been devastated by the combined effects of 1) the economic policies of the Russian government and Central Bank, and 2) the devastating economic impact of the COVID19 pandemic, and 3) the full-spectrum efforts of the West, mostly by the Anglosphere, to strangle Russia economically. Politically, the “Putin regime” is still popular, but there is a sense that it is getting stale and that most Russians would prefer to see more dynamic and proactive policies aimed, not only to help the Russian mega-corporations, but also to help the regular people. Many Russians definitely have a sense that the “little guy” is being completely ignored by fat cats in power and this resentment will probably grow until and unless Putin decides to finally get rid of all the Atlantic Integrationists aka the “Washington consensus” types which are still well represented in the Russian ruling circles, including the government. So far, Putin has remained faithful to his policy of compromises and small steps, but this might change in the future as the level of frustration in the general population is likely to only grow with time.

That is not to say that the Kremlin is not trying. Several of the recent constitutional amendments adopted in a national vote had a strongly expressed “social” and “patriotic” character and they absolutely horrified the “liberal” 5th columnists who tried their best two 1) call for a boycott, and 2) denounce thousands of (almost entirely) imaginary violations of the proper voting procedures, and to 3) de-legitimize the outcome by declaring the election a “fraud”. None of that worked: the participation was high, very few actual violations were established (and those that were, had no impact on the outcome anyway) and most Russians accepted that this outcome was the result of the will of the people. Furthermore, Putin has made public the Russian strategic goals for 2030,which are heavily focused on improving the living and life conditions of average Russians (for details, see here). It is impossible to predict what will happen next, but the most likely scenario is that Russia has several, shall we say, “bumpy” years ahead, both on the domestic and on the international front.

What can Russia reasonably hope for?

This is really the key question: in the best of situations, what can Russia really hope for in the next elections? I would argue that there is really very little which Russia can hope for, if only because the russophobic hysteria started by the Democrats to defeat Trump has now apparently been completely endorsed by the Trump administration and the all the members of Congress. As for the imperial propaganda machine, it now manages to simultaneously declare that Russia tried to “steal” COVID vaccine secrets from the West AND that Russian elites were given a secret COVID vaccine this Spring. As for the US Dems, they are already announcing that the Russians are spreading “disinformation” about Biden. Talk about PRE-traumatic stress disorder (to use the phrase coined by my friend Gilad Atzmon)…

Although I have no way of knowing what is really taking place in the delusional minds of US politicians, I am strongly suspecting that the latest hysteria about “Russia stealing COV19 vaccine secrets” is probably triggered by the conclusion of the US intel community that Russia will have a vaccine ready before the US does. This is, of course, something absolutely unthinkable for US politicians who, (sort of) logically conclude that “if these Russkies got a vaccine first, they *must* have stolen it from us” or something similar (see here for a good analysis of this). And if the Chinese get there first, same response. After all, who in the US legacy media would ever even mention that Russian or Chinese researchers might be ahead of their US colleagues? Nobody, of course.

I would argue that this mantric Russia-bashing is something which will not change in the foreseeable future. For one thing, since the imperial ruling elites have clearly lost control of the situation, they really have no other option left than to blame it all on some external agent. The “terrorist threat” has lost a lot of traction over the past years, the “Muslim threat” is too politically incorrect to openly blame it all on Islam, as for the other boogeymen which US Americans like to scare themselves at night with (immigrants, drug dealers, sex offenders, “domestic terrorists”, etc.) they simply cannot be blamed for stuff like a crashing economy. But Russia, and China, can.

In fact, ever since the (self-evidently ridiculous) “Skripal case” the collective West has proven that it simply does not have the spine to say “no”, or even “maybe”, to any thesis energetically pushed forward by the AngloZionist propaganda machine. Thus no matter how self-evidently silly the imperial propaganda is, the people in the West have been conditioned (literally) to accept any nonsense as “highly likely” as long as it is proclaimed with enough gravitas by politicians and their legacy ziomedia. As for the leaders of the EU, we already know that they will endorse any idiocy coming out of Washington or London in the name of “solidarity”.

Truth be told, most Russian politicians (with the notable exception of the official Kremlin court jester, Zhirinovskii) and analysts never saw Trump as a potential ally or friend. The Kremlin was especially cautious, which leads me to believe that the Russian intelligence analysts did a very good job evaluating Trump’s psyche and they quickly figured out that he was no better than any other US politician. Right now, I know of no Russian analyst who would predict that relations between the US and Russia will improve in the foreseeable future. If anything, most are clearly saying that “guys, we better get used to this” (accusations, sanctions, accusations, sanctions, etc. etc. etc.). Furthermore, it is pretty obvious to the Russians that while Crimea and MH17 were the pretexts for western sanctions against Russia, they were not the real cause. The real cause of the West’s hatred for Russia is as simple as it is old: Russia cannot be conquered, subdued, subverted or destroyed. They’ve been at it for close to 1,000 years and they still are at it. In fact, each time they fail to crush Russia, their russophobia increases to even higher levels (phobia both in the sense of “fear” and in the sense of “hatred”).

Simply put – there is nothing which Russia can expect from the upcoming election. Nothing at all. Still, that does not mean that things are not better than 4 or 8 years ago. Let’s look at what changed.

The big difference between now and then

What did Trump’s election give to the world?

I would say four years for Russia to fully prepare for what might be coming next.

I would argue that since at least Russia and the AngloZionist Empire have been at war since at least 2013, when Russia foiled the US plan to attack Syria under the pretext that it was “highly likely” that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against civilians (in reality, a textbook case of a false flag organized by the Brits), This means that Russia and the Empire have been at war since at least 2013, for no less than seven years (something which Russian 6th columnists and Neo-Marxists try very hard to ignore).

True, at least until now, this was has been 80% informational, 15% economic and only 5% kinetic, but this is a real existential war of survival for both sides: only one side will walk away from this struggle. The other one will simply disappear (not as a nation or a people, but as a polity; a regime). The Kremlin fully understood that and it embarked on a huge reform and modernization of the Russian armed forces in three distinct ways:

  1. A “general” reform of the Russian armed forces which had to be modernized by about 80%. This part of the reform is now practically complete.
  2. A specific reform to prepare the western and southern military districts for a major conventional war against the united West (as always in Russian history) which would involve the First Guards Tank Army and the Russian Airborne Forces.
  3. The development of bleeding-edge weapons systems with no equivalent in the West and which cannot be countered or defeated; these weapons have had an especially dramatic impact upon First Strike Stability and upon naval operations.

While some US politicians understood what was going on (I think of Ron Paul, see here), most did not. They were so brainwashed by the US propaganda that they were sure that no matter what, “USA! USA! USA!”. Alas for them, the reality was quite different.

Russian officials, by the way, have confirmed that Russia was preparing for war. Heck, the reforms were so profound and far reaching, that it would have been impossible for the Russians to hide what they were doing (see here for details; also please see Andrei Martyanov’s excellent primer on the new Russian Navy here).

While no country is ever truly prepared for war, I would argue that by 2020 the Russians had reached their goals and that now Russia is fully prepared to handle any conflict the West might throw at her, ranging from a small border incident somewhere in Central Asia to a full-scaled war against the US/NATO in Europe.

Folks in the West are now slowly waking up to this new reality (I mentioned some of that here), but it is too late. In purely military terms, Russia has now created such a qualitative gap with the West that the still existing quantitative gap is not sufficient to guarantee a US/NATO victory. Now some western politicians are starting to seriously freak out (see this lady, for example), but most Europeans are coming to terms with two truly horrible realities:

  1. Russia is much stronger than Europe and, even much worse,
  2. Russia will never attack first (which is a major cause of frustration for western russophobes)

As for the obvious solution to this problem, having friendly relations with Russia is simply unthinkable for those who made their entire careers peddling the Soviet (and now Russian) threat to the world.

But Russia is changing, albeit maybe too slowly (at least for my taste). As I mentioned last week, a number of Polish, Ukrainian and Baltic politicians have declared that the Zapad2020 military maneuvers which are supposed to take place in southern Russia and the Caucasus could be used to prepare an attack on the West (see here for a rather typical example of this nonsense). In the past, the Kremlin would only have made a public statement ridiculing this nonsense, but this time around Putin did something different. Right after he saw the reaction of these politicians, Putin ordered a major and UNSCHEDULED military readiness exercise which involved no less than 150,000 troops, 400 aircraft & 100 ships! The message here was clear:

  1. Yes, we are much more powerful than you are and
  2. No, we are not apologizing for our strength anymore

And, just to make sure that the message is clear, the Russians also tested the readiness of the Russian Airborne Forces units near the city of Riazan, see for yourself:

This response is, I think, the correct one. Frankly, nobody in the West is listening to what the Kremlin has to say, so what is the point of making more statements which in the future will be ignored equally as they have been in the past.

If anything, the slow realization that Russia is more powerful than NATO would be most helpful in gently prodding EU politicians to change their tune and return back to reality. Check out this recent video of Sarah Wagenknecht, a leading politician of the German Left and see for yourself:

The example of Sahra Wagenknecht is interesting, because she is from Germany, one of the countries of northern Europe; traditionally, northern European powers have been much more anti-Russian than southern Europeans, so it is encouraging to see that the anti-Putin and anti-Russia hysteria is not always being endorsed by everybody.

But if things are very slowly getting better in the EU, in the bad old US of A things are only getting worse. Even the Republicans are now fully on board the Russia-hating float (right behind a “gay pride” one I suppose) and they are now contributing their own insanity to the cause, as this article entitled “Congressional Republicans: Russia should be designated state sponsor of terror” shows (designating Russia as a terrorist state is an old idea of the Dems, by the way).

Russian options for the Fall

In truth, Russia does not have any particularly good options towards the US. Both parties are now fully united in their rabid hatred of Russia (and China too, of course). Furthermore, while there are many well-funded and virulently anti-Russian organizations in the US (Neo-cons, Papists, Poles, Masons, Ukrainians, Balts, Ashkenazi Jews, etc.), Russian organizations in the US like this one, have very little influence or even relevance.

Banderites marching in the US

Banderites marching in the US

However, as the chaos continues to worsen inside the US and as US politicians continue to alienate pretty much the entire planet, Russia does have a perfect opportunity to weaken the US grip on Europe. The beauty in the current dynamic is that Russia does not have to do anything at all (nevermind anything covert or illegal) to help the anti-EU and anti-US forces in Europe: All she needs to do is to continuously hammer in the following simple message: “the US is sinking – do you really want to go down with it?”.

There are many opportunities to deliver that message. The current US/Polish efforts to prevent the EU from enjoying cheap Russian gas might well be the best example of what we could call “European suicide politics”, but there are many, many more.

Truth be told, neither the US nor the EU are a top priority for Russia, at least not in economic terms. The moral credibility of the West in general can certainly be described as dead and long gone. As for the West military might, it is only a concern to the degree that western politicians might be tempted to believe their own propaganda about their military forces being the best in the history of the galaxy. This is why Russia regularly engages in large surprise exercises: to prove to the West that the Russian military is fully ready for anything the West might try. As for the constant move of more and more US/NATO forces closer to the borders of Russia, they are offensive in political terms, but in military terms, getting closer to Russia only means that Russia will have more options to destroy you. “Forward deployment” is really a thing of the past, at least against Russia.

With time, however, and as the US federal center loses even more of its control of the country, the Kremlin might be well-advised to try to open some venues for “popular diplomacy”, especially with less hostile US states. The weakening of the Executive Branch has already resulted in US governors playing an increasingly important international role and while this is not, strictly speaking, legal (only the federal government has the right to engage in foreign policy), the fact is that this has been going on for years already.

The example of Sahra Wagenknecht is interesting, because she is from Germany, one of the countries of northern Europe; traditionally, northern European powers have been much more anti-Russian than southern Europeans, so it is encouraging to see that the anti-Putin and anti-Russia hysteria is not always being endorsed by everybody.

But if things are very slowly getting better in the EU, in the bad old US of A things are only getting worse. Even the Republicans are now fully on board the Russia-hating float (right behind a “gay pride” one I suppose) and they are now contributing their own insanity to the cause, as this article entitled “Congressional Republicans: Russia should be designated state sponsor of terror” shows (designating Russia as a terrorist state is an old idea of the Dems, by the way).

Russian options for the Fall

In truth, Russia does not have any particularly good options towards the US. Both parties are now fully united in their rabid hatred of Russia (and China too, of course). Furthermore, while there are many well-funded and virulently anti-Russian organizations in the US (Neo-cons, Papists, Poles, Masons, Ukrainians, Balts, Ashkenazi Jews, etc.), Russian organizations in the US like this one, have very little influence or even relevance.

Banderites marching in the US

Banderites marching in the US

However, as the chaos continues to worsen inside the US and as US politicians continue to alienate pretty much the entire planet, Russia does have a perfect opportunity to weaken the US grip on Europe. The beauty in the current dynamic is that Russia does not have to do anything at all (nevermind anything covert or illegal) to help the anti-EU and anti-US forces in Europe: All she needs to do is to continuously hammer in the following simple message: “the US is sinking – do you really want to go down with it?”.

There are many opportunities to deliver that message. The current US/Polish efforts to prevent the EU from enjoying cheap Russian gas might well be the best example of what we could call “European suicide politics”, but there are many, many more.

Truth be told, neither the US nor the EU are a top priority for Russia, at least not in economic terms. The moral credibility of the West in general can certainly be described as dead and long gone. As for the West military might, it is only a concern to the degree that western politicians might be tempted to believe their own propaganda about their military forces being the best in the history of the galaxy. This is why Russia regularly engages in large surprise exercises: to prove to the West that the Russian military is fully ready for anything the West might try. As for the constant move of more and more US/NATO forces closer to the borders of Russia, they are offensive in political terms, but in military terms, getting closer to Russia only means that Russia will have more options to destroy you. “Forward deployment” is really a thing of the past, at least against Russia.

With time, however, and as the US federal center loses even more of its control of the country, the Kremlin might be well-advised to try to open some venues for “popular diplomacy”, especially with less hostile US states. The weakening of the Executive Branch has already resulted in US governors playing an increasingly important international role and while this is not, strictly speaking, legal (only the federal government has the right to engage in foreign policy), the fact is that this has been going on for years already. Another possible partner inside the US for Russian firms would be US corporations (especially now that they are hurting badly). Finally, I think that the Kremlin ought to try to open channels of communication with the various small political forces in the US which are clearly not buying into the official propaganda: libertarians, (true) liberals and progressives, paleo-conservatives.

What we are witnessing before our eyes is the collapse of the US federal center. This is a dangerous and highly unstable moment in our history. But from this crisis opportunities will arise. The best thing Russia can do now is to simply remain very careful and vigilant and wait for new forces to appear on the US political scene.

Another possible partner inside the US for Russian firms would be US corporations (especially now that they are hurting badly). Finally, I think that the Kremlin ought to try to open channels of communication with the various small political forces in the US which are clearly not buying into the official propaganda: libertarians, (true) liberals and progressives, paleo-conservatives.

What we are witnessing before our eyes is the collapse of the US federal center. This is a dangerous and highly unstable moment in our history. But from this crisis opportunities will arise. The best thing Russia can do now is to simply remain very careful and vigilant and wait for new forces to appear on the US political scene.

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