Electric War

November 24, 2022

by Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and widely cross-posted

Current Russian tactics are the absolute opposite of the military theory of concentrated force developed by Napoleon, Pepe Escobar writes.

Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.

T.S. Eliot, Burnt Norton

Spare a thought to the Polish farmer snapping pics of a missile wreckage – later indicated to belong to a Ukrainian S-300. So a Polish farmer, his footfalls echoing in our collective memory, may have saved the world from WWIII – unleashed via a tawdry plot concocted by Anglo-American “intelligence”.

Such tawdriness was compounded by a ridiculous cover-up: the Ukrainians were firing on Russian missiles from a direction that they could not possibly be coming from. That is: Poland. And then the U.S. Secretary of Defense, weapons peddler Lloyd “Raytheon” Austin, sentenced Russia was to blame anyway, because his Kiev vassals were shooting at Russian missiles that should not have been in the air (and they were not).

Call it the Pentagon elevating bald lying into a rather shabby art.

The Anglo-American purpose of this racket was to generate a “world crisis” against Russia. It’s been exposed – this time. That does not mean the usual suspects won’t try it again. Soon.

The main reason is panic. Collective West intel sees how Moscow is finally mobilizing their army – ready to hit the ground next month – while knocking out Ukraine’s electricity infrastructure as a form of Chinese torture.

Those February days of sending only 100,000 troops – and having the DPR and LPR militias plus Wagner commandos and Kadyrov’s Chechens do most of the heavy lifting – are long gone. Overall, Russians and Russophones were facing hordes of Ukrainian military – perhaps as many as 1 million. The “miracle” of it all is that Russians did quite well.

Every military analyst knows the basic rule: an invasion force should number three times the defending force. The Russian Army at the start of the SMO was at a small fraction of that rule. The Russian Armed Forces arguably have a standing army of 1.3 million troops. Surely they could have spared a few tens of thousands more than the initial 100,000. But they did not. It was a political decision.

But now SMO is over: this is CTO (Counter-Terrorist Operation) territory. A sequence of terrorist attacks – targeting the Nord Streams, the Crimea Bridge, the Black Sea Fleet – finally demonstrated the inevitability of going beyond a mere “military operation”.

And that brings us to Electric War.

Paving the way to a DMZ

The Electric War is being handled essentially as a tactic – leading to the eventual imposition of Russia’s terms in a possible armistice (which neither Anglo-American intel and vassal NATO want).

Even if there was an armistice – widely touted for a few weeks now – that would not end the war. Because the deeper, tacit Russian terms – end of NATO expansion and “indivisibility of security” – were fully spelled out to both Washington and Brussels last December, and subsequently dismissed.

As nothing – conceptually – has changed since then, coupled with the Western weaponization of Ukraine reaching a frenzy, the Putin-era Stavka could not but expand the initial SMO mandate, which remains denazification and demilitarization. Yet now the mandate will have to encompass Kiev and Lviv.

And that starts with the current de-electrification campaign – which goes way beyond the east of the Dnieper and along the Black Sea coast towards Odessa.

That brings us to the key issue of reach and depth of Electric War, in terms of setting up what would be a DMZ – complete with no man’s land – west of the Dnieper to protect Russian areas from NATO artillery, HIMARS and missile attacks.

How deep? 100 km? Not enough. Rather 300 km – as Kiev has already requested artillery with that kind of range.

What’s crucial is that way back in July this was already being extensively discussed in Moscow at the highest Stavka levels.

In an extensive July interview, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov let the cat – diplomatically – out of the bag:

“This process continues, consistently and persistently. It will continue as long as the West, in its impotent rage, desperate to aggravate the situation as much as possible, continues to flood Ukraine with more and more long-range weapons. Take the HIMARS. Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov boasts that they have already received 300-kilometre ammunition. This means our geographic objectives will move even further from the current line. We cannot allow the part of Ukraine that Vladimir Zelensky, or whoever replaces him, will control to have weapons that pose a direct threat to our territory or to the republics that have declared their independence and want to determine their own future.”

The implications are clear.

As much as Washington and NATO are even more “desperate to aggravate the situation as much as possible” (and that’s Plan A: there’s no Plan B), geoeconomically the Americans are intensifying the New Great Game: desperation here applies to trying to control energy corridors and setting their price.

Russia remains unfazed – as it continues to invest in Pipelineistan (towards Asia); solidify the multimodal International North South Transportation Corridor (INTSC), with key partners India and Iran; and is setting the price of energy via OPEC+.

A paradise for oligarchic looters

The Straussians/neo-cons and neoliberal-cons permeating the Anglo-American intel/security apparatus – de facto weaponized viruses – won’t relent. They simply cannot afford losing yet another NATO war – and on top of it against “existential threat” Russia.

As the news from the Ukraine battlefields promise to be even grimmer under General Winter, solace at least may be found in the cultural sphere. The Green transition racket, seasoned in a toxic mixed salad with the eugenist Silicon Valley ethos, continues to be a side dish offered with the main course: the Davos “Great Narrative”, former Great Reset, which reared its ugly head, once again, at the G20 in Bali.

That translates as everything going swell as far as the Destruction of Europe project is concerned. De-industrialize and be happy; rainbow-dance to every woke tune on the market; and freeze and burn wood while blessing “renewables” in the altar of European values.

A quick flashback to contextualize where we are is always helpful.

Ukraine was part of Russia for nearly four centuries. The very idea of its independence was invented in Austria during WWI for the purpose of undermining the Russian Army – and that certainly happened. The present “independence” was set up so local Trotskyite oligarchs could loot the nation as a Russia-aligned government was about to move against those oligarchs.

The 2014 Kiev coup was essentially set up by Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski to draw Russia into a new partisan war – as in Afghanistan – and was followed by orders to the Gulf oil haciendas to crash the oil price. Moscow had to protect Russophones in Crimea and Donbass – and that led to more Western sanctions. All of it was a setup.

For 8 years, Moscow refused to send its armies even to Donbass east of the Dnieper (historically part of Mother Russia). The reason: not to be bogged down in another partisan war. The rest of Ukraine, meanwhile, was being looted by oligarchs supported by the West, and plunged into a financial black hole.

The collective West deliberately chose not to finance the black hole. Most of the IMF injections were simply stolen by the oligarchs, and the loot transferred out of the country. These oligarchic looters were of course “protected” by the usual suspects.

It’s always crucial to remember that between 1991 and 1999 the equivalent of the present entire household wealth of Russia was stolen and transferred overseas, mostly to London. Now the same usual suspects are trying to ruin Russia with sanctions, as “new Hitler” Putin stopped the looting.

The difference is that the plan of using Ukraine as just a pawn in their game is not working.

On the ground, what has been going on so far are mostly skirmishes, and a few real battles. But with Moscow massing fresh troops for a winter offensive, the Ukrainian Army may end up completely routed.

Russia didn’t look so bad – considering the effectiveness of its mincing machine artillery strikes against Ukrainian fortified positions, and recent planned retreats or positional warfare, keeping casualties down while smashing Ukrainian withering firepower.

The collective West believes it holds the Ukraine proxy war card. Russia bets on reality, where economic cards are food, energy, resources, resource security and a stable economy.

Meanwhile, as if the energy-suicide EU did not have to face a pyramid of ordeals, they can surely expect to have knocking on their door at least 15 million desperate Ukrainians escaping from villages and cities with zero electrical power.

The railway station in – temporarily occupied – Kherson is a graphic example: people show up constantly to warm up and charge their smartphones. The city has no electricity, no heat, and no water.

Current Russian tactics are the absolute opposite of the military theory of concentrated force developed by Napoleon. That’s why Russia is accumulating serious advantages while “disturbing the dust in a bowl of rose-leaves”.

And of course, “we haven’t even started yet.”

How bright are EUropeans ?

November 05, 2022

Source

by Jorge Vilches

no contract

Several indications lead to the conclusion that EUropeans at large — exceptions aside — should not be very bright. Or at least not brighter than anyone else as they claim to be. The fact is that – despite their undeniably copious amounts of individual and collective achievements – they have not yet been able to articulate a peacefull co-existence strategy amongst themselves and with third parties. Having failed at that implies that EUropeans are not really that bright, how could they be ? True enough, EUrope´s macro-economic and consumer society development has been ´successful´… but still under a highly unstable political co-existence. IMNSHO the main reason for such disqualifying historical flaw is that – contrary to their own self-image frequently preached sanctimoniously onto others – in political EUrope a “deal” is never a dealIt´s rather an expression of possible temporary abidance always subject to their own interpretation and circumstances yet un-defined. Basically, there is no valid contract, social or political or otherwise in EUrope. Humpty Dumptyness at its best. And the EU governance experiment made things worse with all the key decisions imposed by un-elected officials very clearly in the case of Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Poland, and Hungary. The argument could possibly be made that other societies today also struggle along equivalent lines, but then again this would swiftly confirm that EUropeans cannot be considered to be brighter than others… as they bloody insist they are.

EUropean ´superiority´ (not)

Dr. Josep Borrell is the EU´s topmost senior diplomat as High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Recently joined by another un-elected official namely the EU Commission President Ursula von den Leyen both now roughly insist that EUrope´s problems stem from its addictiveness to excellent and cheap Russian energy and resources, to China´s humongous export markets and high productivity dependency, and to the military ´security´ that the US today supposedly renders to them. So, accordingly their solution for EUrope would be to (a) get itself up in arms yet again and (b) to double-down on the ‘battle of narratives´ which should be interpreted to be just some more effective EU propaganda. So from this perspective rather than being bright EUropeans would just appear to be aggressive, manipulative, and conceited… and not superior to anyone else. So why be so proud about it all ?.

the EU thorny garden

Objectively searching into the EUropean political soul it´s easy to find EUrope´s self-EUthanization vis-á-vis its sheer lack of any ´affectio societatis´. This makes EUrope an un-viable business associate to and for anyone, even amongst themselves in view of the current widespread infighting. But JB´s ´brightness´ does not stop there, now proclaiming that “the world needs Europe” and that EUrope is a “garden” and the rest a mere ”jungle” ready to encroach upon it… So at this rate it would be wise to copernically acknowledge that EUrope is not any “global super-power” and that God Almighty has not appointed the un-elected European Commission as the rule-maker for the rest of the world to follow. Furthermore, the “international community”(sic) is not headquartered at Davos or Brussels and 85% of planet Earth does not even wake up in the West every morning. Making that clear would focus EU politics better than complaining about “too many abstentions” in the UN votes regarding this conflict which EU officials fail to understand and accept.

Ref #1 https://www.eeas.europa.eu/eeas/foreign-affairs-council-remarks-high-representative-josep-borrell-upon-arrival-1_en

Ref #2 http://www.euronews.com/my-europe/2022/10/19/josep-borrell-apologises-for-controversial-garden-vs-jungle-metaphor-but-stands-his-ground

Ref #3 https://news.cgtn.com/news/2022-10-12/Josep-Borrell-looks-backwards-on-China-Russia-and-U-S–1e3XRtUKOJy/index.html

Ref #4 https://www.eeas.europa.eu/eeas/european-diplomatic-academy-opening-remarks-high-representative-josep-borrell-inauguration_en

7 historical catastrophes 7

During the past one hundred years (approx.) aided or not by its supposed “superiority” collective Europe fostered 7 major historical vintage TM® failures, namely (1) enthusiastically fostered World War I – the Great War – “the war to end all wars” amongst themselves + (2) cradled and fully developed Nazism + (3) instigated and deployed World War II + (4) allowed for the firm establishment of ruinous “King Dollar” by calmly and willingly accepting the 1971 US unilateral default on the Bretton Woods Agreement thus perpetuating until today a highly detrimental “exhorbitant privilege” for a thus fiat US dollar + (5) established the currently ticking Euro currency time bomb + (6) fully accepted and even participated with impunity in many dozens of US military unsolicited interventions worldwide as the sole un-elected “world cop” thru its 800+ military bases in 80 countries (7) in 2022 unilaterally provoked an unnecessary and stupid self-harming divorce from Russia which has led the world closer than ever to a nuclear war. Readers may have different opinion regarding the individual interpretation of related events but still all of the above are categorically accepted historical facts. And a society that lies so much – onto itself and third parties — cannot be too bright, can it ?

Ref #5 http://www.theepochtimes.com/on-the-path-to-hyperinflation_4782143.html

Ref #6 http://www.zerohedge.com/markets/path-hyperinflation

C:\Users\Jorge Vilches\Desktop\index 6.jpg

no ´Greater Europe´

Forget any and all dreams about forging a Greater Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok. Russia tried it, worked very hard at it, and invested tons in such century-milestone project, to no avail. Fact #1: Russia focused on Greater Europe for 30 years. Fact #2: Russia failed miserably in such endeavor. Under deep ´political hypnosis´ — for want of a better term — EUropean leaders supported by complicit constituents ended up deploying their self-harming strategy. For starters, no Referendum on the NATO-imposed, suicidal “let´s divorce Russia” initiative was ever proposed even though many dozens referenda have been held in the EU´s recent past. It´s simple: there is no valid contract in the EU

Russophia was also firmly established as a national cross-border regional sport of sorts spear-headed by complicit Western MSM and loudly outspoken and highly payed for EU officials. Of course, if challenged, Russians have the advantage of becoming quite stubborn when circumstances so require it, so they insisted in the Greater Europe project success and strictly followed the required EUropean Market & Financial Rules. But, yet again, there was no contract compliance. So led by the G-7 leadership, the collective West just plain took effective advantage of Russia in every way it possibly could provoke … and so the Minsk Accords were conveniently extended, postponed… and duly forgotten despite being squarely – and deceitfully — brokered by both Germany and France. The EU´s supposed Ostpolitik was betrayed with every trace of ´affectio societatis´ absent thus DE-stabilising the area and using third parties as pawns. Because, of course, EUropean flagrant unilateralism dictates that there is no room for anything close to having willingness and interest to engage and relate constructively with high-quality business partners beyond the EU´s – and NATO´s — full control. So Russia finally got fed up sick and tired of the West´s lack of “agreement capability” and will thus fully pivot to thriving Eurasia. Meanwhile Europe will immolate itself thru its NATO-induced suicide with shamefull colonialistic sins hovering its soul for the last 500 years until today. Is any of this “bright” ?

C:\Users\Jorge Vilches\Desktop\index 5.jpg

NATO´s ´hypnotic´ spell

British Gral. Hastings Ismay — the first Secretary General of NATO — defined that the purpose of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was “to keep Russians out, Americans in, and Germans down” which has since become the common way to describe its dynamics and goals. Ismay also proposed that NATO “must grow until the whole free world gets under one umbrella.” So EUrope today and per its own fault, in more than one way and through not-publicized non-sanctum mechanisms, is actually ruled and governed directly by the US. Accordingly, the inclusion of Russia in the Greater Europe project was to be boycotted to death – most specially its association with Germany — and it certainly was. The European leadership thus offered and deployed highly pro-active support to provoke the Ukraine conflict, be it “militarily, financially or politically” thus confirming yet again its direct and unequivocal commitment and participation. During 8 years the Ukraine Armed Forces were trained by NATO to meet NATO combat standards while the Eastern Russian-speaking areas were systematically intimidated and bombed . NATO members proudly admitted to constantly supply the UAF with heavy modern weapons, military advisers and intel.

Ref #7 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hastings_Ismay,_1st_Baron_Ismay

Ref #8 https://www.azerbaycan24.com/en/eu-again-urged-to-open-wallet-for-kiev/

The Lord Ismay.jpg

To weaken Germany and simultaneously strengthen the US required pitting Russia against Germany in a mutually destructive conflict so that the two countries could not re-establish normal relations for decades to come. The collapse of the EUropean economy would come about by denying cheap Russian energy to Germany. Thus, trillions of dollars of European resources would supposedly relocate to the US jointly with their best and brightest. According to the Rand Report, the main obstacle to Europe´s plundering on a scale which rivaled the Jewish looting of Russia in the 1990s was “the growing independence of Germany” which followed Britain’s exit from the European Union (Brexit) which gave “Germany greater independence and decreased the US influence upon European governments.”

the EU ´bright´ new oil & gas markets

No matter how diced or sliced, under the planned nat-gas EU ´capped-price´ purchase policy Western markets would be missing access to some 50% (approx.) of the 2021 effectively traded and consumed natural gas volumes. Besides, serious doubts remain on (a) the technical quality of such new possible “capped” price nat-gas (b) its delivery terms and conditions and (c) the reliability of such type of possible nat-gas suppliers. But at any rate when EUrope soon necessarily runs out of all possible nat-gas vendors willing to comply with its new capped-price policy — which would never fulfill its physical needs — then Russia and others will be able to charge whatever they want for the remaining nat-gas which EUrope will require in order to function ASWKI. Unless, of course, the deliberate ruinous EUropean plan were exactly THAT …which is an ever larger possibility. High quality nat-gas is high quality nat-gas, markets are markets, and business is business. An equivalent “absurd” sourcing conundrum would also be triggered by the soon-coming EU ban on Russian sea-borne oil with serious refinability problems (diesel !!!) vis-á-vis the different quality and quantity of the replacements yet to be found and the un-vetted reliability of the yet non-existent suppliers. Tom Kloza, Global Head of Energy Analysis says “Without new inventory, by the end of November the wolf will be at the door. And it will look like a big ugly wolf if it’s a cold winter” Ref #9 http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2022/11/the-u-s-diesel-shortage-is-worsening.html

not-so-bright useful green idiots ?

The reference below describes the green parties in Europe “as being particularly easy to manipulate into running the errands of American imperialism. The prerequisite for Germany to fall into this trap is the dominant role of Green Parties and European ideologies. The German environmental movement is a highly dogmatic, if not fanatical, movement, which makes it quite easy to get them to ignore economic argument.”

Ref #10 https://fair.org/home/us-medias-intellectual-no-fly-zone-on-us-culpability-in-nord-stream-attack/

Ref #11 https://www.veteranstoday.com/2022/10/08/the-attack-on-the-pipeline-and-the-resurrection-of-the-morgenthau-plan-as-the-long-arm-of-jewish-vengeance/ Ref #12 https://nyadagbladet.se/utrikes/shocking-document-how-the-us-planned-the-war-and-energy-crisis-in-europe/

Eurasian pivot

On their part, the Russians — many still astonished by suicidal EUrope – seem to basically be thinking (approx.) …

EUropeans, you didn´t have to love us or even be friends you know… but why hate us ? Always, systematically, by default. Why are you Russophobic ? We only wanted to continue being your vetted trade partners as repeatedly proven with flying colors for 30 years. So just what is wrong with you ? Why do you allow your leaders to lie to you, cheat and mislead you so much ? If you actually wished to scare us away consider it done, good job and good bye EUrope. Now, despite your fully un-necessary EUthanization of our relationship, we still welcome you to set up your investments as our business associates here in Russia. Just consider that your only gateway to the world´s next all-time winner anyway you dice it or slice it — namely Mackinder´s Eurasia — is by relocating to Russia with all our known advantages. Otherwise – per WEF logic — you will not have any worthwhile fuels or natural resources left ( just hyperinflation…and no markets ) and you will not be happy”. So the remaining bright Germans – and other bright minds still in EUrope — would finally understand that 85% of the world´s population is not Western let alone part of today´s non-sensical NATO, fully “brain dead” per French President Emmanuel Macron. And once that the NS1 & NS2 sabotage perpetrators are proven and known, EUropean public opinion – most specially Germans – will see things very differently from today understanding how they have been mis-led into an entirely un-justified Russophobia.

EUropean RE-location

Development requires cheap and excellent all-around energy and natural resources which Germany and others do not have and that Russia has plenty of. It also requires markets with which to trade. So the alternatives are (a) “NATO out” which does not seem feasible right now, meaning “to revolt en masse against the NATO-imposed trade/financial sanctions against Russia, and force Berlin to repair NS1 and commission Nord Stream 2”…or… (b) relocate to the US, meaning total vassalization of the EUropean industrial burgeoisie a-la Werner von Braun…or… (c) relocate to Russia and be part of Eurasia´s new bright future, jointly with China & BRICS & SCO & Global South. Of course, sooner or later some of (b) will surely take place but chances are that (c) — per the assumed Russian offering proposed — will at least be the German predominant choice. Obviously, this would probably mean the sudden demise of the EUro and, soon after, of the US dollar ASWKI. The smarter part of the remaining EUrope would also follow the relocation of bright Germans to Russia. Unexpectedly, along these lines events may pick up unusual speed and EUrope as we know it today would cease to exist. And this would be the final evidence proving that EUropeans at large are not as bright as they think they are. They would all act differently if they were, with no room for cannibalism.

the Overton window

Bright Europeans do exist, but in EUropean politics they are very few and far between. So most today focus on (1) ruining Russia per NATO mandate to supposedly uphold ´democracy everywhere´ even corrupt kleptocracies… and while they are at it…(2) also saving planet Earth. Still, a handfull are finally understanding that this is too high a price to pay as EUropeans would not be willing to accept the MAGNITUDE and DEPTH of the hardships soon to come in what up until today was a flourishing consumer society with an enviable standard of living. Hypothetically, what some few political leaders were waiting and jockeying for was an Overton window large enough to get their heads in, their bets made, and their feet wet. The Overton window defines what is politically possible per the existing public opinion at a given point in time. So it is a very convenient tool to apply in view of the EU Commissariat Master Plan.

Ref #13 https://thesaker.is/natos-green-masochistic-euthanasia/

Ref #14 https://thesaker.is/europe-hypnotized-into-war-economy/

Ref #15 https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Europes-Energy-Crisis-Will-Not-Be-A-One-Winter-Story.html

the German oath

All members of the elected government of the German Federal Republic have necessarily taken an oath of office details of which are explicit below. That is the basis for the social and political contract between German leadership and their constituents. But apparently many / all have decided to conveniently dismiss such sworn obligations until the Overton window – Main Street´s hidden weapon — forces them to act accordingly, not before.

“ I swear that I will devote my energies to the well-being of the German people, increase their benefit, protect them from harm, uphold and defend the Basic Law and the laws of the Federation, perform my duties conscientiously and do justice to everyone. So help me God.” Not a single word is ever mentioned relating directly or indirectly to the EU, its governance impact, its interests and/or its goals.

the “most stupid” government in EUrope

Recently Sahra Wagenknecht has defined Germany’s government as the “most stupid” in EUrope for managing to embroil itself in a full-blown economic war with its top – and thus un-replaceable — energy supplier, namely Russia. Speaking at the Bundestag, the former co-chair of the party Die Linke (“The Left”) urged for an immediate end to the anti-Russian sanctions and also for the resignation of German Vice Chancellor and Minister of the Economy, the now infamous ´Herr Green´ Robert Habeck. While still describing the ongoing conflict in Ukraine as a “crime” Wagenknecht insisted that the anti-Russian sanctions are “fatal” for Germany itself. She told her fellow Bundestag leaders in-their-face that “The biggest problem is your grandiose idea of launching an unprecedented economic war against our most important energy supplier. The idea that we are punishing Putin by impoverishing millions of families in Germany and destroying our industry while Gazprom is making record profits – how stupid is that?” she wondered out loud. So, an important German at an important German venue publically told many other important Germans how stupid they were. Not me, she did. “The promise of NATO membership did not help any. Militarily, this war cannot be won”. Of course, this has meant that some Left Party members now demand the expulsion of Sahra Wagenknecht for good.

Ref #16 https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/09/19/qunz-s19.html

Ref #17 https://www.rt.com/business/563382-high-energy-costs-eu-companies/

Ref #18 https://www.rt.com/business/563490-thousands-firms-italy-closure/

Ref #19 https://www.reuters.com/article/ukraine-crisis-eu-energy-smes-idAFL8N30E4WV

Ref #20 https://oilprice.com/Energy/Natural-Gas/Europe-Faces-An-Exodus-Of-Energy-Intensive-Industries.html

´the grandiose idea´ …

Firms in the metal and chemical industries, among others, are trying to relocate to the US, The Wall Street Journal reports: “High energy costs drive companies away from EU”. This means obvious consequences only fools would not foresee: DEpression & UN-employment. German producers warn of food shortages. Die Welt now reports that “There are significant supply gaps in the daily food supply for people in Germany. The situation is “more than serious” an open letter from the industry said. “Companies now fear that production lines will soon come to a standstill and that refrigerated logistics centers for food distribution will be closed. Some are even preparing for possible insolvency.”

Manufacturers of both frozen and fresh products say they cannot cope with soaring energy costs. “The food industry is currently experiencing the worst crisis since the end of the Second World War… It’s a minute to twelve. Act now – otherwise the refrigerators and freezers of the German population will soon be empty” the letter urges. Germany, along with the broader EU, is facing a sharp rise in energy prices and a record inflation surge amid the intensifying anti-Russian sanctions and a policy of abandoning all possible Russian fuels. The situation could also soon lead to energy rationing and shortages, also meaning NO energy, NO fuels at ANY price, period. And forget LNG from whomever or wherever. Too little, too late, too cumbersome, too risky, way dirtier, and way too expensive. Germany needs Russian pipelined nat-gas for many good reasons that they cannot ignore and will necessarily live by soon.

The frozen food industry is particularly susceptible to energy supply problems, due to its strong reliance on electricity for freezers. The EU risks a ‘Wild West’ scenario says IEA head Fatih Birol warning that member states could possibly abandon solidarity to secure their own gas supplies. Many dozens of thousands of small and medium-size businesses (SMEs) in Italy can’t cope with soaring energy bills, ´Corriere della Sera´ reports. Italy is badly dependant on Russian pipelined nat-gas, no substitutes are possible in practice. Supposed “stored” reserves cannot be extracted from sub-surface unless Russian pipelines are also flowing thus allowing to add-on such stored reserves to the main flow. By themselves, underground nat-gas reserves can hardly be produced on surface and still with lots of negative impact.

Ref #21 https://thesaker.is/germanys-failing-stored-nat-gas-lng-experiment/

Larger companies will also add to the un-employed. According to a recent survey, over 70% of Italians are having difficulty or are simply unable to pay their energy bills. SMEs represent 99% of all businesses in the 27-nation EU. SMEs employ around 100 million people, or two thirds of all employed and account for 53% of Europe’s GDP.

Nearly one in six people over 65 in Germany is at risk of poverty, meaning they have less than 60% of the median income at their disposal according to the Federal Statistical Office and published by the German media group Funke. Europe maybe could have articulated a far better and softer transition and slower pathway into “some” renewables under excellent quality and already available + pipeline delivered, cheap Russian nat-gas. But they chose otherwise and now Europe must pay the piper. And with only a fraction of the EU imploding generalized chaos will prevail.

True enough, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán led the pack weeks ago by saying “the approach has clearly failed — sanctions have backfired — and our car now has 4 four flat tires”. Just as a reminder, vehicles carry only one spare tire (maybe two) but never four and more to come… Now, also Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotaki proposes to lift sanctions on Russia by December at the latest. But the questions remains: beyond some optics, the audio and the visual… just where precisely is the ACTION ? Are these two Heads of State bright enough per the circumstances ? Or are they just better sounding than the overwhelming EUropean political mediocrity ? Oh, you say they aren´t allowed to do any more than that ? If that´s the established system then EUropeans were not very bright…

Ref #22 https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/orban-urges-new-eu-strategy-on-ukraine-says-sanctions-have-failed/

Michael Kretschmer

Germany needs Russian gas” – says Michael Kretschmer, Saxony’s Minister-President. Okay, that´s a good starting point to acknowledge don´t you think ? A valid diagnosis is necessarily behind any reasonable therapy and at least in this case – besides being bloody obvious – it´s still reconforting to see that a spanking new “common denominator” is being put together by some in Germany. Herr Kretschmer added that the current exorbitant prices for the fuel are “ruining Germany’s industry”. Okay, sorry to hear that. So that means that Russian energy matters lots, correct ?

Russian gas supplies are critical for Germany, and will remain so in the foreseeable future”. In an interview with Germany’s Funke Mediengruppe Michael Kretschmer also added: “We are already witnessing that we can’t do without Russian gas.” Hmmm….. But then Kretschmer went on to say that now Berlin should try to make sure that it keeps receiving Russian gas after the armed conflict is over. But would that be soon, please tell us ? Because saying that implies ignoring that the end of the armed conflict will most probably not be decided in the battlefield and just come about by a NATO-EU surrender. Why so you may ask ? Well precisely because NATO & the EU leadership provoked and sustained Russian gas to be cut off, so that can be reverted only by them, not the other way around. So whatever happens militarily in the battlefield does not actually matter that much any more unless it were 101% decisive. But many months have elapsed and it does not seem to be anywhere close to that, does it ? So finally EU politicians on their own will have to end this unnecessary war that they started simply because the Overton window for European public opinion will not stand it and they will have to admit they were dead wrong and plain go home, if not to jail.

Ref #23 https://www.rt.com/news/563458-saxony-governor-germany-needs-russian-gas/

Clare Daly (Irish MEP)

Clare Daly is a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and from the very beginning in March 2022 she has voted against its Resolutions on this matter basically considering them to be “a recipe for prolonging war with escalation”. She believes that “ignoring the role played by the US and NATO in destabilising the area for the past decade,using Ukraine as a pawn in its battles with Russia, only serves to prevent an understanding of the measures necessary to secure peace”. Per Clare Daly, the EP Resolutions “accelerate the provision of military equipment and weapons to Ukraine, strengthen NATO’s forward presence, increase defence spending…and strengthen the European pillar within NATO” while also ”opportunistically call for opening the European energy market to fracked American liquefied natural gas (LNG)…which is far more polluting and terribly far more expensive”. Clare Daly believes that ”there is no military solution to this crisis as the policy of flooding Ukraine with weapons will, at worst, lead to a permanent condition of conflict, as has happened in Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, at best, a greater loss of life and destruction in Ukraine”. Furthermore, Clare Daly believes that the EP Resolutions on this topic do not sufficiently “take into account the impact of the war on workers,their working conditions, and the recognition of the hardship that this entails”.

Ref #24 https://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/197731/CLARE_DALY/other-activities/written-explanations

Ref #25 https://rmx.news/article/shock-eu-commission-president-threatens-italy-on-eve-of-election-says-brussels-has-tools-if-wrong-parties-win/ Ref #26 https://tomluongo.me/2022/09/23/as-democracy-dies-eu-its-sins-are-revealed/

Ref #27 https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/London-Banks-Prepare-For-Possible-Blackouts.html

Saint Greta of Thunberg

Days ago Greta Thunberg at the London’s Royal Festival Hall left on record that there is no going “back to normal” as it would mean returning to the Global North climate crisis “system” i.e. “colonialism, imperialism, oppression, genocide and racist, oppressive extractionism”. So only the overthrow of “the whole capitalistic system” will suffice, says Greta. No explanation was given — or even a mild attempt made — to describe how the required transition could possibly be made to get from our current evil point A to future greatly-improved point B. Apparently, there’s no GDP growth — especially of the capitalist sort — without increasing carbon emissions. Supposedly the only solution to this state of emergency is “for rich countries to immediately abandon economic expansion as a social goal.” Full interview credit to Nicholas Harris at Ref #28 https://unherd.com/thepost/greta-thunberg-throws-her-lot-in-with-the-anti-capitalist-left/

C:\Users\Jorge Vilches\Desktop\index.jpg

entitlements & cakeism vs. the chicken and the egg DE-globalization economics: FIRE vs real STUFF

If really interested in reducing greenhouse gas emissions mankind worldwide would need to drastically change its way of life in many important ways already very firmly considered by the collective mind-set as genuinely valid entitlements So, politically speaking such proposal is a non-starter waaaay outside any current Overton window we may come up with. In turn, we also can´t have our own cake and eat it too. So which will it be ? On top of it, let´s add that “All service industries (– including FIRE finances –) remain completely dependent on the raw materials and manufactured goods sectors to function… So DE-globalization will increasingly favor those who produce and control the STUFF which underpins everything else…(of course necessarily) leading to devastating closures of (almost all ?) energy and/or resource-intensive industrial operations in Europe due to high energy prices that make their products uncompetitive.” Ref #29 https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/East-vs-West-Stuff-vs-Finance.html . Full credit to Kurt Cobb via OilPrice.com.

Berlin Goes to Beijing: The Real Deal

NOVEMBER 4, 2022

PEPE ESCOBAR

The Scholz caravan went to Beijing to lay down the preparatory steps for working out a peace deal with Russia, with China as privileged messenger.

With his inimitable flair for economic analysis steeped in historical depth, Professor Michael Hudson’s latest essay, originally written for a German audience, presents a stunning parallel between the Crusades and the current “rules-based international order” imposed by the Hegemon.

Professor Hudson details how the Papacy in Rome managed to lock up unipolar control over secular realms (rings a bell?) when the game was all about Papal precedence over kings, above all the German Holy Roman Emperors. As we know, half in jest, the Empire was not exactly Holy, nor German (perhaps a little Roman), and not even an Empire.

A clause in the Papal Dictates provided the Pope with the authority to excommunicate whomever was “not at peace with the Roman Church.” Hudson sharply notes how US sanctions are the modern equivalent of excommunication.

Arguably there are Top Two dates in the whole process.

The first one would be the Third Ecumenical Council of 435: this is when only Rome (italics mine) was attributed universal authority (italics mine). Alexandria and Antioch, for instance, were limited to regional authority within the Roman Empire.

The other top date is 1054 – when Rome and Constantinople split for good. That is, the Roman Catholic Church split from Orthodoxy, which leads us to Russia, and Moscow as The Third Rome – and the centuries-old animosity of “the West” against Russia.

A State of Martial Law

Professor Hudson then delves on the trip by “Liver Sausage” Chancellor Scholz’s delegation to China this week to “demand that it dismantle its public sector and stops subsidizing its economy, or else Germany and Europe will impose sanctions on trade with China.”

Well, in fact this happens to be just childish wishful thinking, expressed by the German Council on Foreign Relations in a piece published on the Financial Times (the Japanese-owned platform in the City of London). The Council, as correctly described by Hudson, is “the neoliberal ‘libertarian’ arm of NATO demanding German de-industrialization and dependency” on the US.

So the FT, predictably, is printing NATO wet dreams.

Context is essential. German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, in a keynote speech at Bellevue Castle, has all but admitted that Berlin is broke: “An era of headwinds is beginning for Germany – difficult, difficult years are coming for us. Germany is in the deepest crisis since reunification.”

Yet schizophrenia, once again, reigns supreme, as Steinmeier, after a ridiculous stunt in Kiev – complete with posing as a unwitting actor huddled in a bunker – announced an extra handout: two more MARS multiple rocket launchers and four Panzerhaubitze 2000 howitzers to be delivered to the Ukrainians.

So even if the “world” economy – actually the EU – is so fragilized that member-states cannot help Kiev anymore without harming their own populations, and the EU is on the verge of a catastrophic energy crisis, fighting for “our values” in Country 404 trumps it all.

The Big Picture context is also key. Andrea Zhok, Professor of Ethical Philosophy at the University of Milan, has taken Giorgio Agamben’s “State of Exception” concept to new heights.

Zhok proposes that the zombified collective West is now completely subjugated to a “State of Martial Law” – where a Forever War ethos is the ultimate priority for rarified global elites.

Every other variable – from trans-humanism to depopulation and even cancel culture – is subordinated to the State of Martial Law, and is basically inessential. The only thing that matters is exercising absolute, raw control.

Berlin – Moscow – Beijing

Solid German business sources completely contradict the “message” delivered by the German Council on Foreign Relations on the trip to China.

According to these sources, the Scholz caravan went to Beijing to essentially lay down the preparatory steps for working out a peace deal with Russia, with China as privileged messenger.

This is – literally – as explosive, geopolitically and geoeconomically, as it gets. As I pointed out in one of my previous columns, Berlin and Moscow were keeping a secret communication back channel – via business interlocutors – right to the minute the usual suspects, in desperation, decided to blow up the Nord Streams.

Cue to the now notorious SMS from Liz Truss’s iPhone to Little Tony Blinken, one minute after the explosions: “It’s done.”

There’s more: the Scholz caravan may be trying to start a long and convoluted process of eventually replacing the US with China as a key ally. One should never forget that the top BRI trade/connectivity terminal in the EU is Germany (the Ruhr valley).

According to one of the sources, “if this effort is successful, then Germany, China and Russia can ally themselves together and drive the US out of Europe.”

Another source provided the cherry on the cake: “Olaf Scholz is being accompanied on this trip by German industrialists who actually control Germany and are not going to sit back watching themselves being destroyed.”

Moscow knows very well what the imperial aim is when it comes to the EU reduced to the role of totally dominated – and deindustrialized – vassal, exercising zero sovereignty. The back channels after all are not lying in tatters on the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Additionally, China has not provided any hint that its massive trade with Germany and the EU is about to vanish.

Scholz himself, one day before his caravan hit Beijing, stressed to Chinese media that Germany has no intention of decoupling from China, and there’s nothing to justify “the calls by some to isolate China.”

In parallel, Xi Jinping and the new Politburo are very much aware of the Kremlin position, reiterated again and again: we always remain open for negotiations, as long as Washington finally decides to talk about the end of unlimited NATO expansion drenched in Russophobia.

So to negotiate means the Empire signing on the dotted line of the document it has received from Moscow on December 1st, 2021, focused on “indivisibility of security”. Otherwise there’s nothing to negotiate.

And when we have Pentagon lobbyist Lloyd “Raytheon” Austin advising the Ukrainians on the record to advance on Kherson, it’s even more crystal clear there’s nothing to negotiate.

So could this all be the foundation stone of the Berlin-Moscow-Beijing trans-Eurasia geopolitical/geoeconomic corridor? That will mean Bye Bye Empire. Once again: it ain’t over till the fat lady goes Gotterdammerung.

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

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Everybody wants to hop on the BRICS Express

Eurasia is about to get a whole lot larger as countries line up to join the Chinese and Russian-led BRICS and SCO, to the detriment of the west

October 27 2022

By Pepe Escobar

Photo Credit: The Cradle

Let’s start with what is in fact a tale of Global South trade between two members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). At its heart is the already notorious Shahed-136 drone – or Geranium-2, in its Russian denomination: the AK-47 of postmodern aerial warfare.

The US, in yet another trademark hysteria fit rife with irony, accused Tehran of weaponizing the Russian Armed Forces. For both Tehran and Moscow, the superstar, value-for-money, and terribly efficient drone let loose in the Ukrainian battlefield is a state secret: its deployment prompted a flurry of denials from both sides. Whether these are made in Iran drones, or the design was bought and manufacturing takes place in Russia (the realistic option), is immaterial.

The record shows that the US weaponizes Ukraine to the hilt against Russia. The Empire is a de facto war combatant via an array of “consultants,” advisers, trainers, mercenaries, heavy weapons, munitions, satellite intel, and electronic warfare. And yet imperial functionaries swear they are not part of the war. They are, once again, lying.

Welcome to yet another graphic instance of the “rules-based international order” at work. The Hegemon always decides which rules apply, and when. Anyone opposing it is an enemy of “freedom,” “democracy,” or whatever platitude du jour, and should be – what else – punished by arbitrary sanctions.

In the case of sanctioned-to-oblivion Iran, for decades now, the result has been predictably another round of sanctions. That’s irrelevant. What matters is that, according to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), no less than 22 nations – and counting – are joining the queue because they also want to get into the Shahed groove.

Even Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, gleefully joined the fray, commenting on how the Shahed-136 is no photoshop.

The race towards BRICS+

What the new sanctions package against Iran really “accomplished” is to deliver an additional blow to the increasingly problematic signing of the revived nuclear deal in Vienna. More Iranian oil on the market would actually relieve Washington’s predicament after the recent epic snub by OPEC+.

A categorical imperative though remains. Iranophobia – just like Russophobia – always prevails for the Straussians/neo-con war advocates in charge of US foreign policy and their European vassals.

So here we have yet another hostile escalation in both Iran-US and Iran-EU relations, as the unelected junta in Brussels also sanctioned manufacturer Shahed Aviation Industries and three Iranian generals.

Now compare this with the fate of the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drone – which unlike the “flowers in the sky” (Russia’s Geraniums) has performed miserably in the battlefield.

Kiev tried to convince the Turks to use a Motor Sich weapons factory in Ukraine or come up with a new company in Transcarpathia/Lviv to build Bayraktars. Motor Sich’s oligarch President Vyacheslav Boguslayev, aged 84, has been charged with treason because of his links to Russia, and may be exchanged for Ukrainian prisoners of war.

In the end, the deal fizzled out because of Ankara’s exceptional enthusiasm in working to establish a new gas hub in Turkey – a personal suggestion from Russian President Vladimir Putin to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

And that bring us to the advancing interconnection between BRICS and the 9-member SCO – to which this Russia-Iran instance of military trade is inextricably linked.

The SCO, led by China and Russia, is a pan-Eurasian institution originally focused on counter-terrorism but now increasingly geared towards geoeconomic – and geopolitical – cooperation. BRICS, led by the triad of Russia, India, and China overlaps with the SCO agenda geoeconomically and geopoliticallly, expanding it to Africa, Latin America and beyond: that’s the concept of BRICS+, analyzed in detail in a recent Valdai Club report, and fully embraced by the Russia-China strategic partnership.

The report weighs the pros and cons of three scenarios involving possible, upcoming BRICS+ candidates:

First, nations that were invited by Beijing to be part of the 2017 BRICS summit (Egypt, Kenya, Mexico, Thailand, Tajikistan).

Second, nations that were part of the BRICS foreign ministers’ meeting in May this year (Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Thailand).

Third, key G20 economies (Argentina, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Turkiye).

And then there’s Iran, which has already already shown interest in joining BRICS.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has recently confirmed that “several countries” are absolutely dying to join BRICS. Among them, a crucial West Asia player: Saudi Arabia.

What makes it even more astonishing is that only three years ago, under former US President Donald Trump’s administration, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MbS) – the kingdom’s de fact ruler – was dead set on joining a sort of Arab NATO as a privileged imperial ally.

Diplomatic sources confirm that the day after the US pulled out of Afghanistan, MbS’s envoys started seriously negotiating with both Moscow and Beijing.

Assuming BRICS approves Riyadh’s candidacy in 2023 by the necessary consensus, one can barely imagine its earth-shattering consequences for the petrodollar. At the same time, it is important not to underestimate the capacity of US foreign policy controllers to wreak havoc.

The only reason Washington tolerates Riyadh’s regime is the petrodollar. The Saudis cannot be allowed to pursue an independent, truly sovereign foreign policy. If that happens, the geopolitical realignment will concern not only Saudi Arabia but the entire Persian Gulf.

Yet that’s increasingly likely after OPEC+ de facto chose the BRICS/SCO path led by Russia-China – in what can be interpreted as a “soft” preamble for the end of the petrodollar.

The Riyadh-Tehran-Ankara triad

Iran made known its interest to join BRICS even before Saudi Arabia. According to Persian Gulf diplomatic sources, they are already engaged in a somewhat secret channel via Iraq trying to get their act together. Turkey will soon follow – certainly on BRICS and possibly the SCO, where Ankara currently carries the status of extremely interested observer.

Now imagine this triad – Riyadh, Tehran, Ankara – closely joined with Russia, India, China (the actual core of the BRICS), and eventually in the SCO, where Iran is as yet the only West Asian nation to be inducted as a full member.

The strategic blow to the Empire will go off the charts. The discussions leading to BRICS+ are focusing on the challenging path towards a commodity-backed global currency capable of bypassing US dollar primacy.

Several interconnected steps point towards increasing symbiosis between BRICS+ and SCO. The latter’s members states have already agreed on a road map for gradually increasing trade in national currencies in mutual settlements.

The State Bank of India – the nation’s top lender – is opening special rupee accounts for Russia-related trade.

Russian natural gas to Turkey will be paid 25 percent in rubles and Turkish lira, complete with a 25 percent discount Erdogan personally asked of Putin.

Russian bank VTB has launched money transfers to China in yuan, bypassing SWIFT, while Sberbank has started lending out money in yuan. Russian energy behemoth Gazprom agreed with China that gas supply payments should shift to rubles and yuan, split evenly.

Iran and Russia are unifying their banking systems for trade in rubles/rial.

Egypt’s Central Bank is moving to establish an index for the pound – through a group of currencies plus gold – to move the national currency away from the US dollar.

And then there’s the TurkStream saga.

That gas hub gift

Ankara for years has been trying to position itself as a privileged East-West gas hub. After the sabotage of the Nord Streams, Putin has handed it on a plate by offering Turkey the possibility to increase Russian gas supplies to the EU via such a hub. The Turkish Energy Ministry stated that Ankara and Moscow have already reached an agreement in principle.

This will mean in practice Turkey controlling the gas flow to Europe not only from Russia but also Azerbaijan and a great deal of West Asia, perhaps even including Iran, as well as Libya in northeast Africa. LNG terminals in Egypt, Greece and Turkiye itself may complete the network.

Russian gas travels via the TurkStream and Blue Stream pipelines. The total capacity of Russian pipelines is 39 billion cubic meters a year.

Photo Credit: The Cradle
Map of Russian gas route via Turkey

TurkStream was initially projected as a four-strand pipeline, with a nominal capacity of 63 million cubic meters a year. As it stands, only two strands – with a total capacity of 31,5 billion cubic meters – have been built.

So an extension in theory is more than feasible – with all the equipment made in Russia. The problem, once again, is laying the pipes. The necessary vessels belong to the Swiss Allseas Group – and Switzerland is part of the sanctions craze. In the Baltic Sea, Russian vessels were used to finish building Nord Stream 2. But for a TurkStream extension, they would need to operate much deeper in the ocean.

TurkStream would not be able to completely replace Nord Stream; it carries much smaller volumes. The upside for Russia is not being canceled from the EU market. Evidently Gazprom would only tackle the substantial investment on an extension if there are ironclad guarantees about its security. And there’s the additional drawback that the extension would also carry gas from Russia’s competitors.

Whatever happens, the fact remains that the US-UK combo still exerts a lot of influence in Turkey – and BP, Exxon Mobil, and Shell, for instance, are actors in virtually every oil extraction project across West Asia. So they would certainly interfere on the way the Turkish gas hub functions, as well on determining the gas price. Moscow has to weigh all these variables before committing to such a project.

NATO, of course, will be livid. But never underestimate hedging bet specialist Sultan Erdogan. His love story with both the BRICS and the SCO is just beginning.

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

Europe in 2022 (according to the Russian embassy in Paris)

October 15, 2022

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the Serbian media, Moscow, March 28, 2022

March 29, 2022

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1806841/

Question: As you know, Serbia has not joined the sanctions [against Russia]. Did it come as a surprise to you that some of the Balkan nations who have recently had a good relationship with Russia have joined the sanctions against it? What is your perspective on the efforts to bring relations with these Balkan countries back to normal later?

Sergey Lavrov: We are seeing unprecedented pressure as part of a general campaign, which some Western politicians call an all-out war against Russia where all means are justified. This did not just start now – far from it.

Over the previous ten years, the European Union, in its relations with the countries seeking to join it, has been demanding – the Serbs know this well – that they join all their foreign policy initiatives that of late have been increasingly anti-Russia in character. This has nothing to do with a single economic space or with introducing the rule of law or anything else like that. There is only an ideologically-charged approach that allows them to continue to put pressure on Russia to emasculate its independence in the international arena and have it accept European values, which Europe has long since been inculcating [in others], despite its Christian roots.

Allow me to remind you that when they were working on the European Union Constitution, which, in the end, was not approved and was replaced by the Treaty of Lisbon, the first version began with a reference to Europe’s Christian roots. The European “grandees” refused to support this wording, having repudiated their race and religious traditions. They can hardly be expected to have respect for the traditions of other faiths.

We are seeing this pressure being exerted on the Balkan countries, including Serbia, to have them join the anti-Russia sanctions, which cover almost all economic, cultural, humanitarian, political and other activities. President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic has spoken about this in detail in public several times, emphasising that Serbia will be guided by its own interests. There are also countries like this in the European Union. I just want to mention the recent statement by Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban, who said that Hungary would stand up for its own interests.

This multi-ethnic self-reproducing bureaucracy with a seat in Brussels is trying to subjugate all countries without exception and concentrate all efforts to establishing rules and standards at the headquarters of the European Union, reducing to a minimum what its member countries can do on their own. This is a flawed policy. It shows yet again that, essentially, a certain trend is emerging in the European Union to strengthen autocracy as represented by Brussels in its relations with the member countries.

Montenegro and North Macedonia have been drawn into the sanctions war. They were tempted by the promise of fast rapprochement with the European Union, but this did not happen. They were drawn into NATO and anti-Russia actions and campaigns. Then they were patted on the shoulder, as it were, and told: “Good job, fellas, keep it up.” This is a serious problem. The EU’s reputation and the real goals of its policy in the Balkans are at stake. I believe the United States has given the EU complete control over the Balkans. The US is fully satisfied with the EU’s aggressive anti-Russia line.

Do you remember this statement by Josep Borrell’s predecessor Federica Mogherini? She accused Russia of being too active in the Balkans and said that if the EU started getting involved there, there was no room for others. Her successor Josep Borrell promotes the same idea. He has always urged the EU not to allow Russia to build stronger relations with those countries where it feels like “the boss of the show.”

We are seeing attempts by the US, the EU and NATO to impose their hegemony on others, not only in the Balkans but also in the rest of the world –virtually everywhere else. I am convinced that most of the countries around the world realise that this is the path to a deadlock. It will eventually be necessary to find a way out. There are not too many countries in Europe that can consider themselves sovereign and independent. Those that refuse to join the sanctions in favour of other states to protect their own national interest are fully entitled to be called independent regardless of their size.

Question: Did Russia envision such isolation and military losses, things we rarely hear precise information about?

Sergey Lavrov: The sanctions against Russia have never stopped. In Soviet times, we lived under the sanctions of the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (CoCom). Under this, the West did all it could to prevent the purchase and supply of high-tech equipment. The Jackson-Vanik amendment existed for many years. It was repealed to allow us to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO) because the United States and other countries were interested in this. It was instantly replaced by the Magnitsky Act that continued the tradition of pressuring the Russian Federation through sanctions. These sanctions were valid until 2014.

A coup took place in Kiev in 2014 contrary to the guarantees of the EU and with Washington’s direct support. Now there is no longer any doubt about it. The coup evoked indignation in both Crimea and in the east of Ukraine. The Crimeans held a referendum to return to Russia, protecting themselves against the armed militants that were bound for Crimea. The people in eastern Ukraine also proclaimed the creation of republics that refused to accept the anti-constitutional government coup. At that time, the Russian Federation was again blamed for everything. The West was disappointed that its plan to finally use Ukraine for its anti-Russia needs fell through.

The introduced sanctions simply reflected the West’s irritation. President of Russia Vladimir Putin has said more than once that since then the EU and the US have imposed sanctions on us almost every month, at least two or three times a year. I think it is always easy to find an excuse. The goal of the sanctions is not to resolve some specific problem but to curb Russia’s strategic and geopolitical development. We know that the West is good at finding excuses.

The surge in unprecedented Neanderthal-like Russophobia that has come to life in almost all Western countries whose leaders are vigorously encouraging and cultivating it was something that struck me particularly in the circumstances at hand. I’m aware that there are reasonable people in the EU who understand the danger of inciting this kind of Russophobia. They are issuing reminders to the effect that Europe saw a similar attitude towards a certain ethnicity over 80 years ago and they know how it ended. This obsession with regard to how they see everything Russian, be it culture, art, education, or Russian citizens (as soon as they start speaking their language in many European countries), has taken over almost all European countries. This struck me, because it revealed the Neanderthal entrails of Russophobia. It appears to have been brewing for a long time now. It’s impossible to bring to life a sentiment like that in just one day. So it was carefully hidden. We will make corresponding conclusions.

Isolation doesn’t exist and is brought up exclusively by those who, mentally and ideologically, have resigned themselves to the inevitability of a Western dictatorship on the global stage. This dictatorship is supported primarily by the West itself which is loath to lose its positions. The West has been the world’s dominant player for over 500 years now. A different era – the forming of a multipolar international order – is now here. The global economic development hubs pursuing a nationally oriented policy have risen, and they do not want to accept the impersonal neoliberal values ​​imposed by the West on the world. They want to be grounded in their history, traditions and values, including religious values. By and large, they are common to all world religions.

Russia has many partners in the Asia-Pacific region, Asia, Africa and Latin America. We have good relations with the vast majority of organisations created by the developing countries, including the African Union, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and many others. As you are aware, organisations with the participation of the Russian Federation have been created and are successfully functioning in Eurasia which is a critically important, strategically developing region: the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. In cooperation with ASEAN, these organisations are vigorously promoting interaction among them and developing a network of cooperation projects in conjunction with China’s Belt and Road Initiative, among others. We are building the Greater Eurasian Partnership. Our relations with China are at their all-time best. Russia has a particularly privileged strategic partnership with India. We have ties with the majority of the Middle Eastern, Latin American and African countries.

The West is trying to showcase the so-called “isolation” in which the Russian Federation allegedly found itself by presenting the mathematical results of the UN vote. We are aware of how they get these results and the kind of shameless blackmail the developing countries are subjected to, and personal threats against the representatives of these countries at the UN or other organisations. For us, this means only one thing: the United States and the Western countries that are playing along with this crude and undisguised blackmail are themselves afraid of being isolated. If they are that confident in their ideals and values that can win their way to the hearts and minds of all people around the world, then let them state their position and allow the countries to make a choice. These countries are aware of the position adopted by the West, Russia, China and other major global players. Let them choose freely without any pressure.

During his recent visit to Europe, US President Joseph Biden said that we were entering an era of long confrontation between democracy and autocracy. Look at how the modern West is functioning, look at the countries that have declared themselves a model of democracy. The United States has subdued the entire Europe. It is leading not only NATO but actually also the EU, using its infrastructure and potential for strengthening US military and political positions in the Old World. As for democracies and autocracies, this “community of democracies” represented by the US, NATO and the EU has become an integral whole (under US command). It is an overt autocracy if not a dictatorship as regards other members of the international community.

Our Western colleagues have urged us and other countries for many years to ensure the supremacy of law and democracy in the US interpretation. But whenever we suggested discussing democracy in the world arena, they were against it – there can be no democracy in the world arena. The Westerners have even cancelled the very term “international law” that implied respect for the principles of the UN Charter, primarily, the principle of the sovereign equality of states. Our Western colleagues did not give a damn (excuse me for this expression) about the sovereign equality of states or international law, generally speaking. They no longer use the latter term. They are saying now that all countries must follow the laws of a rules-based order. The rules mean only one thing – they are established by the West. Everyone else must obey. This is a typical example of autocracy and dictatorship that uses an ultimatum.

We don’t feel isolated. Isolation is the lot of those who couldn’t imagine their life without so-called “Western values” and without the welcoming embrace or at least a more or less warm reception in the West. Meanwhile, there are much more important things in life. They are a loadstar for the overwhelming majority of states and civilisations on this planet.

It is necessary to respect each other rather than impose one’s pseudo values in an aggressive manner. These have only existed for a short time. They appeared with the development of neo-liberalism and are used to discontinue millennia-old cultures and civilisations. This path is a dead-end. These attempts will continue for a while, but they are doomed in the historical perspective. Strategically, this policy will find itself in complete isolation.

Question: I know Russia now has more important things to worry about, but “everyone is out for himself.” Now Serbia has to harmonise its foreign policy. It has not introduced sanctions against Russia. For us Russia is the most important foreign policy partner when it comes to upholding our sovereignty in international organisations. How do you visualise Serbia’s possible political prevarication between the two geopolitical poles, and does this phenomenon have time limits?

Sergey Lavrov: It’s not up to us to be responsible for decisions made by Serbia, the Serbian leadership or the Serbian people. We are fraternal nations. We are united by common history and victories against common enemies. We feel how deeply these feelings are rooted in the soul of the Serbian people, in their historical memory. And now we are seeing this. We never impose anything by force. The West is trying to impose on Serbia its own policy and interests by force of economic pressure, threats, blackmail and ultimatums. It is telling Serbia that it must oppose Russia if it wants to join the EU. This is unseemly. This is not how one should behave in society, at home, with friends or in the world arena. This is an example of their policy of arm-twisting. President Aleksandar Vucic has mentioned this more than once. He said honestly that Serbia is a small country but it has its own pride and its own interests. Attempts are being made now to simply forget these interests and turn you into an instrument of Western policy. This is what happened with North Macedonia and Montenegro. This is what the West is now trying to do with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We have deep respect for the Serbian people, its commitment to its traditions, history and its historical friends. I am convinced that the Serbian people will continue making wise decisions in any situation, based on their fundamental interests.

Question: Is President Vladimir Putin ready to sit down at the negotiating table with President Vladimir Zelensky?

Sergey Lavrov: President of Russia Vladimir Putin has commented on this topic many times. He raised this subject yet again not that long ago when answering questions by his foreign colleagues with whom he maintains regular dialogue, including on the situation in Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin said that he has never refused to meet with President Vladimir Zelensky. It is just that he believes in the importance of making sure that these meetings are well prepared. Considering the current crisis situation in Ukraine, its internal conflict which has been building up over all these years and the multiple challenges, simply arranging a meeting to discuss what one thinks and what the other thinks does not cut it. In fact, it would be counterproductive. When Ukraine suggested talks after we launched our special military operation, we agreed. These talks carried on and are ongoing. They will resume today or tomorrow in person in Istanbul after a series of videoconferences. The outcome we seek must deliver on our principled objective of stopping the killing of civilians in Donbass which has been going on for eight long years. The Western community has remained silent despite all its progressivism and has not issued even a single comment to condemn what was going on, even though everyone saw the shelling of civilian infrastructure in Donbass: hospitals, kindergartens, clinics and residential housing. Civilians were dying by the thousands. Still, the “enlightened” West remained silent. All it did was call for fulfilling the Minsk agreements. When Kiev refused, the West started saying that it was up to Russia to fulfil them. This is sheer mockery in terms of common sense, international law, human rights, you name it.

When negotiating with Ukraine, it is our duty to ensure that the people of Donbass never suffer from the Kiev regime again, while the West and NATO stop their military build-up in Ukraine, which creates physical, military threats to the Russian Federation. Ukraine must cease being subject to a constant militarisation effort and attempts to deploy strike capabilities there to threaten the Russian Federation. Ukraine must also stop encouraging neo-Nazi ideology and practices.

This has happened before, and we know these examples. In fact, they are rooted in Ukrainian law. Let me mention the discriminatory laws which run counter to the Ukrainian Constitution and all international commitments. These laws prohibit the Russian language in education and the media. Ukraine has recently adopted laws banning the Russian language from everyday life. Demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine constitute an indispensable component of the agreements we are seeking to conclude. I hope that Ukraine understands that the developments which have been running rampant there since the country’s independence are extremely toxic. This includes honouring the memory of Shukhevich and Bandera, who were Nazi criminals. The “decommunisation” drive includes demolishing monuments to the great people who liberated Ukraine from the Nazis. Western instructors helped train “nationalist” battalions whose members not only wore Nazi symbols but practiced Nazi methods of war. Seeing how Ukrainian Nazis from the Azov and Aidar battalions treat Russian prisoners of war should have dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s for you. We will need to arrange this meeting once a solution regarding all these key matters comes into reach.

For many years, we sought to raise awareness on these issues. The West remained impervious to our efforts, but they have heard us now. This is already something. What matters the most right now is to stop indulging the Ukrainians who want to use talks and solutions as a smokescreen. They have succeeded in this posture when they derailed the Minsk agreements immediately after signing them in February 2015. In the end, they said that they refused to fulfil them. We know how good they are at pretending to be involved. This time, they will not get away with it. We need to make sure that the talks yield results, and once they do, the Presidents will formalise them.

Question: I have a question about mercenaries in Ukraine. It is a hot subject in Russia, and it is being discussed around the world as well. Hundreds of people from Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina fought on the side of the Islamists in Syria. However, the West did not criticise Pristina or Sarajevo. These people are now willing to fight in Ukraine, and there are also Croatian volunteers there. The Kosovo Albanian authorities and Pristina have supported Kiev. We would like you to comment on this.

Sergey Lavrov: We were among those who for years warned our Western partners about the recruiters of the Islamic State and other terrorist groups working in several Balkan countries. We warned them about the consequences of such connivance for Europe. Statistics show that Pristina is holding the per capita anti-record by the number of militants fighting in Syria and Iraq. But nobody wanted to hear about that. Later our Western colleagues wondered where the cutthroats who staged terrorist attacks and massacres in European cities had come from. Mercenaries will not remain in Ukraine after their inglorious mission ends there. It is perfectly clear that they will move on to European cities, where they will continue their so-called work. You may know that participation in hostilities in foreign states is a punishable offence in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Kosovo Province. Some of those who fought in Syria and Iraq have even been punished upon their return home. But today Europe is acting differently. The policy of double standards has taken priority when it comes to Ukraine. The West has banked on it to contain Russia. It would use any means to achieve this end.

We don’t see any reaction to this. We have been trying to draw the attention of our Western partners and colleagues from other countries and parts of the world to the Ukrainian embassies’ activities to recruit mercenaries for Ukraine on their websites, which is a blatant violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and is discrediting the status of a diplomatic office. Some of these mercenaries have made statements on the social media and have appeared on several television networks. It is obvious that they are not volunteers. They are fighting for money. Therefore, they do not have the right to the status of combatant or prisoner of war under international humanitarian law. They are not entitled to protection.

As for Pristina’s support for Kiev, the matter is clear. Kosovo, which is a criminal self-proclaimed quasi-state, does not care for international law. It only wants to take advantage of the situation to win recognition for its pseudo-independence and is posing as just about the main ally of the United States and NATO in the Balkans.

Our attitude to this is well known. We warned about the inadmissibility of pandering to Pristina’s unacceptable actions, and we have always called for settling the Kosovo issue in strict compliance with UN Security Resolution 1244. When the UN General Assembly gave the European Union the mandate to facilitate dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade in 2010, this raised our hopes. In 2013, the EU convinced Pristina and Belgrade to sign an agreement on the Community of Serb Municipalities in Kosovo. It guaranteed the Serbs’ language and cultural rights, as well as their rights in local governments and their special relations with Serbia. However, the Community has not been established. When we remind our Western colleagues about this, they are embarrassed and say that “the matter is still on the table” and that efforts should continue to be taken to implement the decision. I believe that the EU has discredited itself as the guarantor of any agreements.

In February 2014, the EU guaranteed the agreement on a settlement in Ukraine between President Viktor Yanukovych and the opposition. When the opposition overturned the agreements the following morning, the EU said nothing and only cited certain democratic processes.

In 2015, France and Germany signed, together with us, a document that is known now as the Minsk agreements. During the subsequent years, Kiev did nothing to implement that document. It said openly that it would not do it.

[Prime Minister of Kosovo] Albin Kurti has said that he would not implement the agreements on the Community of Serb Municipalities in Kosovo.

The EU, which guaranteed the implementation of all of the above documents, has failed completely. I am sure that it will not do anything to force Pristina to implement the documents co-signed by Europe. The EU and the United States will not place any pressure on Pristina on the issue of mercenaries. The United States is feeling just fine. It used the situation to establish Camp Bondsteel, the largest military base in the Balkans. Pristina has not questioned the need to keep that base and has instead indicated its interest in keeping it. I believe that Pristina will be forgiven for anything it does and will be allowed to do anything it wants.

Question: The ultimate goal of your special operation is not quite clear. Originally it was stated as denazification and protection of the people of Donbass. Today, it seems, at least from abroad, that this is not the only goal being pursued by Russia. Many Russians cannot say what these goals are. Some of them are unable to agree with the rationale for this conflict.

Sergey Lavrov: Each person has the right to choose and define his or her position with regard to some or other events that take place in their own country or in other states.

As for our aims, they are certainly about removing the threats that over these long eight years have caused thousands of deaths and the destruction of civilian facilities in Ukraine – schools, hospitals, plants, factories, etc. This is what the Ukrainian regime has been doing against the population of Donbass with the West’s tacit approval. If today the West is suddenly concerned about the need to respect international humanitarian law and save people’s lives, I will only welcome it, but they should act in such a way as to see the causes and roots of the situation we are facing now.

The root cause of the matter is that an effort was launched to transform Ukraine into an anti-Russia immediately after its independence, its withdrawal from the USSR. You can see it for yourself if you look at the Kiev regime’s lawmaking: its laws in effect ban the use of the Russian language and encourage the development of openly Nazi organisations.

The Nazi ideology and practices have deep roots in Ukrainian society. Officers from the “national volunteer battalions” have permeated Ukraine’s army and armed forces; they publicly preach Nazi ideas, calling on others to follow the behests of Adolf Eichmann, a person notorious for his role in Europe during the Nazi rule.   Even their symbols and tattoos reproduce the swastikas and emblems of the Nazi SS battalions.  If we want to abide by the European values, I do not think they can include this sort of ideology and practices. Europe must put an end to this, if it does not want to find itself once again in a situation where it will be inundated by this “wave,” be it brown or of any other colour that the neo-Nazis favour.

The whole thing is much more serious than just solving a single problem.  Russia cannot accept NATO’s plan to turn Ukraine into its outpost chock-full of offensive arms aimed at our territory. We cannot accept the West’s effort to encourage the eradication of all things Russian in Ukraine (language, culture, etc.). Where were our Western colleagues when Kiev banned the Russian media, TV channels, and not only printed matter but also books published in Russia? They shut down three Russian-language TV channels owned by Ukrainian citizens.

You have mentioned the fact that some Russian citizens cannot accept what is happening today and express their concern. But others – journalists, cultural figures, artists, and athletes – do not voice anything and just do their job. Ukraine puts hundreds of them on sanctions lists.  Yesterday, the Ukrainian regime blacklisted another 46 Russian cultural figures, artists, athletes and journalists. And everyone believes that this is normal. Being Russian in Europe today means running a tremendous risk of violence. There have already been such cases.

Our task is to ensure long-term security in Europe. This cannot be done without cutting off attempts to draw Ukraine into NATO, or without agreeing on security guarantees that will take into account the interests of Russia, Ukraine and European countries. We were confident of this when we tried (unfortunately, to no avail) to start a serious conversation with the United States and NATO in 2021 about providing security guarantees, including for Ukraine, without expanding the North Atlantic Alliance. Nobody would listen.

We have heard repeated promises that NATO would not continue to expand. For example, when it came to the unification of Germany, then the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist. They just lied to our face. When we reminded them about those promises, they said they had never made any. Later on, when we presented proof, they said, well, there might have been some verbal agreement – meaning they just said things to “calm us down,” because they had more important concerns – to ensure that the Soviet Union would “shut down” without any “consequences” for Europe.

When they decided everything had “calmed down,” it was time to get moving. Now they are saying we “should not be afraid” because “NATO is a defensive alliance.” So it was when it was created. But they continued to explain, “NATO is protecting its territory.” We knew where their territory was when there was the Berlin Wall – both concrete and imaginary – between the North Atlantic Alliance and the Warsaw Pact. But when the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union ceased to exist, NATO suddenly thought it wanted to “protect the territory” further east. Then it moved a little more to the east, and so on. What kind of defensive alliance is it that draws its own line of defence? Moreover, it keeps adding countries that no one was ever going to attack – actually, no one had ever even thought of threatening these countries.

Jens Stoltenberg (the Norwegian Central Bank is unlikely to have him back any time soon, as the Alliance has extended his term) declares that NATO should take responsibility for global security. This is where the line of defence is, and where democracy turns into autocracy and dictatorship. He says the alliance needs to increase its role in the vast Indo-Pacific region – that’s what they call the Asia-Pacific region, a direct allusion to the South China Sea. This is where their line of defence will be now.

We want NATO to return to sanity. We have reason to believe that Russia’s most serious concerns, having to do with our fundamental, legitimate interests, have finally been heard. They begin to understand now. If this is so, they will try to influence the Kiev regime, which listens to them, and in fact does everything the West tells them to. I hope that the Ukrainian negotiators will show a constructive approach, and at some stage, we will be able to achieve the desired result.

My colleague, UK Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss has actually confirmed with fantastic, amazing, naive frankness that those negotiators, like the Kiev regime itself, are not acting independently. She actually said they were assisting the Ukrainians in working out their negotiating position. Indeed, who knows the situation in our common region better than London? She went on to say they needed to continue to use the “hard lever” on Russia and “to double down on sanctions.” And when negotiations begin, the UK should be the country that will provide the necessary solutions. An amazing “revelation.” No need to comment.

I can see there are chances to reach an agreement. There is an understanding of the grossest mistakes our Western partners have been making for years. Although, for obvious reasons, they would hardly say this out loud.

Question: What do you think, wouldn’t Belgrade be a perfect place for the negotiations?

Sergey Lavrov: I believe Belgrade is a great city in terms of its position and status. It is quite suitable for talks at any level.

The venue for the negotiations must be acceptable to both teams. Three rounds of in-person talks were held in Belarus, followed by a break due to technical reasons. It was difficult to meet directly; therefore, we held several videoconferences. Now we have agreed to meet in Istanbul. It is a point on the map where both parties were able to arrive. We are ready to consider other locations, including Belgrade.

Question: These days Serbian people remember NATO bombings and many say that the reasoning President Vladimir Putin used to “attack” Ukraine is identical to the reasoning the alliance used in its aggression against Yugoslavia. What is your response to these claims?

Sergey Lavrov: Our Western colleagues are known for twisting facts without batting an eye or as much as a blush. They always want to justify their stance and demands by distorting the real picture.

We have already spoken about the February 2014 coup in Ukraine, when the settlement guarantees provided by the EU were trampled to pieces. The neo-Nazis who came to power immediately afterwards demanded revoking the status of the Russian language in Ukraine, getting out of Crimea, and sent combat units to Crimea to storm the Supreme Council. Only then did the Crimean people revolt against such attacks and held a referendum. Now, reviewing that period, the West starts its story not with the failure of the European Union, whose signature, apparently, meant nothing to the opposition that staged the coup, and not with the attacks on the Russian language and Russians committed by the putschists that came to power. The West begins the timeline of those events with what it calls an “annexation” of Crimea. The truth is it was not an annexation but a free expression of will that took place as a result of the coup staged with the support from the West. However, the West has crossed out those several weeks leading up to the referendum in Crimea, from history. They say Crimea was “annexed,” hence the sanctions, when in fact, they wanted to punish Russia for their own failures and inability to keep their promises.

For them, the timeline of everything that is happening in Ukraine right now begins on February 24, 2022, when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the beginning of a special military operation. The years of abuse targeting Russians, the Russian language and culture in Ukraine, ignoring Russia’s appeals to NATO and the United States about the fact that further “exploration” of the territories bordering the Russian Federation is unacceptable, direct calls to prevent Ukraine’s accession to NATO and to stop pumping Ukraine with weapons, building naval bases and, as it now turns out, biological warfare laboratories – nobody is talking about that. They claim that Russia started the operation against the Ukrainian state for no reason at all. What about the fact that the Ukrainian state could not care less about the Minsk agreements for eight years, bombing cities, towns and killing civilians? All this is now behind the line from which the West now marks off its angry and principled positioning.

I heard that President Vladimir Zelensky gave an interview to several Russian media outlets and, when asked about the biological warfare labs, he said it was all a lie and they did not exist. If the West is ready to buy into this kind of commentaries it means that our own experience with the modern Western politics will only be reaffirmed. There are multiple pages of documents that we submitted to the UN Security Council and President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky claims they are a lie.

To be continued…

“The unipolar world has come to an end”: Medvedev

25 Mar 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen net 

Dmitry Medvedev discussed what he believed to be serious geopolitical changes.

Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev (TASS)

Deputy chairman of the Russian security council, Medvedev considered Europe possibly abandoning Russian gas and noted that the unipolar world has “come to an end.”

In an extensive interview with Sputnik and RT, the former president reviewed the West’s actions during Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. He also discussed various perspectives on it, including those who chose to leave Russia.

Commenting on the jarring and obvious western Russophobia, Medvedev declared that the US is no longer the “masters of planet earth.”

Medvedev has recently become known for his tough and sardonic assertions about Western countries’ behavior. Previously, he stated that anti-Russian sentiments, which have risen since the start of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, have been hidden for the last 30 years behind “the hypocritical white-toothed smiles of politicians and diplomats who said one thing and did something completely different.”

Putin Declares Lugansk, Donetsk Independent Republics

February 22, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree recognizing breakaway Lugansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine as independent republics.

Putin made the announcement live on television after an emotional address in which he referred to eastern Ukraine as “ancient Russian lands” and said it was “managed by foreign powers.”

“I deem it necessary to make a decision that should have been made a long time ago – to immediately recognize the independence and sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic,” he said.

Announcing his recognition, Putin signed treaties on friendship, cooperation and mutual aid with Donetsk leader Denis Pushilin and Lugansk leader Leonid Pasechnik.

Putin also told Russia’s defense ministry to deploy troops into the two regions to “keep the peace” in a decree issued shortly after announcing his recognition of their independence from Ukraine.

The decree said Russia now had the right to build military bases in the breakaway regions and that troops’ mission would be to uphold the peace.

In a lengthy televised address, Putin described Ukraine as an integral part of Russia’s history and said he was confident the Russian people would support his decision.

He also vented his grievances against the West, saying the recognition was a direct result of the failure of the 2014 Minsk agreements designed to put an end to a protracted fighting between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russia forces.

The Russian leader took a swipe as Western powers which support Ukraine, saying “they are not interested in peaceful solutions – they want to start a blitzkrieg.”

“Every day they are amassing troops in the Donbas.”

Putin also accused Ukraine of “extreme nationalism,” and “Russophobia”, saying Kiev was sending saboteurs to target Russian infrastructure and attempting to “drag foreign states into conflict with our country.”

He denounced Ukraine’s ambitions to join NATO as an “immediate threat of attack” against his country.

Earlier, Ukraine rejected as “fake news” claim that Russia had killed five “saboteurs” attempting to cross into the country.

Donetsk and Lugansk were turned into self-proclaimed republics by ethnic Russians in 2014. That led to a bloody conflict between the government forces and armed separatists.

Ukraine, as well as the European Union and the United States claim Russia has a hand in the conflict, which has killed more than 14,000 people so far. Moscow denies the allegation.

The armed conflict began when a wave of protests in Ukraine overthrew a democratically-elected pro-Russia government and replaced it with a pro-West administration.

Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Western countries’ false accusations against Russia in the context of numerous historical examples of the West-fabricated pretexts for aggression

February 21, 2022

I would very much encourage you to read and listen to Andrei Martyanov’s article and youtube from yesterday.  Here it is, titled Why Would Putin Say This.  His talk and writing are about Mr. Putin’s statement of genocide in the Donbass.  Martyanov reckons that a world reckoning may be incoming.


https://mid.ru/en/press_service/articles_and_rebuttals/rebuttals/nedostovernie-publikacii/1799521/

Below, we have presented false statements by Western officials concerning Russia’s alleged fabrication of pretexts to invade Ukraine as well as numerous examples from the past demonstrating who in fact has been consistently creating false excuses to act aggressively against a foreign country.

Thus, London and Washington are the historical champions in fabricating pretexts for destructive actions, including the invasion of other states.

Clearly, the current long-term marathon of information terror is in the vein of the West’s traditional policy. With the prompting from the US and UK ruling circles, the world’s leading media are whipping up hysteria to brainwash their audiences and create a new reality by convincing everyone of Russia’s “imminent invasion of Ukraine”.

The volume of fake news fabricated and disseminated by US and European media outlets has grown by many times over the past few months. The collective West is planting more and more reports on the dates of Russia’s alleged invasion of Ukraine and non-existent attack plans while hypocritically denying the fact that Donbass residents are suffering from the crimes of the Kiev regime.

For our part, we are taking regular steps to disavow these allegations. Below, we have presented false statements by Western officials concerning Russia’s alleged fabrication of pretexts to invade Ukraine as well as numerous examples from the past demonstrating who in fact has been consistently creating false excuses to act aggressively against a foreign country.

Statements by US, NATO and UK officials on Russia’s alleged fabrications of pretexts to invade Ukraine

Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby on January 14:

“Without getting into too much detail, we do have information that indicates that Russia is already working actively to create a pretext for a potential invasion, a move on Ukraine.”

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on January 14:

“Our intelligence community has developed information that Russia is laying the groundwork to have the option of fabricating a pretext for an invasion, including through sabotage activities and information operations, by accusing Ukraine of preparing an imminent attack against Russian forces in Eastern Ukraine.”

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on February 17:

“Reports of alleged abnormal military activity by Ukraine in Donbass are a blatant attempt by the Russian government to fabricate pretexts for invasion.”

US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on February 17:

“In response to this manufactured provocation, the highest levels of the Russian Government may theatrically convene emergency meetings to address the so-called crisis. The government will issue proclamations declaring that Russia must respond to defend Russian citizens or ethnic Russians in Ukraine.”

According to the secretary of state, first Russia will manufacture a pretext to start a war. Blinken suggests that it could be, for example, a terrorist attack in Russia itself, a staged drone strike against civilians, or a staged – or even actual – sabotage using chemical weapons. Blinken says Russian media outlets have already started pushing the provocation story.

US President Joe Biden on February 17:

“They have not moved any of their troops out. They’ve moved more troops in, number one. Number two, we have reason to believe that they are engaged in a false-flag operation to have an excuse to go in. Every indication we have is they’re prepared to go into Ukraine, attack Ukraine.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on February 17:

“I wish I could give everybody better news about this [Ukraine] but I have to tell you that the picture is continuing to be very grim. Today, as I am sure you have already picked up, a kindergarten was shelled in what we are taking to be a false-flag operation designed to discredit the Ukrainians, designed to create a pretext, a spurious provocation for Russian action.”

US Department of State spokesperson on February 18:

The United States is considering reports of evacuation and explosions in Donbass as an excuse for a false-flag operation against Ukraine, the official spokesperson for the US Department of State told RIA Novosti.

“Announcements like these are further attempts to obscure through lies and disinformation that Russia is the aggressor in this conflict. This type of false flag operation is exactly what Secretary Blinken highlighted in his remarks to the UN Security Council.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on February 20:

“We are concerned that Russia is trying to stage a pretext for an armed attack against Ukraine, there is still no clarity, no certainty about the Russian intentions.”

Examples of Western countries fabricating pretexts for aggression against other states

Below is a brief review (the list is far from complete) of provocations prepared by the US and Great Britain, in particular, which show clearly the kinds of tools that have long been an integral part of the foreign policy of the Anglo-Saxons and their allies. We would also like to note our detailed report, Political Crimes Committed by the UK, dated April 19, 2018.

Latin America has been the main region of concentration for the US’s constant control and interference ever since the Monroe Doctrine was announced on December 2, 1823. For almost 200 years now, the US has been trying to dictate how and by what standards Latin Americans should live. The region became a testing ground for Washington’s intervention technology, later to be used all over the world. The most common (and cynical) excuses for incursions south of the US border have been:

  1. The protection of American citizens like in Haiti in 1922: “The crisis… called for immediate and vigorous action by the Navy to protect the lives and property of Americans and foreigners, and to restore order throughout this distressed country.” (From a report by Secretary of State Robert Lansing to Congress.)
  2. The delegitimization of official authorities, which is most often related to Washington’s dissatisfaction with sovereign electoral processes in Latin American countries. As US President Woodrow Wilson said after his inauguration in March 1913: “I am going to teach the Latin American republics to elect good men!”

In June 1835, an armed rebellion was organised by the American colonists living in Texas, which belong to Mexico at the time, against the Mexican authorities. A close friend of President Andrew Jackson, Colonel Samuel Houston, was sent there to seize the territory. At the same time, the US provided massive support (sending volunteers, weapons, and ammunition) to the rebels, who soon declared “independence” in Texas, and in March 1837 recognised it as an “independent state.”

The Mexican-American War of 1846-1848. The border between Mexico and Texas, previously annexed with the direct involvement of the US authorities, served as a pretext to start hostilities. American troops occupied the disputed area between the Nueces and Rio Grande rivers and blocked Mexican ports, which forced Mexico to declare war. Soon after the first skirmishes, US President James K. Polk, who had previously intended to justify the war with financial claims, turned to Congress, declaring that the Mexicans “invaded our territory and shed American blood on American soil.” Mexico lost the war and had to recognise Texas as part of the US. It lost more than half its territory, including today’s California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah.

The Anglo-French-Spanish intervention in Mexico in 1861-1867. The Government of Benito Juarez, who came to power after the Mexican Civil War 1858-1861, refused to recognise the debts of the previous allegedly unconstitutional authorities to foreign powers, which triggered its largest creditors – Great Britain, France and Spain – to intervene.

It is noteworthy that part of the British “media” preparation for the intervention took the form of a campaign in The Times with news of “terrible riots in Mexico where foreigners are suffering.” In turn, Paris quickly granted French citizenship to a Swiss banker whose debt Mexico City also refused to pay off, which served as yet another reason to legitimise the intervention.

London and Madrid soon withdrew from the war while French troops captured most of the Mexican territory. A referendum was held during the military occupation, where a majority of the population voted for the establishment of a monarchy. Archduke Maximilian, brother of the Austrian emperor Franz Joseph, then ascended to the imperial throne. After the invaders lost in 1867, the republic, led by President Benito Juarez, was restored in Mexico.

1854, Nicaragua. The Americans razed San Juan del Sur to the ground, a purely civilian town in Nicaragua, after the US Ambassador was slapped in the face for obstructing the prosecution of an American citizen suspected of murder.

In 1856-1857, American mercenaries led by Willian Walker staged a coup to seize power in Nicaragua. The United States recognised Walker as the legitimate president. He surrendered and was repatriated through the combined efforts of Central American states.

In the 1890s, the Americans occupied Nicaraguan ports several times. In 1909, relations with Washington soured again, the legitimate government of Nicaragua was overthrown, and American troops invaded the country. The United States occupied Nicaragua from 1912 to 1933, leaving the country only after the victory of the guerrillas led by Augusto Sandino.

February 15, 1898. The USS Maine, anchored off Havana, Cuba (then a Spanish colony), exploded and sank. A US commission investigating the incident came to the unsubstantiated conclusion that the ship had been sunk by an external explosion. The United States put the blame on Spain, using the incident to launch a war the result of which was taking over Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam. Cuba was declared an independent state but remained under strong US influence. Under the Cuban constitution, the United States could station troops on the island until 1934. After the USS Maine was lifted in 1912, and after new investigations by several US commissions, it was established that the explosion had been caused by spontaneous combustion in the coal bunkers.

During the 1910-1917 revolution in Mexico, the United States occupied the port of Veracruz after eight American sailors were arrested by the Mexican military patrol for entering off-limit areas in Tampico in April 1914. Although the sailors were released as soon as the circumstances were clarified and the Mexicans offered an oral apology, Washington sent an ultimatum demanding a written apology within 24 hours and a 21-gun salute to show respect for the American flag. When Mexico refused to honour that humiliating demand, US Marines landed in Veracruz and held it until November 1914.

In 1937, a military coup was staged in Nicaragua with US military assistance, as a result of which the Somoza dynasty held power in the country until 1979, when the people, led by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), replaced the Anastasio Somoza regime with the government of FSLN leader Daniel Ortega. This provoked the opposition of the anti-government fighters (contras), supported by the United States, to engage in a civil war, which lasted from 1981 and until 1990. When the US Congress officially prohibited the financing of the contras, the CIA provided the money covertly. The fact of direct US interference in Nicaragua was reaffirmed in the verdict handed down on July 27, 1986, by the International Court of Justice in The Hague within the framework of the Iran-Contra affair.

Several attempts have been made over the years since then to overthrow the Sandinista government under the pretext of protecting democracy and human rights. The last attempt was in April 2018, when a state coup was provoked against the backdrop of public unrest incited by external forces.

April 1961, Cuba. The Bay of Pigs Invasion is a failed attempt by American mercenaries to invade Cuba and a textbook example of US interventionist policy. The 1962 blockade of Cuba (John F. Kennedy’s Embargo on All Trade with Cuba) and the subsequent numerous measures to increase the sanctions against Havana, such as the 1992 Torricelli Act and the 1996 Helms-Burton Act, add up to an open economic aggression, which the United States has conducted despite international condemnation, including at the UN General Assembly.

After a short-lived thaw during the Obama administration, President Donald Trump resumed the policy of restrictions and added several new sanctions against Cuba. The Biden administration is pursuing the same policy. In May 2021, Cuba was again put on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. In July 2021, it was listed as a country that does not satisfy US standards for combatting trafficking in persons.

On September 7, 2021, President Biden extended trade restrictions with Cuba for another year. On December 21, 2021, the US Department of State reaffirmed Cuba’s position on the Trafficking in Persons list. In November 2021 and in January 2022, Washington adopted two packages of visa restrictions against Cuban officials over their alleged connection to suppressing protests in July and November 2021.

August 1953, Iran. The CIA and the UK Secret Intelligence Service orchestrated the joint Operation Ajax to topple Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh and his government who had nationalised the Iranian oil industry. The goal was to restore Western control over the country’s oil revenues and to create favourable conditions for pro-Western Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to return from exile.

London and Washington started their seditious activity against Mohammad Mossadegh with an international boycott of Iranian oil products. Then a full-scale information campaign was launched against the prime minister and his associates based on fabricated news about cooperation with Communists. That Anglo-American manipulation of public opinion, coupled with the palm greasing of Iran’s military and political elite, put General Fazlollah Zahedi’s puppet leadership in power. At the demand of his foreign bosses, he signed fettering oil contracts.

August 2 and 4, 1964, Vietnam —the Gulf of Tonkin incident. On August 7, 1964, US President Lyndon B. Johnson pushed Congress to adopt a resolution that granted him the right “to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States” in Southeast Asia. The alleged bombing of US destroyers by torpedo boats of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin the day before served as the formal pretext. Later, the Senate commission admitted that the reports of the incident had been intentionally distorted in order to launch military operations in Vietnam.

On April 28, 1965, the US Marine Corps started an intervention in Barahona and Haina, Dominican Republic. US President Lyndon B. Johnson claimed that the military intervention was necessary to protect US citizens in the civil war in the country after Francisco Caamano’s leftist government came to power. The country was occupied until July 28, 1966.

On September 11, 1973, with direct support from the United States, a military coup took place in Chile, deposing democratically elected president Salvador Allende and establishing the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet that lasted for a long 17 years, and that included executions, harsh repressions and deep discord in Chilean society.

In 1982 in Guatemala, extensive efforts by US intelligence to create certain newsworthy events put a military government in power. In the 1990s, the United States provided military aid to Guatemala’s pro-American government allegedly to fight Communism, a fight that was in reality manifested in mass murders. By 1998, 200,000 people had fallen victim to this “fighting,” tens of thousands had fled to Mexico and over a million had become internally displaced persons.

On October 25, 1983 United States military units and a coalition of six Caribbean countries invaded Grenada to topple the government of Maurice Bishop, who was unwanted by Washington. An official appeal for help from the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States following conflicts inside the People’s Revolutionary Government of Grenada served as a pretext for the operation. Maurice Bishop was killed as a result. The US administration claimed that the military intervention was necessary due to “concerns over the 600 US medical students on the island.” The invasion was criticised by a number of countries, including Canada. On November 2, 1983, the UN General Assembly also condemned the military operation as a “flagrant violation of international law” (108 countries voted for the resolution and nine against).

Since 1986 in Colombia, so-called social cleansing was conducted as part of the US policy to support favoured regimes, allegedly to counter drug trafficking. Trade union leaders and members of any movement or organisation with at least some influence, as well as farmers and unwanted politicians were eliminated. Tens of thousands of people were killed as a result.

1989, Panama —The United States invades Panama. Formally George H. W. Bush announced Operation Just Cause on December 21, 1989 to protect American citizens and ensure the security of the Panama Canal in accordance with the Torrijos-Carter Treaties, as well as to restore democracy and bring the informal leader of Panama, Manuel Noriega, to trial after accusing him of supporting drug trafficking. At the same time, Panamanian analysts noted that the real goal of the Americans was to install a government loyal to Washington, since the Manuel Noriega regime had begun distancing itself from Washington, something that did not fit into the US’s strategy to ensure reliable control over the Panama Canal.

The immediate reason for the American aggression was the alleged killing by Panamanian defence forces of an American Marine who was “lost” on Panamanian territory. In fact, a later investigation showed that this Marine and others in his unit were part of a special group acting under US Naval Intelligence, whose task was to provoke an open conflict with the Panamanian military. This armed group ignored Panamanian Defence Forces’ roadblocks, despite the warning signs, as well as orders to stop, and shot several local residents, including a child. In this situation, the Panamanian military simply had to use weapons; as a result, one of the attackers was killed.

American media reports that several bags of cocaine were allegedly found in a house frequented by Manuel Noriega was another fabrication that the US used to intervene. These bags allegedly confirmed the link between the Panamanian leader and drug traffickers, but during the search, ordinary flour was found instead of drugs, something that was later acknowledged by the US military.

During the invasion of Panama on December 20, 1989, the lawful Panamanian authorities were brought down, and the country found itself occupied by American troops for some time. According to the local association for victims’ relatives, the Americans committed numerous war crimes, including massacres of civilians (about 4,000).

March 24 – June 10, 1999 —Operation Allied Force against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. American citizen William Walker, head of the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission, made big news with a completely false allegation of a civilian massacre in the village of Racak (January 1999). It was proven later that these civilians were armed militants killed in action. The European Union later established this beyond a doubt. Back then, William Walker announced publicly that it was an act of genocide. He took it upon himself to announce the withdrawal of the OSCE mission from Kosovo. In fact, this was used as a trigger for NATO’s aggression against the former state of Yugoslavia.

March 20 – April 9, 2003, Iraq —The US and its allies invade Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein. For 12 years, the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) and then the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) had been searching Iraq for hidden stocks of biological, chemical and other weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the existence of which Baghdad denied. Nevertheless, during a UN Security Council meeting on February 5, 2003, US Secretary of State Colin Powell accused Iraqi leaders of manufacturing WMDs and showed a vial of white powder, which allegedly contained anthrax found in Iraq: “The facts and Iraq’s behaviour show that Saddam Hussein and his regime are concealing their efforts to produce more weapons of mass destruction. There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more. My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions…”

The powder did not convince the UN Security Council members, and they refused to sanction the invasion of Iraq. But that did not stop the Americans. In March-April 2003, under the pretext that these notorious WMDs must be destroyed, the United States, with support from its allies, launched an armed invasion of Iraq in violation of international law, which led to an occupation of the country. The legitimate president, Saddam Hussein, was overthrown and executed, and the country was plunged into many years of chaos, from which it has not fully recovered to this day.

No biological, chemical or nuclear weapons were ever found after the destruction of Iraq, and Powell apologised publicly. In July 2016, a British independent commission led by John Chilcot, which had been investigating Britain’s participation in the military campaign in Iraq for seven years, announced the results of its inquiry. Conclusion: the invasion in Iraq was a “terrible mistake,” and the Tony Blair government’s decision to become involved was “hasty” and “based on inadequate evidence.” Even Tony Blair himself admitted that the invasion of Iraq had been carried out on the basis of false intelligence and that the actions by the Western coalition, in effect, facilitated the rise of ISIS. Тhe former prime minister apologised to the families of the British soldiers who died in Iraq but somehow, in a typical British manner, forgot to apologise to the families of the murdered Iraqis.

the London played a particularly important role in this respect. It initiated a series of provocations starting with the Litvinenko case in 2006. Under the far-fetched excuse that Moscow refused to contribute to the investigation into his being poisoned, the United Kingdom imposed a number of sanctions on Russia in July 2007. Thus, it expelled four Russian diplomats from the country, suspended all contact with the Russian Federal Security Service and any work on military-technical agreements or a bilateral agreement on easing visa requirements. In addition, Britain insisted on the extradition of Russian citizen Andrey Lugovoy, which would be a crude violation of our constitution.

Russia was cooperating with its British colleagues in good faith, but London did not reciprocate. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office informed its British colleagues that if they provided the relevant materials, it would be willing to conduct legal proceedings in Russia.

In August 2014, the Investigative Committee of Russia had to refuse to take part in Britain’s public inquiry into this case. The problem was that, contrary to its name, it was not transparent for Russia. Hence, there were serious apprehensions about its potential for politicisation. Our apprehensions were eventually justified. Hearings on the open part of the “public inquiry” abounded in references to “secrecy,” various kinds of insinuations and undisguised bias, in part, as regards witness testimony that did not fit into the prosecution’s “general line.”

In September 2014, a US-led international anti-terrorist coalition was established in Iraq and Syria to counter ISIS. Indicatively, the SAR government was never asked for an agreement on the deployment of the coalition’s forces in this sovereign country. All coalition operations have been conducted without coordination with the lawful Syrian authorities under the pretext of implementing the right to self-defence as envisaged by Article 51 of the UN Charter.

The Syrian leaders have repeatedly called on the UN Security Council to hold the United States and its allies responsible for their actions. The coalition’s air forces have regularly subjected Syrian infrastructure, including oil facilities in ISIS-controlled areas, to massive attacks. According to the Syrian Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources, during the crisis, the oil-and-gas sector alone has sustained damaged of over $100 billion from these illegal actions and the continuing foreign occupation of parts of Syrian territory. Attacks have frequently targeted government troop units, after which the militants launch an offensive. Thus, airstrikes at Syrian Army positions in Deir ez-Zor killed 62 Syrian army personnel and wounded over 100 people. ISIS militants used this opportunity to seize the front lines of the besieged garrison’s defence in Deir ez-Zor that was surrounded by terrorists.

In April 2017 and April 2018, cases of fabricated uses of chemical weapons by Damascus, actually staged by Western secret services with the help of the notorious pseudo-humanitarian White Helmets (*) were used by NATO allies as a pretext for massive missile strikes at Syrian military and civilian facilities.

Accusations based on the fabricated use of “chemical weapons” and other false reports on Damascus’ alleged crimes (for instance, in Douma on April 7, 2018) became a dominant trend in the Western information war against the SAR. The persistent brainwashing of public opinion allowed the West to adopt the toughest, repressive measures and sanctions at the legal level, like the Caesar Act, which is pushing Syria towards a humanitarian disaster and is preventing post-crisis recovery and the return of millions of refugees.

(*) White Helmets (WH) NGO as a tool for staging fake chemical incidents in Syria.

The United State and Great Britain have actively relied on information from the WH for levelling accusations against the Syrian government by claiming that Damascus used chemical weapons. The UK later used these would-be accusations to buttress their line within the OPCW when they pushed for the introduction of an attributive mechanism to investigate and “punish” states for using chemical weapons.

The White Helmets is an informal designation of Syria Civil Defence, a non-governmental organisation that was formed in 2014 in Idlib as an umbrella structure for various rescue teams operating on Syrian territory not controlled by official Damascus.

The WH have been exposed multiple times for fabricating and planting fake news in the information space, including the following instances:

  • Even before Russia’s Aerospace Forces launched their counterterrorism operation in Syria in October 2015, the WH arranged for new stories to emerge from the West Bank, Palestinian territory, on the “victims from airstrikes by the Russian military.”
  • In September 2016, humanitarian organisations offered to evacuate a girl from Aleppo, who reported on Twitter about the “regime’s atrocities.” It turned out that it was an English-speaking WH activist who had written these Twitter posts in the girl’s name.
  • In December 2016, the Egyptian police in Port Said detained a group of WH activists who were filming what they presented as true reports about a “girl in Aleppo covered in blood.”
  • In late April and early May 2017, WH members and Al Jazeera worked on a report on what they claimed was a “chemical weapons attack by the Syrian regime” in Saraqib, Idlib, but this incident never happened.

In some cases, the organisation recognised the fact that it was spreading “posed news stories” and justified its actions by the need to “to raise awareness of the suffering of the Syrian people.”

Some of the stories planted by the WH resulted from their ties to terrorist groups, as Stephen Kinzer, a reporter with The Boston Globe, a US newspaper, pointed out. He wrote that on March 16, 2015, the Sarmin Coordination Committee provided to the WH what it presented as video materials exposing the Syrian government, and the CNN, an American television network, then gave these materials a lot of publicity. However, it turned out later that this “committee” was affiliated with al-Qaeda. This led Stephen Kinzer to the conclusion that the American TV network relayed al-Qaeda propaganda to the international public opinion.

Experts from the World Health Organisation’s office in Damascus were also critical of the White Helmets, saying that the WH, together with Doctors Without Borders and the so-called Syrian American Medical Society, were spreading misinformation and planting fake news on Syrian territories controlled by illegal armed groups, including by releasing fake reports on “destroyed hospitals in Aleppo,” and “mass starvation” in the besieged areas. In their undertakings the WH officials use as their cover the so-called UN cross-border humanitarian mechanism in Gaziantep, Turkey, whose financing bypasses the UN’s official call for humanitarian assistance.

Respected politicians and civil society figures from Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Slovakia, and the United States, acting independently from one another, have been exposing planted fake news, misinformation, and fabrications.

March 2018, the Skripal case. London used the incident in Salisbury linked with the suspected poisoning of former GRU employee Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia as a provocation against Russia. Without waiting for the results of its own investigation and ignoring an opportunity of using legal mechanisms and formats, including the OPCW and the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, the British government announced a number of unfriendly acts as regards the Russian Federation.

London expelled 23 Russian diplomats; drafted “new legislative powers to harden defences against all forms of hostile state activity”; adopted amendments to the draft law on sanctions so as to “strengthen powers to impose sanctions in response to the violation of human rights”; strengthened border control; threatened to “freeze Russian state assets where there is evidence that they may be used to threaten the life or property of UK nationals”; promised to take all the “necessary steps against organised crime and corrupt elites”; suspended all high-level bilateral contacts, in part, rescinded the invitation to Sergey Lavrov to visit the UK; cancelled the visit to the 2019 World Cup by members of the royal family and the government; and adopted other measures that “cannot be made public for reasons of national security.”

In addition, the British government initiated the further exacerbation of tensions by engineering the expulsion of Russian diplomats by some other countries, mostly from the EU and NATO.

Speaking in parliament in September 2018, the then British Prime Minister Theresa May said the Crown Prosecution Service was ready to bring charges for the attempted murder of the Skripals against two Russian nationals – Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Bashirov. She said they are “officers from the Russian military intelligence also known as the GRU.” According to Theresa May, Petrov and Bashirov were “names believed to be aliases” used to penetrate the UK for the attempted murder of the Skipal family in Salisbury.

In her address to the MPs, Theresa May emphasised that only Russia had the technical means and operational experience of using the toxic agent – the so-called Novichok. She referred to a report of the OPCW Secretariat on the results of the inquiry into the Amesbury incident. However, this report does not contain any references to the origin of the toxic agent and does not use the term “Novichok.”

On September 21, 2021, the British law enforcement bodies announced their decision to bring charges against a third Russian citizen “involved in the Skripal case” – a certain Sergey Fedotov. Commenting on a new turn in this case in her speech to the British Parliament, Britain’s Home Secretary Priti Patel emphasised London’s intention to continue the toughest possible response to the persisting considerable threat from Russia until relations with its Government improve.

Speaking on November 18, 2021, Secretary Patel said: “We are establishing an inquiry to ensure that all relevant evidence can be considered, with the hope that the family of Dawn Sturgess will get the answers they need and deserve.” According to British officials, Dawn Sturgess, a British national, was poisoned by the nerve gas “Novichok” in Amesbury in 2018. The planned political process has nothing to do with justice. Its only goal is to lay the blame for these events on Moscow without any proof and at the same time put it into a kind of a “legal framework.”

That said, British officials have not yet replied to our numerous requests for clear answers to our questions regarding many incongruities in the “Skripal case.”

During contact with our British colleagues, we have consistently insisted on a professional and unbiased approach to investigating all the circumstances of the incident. We have repeatedly told London about our readiness to cooperate via law enforcement bodies and experts, if our British partners are truly interested in investigating the crime.

Venezuela held presidential elections on May 20, 2018. For political reasons the US has failed to recognize the legitimacy of winning candidate Nicolas Maduro, while it has also failed to provide any evidence of election fraud. In January 2019 Washington recognized Juan Guaido, a Venezuelan MP, as “interim president of Venezuela” in violation of the country’s constitution, after which the US Department of the Treasury sought to “support the people of Venezuela in their efforts to restore democracy” by sanctioning the country’s central bank and key sectors of the economy, mainly the petroleum industry, which generates most of the country’s revenues. There is a de-facto petroleum embargo and an embargo on petroleum products exports to Venezuela, the assets and accounts of Venezuela in Western banks have been frozen, and the country cannot borrow on foreign markets. As of now, the cumulative cost of US sanctions against Venezuela ranges from between $130 billion and $258 billion. The sanctions pressure is sapping Venezuela’s economy, and undermining the government’s ability to purchase necessities, including vaccines, medical equipment and drugs to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to estimates by the leading economist at Columbia University, Jeffrey Sachs, US sector-wide sanctions have led to the death of 40,000 Venezuelans.
According to UNHRC Special Rapporteur, Alena Douhan, “sanctions have exacerbated the pre-existing economic and social crisis,” and crisis in development, “with a devastating effect on the entire population.” Today, Venezuela faces “a lack of necessary machinery, spare parts, electricity, water, fuel, gas, food and medicine,” as well as qualified personnel, namely, “doctors, nurses, engineers, teachers, professors, judges, police officers.” This situation has had “a great impact on all categories of human rights including the right to life, food, health and development.”
Bolivia has faced many coups orchestrated by the US and its allies. The coup of 2019 is the more salient example. President Evo Morales was illegally removed from office following a colour revolution-style campaign in domestic and international media about alleged election fraud, which was encouraged by the leaders of the Organisation of American States (OAS). Meanwhile, Western ambassadors took a direct role in promoting Jeanine Anez to the presidency, in clear violation of constitutional procedures, in particular, discussing domestic Bolivian policy at unofficial meetings at Catholic University of Bolivia on November 11 and 12, 2019. The ensuing clashes in the cities of Sacaba and Senkata between demonstrators and the police that sought to forcefully disperse them claimed the lives of almost 40 people.

Another instance of US interference in Bolivia’s domestic affairs was the events of 2008 that forced President Evo Morales to expel US Ambassador Philip Goldberg, who, per Bolivian government sources, met with the leaders of the city of Santa Cruz to discuss the secession of eastern departments from Bolivia. This discussion took place amid separatist demonstrations that damaged a Bolivian-Brazilian gas pipeline and killed 30 locals.

Moreover, the West put on an egregious display of disregard for international law and of engineering a pretext to breach the inviolability of a top Bolivian official when Evo Morales’ presidential plane was forced to land in Vienna on July 2, 2013 following his visit to Moscow. Spain, France, Portugal and Italy closed their airspace on suspicions that Edward Snowden was aboard the presidential plane. The then Spain’s Foreign Minister Jose Garcia-Margallo made public the receipt of this intelligence without naming its source. This provocation resulted in the humiliating inspection of the Bolivian President’s aircraft to confirm Edward Snowden’s absence. A day later, Department of State Spokesperson Jen Psaki acknowledged during a press briefing that the US had been “in contact with a range of countries across the world who had any chance of having Mr Snowden land or even transit through their countries.”

January 3, 2020. Major General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force, a unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was killed by a US drone strike at Baghdad Airport, Iraq. The Iranian military leader was on the US sanctions lists for the alleged “activities to disseminate disinformation” and assistance to the lawful Syrian government. The elimination of an official of one country on the territory of a third country is an unprecedented move. Many experts qualify this US crime as an act of state terrorism.

August 2020, the “poisoning” of Alexey Navalny. The EU, the UK and the United States imposed sanctions against a number of Russian citizens and GosNIIOKhT (State Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology) for the alleged involvement in Navalny’s poisoning with “Novichok.” They did not cite any facts or evidence of their involvement.

In August 2021, the British Government announced the imposition of sanctions as part of its national sanction regime under far-fetched and absurd pretexts. These were personal restrictions as regards “the individuals directly responsible for carrying out the poisoning of Mr Navalny.”

It was claimed that the imposed sanctions seriously curtailed Russia’s ostensibly irresponsible and harmful behaviour and were a logical extension of the October 6, 2020 OPCW statement, which “confirmed” the conclusions of three independent international laboratories on Navalny’s poisoning by a nerve agent from the “Novichok” group.

***

Thus, London and Washington are the historical champions in fabricating pretexts for destructive actions, including the invasion of other states, their occupation, inflicting damage with destructive strikes and use of illegal sanctions, to name a few.

Clearly, the current long-term marathon of information terror is in the vein of the West’s traditional policy. With the prompting from the US and UK ruling circles, the world’s leading media are whipping up hysteria to brainwash their audiences and create a new reality by convincing everyone of Russia’s “imminent invasion of Ukraine” with endless repetitions of Russophobic reports.

Russia To US: End The Hysteria

February 18, 2022 

By Staff, Agencies 

The Russian Embassy in Washington advised the US to stop hyping up the possibility of a war between Russia and Ukraine urging it to end the constant “hysteria” against Moscow.

It further suggested that the rhetoric from American officials is making the situation worse.

The embassy’s comment, published to Facebook on Wednesday, signals a rare moment of unity with Kiev, which has also pleaded with Washington to stop pushing the narrative of impending war. Just one day before, a senior member of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s ruling party also accused the US of “hysteria.”

According to the Russian Embassy, Washington is “fueling journalists’ militarist rage.” The statement came in response to a CNN interview with Ned Price, the spokesman of the US State Department, when he accused Moscow of spreading disinformation on the situation in Ukraine.

“It is obvious that the flywheel of the anti-Russian hysteria spinned [sic] in the United States does not allow American colleagues to look at things objectively. Self-hypnosis about the inevitability of the Russian attack persists,” the statement said, urging the State Department to focus on truly important issues of diplomatic settlement of the intra-Ukrainian conflict.

The statement by the Russian diplomatic mission echoes a similar one made on Monday by David Arakhamia, the parliamentary faction leader of Ukraine’s ruling Servant of the People party. Arakhamia appeared on Ukrainian national TV with harsh criticism of American mainstream media regarding their coverage of an alleged Russian invasion.

The member of Kiev’s ruling political party accused CNN, Bloomberg, and WSJ of spreading “fake news.”

“We have to study [their publications] because these are the elements of a hybrid war,” the senior politician said, adding that Ukraine was being used as a token for negotiations of new security architecture in Europe, causing the country to lose from $2 billion to $3 billion per month due to artificially created panic.

Thoughts on West’s planned Ukraine provocation (no, not “Russian invasion”)

 

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. The award rightly was given to the amazing journalist, the late Robert Parry [see his work on Consortium News]. In March 2017, she was awarded “International Journalism Award for International Reporting” granted by the Mexican Journalists’ Press Club (founded in 1951). All of her writings and videos on which can be found here: https://ingaza.wordpress.com/syria/syria-my-published-articles-from-and-on-syria-2014-2021/ and here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqtiZC-4QZC3skdIAvOxsXwZm0jeM-mz6

A more detailed account of her activism and writings can be found here: https://ingaza.wordpress.com/about-me/ Her social media sites: https://linktr.ee/evakarenebartlett

The clownish diplomats (and media) in the West have been gunning heavily for Russia-Ukraine war recently. As per their usual, their claims are pure fabrications with zero evidence whatsoever. Just hot air. And as per usual, when challenged to substantiate their claims, they stutter and talk in circles, hoping the questions will stop.

For example, this exchange between AP journalist Matt Lee and US State Department Spokesworm, Ned Price, about the US’ supposed “evidence” of Russian plotting a false flag to “invade Ukraine further”…

[Ironically, what little Ned describes (fabricated propaganda video) is EXACTLY what the West’s proxies have done over and over and over in Syria…]

*

Matt: “What evidence to you have to support the idea that there is some propaganda film in the making?”

Worm: “This is derived from information known to the US government. Intelligence information that we have declassified.”

Matt: “Okay, well, where is it? Where is this information?”

Worm: “It is intelligence information that we have declassified.”

Matt: “Well, where is it? Where is the declassified information?”

Worm: “I just delivered it.”

Matt: “No, you made a series of allegations and statements.”

Worm: “Would you like us to print out the topper, because you will see a transcript of this briefing that you can print out for yourself.”

Matt: “That’s not evidence, Ned, that’s you saying it. That’s not evidence.”

Worm: “What would you like, Matt?”

Matt: “I would like some proof that shows the Russians are doing this…. I’ve been doing this a long time…I remember Iraq and that Kabul’s not going to fall…”

Matt: “Where is the declassified information, other than you coming out here and saying it?”

Worm: “I’m sorry you don’t like the format.”

Matt: “It’s not the format, it’s the content.”

Worm: “I’m sorry you don’t like the content, I’m sorry you are doubting the information that is in the possession of the US government.”

Matt: “But you don’t have any evidence to back it up other than what you are saying.”

…Matt: “Let me just appeal to you, on behalf of all of us, and the American people, and the people of the world, and the Russian people, and the Ukrainian people, one piece of evidence to suggest that the Russians are planning to use ‘crisis actors’ to stage a false mass casualty event to use as a pretext. Just one piece…one piece of verifiable evidence.”

*

Until recently, I was prone to believing that the ridiculous huffing & puffing from imbeciles in the West about an “imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine” were only distractions from events unfolding in the West.

But, given the latest developments (including various Western & allied countries pulling diplomatic staff from neo-Nazi-land), I’m starting to wonder whether the idiots trying to create the image of a Russian invasion will actually go through with some sort of White Helmets-esque staged provocation…

Caveat: I’m not an analyst and don’t do predictions, I’m merely musing here, and sharing relevant links.

*

Dmitry, the Donbass journalist and (at the time) press officer I met in 2019, who took me to frontline areas being shelled by Ukrainian forces, wrote today of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) observers: “Evening at the hotel where the OSCE staff live. All machines are in place, the working day is over. Evening and night are ahead, when the OSCE sees nothing. And in the morning again a working day and they will go on patrols. In general, everything is like the last 7 years.”

*

From my 2019 article after visiting numerous villages 800 and 500 m away from Ukrainian forces, areas being relentlessly shelled, to the deafening silence of Western media & politicians:

“…He spoke of how Ukraine hides its shelling from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) observers by doing most of it after hours (in the dark, when it is difficult to film) — later claiming that damage done to the DPR side was self-inflicted, or that Ukrainian forces were merely defending themselves, replying to DPR attacks:

The OSCE were attacked a week or so ago by a heavy anti-tank rocket launcher. Ukraine commits many war crimes, but manages to mask it. They are Nazis, but they mask this from the West. Few people understand in the West how close Ukraine is to becoming a full-on Nazi state.

They say that they are from Bandera Front, they are Ukrainian far-right nationalists. When a person from some Western country hears about Bandera, this person could not understand what Ukrainian authorities mean. But I do, I understand what they mean, I understand who Bandera was and what they really mean.”

Stepan Bandera was a Ukrainian political figure, Nazi collaborator, and one of the leading ideologists/theorists of the Ukrainian nationalist movement of the 20th century. Dmitry continues:

There is a Nazi state in the middle of Europe in the 21st Century. They are dangerous both for us and for the Western world. If they finish with us, they will do the same in the Western world.

Ukraine has a big propaganda machine, and the censorship of Western media helps.

I was raised believing in the Western ideals of human rights and democracy. And what do I have? I have no human rights. Ukrainian Nazis can kill me and they can go to the European Parliament and they will be considered heroes. They can kill without court, without justice, without anything.

Western countries support war crimes, support the killing of our people just because we speak our native language, Russian. That’s the only reason to kill us, just because we like Russia and speak Russian.

They can kill you. They consider all the journalists as Russian propagandists. Their military can shoot you and never face justice. That goes against my understanding of human rights.”

…“I’m afraid at night; that’s when they start shelling heavily,” she tells me. The nights are terrifying, hell for her. I ask if she ever considers leaving. “To where? I have nowhere to go. My husband is dead.”

I asked her who is firing these shells. She gestured in the direction of a village under Ukrainian control.

I asked if things had changed since Zelensky became president of Ukraine.

“It became worse. Before, I at least had windows. Now, they constantly shell, especially in the evening and early morning.”

I asked if she feels the OSCE are being effective. “No, they change nothing, especially not here.”

She says they can’t get cell phone signals there. I ask how she would call for an ambulance if needed. She replies that someone in the military would call for medics, but that the ambulances can’t come that close; it is too dangerous.

When I asked what her native language was, she replied immediately: “Russian! But,” she added, “here, we speak both languages; it wasn’t a problem.”

Dmitry explained that Ukrainian forces are roughly 600 meters away, and half encircle her area. A roundish hole in the wall is a ricochet from Ukrainian heavy machine-gun fire, he explains.

Ukrainian forces are using 82mm mortar shells in violation of the Minsk Agreements, he says: “They connect the mortar shell with the engine of a grenade launcher. That’s how they trick the OSCE: they don’t use the mortar itself but they use the mortar shells with the RPG [a type of small-arms grenade launcher designed to destroy armored and other targets] engine.”

This works, because RPGs themselves are not prohibited under Minsk.

We walked with the two officers down the lane to the last house, which was apparently still inhabited despite being only around 500 meters from Ukrainian forces. One of the walls of the house had a sizable hole in it from an RPG-fired 82 mm mortar.

…We then drove to a school whose basement is now being used as a makeshift shelter. There I met an elderly couple who had been living in that dank basement for six years, since their home was destroyed.

Outside of the battered school, Dmitry commented: “You see, each dot on the wall is from shrapnel. Of course, there were direct hits also.” A hole in the roof of the building shows where one of the direct hits occurred.

We walked into the basement, where a musty stench overwhelmed us.

Sitting in one corner of the barebones room — what possessions they were able to salvage piled near them, and asking me not to film their faces — were an older couple who explained that their home was destroyed by Ukraine: two direct hits with heavy artillery.

I ask who they blamed for the war. They blame Yanukovych; they want him to be hung. Many people are guilty but he is the main person.

I asked their opinion on the work of the OSCE:

Nothing good. They drive around here, but nothing changes. Before the ceasefire, when Ukraine would shell, the DPR military would respond and the Ukrainian side would stop shooting for a couple of weeks because they were afraid. Now, we are in a ceasefire; the Ukrainian side shoots whenever they want and no one holds them accountable.”

…We stopped in Zaitsevo town center, 800 meters from an NW front-line, and 1.5 km from the northern front-line.

There, we spoke to Irina Dikun, head of the administration of Zaitsevo and, as it turns out, a remarkably courageous woman

I asked her whether she or other officials had filed complaints to the OSCE or any international body about the actions of Ukrainian forces:

Yes, constantly. But nothing changes. It seems that international organizations have no power to do anything regarding the Ukrainians, because they still shoot. There were a lot of ceasefires signed in Minsk, but nothing changes here.”

…In Krutaya Balka, at a home 800 meters from the front-line…I met a man who was about to walk down the lane that I had been cautioned to avoid due to the risk of being shot by Ukrainian snipers. I was wearing, for the second time, the body armor Dmitry had provided. The man I met was only wearing a button-down shirt.

He didn’t want to be filmed and told me:

After the last interview, Ukrainians shelled my house directly, burned part of my house. I’m alone there, for the past four years. To go to my home, I have to walk to an area exposed to sniper fire. I was shot in my leg. And many times I had to drop to the ground when sniper fire started.”

I asked why he doesn’t leave in the face of such danger: “I don’t want to. It’s my home. I thought the war would be finished quickly but it kept going.”

Then he walked down the center of the lane into the range of potential sniper fire, and hopefully back to his home.

A little beyond that I met a man standing outside of the home he shares with his wife.

I asked whether his home had been damaged and he laughs: “Many times. Which house hasn’t been? The roof, the wall… from mortar fire and heavy machine-gun fire.”

His replies are in line with those of the others I’ve spoken to: things got worse after Zelensky became president; the attacks are daily; where would he go? He is in favor of joining Russia.

He continued, asking rhetorically:

“We should go to Ukraine, which damaged my house? I’m Russian, this is Russian land. Everyone who knows history knows this. Of course, I want to join Russia! In earlier times, before the war, I didn’t care either way. But after all, Ukraine did what it has done; absolutely I want to be a part of Russia. I can’t imagine being back in Ukraine. Anyway, most of the people here would be killed as ‘separatists.’ A known Ukrainian politician [Boris Filatov] said: ‘At the beginning, give them what they want, later hang them.’

I asked him if he had anything to say to a Western audience. At first, he said there’s no point, people already know, the West gives money to Ukraine… “The snipers use U.S. rifles, if they gave less money it would be better.”

But later in our conversation, he added:

Going back to the question of a message to the West…You remember WW2. Why do you support Nazis if you remember WW2? Why do you now support the Nazis? Openly Nazis. They wear swastikas. Why is Europe silent? Everyone comes here and agrees with me, but nothing changes. OSCE shouts, but when they are under fire, they are silent, they don’t say that Ukraine attacks them.”…”

* My Youtube playlist of interviews from the DPR. I have no idea if they are still alive, given Ukraine was bombing them heavily.

The War Party wins – Russia is now free to act unilaterally

January 13, 2022

First, a quick update on Kazakhstan: the CSTO will begin its withdrawal tomorrow and that operation will be completed by the 19th of January (dunno if anybody will inform Blinken about how quickly the Russians leave).

This operation was truly a triumph for Russia and her allies.

It is said that hope dies last, and today it appears that whatever hope we might have had has died.  A week long series of negotiations has apparently yielded absolutely nothing.  To the extent that there were some sane voices advocating for a negotiated solution, these voices have now been drowned by the huge choir of hysterically russophobic politicians who, feeling safety in numbers, have told the Russian bear to get lost.

This is a triumph for the US Neocons and for their proteges in the EU.

So where do we go from here?

It is quite obvious: Russia will begin a policy of unilateral actions aimed at advancing vital Russian national interests.  Many of those actions will turn up the pain dial for the US/EU/NATO.  Rather than trying to guess what will happen next, I rather wait for those unilateral actions to become public.

One good news is that the Zircon missile is now officially accepted for service.  Good timing for sure.

I will conclude this short post by saying that in my strictly personal opinion, now would be a good time for Russia to sever all her diplomatic relations with at least the worst offenders in the West, beginning with the USA itself, of course.  Why?

Because having diplomatic relations with friends, partners or generally civilized and trustworthy counterparts makes sense.  Most western countries don’t qualify, so what is the point?

77 years after the end of WWII, the West has come a full circle and is back to its usual messianic homeostasis: racist megalomania, delusions about its own invulnerability and invincibility.

This sends a powerful and important message to all of Zone B, especially China.

Was Russia right to engage in these negotiations?

Yes, absolutely.  A country that lost 27 million of its citizens to western megalomania had the moral duty to try to do everything to avoid another war.  Yes, the chances of success were infinitesimal.  But morally, Russia had to try and she did.

Now that her hands have been untied, she can now do whatever she deems needful.

Good.

The main question now is this: how high will be the price this time around to bring the messianic West back to reality?

We will soon find out.

Andrei

What If U.S., NATO Talks Are Cover for More Aggression Towards Russia?

December 27, 2021

Former editor and writer for major news media organizations. He has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages

Finian Cunningham

If there are no prompt responses to Russia’s legitimate security concerns, then the next phase entails a more robust military-technical realm

It is quite clear that the clock is ticking on how the United States and its NATO allies respond to Russia’s urgent security proposals.

For Moscow, if the forthcoming talks do not produce firm security guarantees in short order, then the suspicion is that the U.S. and NATO are using the engagement as a cover for continuing a long-term military build-up against Russia.

Russia’s strategic patience has worn out. Years of relentless encroachment by the United States and NATO on Russia’s territory has reached the point where Moscow has peremptorily declared red lines that must be respected. In short, no more eastward expansion by the U.S.-led military bloc and, secondly, the removal of U.S. strike weapons from neighbouring states.

The latest phase in the long post-Cold War game has been the vicarious menacing with Ukraine. Moscow could be criticized for being too complacent about the bad faith and backsliding by NATO since the late-1990s in ripping up assurances to Russia over no eastward expansion. But the NATO-backed Kiev regime threatening Russian people in eastern Ukraine and Russia’s national security is the last straw. Better late than never.

The package of security guarantees demanded by Russia made public on December 17 has resulted in the United States and NATO agreeing to hold talks in January.

Russia’s deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has warned that Moscow is not bluffing about its security requirements.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that if the U.S. and NATO do not reciprocate then a range of technical, military measures will be taken to ensure national security.

Evidently, Moscow has consciously put a limited time frame on the talks to demonstrate palpable progress towards meeting its red lines. Washington and its European allies will need to deliver legally binding moves to roll back NATO. A big test will be whether the United States agrees to Moscow’s demand that Ukraine and other former Soviet Republics be precluded from joining NATO.

The Biden administration and NATO have so far ruled out abiding by this stipulation from Russia. It seems unlikely that the US will explicitly declare that NATO membership of Ukraine is forbidden. Washington may continue to delay access, as it has done since 2008, but it seems too much to expect an explicit, legally binding promise to deny Ukraine membership of the alliance any time in the future.

So, if the United States and its NATO partners have no intention to respect Russia’s pre-eminent red line, it then raises questions about their intention of engaging in talks.

President Putin has voiced the concern that the talks could be cynically used as a cover for the U.S. and NATO to continue an aggressive policy towards Russia.

Speaking to Russian media at the weekend, Putin said: “They [NATO] will chat endlessly, speak endlessly about the need to negotiate, and do nothing, except pumping up our neighbour [Ukraine] with modern weapons systems, and increase the threat to Russia, with which we will then be forced to somehow deal with, somehow live.”

The Kremlin took the highly unusual step of publishing clear red lines and demanding a prompt response. But given the historical record of bad faith and duplicity by the U.S. and NATO, it seems a futile hope that there will be a real change in attitude. Putin himself in the above comments seems to be admitting that.

The Biden administration is talking about talks with Russia, but all the while the practice is one of plying Ukraine with weapons, military advisors and offensive capability. To the rabidly anti-Russian regime in Kiev this amounts to one green light after another to proceed with stoking aggression against Moscow.

Since the CIA-backed coup d’état in Kiev in 2014, Washington has supplied Ukraine with over $2.5 billion in weaponry. The Biden administration has earmarked at least another $300 million in lethal military support for the next year alone. There are plans to redirect munitions that were intended for Afghanistan. What we are seeing here is a massive mobilization of war-making effort by the United States on Russia’s doorstep which has been going on over several years and is gathering pace. The apparent belated overture for talks is like a limp hand signal to stop from the driver of a hurtling juggernaut.

What’s even more alarming is moves by the Pentagon to provide more battlefield intelligence to the Ukrainian armed forces. A New York Times report last week reveals that the U.S. has already been sharing “actionable” intelligence data with the Kiev regime on Russian troop formations. What is under consideration by the Biden administration is stepping up the targeting in the name of “defending” Ukraine.

The New York Times report feigns concern by saying: “One potential problem with providing actionable intelligence, American officials acknowledge, is that it could lead Ukraine to strike first [against Russia].”

In reality, this is not a “potential problem” for Washington. It is a deliberate calculation. The Pentagon has weaponized the Russophobic Kiev regime it put in power in order to destabilize Russia. That has been the strategic objective going back decades under imperial planners like the late Zbigniew Brzezinski. And now the “great game” has reached the point where Washington is providing its catspaw regime with the intelligence to target Russian forces within their own borders, that is to target Russia itself.

This baleful background leads one to deduce that talks with the U.S. and its NATO partners are indeed nothing but a nefarious cover for a long-term trajectory of aggression against Russia.

Given the relentless, endemic betrayals by the U.S. and NATO, one suspects that the Russian leadership knows full well that the proposed talks mark a dangerous watershed. If there are no prompt responses to Russia’s legitimate security concerns, then the next phase entails a more robust military-technical realm. A realm, it seems, that Moscow has already gamed out knowing that it is almost inevitable.

Andrei Martyanov: The Timing of Russia’s Ultimatum to NATO

December 20, 2021

What Putin really told Biden

December 08, 2021

By Pepe Escobar, posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times.

So Russian President Vladimir Putin, all by himself, and US President Joe Biden, surrounded by aides, finally had their secret video link conference for two hours and two minutes – with translators placed in different rooms.

That was their first serious exchange since they met in person in Geneva last June – the first Russia-US summit since 2018.

For global public opinion, led to believe a “war” in Ukraine was all but imminent, what’s left is essentially a torrent of spin.

So let’s start with a simple exercise focusing on the key issue of the video link – Ukraine -, contrasting the White House and Kremlin versions of what happened.

The White House: Biden made it “clear” to Putin that the US and allies will respond with “decisive economic and other measures” to the military escalation in Ukraine. At the same time, Biden called on Putin to de-escalate around Ukraine and “return to diplomacy”.

Kremlin: Putin offered Biden to nullify all restrictions on the functioning of diplomatic missions. He remarked that cooperation between Russia and the US is still in an “unsatisfactory” state.

He urged the US not to shift “responsibility on the shoulders of Russia” for the escalation of the situation around Ukraine.

The White House: the US will expand military aid to Ukraine if Russia takes steps against it.

Kremlin: Putin told Biden that Russia is interested in obtaining legally fixed guarantees excluding NATO’s eastward expansion and the deployment of offensive strike systems in Russia’s neighboring countries.

The White House: Biden did not give Putin any commitments that Ukraine will remain outside NATO.

Minsk or bust

Now for what really matters: the red line.

What Putin diplomatically told Team Biden, sitting at their table, is that Russia’s red line – no Ukraine on NATO – is unmovable. The same applies to Ukraine turned into a hub of the Pentagon’s Empire of Bases, and hosting NATO weaponry.

Washington may deny it ad infinitum, but Ukraine is part of Russia’s sphere of influence. If nothing is done to force Kiev to abide by the Minsk Agreement, Russia will “neutralize” the threat in its own terms.

The root cause of all this drama, absent from any NATOstan narrative, is straightforward: Kiev simply refuses to respect the February 2015 Minsk Agreement.

According to the deal, Kiev should grant autonomy to Donbass via a constitutional amendment, referred to as “special status”; issue a general amnesty; and start a dialogue with the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Over the years, Kiev fulfilled less than zero of these commitments – while the NATOstan media machine kept spinning that Russia was violating Minsk. Russia is not even mentioned (italics mine) in the agreement.

Moscow always respected the Minsk Agreement – which establishes Donbass as an integral, autonomous part of Ukraine. Russia has made it very clear, over and over again, it has no interest whatsoever in promoting regime change in Kiev.

Before the video link, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov remarked, “Putin will listen to Biden’s proposals on Ukraine ‘with great interest.’” Even the White House states Team Biden did not propose for Kiev to obey the Minsk Agreement. So regardless of what Team Biden may have said, Putin, pragmatically, will adopt a “wait and see” approach, and then act accordingly.

In the run up to the video link, maximum hype revolved around Washington seeking to stop Nord Stream 2 if Russia “invades” Ukraine.

What never transpires out of the “invasion” narrative, repeated ad nauseam across NATOstan, is that hawks overseeing an immensely polarized US, corroded from the inside, desperately need a war in what military analyst Andrei Martyanov calls “country 404”, a black hole contiguous to Europe.

The crux of the matter is that imperial European vassals must not have access to Russian energy: only American LNG.

And that’s what led the most extreme Russophobes in Washington to start threatening sanctions on Putin’s inner circle, Russian energy producers, and even disconnecting Russia from SWIFT. All that was supposed to prevent Russia from “invading” Country 404.

Secretary of State Tony Blinken – present at the video link – said a few days ago in Riga that “if Russia invades Ukraine”, NATO will respond “with a range of high impact economic measures.” As for NATO, it’s far from aggressive: just a “defensive” organization.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in early December, at the OCSE Ministerial Council meeting in Stockholm, was already warning that “strategic stability” in Europe was “rapidly eroding”.

Lavrov said, “NATO refuses to consider our proposals on de-escalation of tensions and prevention of dangerous incidents…On the contrary, the alliance’s military infrastructure is moving closer to Russia’s borders… The nightmarish scenario of military confrontation is returning.”

So no wonder the heart of the matter, for Moscow, is NATO encroachment. The “invasion” narrative is crass fake news sold as fact. Even the CIA’s William Burns admitted that US intel had no intel to “conclude” that Russia will dutifully answer the War Inc. prayers and finally “invade” Ukraine.

Still that did not prevent a German sensationalist rag from presenting the full contours of the Russian blitzkrieg, when the actual story is the US and NATO attempting to push “country 404” to commit suicide by attacking the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

That legally binding guarantee

It’s idle to expect the video link to produce practical results. As NATOstan remains mired in concentric crises, the current level of high tension between NATO and Russia is a gift from heaven in terms of maintaining the convenient narrative of an external Slavic evil. It’s also an extra bonus for the military-industrial-intelligence-media-think tank complex.

The tension will continue to simmer without becoming incandescent only if NATO does not expand in any shape or form inside Ukraine. Diplomats in Brussels routinely comment that Kiev will never be accepted as a NATO member. But if things can get worse, they will: Kiev will become one of those NATO special partners, a desperately poor, hungry for territory, rogue actor.

Putin demanding from the US – which runs NATO – a written, legally binding guarantee that the alliance will not advance further eastward towards Russian borders is the game-changer here.

Team Biden cannot possibly deliver: they would be eaten alive by the War Inc. establishment. Putin studied his history and knows that Daddy Bush’s “promise” to Gorbachev on NATO expansion was just a lie. He knows those who run NATO will never commit themselves in writing.

So that allows Putin a full range of options to defend Russian national security. “Invasion” is a joke; Ukraine, rotting from the inside, consumed by fear, loathing, and poverty, will remain in limbo, while Donetsk and Lugansk will be progressively interconnected with the Russian Federation.

There will be no NATO war on Russia – as Martyanov himself has extensively demonstrated NATO wouldn’t last five minutes against Russian hypersonic weapons. And Moscow will be focused on what really matters, geoeconomically and geopolitically: solidifying the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and the Greater Eurasia Partnership.

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Now comes the final countdown to either peace or war

December 04, 2021

So it is confirmed.  Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden will have what is announced as a “long” direct conversation (not face to face, but by a secure video link) this coming Tuesday.  Considering the extreme tensions taking place between the US/NATO/EU and Russia, this event will be, by definition, a watershed moment, irrespective of its outcome.  The two basic options are a) some kind of deal with be made b) nothing will come out of this meeting.

Personally, I am “cautiously pessimistic”, and I will explain why next.

Let’s look at what the two sides have been doing in preparation for this meeting:

The Empire has basically ratcheted up the tensions as high as possible, both by an avalanche of bellicose statements and by engaging in “petty harassment” exercises near the Russian border.  The main (and sole) advantage of this pre-negotiations strategy is that it costs very little money while having a major PR effect.  The two main disadvantages of this pre-negotiations strategy are that 1) they tend to paint you into a corner from which any concession, no matter how reasonable, can be turned into an “abject surrender to Putin” by your political enemies and 2) that the Russians know that all this sabre-rattling is only hot air and, if anything, a sign of weakness.

Russia has made some comparatively “stronger” verbal protests and mentioned “red lines” which the Empire which the latter has completely ignored.  However, Russia has also made some actual military moves which have truly frightened the Empire, including the sudden flushing out into the Pacific or all the strategic submarines of the Pacific Fleet.

Here is the problem as I see it: “Biden” has allowed all sorts of russophobic nutcases to paint the Biden Administration into the exact same corner where the same russophobic nutcases stuck Trump: a place where no meaningful negotiations (i.e. negotiations which imply the willingness to make mutual concessions) are possible.  All that Kabuki theater about “talking to Russia from a position of strength/force” kind of implies that the Russians will get scared and cave in to the Empire.  The problem is that in the real world (as opposed the political Hollywood of the western propaganda machine), it is Russia which is in a very strong position while the US/NATO/EU are all in a position of extreme vulnerability.  In other words, it is extremely unlikely that the Russians will make major concessions on anything (if only because Russia’s “great retreat” of endless concession to win time for preparations has now left Russia pretty much with her own back also against the wall).  Of course, Russia does not want/need a war anywhere, so she is probably willing to make relatively minor concessions, but only political ones.  In military terms, Russia is now “ready to go” and she will not stand down unless the Empire gives legally binding and verifiable concessions to guarantee Russia’s security on her western border (Putin has specifically said so).

Frankly, none of that is very complex: de-escalation and mutual confidence building measures have been developed by all sides for many decades now and there is no need to reinvent the wheel here.  How to do that is easy and straightforward.  But politically, I don’t know how “Biden” would respond to the MAGA nutcases in Congress who will accuse him of weakness, or even treason, if he does anything but continue to escalate towards an inevitable war: escalations can only be stopped by two means: negotiations or war.  If the former is made impossible, the latter becomes inevitable.

Worse, there are pretty good signs that “Biden” is not fully controlling the Executive branch and that there are characters at the CIA, Pentagon and Foggy Bottom (lead by the totally rabid US Neocons) which actually want a war involving Russia and who believe that such a war would not imply a very high probability of going nuclear.  Blinken, for example, strikes me as a kind of person which would make a great tailor or maybe an insurance salesman, but as a diplomat he is clearly clueless and “loser” written all over his face (ditto for that imbecile Stoltenberg or most EU politicians).  Worst of all, these losers believe in their own superiority and think that they can talk to Putin like, say, Commodore Matthew Perry “talked” to the Japanese or how Reagan showed Grenada “who is boss”.

Finally, the upcoming planned “show of unity and force” (aka Summit for Democracy) will be seen by the Kremlin as a desperate attempt at hide the Empire’s real weakness (death, really) and to make it look as if the West still had the means to rule the planet.  In reality, just Russia and China together are already much more powerful than all the colonies which Uncle Shmuel as summoned to this Summit, even if it is only two against 109 countries on the US side and that is the reality which this summit is designed to conceal from the public eye.

So no hope at all?

Well, not much.  But, in theory, here is what could happen.

The US could agree to give Russia legal binding and verifiable security guarantees on her east, including a pull-back of Ukie forces in exchange for which, Russia could pull back some of her own forces.  Deconfliction measures in the air and the seas could be agreed upon.  Observer missions could be agreed upon and then deployed by both sides to verify the implementation of any agreements.  On the political level, the US could order a dramatic reduction of western military involvement in the Ukraine in exchange for a Russian re-affirmation of the recognition of the Ukraine in her current borders, that is without Crimea and but the Donbass (in other words, the Kremlin would promise not to recognize the LDNR republics sovereign states).  In theory, an international peacekeeping force could be set up in the “grey zone” between the LDNR and the Ukraine (that would require the Ukies to pull out from their current, and totally illegal, occupation of some locations in that zone). The nationality of these peacekeepers would have to be agreed by both sides.

[Sidebar: about the LDNR – please keep in mind that even if de jure the Kremlin does not recognize these republics, it has already basically done so de facto (especially with the latest change to the Russian laws on the economy).  Also, remember that Taiwan is a country that is largely unrecognized, but which is clearly independent, at least for the time being.  Finally, keeping the LDNR inside the Ukraine creates an anti-Ukraine which prevents the Nazi-run Ukraine from fully becoming an anti-Russia.  So no, flag-wavers notwithstanding, agreeing not to recognize the LDNR would not be a “betrayal”, but only a card which must be played later in the game.]

Furthermore, Russia and the USA should establish a standing bilateral (yes, I agree with Nuland on the EU!) discussions mechanism to replace the useless and basically dead NATO-Russia Council.  Other areas of discussion could include such self-evident issues as space, terrorism, immigration, energy, cybersecurity, the Arctic etc. and a full restoration of civilized diplomatic relations (which were totally sabotaged by both the Obama and Trump Administration).  A deal could also be made about mutual non-interference or, at least, improve the current deconfliction between the USA and Russia in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere.  And, of course, Russia could agree to a long term gas contract through the Ukraine in exchange for a full US acceptance of NS2.

Does that sound a little pollyannish to you?

It sure sounds pollyannish to me!

But I am not quite willing to declare it as absolutely impossible.  Instead, I would simply say that such an outcome is unlikely but still possible.

The alternative is war with, at the low end, could be limited to some silly Ukie provocation (of the kind they have been regularly pulling off, and failing, for many years now) or, at the high end, to quickly escalate a full-scale (inter)continental war, probably one involving nukes.

Hope dies last, right?

The one thing which makes it possible for me to believe that a war can still be avoided is that besides the real hardcore nutcases, there are still some sober-minded officials in the USA (maybe Gen. Milley?) who understand not only that war is an unspeakable horror, but who ALSO understand that a US attack on Russia will result in a Russian counter-attack on the US itself.  Specifically, it is now an official Russian position that if weapon X is fired at Russia or Russian forces, Russia will not only destroy that weapon and the system which delivered, but will also strike at the command headquarters from which the order to strike Russia was given, and that could be Kiev, Warsaw, Brussels or even Washington DC.  I am quite sure that General Gerasimov explained that to General Milley in exquisite detail and I strongly suspect that Milley got the message.  Let’s just hope that Milley can prevail over Lloyd Austin (who is clearly an incompetent imbecile used by the “war party” only as a disposable figurehead).

If not, then God help us all, because then war is inevitable.

I consider the current situation as the most dangerous the world has ever faced, this is even worse than the Cuban Missile Crisis or the US attacks against Iran (the murder of General Soleimani) or Syria.  By nature, nurture, experience, and training I am an unrepentant pessimist.  But, in this case, I still want to force myself into a stance of “cautious pessimism” meaning that, yes, the situation is terrible and seems unfixable, but I choose to believe that there still are enough sane people in the US to avoid the worst.

Still, I am acutely aware that the UK+3B+PU gang want war at all and any cost and that they are now setting the agenda in both the EU and NATO.  The only actor which still could order them to stand down and shut the hell up would be the USA, but only one ruled by an Administration in real and actual command, not the senile aquarium fish collectively known as “Biden” which is in power (at least officially) right now.

We can also count on the MAGA-crazies to oppose any and all deals with Russia, no matter how urgently needed and self-evidently logical.  The GOP has now become the united party for war doing exactly what the Dems did during the Trump years.  In a way, the US political scene reminds me of the Soviet Union during and after Brezhnev – a political system which simply cannot produce a real leader, so all you see is terminal mediocrities trying as best they can to hide their own mediocrity and total lack of vision.  A Ronald Reagan or a George H. W. Bush would have what it takes to talk to the Russians and get some results.  Alas, none of the presidents since have had enough brains or spine to do anything constructive at all: all they did was to preside over first the destruction of the Empire followed by the destruction of the USA (at least as we knew it before Jan 6th).

The fact that our best (or, should I say, only) hope lies with Biden and “Biden” is a sad and very frightening reality.  All we can do now is wait for Tuesday and pray that both Biden and “Biden” muster enough courage and (real) patriotism to bring the world back from the brink.  It ain’t much, but that’s all we got.

So, what do you think will happen next?

Andrei

The NATOstan Clown Show

November 29, 2021

Flags wave ahead of a NATO Defence Ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 21, 2021. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol – RC28EQ9178EG

The charade has come to a point that – diplomatically – is quite unprecedented: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov lost his Taoist patience.

Source

Independent geopolitical analyst, writer and journalist

By Pepe Escobar,

American hysteria over the “imminent” Russian invasion of Ukraine has exploded every geopolitical Stupid-o-Meter in sight – and that’s quite an accomplishment.

What a mess. Sections of the U.S. Deep State are in open revolt against the combo that remote controls Crash Test Dummy, who impersonates POTUS. The neocon-neoliberal axis is itching for a war – but has no idea how to sell it to an immensely fractured public opinion.

UKUS, which de facto controls the Five Eyes spy scam, excels only in propaganda. So in the end it’s up to the CIA/MI6 intel axis and their vast network of media chihuahuas to accelerate Fear and Loathing ad infinitum.

Russophobic U.S. Think Tankland would very much cherish a Russian “invasion”, out of the blue, and could not give a damn about the inevitable trouncing of Ukraine. The problem is the White House – and the Pentagon – must “intervene”, forcefully; otherwise that will represent a catastrophic loss of “credibility” for the Empire.

So what do these people want? They want to provoke Moscow by all means available to exercise “Russian aggression”, resulting in a lightning fast war that will be a highway to hell for Ukraine, but with zero casualties for NATO and the Pentagon.

Then the Empire of Chaos will blame Russia; unleash a tsunami of fresh sanctions, especially financial; and try to shut off all economic links between Russia and NATOstan.

Reality dictates that none of the above is going to happen.

All exponents of Russian leadership, starting with President Putin, have already made it clear, over and over again, what happens if the Ukro-dementials start a blitzkrieg over Donbass: Ukraine will be mercilessly smashed – and that applies not only to the ethno-fascist gang in Kiev. Ukraine will cease to exist as a state.

Defense Minister Shoigu, for his part, has staged all manner of not exactly soft persuasion, featuring Tu-22M3 bombers or Tu-160 White Swan bombers.

The inestimable Andrei Martyanov has conclusively explained, over and over again, that “NATO doesn’t have forces not only to ‘counter-act’ anything Russia does but even if it wanted to it still has no means to fight a war with Russia.”

Martyanov notes, “there is nothing in the U.S. arsenal now and in the foreseeable future which can intercept Mach=9-10+, let alone M=20-27, targets. That’s the issue. Same analytical method applies to a situation in 404. The only thing U.S. (NATO) can hope for is to somehow provoke Russia into the invasion of this shithole of a country and then get all SIGINT it can once Russia’s C4ISR gets into full combat mode.”

Translation: anything the Empire of Chaos and its NATO subsidiary try in Donbass, directly or indirectly, the humiliation will make the Afghanistan “withdrawal” look like a House of Gucci dinner party.

No one should expect clueless NATO puppets – starting with secretary-general Stoltenberg – to understand the military stakes. After all, these are the same puppets who have been building up a situation which might ultimately leave Moscow with a single, stark choice: be ready to fight a full scale hot war in Europe – which could become nuclear in a flash. And ready they are.

It’s all about Minsk

In a parallel reality, “meddling in 404” – a delightful Martyanov reference to a hellhole that is little more than a computer error – is a totally different story. That perfectly fits American juvenilia ethos.

At least some of the adults in selected rooms are talking. The CIA’s Burns went to Moscow to try to extract some assurance that in the event NATO Special Forces were caught in the cauldrons – Debaltsevo 2015-style – that the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, with Russian help, will concoct, they would be allowed to escape.

His interlocutor, Patrushev, told Burns – diplomatically – to get lost.

Chief of the General Staff, Gen Valery Gerasimov, had a phone call with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen Mark Milley, ostensibly to ensure, in Pentagonese, “risk-reduction and operational de-confliction”. No substantial details were leaked.

It remains to be seen how this “de-confliction” will happen in practice when Defense Minister Shoigu revealed U.S. nuclear-capable bombers have been practicing, in their sorties across Eastern Europe, “their ability to use nuclear weapons against Russia”. Shoigu discussed that in detail with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe: after all the Americans will certainly pull the same stunt against China.

The root cause of all this drama is stark: Kiev simply refuses to respect the February 2015 Minsk Agreement.

In a nutshell, the deal stipulated that Kiev should grant autonomy to Donbass via a constitutional amendment, referred to as “special status”; issue a general amnesty; and start a dialogue with the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Over the years, Kiev fulfilled exactly zero commitments – while the proverbial NATOstan media machine incessantly pounded global opinion with fake news, spinning that Russia was violating Minsk. Russia is not even mentioned in the agreement.

Moscow in fact always respected the Minsk Agreement – which translates as regarding Donbass as an integral, autonomous part of Ukraine. Moscow has zero interest in promoting regime change in Kiev.

This charade has come to a point that – diplomatically – is quite unprecedented: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov lost his Taoist patience.

Lavrov was forced, under the circumstances, to publish 28 pages of correspondence between Moscow on one hand, and Berlin and Paris on the other, evolving around the preparation of a high-level meeting on Ukraine.

Moscow was in fact calling for one of the central points of the agreement to be implemented: a direct dialogue between Kiev and Donbass. Berlin and Paris said this was unacceptable. So yes: both, for all practical purposes, destroyed the Minsk Agreement. Public opinion across NATOstan has no idea whatsoever this actually happened.

Lavrov did not mince his words: “I am sure that you understand the necessity of this unconventional step, because it is a matter of conveying to the world community the truth about who is fulfilling, and how, the obligations under international law that have been agreed at the highest level.”

So it’s no wonder that the leadership in Moscow concluded it’s an absolute waste of time to talk to Berlin and Paris about Ukraine: they lied, cheated – and then blamed Russia. This “decision” at the EU level faithfully mirrors NATO’s campaign of stoking the flames of imminent “Russian aggression” against Ukraine.

Armchair warriors, unite!

Across NATOstan, the trademark stupidity of U.S. Think Tankland rules unabated, congregating countless acolytes spewing out the talking points of choice: “relentless Russian subversion”, “thug” Putin “intimidation” of Ukraine, Russians as “predators”, and everything now coupled with “power-hungry China’s war on Western values.”

Some Brit hack, in a twisted way, actually managed to sum up the overall impotence – and insignificance – by painting Europe as a victim, “a beleaguered democratic island in an anarchic world, which a rising tide of authoritarianism, impunity and international rule-breaking threatens to inundate”.

The answer by NATOstan Defense Ministers is to come up with a Strategic Compass – essentially an anti-Russia-China scam – complete with “rapid deployment forces”. Led by who, General Macron?

As it stands, poor NATOstan is uncontrollably sobbing, accusing those Russian hooligans – scary monsters, to quote David Bowie – of staging an anti-satellite missile test and thus “scorning European safety concerns”.

Something must have got lost in translation. So here’s what happened: Russia conclusively demonstrated it’s capable of obliterating each and every one of NATO’s satellites and blind “all their missiles, planes and ships, not to mention ground forces” in case they decide to materialize their warmongering ideas.

Obviously those deaf, dumb and blind NATOstan armchair warrior clowns – fresh from their Afghan “performance” – won’t get the message. But NATOstan anyway was never accused of being partial to reality.

Possible motives for a provocation against Russia

NOVEMBER 25, 2021

A lot of commentators have pointed out that the West really does not want a full scale war with Russia because this would, at best, be a suicidal proposition.  True.

But there are some specific interests in the West which very much want to raise tensions as high as possible.  Today I will list just a few: (partial list)

The US energy sector

The energy sector is deeply concerned about Biden’s “green” rhetoric, combined with the fact that OPEC+ countries are not obeying US demands about prices.  Also, US shale gas is expensive.  Should a war happen between Russia and the Ukraine, it would also certainly completely derail Russian energy exports to the EU which, in turn, would create a very high demand for US energy in Europe (and worldwide).  This is an old US goal in Europe, to force the EU to purchase US energy even though Russian can provide it for a much better price

NATO

That one is simple: NATO has no raison d’être, but now NATO leaders can claim to be the only thing standing between the good, freedom loving EU countries and Putin’s hordes.

“Biden” option one

Biden’s ratings are almost as bad as Zelenskii’s.  If an anti-Russian provocation is executed and Russia has to openly intervene in the Ukraine, Biden can become a “wartime President” and he can wave the flag which will hopefully distract from his immense internal problems and make him look more “presidential” (which in US parlance means “more willing to use force”).

“Biden” option two

Say no provocation takes place and with time, all this hysteria eventually fizzles out.  Then Biden can claim that “he showed the Russkies who is boss” and “America’s” resolve “deterred and contained the Putin”, etc.  That would be like a mouse claiming that it deterred a sleeping bear from attacking it.  The proof?  Well, the evil bear did not attack, did it?  So what more proof do you need?

“Biden” option three

As I have mentioned in the past, there are signs that the US has farmed out the Ukraine to the Europeans, which in turn means that should a shooting war happen, and its outcome is not in doubt, “Biden” can say “we tried to help the Ukraine as much as we could, more than anybody else, but they cannot expect us to go to war with Russia to support them”.  In other words, letting “Ze” lose a war against Russia is a very elegant way to get rid of “Ze” and to blame the current full-spectrum chaos in the Ukraine on him, while deflecting any criticisms of the USA.

UK+EU politicians

UK and EU politicians have been faithfully parroting all the anti-Russian propaganda and now they are stuck in their own ideological corner: they hate Russia, but they need Russian energy.  This dilemma could be “solved” by a short but nasty war which would powerfully re-polarize the EU against Russia and, therefore, fully and totally place the EU in the iron grip of the USA.

US MIC

That one is obvious: the bigger and scarier the Russian boogeyman is, the more the peace-loving USA can be spend on “defense”.  And remember that the goal of US “Congresspersons” (love that newspeak!) is not to contribute to a sane US foreign policy, but to get re-elected.  That, in turns, means that keeping the US MIC up and running, a real financial bonanza for a country otherwise is terrible economic shape, is one of the best way to get reelected while projecting the image of a “patriotic” elected official.  Ted Cruz anybody?

The US deep state

The US deep state has always hated Russia and has always fanned the flames of hysterical russophobia.  The Neocons play a major role here, but they are far from being the only ones, it is quite clear that, besides the White House, the deep state also runs the Department of State, the CIA and the Pentagon.

The 3B+PU

It is now clear that the 3B+PU attempted to overthrow Lukashenko, and that they failed.  How to better conceal the magnitude of this failure from the general public than to have a short and ugly war against Russia, especially since the 3B+PU fully understand that Russia will never attack them first.  Here I have to make a special mention of Poland which currently feels like a giant, standing as they do, on the shoulders of the USA.  For them, it is a win-win situation: if Russia is defeated, they get to proclaim themselves the best soldiers in the history of the universe, if Russia wins, then they can declare themselves the most victimized nation on earth.  Either way, both option are a salvific manna from the heavens for Polish nationalists (who otherwise are in trouble with the EU).

‘Ze’

Zelenskii’s ratings are even worse than Biden’s.  Most of his former allies have turned against him and unless something very dramatic happens, his political future is pretty much zero, he will be lucky if he manages to escape the Ukraine on time, that is before somebody decides to take direct action against him (lots of different interests in the Ukraine are now openly and deeply hostile to ‘Ze’).

The British military/security establishment

The Brits have imperial phantom pains and they feel relatively safe, being far away from the Russian-Ukrainian line of contact.  They also feel that it is quite unthinkable to imagine that Russia would dare to actually strike at a British ship/aircraft or, even less so, at a location in the UK.  That latter belief is quite mistaken, by the way, because the Russians also realize that should they, say, sink a UK ship, or even hit a military facility in the UK, the latter would have two basic options:  1) do nothing by themselves and ask Uncle Shmuel for protection 2) counter-strike against Russia themselves, which would only expose themselves to more Russian counter-strikes.  If this sounds like a losing strategy to you, it is because it is.  But for the country of Litvenenko, Skripal, Bellingcat, and “highly likely” reality is never an impediment to action.  Besides, it really appears that the UK is run by a mentally deranged Prime Minister surrounded by petty bureaucrats and a senile Queen.

The folks nostalgic for the good old days of the white, western, empire

That’s folks like Josep Borrell and all those who wanted a unipolar world, run by the West, of course, where no country could dare defy the rule of the Single World Hegemon (don’t matter which country, as long as it is a western one).  These folks are the ones who need to get whacked, hard, by the Russian military every century or so.

In truth, there are many more groups in the West who want some kind of war, some want it quick and small, others want it bigger, while others want to stop the escalation just short of actual war.

As always, what happens next will be the result of of the sums of the many vectors influencing that outcome: each party will pull towards its interests as much as possible, and the sum vector of all of these unofficial foreign policies will result in what many of us will call “US foreign policy”, in spite of the fact that as such, no such policy exists (other than a sum of these different vectors).

Lastly, is the Putin-Biden being canceled?

Yesterday Psaki said that she was not aware of any preparations made for a summit between Biden and Putin.  Also, a quick look at the calendar makes me wonder: between the upcoming Summit for Democracy, Dec 9th-10th, and the period between the western holiday season (Dec 24th – 1 Jan) the time available to organize such a summit is shrinking quickly.  Following the initial announcement, the rhetoric in both Russia and the USA about such a summit has become much more vague as if both sides now appear to have second thoughts about this.

And if that summit is planned for sometime in January, then this just leaves more time for the Ukronazis to come up with any provocation they like.  If that happens, then any summit would the scrapped sine die anyway.

We can still hope that this summit will take place, and that would be an effective way for “Biden” to show to “himself” and his enemies (the other factions of the US power structure) that he, “Biden”, is still in control.  A bad peace is always preferable to a good war.  But with so many western interests vested into such a war, I am not very optimistic.

Andrei

Russian options in a world headed for war

November 18, 2021

Russian options in a world headed for war

The world is headed for war and has been headed that way for quite a while now.  Several times, just at the brink, the West decided to pull back, but each time it did that its ruling elites felt two things: first, the felt even more hatred for Russia for forcing them to back down and, second, they interpreted the fact that no shooting war happened (yet) as the evidence, at least in their minds, that standing on the brink of war is a pretty safe exercise.  And yet, a major shooting war is quite possible in any of the following locations, or even in several simultaneously: (in no specific order)

  1. US-China war over Taiwan
  2. AngloZionist attack on Iran
  3. A war involving the 3B+PU against Belarus
  4. A war between the Ukraine and the LDNR+Russia
  5. A NATO-Russian war in the Black Sea region
  6. A resumption of a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan

As we can see, all of these potential wars could potentially involve Russia, either directly (3,4,5) or indirectly (1,2,6).

Today, I want to look at Russian options in the direct involvement cluster of wars 3, 4 and 5.

The first thing which I think is important to note here is that while the Ukraine has no prospects of becoming a NATO member country, some NATO member states have already taken the following steps to turn the Ukraine into a de facto NATO protectorate:

  1. Full and unconditional political support for the Nazi regime in Kiev and any of its actions
  2. Minimal economic support, just enough to keep the Nazis in power
  3. Minimal delivery of weapons for the Ukronazi forces
  4. Deployment of small NATO contingents inside the Ukraine
  5. Lot’s of Kabuki theater about “we will stand with you forever and no matter what

I have already discussed the 5th point here, so I won’t repeat it all here.  The important point in the list above in #4, the deployment of a small force of UK, Swedish, French, US and other NATO units into the Ukraine.  Such small forward deployed forces are referred to “tripwire forces” whose mission is to heroically die thereby triggering an automatic (at least in theory) involvement of their country of origin into the war.

Before going any further, I think I want to share with you a list of axiomatic facts:

  1. Russia cannot be defeated militarily by any combination of forces.  For the first time in centuries, Russia is not playing “catching up” with her western foes, but is actually ahead with both her conventional and her nuclear forces.  The Russian advantage is especially striking in her conventional strategic deterrence capabilities.
  2. The West, whose leaders are quite aware of this fact, does not want an open shooting war with Russia.
  3. The 3B+PU block wants a war at all costs, both for internal and for external political reasons.
  4. In a war against the Ukraine, Russia will have several counter-strike options in which she would not need to drive even a single tank across the border

The first three are rather uncontroversial, so let’s look at the 4th point a little closer.  Let’s begin by looking at Russian counter-attack options against the Ukraine.  Roughly summarized, here are what I see as the main possible options for a Russian counter-attack against the Ukraine:

  1. Protecting the LDNR in its current borders (line of contact) by a combination of a no-fly zone, missile strikes against Ukie C3I, the use of EW to disorganize the Ukie forces and very targeted strikes (from inside Russia) against key HQs, ammo/POL dumps, etc.
  2. Giving cover to the LDNR forces to fully liberate the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
  3. Giving cover to the LDNR forces to fully liberate the Donetsk and Lugansk regions and the creation of a land corridor towards the Mariupol-Berdiansk-Crimea area.
  4. Giving cover to the LDNR forces to fully liberate the Donetsk and Lugansk regions and the creation of a land corridor in the Mariupol-Berdiansk-Crimea area and then the liberation of the Ukainian coast along the Kherson-Nikolaev-Odessa axis.
  5. The liberation of all the lands east left bank of the Dniepr river (including the cities of Kharkov, Poltava, Dniepropetrovsk, Zaporozhie and others).
  6. The liberation of the entire Ukraine

In purely military terms, these are all doable options.  But looking at this issue from a purely military point of view is highly misleading.  But first, about the NATO tripwire force.

US/NATO commanders are not too bright, but they are smart enough to understand that in case of a Russian counter attack these forces would be wiped out, thereby potentially involving all of NATO in what could potentially be a huge, continental war.  That is not what they want.

So the real purpose of this tripwire forces would be to create a powerful enough anti-Russian hysteria to transform the (currently disorganized and deeply dysfunctional) West into a single, united, anti-Russian block.  In other words, this tripwire force presents a political challenge to the Kremlin, not a military one.  This being said, we need to look a a number of absolutely crucial non-military factors.

  1. Whatever territory Russia liberates from the Nazi forces she will have to rebuilt economically, protect militarily and reorganize politically.  The more territory Russia liberates, the most acute these pressures will become.
  2. It has been 30 years already since the Ukraine set a course on becoming an anti-Russia, and there is now an entire generation of thoroughly brainwashed Ukrainians who really believe in what the Ukronazi media and “democracy” or “civil society” promoting propaganda outlets have been telling them.  The fact that many of them speak better Russian than Ukrainian does not change fact that in the least.  While the Ukies cannot stop the Russian military, they sure can organize and sustain an anti-Russian insurgency which Russia would have to suppress.
  3. Economically, the Ukraine is a black hole: you can throw whatever you want at it, in any amounts, and everything will simply disappear.  The notion of “economic aid to the Ukraine” is simply laughable.
  4. The Ukraine is an artificial entity which never was, and ever will be, viable, at least not in her current borders.

For these reasons I submit that it would be extremely dangerous for Russia to bite-off more than she can chew.  As the best (by far) political analyst of the Ukraine, Rostislav Ishchenko, said in an interview last week: “Putin cannot save the Ukraine, but he sure can ruin Russia [if he tries]” – and I totally concur with him.

Whatever legal pretense can be wrapped around a Russian liberation of the Ukraine, the reality is that whatever land Russia does liberate, she will then own and have to administer.

Why would Russia want to reimpose law and order inside a black hole?

Then there is this: while historically Ukrainian are nothing but “Russians under Polish occupation”, the past 30 years have created a new, very different nation.  In fact, I submit that we have witnessed a true ethnogenesis, the birth of a new nation whose very identity is russophobic at its core.  Yes, they speak Russian better than Ukrainian, but speaking the language of your enemy did not prevent the IRA, ETA or the Ustashe from hating that enemy and fighting him for decades.  In many ways, the modern Ukrainians are not only are non-Russians, they are anti-Russians par excellence: I think of them as Poles, with vyshivankas instead of feathers.

Crimea was solidly pro-Russian in all its history.  The Donbass was initially rather happy to form part of the Ukraine, even in the early post-Maidan period when protests were organized under Ukrainian flags.  Those flags were later traded for LDNR/Russian flags, but only after Kiev launched a military operation against the Donbass.  And the further you go west, the clearer this distinction is.  As one LDNR commander once put it, “the further west we go, the less we are seen as liberators and the more we are seeing as occupiers“.

The crucial point here is this: it does not matter what you, or I, or anybody else thinks about the constituent parts of the new Ukie national identity, we can laugh about it all we want, but as long as they take it seriously, and enough of them do, then this is a reality we cannot simply overlook or wish away.

The other point which is often overlooked is this: the Ukronazi Banderastan has already mostly collapsed.  Yes, in central Kiev things look more or less normal, but all the reports from the rest of the country point to the same reality: the Ukraine is already a failed state, totally de-industrialized, where chaos, poverty, crime and corruption are total.  The same is becoming true even for Kiev suburbs.

When I observe at how slow the Russian efforts to reorganize (really, fix) Crimea are, by no fault of the Russians, by the way, I recoil in horror at the thought of what it would take for Russia to re-civilize and re-develop ANY liberated part of the Ukraine.

Russia is typically compared to a bear, and that is a very good metaphor on many levels.  But in the case of the Ukraine, I see Russia like a snake and the Ukraine like a hog: the snake can easily kill that hog (by venom or by constriction), but that snake cannot absorb that dead hog, it is just too big for it.

But here is the single most important fact about this entire situation: the Ukie Banderastan is dying, most of its body is already necrotic, so there is absolutely no need for the Russian snake to do anything about it at all (other than retreating into a corner ready to strike, in a coiled position, and loudly hiss: “attack me and you are dead!“.  Putin already said that much.

Still, what if?  What if the Nazis, egged on by their “democratic” patrons, do launch an attack?  At that point Russia will have no other option but to strike, using her standoff weapons (missiles, artillery, long range cruise missiles, etc.).  Since we can safely assume that the Russians have been rehearsing exactly such a counter-strike we can expect it to be swift and devastating.  Targets list will include: advancing Ukie forces, airbases and any aircraft (manned or not) taking off, any Ukie boat approaching the area of operations, communication nodes, supply dumps, roads, bridges, fortified positions, etc.  That is a lot of targets to be hit at once, but hitting them at once is also the safest and most effective method to quickly achieve the immediate goal of stopping any possible Ukie advance on the LDNR.  This initial phase would last under 24 hours.

[Sidebar: modern warfare is not WWII, you won’t see thousands of tanks and a clear frontline but, rather, you will see strikes throughout the strategic depth of the enemy side, intense maneuver by fire and the use of battalion tactical groups]

Should that happen, it is likely that NATO forces would move into the western Ukraine, not to “protect” it from a Russian attack which will never come, but to break off as much of the Ukraine as possible and take it under control.  The pretext for such a NATO move would be the destruction (partial or full) of the tripwire force.  NATO might also declare its own no-fly zone over the western Ukraine, which the Russians will have no need to challenge.  Finally, the West will happily unite against Russia, and sever all economic, diplomatic and other ties to “isolate and punish Russia”.  Let’s not kid ourselves, this would hurt the Russian economy, but not in a manner sufficient to break the Russian will.

Then will come the big question: how far should Russia go?

I am confident that this has already been decided, and I am equally confident that Russia will not follow the options 4, 5 and 6 above.  Option 1 is a given, we can take that to the bank (unless the LDNR forces alone are enough to stop a Ukie attack).  Which leaves options 2 and 3 as “possibles”.

So here I want to suggest another option, what I would call the “southern route”: while the line of contact between the LDNR and Banderastan can be pushed somewhat further west, I do not think that Russian forces shuold liberate any of major cities in the central Ukraine (Kharkov, Poltava, Dneipropetrivsk, Zaporozhie, ).  Instead, I think that they ought to envelop these forces by a move along the coast as far as all of Crimea (up to Perekop) and maybe even up to, but not into, the city of Kherson.  Of course, in order to achieve this, it would be necessary to bring a large enough force into the Voronezh-Kursk-Belgorod triangle to force the Ukrainians to allocate forces to their northeast.  The Russian Black Sea Fleet could also conduct operations all along the Ukrainian coast, including near Nikolaev-Odessa to force the Ukies to allocate forces to coastal defenses, thereby easing the load on the Russian forces moving towards Kherson.

[Sidebar: let’s be clear here, the LDNR forces along cannot conduct such a deep operation without risking envelopment and destruction.  That operation can only be executed at a relatively low cost by the Russian armed forces, including the Black Sea Fleet]

In such a scenario, Belarus could turn into a “silent threat from the north” which would further forces the Ukies to allocate forces to their northern borders, making the latter feel like they are being enveloped in strategic pincers.

What about Odessa?

Odessa is a unique city in many ways, and is population is generally pro-Russian.  It is also a city which would have a tremendous economic potential if managed by sane people.  However, Odessa is also a symbolic city for the Nazis, and they have placed a great deal of effort into controlling it.  Thus, Odessa is one of the few cities in the Nazi occupied Ukraine which could rise up against their occupier, especially while the Russian forces move along the coast towards it.  Here is where Russia could, and should, get involved, but not by taking the city WWII style, but by backing and supporting pro-Russian organizations in Odessa (primarily by using her special forces and, when needed, the firepower of the Black Sea Fleet).

What would the outcome of such a war look like?

One the down side, the West would unite in its traditional hatred for Russia, and economically Russia would hurt.  That is not irrelevant but, I submit, this scenario is already in the making and even if Russia does absolutely nothing.  Hence, this inevitable reality ought to be accepted by Russia as a condition sine qua non for her survival as a sovereign nation.

In military terms, the Poles and their Anglo masters would probably “protectively liberate” the western Ukraine (Lvov, Ivano-Frankovsk).  So what?  Let them!  There is no penalty for Russia from this.  Besides, the hardcore Ukronazis will then have to deal with their former Polish masters now fully back in control – let them fully “enjoy” each other 🙂

What about the rump Banderastan (we are talking about the central Ukraine here)?? It would end up being in even a worse shape than it is today, but Russia would not have to pay the bills for this mess.  Sooner or later, an insurrection or civil war would take place, which would pit one brand of Ukies against another, and should either one of them turn towards Russia or the liberated parts of the Ukraine, Russia could simply use her standoff weapons to quickly discourage any such attempts.

So how close are we to war?

Short answer: very.  Just listen to this recent press conference by Lavrov.  And its not only Lavrov, a lot of savvy political commentators and analysts in Russia are basically saying that the issue is not “if” but “when” and, therefore, “how”.  I think that the straw that broke the Russia’s patience’s camel back is the suicidal way in which the real (historical) Europeans have allowed the 3B+PU to set the agenda for the UE and NATO.  Oh sure, if NS2 goes ahead, as it still probably will, the Russians will be happy to sell energy to Europe.  But in terms of agency, the only power Russia is willing to talk to is the United States, as witnessed by the recent visits of Nuland and Burns to Moscow.  Let’s make one thing very very clear here:

Russia does not want war.  In fact, Russia will do everything in her power to avoid a war.  If a war cannot be avoided, Russia will delay the onset of that war as far into the future as possible.  And if that means talking to folks like Nuland or Burns, then that is something the Russians will gladly do.  And they are absolutely right in that stance (not talking to the enemy is a western mental disorder, not a Russian one).

As I have been saying for almost 2 years now, the Empire is already dead.  The USA as we knew them died on January 6th.  But the post Jan 6th USA still exists and, unlike the Europeans, the US ruling classes still have agency.  Just look at clowns like Stoltenberg, Borrell, Morawiecki or Maas: these are all petty bureaucrats, office plankton of you wish, which might have the skills to run a car rental agency, maybe a motel, but not real leaders that anybody in the Kremlin will take seriously.  You can hate Nuland or Burns all you want, but these are serious, dangerous folks, and that is why Russia is willing talk to them, especially when the request for such negotiations have been made by the US side (the Russians can’t really talk to clowns like Biden or Austin, which are just PR figures).

One thing needs mentioning here: the people of the rump-Banderastan and what will happen to them.

Actually, I think that the Ukraine is totally and terminally unsalvageable and the only good plan for anybody still living there is to do what millions of Ukrainians have already done: pack and leave.  Since most of the unskilled Ukrainian labor force lived in the western regions of the Ukraine, they will naturally prefer moving to the EU to work as cabbies, plumbers, maids and prostitutes.  Likewise, since most of the skilled Ukrainian work force comes from the southern and the eastern Ukraine, they will either be content with being liberated by Russia or they will move to Russia to work as engineers, medical doctors, IT specialists or even construction workers.  Russia has a need for such culturally close and qualified work force and getting jobs (and passports) for them will be a no brainer for the Kremlin.  True, what will be left of this post-Banderastan Ukraine won’t be a pretty sight: a poor, corrupt, country whose people will struggle to survive with lots of silly political ideas floated around.  But that won’t be Russia’s problem anyway while the main threat to Russia, a united Banderastan becoming a NATO training polygon right across the Russian border, will simply evaporate, dying on its own toxic emissions.  And if more Ukrainians want to move to Russia (or the free Ukraine), then the LDNR and Russian authorities will be able to decide on a case by case “do we wants these folks here or not?“.  Those Ukrainians who have remain real Ukrainians will be welcome in Russia while the Ukronazis will be denied entry and arrested if they still try.

Addendum: the two powers with imperial phantom pains and dreams of war

I am, of course, talking about the UK and Poland, two minor actors who compensate for their very limited actual abilities with a never-ending flow of vociferous declarations.  Mostly, they are just “playing empire”.  Both of these countries know exactly that they once were real empires and why they are pretty irrelevant today – they blame much of their own decay on Russia and hence their dream is to see Russia, if not defeated, then at least given a bloody nose.  And, of course, standing on the shoulders of the USA, both of these countries think of themselves as giants: they sure act the part very great gravitas and pomp.

Finally, their leadership is degenerate enough (inferiority complex compensated by a narcissism run amok) to lack even the basic common sense of wondering whether poking the Russia bear is a good idea or not.  More than any other NATO members, these yapping countries need a good smackdown to bring them back to reality.  Whether this smackdown will come in the form of some incident in the Ukraine or whether that will happen elsewhere is impossible to predict, but one thing is sure: the UK and Poland are (yet again!) the two countries which want, I would even say, need, a war with Russia more than anybody else (example one, example two).  I find it therefore rather likely that, sooner or later, Russia will have to either sink a UK/Polish ship or shoot down a/several UK/Polish aircraft which will show to the world, including the Brits and the Poles, that neither the US, nor NATO nor anybody else is seriously going to go to war with Russia over the Empire’s underlings.  Yes, there will be tensions, possibly even local clashes, and tons and tons of threatening verbiage, but nobody wants to die for these two hyenas of Europe (Churchill forgot to mention one), and nobody ever will.

Conclusion: war on the horizon

Right now, we are already deep inside a pre-war period and, like a person skating on thin ice, we wonder if the ice will break and, if it does, where that will happen.  Simply put, the Russians have two options:

  • A verbal push back
  • A physical push back

They have been trying the former as best they can to do the first for at least 7 years if not more.  Putin did trade space for time, and that was the correct decision considering the state of the Russian armed forces before, roughly, 2018.  Trump’s election was also God-sent for Russia because while Orange Man did threaten the planet left and right, he did not start a full-scale war against Russia (or, for that matter, Iran, China, Cuba, Iran and the DPRK).  By late 2021, however, Russia has retreated as far as she could.  The good news now is that Russia has the most modern and capable military on the planet, while the West is very busy committing political, cultural and economic suicide.

According to US analysts, by 2025 the USA won’t be able to win a war against China.  Frankly, I think that this ship has already sailed a long time ago, but that semi-admission is a desperate attempt to create the political climate to circle the wagons before China officially becomes the second nation the USA cannot defeat, the first one being, obviously, Russia (I would even include Iran and the DPRK is that list).  Hence all the current Anglo posturing in the Black Sea (which is even far more dangerous for US/NATO ships than the China Seas) is just that: posturing.  The main risk here is that I am not at all convinced by the notion that “Biden” can rein in the Brits or the Poles, especially since the latter are both NATO members who would sincerely expect NATO to protect them (they should ask Erdogan about that).  But, of course, there really is no such thing as “NATO”: all there is the US and its vassal states in Europe.  Should the two wannabe empires trigger a real, shooting war, all it would take is a single Russian conventional missile strike somewhere deep inside the continental USA (even in a desert location) to convince the White House, the Pentagon or the CIA “get with the program” and seek a negotiated solution, leaving the Brits and the Poles utterly disgusted and looking foolish.  I don’t think anything else can bring those two countries back to a sense of reality.

So yes, the war is coming, and the only thing which can prevent it would be some kind of deal between Russia and the USA.  Will that happen?  Alas, I don’t see any US President making such a deal, since however is in power is accused by the other party of “weakness”, “being a Russian asset” and all the rest of the flagwaving claptrap coming out of all the US politicians, especially in Congress.  One possibly mitigating factor is that the US politicians are also dead set on confrontation with China, including during the upcoming Olympic games, and if these tensions continue to escalate, then the US will want Russia to at least not represent a direct threat to US interests in Europe and the Pacific.  So maybe Putin and Xi can play this one together, making sure that with each passing day Uncle Shmuel gets even weaker while Russia and China get even stronger.  Maybe that strategy could avoid a war, at least a big one.  But when listen to the verbiage coming out of the UK+3B+PU, I have very little hope that the nutcases in Europe can be talked down from the edge of the precipice.

Andrei

Censorship is the Last Gasp of the Liberal Class

November 11th, 2021

Truthful, honest, and independent journalism and analysis is anathema to a social order that has little else to offer humanity but endless war and austerity.

By Danny Haiphong

Source

On November 8, 2021, Twitter locked my account for a period of one day for responding to corporate media darling and Russiagate fanatic Keith Olbermann’s slanderous reply to journalist Wyatt Reed’s coverage of the Nicaraguan election. The flagged tweet simply restated Olbermann’s question, replacing “whore for a dictator” with “whoring for the American oligarchy.” Twitter demanded that I delete the tweet or send a time-consuming, lengthy appeal with no assurances as to if or when my sentence in “Twitter jail” would end. This prompted me to delete the tweet and wait for the 12-hour suspension to end. Keith Olbermann’s account went unscathed.

This isn’t Olbermann’s first go-round with censorship. Last July, Olbermann called progressive comedian and YouTube host Jimmy Dore a “feral succubus” and demanded Twitter “and other platforms” promptly ban him. Olbermann has justified censorship over the past several years as a necessary response to the thoroughly debunked allegation that Russia “meddled” in the 2016 election in favor of Donald Trump. He has publicly acknowledged his support for censorship as a righteous crusade to ban from platforms people who seek to “tear this country apart.”

Olbermann claims that his censorship crusade is exclusively directed at the right wing. Yet the sports analyst and corporate-media pundit is no friend to progressive or left-wing politics. The U.S. continues to lurch further to the right politically precisely because of elite-driven conspiracies such as Russiagate. Olbermann’s belief that “everything” about the Trump administration is connected to Russia has only further distracted from the progressive politics required to counter the destructive policies of the D.C. duopoly. Olbermann’s obsession with Russia is also racist in character, as evidenced by the admission that he feels immense shame living “with the stain of Russian heritage” in his family.

Hilary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump in 2016 unveiled a deepening crisis of legitimacy for the American Empire that the ruling elite has desperately tried to conceal. Liberal class elites such as Olbermann have embraced censorship under the guise of Russiagate. The consequences have been devastating. The Democratic Party and corporate media have fully backed Julian Assange’s extradition and a host of other measures that have tightened the grip of corporate power over the media. Independent journalists have been demonetized or removed from YouTube, shadow-banned from Twitter, and suppressed in the algorithm on Google and YouTube’s search engines.

Silencing independent media serves a militarist agenda. International media outlets critical of U.S. wars, such as RT and CGTN, have faced intensifying repression within the U.S. and its allied nations in the West. RT and CGTN have been forced to register with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Iran-based PressTV had its domain seized by the U.S. government in June 2021 after being removed from Facebook six months earlier. YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook have labeled all three outlets “state-affiliated media.” The BBC and CIA-linked outlets such as Radio Free Asia have yet to receive the same treatment.

The message is clear: media outlets from countries targeted as U.S. adversaries such as China, Russia, and Iran are worthy of censorship while U.S. outlets promoting propaganda against said countries are safe for consumption. The same could be said about Nicaragua, a nation that has received countless attacks from the United States in the form of economic sanctions and information warfare. In the week prior to Twitter’s locking of my account, hundreds of Facebook users supportive of the popular FSLN government in Nicaragua were removed from the platform in the lead-up to the presidential election in that country. This includes Canadian physician Timothy Bood, whose account was suspended for commenting on U.S. interference in the Nicaraguan election. U.K.-based Morning Star journalist Steve Sweeney was detained for three days in Mexico on his way to observe the Nicaraguan elections.

Censorship is the last gasp of liberal class elites who find themselves rapidly losing grip over the political narrative. In the midst of growing economic inequality and endless war, the liberal class has chosen information warfare as its principal tool for maintaining the consent of the governed. Social media and streaming platforms are not public utilities and have thus been directed as weapons of information warfare against the people. Government agencies and military contractors have secured thousands of contracts with big tech corporations to increase their spying powers and influence over the media. It should come as no surprise that alternatives to the existing order have been marked as necessary for removal from public visibility as a means of self-preservation for a self-interested ruling elite.

While elements of the so-called “rightwing” have been caught in the web of censorship, it is clear that the Left is the principal target. Right-wing politics and pundits continue to enjoy growth while outlets such as MintPress News and Black Agenda Report struggle to expand audiences within a suffocating environment of censorship. Truthful, honest, and independent journalism and analysis is anathema to a social order that has little else to offer humanity but endless war and austerity. The last gasp of the liberal class seeking to protect this social order is the suppression of the truth — the first commitment of anyone who claims to stand for peace and justice.

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