«الشبر «الأميركي و»الذراع «الصينية في بحر كن فيكون…!

محمد صادق الحسيني

يهرب الأميركي المنهزم على أبواب عواصم المقاومة وتخوم بلاد العرب والعجم وأسوار أسود الشام وإيران بحثاً عن استعراضات هوليودية لا طائلة من ورائها…!

فها هو الرئيس الأميركي وبعض مسؤولي ادارته الكبار، مثل وزير الخارجية ووزير الحرب، يواصلون إطلاق التصريحات الاستفزازية والمثيرة لزعزعة الأمن والاستقرار الدوليين، لا لشيء او لسبب وجيه وإنما دعماً منهم لحملة رئيسهم الانتخابية المتعثرة، لأسباب عدة لا مجال للتطرق اليها في هذا المقام. وقد كان آخر هذه التصريحات الاستفزازية اللامسؤولة ذلك التصريح الذي صدر عن وزير الحرب الأميركي، مارك إسبر، قبل يومين والذي قال فيه انّ بلاده لن “تتنازل” عن شبر واحد في المحيط الهادئ، في رسالة موجهة لجمهورية الصين الشعبية، التي كانت تجري مناورات بحرية وجوية واسعة النطاق، وبالذخيرة الحية في المنطقة المذكورة.

ولكن الصين الشعبية قرّرت استخدام مقياس أكبر من مقياس وزير الدفاع الأميركي فقامت باستخدام قياس الذراع، وهو عبارة عن وحدة قياسية أكبر من الشبر وتزيد عنه بالثلثين (يُستعمل في بريطانيا باسم اليارد).

فبالإضافة إلى تصريحات وزارة الخارجية الصينية، الشديدة اللهجة، والتي رفضت فيها تصريحات الجنرال مارك إسبر، حيث قالت له: “انّ الجيش الشعبي الصيني لن يرقص على الموسيقى الأميركية”، نقول إنه بالإضافة الى هذه التصريحات قامت قيادة جيش التحرير الشعبي الصيني باتخاذ الإجراءات الميدانية الضرورية لإقران القول بالفعل، حيث نفذت العمليات التدريبية والقتالية التالية خلال الساعات الثماني والأربعين الماضية، في بحر الصين الجنوبي:

1 ـ إطلاق صاروخ سطح بحر، من طراز دونغ فينغ ، وهو الصاروخ الذي يطلق عليه اسم: قاتل حاملات الطائرات او غوام اكسبرس ( كناية عن القاعدة البحرية والجوية الأميركية الموجودة في جزيرة غوام غرب المحيط الهادئ، حسب ما يسمّيه العسكريون الأميركيون. وقد أطلق هذا الصاروخ، يوم ٢٦/٨/٢٠٢٠، من مقاطعة كينغهاي ، في شمال غرب الصين، باتجاه هدف بحري افتراضي معادٍ في المنطقة الواقعة بين مقاطعة هاينان في البر الصيني وجزر باراسيل في بحر الصين الجنوبي.

علماً أنّ أهمّ المواصفات العملياتية لهذا الصاروخ الخارق هي التالية:

يبلغ المدى العملياتي الفعال لهذا الصاروخ اربعة آلاف كيلومتر.
يبلغ وزن الرأس الحربي للصاروخ الف وثمانمائة كيلو غرام، الذي يمكن ان يكون رأساً تقليدياً او نووياً.
يعمل بالوقود الصلب ويمكن إطلاقه من قواعد ثابته او من على متن عربات عسكرية متنقلة، ويطير بسرعة فرط صوتية.
قيام جيش التحرير الشعبي الصيني بإطلاق صاروخ دفاع بحري ثاني بتاريخ 26/7/2020، من طراز ، الذي تم اطلاقه من مقاطعة تشي جيانغ، في شرق الصين، باتجاه هدف بحري في نفس المنطقة البحرية المذكورة أعلاه، وهي منطقة عمليات المناورات التي ينفذها الجيش الصيني هناك.
اما المواصفات العملياتية لهذا الصاروخ فهي التالية:

مدى هذا الصاروخ هو الف وسبعمائة كيلومتر.
يحمل رأساً متفجراً زنته ستمائة كيلوغرام.
يعمل بالوقود الصلب وسرعته عشرة اضعاف سرعة الصوت.
وقد أفاد أحد الخبراء العسكريين، المتخصصين في الشأن الصيني، في تعليق له على استخدام الصين لهذا النوع من الصواريخ في هذا التوقيت بالذات، افاد بالقول انه وبالاضافة الى تصريحات وزير الحرب الأميركي الاستفزازية، التي أطلقها وكأنّ بحر الصين الجنوبي جزء من المياه الإقليمية الأميركية، فإنّ جمهورية الصين الشعبية قد أرادت التأكيد على جديتها وإصرارها على الحفاظ على سيادتها البحرية، في بحار الصين، التي تتمتع بأهمية عالية جداً في مجال الملاحة البحرية المدنية والعسكرية للصين.

كما انّ قيام إحدى طائرات الاستطلاع الاستراتيجي الأميركية، من طراز سرعتها 765 كم في الساعة وتطير على ارتفاع 22000 متر، قيامها قبل يومين بمحاولة الدخول الى منطقة حظر الطيران ، التي أقامها الجيش الصيني، في منطقة التدريبات البحرية الجوية، التي تنفذها صنوف الاسلحة الصينية المعنية، وقيام مدمرة أميركية بمحاولة دخول منطقة عمليات سلاح البحرية الصينية يوم اول من امس، قد دفعت بالقيادة الصينية على اتخاذ إجراءات الردع الصاروخي هذه، وذلك بهدف تثبيت قواعد اشتباك دائمة في هذه المنطقة العامة والحساسة.

يذكر انّ مجلة “نيوزويك” الأميركية نشرت في عددها الصادر بتاريخ 29/1/2014، انّ السعودية قد اشترت عدداً غير محدّد من الصواريخ الصينية، طراز فنج دوغ 3 وهي الطراز المعدل للصاروخ الاقدم ، الذي اشترت منه السعودية عدداً مجهولاً سنة 1988.

وتابعت المجلة الأميركية قائلةً ان المخابرات المركزية الأميركية قد وافقت على الصفقة، التي عقدت سنة 2007 بين بكين والرياض، وذلك بعد تعديل أدخل على هذه الصواريخ يجعلها غير قادرة على حمل رؤوس نووية.

وقد دفعت وزارة الدفاع السعودية تكاليف “المساعدة اللوجستية” التي قدّمتها للحكومة السعودية، في إجراء تعديلات على صواريخ الصينية، بحيث لا تكون صالحة لتسليحها برؤوس نووية.

من كل ما تقدّم يتضح تماماً انّ هناك قواعد اشتباك جديدة، ترسم على صعيد الصراع الدولي بين القوى العظمى، خاصة اذا ما أضفنا الى التحركات الميدانية الصينية تلك الديبلوماسية، التي أطلقتها المتحدثة باسم الخارجية الروسية يوم 25/8/2020، رداً على التهديدات الأميركية بنشر صواريخ باليستية قصيرة ومتوسطة المدى في آسيا “لمواجهة العدوان الصيني الروسي” كما ورد على لسان وزير الخارجية الأميركي. تلك التصريحات التي أطلقتها زاخاروفا، وعلى الرغم من كونها مغلفة بغلاف مخملي سميك، إلا انّ لها قعقعة لا تقلّ عن قعقعة صواريخ المارشال غريتشكو، وزير الدفاع السوفياتي السابق، الذي كان يسمّيه الناتو الوزير الذي يقعقع بالصواريخ، حيث قالت: “انّ ظهور مخاطر صاروخية اضافية تهدّد الأراضي الروسية سيسفر عنه ردّ فعل فوري من جانبنا”.

وفي هذا رسالة شديدة الوضوح لمن يعنيه الأمر، في الولايات المتحدة والناتو، تقول: سندمّر قواعد الصواريخ هذه في حال تمّ نصبها. وما إرسال قوات خاصة روسية الى روسيا البيضاء، لمساعدة جيشها وقواتها الأمنية على التصدي لعمليات التخريب الأميركي الأوروبي هناك، ورغم أنها ليست قوة عسكرية كبيرة إلا أنّ لها دلائل تصل الى بروكسل (مقر قيادة الناتو) بكلّ تأكيد، بل انها تعبر الأطلسي، بكلّ سهولة، كي تستقرّ على مكتب وزير الحرب الأميركي، الذي يعرف تماماً ما الذي تعنيه هذه الرسالة، وهو الذي يدير ما يزيد على ألف قاعدة عسكرية أميركيه خارج حدود الولايات المتحدة ويعرف حجم الاخطار التي تتهددها، في حال اتخاذ خطوات صاروخية أميركية تهدّد روسيا، التي لن تتوانى لحظة واحدة، في اعطاء الضوء الأخضر لأصدقائها في العالم للقيام بما يلزم لردع العدوان الأميركي.

يمكن التأكيد في الختام بأنّ المواجهة الجارية في أقصى الشرق تأتي في سياق منظومة خطوات ديبلوماسية وسياسية وعسكرية ممنهجة ومدروسة بدقة ويتمّ تنسيقها، بكلّ تفاصيلها، بين كلّ من جمهورية الصين الشعبية وروسيا وإيران وسورية وحزب الله، على الرغم من عدم الإعلان عن ذلك بشكل استعراضي.

هناك استراتيجية ثابتة وأهدافاً واقعية وقابلة للتحقيق لن تتنازل عنها القوى المذكورة أعلاه، على الرغم مما قد يبدو للبعض من انه اهتزاز او تخلخل او تراجع في مواقف معينة تعني قضايا جزئية بعينها هنا أو هناك. انّ ما ترونه على هذا الشكل ليس سوى تطبيقاً عملياً لمبدأ الاستراتيجية الثابتة والتكتيك المرن والطويل الأمد، سواءً على الصعيد السياسي الديبلوماسي او العسكري. المبادئ ثابتة والتكتيكات تفرضها ظروف الميدان.

إذ انّ القدرة على التكيّف والتفاعل مع متغيّرات الميدان هي الأساس، في توفير ظروف النصر، لأنّ الجمود وعدم القدرة على الحركة المرنة يجعل من السهل على العدو توجيه الضربات القاتلة لك، بسبب عجزك عن المناورة ودمج عناصر المواجهة، من سياسية وديبلوماسية وعسكرية، للوصول الى هدفك الاستراتيجي:

النصر ضدّ الامبريالية الأميركية والاستكبار العالمي، وتحرير فلسطين كاملة من النهر الى البحر.

وهذا ما يسجله عالم التحوّلات الكبرى الذي تتسارع خطاه في إطار منظومة ثوابت كونية باتت واضحة للقاصي والداني مفادها أنّ مع يقف عكس اتجاه حركة التاريخ لا يمكن له كسر ارادة السنن الكونية..

السنن الحتمية التي هي في المقابل تستطيع ان تحوّله من دولة عظمى الى دولة فاشلة منهزمة بقدرة كن فيكون…!

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

Reply by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova to a media question on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement on US-Chinese relations

Source

Reply by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova to a media question on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement on US-Chinese relations

July 26, 2020

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

Question: Can you comment on the recent statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the US-Chinese relations?

Maria Zakharova: We noted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s remarks on US-Chinese relations made on July 23 at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library.

We were surprised by the defiant tone of Mr Pompeo’s statements, which predictably contained crude references to China, its social and political system and its leaders. Unfortunately, these things are common in US foreign policy diplomacy these days.

The tension in relations with Beijing being provoked by Washington, in addition to harming the United States and China, is also seriously complicating international affairs. These two countries are permanent members of the UN Security Council and play an important role in global affairs. Together with the other Security Council members, they bear a special responsibility for maintaining global stability.

We regard Pompeo’s statement on the possibility of dragging Moscow into the US anti-Chinese campaign as yet another naive attempt to complicate the Russian-Chinese partnership, and drive a wedge into the friendly ties between Russia and China. We intend to further strengthen our cooperation with China because we regard this cooperation as the most important factor in stabilising the situation around the world.

BRITISH ESTABLISHMENT NEW FEARS: RUSSIA WEAPONIZES ‘FUNDAMENTAL NIHILSM’

Source

22.07.2020 

British Establishment New Fears: Russia Weaponizes 'Fundamental Nihilsm'

On July 21st, the UK’s Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (ISC) released a report specifically on Russia and the challenges it presents, as well as recommendations on how to deal with it. [pdf]

The ISC makes a number of points, mostly focused on the presumed Russian intervention in the UK political and economic life. They are:

  1. Russian influence in the UK is the new normal. Successive Governments have welcomed the oligarchs and their money with open arms, providing them with a means of recycling illicit finance through the London ‘laundromat’, and connections at the highest levels with access to UK companies and political figures.
  2. This has led to a growth industry of ‘enablers’ including lawyers, accountants, and estate agents who are – wittingly or unwittingly – de facto agents of the Russian state.
  3. It demonstrates the inherent tension between the Government’s prosperity agenda and the need to protect national security. While we cannot now shut the stable door, greater powers and transparency are needed urgently.
  4. The UK is a target for Russian disinformation. While the mechanics of our paper-based voting system are largely sound, we cannot be complacent about a hostile state taking deliberate action with the aim of influencing our democratic processes.
  5. Yet the defense of those democratic processes has appeared something of a ‘hot potato’, with no one organization considering itself to be in the lead, or apparently willing to conduct an assessment of such interference. This must change.
  6. Social media companies must take action and remove covert hostile state material: Government must ‘name and shame’ those who fail to act.
  7. The UK needs other countries to step up with the UK and attach a cost to Putin’s actions. Salisbury must not be allowed to become the high water mark in international unity over the Russia threat.

The entire report is actually just a fraction, since there is a Classified Annex that contains most of the issues that are being discussed and are not available for open access.

Okay, so “What does Russia want?”, according to the ISC:

“The security threat posed by Russia is difficult for the West to manage as, in our view and that of many others, it appears fundamentally nihilistic. Russia seems to see foreign policy as a zero-sum game: any actions it can take which damage the West are fundamentally good for Russia. It is also seemingly fed by paranoia, believing that Western institutions such as NATO and the EU have a far more aggressive posture towards it than they do in reality. There is also a sense that Russia believes that an undemocratic ‘might is right’ world order plays to its strengths, which leads it to seek to undermine the Rules Based International Order – whilst nonetheless benefitting from its membership of international political and economic institutions.”

Russia, according to the report, also wishes to show that it is a “great power” no less than the former Soviet Union, and possibly even more so.

And the UK is a target since Russia “apparently” considers London as one of its top Western intelligence targets. That is primarily because of the good job that the UK has been doing in countering “Russian aggression.”

“This perception will have been reinforced by the UK’s firm stance recently in response to Russian aggression: following the UK-led international response to the Salisbury attack – which saw an unprecedented 153 Russian intelligence officers and diplomats expelled from 29 countries and NATO – it appears to the Committee that Putin considers the UK to be a key diplomatic adversary. The threat to the UK – and any changes to this following the actions taken in response to the Salisbury attack – is described in this Report, together with the action that the UK Intelligence Community is taking to counter those threats.”

The report provides several areas that need improvement in terms of the fight against Russia:

  1. The Government Communications Headquarter (GCHQ) assesses that Russia is a highly capable cyber actor with a proven capability to carry out operations which can deliver a range of impacts across any sector. It’s allegedly been doing so since 2014, including GRU agents carrying out alleged phishing operations against UK government departments.
  2. The spreading of disinformation (by which we mean the promotion of intentionally false, distorting or distracting narratives) and the running of ‘influence campaigns’ are separate but interlinked subjects. An influence campaign in relation to an election, for example, may use the spreading of disinformation, but may also encompass other tactics such as illicit funding, disruption of electoral mechanics or direct attacks on one of the campaigns (such as ‘hack and leak’). Equally, the spreading of disinformation is not necessarily aimed at influencing any individual outcome.
  3. Whilst the Russian elite have developed ties with a number of countries in recent years, it would appear that the UK has been viewed as a particularly favourable destination for Russian oligarchs and their money. “What is now clear is that it was in fact counte-productive, in that it offered ideal mechanisms by which illicit finance could be recycled through what has been referred to as the London ‘laundromat’.

The report emphasizes that Russia currently poses a significant threat to the UK on a number of fronts – from espionage to interference in democratic processes, and to serious crime. It continues  that the response needs to be combined from all UK security and intelligence agencies, government bodies, included with the ministers of government, as well as the ISC. This will require renewed doctrines, more and improved projects.

And this will not be an easy feat:

“As already noted, the Russian government is an accomplished adversary with well-resourced and world-class offensive and defensive intelligence capabilities. The well-publicised mistakes Russian operatives made in Salisbury, and later in trying to infiltrate the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), have led to public speculation about the competence of the Russian Intelligence Services (RIS), and the GRU in particular. Whilst these attacks demonstrate that the RIS are not infallible, it would be foolhardy to think that they are any less dangerous because of these mistakes. Indeed, the likelihood is that the RIS will learn from their errors, and become more difficult to detect and protect against as a result.”

Of course, none of this can be achieved without due support from international partners such as the US, NATO and others.

Russia, however, supposedly can’t rely on allies, at least not as much as the UK:

“By contrast to the West, Russia has traditionally been suspicious of building significant international partnerships. However, we note that in recent years it has been proactive in seeking ‘alliances of convenience’ across the world. This has included deepened defense and security co-operation with China, as a useful partner against the US (going so far as to conduct joint military exercises), increased influence in South America, and substantive engagement in several African countries, including widespread trade campaigns.”

It’s interesting to note that to motivate the need of the expanded campaign against Russia, the report is extensively using such terms as “open source studies”, including some mysterious “credible open source commentary”, and complains about the “fundamentally nihilistic” approach of Russia.

British Establishment New Fears: Russia Weaponizes 'Fundamental Nihilsm'
British Establishment New Fears: Russia Weaponizes 'Fundamental Nihilsm'

Indeed, if one translates the report wording from the mainstream propaganda language to the ordinary English, the British government and special services complain that they have not enough leverages of pressure and instruments to influence Russia and needs to expand clandestine, diplomatic and propaganda campaigns against Moscow. At the same time, London tries to demonize tactical successes of the Russian state to inform the English-speaking audience of its point of view through diplomatic channels and English-language state media like RT and Sputniknews.

Probably, the main point of the concern for London is that in the conditions of the crumbling neo-liberal narrative (due to the global economic crisis, the COVID-19 outbreak and a series of crises in base states for the Euro-Atlantic establishment), the Russian behavior on the international arena became attractive for the part of the European and American population, which is still not fully indocrinated by the mainstream propaganda.

The Russian side has already denied all the accusations provided by the report of the UK Intelligence and Security Committee. Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry said that it has shown “nothing sensational” and is just “fake shaped Russophobia.”

In response to the report, the Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov made a statement:

“Russia has never interfered in electoral processes in any country of the world: not in the United States, not in Great Britain, or in other countries. We do not do it ourselves and do not tolerate when other countries try to interfere in our political affairs,” Peskov told reporters.

The head of the international committee of the Federation Council, Konstantin Kosachev, believes that by criticizing Russia, Britain is trying to regain its positions in European politics.

“I am convinced that the reason for the appearance of such an odious report is the attempts of the British authorities to regain the European palm at any cost … And why not lead in Russophobia? While in the European Union, London lost some of its brilliance against the background of the Young Europeans, competing with each other, which of them in exchange for European dividends could ruin relations with our country more abruptly,” he wrote on Facebook.

It’s unlikely that the Russian statements will convince anybody in the British establishment because the main goal of the report was not to find the truth but to set conditions for a further action against Moscow.

At the same time, the content of the entire report is quite funny as the side blaming Moscow for the supposed “fundamentally nihilistic” approach and simultaneously proposing employing various propaganda, intelligence and censorship methods against the alternative point of view. Such complains are only fueling this ‘Russia-styled fundamental nihilism’ among the audience, which still is able to have own critical point of view and like to check facts. This demonstrates a sad tendency of the falling level of competence among personnel (including agents, analysis and propagandists) of the Western special services. These agencies are now forced to be fully in the framework of the neo-liberal, minorities-ruled agenda employing the policy of ‘tolerance’ and ‘inclusivity’ promoted by the globalists. Apparently, personal details of particular personnel have become more important that their skills.

Since the very start of SouthFront work, our team has been repeatedly accused of intervening in various processes in the ‘democratic countries’ and spreading top-notch ‘disinformation’ on the highest level (including  press briefings of the US Department of State and reports by the French Defense Ministry). And we are not going to stop on this. So, if you want to fuel some more ‘nihilism’ and coverage that disturb the Euro-Atlantic establishment and globalists, support our work.

Returning to ‘highly likely’ tactics: Russia rejects UK’s ‘unsubstantiated’ claims of hacking & election meddling

Source

16 Jul, 2020 17:21

Returning to ‘highly likely’ tactics: Russia rejects UK’s ‘unsubstantiated’ claims of hacking & election meddling 

Moscow didn’t interfere in the UK election last year, and has no idea who tried to hack British pharma companies for Covid-19 vaccine data, the Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said.  

“We have no information on who could’ve hacked the pharma companies and research centers in the UK. We can only say one thing – Russia has nothing to do with those attempts,” Peskov said.

“We reject these kind of accusations,” he added, referring to both the hacking and election meddling claims as “unsubstantiated.”

On Thursday, Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre said that hackers, who were allegedly backed by the Russian government, were trying to obtain Covid-19 vaccine data from academic and pharmaceutical institutions in the UK and around the globe.

Earlier in the day British Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab claimed that “it is almost certain that Russian actors sought to interfere in the 2019 General Election through the online amplification of illicitly acquired and leaked Government documents.” 

The leaked documents  that surfaced online ahead of the December vote showed several rounds of trade talks between British and American representatives, during which the US side supposedly pushed for access to the National Health Service for high-priced American pharmaceutical companies, and to lower health and safety standards in the British food industry.

Raab didn’t mention any proof of how Russians were involved in spreading the word about the leak that embarrassed the government at the time, but he acknowledged that “there is no evidence of a broad-spectrum Russian campaign against the General Election.” 

Contradictions in the words of the UK’s top diplomat were pointed out by the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova. Raab’s statement “was so ambiguous and inconsistent that it was practically impossible to understand,” she said.

With London confirming that it has no proof against Russia, but still threatening retaliatory measures, “there’s a feeling that we have a new loop of the ‘highly likely’ tactics.”

“Highly likely” was the phrase used by then-UK Prime Minister Theresa May to blame Russia for the chemical poisoning of double agent Sergei Skripal in Salisbury back in 2018. Two years later, London hasn’t provided any convincing evidence to back the claim.

Raab’s “almost certain” will apparently become the new go-to formula for the UK authorities, but the tactics of blaming Russia for internal problems in Britain will remain the same, Zakharova said.

The Russian Embassy in London called it a purely propagandist step, noting that it never received any notes of protest from the British parties regarding the hacking claims. As for Raab’s threats of retaliation, an embassy spokesman said that “any unfriendly steps towards Russia won’t be left without a proper and adequate response.”

The hacking claims were an attempt to “tarnish the reputation of the Russian vaccine” against the coronavirus, CEO of Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev said. Those behind the slur are “scared of [the vaccine’s] success because the Russian vaccine could potentially be the first on the market and it potentially could be the most effective,” he explained.

It’s no coincidence that those accusations were made just after the announcement that the state regulators will be approving the Russian vaccine in August, Dmitriev added. Besides, stealing data from the UK would have made no sense for Moscow, as a Russian firm, R-Pharm, will be producing the British vaccine made by Oxford-based AstraZeneca.

“No secrets are needed. Everything is already given to R-Pharm,” Dmitriev said.

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Russia Threatens Massive Response if US Deploys Low-Yield Nukes on Subs

Russia Threatens Massive Response if US Deploys Low-Yield Nukes on Subs

By staff, Agencies

Russia is warning that any US attempt to use a low-yield nuclear weapon against a Russian target would set off a massive nuclear response.

The Russian foreign ministry was reacting to a State Department paper released last week that says placing low-yield nuclear weapons on ballistic missiles launched from submarines would counter what it sees as possible new threats from both Russia and China.

Experts describe a low-yield weapon as the kind the United States dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II.

The US State Department asserts that the low-yield weapons “reduce the risk of nuclear war by reinforcing extended deterrence and assurance.”

It alleges Russia is considering using such nonstrategic nuclear arms in a limited war. 

Russia denies it is a threat to the US and accuses Washington of “lowering the nuclear threshold.”

“Any attack involving a US submarine-launched ballistic missile [SLBM], regardless of its weapon specifications, would be perceived as a nuclear aggression,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Wednesday. “Those who like to theorize about the flexibility of American nuclear potential must understand that in line with the Russian military doctrine such actions are seen as warranting retaliatory use of nuclear weapons by Russia.”

Russia says it wants to extend the 2010 New START treaty limiting the number of deployed nuclear missiles, warheads, and bombers along with strict inspection regimes. The pact is set to expire next year.

The Trump administration says it wants a new arms control agreement that also includes China — which Russia calls impractical.

US Launches Campaign to Accuse Syria of Inability to Curtail Coronavirus, Claims Syrian-Russian Joint Statement

By Sputnik

Source

The Nation 22 April 2020

The United States has launched a propaganda campaign by accusing Damascus of its inability to effectively combat the spread of COVID-19 in Syria, the Russian and Syrian coordination centres said in a joint statement

According to the statement, the United States has influenced the development of a UN plan for sending a humanitarian medical mission to the camp.

“We believe that the document proposed by the UN was developed under the influence of the United States that had launched a propaganda campaign to accuse Damascus of its inability to effectively counter the spread of coronavirus in the [Syrian Arab] Republic. Obviously, the delivery of humanitarian aid to the [Rukban] camp is necessary for the US solely to achieve its goals..” the statement said.

According to the statement, the reception centre for people in the Al-Waha region is equipped with everything necessary to organise quarantine for Rukban residents before they are transported to temporary accommodation centres in the province of Homs.

Moreover, given the critical humanitarian situation in the Rukban refugee camp, and in order to study the real situation with the spread of COVID-19 there, the Syrian Foreign Ministry sent an official request to the UN to conduct an evaluation of medical mission in the camp.

Russia Blames OPCW for Sacrificing Reputation for West’s Ambition in Syria

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has sacrificed its reputation to serve the West’s geopolitical ambition in Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

“The OPCW reputation as an authoritative expert body in the field of chemical disarmament has actually been sacrificed to the Middle East geopolitical ambitions of a small group of countries”, the Russian ministry said in a statement.

It argued that the investigative body had been set up in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Only the UN Security Council has the right to apportion blame for chemical attacks.

“[The] activity of this quasi-prosecutor structure, which is dominated by representatives of Western countries, encroaches on the exclusive powers of the UN Security Council and is aimed at the solution of odious political tasks to discredit legally elected authorities of Syria”, it said.

The Truth About Syria: A Manufactured War Against An Independent Country

Russia sees the decisions to create the investigative team and fund it with money from the OPCW’s regular budget as illegitimate, the ministry said. It refuses to cooperate with the investigators or finance their activities.

The OPCW published the first report of its newly created investigation and identification team two weeks ago, blaming the 2017 chemical attacks in the Syrian town of Al Lataminah on the country’s government, which denied ever using chemical weapons.

Syrian Ceasefire Guarantors to Hold Ministerial Meeting Via Video Conference on Wednesday

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will discuss the latest developments in Syria in an online meeting with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts, Mevlut Cavusoglu and Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed that the sides would hold the meeting in the Astana format.

The previous summit in this format was held in December when the three Syrian ceasefire guarantors reaffirmed the importance of preserving the country’s sovereignty and the implementation of the 1998 Adana agreement between Turkey and Syria, which allows Turkish troops to temporarily enter Syria as far as 5 kilometres (3 miles) to fight the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

Another meeting in the Astana format was scheduled to be held in Iran in March, but it was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Zarif met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus on Monday and informed him that the trilateral talks would focus on Syria’s Constitutional Committee and the situation in the northwestern province of Idlib.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday said that tensions in Idlib were again on the rise, accusing the Syrian government of being behind it and warning of a potential military response to the developments.

The Syrian Constitutional Committee is a product of long-standing efforts by international mediators to reconcile the Syrian government and opposition. The 150-member body with equal representation of the government, opposition, and civil society was launched on 30 October to work toward drafting a new constitution.

The committee failed to reach a mutually beneficial solution to the Syrian crisis during the two sessions convened so far due to disagreements between various factions. A third round of talks is currently being planned.

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Russia Condemns US “Unacceptable” Threats to Assassinate New Quds Force Commander

 January 24, 2020

Russia has severely censured US threat to assassinate Brigadier General Esmail Qaani, the new commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), as “unacceptable.”

“I state once again that such statements are unacceptable for us. Such remarks have been made beyond rights and law, and representatives of world states are not entitled to utter them,” the Arabic service of Russia’s Sputnik news agency quoted Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying at a news briefing in the capital Moscow on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman  Abbas Mousavi denounced Washington’s assassination threat against Brig. Gen. Qaani, stating that the latest remarks by US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook “are an official publicizing and blatant unveiling of targeted and state terrorism by the United States.”

“Now, after the Zionist regime [of Israel], the US is the second regime to officially announce that it has employed the resources of its government and armed forces for terrorist acts and that it will continue them in the future,” Mousavi added.

The Iranian diplomat further noted that Washington’s recourse to terrorist acts is a clear sign of “weakness, desperation, and confusion” among the officials of the American regime.

Mousavi then condemned “brazen remarks and terrorist acts” by US leaders, calling on the international community to also condemn them, “because the continuation of this trend would sooner or later befall everyone.”

Hook told the Arabic-language and Saudi-owned daily Asharq al-Awsat that the new Quds Force commander could face the fate of his predecessor, Lieutenant General Qassem Suleimani, who was assassinated along with the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and their companions near Baghdad International Airport on January 3.

In a message addressed to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Sayyed Khamenei on January 9, Brig. Gen. Qa’ani vowed to continue the path pursued by Lt. Gen. Suleimani “with might.” He said the goal was to drive American forces out of the region.

On January 8, IRGC fired a number of ballistic missiles at al-Asad Air Base in Iraq’s western province of Andar, where more than 1,000 US troops are based, and another American military facility in Kurdistan’s regional capital Erbil.

The attack was in retaliation for US President Donald Trump’s authorization of a drone strike that assassinated Lt. Gen. Suleimani and his companions earlier this month.

Source

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MintPress Sits Down with Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova

MintPress Sits Down with Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova

Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova weighs in on Syria, Crimea, the Moscow protests and more.

Moscow — In a simple meeting room at the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry building, Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova gave me a generous hour of her time in a conversation peppered with bemused laughter at Western allegations about Russia and clear frustration at the West’s incessant vilification of all things Russia.

I traveled to Moscow in August, where to my delight I had the opportunity to interview Zakharova. Given that Russia is the focus of obsessive and largely negative Western media reporting, and also the country’s role in eliminating the proliferation of terrorist groups that once controlled large swaths of Syria, I wanted to ask Zakharova for her take on a variety of topics related to both Russia and Syria.

In our wide-ranging discussion, Zakharova spoke of the U.S. sanctions regime against Russia and of the Western interference in Russian domestic issues — such as the protests seen in Moscow in July and August.

On Syria, she addressed the issue of exploitation of children in propaganda against Syria and Russia — notably Omran Daqneesh, a child whose image was splashed across newspapers and screens worldwide in 2016, incriminating Russia and Syria in an airstrike that was later proven to have never happened. An official apology from one of the most adamant perpetrators of that narrative, CNN’s Christian Amanpour, also never happened.

One cannot discuss the war in Syria and related propaganda without addressing the massively-funded White Helmets. In discussing the group, Zakharova gave examples of its role in fomenting support for Western military intervention, including in pushing responsibility on the Syrian government for the alleged but unproven and, by most honest accounts, staged chemical attack in Douma, eastern Ghouta, in 2018. Footage of the attack included video starring the White Helmets and another exploited Syrian boy, Hassan Diab, whose testimony of the events ran in stark contrast to the allegations against the Syrian government that were being circulated in the Western media.

Zakharova also addressed the inconsistencies around the Skripal case, the historic importance of Crimea’s referendum, and the U.K. “media freedom” conference of July 2019, where cases of imprisoned journalists like Julian Assange and Kirill Vyshinsky were notably not part of the conference program.

In an unexpected development since my discussion with Zakharova, Ukrainian-Russian journalist and editor Vyshinsky was released from his over 15 months of imprisonment without trial by Ukraine. Referring to his imprisonment, Zakharova described him as a hostage.

The interview took place at a time when Western media reporting would have one believe that the streets of Moscow were full of chaos and unrest with the protests. In fact, contrary to media reporting, Moscow was calm, as were the protests I attended on August 10. Once again, it seemed, the media was hyping and distorting reality, as they have so often done elsewhere in the world.

Zakharova’s words are a reality check and offer an informative insight into the Russian perspective on Russian, Syrian, and global events.

Feature photo | Maria Zakharova sits down with Eva Bartlett at a Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry building in Moscow, Russia in August, 2019.  Eva Bartlett | MintPress News

Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and occupied Palestine, where she lived for nearly four years. She is a recipient of the 2017 International Journalism Award for International Reporting, granted by the Mexican Journalists’ Press Club (founded in 1951), was the first recipient of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism, and was short-listed in 2017 for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. See her extended bio on her blog In Gaza

Stephen Lendman: Douma Chemical Incident a US-NATO False Flag… OPCW Is a US Imperial Tool

ST

Sunday, 19 May 2019

The chemical watchdog group is mandated “to implement the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention to achieve a world free of” CWs.

Its mission includes conducting “credible and transparent” on-site inspections to verify use of and destruction of these weapons.

Time and again, it flagrantly breaches its mandate, serving US-led Western interests, producing dubious reports with falsified, distorted rubbish, suppressing vital information.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova earlier slammed the group for failing to discharge its duties as mandated by the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Last March, its falsified Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) report on the alleged April 7, 2018 CW incident in Douma, Syria said the following:

“Regarding the alleged use of toxic chemicals as a weapon in Douma (Syria)…evaluation and analysis…of information gathered by the FFM (gathered much too late to matter) provide(s) reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon has taken place on April 7, 2018. This toxic chemical contained reactive chlorine. The toxic chemical was likely molecular chlorine.”

The incident was a US/NATO false flag, Syria wrongfully blamed for a victimless nonevent – no one killed, hospitalized or ill from exposure to toxins, not chlorine or any other banned substance, nothing. The OPCW lied suggesting otherwise.

Douma eyewitnesses and local medical personnel debunked the falsified narrative. Visiting the site days after the alleged incident, Russian technical experts found no evidence of chemical or other toxins in soil samples and other analysis.

Like many other times, Damascus was falsely blamed for what it had nothing to do with. At the time, Russia’s envoy to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin said testimonies from 17 witnesses, including physicians who were right at the scene on that day…recount(ed) the true story of the (false flag) incident.”

“We had no doubt that the allegations of chemical use in Douma are a fabricated and provocative play staged by the so called White Helmets and Western media outlets.”

We can prove that the video of the White Helmets is fabricated, and therefore there is no basis or validity to the signals of Western countries that this material is evidence of a chemical attack in the city of Douma.”

Instead of reporting accurately on what happened, the OPCW bowed to US interests, delivering a falsified report months later.

Damascus slammed the report, saying it “does not differ from the previous mission reports filled with distorted facts” — falsely blaming Syrian forces for CW incidents staged by US-supported terrorists.

Regarding the Douma incident, Syria’s Foreign Ministry blasted the OPCW’s “lack of professionalism,” adding: “It was easy for the Syrian specialists to discover that the OPCW experts were lying when claiming that they investigated the (Douma) incident in the report from various aspects.”

The organization “ignored the possession of toxic chemicals by terrorist groups, although the mission found those substances in the warehouses of terrorists when they visited them.”

The independent Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media obtained an unpublished OPCW report on the Douma incident — indicating it was staged, Damascus having nothing to do with it.

According to the group’s Piers Robinson,”We have confirmation from multiple sources that (the unpublished OPCW report) is authentic.”

Chlorine cylinders found on the scene were placed next to a pre-existing crater — by Western funded, al-Qaeda connected White Helmets. They were not dropped by Syrian aircraft or helicopters as falsely claimed.

Expert independent evaluation determined that two chlorine cylinders were manually placed at the scene to falsely blame Damascus for what it had nothing to do with.

The OPCW’s unpublished report refuted the findings of its published one last March. Ahead of the April 2018 incident, Moscow and Damascus warned of an impending false flag CW attack by US supported terrorists to be wrongfully blamed on Syrian forces.

On Friday, Russia presented a draft Security Council resolution, calling for the OPCW to fulfill its mandate, saying the following:

The Security Council “emphasizes the need to unite the efforts of States Parties to the (chemical weapons) Convention in order to enhance strict compliance with their obligations under the Convention avoiding politicization,” adding: The SC “calls on the States Parties to the Convention to cooperate with each other in a constructive manner and seek to restore the spirit of consensus in the OPCW for the sake of preserving the integrity and inviolability of the Convention.”

Russia’s UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia accused the OPCW of being “hijacked by politics,” adding: “We are trying to get the (organization) back on track because (it’s) off track and now it is so politicized.”

“It was always a technical organ where consensus prevailed, and now we see that it is completely politicized, with politicized agenda from various parties” — its credibility lost.

Throughout years of US launched aggression on the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011, not a shred of credible evidence indicates CW use by government forces. Indisputable evidence shows US supported terrorists used banned toxins numerous times, incidents falsely blamed on Damascus.

A Trump regime veto of Russia’s draft resolution is likely, supported by Britain and France, wanting nothing interfering with their ability to manipulate the OPCW to serve their interests.

Source: Global Research

H.M

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What Putin and Pompeo did not talk about

May 15, 2019

by Pepe Escobar : Posted with permission

What Putin and Pompeo did not talk aboutRussia is uneasy over the destabilizatihttp://by Pepe Escobar : Posted with permissionon of Tehran, and on other hotspots the powers’ positions are clear.

Even veiled by thick layers of diplomatic fog, the overlapping meetings in Sochi between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov still offer tantalizing geopolitical nuggets.

Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov did his best to smooth the utterly intractable, admitting there was “no breakthrough yet” during the talks but at least the US “demonstrated a constructive approach.”

Putin told Pompeo that after his 90-minute phone call with Trump, initiated by the White House, and described by Ushakov as “very good,” the Russian president “got the impression that the [US] president was inclined to re-establish Russian-American relations and contacts to resolve together the issues that are of mutual interest to us.”

That would imply a Russiagate closure. Putin told Pompeo, in no uncertain terms, that Moscow never interfered in the US elections, and that the Mueller report proved that there was no connection between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.

This adds to the fact Russiagate has been consistently debunked by the best independent American investigators such as the VIPS group.   

‘Interesting’ talk on Iran

Let’s briefly review what became public of the discussions on multiple (hot and cold) conflict fronts – Venezuela, North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran.

Venezuela – Ushakov reiterated the Kremlin’s position: “Any steps that may provoke a civil war in the country are inadmissible.” The future of President Maduro was apparently not part of the discussion.

That brings to mind the recent Arctic Council summit. Both Lavrov and Pompeo were there. Here’s a significant exchange:

Lavrov: I believe you don’t represent the South American region, do you?

Pompeo: We represent the entire hemisphere.

Lavrov: Oh, the hemisphere. Then what’s the US doing in the Eastern Hemisphere, in Ukraine, for instance?

There was no response from Pompeo.

North Korea – Even acknowledging that the Trump administration is “generally ready to continue working [with Pyongyang] despite the stalemate at the last meeting, Ushakov again reiterated the Kremlin’s position: Pyongyang will not give in to “any type of pressure,” and North Korea wants “a respectful approach” and international security guarantees.

Afghanistan – Ushakov noted Moscow is very much aware that the Taliban are getting stronger. So the only way out is to find a “balance of power.” There was a crucial trilateral in Moscow on April 25 featuring Russia, China and the US, where they all called on the Taliban to start talking with Kabul as soon as possible.

Iran – Ushakov said the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal, was “briefly discussed.”.He would only say the discussion was “interesting.”

Talk about a larger than life euphemism. Moscow is extremely uneasy over the possibility of a destabilization of Iran that allows a free transit of jihadis from the Caspian to the Caucasus.

Which brings us to the heart of the matter. Diplomatic sources – from Russia and Iran – confirm, off the record, there have been secret talks among the three pillars of Eurasian integration – Russia, China and Iran – about Chinese and Russian guarantees in the event the Trump administration’s drive to strangle Tehran to death takes an ominous turn.

This is being discussed at the highest levels in Moscow and Beijing. The bottom line: Russia-China won’t allow Iran to be destroyed.

But it’s quite understandable that Ushakov wouldn’t let that information slip through a mere press briefing.

Wang Yi and other deals

On multiple fronts, what was not disclosed by Ushakov is way more fascinating than what’s now on the record. There’s absolutely no way Russian hypersonic weapons were not also discussed, as well as China’s intermediate-range missiles capable of reaching any US military base encircling or containing China.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, third right, meets Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, center left, in Sochi on 14 May 2019. Photo: AFP / Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service / Anadolu

The real deal was, in fact, not Putin-Pompeo or Pompeo-Lavrov in Sochi. It was actually Lavrov-Wang Yi (the Chinese Foreign Minister), the day before in Moscow.

A US investment banker doing business in Russia told me: “Note how Pompeo ran like mad to Sochi. We are frightened and overstretched.”

Diplomats later remarked: “Pompeo looked solemn afterwards. Lavrov sounded very diplomatic and calm.” It’s no secret in Moscow’s top diplomatic circles that the Chinese Politburo overruled President Xi Jinping’s effort to find an accommodation to Trump’s tariff offensive. The tension was visible in Pompeo’s demeanor.

In terms of substance, it’s remarkable how Lavrov and Wang Yi talked about, literally, everything: Syria, Iran, Venezuela, the Caspian, the Caucasus, New Silk Roads (BRI), Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), missiles, nuclear proliferation.

Or as Lavrov diplomatically put it: “In general, Russia-China cooperation is one of the key factors in maintaining the international security and stability, establishing a multipolar world order. . . . Our states cooperate closely in various multilateral organizations, including the UN, G20, SCO, BRICS and RIC [Russia, India, China trilateral forum], we are working on aligning the integration potential of the EAEU and the Belt and Road Initiative, with potentially establishing [a] larger Eurasian partnership.”

The strategic partnership is in sync on Venezuela, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan – they want a solution brokered by the SCO. And on North Korea, the message could not have been more forceful.

After talking to Wang Yi, Lavrov stressed that contacts between Washington and North Korea “proceeded in conformity with the road map that we had drafted together with China, from confidence restoration measures to further direct contacts.”

This is a frank admission that Pyongyang gets top advice from the Russia-China strategic partnership. And there’s more: “We hope that at a certain point a comprehensive agreement will be achieved on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and on the creation of a system of peace and security in general in Northeast Asia, including concrete firm guarantees of North Korea’s security.”

Translation: Russia and China won’t back down on guaranteeing North Korea’s security. Lavrov said: “Such guarantees will be not easy to provide, but this is an absolutely mandatory part of a future agreement. Russia and China are prepared to work on such guarantees.”

Reset, maybe?

The indomitable Maria Zakharova, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman, may have summed it all up. A US-Russia reset may even, eventually, happen. Certainly, it won’t be of the Hillary Clinton kind, especially when current CIA director Gina Haspel is shifting most of the agency’s resources towards Iran and Russia.

Top Russian military analyst Andrei Martyanov was way more scathingRussia won’t break with China, because the US “doesn’t have any more a geopolitical currency to ‘buy’ Russia – she is out of [the] price range for the US.”

That left Ushakov with his brave face, confirming there may be a Trump-Putin meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka next month.

“We can organize a meeting ‘on the go’ with President Trump. Alternatively, we can sit down for a more comprehensive discussion.”

Under the current geopolitical incandescence, that’s the best rational minds can hope for.

 

Zelenskii beat Poroshenko – what will happen next?

Zelenskii beat Poroshenko – what will happen next?

[This analysis was written for the Unz Review]

As everybody predicted, Poroshenko completely lost the election. As I wrote in my previous column, this is both amazing (considering Poro’s immense and extensive resources and the fact that his opponent was, literally, a clown (ok, a comic if you prefer). His defeat was also so predictable as to be almost inevitable: not only is the man genuinely hated all over the Ukraine (except for the Nazi crackpots of the Lvov region), but he made fatal blunders which made him even more detestable than usual.

First, there was this masterpiece:

Translation: April 21st. A crucial choice!

Now one could sympathize with Poroshenko: not only did this “Putin the boogeyman” appear to work fantastically well with the main sponsors of the Ukronazi coup and with the legacy Ziomedia, but nobody dared to tell Poroshenko that most Ukrainians were not buying that nonsense at all. The suggestion that all the other candidates are Putin agents is no less ridiculous. The thin veneer of deniability Poroshenko had devised (the poster was not put up by the official Poroshenko campaign but by “volunteers”) failed, everybody immediately saw through it all, and this resulted in Poro’s first big campaign faceplant.

Next came this disaster:

Again, this was not officially Poroshenko’s campaign which made this video, but everybody saw through this one too. The quasi-open threat to murder Zelenskii was received with horror in the Ukraine, and this PR-disaster was Poro’s second faceplant.

Then the poor man “lost it.” I won’t list all the stupid and ridiculous things the man said and did, but I will say that his performance at the much-anticipated debate in the stadium was a disaster too.

The writing had been on the wall for a while now, and this is why the two candidates were summoned to speak to their masters (face to face in Germany and France, by phone with Mr. MAGA) and they were told a few things:

  • Poroshenko was told in no uncertain terms that he could not trigger a war, organize a last-minute false flag, murder Zelenskii or engage in any other “creative campaign methods.”
  • Zelenskii was also clearly told that should he win the election, he was not to touch Poroshenko.  It appears that the USA gave personal security guarantees to Poroshenko.

Meet the new Ukie President (no, this is not a joke!)

The western calculus is simple: try to keep Poroshenko alive (figuratively and politically) and to see how much of the Rada he can keep. Furthermore, since Zelenskii is extremely weak (he has no personal power base of any kind), Kolomoiskii will have him do exactly as he is told and Kolomoiskii can easily be told to behave by the Empire. Finally, there is Vladimir Groisman, the current prime minister who has kept a very low profile, who does NOT have blood on his hands (at least when compared to thugs like Turchinov or Avakov) and who has not made any move which would blacklist him with the Kremlin. Groisman is also a Jew (Israel and the Ukraine are now the two countries on the planet in which both the President and the Prime-Minister are Jews; ironic considering the historical lovefest between Jews and Ukrainian nationalists …). He might make a much more effective Ukrainian Gauleiter for the Empire than either Poroshenko or Zelenskii.  For the time being, Goisman has already ditched Poroshenko’s party and is creating his own.  And let’s not forget Avakov and Parubii, who are both soaked in innocent blood, and who will try to hold on to their considerable power by using the various Nazi death-squads under their control.  Finally, there is still the formidable (and relatively popular) Iulia Timoshenko whose political ambitions need to be kept in check.  Thus, Poroshenko with his immense wealth and his connections can still be a useful tool for the Empire’s control of the Ukraine.

The western calculus might also be wrong: for one thing, Zelenskii cannot deliver *anything* meaningful to the Ukrainian people, most definitely not prosperity or honesty. Pretty soon the Ukrainian people will wake up to realize that when they elected the “new face” of Zelenskii, they ended up with the “not new” face of Kolomoiskii and everything that infamous name entails. Zelenskii might not have another option than to jail Poroshenko, which he semi-promised to do during the stadium debate. Except that now Zelenskii is saying that he will consult with Poroshenko and might even use him in some official capacity. Yes, campaign promises in the Ukraine are never kept for more than the time it takes to make them. Finally, Poroshenko’s power base is very rapidly eroding because nobody wants to go down with him. I tend to believe that Poroshenko has outlived his usefulness for the AngloZionists because he became an overnight political corpse. But this is the Ukraine, so never say never.

Finally, the Empire is also pushing for a reform of the Ukrainian political system to give less powers to the President and more to the Rada.  Again, this makes sense considering that Zelenskii is an unknown actor and considering the fact that Rada members are basically on the US payroll (across all parties and factions).

What about Russia in all this?

Maria Zakharova: only caution and skepticism for now

Well, the Russians have been extremely cautious, and nobody seems to harbor any illusions about Zelenskii. In fact, just a day after his election Zelenskii is already making all sorts of anti-Russian statements. Truly, besides the logical implication of Poroshenko’s poster (that a defeat for him would mean a victory for Putin), nobody in Russia is celebrating. The main feeling about the entire topic of the Ukraine is one of total disgust, a gradual and painful realization of the fact that our so-called “brothers” are brothers only in the sense of the biblical Cain and the acceptance that there is nobody to talk to in Kiev. Thus Russia will have to embark on a policy of unilateral actions towards the Ukraine. These could include:

  • Decide whether to recognize the outcome of the election or not.  I think that it is more likely that Russia will recognize the fact that most Ukrainians did vote for Zelenskii, but that recognition will imply nothing more than that: the recognition of a fact.
  • Accelerate the pace of distribution of Russian passports to citizens of the DNR and LNR republics.
  • Slap further economic sanctions on the Ukraine (Russia has just banned the export of energy sources to the Ukraine – finally and at last!).
  • Declare that since millions of Ukrainians did not vote (inside the Ukraine, in the DNR/LNR and in Russia, and since the Minsk Agreements are dead (they are de facto if not de jure yet) Russia does not recognize this election and, instead, recognizes the two people’s republics.  I don’t think that the Kremlin will do that short of an Ukronazi attack on Novorussia (in which case the Russians will do what they did following Saakashvili’s attack on South-Ossetia).

So far, Russian spokespeople have just said that they “respected the vote of the Ukrainian people” and that they will judge Zelenskii “on his actions, not his words”.  This approach sure seems balanced and reasonable to me.

Conclusion:

The truth is that nobody knows what will happen next, not even Kolomoiskii or Zelenskii himself. There are just too many parameters to consider, and the real balance of power following this election has not manifested itself yet. As for the true aspirations and hopes of the people of the Ukraine, they were utterly ignored: Poroshenko will be replaced by Kolomoiskii, wearing the mask of Zelenskii. Hardly a reason to rejoice …

In spite of the large number of electoral candidates, the people of the Ukraine were not given a meaningful choice. So they did the only thing they could do: they voted to kick Poroshenko out. And that sure must have felt great.

But will Zelenskii turn out to be any better?  I very much doubt it, even though I also very much hope that I am wrong.

The Saker

Maria Zakharova discusses US policies towards Venezuela (MUST READ!)

April 14, 2019Maria Zakharova discusses US policies towards Venezuela (MUST READ!)

Excerpt of the weekly MFA  briefing by Maria Zakharova:
——-
The UN Security Council held a meeting in New York yesterday at the initiative of the US to discuss the humanitarian situation in Venezuela. Russia’s position, whereby this is not the appropriate platform or format for discussing this topic, remains unchanged. We are not turning a blind eye to the challenging social, economic and humanitarian developments in Venezuela. Still, we do not see any threats to regional, let alone international, stability or security.

Representatives of Donald Trump’s administration are obsessive in hammering home the message that “all options are on the table.” This is a matter of grave concern. Let me reiterate that the possible military scenario, if this is what representatives of the US establishment have in mind, would lead nowhere. It is dangerous, since it could bring about a civil war. We urge our US colleagues to review these irresponsible plans that are at odds with international law. I would like to draw the attention of our Western colleagues once again to what they have done in a number of countries around the world. Just look at the scenarios you have been trying to follow there, and what came out of it.

We will continue to do everything we can to prevent the dangerous scenarios that we witnessed in a number of countries from taking place in Venezuela. We are glad that there is little support for this option within the international community, even though Washington regrettably persists in its efforts.

It is also unfortunate that the US Security Council was not able to refrain from discussing the humanitarian situation in Venezuela. Vice President Mike Pence’s remarks went beyond the bounds of decency when he called for recognising Venezuela’s new leader, backing up his claims with ultimatums and threats of new sanctions.

Representatives of the US administration do not hesitate when it comes to breaking fundamental principles and norms of international and regional law as they seek to unseat the legitimate President of Venezuela. Aggressive rhetoric against official diplomatic representatives of the Venezuelan government, recognising appointees who appeared out of nowhere, illegal takeover of diplomatic property, financial assets and other acts of this kind are all reminiscent of gang warfare rather than what professional politicians and diplomats normally do. It is possible that the US is guided by its own experience when it promotes broad recognition and largely directs the appointment of so-called Venezuelan ambassadors and official representatives around the world. Over the past years, we have seen people without any prior experience in public service being appointed US ambassadors, be it in executive or legislative branches, let alone diplomatic work. These were people that were in good graces of one administration or another or contributed to an election campaign financially. They were rewarded by ambassador posts. This is how it happens in the US. This does not mean, however, that this approach, coupled with violations of international law, should be applied elsewhere.

Washington conceals its disdain for the decades-old international legal framework behind the opaque notion of a rules-based world order and imposes it everywhere, including in regional and international affairs. This fully applies to the call by Mike Pence on the UN Security Council to withdraw the mandate from Venezuela’s permanent representative, as well as to the prospect of the US putting forward a resolution recognising the legitimacy of this country’s alternative government and its representative.

There were new developments lately regarding this situation. In particular, the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States, a prominent structure in the Western hemisphere, decided to accept the appointment of a permanent representative designated by Venezuela’s National Assembly. This is nothing short of an attempt to legitimise the dual rule in Venezuela. The fallout from this is not just hypothetical, but real, since it establishes the duality of power in a sovereign country. All the prerequisites are created for a major internal standoff in this country. Instead of promoting a settlement and building bridges between the political sides, they are doing just the opposite. The sides are being separated only to be pitted against one another so as to make it impossible to settle this conflict by political or diplomatic means.

In addition to this, having placed on the agenda the question of the status of Venezuelan government’s official representatives, the US delegation ignored all legal arguments of other countries that are members of the Organisation of American States. In particular, this related to the fact that the Permanent Council is not entitled to determine the powers of delegations, and questions of this kind cannot be decided by a simple majority. Instead, they must be reviewed by the General Assembly of the Organisation of American States, to say the least. Therefore, the decision taken by the Permanent Council directly contradicts the organisation’s statutory documents, undermines it and is detrimental to the status of this structure. But who cares when the stakes are so high?

We call on our partners in Latin America and the Caribbean to think about the fallout from this precedent and how it will affect the future work of the Organisation of American States. I want to ask our foreign partners: What will happen if the US tries to further promote the approach of recognising a representative of an impostor as tested within the Organisation of American States? Who will be targeted after Venezuela?

In this connection, I would like to remind you that there is no such notion as collective recognition of governments and their powers in international law. This is a sovereign right of every country. Only the head of state, head of government and foreign minister are entitled to appoint official representatives abroad. We firmly oppose all attempts by a number of countries to question the powers of the Venezuelan delegation within various frameworks, and remain committed to fending off any such attempts moving forward. The ongoing developments are merely an attempt to revert human development to a primitive state.

Regarding humanitarian aid to Venezuela, there are no objective reasons for imposing it on Caracas. There are no hostilities taking place in the country, there were no natural disasters or epidemic outbreaks. Once again, let me point out that the best way to help the people of Venezuela is to lift the illegal unilateral sanctions that target primarily the people of Venezuela. This is what Washington is after, going to great lengths in order to make sure that every Venezuelan suffers and shapes his or her political position accordingly. Washington tested these tactics in many regions of the world.

For example, efforts to block the access of regional and local authorities to financial resources constitute a serious challenge for the people, while no one is questioning the legitimacy of these resources. Just think about it: the cost of humanitarian aid Washington seeks to impose on Venezuela is in the tens of millions of dollars, while the overall effect of sanctions, according to Venezuela, is estimated at over 110 billion dollars. Just give them their money back, lift the sanctions and the country will be back on track. Even a small portion of this enormous amount would have helped deal with the shortage of medicine and other essential goods in Venezuela, and help launch the needed economic reforms. Let me reiterate what we have been saying all along: if the package of measures that is currently used in Venezuela were applied to any so-called developed Western country, let alone developing ones, the targeted country would collapse.

The use by Washington of restrictive measures and threats against countries that work with official Caracas, in particular Cuba, which has been suffering from a US blockade for more than 50 years, is extremely cynical. By the way, by failing to abide by the UN General Assembly resolution urging to end the embargo against Cuba is yet another example of the US showing disdain for UN resolutions.

As for Russia, we stand for strict compliance with norms and principles of international law in all aspects related to a settlement in Venezuela, against ratcheting up tension and imposing outside rule on a sovereign country.

Margarita Simonian’s and Maria Zakharova’s reaction to the rendition of Julian Assange

The Saker

April 11, 2019

What happened is this: since the legacy Ziomedia hates Assange and since they were embarrassed by having this Uber-whistle-blower locked away for 7 years for daring to reveal the true nature of the AngloZionst Empire, they did not have anybody in from of the Ecuadorian Embassy when Assange was rendered.  Now they have to humiliate themselves and ask RT (whom they hate and constantly insult) for some footage.  Here is Margarita Simonian’s brilliant reaction to this state of affairs:

 

Translation: the most obvious sentence one could pass over total disgrace the world media has become can be seen in the fact that nobody was here to film the arrest of Julian Assange, only us (RT).  That in spite of the fact that everybody already new that he would be expelled.  Now they have to come and ask for our footage.
CNN and The Guardian have the gall to call us and ask how it is that we were the only ones to get this footage.
It’s obvious: you are just the spineless hypocritical servants of your Establishment and not journalists at all.  This is why such a thing happened.

As for Maria Zakharova, she truly put it beautifully:

“The hand of “democracy” chokes the neck of freedom”

I could not have put it better myself.

The Saker

Zakharova Fires Back at Trump! US Is Arrogant and in COMPLETE Violation of Intl Law in Venezuela! (MUST SEE)

March 30, 2019

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