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

May 20, 2022

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

Table of contents

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

Answers to media questions:

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

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to attend BRICS Foreign Ministers’ meeting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Update on Ukraine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Involving minors in Ukrainian nationalist formations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Biological warfare research in Ukraine

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

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

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

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

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

– State Regional Laboratory of Veterinary Medicine in Dnepr;

– Regional Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Kherson;

– Sanitary and Epidemiological Station Laboratory in Ternopol;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Closing Canada’s CBC bureau in Moscow 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Situation at the JCPOA reactivation talks

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

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

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

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The situation in the Republic of Moldova

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Russia’s stance on Cyprus settlement

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

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

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

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

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Growing terrorist activity in Burkina Faso and neighbouring countries

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

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

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

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

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Desecration of Soviet military graves in Gdansk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2nd Kostomarov Forum

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

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

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

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

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

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Eurasian Economic Forum in Bishkek

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

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

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

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

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Answers to media questions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Question: Is an exchange being discussed?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Why Ukraine’s “Bucha Massacre” Story Isn’t Adding Up”

 

Eva Bartlett

Eva Bartlett is an independent writer and rights activist with extensive experience in Syria and in the Gaza Strip, where she lived a cumulative three years (from late 2008 to early 2013). She documented the 2008/9 and 2012 Israeli war crimes and attacks on Gaza while riding in ambulances and reporting from hospitals. In 2017, she was short-listed for the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism.

6 thoughts on ““Why Ukraine’s “Bucha Massacre” Story Isn’t Adding Up””

Julius Skoolafish

Thank you for featuring Brian Berletic, Eva.

This prompted me to recall this excellent video presented by another of my (our) favourites – Vanessa Beeley – exposing the ‘western’ propaganda complex..THE VETO: Exposing CNN, Al Jazeera, Channel 4, western media propaganda war in Syria

Nicolas Cinquini

[a despicable Ukrainian PSYOP in Bucha]
https://link.medium.com/5ctCDNcmYob

Loam

If I were in command of the Russian troops, my common and strategic sense would have me completely rule out any action like this that Russia is accused of. And I do not think that the common sense of those who command these troops is less than mine. I suspect that this is a macabre staging carried out (perhaps with the help of the CIA) by the Ukrainian government. I am convinced that time will prove me right.

kbartlett114gmailcom

From Southfront, videos: https://southfront.org/new-evidences-shed-light-on-alleged-massacre-in-bucha-kiev-region-video-photo/

Francois

It is amazing that every time the kabal want to swing opinion the CIA pull this off, no matter which country is involved. It happened numerous places now, including the twin towers.

wordaction717

Thank You Eva for these insider videos giving us the Russian-speaking side of what in the Western-world is limited on what our ears can hear.

From, Yves Bernard, head of prepare.ations group.

More by Eva Bartlett

Ukraine is not Palestine, Russia is not Israel

March 26, 2022

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. (Photo: Government of Ukraine, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Issa Khalaf

Most people of goodwill and strong politico-moral sense who seek justice and fairness, all of us who are just plain human, naturally desire to be consistent in how we assess and judge the world outside us.  However, we cannot speak intelligently without acknowledging that one must navigate the inherent tension between moral-legal consistency and context and veracity.

There was no lack of just war theory academics, including within the rich Catholic tradition, actually arguing, at the time, that the 2003 US invasion and obliteration of Iraq, which killed hundreds of thousands, mostly civilians, displaced millions of mostly Sunni Arabs (decimating the core of the educated, secular, professional middle class), constituted a just war.

We cannot but be moved and outraged at the strong tormenting the weak.  Palestinians, at the receiving end for close to seventy-five years, are especially aware and sensitive to occupation, oppression, refugees, war.

But this is not the complete reality of and in Ukraine.  Yes, civilians are suffering and many escaping from active war zones—notwithstanding context or who is at fault, who is the victim.  Rare in war are there good and bad sides, villains and heroes.  Nor am I arguing the legality or otherwise of Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, or that preemptive war is legal, or weighing the legal merits of Russia’s “responsibility to protect” in the Donbass.  And no, civilians should not be punished for the reckless idiocy of their leaders.

Neither the “might makes right” premise of the “realists” nor the war gods of “the liberal international order” is moral or legal.  Still, we can’t be mired in the exegesis of rights.

The argument for the Ukrainian state’s justice and presumed victimhood, its innocence and helplessness in face of Russian power, rings hollow.

What is particularly disappointing, are those Palestinian and Arab-Americans who seem to have accepted the received wisdom—including of young people tweeting their outrage, transferring their virtue signaling to a place many can’t find on a map—of legal and moral right for Ukraine.  Advancing basic arguments about double standards and inconsistencies in the application of international law and norms, viewing Ukraine as the recipient of unmitigated, unregenerate Russian aggression and brutality, emphasizing that international law cannot be selectively applied to Palestine and Ukraine, they presume to convince those who have never done right by them.

Palestine will not, ever, obtain redress, justice from the US/EU and certainly not if the Israeli ruling fanatics imbued with Zionist ideological craziness can help it.

The appeal to international law misses the essential geopolitical correctness of the Russian case, of aggressor and aggressed, aggravator and aggrieved, but also the implications for Palestine, the Middle East, and the world, of US/Western actions: specifically, at this critical juncture in history, the destabilization of international order and security, festering local conflicts and disputes, endless wars, and continuing impoverishment of the world’s under-classes.

Russia of course is a major power, with a great asymmetry in strength between it and Ukraine, thereby stymieing any further critical comparison, much less nuance, scrutiny or context.

Russia, it can be argued is acting out of defense, Israel is not.  Ukraine, backed by creeping, belligerent US/NATO expansion to Russia’s borders, demanding of its Western backers before the war to acquire nuclear capability is a real, present danger to Russian national security; Israel, armed with nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, is a dangerous, destabilizing threat to regional and world peace.

Russia is not fighting a defenseless state, but one de facto allied and armed by US/NATO, with an armed forces count of about 300,000, including paramilitaries; Israel’s is perhaps the strongest military in the Middle East.

The Russian offensive is not motivated by ideologically-inspired expansionist motives; Israel is a hyper-expansionist, colonizing apartheid state.  Russia does not engage in dispossession and ethnic cleansing, Israel and Ukraine do.  Russia does not conduct war with criminality; Israel and Ukraine do.  Russia aspires to a secure, fair, economically prosperous neighborhood and world, Israel hinders this locally and doesn’t give a damn globally.  (For Israel’s extremely well-organized and financed supporters—aka lobbies—in Washington and other Western capitals, there’s only one state that comes first.)

Russia does not have an institutionally racist, exclusivist ideology, Israel and Ukraine do.  Russia is not a religio-ethnic or ethnolinguistic state, Israel and Ukraine are.  Ukraine is not a stateless, occupied, captive population, Palestine is.  Israel is interested in using the Ukraine conflict to “ingather” Ukrainian Jews to solidify its demographic lead and disappear Palestine, Russia does not do this in Ukraine or elsewhere.

The Ukrainian and Israeli regimes enjoy the support of the same imperial, global hegemon, are hostile to their neighbor(s), and are extremists unaware that their long term survival, security and prosperity hinges on peace and coexistence with the others within them and around them.  Both suffer from suicidal myopia.

With the exception of innocent people suffering, there’s little political or moral equivalence between Palestine and Ukraine, including schoolyard talk about Ukraine’s right to join NATO.

Residing in the US or other Western countries, apprehending from the centers of power, saturated with a monolithic narrative, you would believe that Russia’s leader is unspeakably evil, even neurotically demented, out of control, the Russian people deserving their comeuppance.  Russians’ vulgar cruelty, their crude methods in prosecuting war, indiscriminate killing of civilians, women and children included, is the Orwellian propaganda we’re fed, and apparently, legions of Americans and Europeans have internalized these lies.

There is another side to this narrative told by military experts worth listening to: Russia’s offensive is designed to minimize the physical and immoral impact of war, its movement methodical, patient, restrained.  It is simultaneously pursuing war and diplomacy; has not targeted vital physical and social infrastructure, including utilities; encircled but not leveled cities; created “cauldrons” around the enemy’s large military formations rather than annihilating them to effect surrender; opened humanitarian corridors everywhere for civilians to exit cities, provided food, water, medical care; and refrained from using air power (so far) to minimize damage to property.

The objective is not to kill and destroy, but to preserve.  Kiev has not been attacked for that reason, the Russians aiming to have their political demands met including neutrality and demilitarization, and thus ending the war.  (How Ukraine is politically-territorially-administratively organized after it’s over remains to be seen.)

Astoundingly, one would never know any of this. The leading newspaper of record and warmongering, The New York Times, beats the Ukraine victim narrative while insisting that Ukraine is stronger and Russia weaker than thought in this war.  What am I saying?  That people are indeed getting killed and uprooted; that stray munitions hit civilian buildings; that some low-level crimes may occur, but the killing and destruction by the professional, disciplined Russian military are comparatively small and unintentional.  Has anyone in American media verified any Ukrainian claim of destroyed, civilian-filled swimming pools, theatres, hospitals, shopping centers, art schools or investigated the Russian version?

Not that one lost life is morally defensible, but we cannot critically process without facts.

Contrast the Ukraine war with the inveterate display of Israeli barbarity.  Indiscriminate murder from air, ground, sea against defenseless populations, Gaza being the prime example; use of horrible weapons from cluster to phosphorous bombs; destruction of schools, hospitals, water systems, laying medieval sieges to punish civilians by starving them; use of human shields, sniping at old men, women and children; and all manner of crimes against humanity (not to mention unprovoked attacks against neighboring states).

These crimes are of course well documented, including dozens of UNSC resolutions regarding the Israeli occupation’s egregious violations of international law, much less any semblance of morality.

The Ukrainians aren’t much better.  Aside from their genocidal war against ethnic Russians, including unspeakable brutality in the Donbass, their army and hardcore Nazi formations have in fact terrorized and killed their own civilians to prevent them moving through the humanitarian corridors (as in the homicidal Azov battalion in Mariupol where 125,000 civilians are held captive), placed artillery and military formations in neighborhoods as a hostage to avoid Russian attack, moved into civilian buildings, used human shields, murdered journalists, those deemed to be politically incorrect towards war, and opposition figures, shelled their own civilian facilities, presumably accidentally, and blamed it on the Russians, and early on in the war, the regime’s security services murdered one of its own negotiators.

Ending the war is of the utmost urgency, but the Kiev regime is, under US pressure and its own extremists, stalling and escalating even when its army is scattered and surrounded, the US imperative being to maintain the stream into Ukraine of lethal weapons and neo-Nazi fighters and other assorted mercenaries trained by the CIA (and British) since at least 2015, and assiduously work overtime to cause a Russian quagmire even at the growing risk of a nuclear cataclysm.

It needs reiteration: Ukraine’s ruling military/oligarchic/xenophobic elite is intensely corrupt, right-radical, chauvinistic, and undemocratic, violently imposing its authority on a country of intensely divided identities.

This elite’s sociopolitical and cultural base is in parts of the western half of the country with its anachronistic Galician-Polish loathing towards Russia and ethnic Russians in Ukraine, and whose nationalists and crypto-Nazis view Russians as Asiatic mongrels.  Though accounting, with their supporters, for some 10 percent of the population, neo-Nazi and old-fashioned Nazi groups have had a huge, outsized effect on the state.

Many are familiar with the quote from a leading expert, the late Stephen F. Cohen, that Kyiv “encouraged” and “rehabilitated” neofascists, “even memorializing Ukrainian collaborators with Nazi German extermination pogroms and their leaders during World War II, renaming streets in their honor, building monuments to them, rewriting history to glorify them…”

We are talking about monuments to western Ukrainian Nazis who, along with that other equally virulently Russophobic state, Poland, collaborated, in their territories, with the German Nazi occupation in the murder of millions of Jews in the Holocaust.

In the racist, supremacist realm, the Ukrainian and Israeli regimes ironically have much in common.

Aside from the war’s material and political realities, there’s the astounding matter of the “information war,” so tightly controlled and orchestrated by the West and which hands down leaves Russia in the dust, that most of us are clueless regarding up from down, war from peace, criminality from humanity, victim from victimizer, legal from illegal, fake from real.  The intense propaganda is directed at American and Western publics to convince them of war and economic sacrifice.

The information blackout and frenzied emotional manipulation by the mass and social medias, including a deluge of misinformation and manufactured stories and false images from other places and conflicts, the terrifying assault on dissenting voices in context of iconoclastic madness, the fear and censorship of speaking out makes this whole affair disgusting, rife with hypocrisy, and horrifyingly fearsome.

Which leads us to Volodymyr Zelensky, that erstwhile, scripted hero whose racism towards Palestinians exactly matches the screeching anti-Palestinian racists and killers heading the Israeli government.  One would think a hero is empathetic, altruistic, just, unselfish, honest, and much else.  Instead, Zelensky thinks Israel, towards which he feels a cozy kinship, is the sufferer and victim of the Palestinians.

A bizarre, unholy mix, this story, featuring cynicism, immorality, illegality, duplicity:

–A president-comedian-actor and a Ukrainian-Israeli oligarch, the wealthiest in Ukraine, who made and enriched Zelensky and financed his TV show (as well as his real presidential run) in which he played president and whose indoctrinating message was the wonderful utopia of joining NATO and the EU;

–This president in tenuous control of the armed forces and neo-Nazi formations and police state methods of the interior ministry and security services, ruling alongside radical nationalists and many in the regime who hate Jews;

–All regime factions super-racist towards the Palestinians and viciously anti-Russian;

–Tel-Aviv doing the aliyah-shuttle for Ukrainian Jews, not other Ukrainians, unless one counts the tokens;

–Israel involved in arming race-mixing-hating neo-Nazi militias and training nefarious elements;

–Israelis coming and going, feeling at home as if Ukraine were their business playground;

–All sides enabled by an ideologue-managed US, its “deep state” massively projecting its denial-rage, incapable of strategic empathy, apparently willing to blow up Europe than be denied global control.

The victims here are truly the Ukrainian people abused by all sides, followed by the rest of us.

-Issa Khalaf has a D. Phil. in political science and Middle East Studies from Oxford University. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

Two more briefings: Colonel General Sergei Rudskoy and Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev

March 25, 2022

https://telegra.ph/Speech-of-the-Head-of-the-Main-Operational-Directorate-of-the-General-Staff-of-the-Armed-Forces-of-the-Russian-Federation-on-the-03-25 March 25, 2022

Speech of the Head of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Colonel General Sergei Rudskoy

(This should be read with the previous statements of this morning:  http://thesaker.is/briefing-by-the-russian-ministry-of-defence-on-the-current-results-of-the-special-military-operation-in-ukraine/

In accordance with the decision of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief since February 24 this year. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are conducting a special military operation.

Its main goal is to provide assistance to the people of the Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics, who have been subjected to genocide by the Kiev regime for 8 years.

It was impossible to achieve this goal by political means. Kiev has publicly refused to implement the Minsk agreements. The Ukrainian leadership twice in 2014 and 2015 tried to solve the so-called Donbass problem by military means, was defeated, but did not change its plans on resolving conflict by force in the East of the country. According to reliable data, the Armed Forces of Ukraine were completing the preparation of a military operation to take control of the territory of the people’s republics.

In these conditions, it was possible to help the Donetsk and Lugansk republics only by providing them with military assistance. Which Russia has done.

There were two possible courses of action.

The first is to limit the territory to only the DPR and the LPR within the administrative borders of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which is enshrined in the constitutions of the republics. But then we would be faced with constant feeding by the Ukrainian authorities of the grouping involved in the so-called joint force operation.

Therefore, the second option was chosen, which provides for actions throughout the territory of Ukraine with the implementation of measures for its demilitarization and denazification.

The course of the operation confirmed the validity of this decision.

It is conducted by the General Staff in strict accordance with the approved plan.

The tasks are carried out taking into account minimizing losses among personnel and minimizing damage to civilians.

With the beginning of a special military operation, air supremacy was won during the first two days.

Offensive actions of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are carried out in various directions.

As a result, Russian troops blocked Kiev, Kharkov, Chernigov, Sumy and Nikolaev. Kherson and most of the Zaporozhye region are under full control.

The public and individual experts are wondering what we are doing in the area of blocked Ukrainian cities.

These actions are carried out with the aim of causing such damage to military infrastructure, equipment, personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the results of which allow not only to shackle their forces and do not give them the opportunity to strengthen their grouping in the Donbass, but also will not allow them to do so until the Russian army completely liberates the territories of the DPR and LPR.

Initially, we did not plan to storm them in order to prevent destruction and minimize losses among personnel and civilians.

And although we do not rule out such a possibility, however, as individual groups complete their tasks, and they are being solved successfully, our forces and means will concentrate on the main thing – the complete liberation of Donbass.

Significant territories of the Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics have also been liberated. The people’s militia has taken control of 276 settlements that were previously under the control of the Ukrainian army and the national battalions.

Demilitarization of Ukraine is achieved both by high-precision strikes on military infrastructure facilities, locations of formations and military units, airfields, control points, arsenals and warehouses of weapons and military equipment, and by the actions of troops to defeat opposing enemy grouppings.

Currently, the Ukrainian air forces and the air defence system have been almost completely destroyed. The naval forces of the country ceased to exist.

16 main military airfields were defeated, from which combat sorties of the AFU aviation were carried out. 39 storage bases and arsenals were destroyed, which contained up to 70% of all stocks of military equipment, materiel and fuel, as well as more than 1 million 54 thousand tons of ammunition.

All 24 formations of the Land Forces that existed before the start of the operation suffered significant losses. Ukraine has no organized reserves left.

Losses are replenished at the expense of mobilized persons and personnel of the territorial defence forces who do not have the necessary training, which increases the risk of large losses.

At the time of the start of the special military operation, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, together with the National Guard, numbered 260 thousand 200 servicemen. During the month of hostilities, their losses amounted to about 30 thousand people, including more than 14 thousand – irretrievable and about 16 thousand – sanitary.

Of the 2,416 tanks and other armored fighting vehicles that were in combat on February 24, 1,587 units were destroyed; 636 units out of 1,509 field artillery guns and mortars; 163 out of 535 MLRS; 112 out of 152 aircraft, 75 out of 149 helicopters; 36 Bayraktar TB2 UAVs – 35;

180 out of 148 S-300 and Buk M1 air defence systems; 300 out of 117 radars for various purposes.

The AFU continue to use high-powered weapons indiscriminately against towns in Donbass. An example of this is the strikes by the Tochka-U missile system on the civilian population of Donetsk and Makeyevka.

In this regard, they are the primary targets.

As of today, 7 Tochka-U launchers have been destroyed, and 85% of missiles are in arsenals and in the air. This significantly limited Ukraine’s capabilities for their combat use.

Since the beginning of hostilities, the Western countries have supplied the Kiev regime with 109 field artillery guns, 3,800 anti-tank weapons, including Javelin, Milan, Konkurs, NLAW ATGM, M-72, Panzerfaust-3, 897 Stinger and Igla MANPADS.

We consider it a vast mistake for Western countries to supply weapons to Kiev. This delays the conflict, increases the number of victims and will not be able to influence the outcome of the operation.

The real purpose of such supplies is not to support Ukraine, but to drag it into a long-term military conflict “to the last Ukrainian.”

We are closely monitoring the statements of the military and political leadership of individual countries about their intention to supply aircraft and air defence systems to Ukraine. In case of implementation– we will not leave it without attention.

We also hear assurances from NATO leaders about non-interference in the conflict. At the same time, some member states of the North Atlantic Alliance propose to close the airspace over Ukraine. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation will immediately respond accordingly to such attempts.

In order to prevent the restoration of weapons and military equipment of the AFU that have received combat damage, the Russian Armed Forces are disabling repair enterprises, arsenals, storage bases, logistics warehouses with high-precision weapons.

At the moment, 30 key enterprises of the military-industrial complex have been hit by cruise missiles X-101, Kalibr, Iskander, and the Kinzhal aviation complex, which carried out repairs of 68% of weapons and equipment disabled during combat operations.

Russian modern weaponry has proven to be highly accurate, reliable and capable of operational use.

I would like to emphasize that the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation do not strike at civilian infrastructure facilities, including the destruction of bridges across rivers.

127 bridges were destroyed in the area of military operations. All of them were blown up by Ukrainian nationalists in order to deter the advance of our troops.

Another example of recklessness is the mining of approaches to the ports of Odessa, Ochakov, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny, where over 400 anchor mines of obsolete types are installed.

At least 10 mines have broken anchor and are drifting in the western part of the Black Sea, which poses a real threat to warships and civilian vessels.

The rampant crime, looting and marauding and civilian deaths have been caused by the Ukrainian regime’s massive uncontrolled distribution of tens of thousands of small arms to the civilian population, including to criminals released from prisons. The situation will only get worse in the future.

The course of hostilities, the testimonies of civilians who left the blockaded settlements and captured Ukrainian servicemen show that today the AFU’s ability to resist is based on fear of reprisals by neo-Nazis. Their representatives are embedded in all military units.

The mainstay of the Kiev regime are nationalist formations such as Azov, Aidar, Right Sector and others recognized in Russia as terrorist organizations. In Mariupol alone, they include more than 7 thousand militants who are fighting under the guise of civilians, using them as a “human shield”.

The militants of the Azov battalion drive women and children out of the basements, threatening them with weapons, and send them towards the advancing units of the DPR in order to hinder the advance of the people’s militia. This has become a common practice for them.

The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, on the contrary, seek to avoid unnecessary losses. Before the start of the offensive, the AFU units are invited to leave the combat area and move along with equipment and weapons to the point of permanent deployment. Not to resist when the offensive begins and those who lay down their arms are guaranteed safety.

Civilians caught in a war zone are always advised to stay in their homes.

Humanitarian corridors are being organized in all cities to get the population out of the area of hostilities, and their security is also maintained.

Humanitarian corridors are being created in all towns to allow people to leave the area where the fighting is taking place, and their security is being maintained.

In addition, at the initiative of the Ukrainian leadership, the country has become a home to 6,595 foreign mercenaries and terrorists from 62 states.

They are not subject to the rules of war and will be ruthlessly destroyed.

Today, the number of foreign mercenaries is declining. This was facilitated by high-precision strikes on their bases and training camps. On March 13, more than 200 militants were killed and more than 400 wounded in Starichi and at the Yavorovskii training ground alone.

I note that not a single foreign mercenary has arrived in Ukraine in the last seven days. On the contrary, there has been an outflow. Within a week, 285 fighters escaped into Poland, Hungary and Romania, I hope without Stingers and Javelins.

Previous experience has shown that man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS) and ATGMs are spreading out fairly quickly, along with the mercenaries who return home.

In general, the main objectives of the first phase of the operation have been achieved. The combat capabilities of Ukraine’s Armed Forces have been significantly reduced, which allows us, once again, to concentrate our main efforts on achieving the main goal – the liberation of Donbass.

In eight years, in the area of the so-called “joint forces operation”, a defence belt has been prepared that is deeply echeloned and well-fortified in engineering terms, consisting of a system of monolithic, long-term concrete structures.

In this regard, in order to minimise casualties among the troops of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics, the conduct of offensive operations is preceded by a heavy fire attack on the enemy’s strongholds and their reserves.

At the beginning of the special military operation, the LPR and DPR people’s militias were confronted by a group of 59,300 people comprising the most combat-ready units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the National Guard and nationalist formations.

As a result, Ukraine’s security forces in the OOS zone lost about 16,000 people, or 26% of their total strength as of 24 February this year.

More than 7,000 of them were irrecoverable losses.

Replacing losses is prevented by isolating the Ukrainian grouping of troops in Donbass, taking control of railway stations and key road routes with firepower.

The supply of missiles and ammunition, fuel and food to Ukrainian forces has been almost completely halted.

The field depots of missile and artillery weapons and ammunition, as well as fuel located directly in the area of the Joint Forces Operation are being hit. To date, 32 facilities have been destroyed, or 61% of the total.

All weapons and military equipment, including foreign-made, seized by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation during the special military operation are handed over to the People’s Republics. Already 113 tanks and other armoured combat vehicles, 138 Javelin and 67 NLAW grenade launchers and other trophy weapons have been handed over.

Units of the People’s Militia of the Lugansk People’s Republic have liberated 93% of the republic’s territory.

Fighting is currently taking place on the outskirts of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk.

The People’s Militia of the Donetsk People’s Rupublic controls 54% of the territory. The liberation of Mariupol continues.

Units of the Russian Armed Forces together with the People’s Militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic are conducting an offensive to liberate settlements to the west of Donetsk.

Unfortunately, there are casualties among our comrades-in-arms during the special military operation. As of today, 1,351 servicemen have been killed and 3,825 wounded.

All family support solutions will be taken over by the state, raising children up to higher education, full repayment of loans, housing solutions.

We receive a large number of appeals from Russian citizens wishing to take part in the special military operation to liberate Ukraine from Nazism.

In addition, more than 23,000 foreigners from 37 countries have expressed their willingness to fight on the side of the people’s republics. We offered the leadership of the LPR and DPR to accept this assistance, but they said they would defend their land themselves.

They have enough power and resources.

The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation will continue to conduct a planned special military operation until the tasks set by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief have been completed.


Speech of Head of the National Centre for Defence Control of the Russian Federation Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev

March 25, 2022

The special military operation in Ukraine with its corresponding objectives and tasks was preceded by an eight-year period of a highly grave humanitarian disaster in Donbass that made more than 6.5 million persons to be victims of violations of human rights and caused deaths of more than 14.5 thousand persons. The almost daily shelling carried out by the Armed Forces of Ukraine and nationalist battalions caused 4,115 infrastructure buildings destroyed and 55,310 damaged, including residential buildings, educational establishments, hospitals and many other social facilities.

Over these eight years, 19.5 per cent of the infrastructure of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’ s republics has been completely destroyed and up to 37 per cent damaged by the use of heavy weaponry from Ukraine.

From April 2014 to February 2022, 1,451,304 refugees had been displaced just to the Russian Federation.

Due to a rapid aggravation of the situation and increase of the shelling intensity on the territory of Donbass, only from 18 to 23 of February the number of refugees had rapidly increased; during these six days, the border of Russia has been crossed by 106,946 persons.

The rest of the population – 3,600,940 people, including civilians, mostly elderly, children, women and some vulnerable groups – continued to be shelled every day, in basements without any basic conditions for life – no water, heat, electricity, food or medicines.

This period comparable with two Great Patriotic Wars 1941-1945 in terms of timeline caused numerous victims every day.

Meanwhile, the countries of the so-called “civilised” West, led by the United States of America, have deliberately kept silent about all this, showing complete indifference to the fate of millions of residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’ republics.

The special military operation commenced in the conditions of this highly grave humanitarian crisis.

Since 4 March, the Russian Federation has been providing humanitarian corridors on a daily basis, exclusively for humanitarian purposes, in the directions of Kiev, Chernigov, Sumy, Kharkov and Mariupol, of which one humanitarian corridor to Russia and one more through Kiev-controlled territories towards Ukraine’s western borders.

The Ukrainian side has never confirmed a single humanitarian corridor towards the Russian Federation for the entire period.

At the same time, we coordinate all additional humanitarian corridors proposed by Kiev on a daily basis.

The Russian Armed Forces strictly observe ceasefire on all routes, despite the fact that this slows down the pace of conducting a special military operation. But this is done solely in the interests of saving civilians.

And on the Ukrainian side, systematic shelling of humanitarian convoys and attempts to shift responsibility for their own inhumane acts to units of Russian troops continue. So, this week alone, 17 attacks on civilians traveling along humanitarian corridors were recorded, including the cynical shelling of a convoy of refugees from Mariupol.

In the face of tough opposition from the official authorities of Ukraine, since the beginning of the special military operation, 419,736 people, including 88,373 children, have been evacuated to Russia from dangerous areas of Ukraine, Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. 49,362 units of personal motor transport crossed the state border of the Russian Federation.

Without any participation of the Ukrainian side, nine thousand foreign citizens who applied for help were assisted in the evacuation.

Russia continues to work on the preparation, delivery and distribution of humanitarian aid to the civilian population of the liberated territories.

A total of 5,043 tons of basic necessities, food packages, including baby food, vital medicines and hygiene products were delivered. 617 humanitarian actions were carried out in Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, Kiev, Chernigov, Sumy, Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Kherson and Nikolaev regions.

All Ukrainian prisoners in the Russian Federation are treated as required by the norms of international humanitarian law. They are kept in decent conditions, provided with three meals a day, timely and qualified medical care is provided to them. They are not subjected to violence or psychological pressure. Everyone is given the opportunity to contact relatives.

Interaction with the International Committee of the Red Cross on these issues is organized.

At the same time, the Ukrainian authorities, against the general background of the lawlessness that reigns everywhere in Ukraine, grossly violate elementary humane norms, not to mention the requirements of the Geneva conventions,

regarding the treatment of prisoners of war.

Despite this, or most likely contrary to what the Kiev authorities are doing, the Russian side will continue to treat Ukrainian prisoners of war humanely and respectfully.

Being aware of the nature of all the existing difficulties, as well as the essence, the origins and the character of the provocations carried out by the Kiev regime, considering the passiveness of the international organizations, the Russian Federation will continue opening and maintaining humanitarian corridors every day and informing the Ukrainian party and all the international community.

The Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation General of the Army Sergei Shoigu reports regularly to the leadership of the country as the implementation of the special military operation, as the efforts adopted by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation to provide humanitarian aid and security at the liberated territories.

Gonzalo Lira – live stream from Kharkov (recording)

March 21, 2022

Gilad Atzmon: Putin’s War

March 13, 2022

BY GILAD ATZMON

Putin is not a military general. He is a modernist leader, a trained spymaster and strategist who understands that war is a continuation of politics by other means (Clausewitz). Accordingly, if we want to grasp Putin’s motives we should refrain from trying to assess Russia’s military campaign in terms of ‘strict military objectives.’  We should instead look at the military campaign as a political instrument that is set to mobilize a global  and regional geopolitical shift and on a mammoth scale.

It is clear that Putin’s army is doing its best to avoid civilian casualties. It uses siege tactics as opposed to the barbarian American  ‘Shock and Awe’  doctrine. Furthermore, the Russian military works hard not to dismantle the Ukrainian military.  Instead it encircles cities and is cutting out the Ukrainian army in the East and South of the country.

The Russian military has dismantled Ukraine’s ability to regroup, let alone counter attack.  Western military analysts have agreed that clear evidence of the Ukrainian army’s growing disability is that Ukraine’s army didn’t manage to seriously damage the 60 km Russian convoy on its way to Kyiv despite the fact that the convoy stood still for more than 10 days.

In the last 24 hours, Russia has made it clear to the West that any Western military supply to Ukraine will be treated as a legitimate  military target. In other words, the elite Ukrainian army in the East is now a defunct military force; it can defend the cities, it can mount guerrilla attacks on stretched Russian military logistics but it cannot regroup into a fighting force that can alter the battleground.

Putin’s army, as military experts agree, enjoys massive firepower. It is hardly a secret that Russia’s artillery is a deadly force and there is no force that can match it anywhere in the world. The military rationale for this is plain. The USSR never trusted the quality and the loyalty of its foot soldiers. While it counted on the soldiers’ mass impact, their sheer numbers, it also invented the means, the technology, the tactics and the doctrine  to win the battle from afar in preparation for the masses to move in.

It was Red artillery that knocked down the 3rd Reich Army. Similarly, flattening enemy cities is something the USSR and modern Russia are famous for. Russia enjoys this power, but it has refrained, so far,  from deploying this ability in Ukraine. Russia has displayed this  capability rather than deploying it. According to military analysts, Russia hasn’t  even begun to utilize its superior air power other than assuring its total air superiority over Ukraine.

The Russian army’s tactic has been to mount pressure on cities’ outskirts, demonstrating Russian military might and then opening  corridors for humanitarian convoys. And this is the trick. Russia is creating a flood of refugees to the west. Due to the Ukrainian government ban on men 18-60 leaving the country, we are talking about women and children.

So far there are about 2.5 million Ukrainian refugees but this number could increase dramatically. And the question follows: will Germany be happy to accept another million refugees that aren’t a working force? What about France and Britain, the USA, Canada, all those countries that pushed Zalansky and Ukraine into a war but were quick to leave the Ukrainian people to their fate?

Sooner or later, Putin believes, Europe will accept his entire list of demands and will lift the list of sanctions, and may even compensate him for his losses on oil sales all in a desperate attempt to stop the tsunami of Ukrainian refugees. By the time the guns cool down, many Ukrainians may actually prefer to stay in Germany, France, Britain and Poland. This will lead, at least in Putin’s mind, to a demographic shift in the ethnic balance in favor of the Russian ethnic groups in Ukraine. Within the context of such a shift, Putin will be able to dominate the situation in his neighbour state by political and even democratic means.

Putin’s plan is not new.  It already succeeded in Syria.

When the West realised that Syria was on foot to Europe, it was very quick to allow Putin to win the battle for Assad at the expense of America’s hegemony in the Middle East. Putin now deploys basically the same tactics. He may be cruel or even barbarian but stupid or irrational he isn’t.

The main question is how is it possible that our Western political and media elite are clueless about Putin and Russia’s moves?  How is it possible that not one Western military analyst can connect the dots and see through the fog of this horrid war? The reason is obvious: no gifted people see a potential career in military or public service these days.

Gifted people prefer the corporate world, banks, high tech, data and media giants. The result is that Western generals and intelligence experts are not very gifted. The situation of our Western political class is even more depressing. Not only are our politicians those who weren’t gifted enough to join the corporate route, they are also uniquely unethical. They are there to fulfil the most sinister plans of their globalist masters and they do it all at our expense.

I have little doubt that an experienced politician like Angela Merkel wouldn’t have let the Ukraine situation escalate into a global disaster. She, like Putin, was properly trained for her job, understanding the deep distinction between strategy and tactics.  She, like Putin, was trained to think five steps ahead. As far as I can tell there is no one in the West who understands Putin, who can read his mind. Instead they attribute to the Russian leader psychotic characteristics in a desperate attempt to hide the depth of the  hopeless and tragic  situation the West inflicted on itself and on Ukraine in particular.

Meanwhile Putin is taking the most spectacular measures to protect his life and his regime. We in the west find it ‘laughable,’  but Putin knows very well that the only way the West can deal with its own incapacity is to eliminate him and his regime one way or another.

No maps, sorry, but Andrei Martyanov instead

March 11, 2022

Friends,

I found no good map, and I don’t feel like waiting any further.  So no map today, sorry!

Also, I need the rest, badly.

But, instead, Andrei Martyanov just released a very VERY good video.  He really covers it all.

So, today, I leave you in his care, he explains it all very well.  I have nothing to add.

Cheers

Andrei

PS: also check this one: https://www.moonofalabama.org/2022/03/challenge-response-how-russia-is-countering-western-moves-against-it.html

Russian MoD: Joint Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine

March 11, 2022

https://t.me/mod_russia_en/133

Meeting of the Joint Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine

 In accordance with its commitments and exclusively for humanitarian purposes, the Russian Federation has opened ten humanitarian corridors from 10 a.m. Moscow time today to evacuate civilians and foreign citizens from Kiev, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv and Mariupol cities, including one humanitarian corridor from each city to the Russian Federation, as well as one through the territories controlled by the Kiev authorities to the west, to Poland, Moldova and Romania.

 Of the ten routes we proposed, the Ukrainian side agreed on only two – on Kiev and Mariupol directions. At the same time, once again not a single humanitarian corridor to the Russian Federation. At the same time, the Kiev authorities additionally announced four more routes from Izyum, Energodar, Volnovakha and in the Zhytomyr direction. For humane purposes, we agreed with them.

 Official Kiev, as before, continues to reject humanitarian corridors towards Russia, arguing that there are simply no civilians and foreign citizens who want to go to the territory of the Russian Federation.

We have already talked about this – it is a lie and a cynical deception. At the same time, the results of daily monitoring show the opposite – 23,127 more people have taken refuge in the Russian Federation from the horrors and arbitrariness staged by nationalists in the last 24 hours alone, and there are already 2,619,026 of them from almost 2,000 settlements of Ukraine.

And this is not just statistics, it is the fate of people, their hopes for the end of the daily nightmare, despair from the hopelessness of the situation. The Kiev authorities have legalized crimes against humanity, ignore numerous cases of looting, robbery, banditry, and sanctioned the use of weapons by nationalists against the civilian population, including women and children.

 Another provocation of nationalists was recorded in Kharkov, where, in order to conceal research on nuclear topics, militants of territorial defence battalions blew up one of the buildings of the Physics and Technology Institute on Akademicheskaya Street. Up to 50 employees of the institution can be under the rubble.

In addition, in the same city, in the basement of an art school on Yesenin Street, militants hide the bodies of civilians killed during a punitive operation against persons who did not support the criminal Kiev regime.

In Sumy, nationalists conduct raids on private households, during which, under threat of physical violence and murder, forcibly seize food, fuel, equipment, as well as personal cars from people.

 The Kiev authorities have banned the mayors of cities from any contacts with the Russian side, including on the organization of humanitarian corridors. All those who disagree are simply shot.

 Taking into account our responsibility for the humanitarian component and ensuring the safety of the exit of civilians and foreign citizens forcibly held by nationalists in the blocked settlements, from 10 a.m. by means of objective control, including unmanned aerial vehicles, intensive monitoring of the situation on humanitarian routes is being conducted.

The results of objective control again show that the ceasefire is actively used to intensively regroup units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and national battalions in defensive positions, as well as to move weapons and military equipment to more advantageous positions.

 To date, more than 7,000 from 21 foreign countries remain hostage to Ukrainian neo-Nazis, whom the nationalists continue to hold as “human shield”.

The fate of these foreign citizens has been the subject of round-the-clock cooperation with representatives of the relevant diplomatic agencies.

 Please note that by the decision of the Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, foreign students evacuated from the territory of Ukraine will be able to continue their studies at Russian universities according to quotas for foreign students. To this end, the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia is already preparing notes to the embassies of the relevant foreign states.

 In addition, foreign partners express particular concern about the lack of the possibility of safe passage of ships from the ports of Ukraine due to the high mine danger created by the Kiev authorities in their internal waters and territorial sea, as well as possible provocations by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, including shelling of ships from the shore.

Currently, there are more than 50 foreign vessels in Ukrainian ports, crewed by foreign citizens of Azerbaijan, Greece, Georgia, Egypt, India, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, the Philippines, Jamaica and a number of others.

Ukraine’s actions to create a mine danger violate the provisions of international humanitarian law in terms of mine installations that threaten the safety of civilian vessels of third States. The concern of the Russian side in this regard was stated on March 10 at an extraordinary session of the Council of the International Maritime Organization, which is a specialized agency of the United Nations.

 We call on the Ukrainian side to strictly comply with the norms of international humanitarian law and ensure the safe exit of foreign vessels from Ukrainian ports and the territorial sea.

We emphasize once again that the Russian Armed Forces do not pose a danger to navigation in the Azov, Black Seas, as well as other areas of the World Ocean.

 More than 9,500 temporary accommodation centres continue to operate in the regions of the Russian Federation.

A sufficient number of buses and supporting transport for the transportation of refugees are kept in constant readiness at checkpoints and temporary accommodation places. They are equipped with everything necessary for a temporary stay, hot meals are provided, mobile medical centres are deployed.

Federal executive authorities together with the subjects of Russia, various public organizations, patriotic movements have prepared more than 16,500 tons of humanitarian aid.

1,671 tons of humanitarian cargo have already been delivered to Ukraine, 212 humanitarian actions have been carried out, including 26 actions in Chernigov region, as well as in Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, during which 250 tons of basic necessities, medicines and food were transferred to the civilian population of the liberated areas.

Today, 23 humanitarian actions are being held in Kharkov, Zaporozhia, Kiev and Chernigov regions, during which 284 tons of basic necessities, including food, are being transferred to the population.

 Despite this, 34,555 people, including 3,562 children, were evacuated from the dangerous zones of various regions of Ukraine, as well as the Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics, during the day without the participation of the Ukrainian side, and more than 223,000 people have been evacuated since the beginning of the special military operation, 50,258 of them children. The state border of the Russian Federation was crossed by 23,253 vehicles, of which 1,249 per day.

In addition, today the Russian Armed Forces ensured the safety of the movement of a humanitarian convoy from Energodar city to Zaporozhye, consisting of 13 buses, 130 private cars with 957 refugees, and also managed to evacuate more than 62,000 refugees from Sumy in Poltava direction within a day.

 As for the statement of the President of Ukraine about the impossibility of evacuation from Volnovakha and Mariupol, we explain.

The variant of evacuation from Volnovakha proposed by the Ukrainian side, due to ignorance of the true situation on the “ground”, once again puts official Kiev in an absurd position, since this locality is currently completely controlled by the units of the People’s Militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic, who are already building a peaceful life in Volnovakha.

Appropriate humanitarian measures are being carried out with the population, and none of the residents are going to leave their homes.

 About the situation in Mariupol. The city is blocked, all bridges and approaches to the city are destroyed, the main roads are mined by nationalists, and armed men walk through the streets, open fire indiscriminately, thereby forcing the civilian population to stay in their homes.

Attempts of the sappers of Donetsk People’s Republic to demine the approaches to Mariupol have not been successful, as the nationalists are firing at them intensively from various types of weapons. Unfortunately, due to the fault of the Ukrainian side, the evacuation from Izyum to Lozovaya failed. This is the route and the humanitarian corridor that the Kiev authorities themselves offered us. Traffic routes are mined, sections of the road are fired from small arms and mortars by units of the territorial defence of Ukraine on the approaches to Lozovaya.

The opinion of a professional about the special operation in Ukraine (MUST READ!)

March 09, 2022

Note by the Saker: one of our readers today sent me a very interesting document in Russian.  First, I thought “more of the same” (5th columnist stuff) but then I started reading it and I changed my mind.  This was clearly written by a military professional, his name is Alexander Dubrovsky.  It was posted here and here.  So I literally *begged* our new Russian translators to make even a “quick and dirty translation” because I wanted to get the info to you as fast as possible (in the meantime, I was writing this).  And one of them did!  (Thank you N.!!!). 

While Dubrovsky’s views are not “Holy Writ” his testimony and analysis is, I think, priceless, especially for those who live in Zone A.  We don’t have to agree with every letter, but I urge you to read it very carefully and in full.  I consider this text so important that I will post it under “guest analyses” and not “Saker Community translations” because I want to give it max visibility.  All our articles under “guest analyses” are written for the Saker blog or by permission, never taken off the Internet without the author’s permission.  But, as the ancient Russian saying goes, “rules are for the cause and not the cause for the rules” 🙂

Kind regards

Andrei

***

As promised, I am not inventing anything more about the special operation in Ukraine, giving the floor to professionals.

The source is unknown to me; it came via WhatsApp. It is published without notes and without editing, only some places highlighted by me.

Subjective opinion.

(Let’s try to make sense of the situation without hysteria and insults.)

It’s hard for everyone. Our guys are dying. Citizens of Ukraine are dying. But the hardest part is for the military, acting both in reserve, both Russian and Ukrainian, who have gone through “hot” conflicts. I’m grinding my teeth from impotence, I’m not personally sure — could I have carried out the Commander-in-Chief’s order had I been in the ranks today. To minimize civilian casualties is understandable, we are one people. And how to try not to cause critical damage to the APU — I have little idea within the tactics of my own unit.

I categorically object to the publication of the number of combat losses until the operation has entered its final phase. This is a gift for someone else’s information war, a trump card in the hands of the enemy, the dispersal of false information among outright alarmists inside the country: “they all lie, hide, underestimate”, “no war”, “mothers, don’t let your sons”, “how I want peace”, “how much more blood can be shed”…

You can and should. Soldiers and heroes are dying. Who came to the army not to polish paving stones with their shoe soles, but to defend the Motherland. Even at the cost of his own life. This was a mistake of the General Staff, the people should clearly understand the objectives of the operation, its necessity, the inevitability of victims. Not the current price.

It sounds cruel, but such is the harsh military reality. We will wipe our own and women’s tears after the Victory, we will bow to every widow, mother, bride, sister for the feat of their men.

The first stage of the operation…

We underestimated the enemy’s power of informational, ideological, psychological resistance, they were waiting for us. Literally on the very first day, with one click of American bloody fingers, they deprived us of the support of the civilian population and those AFU units ready to become neutral. Millions of dollars, thousands of IT guys, global media corporations cut Ukraine off from any objective information, it stank in our country.

And our main losses were in the first three days. Now they will be rapidly reduced. Peacekeeping and humanitarian operations, like the Crimean one— are no longer carried out by the Russian army. The fighters received other orders, got involved, got angry, regrouped, any hopes for active support from the civilian population and those parts of the AFU who had changed their mind were dispelled.

There were few flowers and bread loaves to be seen, the people have been crushed by propaganda and lies, intimidated into insanity by the Nazis. Another important point was missed in the calculations — almost 600 thousand Ukrainians have passed through the ATO zone in the Donbas since 2014, today they have replenished the territorial defense everywhere, many have something to fear. Especially in the wake of fakes about executions without trial by the ATO.

Can you imagine what, during a year of service there, the Nazis stuffed into their heads – gave them the opportunity to shoot at the settlements of “quilted jackets and colorados” with impunity, to mock the civilian population there. So, the calculation for the help of locals and APU was inaccurate, the cancer in Ukrainian society is simply monstrous. But… we will cure it.

If we explain our tactics of the first days… this is a creatively reworked “reconnaissance by combat” of the Great Patriotic War. Only with a deep and rapid penetration into the Nazi-occupied territory. We provoked the activity of the enemy with tactical groups, deliberately drawing out parts of the APU and the National Guard from their locations. With a small number withstanding the terrible counterattacks of tanks and armored vehicles, of a superior in number motorized infantry.

Sometimes it was impossible to suppress the “Grads”, artillery and mortars hidden in residential neighborhoods that were nailing you. Urban areas could not be cleaned methodically in combat formations, causing supporting fire, attack helicopters, sappers, flamethrowers, tanks to carry machine-gun emplacements in houses and social infrastructure facilities.

This is a war unfamiliar to us veterans. Especially when the sky is under your full control, airfields are packed with attack aircraft and bombers, operational and tactical missile systems are in service, there is a lot of heavy artillery. Now it has become clear even to civilians: the correct name for what is happening truly is “a special military operation for denazification.” And the demilitarization of Nezalezhnaya was completed by the end of the third day.

The APU, as a single, manageable and effective structure, has ceased to exist. Today, there are dozens of groups of different numbers isolated from each other, hiding in cities and towns. No centralized supply, no air support, no approach of reinforcements. They are not able to act within the framework of any plans of the Ukrainian General Staff. Just crowds of armed men with orders to stand to the death.

The main groups “North” and “East” were beheaded and deprived of command — these are 22 brigades, which had been entrusted with the honorable duty to drown Donbass in blood at the beginning of March. We beat them to it by a week or two, starting our own special operation. Now 150 thousand people (together with national soldiers) are marinated in “cauldrons”, cut off from each other. For a second — this was done by smaller Russian forces… and in five days.

There is no organized resistance in other operational areas. Separate parts of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), national battalions, sabotage groups. Everyone acts at their discretion, with varying degrees of activity. There is no way to move in columns, regroup, replenish ammunition, fuel, equipment even in local warehouses, everything is systematically destroyed by high-precision weapons and aircraft.

In a week or two, 80% of the AFU will turn into detachments completely devoid of ammunition, fuel, medicines, and food. Mentally and physically exhausted, without a unified command, goals and objectives. For the army, this is a terrible thing – despondency and decay. Especially for the Ukrainian, which is held by fear, propped up by Bandera detachments. Servicemen fear for the fate of their families in the rear.

The second stage of the operation…

Recognizably, the Syrian scenario. A neutral or terrorist-fearing population, among which it is almost impossible to identify militants. The Russian Army does not take such settlements – it surrounds cities with Bandera national battalions. Soon we will observe buses and “export tours” in the direction of the Western region. As soon as they are “ripe” without any support and help from outside.

In other places, cities are taken into semi-encirclement, thereby inviting the defenders to leave the territory on their own. No organized military columns, heavy equipment – all these goods are being destroyed. Individually, expensive. Yes, there is a danger of the appearance of a large number of sabotage groups, however, strategically three main tasks of the special operation are being solved: minimizing losses among the civilian population and infrastructure, our units and the army of Ukraine.

For the Russian and Ukrainian military to be cutting each other up with rapture is much too a luxurious gift for Washington and the Euro-Reich. The Bandera’s “partisan detachments” will get on your nerves, but the idea of the command is not bad. They will become legitimate prey for counter-terror detachments, military police and Ramzan Kadyrov’s men from the National Guard. Who do not take terrorist prisoners, they wipe them out… wherever they may find them. Denazification in the literal sense of the word.

An even sadder fate awaits the numerous mercenaries of the EuroReich, from which they form not military units (no time), but sabotage and tactical groups. Our General Staff has already stated that it does not consider them combatants with all the ensuing consequences, no conventions on prisoners of war apply here. I am sure that a special, cruel and purposeful hunt will be conducted for these “soldiers of fortune”. Poor devils…

The third stage of the operation.

I will not tell you in detail how and where the fighting unfolds, there is enough information from professional experts in the public domain. But everything is happening strictly according to plans, we have not even started transferring reserves, and they are standing in columns in the border areas. Losses are not just tolerable (from a military statistical point of view) — insignificant. Not a single unit has been allocated for re-formation or rest, which means it is fully combat-ready.

Look at the map, estimate the distances, marches, constant clashes, regrouping, maneuvering for tens of kilometers, and remember – our guys are opposed by the third largest army in Europe and extremely motivated Nazi formations. We need to tighten up the rear, rest elementary, maintain equipment, perform a bunch of previously unforeseen actions.

There is no need to pressure anyone, to demand more decisive actions – Flags of Victory over Mariupol, Sumy, Chernihiv, Kharkov, Odessa, and even more so, useless Kiev with its three million panicked, propaganda-pumped citizens. The objectives of the operation are strategy and tactics – in this completely new page in the art of war, haste is unacceptable.

My classmate at the Academy asked yesterday in a personal post:

Why is military aid to Ukraine not destroyed right at the arrival airport?

Why is it even possible for NATO transporters to visit the airspace of Ukraine?

Do you have a feeling that our diplomats are beginning to drain the efforts of the army? … All sorts of bad thoughts are wandering around in my head.

According to point number three. There will be no drain, all the goals of the special operation will be fulfilled. This is categorically repeated every day by the hardened Lavrov, and Putin announced yesterday. The French “peacemaker” Macron is all washed up with his mediation. And Medinsky in Belovezhskaya Pushcha is subtly mocking the metrosexuals from the Ukrainian delegation. There’s no one there to talk to.

Look at the brave Commander-in-Chief Ze, how he looks. Complete disintegration of the personality under the influence of drugs. The Americans will not allow him to negotiate and his own Nazis will kill him. The task is different – to completely destroy the country, drown it in chaos, so there will be nothing left over for anyone.

The special operation does not stop, there will be no more delays. Every day of delay categorically harms us, unplanned diplomatic, political, economic and military problems appear. Only speed and onslaught, until in the West they begin to assess the situation with a cool head.

About flying transporters with NATO symbols delivering weapons. This is impossible, the sky over the Nezalezhnaya and the south of Russia is closed for flights. They will make ground deliveries from Poland. And we will not destroy such convoys with “humanitarian aid”. Why, you ask? Better ask another question — who exactly is in power in Ukraine?

Outright Nazis. They took millions of civilians hostage in cities without humanitarian corridors, drove terrified people into basements and subway stations. Poisoning people with lies about “Russian atrocities”, mass shootings, executions, violence, carpet bombing. They place civilians with machine guns near strategic command and control facilities. As in Kiev at the SBU building, closely adjacent to the St Sofia Cathedral.

Zelensky’s curators and Bandera battalions are staging a humanitarian catastrophe, leaving the towns and villages of Donbass and blowing up everything: bridges, substations, pumping stations. Remember the liberation of Ukraine and 1945, the agony of the Third Reich. The quote of the demoniac, issued in the orders on the destruction of the entire infrastructure of Germany: “if the war is lost, it absolutely does not matter that the people will die.”

It is useful to know history in order to predict the behavior of the Nazis. Such is the ideology, social norms of life, worldview.

So, military columns will not be destroyed for three reasons. Firstly, these are trophies. Secondly, weapons will not get to the combat-ready units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the national battalions of the South-East — the addressees are sitting in “cauldrons”. Thirdly, everything will be transported by ordinary civilian trucks, the rear transport of the AFU units is together with its parts, or destroyed in fleets.

Calculate and hit container trucks? Yes, you can. Just keep in mind — all the roads to the border checkpoints with “kind-hearted Europe” are clogged with columns of cars of fleeing Ukrainians for hundreds of kilometers. The traffic there is terrible. There are women and children in the cars. And Poland and Hungary did not move the inspection points into the depths of their territories, did not increase the checkpoint capacity with additional personnel.

That is, Ukrainian border guards with their “colleagues” keep people waiting for days to cross the border. Continue to describe the scenario that Kiev and Washington are counting on? Or can you figure out for yourself what kind of TV picture the whole “civilized world” expects? They dream that bloodthirsty Russians will start bombing civilian cars… or the railway.

But it is hard to believe in such scenarios, it is clear to everyone – Ukraine is completely lost, no amount of weapons will help it anymore. But some parts will definitely be delivered to Lvov, mercenaries and ideological Banderites will receive them. And then in groups proceed to commit sabotage, intimidate local administrations across the country, try to disrupt our communications and supply lines.

But this is another special operation, a police one. One that Ukrainians themselves are able to carry out with minimal Russian help, as they get over their shock. This is their land, they live here. Announce a reward of five thousand dollars for an anonymous denunciation — in a day all saboteurs and partisans will end. This is the kind of country it is.

But we’ll make it sooner…

I want to reassure you, for the twelfth day our guys are operating in a different operational and tactical reality, losses will rapidly decrease. If earlier there was a strict order not to cause even hypothetical harm to civilians, civilian objects… today it has been modified. In one sentence: “not to the detriment of the personnel of the units.” As a military man, I am completely satisfied: now the humanitarian sensitivities are over – real work will go on.

Fired at a column – in response will follow the entire military-technical menu. Such orders only work that way. Will the civilian population suffer? Yes, some losses are inevitable, but not through our fault. We do not storm cities according to Regulations, but bypass or surgically act with special forces, as in Kharkov. With the use of previously completely unknown tactics of urban combat by night maneuver groups. Let’s talk about this separately.

Let the Ukrainians pickle themselves in the cities, digesting the Banderites who have settled in and the “territorial battalions” fooled by Nazi propaganda. Who can no longer cope with looters there, never mind the “reflection of aggression”. This is not our problem now, no matter how cruel the words may sound.

The final turning point will come after the cleansing of Kharkov, blocking or taking Odessa. All the heroic self-defense forces of other settlements will dissolve by themselves, obvious signs of a humanitarian catastrophe are already visible in the surrounded cities. The fog, when it is completely fake, subsides most quickly in the dark, invigorating coolness and on an empty stomach.

The population is not morally ready to stand to the last. Ukrainian social networks are already full of messages from places where local administrations remained after the arrival of the Russian Army, food is being delivered smoothly, street lighting is on, local police control the streets. With each new day, the fake hysteria will subside, the thought will come to the drugged heads: what next?

Will the encircled Banderites begin to commit atrocities in their impotent anger? Well, Ukrainians should also carry this cross on their own. Of course, we will try to do everything to rescue children and the elderly. But Putin will not allow to bear sensitive losses, this is not that war.

It was not us who raised the fiend of hell, nurtured it, allowed it to seize power and hostages in the person of an entire nation. It was not us, who armed them and sent them to kill Donbass, taught them to hate Russians. Criminal indifference and complicity is also a punishable act. Not by us, by life itself.”

I agree that in some places it is very cynical, but this is only from the point of view of a civilian. Any military action –that is a different reality…

ТГ «СпокойноМаша»

Alexander Dubrovsky

https://alex-o-mire

خارطة لآخر تطورات العملية العسكرية الروسية.. والحصيلة حتى اليوم الرابع عشر

الأربعاء 9 آذار 2022

 الميادين نت

وزارة الدفاع الروسية تكشف حصيلة العملية العسكرية الروسية في أوكرانيا حتى يومها الرابع عشر.

خارطة لآخر التطورات الميدانية (9-3-2022)

أعلن الناطق الرسمي باسم وزارة الدفاع الروسية، إيغور كوناشينكوف، اليوم الأربعاء، أنّ “90% من المطارات العسكرية الأوكرانية، حيث كان يتمركز الجزء الرئيسي من الطائرات العسكرية، توقفت عن العمل”.

وقال كوناشينكوف في إحاطة إعلامية: “90% من المطارات العسكرية الأوكرانية، حيث كان يتمركز الجزء الرئيسي من الطائرات العسكرية، قد توقفت عن العمل”، مضيفاً: “في بداية العملية الخاصة، كان لدى القوات المسلحة الأوكرانية ما يصل إلى 250 طائرة مقاتلة ومروحية صالحة للخدمة. ودمرت القوات الجوية الروسية 89 طائرة مقاتلة و57 مروحية”.

وأضاف: “في الـ 9 من آذار/ مارس، دمرت طائرات قاذفة وطائرات هجومية تابعة للقوات الجوية الروسية 49 منشأة عسكرية، وهي: موقعا قيادة، و6 أنظمة صواريخ مضادة للطائرات، و4 مستودعات للذخيرة والوقود، و37 منطقة تتركز فيها الأسلحة والمعدات العسكرية، وفي المجموع تم تدمير 2786 منشأة من مرافق البنية التحتية العسكرية في أوكرانيا خلال العملية”.

وأوضح كوناشينكوف: “تحاول قيادة القوات الأوكرانية تعويض النقص في المعلومات حول الوضع الجوي من خلال الحصول على بيانات مركز قيادة القوات الجوية في فينيتسا الآتية من طائرات “اي3ا” التابعة لنظام أواكس-الناتو”.

ونشرت وزارة الدفاع الروسية، في وقتٍ سابق اليوم، وثائق سرية لقيادة الحرس الوطني الأوكراني تؤكد استعداد كييف لعملية هجومية في دونباس في آذار/مارس 2022.

وأعلنت روسيا أمس وقفاً لإطلاق النار في عدة مدن أوكرانية، منذ الساعة الـ7 بتوقيت غرينتش. وأكدت وزارة الدفاع الروسية فتح ممراتٍ إنسانيةٍ من كييف وتشيرنهيف وسومي وخاركيف وماريوبول. 

يُذكَر أنّ روسيا بدأت عمليةً عسكريةً في أوكرانيا، في الـ 24 من شباط/فبراير، تلبيةً لطلب جمهوريتي دونيتسك ولوغانسك الشعبيتين في منطقة دونباس.

March 08, 2022

فيديوات متعلقة

مقالات متعلقة

Meeting of the Joint Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine (March 8, 2022)

March 08, 2022

Channel: https://t.me/mod_russia_en : First post link of various: https://t.me/mod_russia_en/73

 Taking into account the rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the settlements of Ukraine, where nationalists continue to forcibly detain thousands of civilians, including foreigners, yesterday the Russian side, despite repeated failures of all agreements by Kiev authorities, came up with another initiative to conduct a humanitarian operation. At the same time, we have completed all preparation for the evacuation of civilians and foreign citizens through safe corridors.

 Unfortunately, out of the ten routes suggested to the Ukrainian side – two from Kiev, Chernigov, Sumy, Kharkov and Mariupol – including one from each city to the Russian Federation, as well as one through the territories controlled by the Kiev authorities to Poland, Moldova, Romania, official Kiev confirmed only one route – from Sumy through Poltava further to the border with Poland.

 At present, thanks to the unprecedented security measures taken by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, 723 people have been evacuated along this route (among them: 576 are citizens of India, 115 of China, 20 of Jordan, 12 of Tunisia).

 In addition, Russia, without the participation of the Ukrainian side, evacuated 5,334 people from dangerous zones in various regions of Ukraine, as well as the Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics, including 781 children. Since the beginning of the special military operation more than 174,000 people have been evacuated including 44,250 children. The state border of the Russian Federation was crossed by 20,033 personal vehicles including 777 per day.

 At present, also without the participation of the Ukrainian side, a humanitarian operation is being completed to evacuate 223 foreign citizens from dangerous areas of Kherson region, through Crimea to Novorossiysk, including 188 people from Turkey, 15 from Egypt, 8 from Italy, 6 from Pakistan and 5 from India, as well as 1 from Brazil. But these figures will increase as the operation is still ongoing.

 At the same time, the official Kiev authorities continue to reject all the main evacuation routes from Kiev, Chernigov, Sumy, Kharkov and Mariupol to the territory of the Russian Federation. I would like to remind the Ukrainian side that in our database, 2,541,367 appeals have already been recorded through various communication channels from citizens of Ukraine, as well as foreigners, with requests to rescue and evacuate them from 1,917 settlements of Ukraine.

This database contains the names, surnames and addresses of these people, heartbreaking stories about the difficult humanitarian situation, about the horrors and atrocities perpetrated by nationalists, murders, physical violence and illegal arrests.

If we had basic confidence in the Ukrainian authorities, then we could give them this database in order to dispel the speculation that no one wants to go to the Russian Federation. But for obvious reasons, we cannot do this. As soon as the database is in the hands of the nationalists, all Ukrainian citizens who have applied for help will face persecution, humiliation, torture and execution.

For the same reason, we are afraid to give this information on to representatives of the United Nations, since detailed information about the citizens of Ukraine may also fall into the hands of nationalists.

 Official representatives of the Kiev authorities and mayors of cities received the strictest instructions to prevent any attempt to evacuate to the Russian Federation. Citizens simply do not receive information about a possible evacuation to Russia and the creation of humanitarian corridors.

Any attempts to exit through humanitarian corridors to the Russian Federation are suppressed by the nationalists. We have already told you about this. Any additional comments here are unnecessary.

But no matter how the situation develops, no matter what measures are taken by the Kiev regime, including with the assistance of short-sighted, unscrupulous UN employees, as well as other international organizations to conceal their monstrous crimes, sooner or later, the civilized world will learn about all the atrocities against its people.

This database will become direct evidence of lawlessness and crimes of the Kiev authorities against the citizens of Ukraine.

 The Kiev regime, as a result of the loss of civil law administration in cities and towns, with its helpless actions, in practice, supports the chaos reigning in the territories controlled by Bandera gangs, does not notice the numerous facts of looting, which have already assumed catastrophic proportions.

This says that official Kiev does not control the state of affairs in its own country and cannot ensure the fulfillment of its obligations. All fundamental decisions are essentially taken by the nationalists and their accomplices.

Radical gangs continue to intimidate civilians, threatening them with murder when they try to evacuate towards Russia.

At the same time, the checkpoints in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Moldova and Romania unprepared to receive Ukrainian refugees trying to find protection from the terror organized by the territorial defence battalions. Traffic jams at border crossings. People are forced to abandon vehicles and walk with heavy bags. The queues stretched up to 40 kilometers, and the passage time exceeded two days.

At the same time, there are no toilets, no water, no food at the checkpoints, there are no heating points and medical care. People are forced to stay outside for days at sub-zero temperatures. Numerous cases of physical violence, robberies, looting against Ukrainian refugees and foreign citizens were recorded by local criminals, who, in addition, demand a bribe of up to one and a half thousand US dollars for organizing unimpeded passage.

Various restrictions on admission have been introduced. In particular, male persons aged 18 to 60 years are not allowed to enter the territory of Poland without permission from Ukrainian military enlistment offices. But corrupt border guards offer a bribe of up to $5,000 to cross the border without hindrance.

After crossing the border, refugees face numerous problems related to the lack of basic conditions for accommodation and recreation.  In neighboring states, tent camps without any amenities are provided for their accommodation.

Despite the inconsistency of the actions of the Kiev authorities, we are ready to patiently wait for constructive work on humanitarian issues from them and hope for close cooperation with the relevant structures of the UN, the OSCE and other international organizations. Now, more than ever, it is important to get away from the political engagement of the humanitarian component, as a high-level official did immorally from the rostrum of the United Nations. This is extremely important for every person who finds himself in the most difficult humanitarian conditions in the settlements of Ukraine.

Since yesterday, the Joint Coordination Headquarters of the Russian Federation for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine has organized effective interaction with UN representatives, who, after the appeal of UN Secretary General António Guterres to the Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation, officially arrived in Moscow and are in contact with us around the clock.

 Militants of the territorial defence battalions continue to hold hostage as a human shield more than four and a half million civilians, as well as about two thousand foreigners who have already expressed a desire to evacuate to safe places. Information about cases of discrimination against human rights on racial grounds by neo-Nazis continues to come in.

At the same time, the Russian side is creating the necessary conditions for a peaceful and safe life in all the liberated territories, ensuring unimpeded access of the population to any humanitarian aid.

 More than 9,000 temporary accommodation centers continue to function normally in almost all regions of the Russian Federation. Strictly individual work is organized with each person arriving in Russia.

 The accumulation of humanitarian aid at points continues, more than 15,500 tons have already been accumulated.

946 tons of humanitarian cargo have already been delivered to Ukraine, 132 humanitarian actions have been carried out in the settlements of Zaporozhye, Kiev, Kharkov, Kherson and Chernigov regions, as well as in the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. Over the past day 22 humanitarian actions were carried out in Kiev and Chernigov regions, as well as in the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, during which 325 tons of basic necessities were handed over to the civilian population of the liberated regions, medicines and food.

To date, 33 humanitarian actions have been planned and are currently being carried out in Kharkov and Kherson regions, in Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, during which 341 tons of basic necessities, medicine and food will be distributed.

Extremely important statements by Putin (MUST SEE!)

MARCH 07, 2022

As some of you know, Putin spoke at length with a group of Russian flight attendants.  This is such an important statement that I asked one of our interpreters (thanks E.!) to subtitle the video.  I am also posting the transcript below.  In this exchange, Putin spells out in quite some details WHAT Russia is doing and WHY she is doing it.
Andrei
PS: please press “cc” to see the English language captions

Putin explains the military situation and why Ukraine might lose its future

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijDurbjevnQ

Translated and subtitled by Eugenia

My question concerns the current situation in Ukraine. We all support your actions and the special operation that is underway there. Naturally, the most important question, which, one way or another, all of us have asked ourselves, is why this special operation has started. Could it not have been avoided? Rationally, we do understand and support your actions, but as women we cannot help but worry: for our family, relatives, for those who are in Ukraine. We know that the civilians are not impacted. But nevertheless, tell us, reassure us: what are we to expect at the end of this road? What will be the end result of the military operation in Ukraine?

I will be brief but still will have to start, as they say, from “the center of the field”. I said about this at the start of the operation and also spoke about this before this decision has been made, a hard decision, without a doubt.

What is this about? The fact of the matter is that after the anti-constitutional coup in Ukraine, which, unfortunately, was strongly supported by the Western countries – let us face it. They do not even hide the fact that they have spent $5 billion on it, not to mention cookies given away on Maidan, and so on. And after that, instead of bringing the situation back on track, even if it had spiraled out of control, even if it had been the act of the overzealous locals – there is such legal term, i.e. planned one thing, but the result turned out to be something else – they still could have, and should have, returned the situation back onto the political track.

Furthermore, shortly before the coup, the foreign ministers of the three countries came to Kiev in 2014 and signed an agreement with the Ukrainian government acting as guarantors of this agreement to ensure that the situation would be developing in the political sphere. But nothing like that occurred. They organized a coup d’état and supported the perpetrators. What followed were the well-known events related to the Crimea and the southeast of Ukraine, Donbass, where people refused to support the coup. As we know, the Crimea made a decision; people came to vote in a referendum to return to the Russian Federation. Naturally, yes, naturally, we cannot but support that decision, al the more so, since they felt they were in danger from the nationalists and neo-Nazis. There is strong evidence that they were absolutely right in that.

Later, or, rather, in parallel, the events in Donbass were taking place. What have these events led to? People resisting the results of the coup were persecuted. Eventually, the new Kiev authorities initiated a military operation on that territory. They have conducted two large-scale punitive operations using of heavy weapons and combat aviation. They directly attacked Donetsk destroying the city squares with aviation, using tanks and artillery. Both these military campaigns failed. The Ukrainian army suffered defeat. After that, so-called Minsk agreements, or the Package of Measures, to use the official term, have been concluded. The agreements offered a path for a peaceful settlement of the conflict.

We did everything we could to direct the events along this path, to restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine as well as to protects the interests of the people living in these territories. What did these people demand? Nothing but the basic things: the right to speak their mother tongue, i.e. the Russian, and maintain their traditions and culture. These were by no means extraordinary demands. But no. These territories were put under economic blockade; disconnected from the banking system; the supplies of food were stopped; the payments of the pensions and social assistance were suspended. Sometimes, some handouts were given, but in order to get those pensions and benefits a person had to cross the separation line.

Now listen. I will now say something that may sound rough but the situation compels me to say it. You know that occasionally in some regions packs of stray dogs attack people, injure or even kill them (this is a separate problem, and it is for the local authorities to deal with). But then these animals are poisoned or shot dead. But people of Donbass are not stray dogs. Approximately 13,000-14,000 people have been killed during these years. Over 500 children have been killed or injured. But what is particularly intolerable is that the so-called “civilized” West has preferred all these years to look the other way. All these years – 8 years! Eight years!

Moreover, lately the Kiev authorities started to say openly and publicly that they are not going to fulfill the Minsk agreements. They are saying this from the TV screens and online. They are saying this everywhere on the record: We don’t like them; we will not do it. And all this time, Russia has been accused of not fulfilling the agreements. This is simply nonsense; the theater of the absurd; white is called black and black is called white. Lately, things got even worse. Actually, the talk has started long ago, but intensified of late. More and more often we hear that Ukraine would be admitted into NATO. Do you understand what this could lead to? Or can lead to still?

If Ukraine is a NATO member, then according to the North Atlantic Treaty, all other members must support the country in case of a military conflict. No one besides us has recognized Crimea as a Russian territory. The yare conducting military operations in Donbas but also could move onto Crimea, and in such case we would have to fight with the whole of NATO. What is that? Do you understand the consequences? I think everyone understands.

Now they (Ukraine) are talking about acquiring the nuclear status, i.e. developing nuclear weapons. We cannot possibly ignore such things, particularly considering that we know how the so-called West behaves with regard to Russia. First, Ukraine has some nuclear competence left from the Soviet time. As far as enrichment and nuclear material are concerned, they would be able to organize that work. They have missile abilities: suffice is to mention Yuzhmush. This company used to build intercontinental ballistic missile equipment for the Soviet Union. They could recover that ability and do it. And those from across the ocean would even help them do it. And after that would say: “Well, we do not recognize the nuclear status; they have done everything themselves”. And then they would put these complexes under control, and from that moment on, from that very second, the fate of Russia will be completely different. Because in that case, our strategic adversaries would not even need intercontinental ballistic missiles. They would keep us right here at the nuclear gunpoint, that is all. How could we disregard such a thing? These are absolutely real threats, not some far-fetched silly fantasy.

Our boys who are now fighting and risking their lives, they are fighting and giving their lives for our future, for the future of our children. This is something perfectly obvious. And the people who do not want to understand that, particularly those among today’s leaders (of Ukraine), have to understand that if they keep doing what the have been doing – I have spoken about this before – they put at risk the very future of the Ukrainian statehood. If this happens, that will be entirely their fault.

What is going on now? I have already mentioned our objectives in this operation. First, of course, is to protect the people living in Donbass. How? By demilitarizing and denazifying Ukraine as well as establishing its neutral status. Why? Because the neutral status means Ukraine will not be joining NATO. They have it written in the Constitution that the country will be joining NATO. You understand – they have included that into the Constitution!

Denazification – what does this mean? I have spoken with my Western colleagues about this. They say:” What is the problem? You also have the radical nationalists”. Yes, we do. But we do not have them in the government, but everybody agrees that they (the Ukrainians) do. Perhaps, we have some idiots running around with swastika, but do we support that at the government level? Do thousands of people march with torches and swastikas on the streets of our capital or other cities in Russia, like it happened in 1930s in Nazi Germany? Is something like that happening in Russia? But it happens in Ukraine, and it is supported. Do we support those who killed the Russians, Jews, or the Poles during the war? Do we hail them as heroes? But in Ukraine, they do.

The current events are also very important. Look, the foreign citizens have been taken hostages in Sumy and Kharkov – over 6,000 young people, students. They have been driven together into a railway station and kept there for 3 days. Listen, they have been held there for the third day. We have told everybody about this and informed the current Ukrainian authorities. They said: “Yes, yes, of course, we will deal this this right now”. We have informed the leaders of the major European countries, I personally talked to them. “Yes, yes, we will put pressure on Ukraine right now”. We informed the UN Secretary-General: “Yes, yes, we will solve the problem right away”. Nobody is doing anything.

People who are considered the citizens of Ukraine are treated even worse. They are simply used as a human shield. Right now, in this very moment, this is happening in Mariupol. The Kiev government called our military: ”Provide humanitarian corridors so people could leave”. Naturally, our people instantly responded, even suspended the military activities, and were observing what was happening. But no one was allowed to leave. You understand, no one was allowed out. They do not anybody leave but instead use the people as a human shield. Who are they? The neo-Nazis, of course.

We already observe the presence of the militants from the Middle East and some European countries. We know about them; we can hear them speak on the radio. They are using so-called jihad-mobiles, i.e. cars stuffed with explosives, which they drive towards the Russian troops. But they do not achieve anything, and they will fail in the end. Who are they, then, if not neo-Nazis? By such actions, they are destroying their own country and their own statehood.

That is why one of our key demands is demilitarization. In other words, we are helping people of Donbass by working towards the neutral status of Ukraine and the demilitarization of the country. We have to know with certainty what weapons are there, where they are deployed, and who controls them. A number of options are on the table. We are discussing them now, including with the Kiev government representatives in our talks in Belarus. We are grateful to the President Lukashenko for organizing the meetings and helping us to conduct these negotiations. Our proposals are on the table for the groups of the negotiators from Kiev to study. We hope that Kiev will respond positively to our proposals. This is pretty much all I wanted to say.

Please, let us continue.

Schvidko, Yulia, the second pilot of the Aeroflot airline. Vladimir Vladimirovich, good afternoon. My question is about the current situation. Many rumors are circulating about possible introduction of the marshal law, drafting of volunteers and reservists, and that the draftees will be sent to Ukraine. Could you clarify whether the marshal law will be declared and whether the drafted soldiers will be deployed to Ukraine.

Many of what we now see and what is happening is undoubtedly a technique to fight against Russia. By the way, the sanctions imposed today are close to a declaration of a war. But fortunately, we are not there yet. I believe that our so-called “partners” still retain some understanding of what a war would mean and what danger it presents for everybody. That is despite that irresponsible statements, such as made by the British Foreign Minister, when she blurted that NATO could involve itself in the conflict. At that point, we had to immediately make a decision to put our strategic forces on high alert. They reacted by saying that they did not mean anything of the sort. However, nobody put the Minister in her place, and nobody disavowed her statement. No one said anything to us about that statement, like it was her personal opinion, do not pay attention, or something like that. Nothing. What are we supposed to think about that? That is why we reacted the way we did.

Now about your question. The marshal law is introduced by the order of the President supported by the Federation Council in the case of the external aggression, specifically in the regions where the military activity takes place. We are not in that situation now, and I hope will not be. This is first. The second point – there is also, in addition to the marshal law, a special status. This status is also declared by the Federation Council in case of a significant internal threat. The third regime is the state of emergency, which is usually declared in particular regions, although could also be adopted in the entire territory of the country. This regime is for technological and natural disasters. Thanks God, this is also not happening. We are not planning to declare any of these regimes on the territory of the Russian Federation. There is no need for that today.

We can see that attempts are being made to stir up trouble in our society, which is again a conformation of my words that we are dealing with not just the radicals but with the neo-Nazis. Here people are expressing their opinion about what they like or dislike in our action in Ukraine. But there, in Ukraine, people that express the opinions similar to those expressed by the so-called ‘liberal” part of our society, are being detained on the streets and shot – we do have confirmation of that. Our special services are now collecting this information and we will be presenting it soon. Our liberal intellectuals are protesting, whereas in Ukraine people that say anything in favor of Russia are been executed without trial.

I repeat, that the marshal law is declared in case of the external aggression, which I hope will not happen despite irresponsible statements of some officials. We hear that a no fly zone should be established over the Ukrainian territory. This is impossible to do in the territory of Ukraine itself; this is only possible to organize from the territories of the neighboring countries. However, we will consider any movement in this direction as active participation in the military conflict by a country, the territory of which is used to create danger for our servicemen. We will in a second consider them as a party to the military conflict. I hope this is also understood, and it will not come to that.

Only professional military personnel are taking part in this operation, officers and contract servicemen. Not a single drafted soldier is participating, and we are not planning to send them to Ukraine, and we will not. I repeat only men who have made a voluntary responsible decision in their lives – to defend their country – are in Ukraine, and they are doing their duty with honor. Why this is the case, why we have the right to say these words, I have just explained to you. This also applied to reserve personnel undergoing periodic military training – we are not planning to deploy them to Ukraine. They are summoned to the military training on the regular basis – this happens now and will be happening in the future – but we will not enlist these people for the active military service, and they will not participate in this conflict. We have sufficient resources to achieve our objectives employing only our professional army.

I would like to comment on the military operation itself. I know many rumors and stories are being circulating. I do not have much time to learn about this, but I have been informed that people talk a lot about what is happening and how the operation is proceeding. All analysts know what is going on, so I am not going to reveal any secrets here. We could have acted in many different ways. We could have helped the Donbass republics directly on the separation line, i.e. on the front, using our Russian army to support them. But in such case, considering the unconditional support by the West of the radical nationalists, the Ukrainian side would have received constant support by weapons, material, ammunition, and all.

That is why our General Staff and the Ministry of Defense decided on a different strategy. First that was done is the elimination of the military infrastructure. Not entirely, but largely. The weapon depots, ammunition depots, aviation, air defense systems. The destruction of the air defense systems requires certain time. You are civilians but you do work in aviation. You understand that these systems need to be uncovered and then destroyed; by now this work is largely done. That is what brings about the demands for a no fly zone. However, an attempt to put this into effect would lead to enormous and catastrophic consequences not only for Europe, but also for the entire world. I do believe that the people on the other side do understand that. That is why we have chosen this path, correctly, as it turned out. Our military is working responsibly doing everything possible to protect the civilians. Unfortunately, those neo-Nazi bandits do not have any consideration for the people. They even shoot their own servicemen who do not want to continue fighting – we do have evidence of that. Yes, those nationalists, neo-Nazis shoot their own servicemen. The nationalists are embedded in practically every Ukrainian military unit, several dozens of them in each, and they act in such a cruel way.

I repeat one more time: we will not deploy draftees or reservists to Ukraine to participate in this military operation. I am convinced that our army will achieve all our objectives. I do not doubt that for a second. This is evident from the way the operation is proceeding, which is strictly according to the plan, to the schedule; all is happening the way it had been planned by the General Staff. Oh, regarding volunteers, the young people who come to the recruiting stations – we are grateful to them for their patriotic sentiments, the desire to support their country and its army in this time. The very fact that they come is significant. However, their help is not required at this time. And I am convinced will not be needed. Now I am turning towards the camera. They will see me and hear what I am saying – thank you.

MOD Russia: Statement on telegram channel + Briefing

March 07, 2022

https://t.me/mod_russia_en

Regular meeting of the Joint Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine in Moscow

According to the Head of the National Centre for State Defence Control Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev, the Ukrainian side has not fulfilled a single condition for the creation of humanitarian corridors.

Speech by the Head of the National Centre for State Defence Control of the Russian Federation Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev (March 7, 2022)

Dear colleagues!

 Unfortunately, a detailed and well-planned operation to open humanitarian corridors and declare cease-fire regime simultaneously in several of the most threatened areas should have brought at least some positive results in order to save people who are in a terrible humanitarian catastrophe.

 For the exit of civilians and foreign citizens forcibly held by the Ukrainian authorities in Kiev, Kharkov, Sumy and Mariupol, the Russian Armed Forces today once again established cease-fire and opened humanitarian corridors:

from Kiev to Gomel, with transfer by air transport to the Russian Federation;
from Mariupol by two routes to Rostov-on-Don and Zaporozhye with departure to the west of Ukraine, from Kharkov to Belgorod,
from Sumy along two routes to Poltava, at the suggestion of the Ukrainian side and Belgorod – then by air, rail and road transport to selected destination points or places of temporary accommodation.

 Yesterday, from 10:00 to 11:40 p.m., this information was brought to the official representatives of the Kiev authorities, representatives of foreign embassies, relevant structures of the UN, the OSCE, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other international organizations through all information resources, including the media.

Only today at 7:10 a.m., an official response from the Ukrainian side was received with consent to open humanitarian corridors. But at the same time, the Kiev regime, in agreement, deliberately did not include the openning of humanitarian corridors in the direction of the Russian Federation from Kiev, Kharkov, Mariupol and Sumy.

The residents of these and other settlements were not informed about the possibility of unhindered safe evacuation.

 The requests of the Ukrainian side, voiced to us less than three hours before the opening of humanitarian corridors, look absurd:

 1st is to ensure evacuation from Bucha, Borodyanka, Irpen, Dymer and Ivankovo settlements in Kiev region, as well as Lipci and Strilecha settlements in Kharkov region, which are under control of the Russian Armed Forces. At the same time, none of the residents of these settlements expressed a desire to evacuate, people live peacefully in their homes, nothing threatens them;
 2nd is to organize the evacuation from Izyum and Bakaleya cities in Kharkov region, which are under the full control of national battalions, where the Russian Armed Forces have nothing to do with ensuring security in these cities; 3rd is to deliver humanitarian cargo by official Kiev to Melitopol and Berdyansk in Zaporozhye region and to Kherson. There are absolutely no problems in supplying these settlements today.

 All of the facts above say that the Ukrainian leadership has completely lost control over the state of affairs in their own country, is unable to resolve any issues, being under the harsh influence of radicals, who are actually a parallel government that does not recognize any laws.

 As of 1:00 p.m., the Ukrainian side has not fulfilled a single condition for the creation of humanitarian corridors. We observed by means of objective control, including unmanned aerial vehicles – not a single event for the preparation of humanitarian convoys was carried out, no one arrived at the open humanitarian corridors.

It is known that the nationalists, under the threat of physical violence, simply do not let civilians and foreign citizens out of these settlements.

 From 10:00 a.m., on the contrary, we note intensive movement of armed people on the front line in all directions, artillery and mortar fire did not stop for a second. During these three hours alone, on all six humanitarian corridors declared by the Russian Armed Forces, 172 shellings from the armed forces of Ukraine and nationalists were recorded. In this case, we are talking about shelling areas directly located or adjacent to the alleged humanitarian corridors.

In Mariupol, any attempts by the civilian population and foreign citizens to move in the direction of the gathering places for humanitarian convoys were severely suppressed, up to the use of weapons to kill.

In addition, the mayor of Sumy, Alexander Lysenko with the commander of the national battalion, at 11:55 a.m.officially announced: “There will be no green corridors, not a single civilian will go to Russia, and those who try to do this will be shot.”

 We know why the Kiev regime, by all available and inaccessible methods, in every possible way prevents the exit of civilians and foreigners to Russia, and in fact, they afraid that people will tell the truth about lawlessness and chaos, humiliation and suffering, as well as genocide organized by this inhuman regime.

Millions of Ukrainians, thousands of foreign citizens also found themselves in the information blockade. Nobody tells the truth to people. Even the notification of civilians and foreigners about the possibility of using safe humanitarian corridors towards Russia is not carried out, and the Ukrainian media broadcast false information that Russia does not provides these corridors.

 At the same time, on the border of Ukraine in Kiev region, as well as in Sudzha, Kursk region, in Nekhoteevka, Belgorod region, in Novoazovsk city, Rostov region, four columns of comfortable large buses, with a total number of 367 seats, with a total capacity of up to 12.5 thousand passengers. These thousands of people could find themselves in a calm and safe environment today. Unfortunately, this did not happen due to the fault of the Ukrainian authorities.

 We keep chronology of all the actions of the Ukrainian side, archiving the materials of objective control. We are doing this, in order to tell the Ukrainian people later who lied to them, who used them as a human shield.

We record in detail the positions, last names, first names of all representatives of the Kiev authorities who are interacting with us today on humanitarian issues at this difficult time for ordinary Ukrainians. We will tell about the actions and inaction, about the betrayal and lies of official and unofficial officials who are indifferent to the fate of their own people.

Kiev officials continue to accuse the Russian Armed Forces of allegedly failing to comply with the promised cease-fire and brazenly lie to representatives of foreign embassies in Kiev, Lvov and Odessa and other cities about the Russian side’s failure to fulfill the conditions for ensuring the security of humanitarian corridors. This is a blatant provocation, lies and deceit.

 We continue to work with all interested parties and today, more than ever, we call on the UN, the OSCE, the International Committee of the Red Cross, all the power, all the potential of your organizations to force the representatives of Kiev authorities to fulfill the humanitarian obligations enshrined in the Geneva Convention.

Yesterday, numerous facts were recorded in Kharkov, Sumy and other cities, when militants of nationalist battalions shot civilians, accusing them of complicity with Russia.

 In Mariupol, on the first floor of a school building located on Svobody Avenue, nationalists of the territorial defence battalions created a strong point, placing heavy weapons on the lower floors and placing groups of snipers on the roof. At the same time, the militants hide behind the backs of innocent citizens, forcibly holding the residents of the nearest houses in the school.

 And the latest information looks quite cynical. Officials with whom we interacted during the preparation of today’s humanitarian operation have just published an official message on the information resource that the exit of civilians was disrupted through the fault of the Russian Federation, allegedly due to inconsistency in the routes of humanitarian corridors.

1,634 foreigners are kept as human shields by Kiev radicals, including:

in Kharkov – 257 citizens of Jordan (200), Egypt (40), Vietnam (15) and Indonesia (2);
in Sumy – 1,140 citizens of India (576), Tanzania (159), China (121), Ghana (100), Jordan (70), Egypt (60), Pakistan (16), Tunisia (15), Zambia (14 ), Kazakhstan (8) and Serbia (1);
in Mariupol – 88 citizens of Turkey (70) and Kazakhstan (18);
in Kherson – 15 Egyptian citizens;
in Odessa – 7 Indonesian citizens;
in Kiev – 20 citizens of the Republic of Togo (7), Great Britain (7) and the Republic of Benin (6);
in Chernigov – 21 citizens of Pakistan (12) and Indonesia (9).

 Regarding the fate of these foreign citizens, we are working around the clock with the relevant diplomatic departments of these states.

 In regions of Russia, temporary accommodation centres have been increased to 9 thousand places, all of them are ready for individual work with citizens arriving from Ukraine.

 To date, more than 168,000 people have been evacuated from the zones of the special military operation, including 43,469 children.

19,256 personal vehicles have crossed the state border of the Russian Federation.

 The federal executive authorities, together with the constituent entities of Russia, various public organizations, and patriotic movements, have already prepared more than 15,000 tons of humanitarian cargo.

The EMERCOM, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia, Rosreestr and Rosrezerv, Tula, Moscow, Yaroslavl, Belgorod, Voronezh, Kursk and Rostov regions, as well as the Republic of Crimea were most actively involved in this important work.

882 tons of humanitarian cargo have already been delivered to Ukraine, 110 humanitarian actions have been carried out, including 30 actions in Kiev and Chernigov regions, as well as in the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics over the past day, during which 325 tons of basic necessities were handed over to the civilian population of the liberated regions, medicine and food.

In addition, 50 tons of foods were delivered from the Syrian Arab Republic and 14 tons of basic necessities from Nagorno-Karabakh for subsequent transfer to the population of Kiev and Zaporozhye regions.

To date, 48 humanitarian actions have been planned and are currently being carried out in Kiev, Zaporozhye, Kharkov, Kherson and Chernigov regions, during which 341 tons of basic necessities, medicine and food will be distributed.

 All necessary conditions have been created in the Russian Federation to welcome refugees.

At checkpoints and places of temporary accommodation, rest rooms are equipped, hot meals are provided, mobile medical stations are deployed, logistic is organized for departure to the regions of Russia, and delivery of foreign citizens to their homeland is provided.

Briefing by Russian Defence Ministry (March 7, 6:00 p.m.)

 The grouping of troops of Lugansk People’s Republic, continuing offensive operations, took control of Kudryashovka, Voronovo, Metelkino, Medvezhye, Askoronovka, Petrovka, Aleksandrovka.

 The units of the People’s Militia of Donetsk People’s Republic established control over Latmoye, Berezovoe, Yasnoye, Maksimovka and Valerianovka.

 Today, from 10:00 a.m. Moscow time, in accordance with the declared cease-fire, all military operations in the area of Mariupol were completely stopped.

According to civilians who escaped from the city, the situation in Mariupol occupied by the nationalists is difficult. People are hiding in basements. Due to the lack of electricity and gas in their homes, they are forced to cook their food on the street, at the stake.

 The militants disperse them. Nationalists open fire on all civilians trying to leave their homes. People are forced to paint on the walls and doors of houses: “don’t shoot – children are here!”.

However, the Nazis, using terrorist tactics, deploy their firing positions in houses with inscriptions “do not shoot – children are here!”.

 The units of the Russian Armed Forces took control of Novoukrainskoye, Staromayorskoye, Staromlynovka, Mayorovo and Removka. All civilians of the liberated settlements are provided with humanitarian assistance.

 The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue to strike at the military infrastructure of Ukraine.

 Bomber and assault aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces destroyed 26 military facilities.

 Among them: 2 command posts, 1 radar station, 5 ammunition depots and 11 areas of concentration of weapons and military equipment.

  Briefing by Chief of Russian NBC Protection troops

 The Chief of the NBC Protection troops of the Russian Federation Armed Forces Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov emphasises that the biological programmes that had been in progress by order of the US Defence Threat Reduction Agency are being under an urgent suspension.

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