Russian engineers make it alone and confirm it’s technological progress

September 05, 2022

Source

by Batko Milacic

Saki gas combined heat and power plant of the KRYMTETS company in Crimea

From August 26 to 30, a group of international journalists had the opportunity to visit Crimea and see how the European Union sanctions affect Crimea. The author of this article was among that group of international journalists. As a reminder, Crimea became part of Russia again in 2014. In March of that year, a referendum was held in Crimea, where the absolute majority of citizens were in favor of unification with Russia. This is not surprising considering that even while Crimea was part of Ukraine, the majority of citizens were pro-Russian and spoke Russian.

When in Kiev during the Maidan revolution, the legitimate government was overthrown and a new anti-Russian government was brought in power with the logistics of Washington, the local population in Crimea did not accept it!(1) As people in Crimea say: ’’ We have been waiting for a long time to come back to our motherland Russia’’. This is exactly how the return of Crimea to Russia began.

However, after the return of Crimea to Russia, the harsh sanctions of the European Union against Crimea immediately followed. In short, the Crimean sanctions by European Union consists of a complete import and investment ban for the area of Crimea and Sevastopol the black sea fleet port.

And this is where we come to the key question, how did the sanctions affect Crimea? Based on everything I’ve seen, I can safely say that the sanctions have had a positive effect on Crimea.

In Crimea, wine production is increasing every year. A huge amount of money has been invested in new wineries as well as in the quality of the wine. Today, Crimean wine is better than most European wines. Sanctions had a positive effect on wine production, as the large Russian market, plus the Asia Pacific region, was opened up to Crimean wineries. Notable Crimean winemakers today include: ‘’Alma Valley’’, ’’Massandra’’, ‘’Inkerman’’, ‘’Gold beam’’, “Koktebel”, “Magarach”, “Suter”, “Novyi Svit”, “Legend of Crimea”.

Apart from wine, which has been produced in Crimea for more than 2000 years, I could see that other areas are rapidly developing in Crimea. This primarily refers to Crimean agriculture, the results of which are visible to everyone. Also, Crimea is developing technologically, so today batteries for electric cars are produced in Crimea. With those batteries, electric cars will be supplied all over Russia, and in the coming years, exports outside of Russia will also begin. Certainly, tourism has a very important place in the economy of the Russian Republic of Crimea. What can be immediately noticed when arriving in Crimea on the new highway that was built and which is excellent is the huge number of tourists. Also, works on new roads and renovation of old ones, which were not invested in during the Ukrainian rule, are visible everywhere.

Pilot period of operation of the first made-in-Russia turbines completed at Saki gas-fired power plant

At the Saki gas combined heat and power plant of the KRYMTETS company, the Republic of Crimea, we could see that a two-year experimental period of operation of the gas turbine units, made in Russia for the first time by domestic specialists, was 100% completed without using of imported components and specifically for this project.

The need of creating such a natural gas-fired power station arose 8 years ago. After Crimea returned to Russia, Ukraine abruptly cut off the power supply of the peninsula by blowing up of the main power lines. Crimea being 80% energy dependent on mainland plunged into darkness. The peninsula was urgently provided with mobile power systems and began to actively build new, local generation facilities.

Image preview

During the visit at Saki gas-fired power plant

A complication during this process was by sanctions as it was impossible to bring imported equipment to Crimea, and almost all generation facilities in Russia were built with the use of Siemens and General Electric’s equipment. At the time Russian manufacturers developed and produced exclusive equipment specifically for the Saki gas-fired power plant. Therefore, all the turbines, boilers and other generating equipment of plant have factory set serial numbers, starting from the first one.

Saki natural gas-fired power plant with its total capacity of 120 megawatts (MW) was built in a year – a record-breaking time for such kind of objects. Usually it takes at least 2.5 years. In the same time, the plant was built without attracting of any budgetary funds, solely by the investor – the KRYMTETS company.

After the launch of the new gas-fired power plant, all the attention of specialists was riveted to the operation of the equipment – no one knew for sure how it would behave in operation. But now the pilot project of the first Russian gas-fired power plant based on Russian equipment and Russian software has been completed after two-year tests in the conditions of increased loads of the Crimean region have proved that Russian equipment works with high efficiency and has proven itself better than imported ones. Such a result determined that the turbines used at the Saki gas-fired power plant are recommended for installation at other natural gas-fired power stations of the Russian Federation, and also, after meeting domestic demand, they will be exported to friendly countries. In the same time, the Saki gas-fired power plant will become a training ground and a learning center for specialists who will operate this equipment at their power plants in other regions and countries.

In addition, this year the first virtual power plant in Russia was put into commercial operation on the basis of the Saki gas-fired power plant. This is a digital twin of a real power plant and is a prototype of the plant’s existing production facilities: turbines, boilers, auxiliary equipment, electrical installations, etc. The digital model helps to change the parameters of the equipment and make improvements much faster and safer than working in manual mode. The created software product is a domestic development as well and was created from scratch by Russian specialists.

And now the management of all the processes at the Saki gas-fired power plant is carried out only with the use of Russian software.

Currently, representatives of the largest Russian energy supply companies regularly visit Saki gas-fired power plant to get acquainted with the operation of equipment in industrial conditions and prepare for its implementation at their facilities.

Black Sea Geopolitics and Russia’s Control of Strategic Waterways: The Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov

June 05, 2022

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research,

Since the union of Crimea with Russia in March 2014, the entry into the sea of Azov is fully controlled by Russia. (see image below).

The following article is a revised and update of an earlier GR article by Michel Chossudovsky   It provides a brief summary of the Geopolitics of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov as well as some observations on the Ukraine War. (Updated on June 5, 2022)

Introduction

Historically, the Kerch strait in Eastern Crimea has played a strategic role.

It constitutes a narrow maritime gateway which links the Black Sea via the Sea of Azov to Russia’s major waterways including the Don and the Volga.

It also ensures maritime transit from the Black Sea to Moscow not to mention the strategic maritime route between the Caspian Sea (via the Volga-Don Canal) to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. 

Map: The United Deep Waterway System of European Russia.

The Volga also links the Caspian Sea to the Baltic Sea as well as to the Northern Sea route, via the Volga–Baltic Waterway.  (See above)

The Volga is connected to a system of canals (via lakes Onega, Ladoga) to the Neva River and St Petersburg. (See map below)

What is at stake is an integrated system of waterways which connects the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea to the Baltic and the Northern Sea Route.

In this regard the narrow Kerch Strait in Eastern Crimea is strategic.

The 2014 Union of Crimea with Russia Redefines the Geography and the Geopolitical Chessboard of the Black Sea Basin

Since 2014, the reunion of Crimea to the Russian Federation, represented a major setback for US-NATO, whose longstanding objective was to integrate Ukraine into NATO, while extending Western military presence in the Black Sea basin. (See details below)

Brief Observations on the Ukraine War: The Sea of Azov is Strategic. Ukraine Has No Maritime Access. 

In regards to the Ukraine War, Russia’s control of the Kerch Strait plays a key role. In recent developments (June 2022), Russia now controls the entire basin of the Sea of Azov.

Ukraine has no maritime access to the Sea of Azov and Eastern Ukraine, nor does it have naval power in the Black Sea.

Without a navy, Ukraine is not in a position to win this war. The Peace Negotiations initiated in Istanbul in late March, which were the object of sabotage constitute the only solution. 

Ukraine’s Naval Base Berdyansk (a 2020 initiative of Zelensky) on the Western Azov coastline is under Russian control. All major ports extending from Mariupol to Kherson are under Russian control.

Russia occupies Kherson and  controls the access of Ukraine’s major river-way the Dnieper to and from the Black Sea  (see second map below: The Dnieper is in some regards a seaway.The Dnieper is a major corridor of grain cargo transportation.

In the context of the Ukraine War, through their military deployments in Donetsk and Lugansk, Russian forces have  consolidated their control over the entire Sea of Azov basin.

The map below (June 2, 2022) indicates the areas of deployment and Russian control from the North of Lugansk (territories opposite Kharkov) to Kherson on the Dnieper.

Flashback: The 2014 Treaty between Russia and Crimea

With the March 18, 2014 Treaty signed between Russia and Crimea, the Russian Federation has extended its control over the Black Sea as well as over the Sea of Azov.

Under the agreement between Russia and Crimea announced by president Putin in 2014, two “constituent regions” of Crimea joined the Russian Federation: the “Republic of Crimea” and the “City of Sevastopol”. Both have the status of “autonomous regions”. The status of Sevastopol as an autonomous entity separate from Crimea is related to the location of Russia’s Naval base in Sevastopol.

Since the break-up of the Soviet Union, Russia retained its naval base in Sevastopol under a bilateral agreement with Ukraine. With the signing of the March 18th 2014 Treaty, that agreement became null and void. Sevastopol including the Russian naval base became part of an autonomous region within the Russian Federation. Prior to March 2014, the naval base was not within Ukraine under a lease agreement. Moreover, since 2014, Crimea’s territorial waters belong to the Russian Federation.

Following the union of Crimea to Russia, The Russian Federation now controls a much larger portion of the Black Sea, which includes the entire coastline of the Crimean peninsula. The Eastern part of Crimea –including the Kerch strait– are under Russia’s jurisdiction. On the Eastern side of the Kerch strait is Russia’s Krasnodar region and extending  southwards are the port cities of Novorossiysk and Sochi. 

The Geopolitics of  Oil and Gas Pipelines

Novorossiysk is also strategic. It is Russia’s largest commercial port on the Black Sea, at the cross-roads of major oil and gas pipelines between the Black Sea and the Caspian sea.

While the main strategic oil pipeline route is between Novorossiysk and Baku, there is a nexus of gas pipelines between Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran, Turkmenistan, linking up with China.

Prior to Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Putin signed “a wide-ranging agreement” with the president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.

Kerch Strait: History

Historically, the Kerch strait has played a strategic role. It constitutes a gateway from the Black Sea to Russia’s major waterways including the Don and the Volga.

During World War II, the Kerch peninsula was occupied by Nazi Germany (taken back by the Red Army) was an important point of transit by land and water.

In the coldest months of Winter, it became an ice bridge linking Crimea to the Krasnodar region.

The Kerch strait is about 5 kilometers in length and 4.5 km. wide at the narrowest point between the tip of Eastern Crimea and the peninsula of Taman. Kerch is a major commercial port linked to railway, ferry and river routes.

image right: Kerch strait, photo taken from Crimean side, (prior to the construction of the bridge) narrow width, aerial view of strait and Taman peninsula. 

The Sea of Azov: Geopolitical Hub

Of significance, as a result of the integration of Crimea into the Russian Federation in 2014 Moscow gained full control of the Kerch Strait linking the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov. The bilateral agreement between Russia and Ukraine governing the maritime route through the Kerch straights was scrapped.

The strait also constitutes an entry point into Russia’s major river waterways.

The Sea of Azov connects with the Don River and the Volga, through the Volga Don Canal. In turn, the Volga flows into the Caspian sea.

The Kerch strait is strategic.  The Kerch-Yenikalskiy Canal allows large (ocean) vessels to transit from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov.

As outlined above, the Kerch Strait links the Black Sea to the Volga via the sea of Azov and the Volga Don Canal which in turn connects to Saint Petersburg and the Baltic Sea. The Volga also connects to Moscow, via the Moscow river through the Volga-Moskva canal.

Note: The Caspian sea basin is in sense “landlocked”. It’s only access to the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean is via the Volga. The same applies to its access to the Atlantic via the Baltic Sea, or via the White Sea, the Barents Sea and the Northeast Arctic Passage to the Pacific.

Strategic waterways. In Summary

  1. Caspian Sea- Volga, Volga-Don Canal, Don, – Sea of Azov -Black Sea, Mediterranean
  2. Black Sea- Sea of Azov -Don- Volga Don Canal -Volga -Volga-Moskva Canal, Moscow River, Moscow
  3. Black Sea- Sea of Azov -Don- Volga Don Canal -Volga -Neva, St Petersburg, Baltic Sea
  4. Caspian Sea, Volga, Neva, Svir, Onega Lake, White Sea Canal, North Sea and Northeast Arctic Passage

Volga-Don Canal

Russia-Ukraine Relations Regarding the Kerch Strait

In December 2013, Moscow signed a bilateral agreement with the Yanukovych government in Kiev pertaining to the construction of a bridge across the Kerch Strait, connecting Eastern Crimea (which was part of Ukraine) with Russia’s Krasnodar region.

That agreement was a followup to an initial agreement signed in April 2010 between the two governments.

The Russia-Ukraine 2013 agreement pertaining to the construction of the bridge had, for all purposes already been scrapped before March 16, 2014.

Image right: new Kerch bridge links Eastern Crimea (road and rail transportation) to  Russia’s Krasnodar region. (image right).

Crimea’s union to Russia was already in the pipeline prior to the referendum, it was a fait accompli.

Less than two weeks before the March 16 2014 Referendum, at the height of the crisis in Ukraine, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered the state-road building corporation Avtodor, or “Russian Highways” “to create a subsidiary company that would oversee the building of a bridge across the Kerch Strait”.

This bridge is geared towards train transport routes linking Western and Eastern Europe to the Caspian Sea basin, Kazakhstan and China. It is therefore an integral part of the Eurasian Project (linking up with China’s Belt and Road initiative).  

The original source of this article is Global Research

Copyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2022

What is the Collective West?

April 30, 2022

Source

By Batiushka

Introduction

Western State propaganda mouthpieces like the BBC or CNN, their journalists abundantly supplied and rewarded by their spy services, love to talk about ‘the international community’. They substituted this new phrase for the old one of ‘the free world’ in the 1990s. Of course, both phrases are nonsense. What did/do they actually mean?

The Free World

The 1740 Imperialist anthem ‘Rule, Britannia’ has the words ‘Britons never will be slaves’. What it means is that the ruling class of the British Empire, which was founded on genocide, piracy and slave-trading (for instance, the slaver ancestors of former PM David Cameron), ‘never will be slaves’. As for the enslaved plebs of the rest of the world, including those of the nations of Great Britain and Ireland, they will be feudalised, robbed of their land by the Enclosures (= enforced collectivisation, only not run by the State, but by oligarchs) and sent to be exploited in the sadistic factories of Industrial Revolutionary Capitalists, or else forced to emigrate to populate the future Anglosphere. In the same way, this phrase ‘the Free World’ also meant the ruling class of the First World, that is, those who threatened the Second World (the Communist bloc) with nuclear extinction, all the while exploiting the Third World, assassinating anyone who opposed them (Patrice Lumumba, Dag Hammarskjold, John Kennedy etc etc).

The International Community

The International Community is an equally hypocritical phrase which designates the Zionist Anglosphere + Colonies. In other words, it means the Anglo-Zionist elite of the USA, Israel, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand + the EU, Japan and, arguably, South Korea. The latter non-English-speaking countries are simply US vassals, colonies or client-states, occupied by US troops and bases. This ‘International Community’ is dominated by a military wing called NATO (based almost next door to the EU headquarters in Brussels) and an economic wing called the G7, which is heavily influenced by Wall Street and the City of London. However, this ‘Community’ works together with vassal institutions, like the ‘World Bank’, the IMF (International Monetary Fund) or, to a considerable extent, the UN (United Nations), and think tanks and societies like the Trilateral and Bilderberg. It rewards its servants with awards like Nobel Prizes, generously funded by the CIA. However, whatever the acronym, it is all the same greedy clique.

The Collective West

This phrase is now used in Russia to designate all the enemies of the Russian Federation. These enemies are identical to ‘the international community’, i.e, that small but wealthy minority of the world, representing about 15% of the global population. There is nothing new in the reality of this collective enmity of hatred for and jealousy of Russia. For example, in the 13th century the invading hordes of Germanic terrorists, called the ‘Teutonic Knights’, were also a bunch of bandits from ‘the Collective West’. However, to illustrate our point more clearly still, let us look at the five much more recent invasions of the Russian Lands by the Collective West. These invasions have taken place in the last 210 years (exactly once every 42 years on average). They were and are the events of:

1812. The Russian Empire was invaded by the French Empire, the Austrian Empire, the Kingdoms of Italy, Naples, Saxony, Bavaria, Westphalia, Wuerttemburg, Prussia, Spain and Denmark, the Swiss Confederation, the Grand Duchies of Hesse, Berg and Baden and the Duchy of Warsaw. The result? Although the Collective Western forces reached Moscow, they had to retreat with hundreds of thousands of deaths and in 1814 Russian troops liberated Paris from the tyranny of Napoleon.

1853. The Russian Empire was invaded by France, Great Britain, Sardinia and the Ottoman Empire, supported by the Austrian Empire. This war, miscalled ‘The Crimean War’, included the invasion of the Russia through the Crimea, an attempted British invasion of Siberia from the Sea of Japan and the shelling by the British Navy of a Russian monastery from the White Sea. It lasted until 1856. The ending came when the British blew up the Russian dock installations of Sebastopol (Sevastopol), built ten years before by British engineers. For this ‘achievement’, 500,000 human-beings had died as a result of French and British Imperialism, mainly of disease. Another consequence – in 1867 Russia sold Alaska to the then friendly USA, and not to the enemy British Canada.

1914. The Russian Empire was invaded by Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and the German puppet kinglet of Bulgaria. After immense struggles, the enemy advanced only as far as Poland and Lithuania, never even entering Russian territory. The Russian Imperial Army, suffering fewer losses than the French and Germans on the Western Front even though facing twice as many enemy troops, was headed for total victory in summer 1917. However, in early 1917 the Russian Empire was overthrown by a British-orchestrated coup d’etat and implemented by a fifth column of treacherous Russian aristocrats (i.e. oligarchs, in modern language), generals, politicians, journalists and lawyers. We know what happened next.

1941. The Soviet Union was invaded by the troops of Fascist Germany, Romania, Finland, Italy, Hungary, Slovakia, but these were supported by detachments of Nazi troops from a great many Western countries, including France, Belgium and Norway. The result? Despite the slaughter of 27 million Soviet citizens by the genocidal Nazis who treated the Soviet peoples as wild animals to be massacred, in 1945 Soviet troops liberated Berlin, discovering the gruesome charred remains of the suicide Hitler.

2022. Ancient Russian Lands (recently become known as Eastern and Central Ukraine), occupied, attacked and threatened by Nazi forces, trained and equipped by NATO (the North American Terrorist Organisation), consisting of 30 states led by the USA, are being liberated. They are being freed by Russian forces fighting in what is not a Russian war against the Ukraine but a NATO proxy war against the Ukraine.

The Collective West? Nothing new in this concept.

Conclusion: A Word of Warning

27 million dead? Unless you are brain dead, please do not send Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, to intervene in the Russian special operation of liberation in the Ukraine. Her grandfather was a Nazi who as a volunteer became a staff sergeant in the Wehrmacht, led a unit on the Soviet front which hunted down resistance groups, participated in the capture of Ukraine’s capital Kiev and took part in the barbaric September 1941 Babi Yar massacre, in which more than 33,000 Jews were shot in cold blood.

And please do not send Chrystia Freeland, the Canadian Vice-President, to intervene in the Russian special operation of liberation in the Ukraine. Her grandfather was a Ukrainian Nazi, Mykhailo Khomiak, after the war sought by the Polish authorities for his war crimes.

Our words of warning go out to all other Nazis and Fascists who seem to think that V.V. Putin is one of them. He is not. He is an anti-Fascist, whose grandfather, incidentally, was French. Like Tsar Nicholas II a century before him, V.V. Putin is for social justice against the Anglo-Zionist aristocrats/ oligarchs who run the Western world and have attempted to run the Russian world, from which the last oligarchs are currently being expelled.

President Putin and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres: Meeting

April 27, 2022

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/68287

April 26, 2022

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr Secretary-General,

I am very happy to see you.

As one of the founders of the United Nations and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Russia has always supported this universal organisation. We believe the UN is not simply universal but it is unique in a way – the international community does not have another organisation like it. We are doing all we can to support the principles on which it rests, and we intend to continue doing this in the future.

We find the expression of some of our colleagues about a world based on rules somewhat strange. We believe the main rule is the UN Charter and other documents adopted by this organisation rather than some papers written by their authors as they see fit or aimed at ensuring their own interests.

We are also surprised to hear statements by our colleagues that imply that some in the world have exceptional status or can claim exclusive rights because the Charter of the United Nations reads that all participants in international communication are equal regardless of their strength, size or geographical location. I think this is similar to what the Bible reads about all people being equal. I am sure we will find the same idea in both the Quran and the Torah. All people are equal before God. So, the idea that someone can claim a kind of exceptional status is very strange to us.

We are living in a complicated world, and, therefore, we proceed from reality and are willing to work with everyone.

No doubt, at one time the United Nations was established to resolve acute crises and went through different periods in its development. Quite recently, just several years ago, we heard it had become obsolete, and there was no need for it anymore. This happened whenever it prevented someone from reaching their goals in the international arena.

We have always said that there is no other universal organisation like the United Nations, and it is necessary to cherish the institutions that were created after WWII for the express purpose of settling disputes.

I know about your concern over Russia’s military operation in Donbass, in Ukraine. I think this will be the focus of our conversation today. I would just like to note in this context that the entire problem emerged after a coup d’état staged in Ukraine in 2014. This is an obvious fact. You can call it whatever name you like and have whatever bias in favour of those who did it, but this was really an anti-constitutional coup.

This was followed by the situation with the expression of their will by the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol. They acted in practically the same way as the people living in Kosovo – they made a decision on independence and then turned to us with a request to join the Russian Federation. The only difference between the two cases was that in Kosovo this decision on sovereignty was adopted by Parliament whereas Crimea and Sevastopol made it at a nationwide referendum.

A similar problem emerged in south-eastern Ukraine, where the residents of several territories, at least, two Ukrainian regions, did not accept the coup d’état and its results. But they were subjected to very strong pressure, in part, with the use of combat aviation and heavy military equipment. This is how the crisis in Donbass, in south-eastern Ukraine, emerged.

As you know, after another failed attempt by the Kiev authorities to resolve this problem by force, we arrived at the signing of agreements in the city of Minsk. This is what they were called – the Minsk Agreements. It was an attempt to settle the situation in Donbass peacefully.

To our regret, during the past eight years the people that lived there found themselves under a siege. The Kiev authorities announced in public that they were organising a siege of these territories. They were not embarrassed to call it a siege although initially they had renounced this idea and continued military pressure.

Under the circumstances, after the authorities in Kiev actually went on record as saying – I would like to emphasise that the top state officials announced this in public – that they did not intend to fulfil the Minsk Agreements, we were compelled to recognise these regions as independent and sovereign states to prevent the genocide of the people living there. I would like to reiterate: this was a forced measure to stop the suffering of the people living in those territories.

Unfortunately, our colleagues in the West preferred to ignore all this. After we recognised the independence of these states, they asked us to render them military aid because they were subjected to military actions, an armed aggression. In accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter, Chapter VII, we were forced to do this by launching a special military operation.

I would like to inform you that although the military operation is underway, we are still hoping to reach an agreement on the diplomatic track. We are conducting talks. We have not abandoned them.

Moreover, at the talks in Istanbul, and I know that you have just been there since I spoke with President Erdogan today, we managed to make an impressive breakthrough. Our Ukrainian colleagues did not link the requirements for Ukraine’s international security with such a notion as Ukraine’s internationally recognised borders, leaving aside Crimea, Sevastopol and the newly Russia-recognised Donbass republics, albeit with certain reservations.

But, unfortunately, after reaching these agreements and after we had, in my opinion, clearly demonstrated our intentions to create the conditions for continuing the talks, we faced a provocation in the town of Bucha, which the Russian Army had nothing to do with. We know who was responsible, who prepared this provocation, using what means, and we know who the people involved were.

After this, the position of our negotiators from Ukraine on a further settlement underwent a drastic change. They simply renounced their previous intentions to leave aside issues of security guarantees for the territories of Crimea, Sevastopol and the Donbass republics. They simply renounced this. In the relevant draft agreement presented to us, they simply stated in two articles that these issues must be resolved at a meeting of the heads of state.

It is clear to us that if we take these issues to the heads of state level without even resolving them in a preliminary draft agreement, they will never be resolved. In this case, we simply cannot sign a document on security guarantees without settling the territorial issues of Crimea, Sevastopol and the Donbass republics.

Nevertheless, the talks are going on. They are now being conducted online. I am still hoping that this will lead us to some positive result.

This is all I wanted to say in the beginning. I am sure we will have many questions linked with this situation. Maybe there will be other questions as well. We will talk.

I am very happy to see you. Welcome to Moscow.

(In his remarks, the UN Secretary General expressed concern over the situation in Ukraine, while emphasising the need for a multilateral world order based on the UN Charter and international law. Antonio Guterres also presented the two proposals he had put forward the same day during his meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. These proposals concern humanitarian matters, including humanitarian corridors, in particular, for Mariupol residents, as well as setting up a humanitarian contact group in which the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Russia, and Ukraine would work together to discuss the situation in order to make these corridors truly safe and effective.)

Vladimir Putin: Mr Secretary General,

Regarding the invasion, I am well-versed in the documents of the International Court on the situation in Kosovo. In fact, I have read them myself. I remember very well the decision by the International Court, which states that when fulfilling its right to self-determination a territory within any state does not have to seek permission from the country’s central government in order to proclaim its sovereignty. This was the ruling on Kosovo, and this is what the International Court decided, and everyone supported it. I personally read all the comments issued by the judicial, administrative and political bodies in the United States and Europe – everyone supported this decision.

If so, the Donbass republics, the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic, can enjoy the same right without seeking permission from Ukraine’s central government and declare their sovereignty, since the precedent has been created.

Is this so? Do you agree with this?

(Antonio Guterres noted that the United Nations did not recognise Kosovo).

Vladimir Putin: Yes, of course, but the court did. Let me finish what I was saying.

If there is a precedent, the Donbass republics can do the same. This is what they did, while we, in turn, had the right to recognise them as independent states.

Many countries around the world did this, including our Western opponents, with Kosovo. Many states recognised Kosovo. It is a fact that many Western countries recognised Kosovo as an independent state. We did the same with the Donbass republics. After that, they asked us to provide them with military assistance to deal with the state that launched military operations against them. We had the right to do so in full compliance with Chapter VII, Article 51 of the UN Charter.

Just a second, we will talk about this in a minute. But first I would like to address the second part of your question, Mariupol. The situation is difficult and possibly even tragic there. But in fact, it is very simple.

I had a conversation with President Erdogan today. He spoke about the ongoing fighting there. No, there is no fighting there; it is over. There is no fighting in Mariupol; it has stopped.

Part of the Ukrainian armed forces that were deployed in other industrial districts have surrendered. Nearly 1,300 of them have surrendered, but the actual figure is larger. Some of them were injured or wounded; they are being kept in absolutely normal conditions. The wounded have received medical assistance from our doctors, skilled and comprehensive assistance.

The Azovstal plant has been fully isolated. I have issued instructions, an order to stop the assault. There is no direct fighting there now. Yes, the Ukrainian authorities say that there are civilians at the plant. In this case, the Ukrainian military must release them, or otherwise they will be doing what terrorists in many countries have done, what ISIS did in Syria when they used civilians as human shields. The simplest thing they can do is release these people; it is as simple as that.

You say that Russia’s humanitarian corridors are ineffective. Mr Secretary-General, you have been misled: these corridors are effective. Over 100,000 people, 130,000–140,000, if I remember correctly, have left Mariupol with our assistance, and they are free to go where they want, to Russia or Ukraine. They can go anywhere they want; we are not detaining them, but we are providing assistance and support to them.

The civilians in Azovstal, if there are any, can do this as well. They can come out, just like that. This is an example of a civilised attitude to people, an obvious example. And anyone can see this; you only need to talk with the people who have left the city. The simplest thing for military personnel or members of the nationalist battalions is to release the civilians. It is a crime to keep civilians, if there are any there, as human shields.

We maintain contact with them, with those who are hiding underground at the Azovstal plant. They have an example they can follow: their comrades-in-arms have surrendered, over a thousand of them, 1,300. Nothing bad has happened to them. Moreover, Mr Secretary-General, if you wish, if representatives of the Red Cross and the UN want to inspect their detainment conditions and see for themselves where and how medical assistance is being provided to them, we are ready to organise this. It is the simplest solution to a seemingly complex issue.

Let us discuss this.

Testing the waters: Could Turkey’s Russian relations sink over Ukraine?

Neither friend nor foe, Turkey and Russia have backed opposing sides in several regional conflicts, yet managed to avoid direct confrontation. Now the Ukraine crisis poses a serious challenge.

March 22 2022

Caught between NATO and Russia over Ukraine, Turkey is forced to walk a thin line to avoid confrontation with either side.Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Yeghia Tashjian

The war in Ukraine has become the latest test for Turkey’s regional ambitions in confronting those of Russia, in what has clearly become a “cooperative rivalry.” This is where both sides, despite their opposite views on various regional conflicts ranging from Libya to Syria to the South Caucasus, have worked to manage these conflicts without directly challenging one another.

The current crisis has raised Turkey’s concerns of being in the firing line of Russia’s hegemonic ambitions. It is important to note that Turkey and Russia are not allies, but bitter ‘frenemies.’ Despite having robust commercial, energy, diplomatic and military ties, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned back in 2016 that NATO has to act and increase its presence in the Black Sea.

Over the past two decades, Russia has consolidated its presence in the Black Sea region by directly controlling Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008, and annexing Ukraine’s Crimea in 2014. The Black Sea Fleet is responsible for bringing supplies to Russian forces in Syria, mostly based in the port of Tartus and Khmeimim airbase, as well as for patrolling the eastern Mediterranean. Russia’s 2015 Maritime Doctrine clearly prioritizes the Black Sea as a pillar of its power projection.

Turkey’s waning power in the Black Sea

Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea tipped the balance of military power in the Black Sea in favor of Moscow. Not only has Russia significantly increased its Exclusive Economic Zone and its Black Sea coastline, it has also cancelled existing agreements with Ukraine, which limited the latter’s Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol.

Additionally, Russia has stationed new military ships and submarines and installed a dense network of advanced weapons systems across the Crimean peninsula. From Ankara’s perspective, Turkey feels surrounded by Russian military presence from the north (Crimea), east (Armenia), and south (Syria).

In response, Erdogan initiated the construction of the Istanbul Canal to put additional pressure on Russia using the 1936 Montreux Convention whereby Turkey can close the Black Sea Straits to all warships in times of war.

Indeed, following NATO’s intensified pressure, Ankara has started exercising its right under Article 19 of the Convention, and has warned all coastal and non-coastal states that it will not allow warships through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles. The convention also limits the period of stay for warships belonging to non-Black Sea states in the Black Sea.

However, this action also exposed Turkey’s limitations by raising the questions: How will Turkey react if Russian naval warships seek passage through the Straits? Will Turkey prevent them? The answer is clear.

As a Black Sea state, Russia has the privileged right to transit the Turkish Straits to return its warships to their bases. The treaty states that during armed conflict, belligerent warships “shall not” pass through the Straits unless the ships belong to a state that borders the Black Sea and are returning to their home ports.

Once Turkey determined that Russia was “at war,” it had no choice under the treaty but to stop Russian warships from passing through the Straits. The only exception for passage is for Russian warships from other areas returning to their bases in the Black Sea.

For example, a Russian fleet registered in the Black Sea but currently located in the Mediterranean Sea is allowed to pass through the Turkish Straits and return to its base. The condition also applies to Russian fleets currently in the Black Sea that belong to a base in the Mediterranean or Baltic Sea. Russia is free to take them out of the Black Sea. This option provides Russia with enough space to maneuver its naval power and downplay Article 19 of the Montreux Convention.

Turkey is aware that blocking access of Russian warships through its Straits will be viewed in Moscow as a “declaration of war.” This is the last thing Erdogan wants, knowing full well that the economic and political consequences will be harsher than those Turkey tasted after it downed the Russian jet over Syria in 2015.

Turkey’s balancing act between Russia and Ukraine

While Turkey will not directly provoke Russia, it has increased its military cooperation with Ukraine. This includes the supply of Bayraktar TB2 drones to the Kiev government. The Russians, for their part, have shown their preparedness for Turkish drones. Despite the fact that the Bayraktar TB2 drones are still operating and useful to the Ukrainian side, the Russian Ministry of Defense almost daily announces that its forces are downing many drones, including TB2.

This military relationship has also involved Ukraine supplying Turkey with military engines intended to boost Turkey’s growing arms industry; in particular, the Bayraktar’s successor drone and T292 heavy attack helicopters that are currently under production.

For Russia, this poses a threat, as in the future it may shift the military balance of power towards Turkey and Ukraine in the Black Sea. It is for this reason that Russian forces destroyed most of the Ukrainian heavy military infrastructure (including its naval and air force) and arms industry.

As such, Erdogan will aim to continue cooperation with Russia in the region; but he is equally likely to step up engagement with NATO to improve his global standing and reduce international criticism of his domestic conduct. Erdogan knows that standing against Russia and directly confronting Moscow is very risky as – excluding the ongoing war in Ukraine – he would start a war on three fronts in the region: in Libya, Syria, and Nagorno-Karabakh.

In order to extract itself from the ongoing difficulty of placating both sides, in recent days Turkey has engaged in proactive diplomacy and mediation between Kiev and Moscow. Ankara announced that the two adversaries have made progress on their negotiations to halt the war and are “close to an agreement.” However, Ukraine’s president responded by saying that any consequential agreement with Russia would be put to a referendum. This signaled that there is no agreement in sight and Ankara’s mediating efforts are fruitless.

Turkey will not gamble with Ukraine against Russia

Dr Maxim Suchkov, a Moscow-based expert in the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) expresses concern that Turkey may view the crisis as an opportunity to re-establish itself in the Black Sea and strengthen its relations with the west. Ankara enjoys good ties with both Moscow and Kiev and seeks to balance itself, supplying arms to Ukraine, on the one hand, but also refraining from sanctioning Russia.

Suchkov argues that Turkey may indeed be useful to the Russian endgame here, but “Moscow should also be careful since President Erdogan is known for his penchant to fish in muddy waters.” Hence, even if the outcome of the conflict does not favor Erdogan’s interests, Turkey may try to wrest something out of this crisis.

For this reason, President Erdogan cannot antagonize Russia and risk full-scale war as, domestically, the implications of this battle will be heavy on the Turkish government. Already, on 22 February, six Turkish opposition parties, not including the Kurdish HDP, called on a unified platform for the revival of the parliamentary system in the country with the aim of establishing an alliance to topple Erdogan in the coming parliamentary and presidential elections in June 2023.

According to recent public surveys, the opposition coalition is polling ahead, and indeed may oust Erdogan, given the financial chaos Turkey is experiencing. The current crisis will worsen the economic and political situation of Turkey.

One sector that is especially vulnerable is tourism, as between four to seven million Russian tourists and around two million Ukrainian tourists visit Turkey each year. Moreover, western sanctions on Russia will make money transactions difficult between both countries.

Crucially, Turkey imports almost 50 percent of its gas from Russia, and with the increase in global gas prices, Turks find themselves in a difficult quandary. For these reasons, Ankara is unlikely to undertake any risky gambles and will continue to strike a balanced posture in the crisis.

Turkey still has an important role to play

Turkey has general elections scheduled for June 2023, hence any change in the leadership in Turkey would affect the current track of Russian-Turkish relations. In a post-Erdogan Turkey, Ankara is likely to move closer to the western camp due to the pro-western (pro-US) leanings of the Turkish military, entrepreneurs, technocrats, diplomats, and civil servants – regardless of their liberal or nationalistic personal views.

This could form a long-term challenge for Russia-Turkey relations, given the successful “cooperative rivalry” both sides managed to arrange in Libya, Syria, and Nagorno-Karabakh. It is worth mentioning that on 2 March, Meral Akşener, leader of the Turkish opposition İYİ Party, raised the alarm on whether there were any guarantees that Turkey’s eastern provinces would be safe from a similar kind of Russian aggression. She also called Russia a “security threat” for Turkey. This is another indication that the Turkish opposition is not on the same wavelength as Erdogan’s multi-vector foreign policy.

Moscow has never viewed Ankara as an equal partner, but as a junior partner that could help configure a regional order which benefits Russian interests and decreases western influence. However, if Russia becomes stuck in a Ukrainian quagmire, it may need Ankara to arrange a temporary settlement.

Will the Syrian and Nagorno-Karabakh scenario be repeated – in which both sides sidelined western influence and Russia accepted a Turkish role in the region? If Ukraine is divided into two zones, would Russia accept a Turkish ‘peacekeeping force’ in the western part of Ukraine? Would the Americans give Turkey the green light to enter such a game? What would Ankara gain in return? Is such a military adventure within Turkey’s capabilities?

According to Dr Mitat Çelikpala, Professor of International Relations and the Dean of Faculty of Economics, Administrative and Social Sciences at Kadir Has University, such a scenario is beyond Turkey’s financial and military capacities – and Turkey cannot act unilaterally. Hence, for now, Turkey must continue its role of mediation between both sides to avoid any spillover effect near its borders.

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

Day 25, the war to liberate Ukraine from the Zio-Nazis (telling it like it is)

 March 20, 2022

By  VT Editors

..Zionazis and their NATO friends including the entire Western media…

The situation in Ukraine during the 25th day of the Russian military operation moved forward in the framework of the previous developments of the week. The Russian Armed Forces, DPR and LPR are conducting active offensive operations in the region of Donbass. Less active offensive is ongoing in Mykoliav Region. In the rest of the country, Russian forces are focused on security and expanding the already established territory of the control.

As of March 20, fierce street fighting continues in the city of Mariupol. Units of the Russian Armed Forces and DPR were developing their advance in the city. The grouping of Kyiv’s forces encircled there is being gradually destroyed.

It is interesting to note that according to satellite images that appeared online the operation is supported by Russian warships.

War In Ukraine Day 25: All Eyes Are On Donbass

Click to see the full-size image

On March 20, it was reported that Deputy Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Andrey Paliy, died during the operation to liberate the city of Mariupol. Details of the incident remains unclear.

“Andrey Nikolaevich loved Sevastopol with all his heart. His whole life was devoted to the hero city. He was loved and respected by his subordinates. He knew how to find an approach to everyone. Honest, fair, understanding. Andrey Nikolaevich Paliy will be remembered forever in our city like this. I bring to relatives and friends sincere condolences. It is painful and bitter to lose such people. Blessed memory to the real Officer,” Senator from Sevastopol Yekaterina Altabayeva wrote.

Paliy graduated from the Kiev Higher Naval Political School in 1992. In 1993 he refused to take the Ukrainian military oath and went to serve in the Russian Northern Fleet. In 2008, he participated in the peace enforcement operation in Georgia.

War In Ukraine Day 25: All Eyes Are On Donbass

Click to see the full-size image

Meanwhile, Russian and DPR forces advanced in the western and southern parts of Donetsk region. West of Volnovakha, Russian and DPR troops took full control of the village of Stepnoye. Intense clashes continued in the vicinity of Marinka and Avdiivka. After initial tactical successes in the area, the DPR advance there slowed down. Kyiv’s forces showed significant resistance using the line of defense created during the past years there.

In the evening of March 20, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that Russian forces were completing the defeat of the nationalist battalion “Donbass”. During the day, Russian troops advanced 12km and  reached the Nikolske line. The settlement of Sladkoe is now blocked from three sides by the joint forces of Russia and DPR. In this area, Kyiv’s forces lost up to 60 fighters, two battle tanks, three infantry fighting vehicles, six field artillery pieces and mortars.

Kyiv’s forces continue strikes on Donetsk city:

War In Ukraine Day 25: All Eyes Are On Donbass

Click to see the full-size image

War In Ukraine Day 25: All Eyes Are On Donbass

Click to see the full-size image

Currently, Russian and DPR forces are working to eliminate the remnants of nationalist formations and the 54th Separate Mechanized Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the settlements of Sladkoe, Novoukrainka and Shahterskoe.

The grouping of troops of the Donetsk People’s Republic was pursuing the retreating units of the 53rd Mechanized Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the direction of the settlement of Novomihailovka. The DPR military eliminated up to 20 personnel, a battle tank, an infantry fighting vehicle and 3 cross-country vehicles Kyiv’s forces.

At the same time, DPR units penetrated the defense of the 25th Airborne Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and reached the settlements of Kamionka and Novoselovka 2.

In the sector of operations involving LPR troops, main clashes are taking place near Popasnaya, Severodonetsk and Lysichansk. The Severodonetsk-Lysichansk remains the main priority of the advancing group of LPR forces.

In the south of Kharkiv Region, the area of Izum is the main hot point. Fighting continues near Kamenka south of it. The Russian Armed Forces seek to eliminate the defense of Kyiv’s troops there to open the door for advance on Slavyansk and Kramatorsk. In own turn, Kyiv’s forces are urgently preparing for the defense there.

Additionally, on March 20, Russia’s Rosgvardia announced that servicemen of the department had captured several leaders of Ukrainian nationalist formations in the village of Izyum, Kharkiv Region. According to the released data, military personnel and employees of several special forces also seized important documents and captured “several accomplices of the SBU” (Security Service of Ukraine).

The region of Kherson is now fully secured and became a logistical hub for the group of Russian forces involved in both operations around Mariupol and Mykolaiv.

The road from Crimea to Kherson city is fully secured by Russian forces. A lot of destroyed military equipment is shown in the video also:

In the region of Mykolaiv, Russian troops tightened their siege on the provincial capital by expanding their zone of control around it and establishing strong points in such areas as Pervomaiske and Snigirevka.

Pro-Kyiv sources also complain about the Russian progress towards Kryvyi Rih. Nonetheless, the situation there remains unclear and most likely the developments south of it is linked with the Russian effort to secure the areas of Mykolaiv Region.

In the regions of Chernihiv and Sumy in northern Ukraine, the military situation remained almost the same. All the large cities are blocked by the Russian military that is not interested in storming them as of now. The focus in the north is Kyiv.

As of March 20, Russian forces continued to expand their control over the areas west of Kyiv city. Russian units have been gradually advancing towards the towns of Makarov, Belgorodka and Byshev.

War In Ukraine Day 25: All Eyes Are On Donbass

Click to see the full-size image

War In Ukraine Day 25: All Eyes Are On Donbass

Click to see the full-size image

Meanwhile, Russian troops have been conducting security operations in the already liberated villages and towns there. Recently, one of such operations took place in the area of Kachali. Units of Kyiv’s forces are still present in its countryside.

War In Ukraine Day 25: All Eyes Are On Donbass

Click to see the full-size image

Fighting also continued near such villages as Lyutezh, Bucha and Irpin in Kyiv Region.

In the evening of March 20, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that during the day Russian operational-tactical and army aviation hit 89 military facilities of Ukraine. This included four command posts, two installations of multiple launch rocket systems, nine artillery pieces, five depots of rocket and artillery weapons and ammunition, as well as 65 places of gathering of military equipment. Russian air defense systems shot down seven Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles in the air.

According to the Russian side, since the start of the military operation, Russian forces have destroyed 214 unmanned aerial vehicles, 1483 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 150 multiple rocket launchers, 584 field artillery and mortars, as well as 1279 units of special military vehicles.

Russian combat UAV ‘Forpost’ destroys a Ukrainian military column, including ‘Gvozdika artillery pieces’:

The developments on the ground indicate that the Russian Armed Forces are currently involved in limited offensive operations in the north and south of Ukraine. This phase of the advance is likely dedicated to the full liberation of Mariupol city, the areas west of Donetsk city, as well as setting conditions for further progress in Mykolaiv Region and around Kyiv city. On the rest of the frontline, the Russian military keeps a tactical pause.

On March 21, Moscow and Kyiv are set to hold a new round of talks. In the case of the lack of progress in talks (what is widely expected), the Russians will likely continue their limited operations in the north and south. It is possible that the short-term goal will be the full control of Donetsk and Lugansk regions as well as the full blocking of Mykolaiv city.

If no diplomatic solution is found by then, such gradual advances will continue to the extend when the Ukrainian leadership will be ready for a real diplomatic solution with Russia.

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

March 20, 2022

Source

Dear friends,

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

The total failure of US PSYOPs inside Russia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(official translation, source here)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Russia is now in full WWII mode.

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

What about the Atlantic Integrationists?

Alas, they are very much still there 😦

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The result?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion – the “Great Coming Out”

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

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

I personally welcome this clarity with all my heart!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kind regards

Andrei

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

War in the Ukraine, Tragedy and Hope (Part III)

March 18, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Niloufer Bhagwat 

Ukraine, as it once was, is an industrialized and technologically advanced republic of the former USSR.

War in the Ukraine, Tragedy and Hope (Part III)

Ukraine was once one of the most advanced and industrialized republics of the former USSR, well integrated into the former multinational state of the USSR, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It is also true that for the first time after the Russian Revolution of 1917, the first Socialist Revolution, that the Ukrainian Republic was constituted as one of the republics of the former USSR, before that it was an integral part of the territories of Tsarist Russia. It is necessary to recall that the peoples of all the republics of the Soviet Union lived in harmony, in a closely-knit society sharing culture, inter-marrying. It was not uncommon for one spouse to be Russian and the other Ukrainian. There was even more exotic pairing, such as Tartar and Cossack, Daghestani and Ukrainian, and so on. The Ukrainian Republic of the USSR had regions that were culturally Russian-speaking regions, integrated for administrative and other reasons into the Ukrainian Republic. Ukrainian and Russian languages are similar as is the culture of both people, there was never any problem of co-existence. It was much more than co-existence; it was a mutual culture and life shared over a thousand years. The Russian-speaking nationality and, to a lesser extent, other nationalities settled in different parts of what was earlier an integral part of the Tsarist Russian Empire. This continued in the USSR.

For those of us living for almost a year on the Black Sea in 1982-1983, awaiting the commissioning of the destroyer built by the once-famous Nikolayev Shipyard to be handed over to the Indian Navy by the Soviet Navy after completion of trials in the Black Sea and military exercises off the Crimea, the cities of Sevastopol, Mariupol, and Odessa were all Russian. The Indian contingent/ Team or ‘Ekipazh’, was not the only contingent there. There were seven other contingents from different countries, including Libyan and Cuban, awaiting the delivery of ships and boats of all sizes. None of us used the politically correct term ‘Soviet’, for us everything was Russian. Citizens from our host country from different republics of the USSR did not dissent or frown on or attempt to correct our expression or to explain or distinguish what was Ukrainian from what was Russian, or what was Crimean from what was Russian, and no one from the host country complained about ‘Great Russian National Chauvinism’.

To me, a ‘ Soviet watcher’, a legacy from my father, an Indian Muslim by birth, religion, and culture, who believed that the Russian Revolution of 1917 was one of the most important events of the 20th Century, influencing National Liberation Struggles around the world, including those that led India’s freedom struggle, with some Indian revolutionaries in exile crossing over from Afghanistan into Uzbekistan after the 1917 Revolution, as recorded by Soviet scholars… to me, what seemed remarkable was that for decades the USSR from 1922-1953 was led by Josef Stalin, a Georgian and Asian by nationality. Josef Stalin, a former student of a religious seminary training to be a priest, before he became a revolutionary, as a Commissar after the revolution, was directed to implement the Bolshevik policy of autonomy for ‘nationalities’ to be reorganized into Republics of the USSR, by the famous Russian revolutionary, visionary, and first head of state of the revolutionary government, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov or Lenin, as he is widely known; still loved across Asia, Africa, and Latin America; even today considered a leading authority against ‘Imperialism’. Ukraine was a beneficiary of this policy as President Putin correctly asserted.

Lenin was determined to abolish the oppression of all subject nationalities by empires and colonialists. On the other hand, Josef Stalin’s reservations on aspects of this policy were known, though he implemented the policy deferring to his leader. Josef Stalin personally witnessed the misuse of Russia’s ‘nationalities’ in the famous Oil city of Baku, a beautiful city now in independent Azerbaijan on the Caspian, then a part of the Tsarist Russian Empire in the pre-revolutionary period. In Baku, murderous attacks took place to divide workers’ movements; one nationality was used against another. It was because of this direct field experience that Stalin understood, as did Rosa Luxemburg, the famous German Revolutionary, of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, later of the ‘Spartacus’ group of the SPD, that Imperialism would ‘pervert this policy for autonomy for  Nationalities’ to divide people in every country targeted for plunder of resources and the working class.

This is predictably what occurred in Western Ukraine during the Second World War, in those regions of Ukraine earlier occupied by the Polish – Lithuanian Kingdom and later the Second Polish Republic – and in Hungary and Romanian territories of the Austrian-Hapsburg Empire. The Nazis at the very outset of their infamous military invasion, ‘Operation Barbarossa’, used Stepan Bandera, the Ukrainian fascist, and other extreme right-wing Ukrainian nationalists for the killings and genocide of Slavs, Poles, and Jews, manipulating the theory of a Ukrainian ‘Superior Race’. This was a barbaric attempt by the German Nazi Army to divide people in Ukraine to weaken the national defense of the Soviet Union. This cynical and cold-blooded Nazi policy, though it inflicted death and destruction on people of different nationalities in Ukraine in millions, in what was clearly genocide, could not defeat the USSR, as the majority of the Ukrainians defended the Soviet Union, serving selflessly and courageously in the Red Army. Every republic of the USSR, including Ukraine, made a heroic contribution to the victory of the former USSR in what is known as the ‘Great Patriotic War’, during which the Soviet army faced not only the might of the German Army, but also the combined military and technological might of the advanced countries of Europe, closely allied with Hitler and the Nazi party. It was a ‘Fascist Europe’ with its contingents led by Nazi Germany which was defeated by the Soviet Union’s Red Army liberating one country of Europe after another; one of the remarkable achievements in military history. The United States was to enter the war in its last stage with the Normandy landings, to participate in the spoils of a tragic war that destroyed Europe.

Aspects of this more than 75-year-old history of the use of fascism in Ukraine have been repeated by the descendants of those who created Hitler and the Nazi party. How many know that it was the United States of America’s Rockefeller’s New Jersey Standard Oil Company which supplied fuel to the Nazi Army, without which the fascist subjugation of Europe and the invasion of the USSR by Nazi hordes was not possible? IBM among other US companies equally collaborated in maintaining an efficiently compiled data of Slavs, Jews, Romas, and other minorities in Nazi Germany to be targeted. Some US companies used slave labor in Nazi Germany like the best and brightest German Corporations, which even stole whole factories from occupied territories; similar to what happened recently when Syria was occupied by Turkish troops and ISIS legions of NATO and its alliance partners who stole whole factories from Syria, from Aleppo and other occupied regions. The United States and Turkey have been regularly looting Syrian oil after unleashing ISIS hordes on Syria for invasion and occupation, stationing their troops in Syria.

 After the Second World War, even as the ink on the Judgments of the Nuremberg trials was hardly dry, ‘Operation Paper Clip‘ began by the United States, to rehabilitate Nazi war criminals, intelligence agents, scientists, doctors, and others in the United States for use in the so-called “Cold War”, a continuance of the war on the Soviet Union by other means, and to use the scientific and medical expertise of German and Japanese scientists and intelligence agents, who were war criminals. Many former Nazis were successfully rehabilitated along with East European fascists, who subsequently, along with their descendants, held high-ranking posts in National Security Councils and the State Department of the United States. Significantly, a leading member of President Trudeau’s cabinet in Canada, prominent during the crackdown on the democratic struggle of the ‘Truckers’ Resistance’ to indiscriminate vaccine mandates, is the progeny of one such Nazi collaborator. Is it surprising that those who made small donations to the ‘Truckers Movements’ had their bank accounts blocked by a government decree?

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Why It Is Not Advised

Source

Why It Is Not Advised

April 11, 2021

By Andrei Martyanov, exclusively for the Saker Blog

For the US Navy ships to enter the Black Sea and hope to survive in case of the, God forbids, any kind of a conflict with Russia—yes, you read it right—is a fantasy, or, to be even more precise—an unscientific fiction. This group, let alone a single US destroyer of the Arleigh Burke-class (these are the most active types in the US Navy), which enter the Black Sea periodically to “demonstrate flag” and US/NATO presence in this crucial body of water are aware of the fact that the Black Sea for all intents and purposes is Russia’s lake. Everyone can recall a wide-spread (spread most likely by some overly zealous, but not very literate, Russian “patriots”) rumor about DDG-75 USS Donald Cook having her electronics “burned” by a couple of intrepid Russian Su-24s in April of 2014, who allegedly forced this American ship to fast return to Constanta, where, allegedly some of her crew expressed a desire to abandon the ship. NYT and other US media, not without justification, called those rumors to be Russian “propaganda”. They have a point.

Reality of the events with USS Donald Cook had very little to do with Su-24s or some magical ECM. The reason for cutting American ship’s voyage short was the fact, as Russian President Vladimir Putin himself stressed not for once, that Donald Cook was detected, tracked and, when the necessity arose, was locked on by the radar of both K-300P Bastion and Bal coastal anti-shipping cruise missile complexes located on the shores of Crimea, which, no doubt, made a lot of noise, literally, when Donald Cook’s passive radiation detectors started to signal that the ship was locked on by one of the most fearsome weapon in Russia’s inventory—a launcher of the P-800 Oniks (Onyx) missiles. This long-range M=2.5 missile is what makes the first line of defense of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet so deadly, because it is precisely a type of weaponry designed to over-saturate air defense of US Aegis Combat Control System and Spy-1 radar-equipped ships. American naval officers are well-educated in terms of missile salvos and capabilities, including saturation thresholds, of their on-board Air Defense systems and know that 4+ P-800 Oniks or 8+ subsonic X-35 missile salvo, in the active ECM environment in the Black Sea are impossible to defend against such a salvo. Russia can repeat these and even much larger salvos many times over, with a desirable frequency and density.

But these are just the capabilities of a single 15th Independent Costal Defense Missile-Artillery Brigade in Sevastopol, which can deploy its launchers anywhere in Crimea, including in highly defended, by both aviation of the Black Sea Fleet and Air Defense forces in Crimea, locations which conceal the launch. Russia’s ISR systems provide updates for both operational situation and distribute targeting for any receiver on Russian side in real time. Of course, one has to always keep in mind that two squadrons (24+ combat aircraft) of SU-27SM/SU-30SM are also located in Crimea and each of those aircraft can carry a variety of strike weapons, including X-31A M=3.5 anti-shipping missile and X-31P anti-radiation missile, plus Aviation Regiment in Simferopol, which deploys 22 Su-24Ms is being reequipped with SU-30SMs. Incidentally, these venerable warriors (Su-24Ms) also carry X-31As, which, when counted realistically, provide for the first salvo (multiply by 0.5) consisting of 30 to 40 missiles by aviation wing alone, add here missiles from coastal complexes and we are looking at 60 to 70 missiles in the first salvo, at least. That’s enough to sink several Carrier Battle Groups even with their air wings airborne and all Aegis-Spy-1 systems working properly.

Of course, no one should forget that Black Sea Fleet also happened to have ships and those, even considering a cruiser, couple of frigates and SSKs attached to Mediterranean Squadron around Syria, still pack a massive anti-shipping punch by 3M54 missiles of Kalibr family which accelerate to M=2.9 on terminal and effectively are not interceptible in the salvo of 2+. All those missiles named here are AI-driven in salvo and posses a very high resistance to jamming (some of them can jam enemy’s sensors on their own). And this is not all, of course. Black Sea Fleet is supported by the forces of Southern Military Distric, parh of which it is, and if these news above were bad for any combination of US/NATO naval forces entering the Black Sea, this is where this news becomes even more depressing for Pentagon. 4th Air Force and Air Defense Army which is part of this district deployes those pesky MiG-31Ks (they originally were based in the District and continue to fly missions from there since 2017) armed with Kinzhal Kh-47M2 hypersonic missiles, whose M=10+ and violent maneuvering and incredible range of 2000 kilometers make them impervious to any air defense technology the United States has today and in the nearest future (7-10 years at least). It is even doubtful that these missiles are actually detectable. These combat aircraft are capable to sink not just anything in the Black Sea but also in the Eastern Mediterranean, without even crossing the shore line of Russia’s Krasnodar Region or Crimes, obviously Russia doesn’t say where each moment those aircraft are based. Who knows where? Well, US intel may know but it is a classic case of a good deterrence. In this case, the probability of hitting any target in Black Sea for Kinzhal is driven not by the ability of the target to respond but by the probability of the missile itself being in full combat order.

So, as you can see, there is plenty of subsonic, supersonic and hypersonic goodness to spread around by Russia’s Black Sea Fleet alone and competent people in Pentagon know this. That is why the appearance of those two US destroyers in the Black Sea is, literally, for the appearance primarily and for trying to collect some intel for what seems today a diminishing probability of confrontation in Donbass. I often write that many people in the US, and I am talking about policy-makers, cannot grasp the scale of the America’s trailing Russia in fire power in all domains. It is not just quantitative; it is qualitative and the gap only continues to widen. But I warned about it for years, didn’t I?

%d bloggers like this: