The real US agenda in Africa is hegemony

September 21, 2022

by Pepe Escobar, first published at The Cradle and posted with the author’s permission

Forget development. Washington’s primary interest in Africa today is keeping the Chinese and Russians out.

In a rational environment, the 77th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) would discuss alleviating the trials and tribulations of the Global South, especially Africa.

That won’t be the case. Like a deer caught in the geopolitical headlights, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued platitudes about a gloomy “winter of global discontent,” even as the proverbial imperial doomsayers criticized the UN’s “crisis of faith” and blasted the “unprovoked war” started by Russia.

Of course the slow-motion genocide of Donbass russophone residents for eight years would never be recognized as a provocation.

Guterres spoke of Afghanistan, “where the economy is in ruins and human rights are being trampled” – but he did not dare to offer context. In Libya, “divisions continue to jeopardize the country” – once again, no context. Not to mention Iraq, where “ongoing tensions threaten ongoing stability.”

Africa has 54 nations as UN members. Any truly representative UNGA meeting should place Africa’s problems at the forefront. Once again, that’s not the case. So it is left to African leaders to offer that much-needed context outside of the UN building in New York.

As the only African member of the G20, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa recently urged the US not to “punish” the whole continent by forcing nations to demonize or sanction Russia. Washington’s introduction of legislation dubbed the Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act, he says, “will harm Africa and marginalize the continent.”

South Africa is a BRICS member – a concept that is anathema in the Beltway – and embraces a policy of non-alignment among world powers. An emerging 21st century version of the 1960s Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is strengthening across the Global South – and especially Africa – much to the revulsion of the US and its minions.

Back at the UNGA, Guterres invoked the global fertilizer crisis – again, with no context. Russian diplomacy has repeatedly stressed that Moscow is ready to export 30 million tons of grain and over 20 million tons of fertilizer by the end of 2022. What is left unsaid in the west, is that only the importation of fertilizers to the EU is “allowed,” while transit to Africa is not.

Guterres said he was trying to persuade EU leaders to lift sanctions on Russian fertilizer exports, which directly affect cargo payments and shipping insurance. Russia’s Uralchem, for instance, even offered to supply fertilizers to Africa for free.

Yet from the point of view of the US and its EU vassals, the only thing that matters is to counter Russia and China in Africa. Senegal’s President Macky Sall has remarked how this policy is leaving “a bitter taste.”

‘We forbid you to build your pipeline’

It gets worse. The largely ineffectual EU Parliament now wants to stop the construction of the 1,445 km-long East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) from Uganda to Tanzania, invoking hazy human rights violations, environmental threats, and “advising” member countries to simply drop out of the project.

Uganda is counting on more than 6 billion barrels of oil to sustain an employment boom and finally move the nation to middle-income status. It was up to Ugandan Parliament Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa to offer much-needed context:

“It is imprudent to say that Uganda’s oil projects will exacerbate climate change, yet it is a fact that the EU block with only 10 percent of the world’s population is responsible for 25 percent of global emissions, and Africa with 20 percent of the world’s population is responsible for 3 percent of emissions. The EU and other western countries are historically responsible for climate change. Who then should stop or slow down the development of natural resources? Certainly not Africa or Uganda.”

The EU Parliament, moreover, is a staunch puppet of the biofuel lobby. It has refused to amend a law that would have stopped the use of food crops for fuel production, actually contributing to what the UN Food Program has described as “a global emergency of unprecedented magnitude.” No less than 350 million people are on the brink of starvation across Africa.

Instead, the G7’s notion of “helping” Africa is crystallized in the US-led Build Back Better World (B3W) – Washington’s anaemic attempt to counter Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – which focuses on “climate, health and health security, digital technology, and gender equity and equality,” according to the White House. Practical issues of infrastructure and sustainable development, which are at the heart of China’s plan, are simply ignored by the B3W.

Initially, a few “promising” projects were identified by a traveling US delegation in Senegal and Ghana. Senegalese diplomatic sources have since confirmed that these projects have nothing whatsoever to do with building infrastructure.

B3W, predictably, fizzled out. After all, the US-led project was little more than a public relations gimmick to undermine the Chinese, with negligible effect on narrowing the $40-plus trillion worth of infrastructure needed to be built across the Global South by 2035.

Have YALI, will travel

Imperial initiatives in Africa – apart from the US military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM), which amounts to raw militarization of the continent – brings us to the curious case of YALI (Young African Leaders Initiative), widely touted in the Washington-New York axis as “the most innovative” policy of the Obama years.

Launched in 2010, YALI was framed as “empowering the new generation of Africa leadership” – a euphemism for educating (or brainwashing) them the American way. The mechanism is simple: investing in and bringing hundreds of young African potential leaders to US universities for a short, six-week “training” on “business, civil leadership, entrepreneurship, and public management.” Then, four days in Washington to meet “leaders in the administration,” and a photo op with Obama.

The project was coordinated by US embassies in Africa, and targeted young men and women from sub-Saharan Africa’s 49 nations – including those under US sanctions, like Sudan, Eritrea, and Zimbabwe – proficient in English, with a “commitment” to return to Africa. Roughly 80 percent during the initial years had never been to the US, and more than 50 percent grew up outside of big cities.

Then, in a speech in 2013 in South Africa, Obama announced the establishment of the Washington Fellowship, later renamed the Mandela-Washington Fellowship (MWF).

That’s still ongoing. In 2022, MWF should be granted to 700 “outstanding young leaders from sub-Saharan Africa,” who follow “Leadership Institutes” at nearly 40 US universities, before their short stint in Washington. After which, they are ready for “long-term engagement between the United States and Africa.”

And all that for literally peanuts, as MWF was enthusiastically billed by the Democrat establishment as cost-efficient: $24,000 per fellow, paid by participant US universities as well as Coca-Cola, IBM, MasterCard Foundation, Microsoft, Intel, McKinsey, GE, and Procter & Gamble.

And that didn’t stop with MWF. USAID went a step further, and invested over $38 million – plus $10 million from the MasterCard Foundation – to set up four Regional Leadership Centers (RLCs) in South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, and Senegal. These were training, long distance and in-class, at least 3,500 ‘future leaders’ a year.

It’s no wonder the Brookings Institution was drooling over so much “cost-efficiency” when it comes to investing “in Africa’s future” and for the US to “stay competitive” in Africa. YALI certainly looks prettier than AFRICOM.

A few success stories though don’t seem to rival the steady stream of African footballers making a splash in Europe – and then reinvesting most of their profits back home. The Trump years did see a reduction of YALI’s funding – from $19 million in 2017 to roughly $5 million.

So many leaders to ‘train’

Predictably, the Joe Biden White House YALI-ed all over again with a vengeance. Take this US press attache in Nigeria neatly outlining the current emphasis on “media and information literacy,” badly needed to tackle the “spreading of disinformation” including “in the months leading up to the national presidential election.”

So the US, under YALI, “trained 1,000 young Nigerians to recognize the signs of online and media misinformation and disinformation.” And now the follow-up is “Train the Trainer” workshops, “teaching 40 journalists, content creators, and activists (half of whom will be women) from Yobe, Borno, Adamawa, Zamfara, and Katsina how to identify, investigate, and report misinformation.” Facebook, being ordered by the FBI to censor “inconvenient,” potentially election-altering facts, is not part of the curriculum.

YALI is the soft, Instagrammed face of AFRICOM. The US has participated in the overthrow of several African governments over the past two decades, with troops trained under secrecy-obsessed AFRICOM. There has been no serious Pentagon audit on the weaponizing of AFRICOM’s local “partners.” For all we know – as in Syria and Libya – the US military could be arming even more terrorists.

And predictably, it’s all bipartisan. Rabid neo-con and former Trump national security adviser John Bolton, in December 2018, at the Heritage Foundation, made it crystal clear: the US in Africa has nothing to do with supporting democracy and sustainable development. It’s all about countering Russia and China.

When it learned that Beijing was considering building a naval base in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea, the Biden White House sent power envoys to the capital Malabo to convince the government to cease and desist. To no avail.

In contrast, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was received like a superstar in his recent extensive tour of Africa, where it’s widely perceived that global food prices and the fertilizer drama are a direct consequence of western sanctions on Russia. Uganda leader Yoweri Museveni went straight to the point when he said, “How can we be against somebody who has never harmed us?”

On 13-15 December, the White House plans a major US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington to discuss mostly food security and climate change – alongside the perennial lectures on democracy and human rights. Most leaders won’t be exactly impressed with this new showing of “the United States’ enduring commitment to Africa.” Well, there’s always YALI. So many young leaders to indoctrinate, so little time.

“SCORCHING SUNLIGHT”. RUSSIAN WAR DRAMA BRINGS LIGHT ON EVENTS IN DONBASS IN 2014

23.08.2022

SouthFront presents to your attention the Russian war drama ‘Scorching Sunlight’ (Burning Sun) with Englsih subtitles. The film released in 2021 tells the story about the conflict in the region of Donbass in 2014. The translation of the film is taken from Telegram channel ‘Juan Sinmiedo/Fearless John/Ukraine exposed‘.

Download video

Film description:

‘Lugansk region, May 2014. The Novozhilov family, by chance, finds itself in the thick of events in Lugansk. Vlad Novozhilov is a former participant in the war in Afghanistan. He knows firsthand what war is. Having seen enough of the horrors of war in his time, in principle he does not even want to touch a weapon. In a situation, he sees only one way out – to leave the country. But you can’t run away from the war, the border is already closed. To save his family, he will have to make difficult moral choices.’

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Ukraine bombed a Donetsk hotel full of journalists – here’s what it felt like to be inside at the time

 

Eva Bartlett

Another attack from Kiev has hit central Donetsk, targeting a funeral and a hotel where numerous reporters stay and work

Photo: Eva K Bartlett

Aug 4, 2022, RT.com (*blog version longer than originally published at RT)

-Eva K Bartlett

At 10:13 am Thursday, Ukraine began shelling central Donetsk. There were five powerful blasts in the space of ten minutes. The last explosion blew out my hotel’s ground-floor glass, including a sitting room – where journalists often congregate before and after going out to do field reporting, and where until less than ten minutes prior, I’d been sitting working on my laptop – and the lobby, which I had passed through a minute earlier. A cameraman’s assistant who was there at the time of that fifth explosion suffered a concussion from the force of the blast.

A woman walking outside the building was killed, as were at least four others, including an 11 year old rising-star ballerina, her grandmother, and her teacher (a world-renowned former ballerina).

This girl was killed yesterday by the Ukrainian shelling of Donetsk. pic.twitter.com/Fhk4KOWUYH— Maria Dubovikova (@politblogme) August 5, 2022

Donetsk Telegram channels are filled with videos locals have taken, of the dead, the injured and the damage, and of grief-stricken people. One such hard-to-watch Telegram post (warning: graphic footage) features a man in shock at the gruesome sight of the bodies of his murdered wife and grandchild on a street two blocks from the hotel.

There were another 4 or 5 close blasts 1.5 hours after the first 5.

I’m told five have been killed and at least ten injured.https://t.co/OwpgZaWjgN— Eva Karene Bartlett (@EvaKBartlett) August 4, 2022

First estimates placed the number at at least ten, among them two ambulance workers: a paramedic and a doctor.

Reading the news, you have the luxury of graphic image warnings and the choice not to look at the pictures and videos of the carnage that occurred on Thursday, as well as over the past eight years of Ukraine’s war on Donbass. The people here on the ground don’t get a warning, or a choice as to whether they will see the mutilated remains of a loved-one or stranger. As uncomfortable as it is to see such footage, it does need to be shown if the world is to know the truth of what’s going on in Donbass, to give voice to the locals, killed and terrorized by Ukrainian forces as Western corporate media looks elsewhere or covers up these crimes. 

Chronology of the bomb strikes

When the shelling started, I was in my room editing footage from the previous day – from the aftermath of another Ukrainian shelling of a Donetsk district.

While in Kirovskiy, Donetsk, this morning at a site of a Ukrainian bombing yesterday, we learned of a nearby area that just shelled by Ukraine, a woman killed.

Ukrainian terrorism. pic.twitter.com/LUnVNINdLc— Eva Karene Bartlett (@EvaKBartlett) August 3, 2022

You wouldn’t know it from most Western media coverage but explosions are so common here that I didn’t think much of the blast other than it was louder than usual and the car alarms were going off.

Seven minutes later, another explosion, much louder and much closer. From the window, smoke could be seen rising to the north, probably 200 meters away. This would have been right near the Donetsk Opera and Ballet Theatre, where the funeral ceremony for Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Colonel Olga Kachura, killed yesterday, was commencing.

A minute later, another loud blast sent me running from the room, which faced the direction of incoming artillery. Luckily, the only damage ended up being a broken window.

Downstairs, journalists who had been in the hotel and others who had been outside ready to go out reporting, took shelter in the hallway for the time being, ready to run to the basement if things escalated, telling me that the last shelling hit 50 metres from the hotel.

One told me he had been preparing to go film and was about 10 meters away from where the last shell struck. “I believe they were trying to target the funeral. And journalists also,” he said. He also said there was a woman outside who had lost a leg, and that she was probably dead by now.

I left the lobby briefly and during that time, the fifth strike hit, blowing out the windows and killing a woman just outside the hotel. Journalists in the lobby suffered from the pressure of the blast. A cameraman’s assistant got a concussion from it. It was by pure luck that I was not in the lobby.

I was back inside the hotel, sitting in a hallway, beginning to stitch together my footage, to publish it, when the shelling resumed. Journalists still outside ran back in. After another four blasts, the shelling died down. Meanwhile, Telegram was filled with videos people had sent from Donetsk streets. A man slumped dead near a bus stop. Three civilians slaughtered on a sidewalk just two streets from the hotel, a man shrieking his grief at the horrific site of his wife and granddaughter in pieces.

After the dust had settled and it seemed Ukraine had stopped its shelling, we went outside to document the damage, and the carnage. The poor women killed by the shelling was by this point covered with a hotel curtain, blood stains around her body.

It’s safe to assume that Kiev’s forces’ intended target was the funeral service for Colonel Kachura, aiming perhaps to send a message to the DPR military and the civilians who support it. While that would be egregious by itself, it is likely that a hotel housing journalists was not just ‘collateral damage,’ either. 

It is common for aggressors like Ukraine or Israel or terrorists in Syria to target journalists. In 2009, as it waged war on the civilians of Gaza, Israel repeatedly shelled a media building I was in.

It was bad enough that Israel closed border crossing and wouldn’t allow journalists into Gaza (I was already there), but then went on to target media, to silence any honest reporting on its war crimes against Palestinians. https://t.co/7VbkWiLDKV— Eva Karene Bartlett (@EvaKBartlett) May 12, 2021

In May 2021, as it resumed intensely bombing Gaza, Israel destroyed two Gaza media buildings housing 20 media outlets.

Ukraine routinely persecutes, censors, imprisons, tortures, and targets media personnel, putting us on kill lists.

Kiev’s forces know a lot of journalists stay at this hotel for its central location and strong wifi. Many frequently do their live reports from outside the hotel. And those staying there, as well as in other central Donetsk neighbourhoods, have been loudly reporting on Ukraine’s showering of Donetsk with the insidious, internationally-prohibited ‘butterfly’ anti-personnel mines of late – the latest, until today, in the list of Kiev’s war crimes. These explosives are designed to rip off feet and legs, and Ukraine has repeatedly fired rockets containing them, intentionally dropping them on civilian areas in Donetsk and other Donbass cities.

After the explosions rang out in central Donetsk Thursday, Emergency Services arrived at the scene and, following a period of calm, journalists went out to document the damage and the dead. The woman I’d been told about lay in a pool of blood, covered with what appeared to be a curtain from one of the blown-out windows.

The calm didn’t last long. Ukraine soon resumed shelling, and journalists outside ran back inside as we received another four attacks. “It’s like a common thing, they shoot one place and shoot it again. So we’re in the middle of that process right now,” a Serbian guy near me said.  The chief of a local Emergency Services headquarters told me Kiev also makes triple strikes, not only double.

It is said that Ukraine used NATO-standard 155mm caliber weapons in today’s attack. If that is true, this is another instance of Ukraine using Western-supplied weapons to slaughter and maim civilians in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.

If by bombing a hotel full of journalists Kiev wanted to intimidate them away from reporting on Ukraine’s war crimes, it won’t work. Most journalists reporting from on the ground here do so because, unlike the crocodile tears of the West for conflicts they create, we actually care about the lives of people here.

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Russia’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, talks with RT’s editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan in an exclusive interview about the challenges Russia faces amid the Ukraine conflict

July 20, 2022

Highlights as seen by Pepe Escobar:

🇷🇺The highlights of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Sputnik and RT:

🔹The EU is forced to make amendments to sanctions against Russia as they have exceeded their potential;

🔹Russia is not happy about energy issues that Europe is currently facing, but “will not worry about it too much”;

🔹Western countries are trying to drag UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres into their “games” around Ukrainian grain;

🔹Moscow has sent a signal to Guterres about the need to include a clause on Russian grain in the Istanbul agreements;

🔹It can hardly be in Europe’s interests to fully cut off ties with Russia and switch to liquefied natural gas supplies from the US;

🔹If the EU suddenly changes its position and proposes Russia to restore relations, Moscow needs to decide if this is beneficial to the country;

🔹The geographical area of the special operation has changed and expanded beyond Donbas due to Kiev receiving the US-made HIMARS and other weapons.

Full Transcript now available

Question: You just returned from a trip and are about to leave again soon. This “international isolation” is so tight that you are almost never home.

Here’s a question from our subscribers. At different levels, from the deputies to public officials, our talks with Ukraine are on and off. We say it’s impossible to hold talks now, but the next thing you know someone is saying it would be good to start them. Does it make sense or is it just a diplomatic ritual?

Sergey Lavrov: It doesn’t make any sense given the circumstances. Yesterday, the President touched on this while speaking at the news conference following talks with the leaders of Iran and Türkiye in Tehran.

Vladimir Putin once again made it clear that the Ukrainian leadership asked for talks early on during the special military operation. We didn’t say no. We approached this process honestly, but the first rounds of talks held in Belarus showed that the Ukrainian side didn’t really want to seriously discuss anything. Then, we passed our assessment of the situation over to them noting that if Kiev was serious about the talks, they should give us something “on paper” so we could understand what kind of agreements they had in mind. The Ukrainian side gave us a document that we found agreeable (yesterday the President again cited this fact) and were ready to conclude a treaty based on the principles outlined in it. Building on their logic, we drafted a corresponding document, which we made available to the Ukrainian side on April 15. Since then, we’ve heard nothing from them, but we hear other people such as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Olaf Scholz, Boris Johnson (though, not now for obvious reasons), President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Chief Diplomat Josep Borrell say that Ukraine must “win on the battlefield” and should not engage in talks, because it has a weak position on the front. First, they need to improve the situation and start dominating the Russian armed forces and the Donetsk and Lugansk militias, and only then start talks “from a position of strength.” I don’t think this approach holds water.

Question: It doesn’t hold water because Ukraine will fail to do so?

Sergey Lavrov: It won’t work. They will never be able to formulate “things” that really deserve people’s time. We understood this. It is no secret that Kiev is being held back from taking any constructive steps, and they are not just flooding it with weapons, but making it use those weapons in an increasingly risky manner. Foreign instructors and specialists are there servicing these systems (HIMARS and others).

With strong support from the Germans, Poles, and Balts, our US and British (Anglo-Saxon) “colleagues” want to make this an actual war and pit Russia against the European countries. Washington and London are sitting far away, across oceans and straits, but will benefit from this. The European economy is impacted more than anything else. The stats show that 40 percent of the damage caused by sanctions is borne by the EU whereas the damage to the United States is less than 1 percent, if you look at the cumulative negative impact of the restrictions.

I do not doubt that the Ukrainians will not be allowed to hold talks until the Americans decide they have created enough destruction and chaos. Then, they will leave Ukraine alone and watch it get out of this mess.

Question: Do you think this plan is actionable? A big war, a clash between Russia and the European countries? In fact, it’s about a nuclear war.

Sergey Lavrov: The Americans are not thinking about this. Ambitious people who want to reach new heights in their careers have come to the White House. I’m not sure how they will try to fulfill these goals as part of this administration. They are acting irresponsibly and building plans and schemes that are fraught with major risk. We are talking about this publicly. We could have told them, but the Americans don’t want to talk to us, and we will not chase them.

The dialogue we had before was not meaningless if only because we could look into each other’s eyes and lay out our approaches. As soon as the special military operation started, the United States tore this dialogue down. I think that Washington hasn’t yet understood that it is playing a dangerous game, but many people in Europe are beginning to realise this.

Question: Is a Russia-US clash, a nuclear war possible in our view?

Sergey Lavrov: We have initiated several statements (Russian-American statement and statement by the leaders of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council) to the effect that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and that it cannot ever be unleashed. This is our position and we will firmly stick to it.

Moreover, we have an endorsed doctrine that clearly explains in what cases Russia will be compelled to use nuclear arms. Our partners, colleagues, rivals or enemies (I don’t know how they refer themselves with regard to us) know this very well.

Question:  We consider Vladimir Zelensky the legitimate representative of Ukraine. Why is that? We say with good reason that everything happening in that country is a result of the coup, a forced change of power. This did not happen under Zelensky, but he became president because of these events. Why did we acknowledge this initially?

Sergey Lavrov: Guided by his own ethical considerations, President of France Emmanuel Macron recently let everyone listen to a recording of his February telephone conversation with President of Russia Vladimir Putin in which the  Russian leader expressed himself clearly. President Macron tried to persuade him not to bother too much with implementing the Minsk Agreements. He said that Donetsk and Lugansk were illegal entities and that it was necessary to work in the context of the suggested interpretations – allegedly Zelensky wanted this. Vladimir Putin replied that Vladimir Zelensky was the product of a state coup and that the established regime hadn’t gone anywhere.

Do you remember how events developed after the coup? The putschists spat in the face of Germany, France and Poland that were the guarantors of the agreement with Viktor Yanukovych. It was trampled underfoot the next morning. These European countries didn’t make a peep – they reconciled themselves to this. A couple of years ago I asked the Germans and French what they thought about the coup. What was it all about if they didn’t demand that the putschists fulfil the agreements? They replied: “This is the cost of the democratic process.” I am not kidding. Amazing – these were adults holding the post of foreign ministers.

Crimeans and the east of Ukraine refused to recognize the results of the coup. In Crimea, this led to the holding of a referendum on reuniting with Russia and in Donbass to a refusal to deal with the new, illegitimate central authorities that started a war. Then Pyotr Poroshenko began a presidential campaign. The election took place in late May, 2014. President of France François Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders tried to persuade the President of Russia to say nothing in advance about his refusal to recognise the results of the Ukrainian elections. Vladimir Putin replied: since Poroshenko is holding the election with the slogans of peace, promises to restore the rights of all Ukrainians, including the residents of Donbass, we will not question the legitimacy of this process.

It turned out that Poroshenko quickly forgot his election promises. He cheated his voters, lied to them and his Western sponsors, and unleashed another round of war that was stopped with great difficulty in February 2015. Later the Minsk Agreements were signed. He recently admitted that he had no intention of fulfilling the agreements and signed them only because Ukraine had to build up its strength economically and militarily to “win back its land,” including Crimea. This is why he concluded these agreements.

Question: We did not realise this, did we?

Sergey Lavrov: Well, I still hoped that some conscience was left there. Poroshenko revealed his true attitude towards the Minsk Agreements: he would not fulfil a document endorsed by the UN Security Council. Thus, he confirmed once again, this time in public, that he was not a legitimate president, one that relies on the foundations of international law.

Vladimir Zelensky came to power with slogans of peace as well. He promised to return peace to Ukraine. He said all citizens of the country who wanted to speak Russian would be able to and nobody would harass them or discriminate against them. Listen to what he is saying now.

In the role of Servant of the People Zelensky played a democrat, a glad-hander, a teacher, one of the people, who defeated the oligarchs and paid off the IMF. The people became free. He dissolved the corrupt parliament and the government. There are video recordings that cannot be hidden. They show how Zelensky upheld the rights of the Russian language and Russian culture…

Question: He is an actor, Mr Lavrov!

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, an actor under the Stanislavsky system – quickly turns coat. He was recently asked about his attitude towards the people of Donbass. Mr Zelensky replied that there are people and there are species. He also said that if people feel Russian, let them go to Russia “for the sake of the future of their children and grandchildren.” This is exactly what Dmitry Yarosh said the first day after the coup in February 2014: “A Russian will never think like a Ukrainian, will not speak Ukrainian and will not glorify Ukrainian heroes. Russians need to leave Crimea.”

The elite that came to power after the coup have already established their national genetic code. Arseny Yatsenyuk “in between” Dmitry Yarosh, Petr Poroshenko and Vladimir Zelensky called the residents of Donbass “subhuman.”

Question: Do you remember Petr Poroshenko saying that Ukrainian children would go to school, while Russian children would sit in basements? He said this to the people he considered to be their own.

Sergey Lavrov: Now they say that they will liberate their lands…

Question: Without any people?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t know how Kiev is planning to treat these people. They would start an uprising.

Question: What people? They will try to wipe them out in HIMARS strikes. You mentioned conscience, but you can’t judge others by your own standards. If you have a conscience, this doesn’t mean that your “partners” have it as well.

Before you entered the room, we talked with Maria Zakharova about those whom you have described as seemingly serious people. Of course, we poked fun at them, which was bound to happen. Take the recent comment by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who has replaced our beloved Jen Psaki. When asked what President Joe Biden was doing the previous two days, she replied that he was thinking about the American people.

I mean that Western leaders are crumbling. Many of them have symptoms of “limited adequacy” and sometimes even “limited sanity.” They are going to be replaced. Are there grounds to believe that those who will replace them will display fewer symptoms of “limited adequacy”?

Sergey Lavrov: I would put it differently. The current political establishment that has been raised in the West can be said to have “adequate limitations.” They consider themselves to be adequate, but they have limited competence in terms of political experience and knowledge.

Question: Why is that?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t know, but many people have taken note of this. Henry Kissinger mentioned this recently when speaking about Gerhardt Schroeder and Jacques Chirac. He didn’t put it bluntly, but he clearly hinted at the stark contrast.

There is a tendency towards the average in political processes. You should elect people who are easy to understand and who will focus on simple, banal subjects. They invented the green transition, shouting that everyone will have no air to breathe soon and will die, and that dolphins and fish will disappear, leaving human beings alone in a desert. They have to deal with the effects of the green transition now. President Vladimir Putin explained the details of this mechanism in Western politics and how it has led to a painful flop because of the lack of proper calculations.

I don’t know the reason for their inadequacy. Maybe the absence of strong leaders is convenient for someone?

Question: For whom exactly?

Sergey Lavrov: For the bureaucrats in the European Commission. There are 60,000 of them, which is a lot. They have become a thing-in-itself. It is no coincidence that Poland, Hungary and other countries have asked why they should listen to these people, in particular in the areas where they have no competence. This is really so.

Question: In other words, it is a kind of a “deep state” in Europe, isn’t it?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, it seems so. But it is not quite a “deep state” but the elite, the European Commission.

Question: Is it a “shallow state” then?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, and the pendulum is moving away from the side that was associated with rapid integration. The requirements that are being enforced by Brussels, which are not always based on formal arrangements, are becoming annoying and are preventing countries from living in accordance with their own traditions and religious beliefs. Today they are pestering Budapest with their propaganda of non-traditional values, but Hungarians don’t want this, just as we don’t want this and many other nations. The European Commission demands that Budapest must revise its position, or it will not receive the approved funding.  I believe that this is bad for the EU.

Question: But good for us?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t think so. I believe that we should stay aloof. We cannot be happy that people in Europe will suffer from the cold and lower living standards.

Question: I agree about suffering from the cold. But maybe the Europeans will finally have enough of being forced? Maybe pro-nation politicians will come to power, those who will care about their own people and therefore will not quarrel with Russia? No country can benefit from quarrelling with Russia.

Sergey Lavrov: This is true. It is a proper process of recovery. People are abandoning the illusion that Brussels should decide everything for them, that everything will be the same every day with cheap energy and food, that everything will be fine. This would be in the interests of Europe and European nations, but I don’t know how it will happen.

We will not be happy, but we won’t feel overly concerned either. I believe we should stay aloof. They have created these problems for themselves; they have opted for living in these conditions and for abandoning the natural and beneficial ties, which have been created over decades in energy, logistics and transport links. This is their choice. Love cannot be forced. This process, when they complete it, if at all, because it is incompatible with unilateral profiteering, will cost the subsequent economic development in Europe dearly. They should not ask us to revive agreements. They have been proved unreliable. We cannot rely on such “partners” when planning long-term strategic investment in the development of our country and its foreign ties. We will work with other partners who are predictable. They have always been there for us in the East, in the South and on other continents. Now that the share of the West in our foreign economic ties has been reduced dramatically, the share of our other partners will increase commensurately.

As for trends in Europe, there is also total lack of responsibility when it comes to explaining the reasons for the current crisis to their own people. Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz says he has no doubt that there are political rather than technical reasons for Russia’s intention to limit gas deliveries via Nord Stream. He has no doubt! As if the facts, which we have made public on numerous occasions and which President Putin has mentioned, do not prove that Europe has been systematically and consistently reducing the capabilities of Nord Stream 1 and has  suspended Nord Stream 2, and how it retrospectively adopted restrictions on the operation of Nord Stream after all the investments had been made and the financing rules could not be changed. Nevertheless, the European Commission insisted on its decision, and it was adopted. Instead of using the pipeline to its full capacity, we have halved the transit of gas through it.

We are being accused of using hunger as a weapon. Ursula von der Leyen has said this.

Question: Cold and hunger. Do you remember General Frost? Now we have General Grain and General Heating.

Sergey Lavrov: US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen has made a pompous statement that the United States would not allow Russia, China or anyone else to break the international economic order, which has allegedly been approved by the international community. She said that economic integration has been weaponised by Russia. This is going much further than the other rubbish we have been hearing and looks like an agony. They don’t know how else to explain their own failure.

Question: You mentioned the green transition and how they are trying to force the LGBT agenda on some East European countries for which, like for us, it is completely alien. For you, an experienced person who has observed many processes for decades, it must be clearer than for us, the ordinary people. This agenda includes green transition, LGBT, MeToo, BLM, cancelling ballet at Britain’s biggest dance school, the ban on math exams in some schools because the minorities would not be able to learn it, the ban on using the words “breast milk” and “mother”. People are contemplating but cannot understand what the idea is and who benefits from it. Who do you think is behind it?

Sergey Lavrov: We cannot step in their shoes and see why they are doing what they are doing. It is incomprehensible. If a person has some inclinations, why shouldn’t they be left with that? Let them have these inclinations. Why is it necessary to make a movement banner out of it?

Question: Why did the new White House Press Secretary openly declare that she is gay and black?

Sergey Lavrov: I am also interested to see how and where the Western political thought has been evolving. Some progressive philosophers, from the point of view of imperialism and colonialism, believe that the gold billion, or those who lead it and make political decisions, want to reduce the population of the planet because the resources are limited. Too many people, too few resources. As Mikhail Zhvanetsky joked, there should be fewer of us. He said it in Soviet times, when there was not enough food and goods. And now I read this explanation in some Western publications. It is horrifying.

Question: Which is not very logical, because the golden billion is reducing its own ranks this way, while the population in Africa is increasing. In Nigeria, which now wants to be friends with us, there are seven children per woman.

Sergey Lavrov: No, all these ways are constantly promoted there.

Question: It will take some time for them to get there… Look at the Hollywood elite: every second child is transgender or something, or non-binary, and they will have no grandchildren. Yes, it seems that they have started with themselves.

Sergey Lavrov: Maybe it is part of the plan, to reproduce less. I said that I cannot explain this, and shared with you one of the conspiracy theories.

Question: Both before the special military operation and today, people have believed that the West cannot manage without Russia. This is true in many respects, as the fact that they have lifted some of the sanctions clearly shows. What is less clear is whether the new package of sanctions passed this week contains new restrictions or lifts the sanctions adopted earlier. But what if they can manage without Russia after all? What prospects do you see? Can the West do completely without Russian energy carriers in the future, if not during the upcoming winter but in 2023 or 2024? Will it refuse to launch Nord Stream 2 and stop using the resources of Nord Stream 1? Is it possible? What do you think about this?

Sergey Lavrov: The new package of restrictions includes both the sanctions and various exceptions from them because the West has already run out of spheres where it can inflict damage on Russia. Now they have to think about what they have done and how it affects them. As far as I know, the West has now introduced some clarifications, and this will help facilitate Russian food exports. For many months, they told us that Russia was to blame for the food crisis because the sanctions don’t cover food and fertiliser. Therefore, Russia doesn’t need to find ways to avoid the sanctions and so it should trade because nobody stands in its way. It took us a lot of time to explain to them that, although food and fertiliser are not subject to sanctions, the first and second packages of Western restrictions affected freight costs, insurance premiums, permissions for Russian ships carrying these goods to dock at foreign ports and those for foreign ships taking on the same consignments at Russian harbours. They are openly lying to us that this is not true, and that it is up to Russia alone. This is foul play.

Unfortunately, the West has been trying to involve UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in these games. He became concerned about the food crisis and visited Russia, and he advocated a package deal at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It is necessary to lift the artificial and illegitimate restrictions on Russian grain, and action should be taken to clear mines at Ukrainian ports where Ukrainian grain is stored. Antonio Guterres said that he would persuade Europe and the United States to remove all obstacles hampering Russian grain deliveries, and that Russia would cooperate with them, Türkiye and Ukraine in clearing mines at Black Sea ports, to facilitate grain shipments.  We replied that, in principle, it was possible to demine Black Sea ports without Russia, but that we would be ready to cooperate if they asked us. The UN Secretary-General actively promoted this package.

Last week, our colleagues visited Istanbul in order to coordinate this mechanism. We agreed on the basic principles for exporting Ukrainian grain. However, when members of the Russian delegation reminded those present about the second part of the package deal, the Ukrainian side flatly refused, and the UN delegation simply blushed and kept quiet.

Yesterday, we indicated to the UN Secretary-General that this was his initiative to begin with. In reply, Antonio Guterres proposed first resolving the issue of Ukrainian grain shipments, and said that Russian grain deliveries were next in line. This is foul play. People engaged in big politics should not behave in such a way. This means only one thing: I am convinced that the UN Secretary-General has come under tremendous pressure, first of all, from representatives of the United States and the United Kingdom who have settled in around him in the UN Secretariat in the posts of undersecretary-generals and who are actively using this “privatised” structure in their own interests. This is highly regrettable.

Question: How are they putting pressure on him, exactly? Technically, how do we explain this to people? Do as you’re told, or… what? Go to jail?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t think they are using any personal methods of blackmail. Just, when the UN General Assembly is voting, they come up to the ambassadors, inform them that an anti-Russia resolution has been put to the vote while reminding them, for example, about their account in Chase Manhattan Bank or their daughter at Stanford. Things like that.

Question: But it’s kind of the same thing.

Sergey Lavrov: It happens. Well, of course, they don’t act with such arrogance here. Members of the UN Secretariat (the majority of them are from Western countries because the number of delegated secretariat seats depends on each state’s contribution) aren’t always neutral, as required by the UN Charter and the Regulations on the Secretariat. That’s life. I can assure you, it has always been like this.

Regarding the second part of your question, I think that Western politicians are now making every effort to avoid showing they have been mistaken. The ruling parties will try to do this by hook or by crook – they have no other way. But the opposition – in Austria, voices are increasingly heard (there’s the Austrian Freedom Party, which Brussels does not favour very much, but it’s a legitimate party). In other countries, the opposition is rising their heads: why are we doing this? Why can’t we just look at things and reach agreement? Many people have questions.

Developing countries don’t view the situation as Russia having crossed some “red line.” They remember what the Americans did in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and Yugoslavia in 1999. With no notice, no warning that American interests were being infringed on, no calls to do something about it…

Question: No eight years of trying to reach agreement…

Sergey Lavrov: The United States bombed countries located 10,000 kilometres away from its coastline and razed cities to the ground. Europe never even dared to make a sound.

Question: No need to protect large communities of American compatriots living there…

Sergey Lavrov: That’s right. Our situation is totally different. There is a real threat, not something invented in order to spread our imperialist tentacles across the ocean – there’s a threat on our borders. For many years, we have been cautioning the West against turning Ukraine into an anti-Russia, with NATO infiltrating that country, against creating direct military threats to our security. Everyone is perfectly aware of this.

Returning to Europe, I don’t think that it is in European interests to completely cut off all ties with us and switch to LNG, which the Americans are trying to…

Question: …foist on them.

Sergey Lavrov: I wanted to use a less polite term, but foist will do. It will be their choice. Serious scientists write that Germany’s entire economic activity, its prosperity of the past decades was due primarily to Russian energy resources they bought at affordable, reasonable and predictable prices. True, LNG is a more flexible commodity. Gas has to be bought at the “end” of the pipeline, while LNG can be redirected. But this is also a disadvantage. When demand rose in Asia, the Americans sent their LNG there, because it was a better deal. This can lead not only to higher prices, but also to a shortage of supplies at a certain stage. But if they do this, we won’t have any particular problems.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin said that, given what they are doing with Nord Stream 2 (we’re ready to launch it, it is under operating pressure), in the current situation, 50 percent of the volume intended for that pipeline are already reserved for internal consumption: for heating purposes, for the chemical industry and for other industrial projects.

We will redirect supplies without any serious losses. I do not doubt it. We have buyers, we have demand; after all, there are applications within the country too – connecting households and facilities and developing the chemical industry.

Question: And thousands of villages without gas…

Sergey Lavrov: That’s why I mentioned connecting them.

So it will be their choice. I would like to say again: we should not (and, thank God, no one is trying to) invent any solutions implying the possibility, the probability, or even desirability of returning to the situation we had six months ago, where it was possible to restore the old supply chains. I think that they need to be discarded and new ones should be built that will be more reliable. This is what we are doing now, including the North-South corridor from St Petersburg to the Indian Ocean, and from India to Vladivostok. Several projects are already halfway through implementation. If and when, at some stage, Europe suddenly says that they have overreacted and are interested in restoring our economic relations and trade, we shouldn’t push them away. We will see how good the offer is, and only then react.

Question: We say if they duped you once, they’ll do it again. You mentioned the diversification of our areas of cooperation. We have covered the East (China, India) extensively. This time, you are going to Africa, which is south. What are you going to do there? What are your expectations? What should we expect?

Sergey Lavrov: We have long-standing good relations with Africa since the days of the Soviet Union which pioneered and led a movement that culminated in decolonisation. We provided assistance to the national liberation movement and then to the restoration of independent states and the rise of their economies. Hundreds of enterprises were built, which now form the basis of many African economies. At the UN, we led the movement to have decolonisation formalised as an integral part of international law and everyday life.

Then, there was the period when the Soviet Union disappeared and the Russian Federation emerged. We were confronted with major problems, not in Africa, but much closer, in our country.

We have been rebuilding our positions for many years now. The Africans are reciprocating. They are interested in having us. We never engaged in teaching them anything, but helped them overcome their problems so that they could live in their country the way they wanted to.

Question: They think we did teach them something, but in a good sense.

Sergei Lavrov: No. We helped them fulfil their goals. That’s how it was. We never told them not to be friends with America or anyone else. To this day, we are not lecturing them, unlike the Americans who go around Africa telling everyone “do not talk with the Chinese or the Russians. All they care about is their selfish interests, even when they trade with you.”

We visit each other every year. Once a year or every two years, the Foreign Minister visits African countries. We’re trying to cover as many countries as possible in a period of two to three years. This year, it will be Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda and the Republic of the Congo. We have good traditions and economic foundations in these countries.

Egypt is our number one trade and economic partner in Africa with trade just under $5 billion. The first nuclear power plant is being built. The construction of a Russian industrial area on the banks of the Suez Canal is nearing completion. Our relations with Africa have even brighter prospects now that the African Union decided last year to establish the African Continental Free Trade Area. Specific criteria and tariffs for this area are being agreed upon, which will take some time. This will benefit Russia as Africa’s rising partner in terms of boosting our trade and investment which are quite modest compared to the United States, China and the EU. We must work hard, with our colleagues, to prepare for the second Russia-Africa summit. The first one took place in Sochi in 2019. The second one is planned to be held next year.

Question: Maybe in Odessa?

Sergey Lavrov: No, probably not in Odessa. We will announce the venue later. An economic forum will be held concurrently with the summit with round table discussions on trade, energy, cybersecurity, agriculture, outer space and nuclear energy.

It is important to step up our efforts. Africa has a population of 1.4 billion people, which is comparable to China and India. This is a great portion of the modern world and probably the most promising market. That is why companies and countries with good vision are building long-term strategies with regard to Africa, which is the continent of the future. We have an excellent political foundation underlying our relations and a good mutual understanding based on the fact that thousands of Africans who hold positions in their respective governments have studied in Russia and continue to do so. We need to use this human and political capital to achieve economic advancement.

Question: What kind of relations do we have with our “exes?” (I understand exes are rarely friends, but it still happens occasionally.) Do we have real friends among our exes, including Belarus? What is going on in Kazakhstan with mixed signals coming from there?  Is there a sense that we ourselves are a little to blame for some things, that we let them go and gave them away to Europe, America, and even Türkiye? What do you think?

Sergey Lavrov: There was such a period. The Soviet Union ceased to exist. We signed the Belovezh Accords. Of course, the countries that were not invited to Belovezhskaya Pushcha were hurt. No doubt about it. I understand them. Then, some efforts were made to improve this situation (to make amends, so to speak). A special meeting was held in Alma-Ata in late 1991. But it still left a bad taste in the mouth. Most importantly, it was an event followed by some processes.

Our leadership did little to prevent the cooling of relations with our neighbours, closest allies, and comrades-in-arms during the first years of independence and sovereignty. We have lived together for many hundreds, even thousands of years. I remember that time. I was Deputy Foreign Minister in 1992-1994 before I left for work in New York. My scope of duties included international organisations, but at some point Andrey Kozyrev asked me to take up the CIS matters. I didn’t do it for long, though. The situation did not look too good (clearly, the Foreign Ministry was not the one to decide on building policies in this area, the Presidential Executive Office was). Back then, everyone thought they had no place to go. We lived together all that time and shared the language, the universities and the tastes. So, we thought we’ll just keep on living like that. Of course, over the long decades and centuries, the economy had become intertwined to the point where breaking ties was impossible.

True, the West wasn’t sitting on its hands. And not only the West. If you look at Central Asia now, you’ll see multiple “Central Asia plus partner” formats there, such as Central Asia plus the United States, or “plus the European Union,” or “plus Japan,” “plus China,” “plus Türkiye,” or “plus India.” “Plus Russia” is there as well. Despite the fact that we have the CIS, the EAEU, the SCO, the CSTO, there was no association where all five Central Asian countries and Russia were together. Now there is.

This is how things are, not only in foreign ministries, but in our economic agencies as well. It’s an important process. Water and energy were shared. Our Western “partners” are now trying to infiltrate these particular areas. The EU and the United States are coming up with their own programmes which will tailor the ongoing water and energy use processes that rely on the Soviet legacy to their needs, the needs of external players. Clearly, it makes sense to join efforts in this department which is what we are encouraging our partners to do. They agree, but the West is trying in every possible way to disrupt this natural process and meddle in our dealings with our “exes,” as you put it. Poet Andrey Voznesensky once famously said, “Don’t return to those you once loved.” This is the opening line. However, the poem ends with “Anyway, you have nowhere else to go.”

Question:  A trendy modern poetess Vera Polozkova has the following line, “She is friends with all her exes as if they had never let her down.”

You, and the Foreign Ministry, said that you knew nothing about the special military operation before it began. At least, you knew nothing about it long before it started. Perhaps, this is not true, but that was the impression. May I ask you how you found out about it? What did you feel? I remember well what Tigran Keosayan and I felt at home at night, when we learned about it. I wonder what you felt back then. What do you think about the people who are now called “frightened patriots” who were frightened and left, those who are “ashamed” etc.?

Sergey Lavrov: The time and date of when I found out about it is not my secret.

Question: So, this is not a state secret?

Sergey Lavrov: This is not a state secret, but it is not my secret, either. If I may, I would like to leave it at that.

The sense of inevitability is what I felt when this announcement was made. Not joy. Imminent hostilities, with the citizens of your country going to defend justice and risk their lives, are not a reason for joy. It was a sense of inevitability and even relief. For many years we were unable to answer the question posed by the people of Donbass and many of our citizens as to how much longer we would allow them to mock common sense, the people, the UN Security Council resolution and every other aspect of it that was brazenly sabotaged.

Question: What do you think of those who are ashamed of being Russian?

Sergey Lavrov: We are now having a big discussion about foreign agents, and whether it was the right thing to do to draft a new law, which some people consider an extension to the old one and ask if it was right or wrong.

I watch talk shows, including those that you host, where issues are debated that everyone can relate to: so they left, what do we do about them now? How do we feel about them if they return? Or should they even be allowed to return? I don’t have an opinion. Each person is the master of their own destiny. That’s the way it is. But everyone must have a conscience. And everyone has to deal with their own conscience. This is how I see it. But there is something I cannot accept, and that’s people publishing things – I have a duty to read some resources designated as foreign agents in my line of work, and they describe with such lustful pleasure those insurmountable (from their point of view) problems that the Russian Federation is facing. They…

Question: Gloat.

Sergey Lavrov: Yes. They predict collapse. One of them wrote that Russia was threatened with death in terms of high technologies, because it has neither brains nor institutions. It is your country you are writing this about!

There are others. When Roscosmos, in response to the sanctions, told the Americans that, since they did not want our engines anymore, we would discontinue supplies to both the US and the UK, they imposed sanctions on our corporation, making any further contact impossible. A foreign agent site launched into a story about how our corporation had violated every conceivable obligation, and was now irreparably tainted as a dishonest partner that no one would ever deal with. We say double standards. That’s how they work, plain and simple.

My opinion is that these people should be left alone with themselves and realise what they have done. How to treat them is another matter. Will their former acquaintances stay in touch with them? How will the state go about renewing relations with them? That is another question. What is important is to leave them alone with their own conscience.

Question: Your trust that every person has a conscience has already done you a disservice with Petr Poroshenko and the Minsk agreements. Maybe you should just stop believing this. Not everyone has a conscience, unfortunately.

We all wonder, and every person in the country wants to know when “this” will end. We all want the special military operation to end as soon as possible, so that people stop dying – our soldiers, and the civilians that their former Ukraine is hitting every day. Ukraine still considers them its citizens de jure, but this isn’t stopping it, as we know. When will it end? We do not know. I won’t ask you about it. Obviously you don’t have an answer.

But where do you think it should end? I am not asking about the goals that Vladimir Putin announced at the start – the goals, and hence the potential results of this operation – the demilitarisation and denazification. This much is clear. Where should it end geographically? Where would it be reasonable, right and good for us?

Sergey Lavrov: As regards any projections or timeframe, I have just recalled an amusing fact. Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmitry Kuleba recently said that Vladimir Zelensky had set a deadline for joining the European Union, but he wouldn’t reveal that deadline, because many in the European Union might get scared and try to slow down their accession to the EU.

We don’t have any deadlines. As for the special military operation and geographic goals, President Vladimir Putin said clearly (as you quoted him): denazification and demilitarisation, which means no threats to our security, no military threats from the territory of Ukraine. This goal remains. Geography-wise, the situation was different when the negotiators met in Istanbul. Our readiness to accept the Ukrainian proposal was based on the situation as of the end of March 2022.

Question: That was the DPR and the LPR?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, more or less. Now the geography is different. It is more than the DPR, the LPR, but also the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions and a number of other areas. This process continues, consistently and persistently. It will continue as long as the West, in its impotent rage, desperate to aggravate the situation as much as possible, continues to flood Ukraine with more and more long-range weapons. Take the HIMARS. Defence Minister Alexey Reznikov boasts that they have already received 300-kilometre ammunition. This means our geographic objectives will move even further from the current line. We cannot allow the part of Ukraine that Vladimir Zelensky, or whoever replaces him, will control to have weapons that pose a direct threat to our territory or to the republics that have declared their independence and want to determine their own future.

Question: How can this be arranged, technically? This is our territory. Then there are the republics that will accede to us. In fact they already have – the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. You are diplomats, so you cannot say this. I’m a journalist, and I call a spade a spade. Further west, there is the territory controlled by Vladimir Zelensky. They have a common border. So either there should be a 300 kilometre buffer zone or something between them, or we need to march all the way to Lvov inclusive.

Sergey Lavrov: There is a solution to this problem. The military know this.

Question: A secret one? Do you think there is a chance that we will leave half-way? This is something our subscribers and viewers are fearing.

Sergey Lavrov: I see no reason to question what President Vladimir Putin announced on February 24, 2022, and reaffirmed a few days ago – our goals remain the same. And they will be met.

‘Nothing Will Be As Before’

June 20, 2022

Source

By Batiushka

Western Europe and North America are now in dire economic straits. Four EU leaders, from Germany, France, Italy and Romania, have just been to Kiev to plead with Zelensky to start negotiating again and make territorial concessions. The Western media did not much report on the fourth Romanian/German leader, Klaus Iohannis, and showed few photograph of him; possibly because the racists who work in the Western media despise Romania (https://www.bing.com/news/search?q=Romanian+Leader+In+Kiev&qpvt=romanian+leader+in+kiev&FORM=EWRE). What they all forgot to mention is that Russia has no need to negotiate and, given the way that it has been treated since 2014 (indeed, since 1991), it is not going to make concessions.

The EU leaders once more made the illusory promise that the Ukraine might soon become a candidate for EU membership (despite the Dutch veto), if it restarts negotiations. This old carrot dangled before the Ukrainian donkey is irrelevant. The EU has more than four countries and four leaders, whatever promise that the Ukraine may become an EU member in 20 years time. Long before that, there will be no Ukraine and probably no EU. The day after their visit, the Johnson clown went to Kiev too, though we do not know what he spoke of. Presumably, he just wanted to show that the UK is a ‘Great Power’ – like the EU?

It is all too late. Negotiations on the Donbass failed for eight years because the West forbade them. They failed again last March in Belarus and Istanbul, for the same reason. The West in its arrogance believed that it could crush Russia using its Ukrainian cannonfodder. This has been displayed for nearly four months now by the reports of State propaganda mouthpieces like CNN, the BBC etc. with their nonsense that President Putin is dying and that Russia is running out of fuel and ammunition! Wishful thinking all the time. Originally Russia just wanted to liberate the Donbass. However, pig-headedness in Kiev means that they will now be forced to take control of the whole country – and perhaps more, if aggression from outside the Ukraine continues. It was all so unnecessary…

The West cannot go on with its suicidal and illegal sanctions against Russia – or rather against itself. The lack of oil, gas, fertilisers and essential raw materials is biting. Inflation is taking off all over the West. In the UK a wave of strikes is threatened. The incredibly unpopular Johnson’s days are numbered. The only problem for Russia is that the rouble keeps rising. Despite interest rate cuts from 15% to 8.5%, the rouble is again at 56 to the dollar. Clearly, further Russian interest rate cuts are, forgive the pun, in the pipeline. Meanwhile, African and Asian leaders have told Zelensky to stop fighting. They want grain (https://news.mail.ru/politics/ 51814770/ ?frommail=1).

Of course, it is true that many of the West’s woes began well before this year, not least with the absurd and totalitarian ‘covid’ restrictions from 2020 on, which bankrupted many companies and led to it printing ever more money and to ever higher and unpayable debts. The West is desperate for the conflict in the Ukraine to end before the autumn cold sets in. Otherwise there are going to be popular revolts in Western countries, with scenes of looting on the streets.

Western arms, usually third-rate from stocks anyway, are making hardly any difference in the Ukraine. Most, together with munitions, get destroyed before they can be used. Much that has been promised cannot be used because it will take months to instruct Ukrainians on how to use them. The rate of attrition of the Kiev Army, up to 1,000 a day according to Kuleba, the Kiev Interior Minister, is simply unsustainable. Once the fortifications in the Donbass, built by Kiev and NATO over the last eight years, have been overwhelmed, there will be a clear run to Odessa, Transdnestria, Kharkov and Kiev or indeed anywhere that Russia wants. This could happen soon.

Yesterday, the Russian Ministry of Defence released figures on mercenaries (https://news.mail.ru/incident/51803470/?frommail=1). The picture is dismal for the Ukraine. Of some 6,000 mercenaries in the Ukraine from 64 different countries, some 2,000 have been killed and some 2,000 have fled. Perhaps they thought that they were going to fight in a Third World country, where the enemy just had Kalashnikovs and not world-beating hypersonic missiles? How long the remaining 2,000 or so will remain alive remains to be seen.

Poland supplied the greatest number of mercenaries, with 1,831. Presumably as with other countries like Canada (601 mercenaries), USA (530), Romania (504), Germany and France, the majority of these were actually Ukrainians who have lived outside the Ukraine for some years, rather than native people. In third place for mercenaries from Europe comes the UK with 422, of whom 102 have been killed and 98 have fled. According to General Konashenkov who released the figures, the number of mercenaries coming has stopped and indeed been reversed. It is too dangerous to stay and get killed in the Ukraine.

This leaves the two foolish British mercenaries, not killed in action with the 102 others, but taken prisoner. And also it leaves two captured US mercenaries. There is speculation that the British might plea for their release in exchange for Julian Assange. That would upset the Americans. On the other hand, the British mercenaries, Eslin and Pinner, have already been sentenced to death. If that sentenced is carried out, it is going to make Johnson even more unpopular than he already is. Perhaps that is why Johnson went to Kiev to plead.

Thus, the first or military stage is coming to an end and should be over later this summer. However, this is only the start. The New Ukraine has to be formed. Then there is the demilitarisation and denazification of the rest of Eastern Europe. And there is the economic war, declared by the West, to be finished. On 17June at the International Economic Forum in his native Saint Petersburg, President Putin said:

‘After the Cold War the USA declared itself to be the emissaries of God on Earth, without any responsibility, only with interests….Today’s changes in economics and in international politics are tectonic and revolutionary. The Western elites are in a state of delusion, clinging on to the shadow of the past and denying changing reality…Nothing will be as before…The EU has definitively lost its political sovereignty. The current situation in Europe will lead to an outburst of radicalism and in the probable future a change of elites’.

Here is the future.

More Gonzalo Lira: No More Lies, No More BS

May 21, 2022

And this is the real issue:

And a little real history and situation today, that would be fine to discuss at a barbecue and probably not at a formal summit.

Gonzalo Lira: There Is No “Open Corridor” Through West and Central Ukraine

May 20, 2022

“She’s exposing the TRUTH in Ukraine and they don’t like it | Redacted Conversation with Eva Bartlett”

 Eva Bartlett

This is an interview I did the other day with journalist Clayton Morris on his excellent program, Redacted.

I’m very grateful to him for interviewing me & also for being so well-informed himself!

Some Related Links:

Under Fire from Ukraine and Misperceived by the West, The People of the DPR Share Their Stories

Donbass Youtube playlist

Accused of Treason and Imprisoned Without Trial: Journalist Kirill Vyshinsky Recounts His Harrowing Time in a Ukrainian Prison

Ukrainian strike on Donetsk market was a terrorist act

Here’s what I found at the reported ‘mass grave’ near Mariupol

They Saw and Heard the Truth — Then Lied About It: Media on Donbass Delegation Omitted Mention of Ukraine’s 8 Year War on the Autonomous Republics

On the OSCE’s claims of Russian war crimes

*Russian Military expert Andrei Martyanov’s sites:

-His Patreon

-His Youtube

-His blog

-our interview: Russian Military expert Andrei Martyanov on Russia’s denazification operation in the Ukraine

The Third Patriotic War

May 07, 2022

Source

A St George’s Day Contribution by Batiushka

Introduction: War

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

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

The Preparation

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

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

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

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

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

Why Did It Start on 24 February 2022?

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Fight for Survival

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

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

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

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

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

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

When Did It All Begin?

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

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

Conclusion: A Fight to the End

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

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

Russian Orthodox St George’s Day 2022

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the Xinhua News Agency (China), April 30, 2022

May 01, 2022

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1811525/

Question: What do you think is at the root of the Ukrainian crisis? What can the international community do to solve this problem?

Sergey Lavrov:  When we talk about the Ukrainian crisis, first of all we need to look at the destructive policy of the Western states conducted over many years and led by the United States, which set a course to knock together a unipolar world order after the end of the Cold War. NATO’s reckless expansion to the East was a key component of those actions, despite the political obligations to the Soviet leadership on the non-expansion of the Alliance. As you know, those promises were just empty words. All these years, NATO infrastructure has been moving closer and closer to the Russian borders.

The West was never concerned about the fact that their actions grossly violated their international obligations not to strengthen their own security at the expense of the security of others. In particular, Washington and Brussels arrogantly rejected the initiatives put forward by Russia in December 2021 to ensure our country’s security guarantees in the west: to stop the expansion of NATO, not to deploy armaments that pose a threat to Russia in Ukraine and to return the Alliance’s military infrastructure to the 1997 configuration, when the NATO-Russia Founding Act was signed.

It is well-known that the United States and NATO member states have always viewed Ukraine as a tool to contain Russia. Over the years, they have actively fuelled anti-Russia sentiments there, forcing Kiev to make an artificial and false choice: to be either with the West or with Moscow.

It was the collective West that first provoked and then supported the anti-constitutional coup d’etat in Kiev in February 2014. Nationalists came to power in Ukraine and immediately unleashed a bloody massacre in Donbass, and set the course on the destruction of everything Russian in the rest of the country. Let me remind you that it was precisely because of this threat that the people of Crimea voted in a referendum for the reunification with Russia in 2014.

Over these past years, the United States and its allies have done nothing to stop the intra-Ukrainian conflict. Instead of encouraging Kiev to settle it politically based on the Minsk Complex of Measures, they sent weapons, trained and armed the Ukrainian army and nationalist battalions, and generally carried out the military-political development of Ukraine’s territory. They encouraged the aggressive anti-Russia course pursued by the Kiev authorities. In fact, they pushed the Ukrainian nationalists to undermine the negotiating process and resolve the Donbass issue by force.

We were deeply concerned about the undeclared biological programmes implemented in Ukraine with Pentagon’s support in close proximity to the Russian borders. And, of course, we could not disregard the Kiev leadership’s undisguised intentions to acquire a military nuclear potential, which would create an unacceptable threat to Russia’s national security.

In these conditions, we had no other choice but to recognise the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics and launch the special military operation. Its aim is to protect people from genocide by the neo-Nazis, as well as to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine. I would like to stress that Russia is acting to fulfil its obligations under bilateral agreements on cooperation and mutual assistance with the DPR and LPR, at the official request of Donetsk and Lugansk under Article 51 of the UN Charter on the right to self-defence.

The special military operation launched on February 24 is progressing strictly in accordance with the plan. All its goals will be achieved in spite of our opponents’ counteractions. At the moment we are witnessing a classic case of double standards and hypocrisy of the Western establishment. By publicly supporting the Kiev regime, NATO member states are doing everything in their power to prevent the completion of the operation by reaching political agreements. Various weapons are flowing endlessly into Ukraine through Poland and other NATO countries. All of this is being done under the pretext of “fighting the invasion”, but in fact the United States and the European Union intend to fight Russia “to the last Ukrainian.” They do not care at all about the fate of Ukraine as an independent subject of international relations.

The West is ready to jeopardise the energy and food security of entire regions of the globe to satisfy its own geopolitical ambitions.

What ither explanation is there for the unrestrained flywheel of anti-Russian sanctions launched by the West with the start of the operation and which they aren’t thinking of stopping?

If the United States and NATO are truly interested in settling the Ukrainian crisis, then, first, they must come to their senses and stop supplying weapons and ammunition to Kiev. The Ukrainian people do not need Stingers and Javelins; what they need is a solution to urgent humanitarian issues.

Russia has been doing this since 2014. During this time, tens of thousands of tonnes of humanitarian cargo have been delivered to Donbass, and about 15,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid have already arrived in the part of Ukraine liberated from the Kiev regime, the DPR and the LPR, since the launch of the special military operation.

Second, it is essential that the Kiev regime stops cynical provocations, including in the information space. Ukrainian armed formations are barbarically shelling cities using civilians as living shields. We saw examples of this in Donetsk and Kramatorsk. Captured Russian servicemen are being abused with animal cruelty, and these atrocities are being posted online. At the same time, they use their Western patrons and global media controlled by the West to accuse the Russian army of war crimes. As they say, laying the blame at somebody else’s door.

It is high time for the West to stop unconditionally whitewashing and covering up for Kiev. Otherwise,

Washington, Brussels and other Western capitals should consider their responsibility for complicity in the bloody crimes perpetrated by the Ukrainian nationalists.

Question: What measures has Russia taken to protect the lives and property of civilians? What efforts has it made to establish humanitarian corridors?

Sergey Lavrov: As I mentioned earlier, the special military operation is proceeding according to plan. Under this plan, the Russian military personnel are doing everything in their power to avoid victims among civilians. Blows are carried out with high-precision weapons, first of all at military infrastructure facilities and places where armoured vehicles are concentrated. Unlike the Ukrainian army and nationalist armed groups that use people as living shields, the Russian army provides the locals with all kinds of assistance and support.

Humanitarian corridors open daily from Kharkov and Mariupol to evacuate people from dangerous districts, but the Kiev regime demands that the “national battalions” in control of those areas do not release the civilians. Nevertheless, many are able to leave with the assistance of Russian, DPR and LPR servicemen. During the special military operation, the hotline of the Interdepartmental Coordination Headquarters of the Russian Federation for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine has received requests for assistance in evacuating 2.8 million people to Russia, including 16,000 foreign citizens and employees of UN and OSCE international missions. In total, 1.02 million people have been evacuated from Ukraine, the DPR and LPR, of which over 120,000 are citizens of third countries, including over 300 Chinese nationals. There are over 9,500 temporary accommodation facilities operating in Russian regions. They have space for rest and hot meals, and everything that may be necessary. Newly arrived refugees are provided with qualified medical and psychological assistance.

Russia is taking measures to ensure civilian navigation in the Black and Azov seas. A humanitarian corridor opens daily, a safe lane for ships. However, Ukraine continues to block foreign ships, creating a threat of shelling in its internal waters and territorial sea. Moreover, Ukrainian naval units have mined the shore, the ports and territorial waters. These explosive devices disconnect from their anchor lines and drift into the open sea, so they pose a serious danger to both the fleets and the port infrastructure of the Black Sea countries.

Question: Since the special military operation was launched in Ukraine, Western counties have adopted a large number of unprecedented sanctions against Moscow. How do you think these sanctions will affect Russia? What are the main countermeasures taken by Russia? Some say that a new Cold War has begun. How would you comment on that?

Sergey Lavrov: It is true that the special military operation was used by the collective West as a pretext to unleash numerous restrictions against Russia, as well as its legal entities and individuals. The United States, Great Britain, Canada and EU countries do not conceal that their goal is to strangle our economy by undermining its competitiveness and blocking Russia’s progressive development. At the same time, the Western ruling circles are not embarrassed by the fact that anti-Russian sanctions are already beginning to harm ordinary people in their own countries. I mean the declining economic trends in the United States and many European countries, including growing inflation and unemployment.

It is clear that there can be no excuse for this anti-Russian line and it has no future. As President Vladimir Putin said, Russia has withstood this unprecedented pressure. Now the situation is stabilising, though, of course, not all risks are behind us.

In any case, they will not succeed in weakening us. I am confident that we will restructure the economy and protect ourselves from our opponents’ possible illegitimate and hostile actions in the future. We will continue to give a fitting and adequate response to the imposed restrictions, guided by the goal of maintaining the stability of the Russian economy and its financial system, as well as the interests of domestic businesses and the entire nation. 

We will focus our efforts on de-dollarisation, de-offshorisation, import substitution, and promotion of technological independence.

We will continue to adapt to external challenges and step up development programmes for promising and competitive industries.

During the period of turbulence, our retaliatory special economic measures needed to ensure the normal functioning of the Russian economy will be continued and expanded. As a responsible player on the international market, Russia intends to continue scrupulously fulfilling its obligations under international contracts on export deliveries of agricultural products, fertilisers, energy carriers and other critical products. We are deeply concerned about a possible food crisis provoked by the anti-Russian sanctions, and we are well aware how important the deliveries of essential goods, such as food, are for the socioeconomic development of Asian, African, Latin American, and Middle Eastern countries.

I will be brief as regards the second part of your question. Today we are not talking about a new “cold war,” but, as I said earlier, about the persistent desire to impose a US-centric model of the world order coming from Washington and its satellites, who imagine themselves to be “arbiters of humankind’s fate.” It has reached the point where the

Western minority is trying to replace the UN-centric architecture and international law formed after World War II with their own “rule-based order.” These rules are written by Washington and its allies and then imposed on the international community as binding.

We must realise that the United States has been carrying out this destructive policy for several decades now. It is enough to recall NATO’s aggression against Yugoslavia, attacks on Iraq and Libya, attempts to destroy Syria, as well as the colour revolutions that Western capitals staged in a number of countries, including Ukraine. All of this came at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives and resulted in chaos in various regions of the planet.

The West tries to crudely suppress those who carry out an independent course in their domestic and foreign policy. Not just Russia. We can see how bloc thinking is being imposed in the Asian-Pacific Region. We can recall the Indo-Pacific strategy promoted by the United States, which has a pronounced anti-China tendency. The US seeks to dictate the standards according to which Latin America should live, in the spirit of the outdated Monroe Doctrine. This explains many years of the illegal trade embargo on Cuba, sanctions against Venezuela, as well as attempts to undermine stability in Nicaragua and other countries. The pressure on Belarus continues in the same context. This list can go on.

It is clear that the collective West’s efforts to oppose the natural course of history and solve its problems at the expense of others are doomed. Today the world has several decision-making centres; it is multipolar.

We can see how quickly Asian, African, and Latin American countries are developing. Everyone is getting a real freedom of choice, including where it comes to choosing their development models and participation in integration projects. Our special military operation in Ukraine also contributes to the process of freeing the world from the West’s neocolonial oppression heavily mixed with racism and a complex of exceptionalism.

The faster the West accepts the new geopolitical situation, the better it will be for the West itself and for the entire international community.

As President Xi Jinping said at the Boao Forum for Asia, “We need to uphold the principle of indivisible security, build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, and oppose the pursuit of one’s own security at the cost of others’ security.”

Question: Russian-Ukrainian talks have attracted close attention of the international community. What are the main obstacles to the talks today? How do you regard the prospects of a peace treaty between the two parties? What kind of bilateral relations does Russia intend to have with Ukraine in the future?

Sergey Lavrov: At present the Russian and Ukrainian delegations are holding discussions on the possible draft almost daily, via videoconference. This document should contain such elements of the post-conflict situation as permanent neutrality, the non-nuclear, non-bloc and demilitarised status of Ukraine, as well as guarantees of its security. The agenda of the talks also includes denazification, recognition of the new geopolitical reality, the lifting of sanctions and the status of the Russian language, among other things. Settling the situation in Ukraine will make a significant contribution to the de-escalation of the military and political tensions in Europe and the world in general. The establishment of an institution of guarantor states is envisaged as a possible option. First of all, they will be the permanent members of the UN Security Council, including Russia and China. We share information on the progress in the talks with Chinese diplomats. We are grateful to Beijing and other BRICS partners for their balanced position on the Ukrainian issue.

We are in favour of continuing the talks, although the process is difficult.

You are right to ask about the obstacles. For example, they include the militant rhetoric and incendiary actions of Kiev’s Western patrons. They are actually encouraging Kiev to “fight to the last Ukrainian,” pumping the country with weapons and sending mercenaries there. Let me note that the Ukrainian security services staged a crude bloody provocation in Bucha with the help of the West, to complicate the negotiation process among other things.

I am confident that agreements can only be reached when Kiev starts to be guided by the interests of the Ukrainian people, and not the advisors from far away.

Speaking about Russian-Ukrainian relations, Russia is interested in a peaceful, free, neutral, prosperous and friendly Ukraine. Despite the current administration’s anti-Russian course, we remember the many centuries of all-embracing cultural, spiritual, economic and family ties between Russians and Ukrainians. We will definitely restore these ties.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with India Today television channel, Moscow, April 19, 2022

April 20, 2022

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1810023/

Question: The big question that most are asking is the reason for this operation, the reason for President Putin to take the country to war at a time when we have seen negotiations and talks taking place. What was the reason? We know that America said that Russia was going to carry out operations. New Delhi certainly was not aware of it. Many countries said that it is not something that is going to happen, but it did happen.

Sergey Lavrov: The real reason is the complacency of most countries of the world after the end of World War II, when our Western colleagues, led by the United States, declared themselves winners and in violation of the promises to the Soviet and Russian leadership started moving NATO eastward. They kept saying: “Don’t worry, this is a defensive alliance, it is not a threat to Russian security.” It was a defensive alliance when there were NATO and the Warsaw Treaty, and there was the Berlin Wall, as you remember, both physical and geopolitical. It was very clear what was the “line of defence” for this “defensive alliance.”

When the opponent disappeared, both the Warsaw Treaty disappeared and the Soviet Union disappeared, they decided that they will move the “line of defence eastward.” They did this five times without explaining against whom they are going to defend themselves, but in the process building up their advanced assault capacities and choosing the former Soviet republics, especially Ukraine, as the springboard against the Russian interests.

As early as 2003, for example, when they had a presidential election in Ukraine, the West was publicly and blatantly demanding Ukrainians: you must choose, are you with Russia or with Europe? Then, of course, they started pulling Ukraine into the European Union Association Agreement. The agreement provided for zero tariffs for Ukrainian goods in Europe, and European goods in Ukraine. We had a free trade area agreement with Ukraine in the context of the Commonwealth of Independent States. So, we told our Ukrainian neighbours: guys, we have zero tariffs with you, but we have protection with the European Union, because we negotiated WTO entry for 18 years. For some time, we did manage to protect some sectors of the Russian economy – agriculture, insurance, banking, and some others – with considerable tariffs. We told them: if you have zero [tariffs] with Europe and zero [tariffs] with us, we are not protected against European goods, which was part of the deal when we entered the WTO.

Then in 2013, when the Ukrainian President understood the problem, he asked the European Union to postpone the signature of the Association Agreement. We suggested that the three of us – Russia, Ukraine, and the EU – could sit together and discuss how to proceed. The European Union in a very arrogant way said that this is none of your business, we do not put our nose in your trade with China or other countries, so this is going to happen. Then the President of Ukraine decided to postpone this ceremony. The next morning, the demonstrators were on Maidan in Kiev.

In February 2014, the European Union helped negotiate a deal between the President and the opposition. Next morning, the signatures of the European Union representatives – France, Germany and Poland – were absolutely ignored by the opposition, who staged a coup and declared that they are creating a “government of the winners,” that they will cancel the special status of the Russian language. They threatened to throw ethnic Russians out of Crimea, they sent armed groups to storm the Crimean parliament. That is how the war started. The Crimeans said: “We don’t want to have anything [to do] with you, leave us alone.” As a I said, there was a threat from armed groups. The eastern areas of Ukraine said: “Guys, we do not support your coup, leave us alone.” They never attacked the rest of Ukraine. The putschists attacked them, having called them terrorists. They called them terrorists for eight long years.

We managed to stop this bloodshed in February 2015 – the so-called Minsk Agreements were signed, providing Eastern Ukraine with some special status, language, the right to have some local police, special economic relations with the adjacent Russian regions. It was basically the same as [the agreement] the European Union negotiated for the north of Kosovo where Serbs live. In both cases, the European Union failed totally to deliver on what was guaranteed by the signatures of its members. For eight long years, the respective governments of Ukraine and Presidents of Ukraine were saying, blatantly and publicly, that they were not going to implement the Minsk agreements, that they will move to Plan B. They continued to shell the territories of these [self-] proclaimed republics during all these years. We warned the Europeans, the Americans, and Ukraine that they are ignoring something which was endorsed by the United Nations Security Council. To no avail.

People do not want to go back into this history because they prefer to take events on their immediate merit, but these particular events are rooted in the desire of the United States and what we call the collective West, to rule, to dominate the world and just show everybody that there would be no multipolarity. It would be only unipolarity.

And that they can declare Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yugoslavia, located tens of thousands of miles from the United States, threats to their security, and can do whatever they please there, levelling cities, like they did with Mosul in Iraq, and Raqqa in Syria. Russia has been warning all its colleagues that just on our borders you have been creating a springboard against us: you have been pumping arms into Ukraine, you have been totally ignoring the legislation of Ukraine, which prohibited, completely prohibited the Russian language, you have been encouraging neo-Nazi ideologies and practices. The neo-Nazi battalions were very much active against the territories which proclaimed themselves independent and who were promised special status. It’s inside Ukraine.

It was all linked with Ukraine becoming NATO’s springboard, and NATO expansion. They were saying that Ukraine will be in NATO. Nobody can stop Ukraine if it so wishes. Then President Zelensky said that he might think about coming back to possess nuclear weapons. In November last year, my President suggested to the United States and to NATO to sit down, to cool off, and to discuss how we can agree on security guarantees without NATO’s further eastward expansion. They refused. In the process, the Ukrainian army radically intensified the shelling of those republics in violation of all the ceasefire agreements. We didn’t have any other choice but to recognise them, to sign mutual assistance treaties with them, and, in response to their request, to send our troops as part of special operation to protect their lives.

Question: You provided the basics: the history, as well as the present context. But you also said, President Putin himself said, that this is not targeting civilians or the citizens, people of Ukraine. It is to do with the administration. We know that in international foreign policy parlance it is used quite often: not in my backyard. America says it all the time, and many other countries say it. But should an entire people, and entire population be punished for an administration wanting to carry out independent foreign policy?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t think it’s about any independence. Since 2013, and maybe even earlier, hundreds and hundreds of US, UK, and other Western security and military experts have been openly sitting in the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence and the Ukrainian security apparatus. They basically were running the place.

As for the civilians, immediately when this special operation started in response to the request from Donetsk and Lugansk in full compliance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, when it was announced by President Putin, he said that the sole purpose of this operation is to demilitarise and denazify Ukrainians – these two problems of the country are intimately linked. We have been targeting only military infrastructure. Unfortunately, the Ukrainian army and the so-called nationalist battalions, which are using Nazi insignia, swastikas, which was borrowed from Indian history, but twisted the wrong way, and insignia of Waffen-SS battalions, these people were using and continue to use civilians as human shields. They were placing heavy weapons in the middle of towns and cities, next to schools, next to kindergartens, to hospitals. The internet is full of the testimonies of the people who were living in these places, and who were asking these people not to do this.

Unfortunately, nobody in the West actually pays attention to the facts, which we have been providing. Instead, they are staging some fake situations, like a couple of weeks ago with the place called Bucha. The Russian troops left on March 30, I think, and for three days the city was back in the hands of the Ukrainian administration. The mayor of Bucha Anatoly Fedoruk was publicly saying that the city is back to normal life. Only on the fourth day, they started showing images of dozens of corpses lying in the street, which was only a few days before shown as being back to normal. Then a few days later in the city of Kramatorsk, which was fully in the Ukrainian hands, they summoned people to the railway station, and attacked them with a Tochka-U missile. It was proven beyond any doubt that the missile was fired by the Ukrainian army. That’s why the next morning it was out of the news in the West because everybody understood the obvious nature of this provocation. Now, The New York Times says that they have the proof that cluster bombs were used by the Ukrainian army.

Speaking of civilians and the rules of international humanitarian law, I can once again assure you that our army operates against the military infrastructure and not against civilians.

Question: Mr Lavrov, you said that Russian forces have only targeted military facilities. Even if there were military facilities or tanks that have been placed in civilian areas, Russian forces did not show restraint in taking them down. Hence, there are civilians who have been killed. There has been bloodshed, whether it is the outskirts of Kiev, primarily Mariupol, Volnovakha – absolutely raised to the ground. Some responsibility has to be taken by the Russians also on the bloodshed?

Sergey Lavrov: It is always terrible when military activities bring damage to the civilians and to the civilian sector, to civilian infrastructure. As I said, when people have been killing ethnic Russians, citizens of Ukraine, in the east for eight years, no TV representatives, be it Asian, be it African, be it Latin American, be it European, be it the United States, paid any attention to this. The Russian journalists have been working on the contact line, on the side of the republics, round the clock, showing the atrocities committed by the Ukrainian neo-Nazis and Ukrainian armed forces. And during all those years not a single foreign journalist cared to come to the other part of this line of contact to see what was going on there.

The statistics available from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe indicate that the damage afflicted on the civilians and the civilian infrastructure on the side of the republics, the [self-] proclaimed republics, was five times more and bigger than the same figure for the territory controlled by the Ukrainian government.

This is not to say that we can just ignore the victims and the damage to the civilian infrastructure, but once again I want to emphasise a very important thing. This outcry started only when the Russians decided to protect Russians who are citizens of Ukraine and who were absolutely discriminated. There was no outcry when the city of Raqqa, for example, in Syria was levelled with dozens and hundreds of corpses lying there unattended for weeks and weeks. The American military never had any scruples about achieving their military goals, be it in Syria, be it in Iraq, be it in Afghanistan, for that matter.

This is a tragedy, when people die. But we cannot tolerate the situation when our Western colleagues say that they can do anything they want. They can encourage the government in Kiev to be as Russophobic as it takes. They would not tell them to stop prohibiting the Russian language in education, in media, stop banning all Russian speaking channels, including Ukrainian channels, they would not tell them not to prosecute the opposition, who favours dialogue with Russia, and to stop violating the commitments to give special status to the territories where the Russian speaking population dominates.

Question: You made a very important point because India Today has travelled to Donetsk and we have been putting out these reports. It is very important because it is important to understand the plight of Russian descent and Russian speaking people in Ukraine. There is no taking away from that. We will talk about Donbass. But coming to the allegations against Russia of genocide, of war crimes, and on the fact that chemical weapons have been used by Russian forces, what do you have to say to the visuals? You said that there were no bodies. There were bodies in the basements that have been found much later that would have been found anyway much later. Will there be no investigation that will be carried out? Why just say that it did not happen?

Sergey Lavrov: We are investigating the atrocities of the neo-Nazi battalions of Ukraine and of Ukrainian armed forces. There is a special commission created by the Russian chamber – there is a public organisation which is very experienced. They have been discovering the fakes staged by the so-called White Helmets in Syria, in many other cases. We will not cease our efforts to establish the truth.

We are used to the fact that the United States, the United Kingdom, and other Western countries have a very interesting habit: they just throw in news when they believe this news will work ideologically for their benefit, and then, when it comes to the facts, and when more facts are discovered, putting a big question mark on their assertions, they just lose interest.

2007, London. Poisoning of Mr Litvinenko. Huge outcry. The investigation begins, and after a few weeks a public inquiry is announced, which in the UK  means that it is secret. Until now, we cannot get the facts about what had happened to Mr Litvinenko.

2014, Malaysian Airlines Boeing. Shot down over Ukraine. We presented a huge amount of facts. We requested that we be part of the investigation – no way. Ukrainians who did not close their skies during the conflict were invited to this investigation group, Russia was not. Malaysia, as the owner of the plane, was invited only five months later after the Australians, the Dutch. They and the Malaysians agreed among themselves that anything coming out of this room must be subject to consensus, meaning that Ukraine, which did not close the skies, had a veto power on this investigation. We could not get the truth on this one as well.

2019, Salisbury poisoning. The people disappeared. The only proof which was made public is “highly likely,” as Theresa May said. The Brits insisted on the expulsion of Russian diplomats by most of the European countries. When I asked my friends, did they provide proof beyond the public statements about “highly likely” it was Russia, they said “no, but they promised to.” I checked one year later, whether this was done, it was not done. And so on, and so forth.

2020. Our opposition blogger Mr Navalny was poisoned. We asked the Germans. We immediately responded to the German request to let him go to the Berlin hospital. Twenty-four hours after the request he was flown to Berlin. We don’t have any confirmation who was flying with him, where did they get the bottle which is the key element in this investigation. When we asked the Germans to show us the formula which they discovered in his blood, they said this is a military secret.

It is us who until now insist on the truth about Litvinenko, about the Skripals, about Malaysian Boeing, and about Navalny. The stories that they stage in Ukraine these days are of the same nature.

Question: Going back to the investigations, you are saying that that Azov battalion is absolutely shameful, yes, they should be investigated. They are neo-Nazis, and they should not have been incorporated or integrated into any military regime in any country. But if you introspect and look at your own people as well, is there any instance of denying and rejecting claims? Will there be investigations against your own people if they have done wrong? Will they be held accountable?

Sergey Lavrov: We have a law that prohibits the military to do anything which is not allowed under international humanitarian law. Any violations are registered and investigated.

On Azov, it is interesting that you mentioned it. Azov was listed in the United States in 2014 or 2015 as a group that cannot be supported, that cannot legitimately operate, and it was prohibited by Congress to provide any assistance to this battalion. Everybody forgot about this or rather they certainly remember what this group is about, and they decided to put their money on this group.

In Japan, as you know, they passed a special decree by the government that Azov is no longer a neo-Nazi group, and the Japanese government apologises for listing Azov as such. And of course when President Zelensky in his camouflage was asked about Azov by some journalists, who felt that something was wrong with these neo-Nazi trends, Zelensky said quietly: Azov, they are what they are, we have many groups like this. They are part of our army.

You, I mean the media, started asking questions about Azov only when the military operation was launched. For eight long years, nobody lifted a finger, nobody bothered about what was being groomed in Ukraine, as a continuation, or rather a resurrection, of what was boiling in Europe in 1930s.

Question: President Zelensky said that Russia plans to use tactical nuclear weapons.

Sergey Lavrov: He says many things. Depends on what he drinks and what he smokes. He says many things.

Question: Do you think it was a strategic miscalculation by President Zelensky to take on Russia when there was no certain assurance from NATO and the European Union that they would actually back Ukraine?

Sergey Lavrov: President Zelensky came to power with the promise of peace. He said that he will reach peace on the basis of the Minsk Agreements. A few months later, he said he cannot implement the Minsk Agreements because the Minsk Agreements are “unimplementable.”

Question: It was the Russian forces, the DPR.

Sergey Lavrov: No, he never said that it was because of the military situation on the ground. He said that it is unthinkable for Ukraine to give special status to any part of his territory. But it was very “thinkable,” if I may say so, when Ukraine was created, to put together the territories which now (those in the west) never celebrate Victory Day, May 9, and the eastern territories, which would never celebrate the heroes honoured in the west: those who collaborated with Hitler. With this difficult composition of territories, to say that Ukraine can only be a unitary state, and that it would not give special status to these people even if the Security Council demands so, I believe that this was not very far-sighted.

Had he cooperated as he promised to his electorate when he was elected, had he cooperated in implementing the Minsk Agreements, the crisis would have been over long ago.

Question: Did the West betray Zelensky?

Sergey Lavrov: No, I think the West played Zelensky against Russia and did everything to strengthen the desire to ignore the Minsk Agreements.

The “West” is a broad notion. It’s the United States and the Brits. The rest of the West, including the European Union, is just an obedient servant.

Question: Tactical nuclear weapons. Will Russia ever use them?

Sergey Lavrov: Ask Mr Zelensky. We never mentioned this. He mentioned this. So, his intelligence must have provided him some news. I cannot comment something which a not very adequate person pronounces.

Question: As a P5 member, as a nuclear power, will nuclear be an option at all, on the table at all?

Sergey Lavrov: When the Soviet Union and the United States in 1987, Gorbachev and Reagan, decided that they have special responsibility for peace on this planet, they signed the solemn declaration that there could be no winners in a nuclear war, and therefore a nuclear war must never be launched.

After the Trump administration came to office, we have been telling them, because tensions were aggravated: “Why don’t we try to send a positive political message to the entire universe and to reiterate what Gorbachev and Reagan pronounced?” During all the four years of the administration, they refused to do so.

But we were really encouraged when President Biden was inaugurated. Five days after his inauguration, we repeated this offer, he first agreed to extend the [New] START treaty without any preconditions. In June 2021, when they met with President Putin in Geneva, they issued this declaration. This declaration was issued on our initiative. After the Americans and the Russians said that there must be no nuclear war, that they won’t think about it, we started to promote the same commitment in the context of the P5. Not the United States, not UK, not France – Russia. Eventually, earlier this year, in January this year, the P5, at the level of presidents and heads of government, issued the statement which we initiated and which we were pushing through for all these years.

Question: So nuclear is off the table?

Sergey Lavrov: This statement, both the Russian-American statement, and the P5 summit statement, were issued on the strong insistence of the Russian Federation.

Question: Coming back to the Donbass region, DPR, LPR. The independence of these republics is non-negotiable for Russia when you talk to Ukraine. What happens if the negotiations succeed between Ukraine and Russia and should there be a settlement, will Russia withdraw from other areas: Sumy, Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Kherson, Nikolayev?

Sergey Lavrov: I thought you are a journalist, but you can be a spy. I am not discussing the military operation, for obvious reasons it is never the case.

On the territorial situation, we recognise DPR and LPR within the administrative boundaries of the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. The Minsk agreements were signed when these two territories were split roughly half and half. Now the militias of these republics are fighting to get their territory back.

When they had a referendum in 2014, it was held on the entire territories of the former regions. But then the coup leaders started the war, which they called an anti-terrorist operation, and they took a considerable chunk of both regions. So, yes, we recognise LPR and DPR within their declared territories as a result of the referendum.

Question: Which in fact includes Mariupol and Volnovakha, as part of Donetsk.

Sergey Lavrov: Yes.

Question: My question is, if there is a settlement between the two sides, and they recognise, which President Zelensky said he would not, he said that they are going to fight for Donbass to the very end, so where are the red lines?

Sergey Lavrov: I cannot intelligently discuss what President Zelensky says because he always changes his mind diametrically.

He was the initiator of the negotiations, which we accepted. At some point we were disappointed because they were changing their mind every time, coming late, leaving early, but then in Istanbul, about one month ago, it was on March 29, they brought a paper, saying that we are not going to be a member of any military alliance, that they will be neutral. In return, they asked for security guarantees, preferably P5, maybe some others, and it was written and initialled by the head of the heads of delegations. The security guarantees they were asking for would not cover Crimea and the territories in the east of Ukraine.

It was not our language, it was their language. Now President Zelensky says “no way.” They started backtracking even earlier. But this is a paper with the signature of the head of the Ukrainian delegation. So, before we can intelligently discuss what he says one day or another, we need to have clarity about the credibility of this person and about his team.

Question: Was there any understanding in Istanbul on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Kiev, as well?

Sergey Lavrov: We changed the configuration of our presence. This was announced immediately after Istanbul that since we believed that they brought something which could serve as a basis [of an agreement], we made a goodwill gesture, and we changed the configuration in the Kiev and Chernigov areas.

This was not appreciated at all. Instead, this Bucha thing was immediately staged and played, like Skripals were played in Salisbury, like the Malaysian Boeing, like Navalny, played, but immediately put aside when the hard facts were presented which they cannot challenge.

Question: There are mayors who have been appointed now by Russia in Berdyansk and Melitopol, and they are saying that they will hold a referendum, that they are not going to go back. Is that the plan?

Sergey Lavrov: That’s the outmost democracy, right? A referendum – people saying what they want.

Question: Which means that you are securing your land boundary in Sumy and Kharkov, but also the waters, if you look at Zaporozhye, Nikolayev.

Sergey Lavrov: People have been suffering in all these places for eight long years, when neo-Nazis were prohibiting them to speak their own language, prohibiting them to commemorate the heroes of World War II, of the Great Patriotic War, prohibiting to have parades and to have any events to commemorate the fallen, the parents, the grandparents of these people.

Now when they have thrown away these neo-Nazis, and say that now we will decide who will be running the place – this is our mayor, this is our legislature, I believe that this is a manifestation of democracy after so many years of oppression.

Question: It seems that Ukraine has lost more land than it would have gained by negotiating on Donbass.

Sergey Lavrov: It’s the decision of those who have been running Ukraine, of those who have been sabotaging the Minsk agreements, in spite of the UN Security Council decision. We are not up for regime change in Ukraine. We have said this repeatedly. We want the Ukrainians themselves to decide how they want to live further in a way, which would not repeat the Minsk agreements, when they did decide that they did not want to do anything with the coup leaders, who immediately said that they are against anything Russian: culture, language, everything what these people cherish. Then they were promised something by the European Union and cheated.

We want the people to be free. To decide how they want to live in Ukraine.

Question: Russia is one of the most sanctioned countries in the world. How long can you sustain?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t think we are thinking in the context of sustaining. Sustaining means, you know, you sustain, you take some hardships, and hope that, sooner or later, this would be over.

Russia has been under sanctions all along – Jackson–Vanik, then it was repealed, but Magnitsky Act was introduced, then we were punished for the free vote of the Crimeans, we were punished for supporting those who were in favour of keeping the Minsk agreements, but the Ukrainian government did not want them to get what they promised, and so on and so forth.

So, now we have come to a very straightforward conclusion. We cannot rely on our Western colleagues in any part of our life, which has strategic significance, be it food security, which we managed to ensure ourselves after 2014, be it, of course, defence, and be it some strategic sectors where high-tech is developing and indicating the future of the mankind. We did not have time to achieve self-sufficiency in all these areas, but in most cases, we resolved this issue. Of course, we are open to cooperation with all other countries who do not use illegal, illegitimate unilateral measures in violation of the UN Charter.

India is among those. We cooperate bilaterally. I visited a couple of months ago, and we cooperate in many international organisations.

Question: Speaking of India, India is under immense pressure to sever ties, to cut down imports of energy, of fuel, but India has stood its ground. In terms of reliability, is there a concern that India should have with regards to the kind of defence cooperation both countries have? Could there be delays in deliveries of critical weapons systems that India is buying from Russia, such as the S-400s? What is the conversation you have been having with New Delhi on this ground?

Sergey Lavrov: India is our very old friend. We called our relationship a long time ago a strategic partnership. Then, about 20 years ago, the Indian friends said: why don’t we call it a “privileged strategic partnership?” Sometime later, they said that this was not enough. Let’s call it “especially privileged strategic partnership.” This is a unique description of the bilateral relations between India and Russia.

With India, long before all this became such a hot potato, we supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s concept “Make in India” and we started substituting simple trade with local production, shifting production of the goods needed by India on your territory. It was for quite a number of years already that we have been promoting the use of our national currencies in settlements between the governments of the two countries.

We promoted national information systems, transmission systems, like SWIFT. You have your own, we have our won. They are being used more and more. Payment cards: we have MIR, you have RuPay. They are mutually supportive. It is not, you know, a huge percentage, of the overall volume of trade, but it is steadily growing. On defence, we can provide anything India wants. Technology transfers in the context of defence cooperation are absolutely unprecedented for any of India’s outside partners.

Question: We have got away with a waiver from the United States for the S-400s, but future collaborations, could they become difficult?

Sergey Lavrov: You know, when the Americans say that they are in favour of democracy all over the world, they mean only a very specific thing – that it is up to them to decide who is democracy, and who deserves to have some good attitude on behalf of Washington. When they convened this summit of democracies, you only need to look through the list of invitees, to understand that it is not about real democracies, it is about something else. The Americans now run all over the world, their ambassadors have priority number one to go to the foreign ministry, to the government of the country where they serve and say: “You must stop talking to Russia, you must join sanctions against Russia.”

Well, long before this crisis, I have been talking to the Americans, to the Europeans, I told them: when you say democracy, democracy, and at the conferences you always want this language on rule of law and democracy, I asked them about adding that apart from the national level, we want democracy and the rule of law internationally. They don’t like it. When they push everybody in this anti-Russian camp, when they go to India, when they go to China, to Turkey, to Egypt, countries with their own thousands years of history of civilization, of culture, and when they are not even ashamed to publicly tell you what to do, I believe something is wrong not only with manners, which always has been the case, but something is wrong with the mentality.

When Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, says publicly: “We, the United States, has not yet decided whether to introduce sanctions against India for the S-400s,” they have not decided what is good for you. His under-secretary Wendy Sherman later said: “We must help India understand what is important for its security.” How about that?

Question: I suppose your counterpart gave them a befitting reply on how to conduct one’s foreign policy?

Sergey Lavrov: Absolutely. I respect Subrahmanyam Jaishankar very much. He is a seasoned diplomat, and he is a real patriot of his country. He said that we will be taking the decisions on the basis of what India believes it needs for its development, for its security. It’s respectful. Not too many countries can say something like this.

Question: You mentioned China. For us, the China factor is very important. Russia has a unique relationship when it comes to ties with China and ties with India. You mentioned the United States of America, so again, I am going to go back to the US. Recently, in one of the visits, deputy national security advisor said that should India continue ties with Russia, there will be consequences. If, he said, there is another incident at the LAC, then the US will not come to India’s rescue. The statement is flawed, because there are two points. One is that he said “should there be another incident,” not recognising that the Chinese are still on Indian soil. Secondly, he said that they will not come to India’s rescue, but they did not come in the first place. But where does Russia stand?

Sergey Lavrov: We stand in favour of resolving any conflicts on the basis of arrangements negotiated directly between the parties, like, just like it was in Ukraine, when the two parties, the rebels, as they are called, the separatists, as they are called, for us they are self-proclaimed republics, on the one side, and the government, which came to power as a result of the coup, on the other side had a deal, negotiated and endorsed by the Security Council. It is another matter that the government, with the instigation of the West, failed to deliver, but the method is the one which we believe should be applied everywhere.

After those incidents on the border, we welcomed the resumption of the discussions between the military of India and China, the discussions between the politicians, at the level of the foreign ministers, and we hope that this would be resolved. We cannot use those threats, which are absolutely normal for the Americans, who say “or else, there would be consequences.” It is their favourite statement.

What we would like to do, as Russia, we would like to promote the formats where India, Russia, and China participate together. It started in 1996-1997, when Russia’s Foreign Minister at that time, Yevgeny Primakov, suggested the RIC format – the troika formed by Russia, India, and China. It happened, and we continue to convene in this format. I think, last November there was probably the 20th ministerial meeting. Not only foreign ministers, but also ministers of economy, ministers of trade, political scientists meet, which may not be very much publicised, but it is a very useful format.

We were very much in favour, even we were the leading force in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation to promote this, of the full membership of India, together with Pakistan, in this organisation. This is another premise for China and India to be together in the company of their neighbours, and to build more confidence.

Question: Finally, before I let you go, sir, Europe is looking to halt gas from Russia. Come summer, policies might get harsher. But you are looking for the dedollarisation of the global energy market by dealing in roubles. How do you propose to do that, should they start halting?

Sergey Lavrov: There will be no change for the Europeans and other countries who buy our gas. The reason for this decision was very simple and obvious. When they froze the Russian assets in dollars, euro, yens, and the pound sterling for the amount of more than 300 billion euros or dollars, those were mostly the money kept in Western banks after we received payments from them, from the Western countries, for our gas deliveries.

In other words, they paid us, and they stole the money from us because those were the currencies which are linked to the Western banking system. So what we told them to do: they would not be paying directly to Gazprom’s accounts abroad, but they would be paying to a bank called Gazprombank. It is an independent entity. They would be paying the same amount which they have to pay under the existing contracts, but they will pay these amounts to a special account which they have to open with this bank. There would be a parallel account in roubles. So they pay euros, and then inside this bank these euros are transferred to the rouble account, and from this account Gazprom receives roubles.

Question: So you are not running losses at all on the money Russia is to receive from Europe? There is no money that has been stopped?

Sergey Lavrov: Exactly. As of now, they would not be able to keep the money in their banks, the money that they not even owe us, but which they paid to us already. I believe this is something which does not contradict contracts. They would still be paying in euros or dollars or whatever was the currency of the contract, but we will have insurance that this robbery would not happen again.

Question: Finally, sir, before I let you go, I have to go back to that question on eastern Ukraine. Intensification of war efforts now in eastern Ukraine – is the trigger the flagship warship Moskva that sunk. What really happened there? Is that one of the triggers now why we see more intensification against Ukraine?

Sergey Lavrov: No, this operation in the east of Ukraine is aimed, as was announced from the very beginning, to fully liberate the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. This operation will continue. Another stage of this operation is beginning. I am sure that this will be a very important moment of this entire special operation.

Question: What happened to the warship?

Sergey Lavrov: It is for the Ministry of Defence. They explained what happened and I cannot add anything to this.

Question: On that note, many thanks for joining us here on India Today. It was indeed a pleasure, sir.

Sergey Lavrov: Thank you very much.

Question: That was the Foreign Minister of Russia speaking exclusively to India Today.


Notes on information availability from the Russian Federation:

The best video is on Telegram:  https://t.me/MFARussia/12362
This is the first complete address from the Russian MFA that they posted on Telegram since the attack on the availability of Russian information started.  It is also a complete interview in English and without translators.

The Indian interviewer is smart and respectful.  Mr. Lavrov is patient and clear.

It is still a hit-and-miss exercise to get complete information from Russian professional sources.   You can see these interviews live on Ruptly but there is no playback.  The videos and transcripts are on the Russian Foreign Ministry site, but frequently there is no playback.  In copying this transcript just a while ago, the Russian MFA site went down again.

It is important to see or read these completely in order to find nuance and context. It seems to be a fashionable journalistic method to report on one or two snippets only. In that, the Russian media sources are not helping us to help them. Here is an example.  Mr. Lavrov’s takeaway quote on being asked about Zelenski, is:  “He says many things, depending on what he drinks or what he smokes.”   RT decided to shorten that, and said:  “He says many things, depending on what he drinks.”   Incorrectly reporting even direct quotes does not serve the Russian cause.

Amarynth

The Real ‘Reset:’ Russia Outlines the Inevitability of a Nuclear War they Will Win (vital)

 April 17, 2022

By  VT Editors

NATO nuke exploding over Yemen 2015

Russia says the US engineered World War II and the rise of Hitler to destroy Russia….they say much more but they are promising that before one NATO solider crosses the Russian border the temperature in Washington, London, Los Angeles and Berlin will readh 10,000 “in the shade.”  

It doesn’t matter if it is Celsius or Fahrenheit when you are vaporized.   

Sourced from Russian Government Backed Media

The head of Eurodiplomacy, Josep Borrell, during his visit to Kyiv wished that the conflict would be resolved by military means, not by diplomacy. “This war must be won on the battlefield,” Borrell tweeted. 

Neutrons from NATO nuke in Yemen hitting camera LCD (According to IAEA)

Such a statement was made for the first time in the history of the European Union.

“NATO is developing plans for a full-scale deployment of armed forces on its eastern borders in connection with the growing military activity of Russia,” Stoltenberg said. The Secretary General of the alliance emphasized that about 40,000 military personnel are already deployed on the eastern flank, noting that their number is about ten times higher than the number three months ago and will continue to grow.

The Estonian Defense Minister acknowledged that economic sanctions against Russia have not yet had an effect. Read: “peaceful options for forcing the Russian Federation into obedience have been exhausted, only military ones remain.”

Actions follow words. The Russian cruiser Moskva is sinking, and evil tongues confidently articulate that the missile that hit it was not entirely Ukrainian, and the launch operators had nothing to do with Nenka. In the battles for the Donbass in the village of Borovaya near Izyum, Polish military personnel who fought on the side of Ukraine were eliminated. PMC? Well, let’s call them PMCs, since diplomats and politicians need it that way.

Popasnaya, therefore, is being stormed by the Wagner PMC, “which has nothing to do with the RF Armed Forces”, and the Polish PMC, which “has nothing to do with the NATO bloc,” is operating on the Izyum Highway. It does not change the circumstances of what happened.

The war has its own logic, and without fail with the supply of weapons more complex than a club and an ax. These “devices” are followed by instructors in their use. In addition, during the active phase, there is simply no time to train some natives, so full-fledged crews of the country of manufacture, covered by colleagues from the same country, go into battle.

And so, imperceptibly, the native army is first generously diluted, and then, as it is exhausted, it is completely replaced by a foreign one.

This process in Ukraine has already begun and there is not a single reason to think that it will suddenly stop “at the most interesting place.” There is another mint gingerbread hanging in front of the very nose of the command of the joint headquarters of the “empire of good”.

In accordance with it, the involvement of NATO in the conflict in Ukraine is not only possible, but even necessary! The unwillingness to bomb the Ukrainian people into the Stone Age, clearly and unambiguously demonstrated by the leadership of the Russian Federation, the successful tactics of the Ukrov troops hiding in residential areas, simply shout at “the entire civilized world” – “This is an idea!”

This means that if non-peaceful troops appear in the immediate vicinity of the civilian population, we place them in a “magic house” on which no one will throw vigorous loaves. This is very good news and a very serious trump card for planning NATO operations on the territory of the ex-USSR, and we are talking not only about Ukraine, but also about Belarus and Kaliningrad.

In addition to military logic, there is also geopolitical. It is the main, initiating one, thanks to which the Donbass first flared up, and now the whole of Ukraine.  The explanation that the population of the collective West is getting worse and worse solely because the Russians and Ukrainians are shooting at each other can be sold for an extremely short time. And it’s already coming to an end.

Further – only hardcore! The only justification for a further inevitable decline in the standard of living can be a direct military conflict with Russia.

Yes, the risk of increased radiation increases. But you have to choose between a civil war on your own territory and a conflict with an external enemy on someone else’s.

What do you think, which of these two evils will the “Western partners” choose? “Look for money,” the Americans adapted the French proverb Cherchez la femme to their own mentality. Furious Yankees themselves warn that you should not strain and try to connect their words with facts, facts – with opinions, actions – with their public justification. The motive of any actions and statements is always the same, reinforced concrete, corresponding to the question: “And what will I get from that?”

All American geopolitics fits perfectly into this formula and fits perfectly with everything that happens around the United States or at their suggestion. In particular, everything that concerns Russia, Russian politics and the Eastern vector in general is also the answer to this vulgar question, starting with the statements of the ideologist “Papa” Brzezinski and ending with these helpless dead ends of Obama.

The task solved by Big Brother is always simple, like a compass needle: “Give what you have, and you will owe the rest!” If the “client” obeys, Big Brother is pleased and is in a good mood, only occasionally kicking the vassal purely symbolically, so as not to forget his place. If a “rebellion on the ship” suddenly begins, the vassal can be publicly punished, scrupulously fixing all the stages of the execution and demonstrating to other vassals, so that it would be disrespectful.

Terrible “and on the sopatka?” after 1991, it solved problem No. 1 perfectly, regularly freeing the pockets of vassals from excess banknotes. Everything was going well until Russia kicked up in the person of Vladimir Putin, and very timidly, trying in 1999 to appease the Caucasian abreks and kunaks of Big Brother in their underbelly, who were so naughty that they jeopardized even the tribute generously shipped to the bins of the Empire of Good directly from the bins of 1/6 of the land.

And after all Big Brother nothing threatened. Nothing at all. Neither to him personally, nor to his well-established colonial business. In those “holy” times, Russia diligently left all foreign exchange earnings for products sold abroad in the West, receiving Big Brother’s IOUs in return, secured exclusively by his reinforced concrete “I’ll be a bastard, I’ll pay!”

Fuel and raw materials, being only nominally Russian, regularly implemented the Great American Dream of a good life at someone else’s expense. To say that the foreign policy of the Russian Federation was modest is to say nothing. There was no foreign policy as such.

In the 90s, there is either nothing to remember, or you don’t want to, except for the U-turn over the Atlantic named after Primakov. But Big Brother decided to put the squeeze on… A fucking booster… And the ruling elite of Russia, in front of which, as if alive, stood vivid examples of the careers of Milosevic and Hussein, were seriously frightened, and when frightened, they realized that they were pressed against the wall.

“Although Russia is great, there is nowhere to retreat,” behind – the deposits … Big Brother did not leave her a way out. Only in a noose, together with Hussein, or in The Hague – together with Milosevic.

Just like in “The White Sun of the Desert”: “Do you want to die right away or do you prefer to suffer?” Russia decided to suffer… The first and second bells, when the “Muscovites” enthusiastically kicked the vassals in the Caucasus, Big Brother relaxedly missed, deciding that this did not concern him. But in vain. Because to the standard shout “what about the sopatka?” followed by an unexpected “what if you?”. This is discouraging. The business plan for “honest” taking supplies from the “barbarians” does not fit in any way with your own risk of suddenly finding yourself in a world where pockets are not needed at all.

Therefore, a dead end, a headache. Therefore, tantrums, starting with “you must remember that you are the losing side”, ending with the mournful “how much you have – you need to share …” And Ukraine has nothing to do with it. Neither Ukraine, nor Crimea, nor doping, nor offshore revelations, nor all the rights of all homosexuals combined.

Only an ardent desire to take away and divide, executed worse and worse, although you want more and more. Another situational, purely philological impasse has set in, connected with the non-normative Russian word that means “no”, although it is spelled and pronounced quite differently.

The Ukrainian war or the Russian military operation is rapidly developing into a global final battle, at the end of the centuries-old historical, bloody confrontation between East and West, which has been going on since the time of the Great Church Schism.

In fact, from the second half of the 11th century, which marked the beginning of the division of Europeans into varieties and endowing them with the right to exist and doomed to contempt.

Yes Yes exactly! And do not underestimate the significance of what is happening. It is we who live today who will have to decide the outcome of a thousand-year-old conflict aimed by the West at the total destruction of the dissenting part of humanity.

This is how the West treated all wars with the “Russian barbarians”. A whole series of world clashes should have completed this task long ago, but somehow it didn’t work out. Each time, the peoples of Russia turned out to be incredibly tenacious.

Now, more than ever, they are united and determined, more than ever, resolutely. Ukraine is just a trigger. Only an inanimate, deadly instrument, like the Browning in the hand of Gavrila Princip, who destroyed, in his time, four empires and ten million people.

The tectonic plates of world politics that have rested against each other have reached the maximum unresolved tension over the centuries and will inevitably bring down the existing order in one direction or the other. The words of the “diplomat” of the European Union, Borel, about the need for a military victory over Russia draw a thick line under the hopes of the “doves of peace” on both sides.

Then everything will be “in an adult way.” It’s time to recognize this and act accordingly.

PS A video of a large American military field camp near the Ukrainian border with about 3,000 people appeared on the network As you can see in the footage, among the military equipment are dozens of different infantry fighting vehicles, tanks, MLRS, operational supply vehicles of foreign production. The territory is behind a fence and under round-the-clock protection. The exact location of the base has not yet been determined.

Читать далее: https://rusonline.org/world/voyna-neizbezhna-specoperaciya-na-ukraine-lish-nachalo

A disturbing trend in Ukraine

April 10, 2022

A disturbing trend in Ukraine

This article provides an overview into a deeply disturbing trend in Ukraine, one that started in 2014, that has accelerated and intensified since 24 February 2022. Extrajudicial killings, harassment, arbitrary detentions by men in camouflaged uniforms, beatings and disappearances continue to take place on a regular basis in Ukraine.  Most of the detentions and disappearances are often carried out by the Ukrainian Security service, (SBU), under a sweeping repression.

While we have all heard about the egregious processes that took place in the USA, a witch hunt for suspected communists, better known McCarthyism,  a similar course of action is taking place in Ukraine.  The Ukrainian authorities and associated ultra-nationalist groups are after people who were not only very critical of the former but also the current Ukrainian government.   Threats, harassment and calls for violence has been and continue to be made against those who:

  • publicly supported the Minsk Agreements,
  • are against “de-communisation”,
  • highlight human rights abuses,
  • advocated for a settlement of the conflict in Donbass,
  • are deemed to be “pro-Russian”.
  • Church representatives and clergy;
  • For reading the news in Russia.

Add into this maelstrom another layer of extra-judicial repression, in the form of impromptu justice being meted out to civilians, bound up, tied to posts, beaten, humiliated and some killed as a result.  There are simply hundreds and hundreds of video clips and photos showing these events, which are outlined in another article.

People are not only being tied up to street furniture as suspected looters, but people are being bound up or arrested for being pro-Russian, for not being able to say the word “Palyanytsya” in Ukrainian.  Not every ethnic Russian speaker in Ukraine can speak good Ukrainian, and some have trouble pronouncing certain words in Ukrainian.  People have been reportedly killed for not pronouncing the shibboleth word correctly and thus assumed to be part of subversive Russian reconnaissance groups.

The so called” international community” has expressed no interest or desire to take a closer look at this disturbing situation in Ukraine.  Once again, the moral high ground as avidly promoted by thousands of NGOs’, think tanks and a multitude of reports, dissipates rapidly in reality into a dark void.  The silence is deafening and all of them mute on the repression that is taking place in Ukraine, likely start the process of EU accession in June.  Obviously, a highly repressive with systematic serious human rights abuses committed against civilians, by members of the military and police are not an impediment to being part of the European and NATO family.

Once upon a time, there would have been prisoners of conscience that Amnesty International would have supported and denounced human right abuses, now it is a case of total amnesia, right across the board, a deadly silence reigns over the widespread instances of human right abuses and atrocities, unless it is finger pointing at Russia.

For 8 years Ukrainian nationalists have internalised naked hate against Russian speaking Ukrainians and by default judged them to be guilty of being pro-Russian. Within this scope includes being pro-Minsk agreements, advocating for peace in Donbass or highlight human rights abuses. Against this background of feverish witch-hunts, any hint of the slightest suspicion of cooperation or aiding Russians is tantamount to a summary execution in some situations, or more likely, a beating and being handed over to the SBU.

A short list of those who have fell foul of the Ukrainian government and its policies:

Vlodymyr Struk (Major of Kreminna)

Denis Kireev  (high-ranking government official)

Mikhail & Aleksander Kononovich (political party leaders)

Nestor Shufrych (Verkhovna Rada deputy)

Yuri Tkachev (journalist)

Yan Taksyur (writer)

Elena Berezhnaya (Human rights activist / ex-figure skater)

Dmitry Dzhangirov,  (TV presenter, political scientist);

Yuriy Dudkin, (political scientist);

Maxim Rindkovsky (MMA fighter);

Dmitry Skvortsov (journalist);

Aleksandr Matiushenko (activist organisation “Livytsia”);

Oleg Smetanin (violinist);

These individuals and others are listed in further details later on in the article.

Remember these people, these Ukrainians who for various reasons fell afoul of the authorities, imprisoned, tortured, disappeared, or killed.   Those detained are often put under huge stress, threatened, beaten, or tortured into giving confessions.   Another aspect to consider is that many lawyers do not wish to represent these people, as doing so may lead to being accused of being an accessory and likewise accused of being “agents of the enemy”.

The SBU, human rights abuses and paramilitaires

The SBU has a history of torture, brutal interrogations, extra judicial murders and other violence and threats carried out with total impunity.  The Ukrainian government knows this, more so since Zelensky, since he  appointed Oleksandr Poklad as the SBU’s counter-intelligence chief in 2021.  Poklad has a sinister reputation as the ‘The Strangler’ . He is known to have links to organised crimes and involvement in extrajudicial killings. This person is now a top-level official and just one of a number of decidedly highly unscrupulous characters that are law enforcement officers.

A glimpse of some of the attitudes tolerated within the law enforcement structures, starting with 2018, when an ex-SBU adviser,  former deputy in the Rada, member of the far-right nationalist party Svoboda [Freedom], Yuri Michalchyshyn, advocated the following:

To propagate a total extermination of the Kremlin vultures and ghouls, local traitors and turncoats, its voluntary helpers and accomplices — instead of “reconciliation” with the traitors of the Motherland and the enemies of the Ukrainian people.

Another paramilitary group, Right Sector also has wide connections with the SBU.

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SBU officer, with Right Sector insignia on 6th April. Notice the other insignia, one SS Galicia of WW2 notoriety.

Prior to the start of the Russian military operation against Kiev,  a few instances of the brutality, torture and extra judicial killings were reported by a host of organisations, HRW,  OSCE, Amnesty International, OHCHR and in France — OFPRA.  These reports provided a glimpse into a situation that was overwhelmingly swept under the carpet by EU, U.S. officials and the corporate MSM alike.   Most of the cases were connected to the conflict in Donbass, yet there were many instances elsewhere in Ukraine.

“OHCHR documented allegations of enforced disappearances, arbitrary and incommunicado detention, and torture and ill-treatment, perpetrated with impunity by Ukrainian law enforcement officials, mainly by elements of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).”

Source: OHCHR

The June 2016 UN report noted that the cases of incommunicado detention and torture brought to their attention in late 2015 and early 2016 “mostly implicate SBU”

Source: HRW Report 2016

The SBU accounts for a large percentage of reported “arbitrary detention, torture, and abuse of detainees”,  from a period from 2014 to 2019. In reality, this is a fraction of what took place, given the one-sided assessment of many of these reports in the first place.  Horrid glimpses into these detentions were provided:

Several also alleged that after being transferred to SBU premises they were, variously, beaten, subjected to electric shocks, and threatened with rape, execution, and retaliation against family members, to induce them to confess to involvement with separatism-related criminal activities or to provide information. (HRW 2016)

Notably, during the Donbass conflict, the Ukrainian side committed extremely  heinous crimes, such burying people alive, beheadings (as reported by Newsweek), pitiless systematic acts of torture, rapes, looting, on a significantly much larger scale compared to the reported crimes committed by the “pro-Russian side”  also featured in these reports.  On the flip side, the Russian side has also documented the human rights abuses and repression:  report of violations from 2017-2020.

Tellingly, even the U.S State Department managed to notice and picked up on these disturbing aspects of Ukrainian law enforcement behaviours:

“UN noted significant deficiencies in investigations into human rights abuses committed by government security forces …into allegations of torture, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, and other abuses reportedly perpetrated by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).”

Source:  U.S. Report

These reports made for grim reading, yet no one in the corporate Western media dare to make references to these, but instead continue to whitewash the hideous crimes committed by Ukrainian law enforcement & military units.  The worst cases are carried out by paramilitary and ultra-nationalist units.

More recently:

No justice, truth or reparation was attained for any of the victims of enforced disappearance, secret detention and torture of civilians by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) from 2014 to 2016, and not a single suspected perpetrator was prosecuted”

2020 Amnesty International 

The SBU has a harrowing track record of serious human right abuses, which continues today.  Worse still, is the participation of  the likes of ‘Azov’, Right Sector and others in the detentions and also disappearances of people.  The Neo-Nazi group C-14 leader, Yevhen Yaras openly acknowledged working with the Ukrainian security service, (SBU).

Now, we are being told repeatedly that this is “Russian misinformation” by certain corporate MSM outlets or being told that this is not relevant any longer. As if this was remotely possible to gloss over or make light of absolutely odious human rights abuses. Washington, Brussels are indeed capable of doing, as they shown a long-standing ability to sweep under the carpet, Contras in Nicaragua, death squads in South and Central America,  KLA crimes in Kosovo, moderate rebels in Syria and now Ukrainian ultra-nationalists. Mykola Azarov made references to death squads in a video.

These practices and human right abuses still take place on a regular basis in Ukraine.  Details of arrests, detentions are always sketchy as legal representation is practically nil and no communication is possible.

In short, under Zelensky’s rule, the government agencies and others armed groups are detaining, imprisoning, and killing people in Ukraine. Anyone that criticises or is considered as opposing his government, any perceived actions, (current or historical) is duly noted,  and thus is likely to get persecuted, detained by either the SBU or irregular paramilitary groups.  The government knowingly allows these human rights abuses for its own interest.

It must remembered that the Ukrainian authorities have continued to use a  database, the Mirotvorets (Peacekeeper) website, to highlight those that they consider as ‘enemies of Ukraine’.  This controversial website created in 2014, under the initiative of Anton Gerashchenko, (the Ukrainian deputy minister of internal affairs).    Gerashchenko stated that the site was “extremely important for the national security of Ukraine.” He then added that “anyone who does not understand this or tries to interfere with this work is either a puppet in the hands of others or works against the interests of national security.” [2]

The inclusion of details of individuals, recommended for liquidation and arrest, has in the past led to people, Ukrainian and foreigners, being targeted, arrested, and murdered.  A Ukrainian journalist, Oles Buzina, had his personal details published on the site in 2015, which led to his murder shortly afterwards. All of this in a supposedly democratic Ukraine.

Remember that Zelensky has now outlawed all opposition parties —but not  all, those parties who support him are allowed to continue, with ultra-nationalists & Neo-Nazis part of these political parties and who happen to be highly influential too. Facebook and other social media platforms also helped in this process by deleting sites and accounts of opposition organisations and individuals.

Top-level officials and media outlets are wilfully ignoring what is taking place in Ukraine, by believing that the Russians are far worse, in scope and extent of human right abuses, while at the same time sanitising a wide range of heinous abuses, disappearances and killings in Ukraine. Additionally, this is swept under the vague categories of ‘treason’, support for the Russians or “saboteurs”:

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Individual cases

Case: Vlodymyr Struk

Mayor of Kreminna

Event: kidnapped & extra judicially killed

Date: 01 March 2022

Accused of: being a traitor  and pro-Russian

Ref: New York Post  /  Daily Mail

Notes: Anton Gerashchenko, Advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, announced on his social media account that the Mayor of Kreminna, Volodymyr Struk, was shot dead by “unknown patriots” after he was kidnapped from his home. He also added that Struk ‘was judged by the court of the people and called hime a traitor.

Case: Denis Kireev 

A member of the Ukrainian government negotiating team.

Event: murdered on the street of Kiev, near Pechersky Court building by the SBU security service.

Date: 5 March 2022

Accused of:  allegedly for having “pro-Russian position” and ‘ suspicion of treason’.

Ref: Times of Israel / Daily Mail / Kyiv Independent

Notes: gunned down while “resisting arrest”.   Reportedly a member of the Ukrainian military intelligence service.

Case: Nestor Shufrych

Verkhovna Rada deputy  (Opposition Bloc)

Event: Arrested and kidnapped

Date: 4 March 2022

Accused of: allegedly “providing Russia with intelligence”.

Ref:  Reportedly detained by the 206th Territorial Defense Battalion.  Photos + video clip of him being intimated and threatened.

Case: Mikhail & Aleksander Kononovich

Leading members of the outlawed Leninist Communist Youth Union of Ukraine.

Event:  Arrested and detained by SBU

Date: 6 March 2022

Accused of: “spreading “pro-Russian and pro-Belarusian views.” and ‘treason’.

Ref:

Notes: Currently held in a pretrial detention centre, been beaten and are facing execution on false charges.

Case:  Yan Taksyur

Writer and TV journalist / presenter.

Event: Arrested and detained by the SBU.

Date:  10 March 2022

Accused of: ‘treason’

Ref:  70-year-old native of Kiev, an Orthodox journalist and TV presenter, “Pershiy Kozatsky”. Currently in a pre-trial detention centre.

Case:  Yuri Tkachev 

Scientist and independent journalist

Editor-in-chief of the online magazine https://timer-odessa.net/.

Event: Arrested and detained in Odessa

Date: 19 March 2022
Accused of: ‘ treason’.

Ref: No contact or information on his current status. Wrote just before his arrest: “They came for me, it was a pleasure to talk”.

Case: Dmitri Dzhangirov

TV presenter, political scientist

Member of the “Novyi Sotcialism” (“New Socialism”) party

Event: detained by the SBU (?)

Date: 7 March 2022

Accused of: ?

Ref:  According to social media information, “subscribers denounced that an anti-Russian statement was published on his Youtube channel “The Capital”.  He was subsequently forced to make a anti-Russian speech on camera and on his YouTube channel as well.

Case: Elena Berezhnaya 

Sportswoman / human rights activist

Event: Detained by the SBU (?)
Date: 16 March 2022

Accused of:

Ref:  article

Case: Maxim Rindkovsky

MMA fighter

Event: detained, beaten and tortured by ultra-nationalist group

Date:  Precise date unknown-  1st week of March 2022

Accused of: having trained  with MMA fighters from the Chechen Ahmat club during his sports career.

Ref:  Article /   Current status is unknown although alleged to have been killed.

Case:  Dmitry Skvortsov 

Journalist and peace activist of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church

Event: Detained by the SBU

Date: 10 March 2022

Accused of:

Ref:  tweet 

Case: Mikhail Pogrebinsky

Political scientist

Event: Arrested by the SBU

Date: 27 March 2022

Accused of: treason and illegal enrichment.

Ref: Considered to be pro-Russian as he appeared on Russian TV channels.

Case: Vladimir Ivanov

Left-wing activist

Date:  4th March

Case: Aleksandr Matiushenko

Militant of the Ukrainian left-wing organisation “Livytsia”

Date: 3rd March

Charged with “participation in the aggressive war”.

Ref: Arrested by SBU and ‘Azov’

Case: Oleg Smetanin 

Violinist

Date: 4th March

Accused of: passing information about an airport to the Russians.

Case: Vasily Volga

Former leader of the Union of Left Forces,

Date: 7 March

Case: Yury Dudkin

Journalist

Date: 7 March

Case: Aleksandr Karevin

Writer

Date: 7 March

Ref: wrote on his FB page: “The SBU has arrived”

Case: Oleg Pankartiev

Assistant to a deputy of the opposition party “OPZZH (Opposition Platform for Life)

Date: 9 March

Accused of: ?

Ref: Brutally beaten during arrest and is still detained by SBU.

Case:   Spartak Golovachiov 

Left-wing activist

Date: 11 March

Ref: Managed to write on social media : “They are breaking down my door armed with Ukrainian uniforms. Goodbye.”  Whereabouts unknown.

Case: Elena Viacheslavova

Human rights activist

Date: 11 March in Odessa

Detained by SBU

Ref: The daughter of Mikhail Viacheslavov, burned alive on 2 May 2014, in the Odessa House of Trade Unions.

Case: Artiom Khazan

Representative of the Shariy Party

15 March

Detained by the SBU

Ref: He was severely beaten during his arrest by the SBU,

The next day, a video appeared on social networks, in which Khazan slandered the party chairman Anatoli Shariy. Current whereabouts unknown.

Case: Yury Bobchenko

Chairman of the trade union of Ukrainian steelworkers and miners

Date: 19 March

Arrested by Ukrainian military.

Ref: A worker from the Arcelor Mittal Krivoi Rog company.

Case: Gleb Lyashenko 

Political scientist and blogger

Date:  29/30 March

Arrested by SBU (?) and charged with treason.

Case: A German

Ex-journalist — Radio Liberty

Case: Oleg Novikov

Opposition Activist

Date: 5 April

Arrested by SBU

Ref: Managed to write on Telegram: “They came for me. Don’t think ill of me. Stay yourself”

As you can see from the list, the whereabouts of many are not known, actual accusations against them are not known either.  Just an accusation, having your name on a blacklist can get you kidnapped, brutalised, and potentially killed in Ukraine.

Situation

Situation in Ukraine

There are still some brave few who try to gather information on the arrests and detentions.   The increasing levels of lawlessness and repression makes it very difficult to collect precise information.

Embedded into the already volatile mix of state repression, Ukrainian ultra-nationalists operate outside of any legal oversight, thus not accountable to state political structures.  Moreover, many had total impunity since 2014 and despite a couple of incidents between the SBU and Right Sector, they still have undeclared support by all levels of Ukrainian officialdom.

It is only to be expected that ultra-nationalists have taken matters in own their hands, such as the kidnapping, beating and torture of an MMA fighter, Maxim Rindkovsky, solely based on the fact he had trained in the past with a Chechen MMA club. Unverified claims made indicate the participation of Azov members in the torture and disappearance of Maxim Rindkovsky.

Other recent instances of the rule of the mobultra-nationalist, territorial defense enforcers:

13 March, the house of Dmitry Lazarev, a left-wing activist, was burnt down, (in a village near Odessa).

16 March, in the village of Tomashevka in the Kiev region: Guennady Batenko, a priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was kidnapped by an armed commando. He was released by the SBU the next day.

27/28 March: Slema, Cherkasy region. A priest is filmed being forcibly taken away by a detachment of “territorial defense” ultra-nationalists (Teroborona), along with parishioners who try to protect him. His whereabouts are not known.

Solely judging by the list as outlined in this article, it is just a little indication of the broader situation where there are hundreds of detainees in Ukraine, their circumstances and status hasn’t warranted the attention to make their disappearance / arrest on social media, their whereabouts are not known at all.  As the conflict continues, the repression continues to build up against a wide-ranging category of people.

While this is all happening, the Western authorities and corporate MSM are completely indifferent to the situation and turmoil.   The MSM are indeed complicit in whitewashing these abominable events.   As expected, the West organisations are all too eager to publicise any crackdown of dissenting voices in Russia. Yet, they have no time or inclination whatsoever to do likewise for those critical of Zelensky’s government, state- repression that is innumerably and unrelentingly cruel, harsher, and significantly deadlier.

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The long list of human rights abuses and ill-treatments by the SBU has been amply catalogued in the past, along with the assistance of ultra-nationalist groups, who are tacitly permitted to act indiscriminately against anyone they deem as an “enemy of Ukraine”.

The fate of at least a dozen well-known opposition activists, political analysts, journalists, politicians, and bloggers remains unclear. All this taking place with a cold indifference of well-known Western human right organisations and more strikingly, the Western corporate MSM, all under the auspices of the supposedly ‘enlightened’, ‘civilised’ Europe and North America. No one is raising a voice against these actions.

———-

* 2016 OSCE-report “War crimes of the armed forces and security forces of Ukraine: torture and inhumane treatment”.

[2] https://www.defenddemocracy.press/killing-and-terrorizing-journalists-in-ukraine/

Against the background of rampant corruption, by the end of 2021, Ukraine fell to 122nd place out of 180 countries in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (Transparency International, 2021).

NATO Fails to Ship Evacuation of their ‘Military Advisors”‘ …Russians ‘Send them to Hell’

 April 9, 2022

By  VT Editors

First this letter from VT Damascus to Macron on his personnel serving with Azov in Mariupol:

Open letter to the French President Emmanuel Macron and the French citizens

Mr. President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, you have made several phone calls to the Russian President Vladimir Putin in the last few days. I don’t know what you talked about, but since NATO officers, possibly French, are in the Mariupol combat zone, French citizens can ask the French president what French officers are doing in Mariupol, where Ukrainian Nazism is being fought. Didn’t General De Gaulle fight against German, Hitlerian Nazism, when France was occupied by Nazi troops? Wasn’t there the village of Oradour-sur-Glane in France, where 190 men, 247 women and 205 children were killed by the SS Nazi troops?

And what is your French army doing in Mariupol, Volnovakha, and other cities of the Donetsk People’s Republic, and now they are trying to hide, to escape from Mariupol? Citizens of Great France, you will soon elect the President of France. French voters, ask yourselves if France needs a president like Emmanuel Macron, who sent citizens of France to help and eventually fight in Ukraine side by side with Ukrainian Nazis? The blood of hundreds of civilians in Odessa, Kharkov, Mariupol, Donetsk, Lugansk and other cities and villages of the former Ukrainian Socialist Republic is on the hands of these Ukrainian Nazis.

I also address to the French presidential candidates, Marine Le Pen, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Éric Zemmour, Valérie Pécresse, Nathalie Arthaud, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, Yannick Jadot, Anne Hidalgo, Jean Lassalle, Fabien Roussel, Philippe Poutou, to the French voters, does your army need to kill peaceful civilians, CHILDREN? The parents of the French officers, their wives, their children, ask President Emmanuel Macron, why he sent these officers to die in Mariupol? For what, for whose interests are your husbands and children going to die in Mariupol in the Azovstal factory?

 Mr. President of France, you have met with the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, and you will probably meet again and there is no need to threaten Russia with sanctions or war, our Russian people know what war is in our country. The genocidal war against the people of Donbass has been going on for eight years. And this war started by criminals, the Ukrainian Nazis.

Mehti Logunov, 88 years old, political prisoner of Nazi Ukraine*.

* I was arrested by the Ukrainian Gestapo, the security service of Ukraine. I, an old man, was subjected to sophisticated harassment and torture for 12,312 days and was sentenced to 12 years in prison, based on false accusations.

The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation spoke about another unsuccessful attempt for the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to save the commanders of the Ukrainian Nazis and foreign mercenaries.

The criminal Kyiv regime made another attempt to evacuate the leaders of the Ukrainian Nazis from Mariupol, this time by sea. This was told to journalists by the official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry, Major General Igor Konashenkov.

According to him, late yesterday evening, the Ukrainian dry cargo vessel “Apache” under the Maltese flag followed in a caravan of ships from the Taganrog Bay to the Kerch Strait, after which, 30 km southeast of Mariupol, it abruptly changed its course and tried to break through to the blocked port of “Mariupol”, ignoring demands of Russian border ships to get in touch.

The dry cargo ship continued to move even after warning fire from the Russian fleet, so to block the ship it was necessary to open fire to kill.

“From 22.53 to 23.30, the ship of the Black Sea Fleet and border patrol ships opened artillery fire on the Apache dry cargo ship. As a result of a direct hit on the ship, a fire broke out in the stern of the ship,” Konashenkov said.

Only after that did the dry-cargo crew get in touch and confirm their readiness to fulfill all the requirements of the Russian sailors.

“After the inspection, the Ukrainian dry cargo ship Apache with the crew is being escorted to the port of Yeysk,” the spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry added.

* Extremist organization banned in Russia

VT Editors

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Sitrep: Operation Z

April 05, 2022

Source

By Nightvisionker Blog

We must evaluate the timing of the Bucha false-flag, which is of great importance and will give us major clues as to the real unfolding of events behind the curtain. It is no coincidence that the single largest mass surrender of the conflict so far occurred literally in the latter part of the same day as the false-flag. There is a clear connection.

Here’s the surrender video for those who haven’t seen it: 

https://www.bitchute.com/video/aEanhNSwYPoR/

In short, Ukrainian command and the western Intel services that control it, are getting desperate. The fall of Mariupol would mean the beginning of a long chain of events that will start a domino effect of collapse for the AFU (Armed Forces of Ukraine). The Ukrainian elite obviously knew that one of the last remaining contingents holding Mariupol together at the seams was ready to fall and they needed an event that would somehow disrupt the momentum Russia was soon to have from the upcoming fall of Mariupol. Because it is now clear the battle for Mariupol is nearing its end – the fall of the 501st special marine battalion today was like a giant edifice crumbling from the face of a barely standing building.

The powers that be know that once Mariupol falls, the Russian, Chechen, and DPR forces therein will be freed to immediately begin Phase 2 of the operation. And all indications from my analysis points to the fact that Phase 2 will be much more brutal and swift than what we’ve seen so far, for the following reasons:

  • Particularly after the pullbacks from Kiev, Sumy, Chirnihiv regions, and the injection of freed Mariupol forces, Russia will have more forces than ever concentrated on a much smaller area of operations. This will have a big compounding effect.
  • Freed from the constraints of large urban warfare, where the Russian forces are at a disadvantage, they will instead be facing the open plains of the western Donbass and Dnieper regions which favor the Russian force disposition in every way imaginable. Not only are civilians much easier to evacuate from the small villages and settlements but Russia can much more freely use its ‘big guns’ like the Msta 2S19 self propelled 152mm artillery, the various MLRS including Tos-1 thermobarics, and its fleet of attack choppers – all of which have been completely locked out of the urban battles in Mariupol and Kiev for the reasons of preventing mass civilian death and civil infrastructure destruction. We’ve had a taste already of how a more unrestricted Russian attack can look in the battle of Volnovakha and it was not pretty. I won’t needlessly post the photos/videos but Ukrop forces were brutally gored there.

The Ukr command are desperately trying to forestall these events. They know they stand no chance without some major escalation from NATO and unwilling European friends have been dragging their feet and noncommital about providing the types of arms that would allow Ukraine to stand a chance in Phase 2, in short – things like actual good light armor / tanks. Germany has supposedly agreed to give ancient 1960 BMP-1’s from the GDR era, but even if it manages to effect this the delivery to the frontlines would take time and this is exactly why they need to forestall as much as possible with these ‘false flags’.

Also there’s now reports Czech Republic has sent many T-72s and BMP-1 equivalent (the Czech copies/versions)

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/czech-republic-sends-tanks-ukraine-czech-tv-reports-2022-04-05/

And on the topic of urban vs. open warfare. One thing that’s important to mention is, a lot of people claim Russia’s initial strategy of seizing cities was a ‘failure’ of intel because Russia hoped these cities would lay down their arms and embrace Russia and that didn’t happen. But if you really examine the opening more closely, it’s clear that Russia’s plan DID work to a large part – they seized several of their most important key cities in the exact way they wanted, without firing a shot nor destroying the cities in urban warfare. These are: Kherson, Melitopol, Energodar, Berdiansk. The ones they hoped would give up but failed were Kharkov, Kiev, and arguably Nikolayev. It’s obviously a partial success, and more so for the fact that the ones that fell were in the important region that Russia is likely to incorporate in one way or another into its sphere of control anyway. So how can one claim the strategy was a “failure” when Russia now controls this belt of important cities and life there has returned to normal, and the cities are being fully integrated into the Russian economy. New reports show how Kherson and Energodar have created economic commissions which are now coordinating trade economies with Crimea, and fiber internet from Crimea has also now been established linking Kherson directly to the RF and cutting it from the Ukraine.

But back to the first point: we still don’t know the exact objectives of Phase 2, and most of us just assume by far the main thrust will be to close the ‘Great Cauldron’ in Donbass. But there are some indications that Phase 2 will in fact either include or even favor an initial focus on Nikolayev and Kharkov. These are only rumors, but simply something to keep in mind. Western/Ukrainian intel ‘sources’ and chirps from their upper command claim that Russia is set to attack Kharkov, and there is an obvious RF force accumulation towards the Nikolayev axis.

One possibility is that Russia continues to play maneuver warfare and keep Kiev guessing to throw them off and strike them where they’re weak. Everyone fully expected the cauldron to be next and Kiev announced the sending of large reinforcements there, but Russia may instead choose to focus a powerful thrust onto a lesser defended Nikolayev instead, as an example.

Anyway, though there is mostly an operational pause on the ground, at least for the RF side while they regroup, reposition and wait for Mariupol to fall so that they can begin Phase 2, there are still some gains and frontline changes we can speak of.

Reinforcements continue pouring in: 

https://twitter.com/Suriyakmaps/status/1510996693487177732

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/PHDBlta8hPgj/?feature=oembed#?secret=8F0WbGCfue

The DPR continue to break through the defensive line in NW Donetsk. There are very gruesome videos of Ukrainian trenches being overrun, littered with the UAF dead.

In the Izyum direction, UAF command has announced the loss of Brazhkivka, which is a town on the way towards Barinkove. Dovenkhe which can be seen here is under attack by RF forces as they appear to be pushing a possible two pronged direction towards Barinkove and Slavyansk.

In the LPR, it appears Ukrainian forces withdrew from the rest of Rubizhnoe and as is their usual tactic (remember the coke factory detonation when they withdrew from NW Donetsk?) they blew up a big chemical plant which now threatens large civilian populations with all sorts of toxic acid.

https://www.rt.com/russia/553347-ukraine-attack-chemical-plant-casualties/

On the Mariupol front, there appears to be more surrenders, exact numbers not confirmed yet but I heard 30+. As I said previously, Mariupol appears to be crumbling and speeding up.

Video: https://www.bitchute.com/video/NVHaU2dBHaY1/

Also there are several new videos of self-propelled artillery for seemingly the first time being brought in to the frontline. One of the suppositions is that, since the Azov militants are holed up in the factories, the allied forces now feel more comfortable being able to shell them with indiscriminate artillery without inflicting civilian casualties.

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/yAzuTKAvoDtk/?feature=oembed#?secret=ZPVTS57s9Y

Also, for those that haven’t seen it yet, a beret of some sort of French foreign legion or mercenary, as well as a pin were found by Semyon Pegov in Mariupol: https://www.bitchute.com/video/o0OLrq0fZTRv/

And there continues to be reports that French mercenaries are still trapped in Mariupol and have not yet been evacuated in those previously failed helicopter rescues.

Unconfirmed reports like this: “NATO officers from France, Germany, Britain and “neutral” Sweden got stuck at Azovstal in Mariupol. Right now they are getting in touch with the Russian troops with a request to help them leave, to organize a corridor for the exit. – journalist German Vladimirov.”

Now there are new reports at the time of this writing that RF forces have shot down 2 new Mi-8 helicopters in Mariupol, sources such as Colonel Cassad are reporting. Someone is getting extremely desperate to evacuate some VIPs there it seems. The choppers were allegedly coming over the Azov sea and were shot down on approach and fell into the sea, so we’re unlikely to see crash photos this time, but we’ll see how this report pans out.

Meanwhile Russian marines and DPR troops pour in towards the final frontlines near the factories:

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/AtTQ5jQtILbv/?feature=oembed#?secret=z0snRv6eDc

Elsewhere in Dnipro, Ukrainian troops have been filmed committing monstrous brutality against civilians https://www.bitchute.com/video/9zqkSC40IuUw/ These are the ‘glorious heroes’ that we’re supposed to believe are the ones protecting civilians like in Bucha and elsewhere? Time and time again we see the absolute brutality of Ukrainian troops on civilians. There are countless videos of them shooting civilians from the start of the war. And in general civilians do not seem to be greatly valued in Ukrainian society as the Volkssturm terror wave continues unabated throughout the country, in fact recently it’s spread to taping children, old women, etc, to poles indiscriminately.

One thing that must be noted and expounded upon. What we’re seeing is a shift in Ukrainian tactics from actual, ostensible warfare to psychological warfare almost exclusively. What this means is, Ukraine has ceased even trying to win in the sense of operable offensives / counter-offensives and real strategic battlefield victories. Rather they have now devolved into a strategy where only psyops, intimidation, and propaganda aimed at reducing morale is their chief and primary ‘weapon’ against RF forces.

There hasn’t been a single recorded ‘victory’ of any sort from the Ukrainian side in a long time against actual Russian troops. They are retreating and losing manpower virtually everywhere apart from the places Russia willfully pulled back. But this is a huge difference between being forced to retreat due to suffering losses, and a reorientation in strategy. For instance, in every single place where Russia pulled back, they were actually gaining ground and taking victories against Ukrainian forces. Example: in west Kiev, Russia had captured several new towns and was pushing towards Byshiv and other areas SW of Kiev. But then they simply stopped and pulled back due to the decisions of high command. Same goes in areas like Chernuhiv where we know Russia had just recently made major gains, captured the town of Slavutych and encircled the city of Chernuhiv. Ukrainian forces on the other hand are being brutally driven back and killed en masse as many videos in my possession attest.

So the point is, Ukraine has shifted to conducting only a psychological war as its last resort. From Bucha, to the POW tortures/killings, to the pointless but ‘showy’ strike on Belgorod, which did nothing more than attempt to deal a psychological strike to the Russian morale. Remember, Russia is drowning in oil/fuel, that is the least of their problems. An attack targeting a minor, insignificant oil depot in a small backwater town is strategically irrelevant. The fact that Ukraine risked such a daring operation shows the shift into psychological war rather than actual strategically effective war against real targets. It is a sign of an enemy who is losing and desperate.

The Ukraine is now fighting a war primarily in the electronic/cyber/abstract sphere of influence, rather than the real objective sphere of physical battle and direct warfare. In short, they are doing anything possible to take the attention away from their own massive strategic losses on the real, physical battlefield. This is effectively a shift to a psychological operation rather than physical operation on their behalf. The types of attacks and “victories” we are likely to see from them from this point on will be things of this nature – small strategically insignificant but ‘showy’ and designed for psychological effect – and of course a likely initiative switch to increasing the scale and frequency of false flags of all types we will see from this point onward.

Now, I don’t want to paint an overly rosy picture. The RF continues to experience some losses as well but they are typically of an asymmetrical nature. UAF is not winning any ‘battles’ whatsoever or even engagements. They are merely bleeding our forces here and there with small guerilla attacks that manage to take out one or two vehicles from a supply convoy, or as seen recently, take a helicopter or plane every once in a while.

This takes me to the final topic, yes it appears true that after suffering little to no air losses for a couple weeks now, we have suddenly seen the shoot down of an Su-35 and a Mi-28. It is claimed that a new Wunderwaffen from UK called the Starstreak manpad was used for these shootdowns. I can confirm having viewed the videos that it is possible the Starstreak was used, as opposed to just ‘propaganda’. The reason is, the most notable characteristic of the system is its exorbitantly high speed, Mach 3-4 of the projectile, which is much greater than most/standard manpad systems. In the Mi-28 video in particular, the projectile does appear to come ridiculously fast nor has a smoke plume that is characteristic of typical rocket-engined manpads. The Starstreak has a rocket stage that falls off, sending a trio of metal penetrator rods at the target. This is exactly what I seemed to see in the video and if true, this weapon system does appear to be quite a problem because the DIRCM systems in use by Russia (or anyone in the world for that matter) cannot possibly consistently stop such a system. The simple fact of its speed means it takes less than a second or two for it to go from the launch to the hit, which makes a response nearly meaningless (depending on the height of the aircraft, but in this case the helicopter was low, as most RF choppers are as per their operating standard in these areas).

The Su-35 on the other hand seemed to fall straight down in a strange way that could be indicative of a hit from these metallic penetrator rods that would have severed the empenage causing a catastrophic fall. A typical manpad strikes with a smaller explosion that often just damages the engine and/or wings, causing the plane to fall in a characteristic pattern more in line with rapid forward descent, not catastrophic straight down flat stall.

And by the way, the pilot of the Su-35 was apparently captured by Ukrop forces, as I saw a photo of the bleeding tied up pilot who will likely now be tortured. But the Mi-28 pilots fortunately not only survived but were successfully evacuated by our retrieval forces.

So what can Russia do against such advanced anti-air systems? Not much really. The fact is, NO country can do much against them. If these same Starstreaks were used against the U.S. airforce, they would have the same exact problems as Russia is having. There is simply no real way to effectively and consistently stop them. The only difference might be that the U.S. has a far greater drone capability and the U.S. would likely cease using its airforce in the area and would instead hunt these targets with drones nonstop. But of course, the U.S. has never gone against a near-peer enemy of this sort that is supplied with such advanced weapon systems. Even in Iraq going against an enemy who literally lacked manpads at all and used only much larger and easier to spot/kill ancient legacy soviet anti-aircraft systems, the U.S. still suffered massive aircraft losses. Here’s a list of many of their air losses just to give you an idea https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_aviation_shootdowns_and_accidents_during_the_Iraq_War

The list is equally as long for Afghanistan.

But my point isn’t to make fun or imply the U.S. couldn’t have done a better job, but simply to illustrate that air losses are an undeniable mainstay of combat. You simply cannot stop them entirely without completely withdrawing your airforce from action. There is only stopgap measures you can use to ‘minimize’ the threat as much as possible, which are already being used – like flying at low altitudes and rapid speed, or conversely flying at extremely high altitudes out of the manpads’ range. But you can never get rid of the threat entirely and no electronic counter measure on earth is 100% effective against them but merely reduce the chances of the manpad functioning depending on a multitude of factors, such as the aircraft’s vector, velocity, atmospheric conditions, manpad range to target, number of simultaneous manpads fired, etc, etc. I have several videos showing the neutralization of enemy manpads by Russian counter-measure systems.

With that said, RF airforce is conducting a large amount of sorties daily, and their losses in the past few weeks have been extremely minimal for this level of conflict, and in fact videos appear all the time showing the effectiveness of the Ka-52 and Mi-28’s strikes on enemy positions.

I’ll finish with a map of current Mariupol. Time is ticking and the desperate rescue attempts are increasing, there can’t be much time left for Mariupol.

Sitrep: Operation Z

April 03, 2022

Source

By Nighvision

I decided to do an unscheduled update because we’re in the midst of a falseflag, which many have predicted. It’s already being called the new ‘Sbrenica Massacre’ in the western media with all the usual fully coordinated text-book Media-Intelligence-Military-Corporate-Industrial-Complex scripted execution where every attendant arm is firing on all cylinders to project the new narrative in order to predictably call for large-scale escalation. The official wiki entry has already been penned of course with the usual unresearched speculation and propaganda presented as fact.

Meanwhile the media arm of the cabal is already in full swing on a war footing calling for NATO intervention:

Expectedly, most MSM’s frontpages, including that of FOXNEWS, is covered with this new ‘atrocity’.

This video is a must-see that neatly presents the currently known evidence being passed around in the resistance sphere into one convenient presentation which appears to prove that the Ukrainian army in fact executed Russian sympathizers with white armbands in Bucha and tried to pass them off as Russian genocide. Of course this is only part of the picture, as there are many other bodies discovered beyond the ones shown in the video, particularly in the ‘mass grave’ currently being shown all over twitter that shows civilians covered in dirt, dug up from the ground. But the above video very strongly points the finger in the Ukrainian direction.

And after all, hasn’t it been Russia that has repeatedly been proven right in every single such high profile atrocity/accusation so far? For instance when the Russian POW torture video came out, it was Ukraine that cried “fake” until days later all western ‘authorities’ were forced to admit it was real. When the ‘maternity hospital’ falseflag in Mariupol occurred, Kiev supporters blamed Russia and once again Russia was the one proven right and vindicated when the pregnant girl at the center of it herself released an interview completely refuting Ukr lies, and stating that not only did Ukr soldiers turn the hospital into a barracks but stole the precious food from pregnant women and then shelled the hospital themselves. And much earlier, when Ukr claimed Russia bombed an ‘innocent’ civilian mall, yet the very next moment the Russian MOD released detailed videos showing precisely how Ukrop forces positioned mobile artillery in the parking garage of the said ‘mall’. When Ukrops claimed Russia tried to blow up the Zaporizhzhia plant, yet security footage showed that as a Russian security force arrived, it was fired upon by an RPG from Ukrop positions in one of the administrative buildings of the plant. Or when the famed American journalist was killed in Irpin right outside Kiev a month ago, and all Ukr supporters shouted Russia, but the entire incident was quickly swept under the rug when the journalist’s own friend/companion in an interview stated they were fired upon by Ukrop troops at a Ukrop checkpoint miles away from the nearest Russian forces. So the track record shows over and over that these incidents are invariably revealed as Ukrainian lies and this new provocation is clearly another in a long line.

Now let’s look at a few updates from the economic front while we’re at it. Europe is suffering badly.

And western media is forced to admit that Russia is actually making a killing with current skyrocketing oil/gas prices and the redeemed Ruble. They’re now saying that if things continue the way they’re going, Russia will reap an EXTRA $321 billion economic profit this year compared to last year.

Meanwhile Germany’s inflation is reaching historic levels.

https://sputniknews.com/20220403/ruble-payment-scheme-russia-uses-with-gas-will-be-extended-to-new-groups-of-goods-in-future—1094440515.html

Meanwhile Russia announces that the Ruble payment scheme may soon be extended for other valuable commodities which could cripple Europe and the U.S. Particularly, as some have opined, if Russia switches to pricing commodities it has a large global monopoly on in Rubles, it will be a huge shock and gamechanger; things like wheat, palladium and other precious metals, etc.

Already 3 countries so far have accepted paying Rubles for gas including Slovakia.

As for the important situation in the ‘civil aviation’ field, which is one of the few areas the west truly was able to arguably hurt Russia, there are new big developments:

“On March 31, a twice adjourned meeting with the President of the Russian Federation took place.
Dry squeeze solutions:
– foreign aircraft will not be given to lessors
– they will fly in Russia and cover the domestic flight network
– all of them were forcibly transferred to the Russian registry (currently – approx. 800 liners)
– and reinsured by Russian insurers
– a solution for spare parts and maintenance has been found, but it is not publicly announced
– in the long term, a bet was made on our own aircraft production
– MS-21 is shifted by 1-2 years “to the right” (due to additional import substitution)
– Rostec promises up to 500 aircraft of “large” models by 2030.
– in the medium term, mass production of the Tu-214 and Il-96-400 will begin, this is already in 2022-23.
– the “air cashback” program was launched (i.e. compensation of part of the cost of air tickets on domestic flights. Financing will be allocated in the amount of 100 billion rubles)

More details here:
https://www.atorus.ru/news/press-center/new/59403.html

So in short, 800 airliners worth billions were officially transferred to the Russian registry (i.e. seized), they have been fully re-insured by Russian insurance companies. The big problem everyone spoke of was how would Russia obtain spare parts as western countries would block any spare parts delivery and experts estimated this would result in these planes only being usable for weeks. Some hypothesized India or China would help in this regard but the announcement here states that a solution was found, but they won’t disclose what it is.

In short, it sounds like Russia is on top of this problem and will not allow it to become a major weak point or source of defeat by the sanctions.

Also, another big point many have discussed and questioned why Russia has not allowed volunteers from RF to go to Ukraine to fill the much needed ranks. Well now it appears Russia has finally opened up enlistment to volunteers according to this report from Telegram.

“⚡Russian volunteers go to Ukraine – sending every three days

Russian military registration and enlistment offices began recruiting volunteers with their subsequent dispatch to Ukraine to participate in a special operation. This was announced by the war correspondent of the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company Alexander Sladkov.

According to the military correspondent, only sergeants are recruited to participate in the special operation (the rest of those who wish, I think, can be clarified there)

The service will be formalized by a contract, the allowance will be 205 thousand rubles a month.

Three million rubles will be paid to the injured for the injury.

The family of the deceased volunteer will receive 8 million rubles from the federal government and five million rubles from the governor of the region. In addition, the children of the deceased soldier will receive an apartment (this provision still applies to residents of the Moscow region).

Volunteers go to Ukraine every three days, the military commander said.

Recall that Oleg Tsarev, who was on the territory of Ukraine from its first days, was the first to speak about the need to attract volunteers to participate in the special operation. On March 24, he said that the military department of the Russian Federation brought the corresponding order to the military registration and enlistment offices.”

Russian armor reinforcements continues to pour into Belarus and areas of Ukraine in preparation for Phase 2 that will likely begin after the fall of Mariupol. https://twitter.com/GirkinGirkin/status/1509931991537491986

Ukraine attempts to desperately bribe Russian servicemen into defecting with their equipment by offering up to $1 million dollars for helicopters, tanks, planes turned over to Ukr authorities, which would presumably be paid for by the U.S. taxpayer I’m sure.

https://www.zerohedge.com/military/ukraine-announces-million-dollars-reward-russian-helicopter-fighter-jet-warship

At the same time, particularly in light of the Bucha falseflag, new calls for genocide against Russians are made widely in Ukraine, and ‘pre-genocidal’ language is used openly on social media such as the example here https://twitter.com/olgatokariuk/status/1510341599468863492

The Ukrainian journalist here seems to clearly imply a sort of ‘final solution’ for the ‘Russian society’.

Elsewhere a mayor of Dnipro has also called for Russian citizens to be killed all over the world, wherever they are.

Some quick situational updates on the ground. Some new gains in Mariupol today:

You can see the areas in darker red have been advanced into.

There are good gains in Donbass for both the LPR near Rubizhnoe and DPR who advanced past Verkhnotoretske into Novabakhmutivka. There are several videos of dead Ukrainian servicemen on this advance that I don’t need to post. I will only post ‘gruesome’ videos if there is a very specific significance rather than to merely ‘boast’ about dead enemies.

With that said, there IS a gruesome video from the DPR advance into Marinka, because it is further evidence of Ukr warcrimes which reinforce what the Ukrops are doing against Russian POWs.

Very graphic 18+ watch at your own risk: https://www.bitchute.com/video/Al2EKOQmHlT7/

The video shows DPR troops who, upon advancing further into Marinka, found deceased DPR POWs with obvious signs of torture and abuse. They are bound and some have bullet holes shot through their hands in exactly the way Russian POWs were shot in the knees, legs, and groins. Others appear to have other gruesome injuries that do not appear natural and are more likely the sign of some sort of abuse/torture. But of course you won’t see this on MSM.

In other news, about the 40th Turkish Bayraktar TB2 has been shot down. These Turkish toys no longer pose any problem to Russian forces, and every time a new batch is delivered to Ukraine they are summarily shot down. This heap of scrap is from the 3rd or 4th such batch.

 And by the way when they DO use them, they no longer are able to use them in strike roles at all because it would require (due to their missile’s range) for them to get too close to Russian radars. Instead they have exclusively utilized TB2’s as long distance surveillance. In clear weather, the very good optics of the TB2 (manufactured by Canadian WESCAM) allows it to see 40-60km down the country and can be used for correcting artillery, and in fact was used in such a way on the Kherson airfield strike, where Ukie forces blew up a ton of their own helicopters which Russia captured from them, and then celebrated that ‘Russian helis were destroyed’.

By the way for those that don’t know, an interesting tidbit is that the company responsible for these drones, Bayraktar, is married into the Erdogan family. Many don’t know that Erdogan’s daughter is in fact married to Bayraktar’s head Selcuk Bayraktar. Yes, Erdogan’s own daughter is literally named Sumeyye Erdogan Bayraktar https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sümeyye_Erdoğan

“Sümeyye Erdoğan Bayraktar (born 22 August 1985[2]) is the youngest of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan‘s four children.”

And the Erdogan family thus reaps a major windfall from Bayraktar sales all over the world $$$$ and has a huge interest in this brand.

Speaking of drones, here’s a chart showing the NATO surveillance flightpaths during the course of the entire conflict so far.

 As can be seen NATO is at all times manically circling on every possible inch of border that they’re legally allowed to approach, gathering data to beam to Ukrainian command to assist them in every way possible against Russia.

Most people don’t realize that NATO has integrated fully with Ukraine in such a way and it explains many of the exploits that Ukraine is able to achieve, not only in precision striking on Russian troops but the exceptional awareness of Russian radar coverage areas in order to bypass them such as in the Mariupol evac incident or the Belgorod oil facility strike.

After all, Five Eyes have admitted to fully committing to Ukraine: https://www.rt.com/news/552815-new-zealand-uk-ukraine/

New Zealand even said they would utilize their raw processing power and time zone difference to help Ukraine so that their analysts can be working during the day, feeding info to Ukraine at night, etc.

A wider view:

 In last news for now, Russia has struck a giant oil refinery called Kremenchug that is owned by Kolomoisky, the puppet master of Zelensky. This is a major refinery, possibly the biggest, which I’ve read supplies upwards of 30% of Ukrainian oil. There were arguments days ago on social media, with some opining that Russia still refused to strike this facility due to its economic importance. But after Belgorod was hit, Russia apparently took its gloves off and immediately hit this facility the next day. Though I think only one section with storage tanks was struck, the refinery is a gigantic complex and most of it was spared (for now). So I’m not sure how much of it they took offline apart from millions of gallons of oil in storage tanks.

Then this morning a large refinery in Odessa was also struck, with apparently one foreign journalist already detained and ‘banned’ from Ukraine for 10 years for showing clear footage of the attack. As I mentioned last time, the Ukr authorities are now very serious with their new law prohibiting the dissemination of any Russian attack videos on Ukrainian infrastructure/military etc.

And this is why we’ll likely never see the aftermath of the other strike that occurred, a large Iskander hit on a barracks in Kharkov that was said to house hundreds of new mercenary recruits. Russian MOD says at least 100+ of them were killed and published the drone-view strike video.

I’ll leave you with a couple videos:

We’ve seen tons of videos of DPR fighting so here’s a video of LPR frontlines in Rubizhnoe to give a taste of how the Lugansk fighters do it: https://www.bitchute.com/video/KvWx32nrEjLh

And, an actual illustration of Russian vs. Ukrainian de-mining techniques currently being used:

Day 36 of the Russian SMO in the Ukraine – a look at Ukrainian military

April 01, 2022

Today, I want to comment on a topic I did not address yet: the quality of the Ukrainian armed forces.

Over night, two Ukrainian helicopters flying at very low altitude and high speed flew across the Russian Ukrainian border, and in only six minutes of flight time found themselves next to a fuel storage facility near the Russian city of Belgorod.  They both fired, one missed, but the second one hit perfectly and the entire fuel storage facility ignited.  Not a big deal, the fire has been contained, but very embarrassing nonetheless 😦

Another case: the night before yesterday a group of 5 Ukrainian helicopters took off from Nikolaev, flew 7 meters above the waves and landed in Mariupol.  Their mission  was to evacuate the leadership of the Azov force still hiding inside the Azovstal industrial facility. After they took off, two helicopters were shot down, but another three flew away, with a possible 3 helicopter ditching in the waters off the coast (unclear at this time).

Why do I consider these two events very telling?

Because it shows that the Ukrainian soldiers have A LOT of VERY REAL courage.  Not only that, in both of these operations, a great deal of careful planning went into the preparations of these missions.  So they are not only courageous, they are SMART.

Yes, the Ukie Volkssturm is a joke, but not the entire Ukrainian military and most definitely not the Nazis of the Azov “battalion” (it is not really a battalion, but rather a regiment or a small brigade, but spread out in key sectors of the Ukrainian defenses).  Why is that so important to realize?

Because a HUGE battle is preparing in the Donbass.

Quick reminder:

While nobody knows the true size of the Ukrainian force surrounded in the Donbass, most observers place that force at about 60-80 thousand men.  They are VERY well armed, courtesy of 7 years of mass delivery of weapons by the Empire of Lies.  Their defenses are very solid, since they have been preparing them also for seven years.  Furthermore, the Ukrainians are reportedly trying to bring in another major force from the central Ukraine to either reinforce their forces in the Donbass, or to help it to escape from their cauldron.

On the other side, nobody really knows how many Russian/LDNR forces are being concentrated around the Donbass either.  There are reports of “immense” columns of Russian forces moving towards the Donbass, including some the Russian forces which were deployed near Kiev to pin down Ukrainian forces away from the Donbass.

The same feint was used by the Black Sea Fleet off the coast of Odessa.

There are two ways to control a road: you can stand on the road, place a roadblock, maybe lay mines and generally by physically on top of that road.  Or you can do that remotely, without stepping on the road but by being able to fire (small arms, RPG, artillery, CAS) at any vehicle driving on that road.  The Russian “encirclement” of the Ukrainian force in the Donbass into 2 small cauldrons which themselves are locked in a bigger cauldron are a mix of these two techniques.  In other words, the Ukrainians still have retained *some* ability to move on the ground.  But only at VERY high risk.  Keep in mind that the Donbass is pretty flat terrain and that the Russians have air supremacy.  But, with enough luck, immense courage and determination, some APC or cars could try to move out, or reinforcements move in.  Let’s look at these two options:

Moving out: for a FEW vehicles, and with a lot of luck, that could still be doable.  But for the overwhelming majority of the Ukrainian force on the Donbass, this not an option.  Not only do they lack fuel, any big force would attract the attention of the Russians (which a 4 passenger car going at full speed in the dark might not) resulting in immediate strikes.

Moving in: here the Ukrainian would still have fuel (or they would not even try, which they apparently  are), but the problem is that it is impossible to hide any significant force from the Russians which could then use their long range artillery and close air support to destroy that force.  I am personally very dubious as to the chances of any Ukrainian subunit to make it to the Donbass.

And yet.

The Ukrainian propaganda is beyond ridiculous, but we should NOT assume that if Ukie propagandists are clowns, so are the Ukrainian soldiers.  The fact is that the Ukrainians never had the initiative, and they still don’t, and all their counter-attacks, including the airstrike on Belgorod, only had a limited and local effect.  But that does not mean that they would not fight very hard for their lives, even when surrounded, even without air cover, with no ability to rotate forces and not enough fuel to engage in maneuver warfare.

Here is what the map of the area of operations looks like today:

  • The yellow circle is roughly the area where the outcome of this battle will be decided.
  • The small black arrow represents the likely Ukrainian effort to send in reinforcements
  • The big black arrow represents the move away from Kiev and towards the Donbass by Russian forces

Speaking about maps: while they do, more or less, show the military reality on the ground, they do not show the political realities the same way.  The truth is that there are plenty of towns and cities which are blocked/surrounded by Russian forces, but which are still run by the “old”, Nazi, authorities.  Yes, the Russians could go in and denazify these town and cities manu militari, but that would take time, results in casualties on both sides and ruin the civilian infrastructure.  And the Russians sure don’t want, say, Kharkov to become a 2nd Mariupol.

[Sidebar: some of you must have heard that canard about the Russians “running out of ammo”, right?  Well, local residents near the Ukrainian positions in the Donbass report that for three days the Russian artillery has been shelling the Ukrainian positions nonstop.  In reality, anybody who has studied the Soviet and, later, Russian military knows that with the exception of some very modern systems which have just been deployed, Russia has huge stores of ammunition.  In fact, when the Russians prepare a military offensive the expenditures in ammo, POL, and any other form of logistics required are carefully calculated.  If not, then the order to attack will not be given.  And, with a few exceptions, the kind of hardware and supplies the Russians are using in the Ukraine is both modern and plentiful.  By the way, there are signs that the Ukrainian forces are running out of ammo, most of their shelling is directed at LDNR cities and result in scores of death and injured civilians on a daily basis]

One possible option would be to warn the Nazi authorities that while the Russian military won’t invade their city, the Russian can use special forces and means to target “just” these Nazi authorities.  Yes, the Nazi will set up traps, like, say, placing the cellphone of a Nazi leader right on top of a Kindergarten, so the Russian intelligence services will have to do a lot of careful preparations and planning, or just make the threat and then wait for the Nazis to freak out and wonder where the promised missile will be aimed at.

All this means the following:

  • The Russians need to take the Ukrainians much more seriously and if that means having early warning aircraft and interceptors on combat air patrol 24/7 – then that is what the Russians should do.  A pair of MiG-31BM on constant high altitude CAP over the central Ukraine would be a good start.
  • While the outcome is not in doubt, the Russians need to be very careful and assume that the Ukrainians will fight with skills and courage.
  • I don’t like making predictions, even less so, time-related ones, but I think that we need to prepare ourselves for a major battle lasting several weeks, possibly even a month.
  • Have have to assume that the PSYOPs of the Empire of Lies will go in full attack mode, and since it will be very hard to make sense of what will be going on, we have to ready for a major attack on our minds.
  • Once that Ukrainian force in the Donbass is defeated this will basically mean the end of the 2nd phase of this Special Military Operation (SMO) and the very best and combat capable Ukrainian will have disappeared and a 3rd phase will begin, probably by an attack on the Nikolaev and Odessa regions.

Still, we need to remember that all wars are political in nature and that while the military “pain dial” is turned up quite high for the Ukrainians, the US PSYOPs are still telling the Ukrainians that they are winning and soon the first Ukie tanks will enter Moscow.  The de facto fall of Mariupol (as evidenced by the desperate attempts to evacuate the Azov leaders by helicopter) is already a major blow for the Ukrainian narrative.  But this blow pales in comparison to what will happen when the best forces the Ukraine has will simply disappear from the maps of the Donbass.  At that point, no amount of hot air, grand statements or other lies will make a difference – such a defeat is impossible to conceal, it will make the news.

Furthermore, we need to keep another thing always present in our minds: while in actual combat the Russians are facing Ukrainians, in the war itself Russia is not fighting the Nazis in Kiev, but the US/NATO/EU and their vassal states.  It is also certain that the “Biden” administration does not want peace but, instead, they want that war to last as long as possible and to destroy as much of the Ukrainian population and civilian infrastructure as possible. And, of course, the Russians are not negotiating with the Nazis, they are negotiating with Uncle Shmuel via the Nazis.  Big difference.  Right now, some Ukrainians might be willing to look at reality and surrender just to save lives and the Ukrainian infrastructure.  But they know that the Nazis will kill them or kidnap their family members (as has happened to one Ukrainian mayor).  And these Nazis are taking orders only from many western “advisors” in Kiev who tell them “fight down to the last solider, then we will evacuate you“.

You could say that the hardcore Ukronazis act like political commissars did during the Russian civil war.

The Russians fought phase one of the SMO with a force which was deliberately kept smaller than the opposing Ukrainian force.  But against an elite Ukrainian force deeply dug in in the heavily fortified defenses Russia will have to to do some combination of two things: more man and more firepower.  And, by all accounts, that seems to be exactly what they are gearing up for.

As many others have already pointed out, the chances of a false flag are extremely high, most likely some chemical attack, possibly in Kiev or Kharkov.  Such an attack, while fake, will result in the usual hysterics of the Empire of Lies, so we all need to prepare ourselves for this too.

The Empire of lies is so desperate now, that US PSYOPs claim that the Russian generals are afraid of telling Putin the “horrible truth” and that Shoigu is preparing a coup against Putin.  Right now, the Ukronazis say that the Russians are on the run, but even the US Pentagon admits that the forces moved away from Kiev are only regrouping.

Remember, in maneuver warfare you do not “hold terrain” anymore than you do in naval warfare, and that is what the first phase of the SMO was all about.  But in the Donbass, holding terrain will become much more important and since both sides are very skilled and courageous, do NOT expect big movements on the map.  Instead, expect several weeks of very severe “grinding down” of Ukrainian defenses followed by slow and deliberate movements, mostly short distance – from a few hundred meters to a few clicks.

I hope that the above will be helpful once the 2nd phase is fully launched.

One more thing: western military aid to the Ukraine.  Most of it is in Poland.  True, there is A LOT of western kit found in Mariupol or the Donbass, but that stuff was brought in long ago.  Just look at the map, look at where the Polish-Ukrainian border is and then look at where the yellow circle is.  In order to make a difference, western weapon systems need to get across the entire Ukraine and enter into a highly contested and dangerous area.  How can such a delivery be made?  Three options:

  • Road
  • Train
  • Air

In all three cases, if the force is tiny, say a few cars fill with MANPADs, there is a chance to make it, albeit a small one and such a “delivery” would be fantastically dangerous.  But the Ukrainians have now PROVEN that they can be very tough and very smart.  But such tiny reinforcements won’t make any difference.  Now a bigger force might, but it would be instantly detected and attacked by Russians standoff weapons, close air support and long range artillery.  So all this stuff about sending weapons to the Ukrainians really is a load of crap.  It’s just irrelevant fake news.

So far the Russians did not consider such a possibility as significant, hence the fact that they did not blow up any bridges, remotely mined any roads or destroyed any train tracks (that I am aware of).  But if the risk of a significant reinforcements from the western Ukraine become a real threat, you can rest assured that the Russians will do all of the above, especially since there are very few towns and civilians in some parts of this track to the East.

So far the Russian policy was to let the (covert) NATO forces to gather in an assembly area and only then hit them really hard.  This is a very effective strategy which the NATO forces have found no way to counter (if only because NATO air defenses are a joke, even against trans-sonic and subsonic missiles and drone).

Finally, the Ukrainians don’t have any air force left, and no navy, but they have proven that they still can use helicopters flying very low and fast, especially at night when local air defense operators might mistake them for a Russian helicopter (friendly fire is always a major risk in warfare).  BTW – a helicopter is a hard target, not only do they fly very low, they can fly both fast (say to avoid a MANPAD) or very slow, to hide for fighters and interceptors. A slowly moving and low flying helicopter is a difficult target for fighter aircraft’s radar and infrared search and track system.  A hilly or mountainous terrain makes detection even harder.

Russian attack helicopters all have air to air capabilities, both gun and missile, and so they can be very effectively used against Ukrainian helicopters (which are a full generation behind modern Russian helicopters) but you need to have them ready and you need to have them fly under air cover.  So that is doable, it just takes time.

Conclusion:

Phase one, pure maneuver warfare is over and it was a military success.

Politically, it was pretty close to a failure, not only did the PSYOPS of the Empire of Lies totally crush the rather clumsy and primitive Russian counter-propaganda efforts, the Russians also failed to realize that they could not count on the local civilians authorities to simply do their job under a new flag.

Which means that Russia failed to properly denazify even the towns and cities which were deep in the Russian rear.  Now that miscalculation will have to be fixed the hard way: with more men and more firepower.

Phase two of this war will be the liquidation of the Donbass cauldron and it will decide the outcome of this war (not that this outcome was ever in doubt).

On a personal note, I will only add that the past month has convinced me that Russia should NOT permanently occupy more of the Ukraine than the “full” LDNR plus the entire Ukrainian Black Sea coast.  But neither can Russia leave a the Ukraine like a Petri dish for Nazi toxins, so it seems to me that the optimal solution would be a breakup of the country into several successor states: neutral, with only police forces and light arms and with a clear understanding that Russia has the means to militarily intervene at any minute should the successor states attempt to violate their neutral, unarmed and denazified status.

Will that happen?

I don’t know, Putin has already surprised me twice with very risky operations which I would have recommended against (Syria and that “big” SMO in lieu of a “small” liberation of “just” the LDNR).  Considering that Russia has used only a small fraction of her armed forces, it is impossible for me to predict what Putin and the Russian General Staff will decide after the second phase of this SMO is over.

Finally, I am going to take the next two days off, barring some major developments, of course.

So until Monday, then, God willing.

Andrei

Yemen & Ukraine: A tale of two wars

1 April 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Fra Hughes 

The media tries to make us believe that black is white, that the aggressors are the victims, and the oppressed are the villains.

Yemen & Ukraine: Compare and contrast a tale of two wars

Two very distinct and separate wars are concurrently happening in West Asia and Eastern Europe.

Both wars have their origins in people fighting to free themselves from a corrupt government.

The Yemini people rose in a popular revolution against a corrupt regime that acted in the interests of regional and international power blocks and not in the interests of its people.

The people of Ukraine found themselves the victim of a regime change operation in 2014 resulting in a coup that forced the democratically elected leader Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych to flee for his life as a fascist junta was installed.

While the people of Yemen fought for independence and free sovereignty, the people of Ukraine were facing a government led by neo-Nazis, Russophobic ultra-nationalists who were determined to destroy one-third of the population who are Russian-speaking Ukrainians. The specter of the Great Patriotic war loomed over the people as echoes and ghosts from 1941 returned to haunt the people who had defeated fascism in Ukraine and liberated the country from the Nazi occupation.

So we have a tale of two wars.

When the people led the revolution of Yemen threatened the Saudi favored government, the incumbent President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi fled to Riyad and with the help of mercenaries, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, planes armed with American and British bombs directed and controlled by “Israel”i American and British military advisers, Hadi continued his war against the Yemeni people to regain power.

Yemen armed forces and the popular mobilization units of the Ansurallah resistance movement have resisted all the efforts to date by Hadi, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, America, and the West to reinstall his puppet regime.

In Ukraine, we had a popular resistance to a foreign installed coup when the people of Donbas and Crimea fought for autonomy and the universal basic human right to live free from an unelected undemocratic fascist government hell-bent on destroying their culture and ethnicity and even their very lives of those who dared to resist.

Two separate conflicts both with similar origins and one common enemy 

In Yemen, the people fought a corrupt foreign-backed government. In Ukraine, the people fought against a foreign installed government. 

America backed the unpopular and elected unopposed President of Yemen.

America also backed financed directed and controlled the coup in Ukraine.

In the geopolitical machinations of American foreign policy, they effectively created both wars;

The war on Yemen presently occurring has the backing of the Biden administration as they help reinforce the illegal inhuman siege of the country while they also arm and direct the aerial bombing campaign which destroys Yemeni lives, infrastructure, hospitals, schools, roads and bridges. They also prevent food, aid medicine and fuel from being delivered, to alleviate the worst excesses of the war which they control.

It is a proxy war on Iran led by America Saudi Arabia the EU Britain and “Israel”. Every death has been and continues to be avoidable, if only the political will existed to hold a ceasefire and end the violence.

But the alliance of the unholy does not want peace, because war sells.

It sells weapons and it sells shares.

The military-industrial complex which finances and supports the American political system is making vast profits.

Profits that help bolster election campaigns and private bank accounts.

In Ukraine, after the people of Donbas and Crimea secured their freedom, a continued low-level conflict was encouraged to keep the drums of war beating,

Kiev refused to implement the Minsk Agreements of 2014 and 2015 which recognized the Republic of Donetsk and Lugansk and was the basis of a bilateral ceasefire that was constantly broken by Ukrainian shelling along the contact line killing thousand and injuring many more over the last 8 years.

Biden was the Vice President in 2014 when the coup was installed in Kiev.

Since his return to power as President, he has supplied the Ukrainian fascist forces with modern state-of-the-art armaments and encouraged Zelensky to saber rattle for war with Russia.

Biden has used Ukraine in a proxy war with Russia.

Putin and the elected government of Russia supported by Belarus and Georgia among others of the Russian Federation sent the army into Ukraine to prevent a potential massacre of the people of Donbas and Crimea as 120,000 Ukrainian battle-ready troops prepared to invade.

We have millions of displaced Ukrainians. We have thousands dead and wounded and a prospect of a long war between a resupplied Ukrainian army in the west of Ukraine and the now liberated areas of east Ukraine under Russian protection.

In Yemen, we have hundreds of thousands dead and injured. Millions of refugees and up to 25 million people face famine, death through starvation 

It is reported a Yemeni child dies every ten minutes from this sanction-induced man-made famine.

America Britain NATO and increasingly “Israel” are involved in both conflicts.

Western imperialism and American unipolar hegemony are increasingly leading to war conflict death displacement and starvation on a global scale.

While the poorest Arab country defends its sovereignty against a coalition of some of the richest countries on the planet, Yemen with its increasingly sophisticated drone and ballistic missile capacity equips its military with the expertise to target anywhere in Saudi Arabia the Emirates and even further afield, it is only a matter of time before Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates realized that their war which has already failed, may very well lead to the destruction of the Saudi and Emirati economies.

In Ukraine, the fallout from the Russian invasion has already led to fuel price hikes in America and Europe with more economic hardships to be suffered not by the rich elite who are fueling these wars but by the people already struggling under neoliberal austerity measures so much favored by the IMF and the privatization sector in western governmental structures that reinvents itself with each new administration.

While Yemen’s lives count for nothing in West Asia and Ukrainian refugees fleeing to Russia are invisible, we witness the propaganda machine, which brooks no dissent, savagely attacks Russia as the aggressor and promotes western Ukrainians as the victims.

While Yemen is portrayed as the aggressor and Saudi Arabia as the victim much like the Palestinians are terrorists and the “Israel” is are just a peace-loving nation that desires only to live without fear.  

The media tries to make us believe that black is white, that the aggressors are the victims, and the oppressed are the villains.

These may be two conflicts but it has one origin.

American foreign policy has no regard for morality, humanity, dignity or life, it is directed by the corporate desire to control the world markets, create division and profit, in equal measure, destroy any dissent and control the sovereign resources of other nations.

They used to do it by military occupation directly as they did in Iraq, Vietnam, and Ireland but now its proxy wars using unilateral coercive measures, financial sanctions, proxy wars and regime change black operations through the CIA and NGOs.

We must all stand with Yemen, Donbas and Crimea, Palestine and Cuba, Venezuela and Iran, Lebanon and Syria, North Korea and Nicaragua, indeed everywhere that stands against imperialism and for a multipolar world.

The destruction of the global south which sees the wealth of those nations flow to the Northern hemisphere must stop.

We are living in an ever-changing world.

I pray for the death of imperialism and the triumph of socialism in a multi-polar global economy where wealth and resources are shared for the benefit of the people, for all mankind, and not the elite.

Eat the rich, end the wars, support the resistance. 

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

Russian SMO in the Ukraine – Day 34

March 30, 2022

Lot’s of good stuff to share with you today.  So let’s begin

First, the misunderstandings resulting from an absolutely terrible public information policy explaining the reality of what is being negotiated between the Ukraine and Russia has resulted in a massive “NIET!” from the Russian public opinion.  There is a Russian saying “нет худа без добра” which can roughly be translated as “even a bad situation can have a silver lining”, in this case, the truly tremendous pressure put upon the Kremlin has resulted in a lot of damage control which, in turn, has strengthened the position of those who want to prosecute this war till its end and weakened those who dream about some kind of Minsk 3.0.

Second, General Shamanov, the former commander of the operation in Chechnia, Hero of Russia and Duma member has announced that Russian special forces have successfully snatched away the two Ukronazi soldiers which filmed themselves torturing Russian prisoners.  Yes, that is only two out of many thousands, but this still sends a chilling message to the Nazis.  The Russians have also publicly shown the photos and name of the Ukronazi who stuck a bayonet into a Russian POW eye to kill him.  Here I want to remind everybody that the Russians ended up killing almost all the Wahabi terrorists which ruled over Chechnia during the civil war.  It is now clear that the Russians will summarily execute any Nazis they find unless they present a public interest, in which case they will send in their special forces to capture them and judge them, à la Eichmann.  Finally, some will simply be executed where found.  Either way, the message here is clear: “we will not forget or forgive, we are coming for you.  God willing, this message will save the lives and limbs of the Russian POW currently held in Nazi captivity.

Third, Scott Ritter wrote a good piece explaining the basic nature of the Special Military Operation (SMO) which you can read here: https://mobile.twitter.com/realscottritter/status/1508816667098423296.

Fourth, maps.  Here are two maps showing the exact same thing:

Remember the Russian “gesture of good will”?  The idea was that Russia would dramatically DECREASE her combat activities around Kiev and Chernigov?

Okay, now read Ritter above and please understand that Russia had no intention of occupying either city or, at least, no intention of taking the city in street-to-street fighting.

Both Kiev and Chernikov are blocked, but evacuation corridors are opened on a regular basis, utilities all work and besides Ukie hallucinations about Russian reconnaissance-diversionary groups all over the city resulting in innumerable cases of Ukies security forces shooting each other, no Russians are to be found inside these cities.  In fact, the point for the Russians is not to take Kiev or Chernigov, but only to prevent the Ukronazi forces from using these cities to resupply, rotate, reinforce or otherwise support other Nazi forces.  Which ones?  We will come to that in a second.

Here is the 2nd map I would like you to take a look at:

This maps shows the same area, but from a wider perspective.  The most important thing here is that Mariupol has now been taken, at least from a purely military point of view.  There STILL is an ongoing “mopping up” operation in and around the Azovstal industrial facilities, but this operation is executed by the Russian National Guard and not the military.  So look at the 2nd map.  What you will see is that forces from the north and the south are now moving to encircle the large Ukronazi force, which has already been cauldroned-off (see first map) into an even bigger cauldron.

So translated from diplomatese into plain English “we will dramatically reduce our military operations around Kiev and Chernigov as a sign of good will” would be “we are liberating a large force to go and finish off the Ukrainian military in the Donbass“.

Hopefully, this explanation will reassure those who assumed that what the Russians offered was a ceasefire.  It was not.  It was ONLY a REDUCTION of military activities around two cities which the Russians never planned to invade in the first place.

You might wonder what the Eurolemmings are up to these days.  Simple!  They are still waging a glorious and heroic battle against the letter “Z”: “Samsung drops letter ‘Z’ after Ukraine’s request“.  This just makes me wonder what these hate-filled infantiles will come up next…

The hyena of Europe smells blood

As for our Polak friends, they have just made russophobia “mainstream”.  What a surprise!  Who would have ever thought….  They are also planning to attack, sorry, liberate the western Ukraine as soon as it looks like a safe thing to do, with minimal risk and maximal pomp.

Will they do it?

It all depends on one thing: will the Kremlin be able to convince them that Russia means business and that, if needed, Iskanders can also be landed on the other side of the Polish-Ukrainian border.

When I look at freaks like Morawiecki, Duda or Sksipchak, I see the, shall we call it, “more extreme version” of the garden variety hate-filled infantiles I see in most European capitals.  That such people expect anybody to treat them with sincere respect absolutely amazes me.

Speaking of hating Russia, I want to share with you an example of the kind of things which now have been canceled by the Empire of Lies:

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/OYEmQroAnMJH

Okay, that’s it from me for right now.

I will “see you” later, God willing 🙂

Cheers

Andrei

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