Russia today

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Re: Russia today

Post by blindpig » Wed Jun 19, 2024 3:03 pm

Jun 18, 2024 , 12:26 pm .

NATO still plans to increase the number of members (Photo: File)

On many occasions, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has stated that it has not sought to expand with the aim of encircling Russia, and has even accused the Eurasian country of carrying out a disinformation campaign with a view to discrediting the organization. through the imposition of "myths".

Since last January, the organization's official website has been publishing content in a simple and didactic way trying to demystify "Russian disinformation about NATO." However, history reveals all the expansion processes, as well as the approach to the red lines established by Moscow for the maintenance of peace in the region.

NATO claims to combat "Russian disinformation about NATO" with arguments of this type (Photo: NATO)

Throughout its history, NATO has expanded eight times. It even continued to incorporate members after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when it was assumed that there was no longer a cold war or danger that warranted an alliance of that nature. After 1991, the organization went from having 16 members to 30. Finland and Sweden were the last countries to apply for membership.

Regarding the Russian "myth" that NATO was not looking for new members, expansion towards the east or its respect for each nation to choose its own path, there are a series of unavoidable facts that confirm what Moscow has repeated ad nauseam.

Below is a brief chronology revealing NATO's expansion to Russia's borders.

1975. The Helsinki agreements. In that year, the United States , Canada , the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and all European countries established some guidelines to end tensions between the socialist bloc and the West. Sovereign equality, abstention from resorting to the threat or use of force, compliance in good faith with the obligations of international law, were some of these guidelines, but NATO expansionism was important to impose liberal hegemony. As a result, Europe has been plunged into permanent war.

1989. An attempt was made to demilitarize Europe with a plan by Mikhail Gorbachev to achieve a "whole and free Europe." In rejection, the United States proposed the universalism of liberal democracy as the basis for a common Europe.

1994. At the Malta Summit, the United States and top NATO leaders pledged that the organization would not expand "even an inch to the east." Not only did they breach it: in 1994, Washington began pushing for NATO expansion by taking advantage of the assumption of superiority in light of Russia's weakness.

1997. In that year it was warned that the expansion of NATO was a political error of historic proportions. On the contrary, some American analysts pointed out that Russia should be brought in as an ally.

1999. NATO invasion of Yugoslavia. The organization replaced international law and assumed itself as judge and executioner. It occupied Kosovo and used that region as a NATO base to change the reality of that territory.

2004. The color revolutions begin. Destabilizations and successful coups d'état were promoted throughout the periphery of Russia: Ukraine and Georgia. In the first, the Orange Revolution was imposed in Ukraine and in the second, democratic reforms and the fight against corruption began, all promoted by international NGOs such as NED, Freedom House, USAID.

2007. Russia begins to worry about the fact that NATO has placed its forces near its borders. This was taken as a mockery by gringo officials and treated as "purely ridiculous."

2008. At that time, Moscow proposed a new pan-European security architecture and the West opposed it for fear that it would weaken NATO.

2010. President Viktor Yanukovych approved a bill for Ukraine to become a neutral country and a hinge connecting Western Europe with Eurasia. Contrary to this, the EU pressured Ukraine to abandon its neutral stance and offered the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, a kind of ultimatum to choose between the West or Russia.

2014. Coup d'état (Maidan) and anti-Russian and anti-EU/anti-NATO persecution. kyiv's war against Donbas begins.

2015. Minsk-2 Agreements. Ukraine, Donbas, Germany, France and Russia agreed to carry out diplomatic reform for the autonomy of Donbas. It was not fulfilled and everything was about buying time for the United States and NATO to supply weapons and military logistics to Ukraine.

2021. The UK signed a naval deal with Ukraine and NATO boosted its membership prospects.

2022. The destruction of the Russian gas pipelines Nord Stream I and II to cut the energy link with the EU takes place. Investigations into the incident are still ongoing.

2023. The incessant shipment of weapons, financing, logistics and personnel to Kiev as the path to peace, according to NATO, increases. ... eras-rusas


Putin Preempts Pointless 'Peace' Powwow

JUN 18, 2024


Things remain slow on the front, so for now some ancillary updates.

Belousov visited the ground forces joint command center, and was given a tour: (Video at link.)

Firstly, what was fascinating is the MOD literally has a live feed of their top armor production floors:


The importance of Russia’s tank and armor production and the smooth operation of the facilities cannot be understated if the MOD generals themselves watch the factory floors from their HQ all day long. On the top left is footage from Uralvagonzavod BMPT Terminator production line, as well as Atamanovsky Armored Repair Plant 103 with the refurbishment of T-62s, VPK Plant making 6x6 MRAPs, Remdiezel engine plant, and more.

In light of this, four more Defense Minister Deputies were fired:


And replaced, quite promisingly, by less geriatric and much more physiognomically sound candidates:


One sardonic commentator had this to say about Tsalikov in particular:

Pankova, Tsalikov, Shevtsova and Popov were dismissed from their posts as deputy defense ministers in the Ministry of Defense, and [there are] many deputies. Perhaps this happened after visiting the Joint Command Center of the Ministry of Defense with a bunch of monitors, where top military officials are sitting and doing it is not clear what.

Gornin Leonid Vladimirovich was appointed the first deputy. The most significant among the retirees is Tsalikov, who is responsible for building the information field around the Ministry of Defense and, of course, propaganda. It didn't seem to work for the country, the people, or the army, but for specific officials and beautiful reports.

More significantly:

The new Defense Minister will link the Ministry of Defense with the network of national defense industries and teach officials how to interact with them. It may seem strange - it is extremely difficult to do this, due to the dominance of formalism and reports, but it is necessary.

In short, all the stale, soggy old Sovoks who got too comfortable in their sinecures and were too inflexible to keep up with the times are being replaced by young hungry tech-fluent ministers eager to actually whip the armed forces into shape.

In fact, this is a deliberate campaign, as Putin noted in his recent speech:

The army has become younger: the average age of district commanders has become 56 years, army commanders - 50, division commanders - 46, Putin said.

The President noted that during the special operation, there were a lot of changes in the Russian Armed Forces both in the organization and in the promotion of promising people.

It seems the new sheriff in town, Belousov, is a real hard-nosed, no nonsense cattle driver. Here’s an anecdotal description of his latest meeting:

Details of the meeting of Defense Ministry officers and military industrialists with the new Defense Minister Belousov. Quote: "throw out the slides, take a pen, a leaf and let's paint everything in detail and clearly." And there people were "shocked" a little, started to argue. And he said, " If you argue with me – you'll get the fuck out of here forever."

As for who the new ministers are, journalist Sasha Kots gives a brief overview:

Who are they - the new deputy ministers of defense - and for what they will be responsible

Andrei Belousov continues to strengthen his team with civilian specialists.

1st Deputy Leonid Gornin.

The previous position is the first deputy minister of finance. The whole career is associated with financial and economic activities. Will oversee the whole range of issues of financial support for the Armed Forces. Its main tasks are – increasing the transparency of financial flows and ensuring efficient spending of budget funds.

Deputy Anna Tsivilyova.

In recent months, the Foundation « Defenders of the Fatherland », which provides assistance to veterans of the SVO - from legal to medical. I attended one closed meeting with her. She is very immersed in the problems faced not only by veterans, but also by the current fighters of the SVO. From supply deficiencies to non-payment.
She will be responsible for the organization of social and housing support for military personnel, the transformation and removal of all related processes in the military department to a new quality level, where the center is a person. (Ed: Rumored to be Putin’s cousin)

Deputy Pavel Fradkov.

Previous position - from May 21, 2015 — deputy, from January 18, 2021 — First Deputy Manager of the President of the Russian Federation.
In 1998 he graduated from the Moscow Suvorov Military School, in 2003 — FSB Academy of Russia with a degree in « jurisprudence », in 2005 — Department of World Economy, Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, majoring in « world economy ».
He will be responsible for the management of property, land resources, as well as the construction of facilities for the needs of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and the national economy.

Deputy Chief of Staff Oleg Savelyev.

Previously held the position of auditor of the Accounts Chamber. Since 2019, he oversaw the direction of the audit of defense, national security and law enforcement. So the sphere is familiar.
By the way, before the Accounts Chamber, he worked both the Deputy Minister of Economic Development, the Minister for Crimean Affairs, and the deputy head of the government’s apparatus.

I reported last time how Europe’s touted appropriation of Russian funds was not quite what it was billed to be. Now Janet Yellen has corroborated:

The United States Administration believes that using proceeds from Russian assets frozen in the West for the needs of Ukraine is not theft, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said.

"There is no point in calling it theft. Russian assets remain in this institution (on the international Euroclear platform in Belgium). They have been frozen. The investments that Russia had have already reached their maturity date. Thus, Russian funds are lying in the form of cash, but they bring income to the institution, to which Russia has no right,” the minister asserted on ABC television.

Well, actually, now that she mentions it—I’m not exactly sure which method is more slimey—outright theft, or forced freezing where the money’s accruing interest profits are milked and bilked.

Reuters writes that in late summer - in August, Ukraine may default on international bonds. The deferral of payments, which started in 2022, ends on August 1, and creditors refused to make a debt restructuring in the amount of $ 20 billion-pay up. Most likely, the Americans will come up with something to smooth out the consequences of this crisis.


(Much more at link.) ... ace-powwow


Absolutely True And Sad...

... comment. It hits hard on so many levels.

[/color=red]Bloomberg is so scared by the little girl that likes to live in Russia. Oh Florine! You became so dangerous for mr.Biden! Wish you big happiness in the new country![/color]

Family of traditional Catholics finding refuge in Russia...

Those who do not know Russian, find the meaning of the word затискать in its good, positive connotation. No, it is not to cause pain or harm, its main meaning is to hug and kiss and hold near oneself someone who is so dear. It literally means to затискать in hugs of love. Russia fell in love with Florine. As did the Soviet Union with Samantha Smith whose disarming smile is imprinted still on so many people of my generation. Keep in mind, these are always American children for some reason. It is metaphysical, born out of something which only America and Russia possess. But now, the American girl in Russia and Russians falling in love with her... So natural... ... d-sad.html


Russia’s Pacific Fleet Starts Military Exercises

Russian Pacific Fleet. Photo: X/ @ThermopylaeNews

By: teleSUR English

June 18, 2024 Hour: 8:01 am

The exercises will take the form of bilateral operations, involving the Primorye Flotilla of diverse forces and the unified command of the troops and forces in the northeast of Russia.
On Tuesday, Russia’s Pacific Fleet began deploying its forces as part of the exercises scheduled to take place from June 18 to 28.

“The Pacific Fleet forces have initiated the deployment from their base locations to designated areas within the planned bilateral exercise, which will take place on June 18-28 in the Pacific Ocean, in seas of Japan and Okhotsk under the general management of the Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Viktor Liina,” the fleet’s press service was quoted by TASS news agency as saying.

The drills will involve around 40 ships and vessels. Some 20 aircraft and helicopters of naval aviation, including Tu-142M3, Il-38, and Il-38N aircraft, Ka-29, and Ka-27 helicopters, will be part of the anti-submarine and search-and-rescue operations. Marine units and the Bal and Bastion coastal missile systems will also be in the maneuvers.

For the first time, this year’s exercises will take the form of bilateral operations, involving the Primorye Flotilla of diverse forces and the unified command of the troops and forces in the northeast of Russia.

“Throughout various phases, the sailors will practice anti-submarine warfare, the organization of all types of defense for ship detachments during sea crossings, the execution of joint missile strikes against mock enemy ship groups, and drills to repel attacks by drones and unmanned boats,” the press service added.

On a related topic, Russian Defense Minister Andrei Beloúsov inspected the Army Control Center on Monday, receiving updated information on the situation of the special military operation in Ukraine and the enemy’s actions.

The commander of the Army Oleg Saliukov informed Belousov about the ongoing tasks, including the training of officers, interaction with the enterprises of the military industrial complex for the operational supply of the necessary volume of weapons and military equipment to the troops.

Saliukov also presented to Belousov the infrastructural development plan of the Saratov Higher Artillery Academy, which was closed for more than two decades. ... exercises/


Debunking Politico’s Claim About The Reason Why Armenia Wants To Ditch The CSTO

JUN 19, 2024


Belarus’ speculative military cooperation with Azerbaijan was much less than Russia’s provably documented arms sales to that country so there’s no way that the recent claims were responsible for Pashinyan’s latest decision.

Politico published a piece last week dramatically titled “The secret arms deal that cost Putin an ally”, which concocts the story that the supposedly real reason why Armenia wants to ditch the CSTO is because treaty ally Belarus earlier sold weapons to Azerbaijan, not due to any Western games. According to them, “a cache of more than a dozen letters, diplomatic notes, bills of sale and export passports seen by POLITICO shows that Belarus actively aided Azerbaijan’s armed forces between 2018 and 2022”.

Irrespective of this claim’s veracity, it’s a fact as proven by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in April 2021 that “over the decade 2011–20 Russia was the largest exporter of major arms to both Armenia and Azerbaijan. It supplied nearly all of Armenia’s major arms during the period and almost two-thirds of Azerbaijan’s.” None of this was done secretly. It was all part of Russia’s policy to improve its ability to mediate between these warring parties by becoming indispensable to both.

What never figured into the Kremlin’s calculations was that Armenia would experience a pro-Western Color Revolution in 2018, which in turn brought to a power a leader who felt more loyalty towards his ultra-nationalist diaspora and their shared Western partners than to his own born-and-raised Armenians. As a result, Pashinyan began to view Armenia’s traditional ally with suspicion while arrogantly believing that his country’s occupation forces in Karabakh could never realistically be dislodged by Azerbaijan.

It was with these false perceptions in mind that he ignored Russia’s repeated requests from 2018 till the next Karabakh War in 2020 to politically compromise with Azerbaijan, instead opting to provoke Baku’s forces and thus inadvertently sparking the 44-day conflict that followed. Armenia would have been forcibly “demilitarized” by Azerbaijan right afterwards too had it not been for Russia’s CSTO mutual defense guarantees and Baku agreeing to that November’s Moscow-mediated ceasefire with Yerevan.

From then till now, in between which Azerbaijan’s one-day anti-terrorist operation liberated the rest of Karabakh last September, Russian-Azerbaijani relations strengthened in parallel with Russian-Armenian ones worsening while Armenia’s relations with the West grew stronger than ever. It wasn’t until right after Armenia agreed to raise its ties with the US to the strategic level earlier this month that Pashinyan finally decided to leave the CSTO, having eschewed doing so up until then.

As can be seen, he didn’t consider Russian arms sales to Azerbaijan in the run-up to 2020’s Karabakh War to be a red line, nor did he believe that their continued ties since then constituted one either. Belarus’ speculative military cooperation with Azerbaijan was much less than Russia’s provably documented arms sales so there’s no way that the recent claims were responsible for Pashinyan’s latest decision. The only reason why Politico alleged otherwise was to create the false pretext for questioning Russia’s reliability.

They quoted Ivana Stradner, a self-declared “proud” neoconservative who co-authored an article for them in September 2022 with the former Pentagon spy chief about “Waging Psychological War Against Russia”, that “This truly shows that with friends like Vladimir Putin, nobody needs enemies.” She then added that “There is no such thing as loyalty when it comes to Moscow — it’s all about preserving their own security even if it’s at the expense of their own allies.”

The reality though is that Russia’s sale of arms Azerbaijan was largely responsible for bringing Baku to the negotiating table and preventing the scenario of it risking a wider war if it sought to “demilitarize” Armenia after capitalizing on its momentum (possibly in coordination with NATO-member Turkiye). Far from selling Armenia out, Russia is the only reason why it still exists as a state, though that outcome can’t be taken for granted in the future if Armenia leaves the CSTO and kicks out its Russian protectors. ... -about-the


On the purchase of CAESAR self-propelled guns by the Armenian Ministry of Defense
June 18, 2024

The head of the French Ministry of Defense, Sebastien Lecornu, announced the signing of a contract with Armenia for the supply of an unspecified number of 155-mm CAESAR self-propelled artillery systems .

The purchase of the Caesars is more significant than all previous ones that Armenia made. Not particularly useful armored personnel carriers and non-working radar stations are still not suitable for significant acquisitions.

However, things are not so smooth with “Caesars” either.
Firstly , there is a shortage of 155 mm ammunition. It has not gone away, and there are still problems with these shells, and the price for them is still as high, which creates problems in their operation using the same APU as an example.

Secondly , maintenance of high-tech equipment. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have sent their installations for repairs more than once or twice. There is no way to carry out repairs with your own means, so Armenians may have a similar problem.

Thirdly , the French are trying to sell their self-propelled guns to all and sundry, which may create delays in fulfilling the terms of the contract, even despite statements by the Nexter manufacturing plant about its readiness to produce 70 self-propelled guns per year. And the Ukrainian side will probably howl about the need for priority supplies to them.

As a result, we receive a contract for guns with scarce and expensive ammunition and complex maintenance without stable logistics, which are unknown when they will be delivered and in what quantities (several self-propelled guns will not particularly increase combat effectiveness) .

And it is not clear in what condition these “Caesars” will arrive. Whether they will be new or not. Maybe there will be those that were returned to the Armed Forces of Ukraine for repairs. Add to this a zoo of motley equipment, ranging from Soviet installations to Indian ATAGS, and the picture generally turns out to be depressing.

Unfortunately, this agreement once again confirms the lack of any planning in the Armenian Ministry of Defense. Purchases are made simply to tell Russia: “we are cooperating with France and India, they are helping us, we don’t need you . ”

But there is no practical benefit from this, other than information noise. The authorities are still surrendering territories, the army is falling apart, there is a split among the people, and for the Azerbaijanis this is another reason to accuse the Armenians of escalating the situation and demand new territories. ... inoborony/

Google Translator

Given that previous information has it that it required many months for the Franks to complete one Caesar 70 a year seems a pipedream or blatant bullshit.


Russia and North Korea signed a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement
June 19, 12:51


The Russian Federation and the DPRK signed a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement. The agreement was first signed by Putin and Kim Jong-un, and then at the government level.
There are very few specifics about the agreement and, apparently, a significant part of it will be behind the scenes, as it is related to issues of military-political and military-economic cooperation.

The Treaty on Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the Russian Federation and the DPRK provides for assistance in the event of aggression against one of the participants.
In fact, this means that the Russian Federation and the DPRK now have a military defensive alliance. Accordingly, during the war between the United States and South Korea against the DPRK, Russia will have to provide assistance to Pyongyang. And vice versa. In the event of a direct NATO attack on Russia, the DPRK will provide us with military assistance.

(Videos at link.)

It is obvious that relations with the DPRK will now actively develop, since now North Korea is one of the most friendly countries for Russia, while the official leadership of the DPRK fully supports Russia’s achievement of all the goals of the North Korea. And in general, the parties have something to offer each other - Russia can provide jobs for Koreans, cheap oil and grain, and certain technologies. The DPRK can provide skilled workers, ammunition, the capacity of its military-industrial complex, and the products of its enterprises. Plus a new tourist destination is opening. I hope there will still be an opportunity to travel to the DPRK for tourism purposes. All of my friends and acquaintances who had been there before Covid spoke very well about their holiday in North Korea.

PS. Putin presented Kim Jong-un with another Aurus, a dagger and a set. Kim Jong-un gave Putin several million more shells.<sic>

"German Historical Institute in Moscow" recognized as an undesirable organization
June 18, 23:26


"German Historical Institute in Moscow" recognized as an undesirable organization

The Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation added ( ) to the list of foreign and international non-governmental organizations whose activities are recognized as undesirable on the territory of the Russian Federation, the German organization Deutsches Historisches Institut Moskau ("German Historical Institute in Moscow ", DHI).

According to Russian legislation, administrative liability is provided for participation in the activities of undesirable organizations. Repeated offenses may result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment for up to four years.

The institute opened in 2005, it was founded on the initiative of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation and the Zeit Foundation named after Ebelin and Gerd Bucerius and was transferred on the recommendation of the German Research Council to state funding from January 1, 2009.

In addition, DHI is one of 11 overseas research institutes of the Max Weber Foundation. The Institute was a partner of a number of Russian educational and scientific organizations, including Moscow State University. M.V. Lomonosov.

The organization indicates that its work is aimed at developing and strengthening scientific cooperation between historians from Russia and Germany. Although in fact, what the institute was doing was reinterpreting history, whitewashing the fascists through denigration of the USSR ( %86%D0%BA%D0%B8%D0%B9-%D0%B8%D1%81%D1%82%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%BA-%D0%B7%D0 %B0%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%BD%D1%8B-%D0%BF%D0%BE%D1%80%D1%8F%D0%B4%D0%BE%D1%87%D0% BD%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B8-%D0%BF%D0%BB%D0%BE%D1%85%D0%BE-%D0%B4%D0%B5%D0% B9%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B2%D1%83%D1%8E%D1%82-%D0%B2-%D0%B2%D0%BE%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0% BD%D0%BE%D0%B5-%D0%B2%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%BC%D1%8F/a-3889039 ).

In particular, the director of DHI seriously stated back in 2009 that Russians should not rejoice at the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany, but take the blame for the “crimes of the past.”

DHI has been working for a long time and openly to separate citizens of the post-Soviet space ( ... -iz-moskvy ), actively promoting the thesis about the search for the identity of the Slavic peoples, which was hampered by “imperialist Russia”. Using a scientific background and working directly in the academic community, the organization has long questioned the commonality of the East Slavic people as originally a single entity. - zinc

And then there’s Roman Romachev about this fund.

Moscow State University has once again been found to have connections with foreign agents and undesirable organizations in Russia!
There is definitely a group of lobbyists/conductors of Western interests operating at Moscow State University. Interaction of the Faculty of Political Science with the banned Carnegie Foundation (, the closure of the master's program "Information and Hybrid Wars" (and this at the very peak of the SVO), the harboring of a professor who was wanted for bribery in Nicaragua, and now cooperation with DHI. What's next? - zinc

Perhaps, after the audit in the Moscow Region, over time we will see an audit of the management of state universities. I think a lot of interesting discoveries await us there.

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Re: Russia today

Post by blindpig » Thu Jun 20, 2024 3:19 pm

SITREP 6/20/24: Putin Signs Defense Partnership in Historic Pyongyang Trip

JUN 20, 2024
In only the second time since the inaugural year 2000, Putin touched down in Pyongyang—to great adulation and fanfare:





(Video at link.)

The visit comes directly after Russia intimated a mirror response to the West for its arming of Ukraine with advanced weaponry that can strike Russian territory. Not surprisingly, Putin’s visit was highlighted by a signing of a weighty ‘strategic document’ which included the implied possibility of Russia arming North Korea with its own stable of advanced weaponry.

(Video at link.)


Lavrov corroborated the fact: (Video at link.

⚡️💪⚡️Documents signed by the leaders of the DPRK and the Russian Federation:

💪Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Treaty between the Russian Federation and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea;

💪Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on the construction of a border road bridge over the Tumannaya River;

💪Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on cooperation in the field of health, medical education and science.

💪Agreement on a comprehensive strategic partnership between the Russian Federation and the DPRK provides for assistance in the event of aggression against one of the participants, Putin⚡️💪⚡️


Beyond the perfunctory pledges for cooperation in various civil fields, Russia and NK intend to construct a new road bridge at their border to better facilitate inter-state travel, as well as the big one: a ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’ for assistance in the event of aggression. This sounds one step shy of a full military alliance.

The most important takeaway is twofold:

There is the obvious fact that this represents an immediate signaling by Putin that he wasn’t bluffing when he said there would be retaliation for crossing of the red lines. The most serious, and under-looked, aspect of this is the implied tit-for-tat potential for facilitating North Korea’s ability to strike the U.S. in nuclear fashion. The reason is: much of the threats vis-a-vis Ukraine are of this category: for instance, the F-16s which the West brazenly pledges to Ukraine represent a nuclear threat, given their ability to drop B-61 tactical nuclear bombs on Russian territory.

The West escalates tensions by shielding themselves beneath a nuclear-capable proxy, which would allow the waging of nuclear war against Russia with a sort of built-in plausible deniability or legal defense. So now, Russia has requited in kind by implying they can give North Korea even more lethal missile technologies which can potentially be used in conjunction with nuclear warheads to put the U.S. under the nuclear sword.

But the most significant—to me—implication of these developments is actually that which applies much more directly and immediately to the ongoing Ukrainian on-the-ground hostilities. Not only does this tightening of relations represent the likely increase of conventional staple North Korean munitions to the Russian army, it also suggests the possibility of much more comprehensive supplies in the future; i.e. not just shells and small arms, but possibly entire weapons systems like MLRS, light and heavy armor, etc.

One suggestion making the rounds is the potential to supply the Russian Army with North Korea’s devastating KN-25 600mm MLRS system, which is basically the NK version of an ATACMS: (Video at link.)

That’s all not to mention the fact that while this was ongoing, Russian hypersonic-armed warships reportedly performed maneuvers within visual sight of Miami, a clear message sent:

The routes of Navy ELINT planes circling above.

And lastly, this dovetails into something else. The Western commentariat continues to center their entire future victory hopes on the fact that the West is allegedly “increasing production”, which they desperately tie into the narrative that a year or so in the future the combined manufacturing powers of Europe and the U.S. will match or overtake Russia and it will be game over for Putin.

The problem this, as the below Korean excerpt shows, Russia is not only increasing production itself in line with the West, and arguably even faster, but Russia’s allies have massive manufacturing capacities for key munitions that dwarf anything the West will be capable of in the next decade or more.

Take a look:

Image ... ia/1907006

Not only is North Korea’s current peacetime production capable of a massive 2 million 152mm shells per year, the South Korean expert source believes they can ramp this by 2x or 3x to a whopping 4-6m. To put that in perspective, the entire combined West could not deliver even 1 million shells to Ukraine, and that’s after trying to desperately source them all over the world. The U.S. has just ‘proudly’ announced their ramp up to 36k shell per month production, a measly ~430,000 a year, with the slated schedule to ramp to 80,000 a month—or 960k a year—by the year 2028.

Meanwhile, not only is Russia already said to be hitting 4-5M a year soon, but North Korea does 2M and can quickly ramp to 6M. In short, Russia’s strategic defensive initiative with North Korea promises to keep Russia’s artillery-thirsty army more than quenched indefinitely.

And for those who may balk at the numbers, South Korea just officially reported last week that they now calculate North Korea has already sent 10,000 train containers with 5 million shells to Russia:

Image ... korea-says

Seoul has detected at least 10,000 shipping containers being sent from North Korea to Russia, potentially holding up to 4.8 million artillery shells, South Korean Defence Minister Shin Won-sik told Bloomberg News in an interview published Friday.

One can see the death of the narrative here. U.S. and allies are said to be “ramping up” to some point in the future where Ukraine can receive upwards of 2M+ shells per year, and this is meant to be a game changing turning point. Yet by that time, Russia could very likely source as many as 10M shells per year.

I wouldn’t be surprised if North Korea and others could also help Russia fill in the gaps with actual artillery systems, barrels, tanks, etc., if need be. One of the other main elements of the pro-UA narrative is that Russia is running out of tanks. They are not manufacturing enough new hulls, and at least half or more of the yearly production consists of restored hulls from storage bases, which will run out in a year or two.

Part of this theory stemmed from the understanding that Russia only manufactures new T-72s, while T-90Ms and T-80s are all created from refurbished and finite hulls. However, Russia’s UVZ released a new video last week which showed a fresh T-90 hull being manufactured from scratch, distinguished by clips of its uniquely reinforced sections—which differ from the T-72—being milled and machined. This appears to suggest that Russia is now manufacturing completely new T-90s.

(Video at link.)

And while it’s true T-80 hulls are likely dwindling, Russia has slowly been resetting a T-80 production line, with turbine engine production having reached a milestone of being restarted months ago, with only hulls left to have a new line opened. Most likely, long before stored T-80 hulls are depleted, Russia will also have restarted native T-80 production at which point the bleed out will be staunched.

In short, Russia is going to be covered for the long term, and in fact its industrialists are already looking ahead to a post war future in line with Putin and Belousov’s initiative to integrate the war economy into the development of the civilian one. Rostec head Sergey Chemezov stated this today:


⚡️ Sergey Chemezov: today we are forming the groundwork for the post-victory period.

At a meeting of the Bureau of the Union of Mechanical Engineers of Russia and the League for Assistance to Defense Enterprises, the head of Rostec noted that the domestic defense industry, along with the implementation of the state defense order, creates groundwork in high-tech civilian areas for the post-victory period.

“The importance of the defense industry is growing rapidly. We not only equip our soldiers in the Northern Military District with everything they need, but also actively participate in the implementation of the most important civilian projects. We contribute to the achievement of large-scale goals of national development of our country,” said Sergei Chemezov.

Of course, the West continues efforts to reorient their entire strategy to one that can bear some success against Russia in the longer term future. But I intend to write an article soon devoted solely to that topic, so stay tuned.

(Much more at link.) ... ns-defense


By Noah Robertson, Defense News, 5/21/24

The real story here is why the western expert class (exemplified by the numbskull Radakin quoted in the article) is so surprised at Russia’s resilience and resourcefulness. There should be accountability for that kind of profound incompetence and solipsism in relation to the world’s other nuclear superpower. – Natylie

The Pentagon in March put a price tag on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking in the officer’s club at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin read a list of costs the Kremlin had tallied over two years: More than 315,000 troops killed or wounded. Over $211 billion spent. Some 20 medium or large ships damaged or sunk in the Black Sea.

“Russia has paid a staggering cost for [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s imperial dreams,” Austin said, speaking before a meeting of countries that gather each month in support of Ukraine.

By April, though, Austin’s tone had changed.

At a news conference, Austin and Gen. CQ Brown, America’s top military officer, again detailed Russia’s losses. But they added another trend: Russia’s recovery.

“Russia has ramped up its production,” Austin said. “All of their defense industry really answers directly to the state, so it’s easier for them to do that a bit quicker.”

Brown put it more simply: “Russia has aggressively reconstituted its military force.”

Coming a month apart, the two sets of comments show a distinct change in how the U.S. views Russia’s military. While American officials have long detailed the costs of Moscow’s invasion for its armed forces and its economy, in the last two months they’ve started to acknowledge Russia is recovering faster than the U.S. expected.

The pace matters for Ukraine and those supporting it — in particular the U.S. government, which approved $48 billion more in Ukraine-related security aid this April. American officials say they expect that bill to sustain Kyiv for another year. But if Moscow’s recovery is a moving target, that could change.

Indeed, if the Kremlin keeps rebuilding its forces faster than expected, it could present a longer-term and perhaps costlier problem for the NATO alliance. The U.S. government’s National Defense Strategy calls Russia an “acute threat,” second to the “pacing challenge” of China.

But Moscow’s own capacity may change that.

“They are doing better than we would have thought,” a senior U.S. defense official told Defense News on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss sensitive intelligence.

Three ways to rebuild

When Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, things quickly fell apart. Enduring images of the first two months illustrated Russian frailty by showing rotting tires on armored vehicles and a convoy just outside of Kyiv that became a traffic jam.

This prompted self-reflection in the West: If Russia’s military wasn’t as powerful as defense planners had thought before the war, how quickly could it recover?

Even scientific methods to measure an opposing military are inexact, partly because those easiest to measure, such as personnel and equipment, might not be the most important given factors like corruption and morale. But estimates for how long Russia would take to reconstitute mostly fell into the five- to 10-year range, depending on how Western sanctions worked and the Kremlin’s own goals.

“There’s no question — and I think [there’s] unanimity in the intelligence community — it will take years for the Russians to build back up their ground forces,” Avril Haines, the U.S. director of national intelligence, said in March 2023.

Her comments came amid the annual churn of officials visiting Capitol Hill from winter to early spring. Around the same time this year, Gen. Christopher Cavoli, America’s top military officer in Europe, had a second opinion.

“The overall message I would give you is they’ve grown back to what they were before,” Cavoli said. “They’ve got some gaps that have been produced by this war, but their overall capacity is very significant still. And they intend to make it go higher.”

To some extent, the officials were discussing different elements of Russia’s force. When Haines testified last year, she was joined by the chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency at the time, Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, who said Russia was five to 10 years away from reconstituting. By that, Berrier meant it would take Russia up to a decade to rebuild the high-end equipment lost earlier in the war.

Cavoli, on the other hand, was discussing the overall size of Russia’s military.

Still, European and American defense officials, along with experts on the Russian military, told Defense News the Kremlin’s force is reconstituting faster than expected. They gave three main reasons why.

The first is the resilience of Moscow’s defense industry.

During the war, Russia has almost tripled its defense budget, according to Richard Connolly, an expert on the country’s economy at the London-based Royal United Services Institute think tank. Russia is set to spend somewhere between $130 billion and $140 billion on defense in 2024, which is about 6% of gross domestic product and a third of the government’s overall budget, Connolly approximated.

But because costs and wages are lower in Russia than in high-income countries, like many in NATO, the Kremlin’s defense fund buys much more than it would in the United States. When that conversion is taken into account, Russia’s 2024 defense budget falls between $360 billion to $390 billion, Connolly estimated.

The spending trend itself has raised salaries. Working in the defense industry was once a middling career in Russia; it’s now lucrative and attracting more workers. Based on official Russian figures, which Connolly noted may be inflated, the number of people working in the defense industry rose 20% during the war, from 2.5 million to about 3 million now.

The funds have also gone toward procuring military hardware. Connolly estimates this share of the defense budget probably doubled during the war, helping Russia replace lost equipment.

Connolly said he doubts the state of Russia’s economy will factor into how the war ends. Moscow has a cadre of policy wonks guiding its country through sanctions, he noted, and they have lots of practice doing so. In fact, Putin recently replaced a general at the helm of the Defence Ministry with an economist.

The second reason is Russia’s ability to dodge financial penalties.

In 2022, the Biden administration and European partners passed a raft of sanctions meant to sink the Russian economy. These ranged from banning the sale of high-tech materials, such as microchips, to a price cap on Russian oil sales.

These haven’t worked, multiple analysts told Defense News. That’s in large part because Moscow has been able to reroute its supply lines through friendly countries.

Chief among those partners is China. From 2022 to 2023, trade between Russia and China grew more than 26%, hitting an all-time high of $240 billion, according to a report by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.

Beijing largely avoided sending weapons directly. Instead, Chinese companies became a vital supplier of the items Russia needed to build weapons itself — such as microchips and small electronics.

This leads to the third point: Russia’s reconstitution has relied on surprising levels of support from other U.S. adversaries, who, unlike China, have directly provided military aid to Russia.

Since October, North Korea has sent Russia about 10,000 shipping containers, which could include up to 3 million artillery rounds, according to U.S. government figures. Russia has fired dozens of North Korean ballistic missiles since last fall, an American diplomat told the U.N. in March.

Iran has also provided materiel. Specifically, it’s sent a somewhat plodding attack drone known in Tehran as the Shahed-136 and in Moscow as the Geran-2. Russia has deployed swarms of these to overwhelm Ukraine’s air defenses, firing more than 3,700 Shahed drones, of which there are several variants, during the war as of December, according to the Ukrainian government.

When Cavoli visited Capitol Hill in April, he came with his own list of numbers: Russia’s GDP grew 3% in 2023, despite predictions it would shrink. It can add 1,200 tanks and build at least 3 million artillery rounds or rockets each year. And through a deal with Iran, Russia plans to locally build 6,000 drones by next summer.

A February report by the RUSI think tank, cited by the unnamed senior U.S. defense official, who declined to offer a full set of American figures, said Russia can produce 3,000 armored vehicles per year and had surged its inventory of precision missiles.

Its force inside Ukraine has also grown.

Last year, Russia increased the age limit for the draft from 27 to 30, which the U.S. estimates will add a pool of 2 million eligible conscripts.

And the Kremlin set a goal to recruit more than 400,000 troops — part of a larger target to grow the military to 1.5 million service members by 2026. To do so, Russia offered lavish signing bonuses and salaries, which in some areas are more than five times the average paycheck, according to an Estonian intelligence report.

It’s unclear whether Moscow already met this goal. But Cavoli said in April that Russia was recruiting about 30,000 new soldiers per month and had surged its front-line end strength to 470,000, larger than the Russian army before the war.

Is the military growth sustainable?

In early May, Adm. Tony Radakin, the professional head of the U.K. armed forces, sat down with reporters in the British Embassy in Washington. Speaking over cookies and tea, he discussed Russia’s recent advances.

The Russian military was making marginal progress, but still relying on Soviet-era inventories to restock and struggling to train its newest recruits, Radakin said. The force was on pace to suffer 500,000 casualties by the end of June, he estimated.

“That is an astonishing loss of life and Russian nationhood that has been wasted for such modest gains,” he said.

But a day after he spoke, Russia began a new offensive near Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.

Such attacks raise another question: How long can Russia sustain its operations?

Aside from drones, much of its wartime output has relied on vast warehouses of Soviet-era weapons. To reconstitute materiel lost in battle, Russia is emptying these, repairing the equipment and then sending it all to the front lines — one reason the estimates of Russia’s industrial capacity vary so widely.

“A lot of people are reading some headline figures and then assuming that it’s all new production,” Connolly said.

As an example, he pointed to main battle tanks. Before the war, he said, Russia was delivering about 150 to 250 a year. But of those, he assessed, about 20 to 30 would have been new, while the rest were heavily refurbished.

So while Cavoli’s written testimony in April said Russia could make up to 1,200 tanks per year, Connolly estimated that, at a maximum, 400 of those are new or heavily refurbished. Everything else, he said, is pulled from storage, lightly repaired and then deployed.

The RUSI report from February estimated about 80% of Russia’s wartime production was actually refurbished, aging materiel.

“Of course inventory becomes very important: What was that number to begin with, and what was the state of it?” Connolly said. “Truth is, nobody knows.”

European and American defense officials made the same point. Russia has vast stocks, but they’re not unlimited, which could be why it relies on partners like Iran, Belarus and North Korea.

“When you are doing the reform and you are trying to enlarge your military, you are probably losing the quality,” a defense official from a NATO member state told Defense News, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive topic.

That said, the war in Ukraine has been more about attrition than precision, the official said. In other words, it may not matter much whether Russian soldiers are using a 50-year-old T-72 tank or a new one.

The same questions of sustainability also apply to Ukraine, which has a smaller defense industry, an unreliable source of support in America, and less eligible soldiers. Earlier this year, Kyiv lowered the draft age from 27 to 25 to regenerate its armed forces.

Sitting in the British Embassy, Radakin said it would probably take about a decade for Russia to seriously threaten NATO again. Despite Russia’s refreshed troop levels, its invasion of Ukraine will eventually collapse, though he would not guess at that timeline.

“I don’t think it is sustainable,” he said. “But I don’t know at which point it becomes unsustainable.” ... its-force/


Imperialist war. Definition and essence of the concept
June 19, 18:25


Imperialist war. Definition and essence of the concept

The concept of “imperialist war” is easily derived from Lenin’s work “Imperialism as the Highest Stage of Capitalism.” In this work, Lenin defined the tasks of capitalism in foreign policy as the export of goods, and the tasks of imperialism as the export of capital.

Let me explain that the export of goods is when capitalists produced goods in their factories and sent them to other states where they sold them. And if those states are against it. For example, they introduce a direct ban on the sale of foreign goods, or impose additional taxes on them, thereby making their sales unprofitable, then the bourgeoisie unleashes capitalist wars against those states. Those. they are setting their state into war with such states. And if they win, the losers are prohibited from introducing barriers to foreign goods. Calling it, for example, the victory of the free market, or something similar. Thus, capitalist wars are wars for the right to sell their goods, wars for access to the market. For example, such were the opium wars of England against China. It does not always come to war; more often, threats or bribery of senior officials of such a state suffice.

And the export of capital is when capitalists take money (capital), come with it to another state, and with this capital they organize production there, or buy a share, usually the main one, in an already finished production, or expand existing production for receiving a share .

Here many may say that this is an investment! Everyone wants them. Investments are a blessing! This is what international organizations tell us, the same IMF (International Monetary Fund), sponsored by the capitalists of Europe and the USA. To which we can answer that we should not trustfully listen to everything that organizations sponsored by capitalists say. Because everything they say is for the benefit, no matter how strange it may seem to some, the capitalists. It’s one thing to receive investments as a kind of loan: if you received the money, you returned the money. It’s a completely different matter to receive investments and give up a share of the enterprise for them, especially the main share: they received the money, and now they tell you what to produce, where and how to sell, and they may even prohibit you from producing, i.e. close the enterprise. In the latter case, you find yourself not the owner of your enterprise. In other words, there is an economic takeover of the state. The economy of the state becomes subordinated to the capitalists of another state. And if the state can arrange repression for its own capitalists if something happens, then with foreign capitalists everything is not so simple. What is needed is some kind of army, a willingness to fight with other states for economic independence, as well as the willingness and ability to resist political and economic measures, the same sanctions. Don't confuse investment with selling your business for investment. In fact, this is the purchase of an enterprise, and subsequent investments in your own enterprise. But they call it an investment so they don’t get scared.

Of course, state governments may understand that allowing foreigners to take over their economies would mean the end of any kind of independence. And they will decide to introduce a number of legislative measures against such a takeover: limits on the receipt of shares of enterprises by foreigners, especially in important sectors of the economy, a ban on the sale of land to foreigners, nationalization, etc. Capitalists perceive such measures negatively, and can start a war in order to prohibit the losing side from taking such measures. If a state is so weak that it is unable to protect its economy, it happens that capitalists from different states try to take over its economy. Then they can start a war between their states for the economy of this state. Such wars are called imperialist. And the states that lead them are called imperialist. Thus, imperialist wars are wars for control over the economy of another state, wars for the admission of foreign capital into the economy of a state. For example, such wars were World Wars 1 and 2, the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05, the Panama War of 1989-90, the Iraq-Kuwait War of 1990, the Iraq War of 2003, etc. Of course, all of the above can be achieved and without war. Various international funds, including the IMF, advise selling your economy to everyone. This is cheaper for capitalists than fighting. - zinc

In the “holy 90s” this very “inability to protect our own economy” happened. But as Chubais said at one time, there was essentially no such task, to deal with economics. The task was “to destroy communism in Russia.” We are still dealing with the consequences. Including the imperialist attempt by the United States to subjugate the Russian economy to itself, suppressing the attempts of capitalist Russia to pursue an independent policy.

Google Translator


By Helen Andrews, The American Conservative, 5/16/24

One of the most serious allegations of war crimes against Russia is that it kidnapped tens of thousands of Ukrainian children during its invasion and sent them to “re-education” camps in Russia and, in some cases, gave the children to Russian families to adopt. Because the children are allegedly being Russianized with the intention of eradicating their Ukrainian cultural identity, this conduct qualifies as genocide under international law.

The International Criminal Court has issued a warrant for Vladimir Putin and Russia’s Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova over these child deportations. In March, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning the “illegal kidnapping” of Ukrainian children by Russia, and the nine Republican congressmen who voted against the resolution were excoriated.

But is the charge true? Lvova-Belova says the children were evacuated from the war zone due to concerns for their safety and that children can be claimed by their Ukrainian parents or guardians in person with the proper documentation. The Kremlin also disputes the number of children removed from Ukrainian territory: Kiev says more than 19,000; Moscow says it has 600 children from Ukraine in state care.

So which side is right? A story in the Wall Street Journal this week paints a picture of a tragic situation brought about not by the wickedness of Russian authorities, but by the inherent difficulties of wartime. According to the WSJ, people who have brought money and influence to bear on this issue with the goal of rescuing Ukrainian children have discovered, upon closer examination, that the situation is more complicated than they initially thought.

In July 2023, Qatar pledged millions of dollars and diplomatic assistance to help reunite Ukrainian children with their parents and guardians. “But the wealthy Gulf state downsized initial ambitions to return thousands at once after confronting myriad logistical and political challenges,” the WSJ writes. “To date, Qatar has returned approximately 70 children in several batches, most recently when a group of 16 were reunited with their families last month. Around 29 more children are expected to be sent home soon.”

“When we started engaging with the details, it turned out that getting each child is a long process,” a Qatari official said. One challenge is paperwork. Russian authorities will not hand over a child simply on a Ukrainian claimant’s say-so. An 18-year-old girl trying to bring home her 11-year-old brother was told by his Russian foster family, “I can’t give him to you like he’s a kitten.” The two siblings were orphans; the brother’s foster parents in Ukraine did not want him back, making the question of legal guardianship tricky.

Many of these children were living in orphanages on Ukrainian territory that was seized by Russian forces, who then evacuated them. Americans trying to understand this issue need to know two things about orphanages in Ukraine. The first is that, unlike in America, children in Ukrainian orphanages often have a living parent. It is common in Ukraine for single mothers or impoverished families to send their children to orphanages hoping one day to reclaim them when their circumstances improve. This makes it difficult for Russian authorities who want to place war orphans in new homes; they don’t know which ones still have parents in Ukraine who might want them back.

The second thing is that child trafficking in Ukraine is a real problem. The U.S. State Department, the European Union, and UNICEF have all named Ukraine as a hotspot for “institution-related trafficking.” Children in orphanages have been sold to American parents by unscrupulous adoption agents or taken away on false pretenses by criminal gangs, who then use the children in any one of their various money-making enterprises. (For a fictional treatment of this issue, based on real stories, see the 2014 novel Orphanage 41 by Canadian investigative journalist Victor Malarek, an expert in human trafficking and author of the non-fiction expose The Natashas: Inside the New Global Sex Trade.)

In other words, there are good reasons why Russian authorities will not release a child simply because someone in Ukraine claims to be his rightful guardian. The desire to reunite children with their relatives must be balanced against the need to protect children from bad actors. Those concerned with the welfare of these children should put their effort into meeting the criteria the Russian authorities have set for reunification in order to bring them home as soon as possible—and leave charges of “genocide” out of it. ... mplicated/


The “wind of change” blew in the wrong direction

Lucas Leiroz

June 19, 2024

More than three decades after the “wind of change”, integration between Russia and the West appears to have failed.

More than three decades ago, the legendary German rock band Scorpions released one of the most viral songs of all time, the famous “Wind of Change”. The song narrates the feelings of an anguished and, at the same time, hopeful European youth facing the end of the Cold War and the beginning of the “integration” between Soviets and Westerners. The lyrics tell in a very honest way the emotions of the union of two worlds separated by more than four decades, although visibly from a Western perspective.

In December 2023, I was in Minsk, capital of the Republic of Belarus, when, during dinner, the Scorpions song played in the restaurant and immediately all the Russians/ Belarusians started singing it absolutely spontaneously, as a natural reaction to the sound that echoed from the radio. The scene surprised even the few Western tourists who were there at the time.

Even though I already knew “Wind of Change” long before, at that moment, for the first time, I had the curiosity to read the comments on the song’s videos on YouTube and other social platforms. The massive number of comments in Russian language is impressive. Clearly, the song is loved in the “russkiy mir” – which explains the scene I saw in Minsk.

I follow the Moscow and down to Gorky Park
Listening to the wind of change

Months later, I was walking through Gorky Park in Moscow, in the middle of the Russian summer, facing the atmosphere of collective joy that prevails in the Russian capital during this season. Immediately, I remembered the verses of the German band, whose epiphany occurred precisely on a walk through the Gorky Park.

I felt the utopian “wind of change” blowing in my face for a few seconds, but I quickly recalled the recent memory of three visits to the conflict zone on the Russian-Ukrainian border. Immediately, I realized that the “wind” narrated by the Germans was blowing in the wrong direction.

The world is closing in
And did you ever think
That we could be so close like brothers?

To the purest of hearts in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the world truly seemed filled with an atmosphere of “change” capable of bringing the West and Eurasia “closer.” For innocent hearts, the end of the Cold War would represent the beginning of an era of harmony and cooperation among all peoples.

This was, in fact, a possibility. But the West chose the opposite path. It chose, guided by its megalomaniacal desire for world domination, the path of confrontation, hatred and war with Russia.

After the political, economic and social catastrophe of the Gorbachev-Yeltsin era – when the USSR was liquidated and the Russian Federation was founded already on the brink of a civil war – the young Vladimir Putin had offered NATO, innocently or not, the proposal that would define the direction of ties between Moscow and the West: Russia’s possible entry into NATO.

Obviously, the US, already experienced in decades of knowledge of the geopolitical science (unfortunately, ignored in the USSR as a “German science”), rejected Putin’s proposal. In the end, how could Russia, the center of the “Heartland”, enter the Atlantic alliance?!

The tacit condition for Russian access to NATO was simple: Russia would have to divide itself into dozens of countries, forming weak, Western-puppet ethno-states. With its territorial greatness intact, Russia did not give the West a “security guarantee” strong enough to enter the alliance, since, at any time, the largest country in the world could simply leave NATO and become an enemy, having strength enough to face the US and its vassals.

Anyway, Russia and the West were not “as close” as the Scorpions musicians would have liked.

The wind of change blows straight
Into the face of time
Like a storm wind that will ring
The freedom bell for peace of mind
Let your balalaika sing what my guitar wants to say

Many factors prevented the utopian dreams of the German musicians from coming true. In fact, in the Scorpions’ own lyrics, some racist mentality is reflected, seeing Russians as a “primitive” people and ignorant of the cultural innovations of the capitalist West – perhaps they did not know that the rock musical genre emerged in the USSR and West Germany almost simultaneously, in the 1960s, with the electric guitar being as common to Russians in the late USSR as the traditional balalaika.

In a naive way, the song reflects the thoughts of a European youth impressed by the “discovery” of the Russian-Soviet world, as an “interesting novelty” for the bored Western society. The pain of the Soviets who saw their country collapse was never taken into account by Western artists – who, swallowed in the dominant ideology, were convinced that being part of the West was the best for everyone on the “other side of the world”.

Westerners have always had a racist and supremacist view towards Russians, expressed even in the most innocent and friendly works – like this song by Scorpions. Seeing Russians as a “retrograde” and “primitive” people is one of the basic principles of the entire Russophobic ideology that prevailed in the West during the 20th century and remains prevalent now in the 21st century. For NATO, as well as for historical (German) and current (Ukrainian) Nazis, Russia is a barbaric, primitive land, needing the arrival of the “Western civilization”. This mentality prevented any fruitful peace dialogue throughout the post-Cold War years.

Take me
To the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away

Ambitions for world domination and Russophobia – inherited from the Nazis who received asylum in the US and Europe after the WWII – led Western countries to support all forms of measures against the Russian Federation. The promotion of separatism in areas such as Chechnya and neo-Nazism in the Russian strategic environment, mainly in Ukraine, led to successive attritions against Moscow.

Russia defeated the Caucasus’ separatists and neutralized Russophobic threats in Georgia, but was late to pay attention to the Ukrainian problem. After eight years of war in Donbass, Moscow made the right decision to intervene to stop the genocide of ethnic Russians in Donetsk and Lugansk – and several other Russian-majority regions.

In Donbass, the “children of tomorrow” on the Russian side of (then) Ukraine did not have a ludic and kind childhood, but a real hell with Western-supplied aviation, artillery and drones. With broad support from NATO, the Kiev Junta advanced its “de-Russification” plans and implemented an ethnic and cultural genocide in the eastern regions, leading thousands of innocent children and civilians to martyrdom.

For the children of Donbass, there has never been any “glory night” – at least, not before February 24, 2022, when the military forces of the Russian Federation finally put an end to the genocide initiated by the neo-Nazis in 2014. For those children, the actual “wind of change” blew precisely on the night when Russian missiles targeted the bases of Ukrainian fascist militias.

What the Western world called an “unjustified invasion”, the innocent children of Donbass called “hope” – or simply “change”. Undoubtedly, for those children, the early morning of February 24, 2022 was a “glory night” – the first since 1991, when millions of Russians suddenly became foreigners in their own lands.

In the wind of change…

For two years now, the hope of every ethnic Russian in the New Regions – and in all Russian-majority territories – has been Moscow’s military victory. More than that, hope for Russian victory extends to a conviction that the defeat of the Kiev regime will trigger a domino effect of changes across the world geopolitical scenario, bringing about a total reconfiguration of the global order.

The post-Cold War “wind of change” has blown in the wrong direction. The West had never been as Russophobic as it is now. There has never been [in the West] so much demonization and marginalization of Russia as in current times, when the US and Europe are futilely trying to “cancel” the largest country in the world. The end of the Cold War and communism, instead of representing a true “wind of change”, brought with it the rise of racism and fascism as weapons of war in the service of the West’s desire for world power.

And it is precisely the Russian Federation that now shows the world an alternative to change [for the better] the course of humanity. The winds that have blown in the wrong direction in recent decades now finally seem to favor the emergence of a new world, where people can finally be closer and friendlier, through a multipolar system without hegemonies.

It remains to be seen whether the West will accept the inevitable fate of humanity. ... direction/
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Russia today

Post by blindpig » Fri Jun 21, 2024 4:01 pm



by John Helmer, Moscow @bears_with

The balloon didn’t quite go up at Wednesday’s session of European Union (EU) officials in Brussels to decide on a new round of anti-Russian sanctions, the fourteenth package of the EU’s economic war. Stopping Russian helium exports, one of the items in the package, wasn’t the sticking point.*

The Russian helium balloon is going up, nonetheless – but not in the direction the EU, US, and other NATO allies imagine. What is happening instead, Russian industry sources reveal, is that the war conditions have accelerated Russian investment into a rapid expansion of the country’s helium production, ending Russia’s need for helium imports, advancing Russia ahead of the US as the world’s leading producer and exporter, and threatening US helium producers with the destruction of their price and profitability.

At present, Russian plants produce between 4 and 5 million cubic litres of helium per year; the country needs to consume about 6 million cubic litres, and so it has been importing about 2 million litres a year. The plan for helium production in newly built plants in Amur, Irkutsk, Tatarstan, and Yakutia — sourced from gasfields in Amur and Yakutia with some of the richest helium concentrations in the world — is to generate about 75 million cubic litres annually. That’s 40% of the current world consumption of about 190 million cubic litres. With that much helium, Russia will top the US as the world’s leading producer; take the largest share of the global helium export market; and with exports to China dominate world supply for the foreseeable future.

When Europeans and Americans will want to buy balloons for their parties, fuel their medical scanning and respiration machines, save their naval divers from the bends, and drive their airships, they will have to beg the Russians and Chinese for the helium at the latter’s price. Their warfighting weapon will have been pricked.

Helium was first discovered in 1868 by French and English astronomers watching the sun’s gas emissions. There is a great deal of the gas in outer space, but the discovery of the stuff on our planet took more time to realize; then the technology to mine and refine it from underground natural gas deposits followed. In 1938 the Soviet physicist Pyotr Kapitsa reported the superfluidity of helium — the applications of this discovery have been multiplying ever since.

Today helium is widely used in high-tech production of cryogenics, superconductors, optical fibers, LCD displays, as well as in medicine, such MRI scanners, laparoscopic surgery, and life support respiration, and in partying for children and adults. Helium’s best known military application is in underwater naval warfare. The divers who placed the explosives to destroy Russia’s Nord Stream gas pipelines in September 2022 depended on helium in their breathing apparatus.

The world market value of helium was $5.1 billion in 2022, and is estimated in the West to be growing to $7 billion by 2032, an annual growth rate of almost 6%. But Russian industry reports are projecting a growth rate of double this over the next five years.

Western industry sources say that Russia currently produces bulk liquid helium from three different sources. Gazprom produces helium at its new Amur gas processing plant in Eastern Siberia and its older gas processing plant located in Orenburg; while the Irkutsk Oil Company (INK) produces helium from its Yaraktinsky Plant located in the Ural Region. Presently, these sources account for approximately 12-13% of global supply.

Russian sources report that for the time being Gazprom’s Orenburg plant is the principal source of domestic supply, giving Gazprom near-monopoly control, with 80% of the domestic helium.

INK, which is owned by the billionaire Nikolai Buinov will gain no more than 15% of the market. Buinov, who is not mentioned as INK’s owner in the company’s annual reports, is little known outside his home region of Irkutsk where he and his father began by selling fuel and lubricants to local goldmines. He is not under US sanctions.


The Russian sources also report that the main helium gas sources are in the geological formations known as the East European and Siberian basins. Of the natural gas fields explored to date in Russia, 176 sites are considered as a source of helium with a concentration in natural gas of at least 0.05%. State reserves as of last year amounted to 323 million cubic metres for reserve categories A+B; between 8 billion and 9 billion if the less proved categories are included. About a third of these estimated reserves are in Yakutia (Sakha); about 7% in the Orenburg region. The best known producing sites at the moment are the Kovykta and Yaraktinskoye gasfields in Irkutsk region and Chayandinskoye in Sakha.

(in thousand tonnes)


This pie chart of global production is about to be revolutionized, not only by the expansion of Russian production, but by the downward pressure on helium prices which the new volume of Russian exports will cause, pushing US production of helium – which has already been declining – below the level of profitability. After appeals to the Russian government from hospitals complaining at the 40% spike in the helium prices between 2020 and 2023, it was agreed with Gazprom to stabilize the current price. When Gazprom’s new Amur helium production enters the market, on top of the INK’s plant in Irkutsk region, there will be a vast surplus of Russian helium and this will be exported, starting with China.

In two years’ time, when Gazprom’s Amur gas processing plant at Svobodny reaches design capacity, it will be the largest gas processing plant in the world after the Prudhoe Bay plant in Alaska. It will be the largest helium producer in the world. US industry estimates suggest that when operating at full capacity, Gazprom’s plant will hold about one-quarter of the world market.


Click on source to enlarge for view:

Loading of liquid helium into tanker trucks at the Orenburg plant. For more detail on this plant, click to read.

Gazprom’s new helium shipping hub at Vladivostok, supplied by the new Amur processing plant, launched in 2021.

Air Products, one of the leading helium suppliers in the US, presents this videoclip on its operations.

Helium production in the US has been dictated by the state’s military needs, first during World War I and then World War II. However, in 1996 the Clinton Administration privatized reserves, production plants and distribution. Since then mine source Chevron and producer Air Products and Chemicals have grown rich on the gas while production volumes have declined; they are already forecast to drop by half to around 40 million litres per annum in five years. At present, Air Products and Chemicals, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, has a market capitalization of $61 billion and is declining from its peak in 2022. Linde, which is also listed on the NYSE, is doing better; its market cap is currently $212 billion.

The US and EU sanctions war, which intensified in 2022, helped restrict Russia’s helium exports that year because of international payment problems. The new sanction against EU importation of Russian helium, which will take effect later this month, will have negligible impact on Russia, but it will hit European buyers of helium with rising prices. In 2022 Kazakhstan, China, Belarus and Turkey were the main consumers of Russian helium. With the new supply of the gas from Gazprom in Amur, the Chinese import volume will take off.

Source: Source:

The escalation of the helium war by the US and EU will also drive new production, price and trade arrangements between Russia, China, Iran, Qatar and Algeria. One sign of that was the international helium production conference which took place in St. Petersburg in the last week of May. Gazprom is the sponsor.

[*] As this article was being completed for publication, a follow-up session of EU officials on June 20 agreed on the new sanctions package, including the restriction on Russian helium exports. A final implementing decision is expected on June 24. ... inst-nato/


Russia and DPRK rustle up an alliance

In an exceptional gesture by far exceeding protocol norms, Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) was received with a hug at the airport at 3 am by Chairman of State Affairs of North Korea Kim Jong-un (L) on arrival on a ‘friendly state visit’, Pyongyang, July 19, 2024

The Russian President Vladimir Putin’s brief visit to Pyongyang on June 19 raised much heat and dust. The signing of a Treaty on Comprehensive Strategic Partnership by Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un hogged headlines in the western media and triggered a range of speculations about the birth of a military alliance that may undermine the algorithm of power dynamic in the Northeast Asian region.

The sensational thing about the Treaty is that it reportedly provides for the two countries helping each other in the event of an attack by a third country. No doubt, the geopolitics of the region may change course dramatically if Russia and DPRK take their relationship to a qualitatively new level of military alliance. But appearances can be deceptive, especially when they are hyped up rhetorically by both protagonists.

Sidestepping the extraordinary courtesies extended to Putin on arrival by the the host country, the fact remains that the Treaty doesn’t make sense, arguably, as both Russia and DPRK are nuclear powers. And if their nuclear deterrent cannot make them self-sufficient in the security sphere, god only can help them. Besides, an American attack on DPRK seems unlikely and an attack by the US on Russia is even less so.

In reality, the Biden Administration’s recent policy shift to allow Ukraine to use American weaponry to attack Russia — with the support and guidance by NATO personnel backed by satellite data and western intelligence inputs — seems to have been the proverbial last straw that broke Russia’s traditional reserve. The draft treaty is known to have been under discussion since September 2023.

The Americans are, predictably, hopping mad as Russia has checkmated the US in Northeast Asia, a region of highest criticality to the US’ global strategy. Last weekend, coinciding with Putin’s arrival in Pyongyang, the US National Security Advisor Jack Sullivan showed the wrath to climb the escalation ladder further by announcing via a carefully structured interview with the US government-funded PBS, that:

Kiev is at liberty to use American weapons to “anywhere that Russian forces are coming across the border”;
specifically, it will apply to Russia’s Kursk region as well from where “exploratory moves” against Ukraine’s Sumy Region have been made;
“This is not about geography. It’s about common sense. If Russia is attacking or about to attack from its territory into Ukraine, it only makes sense to allow Ukraine to hit back.”;
The yardstick is whether Russian forces are using Russian territory as “sanctuary”;
Ukraine will also be free to use air defense systems, including US-supplied weaponry, to take Russian planes out of the sky, even if those Russian planes are in Russian airspace, “if they’re about to fire into Ukrainian airspace”;
F-16 jets (nuclear-capable) will be deployed in Ukraine since the intention is to enable Kiev to have the capability to attack Russia.
This is despite Putin’s explicit warning about the possibility of supplying Russian weapons to regions from where strikes can be launched if Brussels and Washington did not stop arming Ukraine. Izvestia has written that “it seems that North Korea may be a suitable candidate.”

Indeed, Putin’s delegation included the new defence minister, Andrei Belousev. Putin himself called the Treaty “a truly breakthrough document… a fundamental document that will form the basis of our relations for the long term.” But the brouhaha in the media over the military content of the budding Russia-DPRK alliance apart, what should not be overlooked is that there is vast unutilised economic potential in the Russia-DPRK relationship.

Putin’s external strategies, unlike his Soviet predecessors’, invariably have a well-thought out economic content. In this case, Moscow is also building up ties with partners in Asia as a crucial vector of Putin’s prioritisation of the development of the Russian Far East.

From such a perspective, Putin has called for the abrogation of UN Security Council sanctions against DPRK. From Pyongyang’s viewpoint, this alone is a real game changer to break out of its international isolation.

Bilateral trade increased by nine times and exceeded $34 billion last year. There is big scope for Russia to import skilled labour from DPRK to the Far East, which is chronically short of manpower. Again, Putin’s visit has revived the strategically important project for the restoration and development of the joint logistics port of Rajin, the all-weather port in DPRK, which can ensure stable cargo flow from Russia to the Asia-Pacific markets. The two countries also signed an agreement on June 19 on the construction of a border road bridge over the Tumannaya River in a related development.

However, at the end of the day, as Russian Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov put it, the Treaty is needed because of profound changes in the geopolitical situation in the region and worldwide. But he also stressed that the treaty will observe all the fundamental principles of international law, will not be confrontational or directed against any country and will aim to ensure greater stability in Northeast Asia.

Inevitably, there is a lot of curiosity about how China fits into this new paradigm. By a curious coincidence, even as Putin landed in Pyongyang, Beijing hosted its first the vice-ministerial level diplomatic and security dialogue, or 2+2 dialogue with South Korea.

The South Korean side reportedly brought up the Russian-DPRK tango but the Chinese side apparently took a non-committal “principled” position that North Korea and Russia, as friendly and close neighbours, have legitimate need for exchanges, cooperation and development of relations.

On the other hand, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said the 2-2 dialogue in Beijing responded to the need of growing bilateral relations between China and South Korea and has no particular link to the engagement between other countries. Interestingly, Global Times cited a prominent Chinese expert’s opinion that the 2+2 dialogue can serve as “a stabiliser and mediator of regional tension and conflict,” as it allows China and South Korea, who have close trade and cultural ties, to enhance communication and trust on diplomacy and security issues.

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, both sides reiterated during the 2+2 dialogue their commitment to friendly and mutually beneficial relations between China and South Korea and “to actively engage in dialogue and exchanges at all levels and in all fields.”

They also agreed to strengthen communication through mechanisms such as high-level strategic dialogues, diplomatic security 2+2 dialogues, and 1.5 track dialogues “to enhance political mutual trust and advance the healthy and stable development of the China-South Korea strategic cooperative partnership.”

Clearly, China and South Korea, two great beneficiaries of globalisation, are stakeholders in the stability of global production and supply chains and will be averse to the sort of politicisation and “securitisation” that Russia and DPRK may be embarking upon.

Thus, Global Times wrote, the Chinese side “emphasised that maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula is in the common interests of all parties, including China and South Korea… the urgent task is to cool down the situation, avoid escalating confrontation, and adhere to the overall direction of a political solution. China has always determined its position based on the merits of the matter itself and will continue to play a constructive role in Korean Peninsula affairs in its own way.”

The bottom line is that Russia and China are moving on independent tracks with regard to North Korea and the power dynamic in Northeast Asia. Putin’s state visit to Pyongyang probably brought this fault line to the surface in the “no limits” partnership between Russia and China, which gives rise to a suspicion that, perhaps, too much shouldn’t be read into the Russia-DPRK “alliance” once the dust settles down.

Although Russia’s fraternal ties with North Korea goes back in time to Joseph Stalin’s backing for the latter’s independence from Japan’s colonial occupation — it is even said that Kim Il-Sung, the founder of North Korea, held a position in the Red Army — in the current circumstances, Russia attaches centrality to its relations with China and will not precipitate a unilateral move in Northeast Asia that may impact Beijing’s core interests.

At the end of the day, therefore, the Russia-DPRK Treaty can only be regarded as an alliance of convenience to retaliate against the US regional strategies respectively in Eurasia and Northeast Asia against the backdrop of the Ukraine war and the sharp deterioration of Russia’s relations with the US, Japan and South Korea who happen to be DPRK’s tormentors, too.

That said, make no mistake that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is the real winner here. But he earned it too by crossing the Rubicon in the battlefields of Ukraine, showing a level of solidarity with Russia that is unmatched by any of Moscow’s “time-tested” friends in the Global South. ... -alliance/


Judging Freedom: Discussing Vladimir Putin’s latest moves on a 3-dimensional chessboard

The diplomatic feats of the Russian Foreign Service in the past week are stunning. One thinks immediately of the way they neutralized the Zelensky-Jake Sullivan-Tony Blinken would be propaganda blitz in Switzerland. But the feats of the Commander in Chief sitting in the Kremlin are still more dazzling.

Putin has outmaneuvered his critics on the Right by his conclusion of a treaty of mutual assistance, aka a military alliance with North Korea. And he has the Left, by which I mean the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, eating out of his hand now that he has brought back the glory days of Russia in Asia, now that he has described the colonialist parasitic West, and the USA in particular, in his Pyongyang speech in terms that could have come straight out of Pravda in the 1970s.

No one has commented on the broad smiles on the faces of Russian Communist deputies in the Duma upon the conclusion of the deal with Pyongyang. I do that here. After all, in the darkest days of the 1990s when the Yeltsin government abandoned all the hangers-on who profited from the USSR foreign policy, Russia’s Communist Party maintained close personal ties with the comrades abroad. Now they can raise their vodka shot glasses to the toast of “we told you so.”

All of this must warm the heart of the leader of the Communist Party of the RF Gennady Zyuganov, whose 80th birthday is being presently celebrated on Russian television with the release of a documentary film dedicated to his life and achievements, with testimonials from the highest ranks of the ruling United Russia Party.

However, I digress. My purpose in this essay is to present the link to today’s half-hour interview with Judge Napolitano in his widely watched program Judging Freedom. The discussion turned on two issues: was Putin’s peace offer made on the eve of the Swiss gathering a genuine offer of negotiations or an ultimatum to surrender; and what did Putin achieve in his visit to Pyongyang.

I hope that viewers will agree that these topics bear heavily on our chances for surviving the present confrontation between Russia and the Collective West in and around Ukraine.

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2024

Transcription below by a reader

Judge Andrew Napolitano: 0:32
Hi, everyone, Judge Andrew Napolitano here for “Judging Freedom”. Today is Thursday, June 20th, 2024. From Brussels, Dr. Gilbert Doctorow, one of the world’s foremost authorities on Russian culture, politics, and military behavior joins us now. Professor Doctorow, it’s a pleasure. Thank you for joining us.

Gilbert Doctorow, Ph.D.:
Good to be with you.

Thank you. So we have two subject matters to discuss. One is President Putin’s trip to North Korea, what was accomplished by it, and the Western reaction. And the other is President Putin’s peace offering. Let’s start with the older of the two, the peace offering. What is your analysis of the Western response to this rather rational and somewhat surprising peace offering that President Putin advanced late last week?

Doctorow: 1:38
I think I’m going to surprise you and some of the viewers by saying that I share the consensus evaluation of what Mr. Putin was doing, as opposed to what the alternative narrative people are saying. And in that regard, I start with remarks made on your show by Jeffrey Sachs, for whom I have the greatest regard, but whose evaluation of what Mr. Putin did, I think was incorrect. The consensus in the West was that he was imposing a defeat on Ukraine, which they haven’t yet entirely suffered, and that he was making demands which were similar in kind to Mr. Zelensky’s demands on him. Namely, that the other side withdraw all of their troops from contested territory before negotiations begin. And this was a small detail that Jeffrey Sachs overlooked.

The Russians, after all, are not bunny rabbits. And we may be the big bad wolf, but that doesn’t mean that they are bunny rabbits. And Mr. Putin’s remarks were quite tough to take if you were on the Ukrainian side. They were demanding a surrender, essentially. You surrender and then we will enter into negotiations. If the Ukrainians withdraw all of their troops from the Donbass for the negotiations to begin, that is a mirror image of what Zelensky was saying: we will begin negotiations with the Russians at once, as soon as they take all the troops out of Ukraine.

So, obviously what you have said, President Putin and his advisors understand, what was the reason for his making those comments at the time he made them? Was it just sort of, as we say in America, to Bigfoot, to steal the thunder from President Zelensky’s so-called peace conference in Switzerland?

It was directly written and delivered for the purpose of reaching the ears of all of those 90 countries that were represented at the peace conference. Yes that is the case. Among the Russians, they called what he said a diplomatic torpedo.

What is a diplomatic torpedo amongst countries that have no diplomatic relationships?

Doctorow: 4:17
Not directed at Kiev, but directed at the countries who were present to shake them up. And I think the Russians achieved that objective. They were applying maximum pressure to the countries who had not heeded their advice not to come and were present in Switzerland. And they were telling them that you cannot say that we, the Russians, are opposed to negotiations. We are. Here are our terms. and let’s sit down and talk. He was presenting himself as reasonable but steely and determined. He was of course always also keeping an eye on his own compatriots, and he– who have charged him with being too soft, too diplomatic, too nice and so leading them down the road to an escalation that cannot end well.

He was being tough, and that, the tough, is the new Russian line. And that will be the connection between our first topic, that is the Putin olive branch so to speak, and the second topic is what he achieved in Pyongyang.

Napolitano: 5:25
All right. Before we get to Pyongyang– I know you’re anxious to get there and I am as well and the viewers are anxious to hear what you have to say about it– talk to us please, about the pressure on President Putin– I’m going to use an American phrase: from his right– from those who want him to be tougher, from those who are saying enough is enough. You speculated the last time on this show– it was a great speculation, coming from you, that the Russians might level Kiev, they might do something dramatic and irreversible to bring an end to this. What kind of pressure is there on President Putin to end the special military operation slash war in Ukraine?

Doctorow: 6:14
Well, just to put it in proper context, the notion of leveling Kiev was not something that I arrived at by myself.


It was not a notion that came out of anything that President Putin has said. It was coming out of the chattering classes. And I have said various times that I follow closely the talk shows. The most authoritative of them is the one that’s called “The Great Game”. The second most authoritative, which is the one I follow most closely because it’s the one that’s easily accessible in the West, being on the Russian internet channel, that is Vladimir Solovyov, his evening shows. And that is where this question of leveling Kiev came out. I don’t necessarily think he meant level the whole city, the civilian residential areas to the ground, but to level all of the decision-making centers; that is, the Rada, the presidential offices, the ministries. That is what they would level, and they can do it that way.

This doesn’t require nuclear weapons; it is entirely feasible using the hypersonic missiles they have, which are quite precise. That was a threat that was discussed on the Solovyev show. It never came out of the presidential administration. But it had a certain appeal to it, and that is “time to get tough”. Enough having these tourists from Western Europe coming to shake hands and embrace Mr. Zelensky. Let them understand that they’ll be blasted to bits if they try that.

Napolitano: 7:51
Wow. Is President Putin comfortable with his own– I’m going to call it temperate, moderate– execution of the war?

Doctorow: 8:05
I think he is. It’s very much in character. He’s a very prudent man, a very cautious man, a very legalistic man, I can say.


In that sense, he has a lot in common with those who occupy the positions of power within the State Department, the U.S. State Department, which has always been inhabited by lawyers, essentially. This comes out even in the document that was announced, signed in Pyongyang. It was written precisely to avoid falling into the trap of violating sanctions, and he did this with a lawyer’s prudence. This is his nature. He is a religious man. He does not want to be– as the president of the United States in the wonderful, “Dr. Strangelove” was saying, the one who caused 50 million people to die.

So this dictates his conduct, and he risks being– looking soft, which is what his critics say. And of course, the biggest critic, and the one who quite surprisingly was allowed to deliver his criticism face-to-face to Vladimir Putin during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, that is Sergei Karaganov, who for more than a year has been demanding something that will shake the West from its complacency, bring them back to the fear of God and the fear of the nuclear weapon, and stop the escalation by briefly escalating above and beyond what anyone expects and delivering the tactical nuclear weapon on some target in Western Europe.

Napolitano: 9:47
In President Putin’s statement, he used the word “negotiations” three times. With whom would he negotiate? He’s already said he won’t negotiate with Vladimir Zelensky. He’s quite correct. Vladimir Zelensky is no longer the head of state. He’s just some sort of a carryover, and Zelensky has said he won’t negotiate with Putin. So is there some serious entertainment in the mind of Vladimir Putin about negotiations?

Doctorow: 10:18
Well, their choice, given the fact that he is driven by legal considerations and what is in fact constitutional within Ukraine, his first preference is to do what the Ukrainian constitution states, to deal with the successor to the president when his time has run out and there’s been no election. And that is to deal with the president of the Parliament, the Rada. The Russians are perfectly ready to do that. If we– if that is impossible, then I think since the essence of the Russian negotiating points, so to speak, [is] surrender, that he would accept a surrender document by the head of the Ukrainian armed forces.

Napolitano: 11:04
Well that’s not really a negotiation, I mean– Let’s take President Zelensky out of it. If it were up to, I don’t remember the name of the commander-in-chief of the military now, whoever replaced General Zeluzhny, I understand Zelensky is still around. If it were up to whoever is running the military, would there be negotiations? if President Zelensky were out of the picture for whatever reason?

Doctorow: 11:32
Well, I don’t quite agree with you, “there’s nothing to negotiate”. There’s a lot to negotiate. How, in fact, would denazification be carried out?


How would demilitarization be carried out? They negotiated some of these points for the March 22 peace treaty that was initialed, or actually signed, by the Ukrainian side. And this is how many tanks will you be allowed to have, how many this and that? Those are negotiating points.

Napolitano: 12:05
Would the head of the military– knowing that his troops have been decimated and are about to suffer greater losses, no matter what the U.S. and the West send there, if President Zelensky were out of the picture– negotiate with some counterpart on the Russian side?

Doctorow: 12:28
I think he would be obliged to, and I think his ratings would probably rise dramatically, because the consensus of people on the street is they don’t want any more men sent off to slaughter.


Even the “Financial Times”– which for months was saying that these allegations of men being dragged off in the streets of Kiev, to be mobilized– even they, this past week, have acknowledged precisely that is what’s going on. And it’s understandable. The Ukrainian side are losing more than 2,000 men a day.


2,000. This is completely unsustainable.

Napolitano: 13:08
How popular does the war remain, if at all, among the Russian public? Not the elites, and not the people that are around President Putin, not the person who criticized him to his face, but the average Russian.

Well I won’t say that I’m properly informed about that. I don’t know who is. We have friends and none is enthusiastic about the war. People are afraid, people are afraid for their lives–


Yes, Russians. So we have friends who are now in Crimea, who are very happy that their town has not been subjected to drone attacks, as it was last year. But of course, they’re nervous. I don’t know of people who are fiercely pro-war. The war is accepted as a necessity, as something that has been foisted on the Russians by an aggressive West. And so, it is a necessity. It is not in itself something they’re enthusiastic about.

Napolitano: 14:16
Okay. What is the significance, in your view, of President Putin’s trip to North Korea this week?

He changed the world. I think he did a lot to save all of our necks. Because regardless of how it’s being played by the mainstream media, there are people surely in the Pentagon who understood this as I understand it. The game is up. I say the media, I just read the “Financial Times” this morning, their lead article dealing with the conclusion. And you wouldn’t know that anything in particular happened in Pyongyang. Yes, they rolled out the red carpet. Yes, they sang songs, they sang Russian patriotic songs, and so on and so forth.

But as to the substance of what was signed, very little was described in the “Financial Times”. And I picked up our lead French-speaking newspaper here in Belgium, “Le Soir”, and they had an article appraising what was accomplished or not, and they said, “Well, at least we can breathe easy. There was no military alliance concluded.” But my friends, that’s exactly what they did conclude. And it’s not my estimation. On Russian news last night, still in Pyongyang, they gave the microphone to Sergei Lavrov. And Lavrov said, “Yes, the term isn’t there. But the substance, the reality is, this is a military alliance. We are allies.” End of story.

Napolitano: 15:47
What did you mean in your initial answer to my question, “He saved the world.’ Please explain, Professor Doctorow.

I think he’s made it impossible for the neocons who run the show in the State Department, and in the Biden administration more broadly, to carry out what they thought was an easy shot. They have got the Russians in a corner, and the corner is in the southwest, in the western part of Europe. Russia is in a morass, that it will be stuck in that morass for years to come, and the United States could proceed with its preferred scenario of how to maintain its global dominance by taming the Chinese.

That scenario, you can put “Paid” to. What– and I’m telling you now something that is not my personal insight, but something I picked up, again in extensive Russian commentary last night, that– from some people, these are these are professors, and they’re also attached to think tanks– that Russia, by this visit, reasserted its presence in the Pacific and reminded the world that Western Europe and NATO is dealing with a peninsula of the Eurasian continent, a peninsula. And that the land mass east of the NATO countries is vast, the populations are vast, 1.5 billion in India, 1.4 billion in China, and so forth.

And they put the whole thing, what the Americans have been cooking up for the whole Biden administration and before, in its proper perspective, as petty. The AUKUS is finished as a means of containing China.

I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you said. The what is finished?

The Australian New Zealand deal to give submarines to Australia, so they can counter better the Chinese presence in the South China Sea, and the rest of it. The recent currying, or appealing to Japan and South Korea to beef up their positions against China — all of that has turned out to be a Maginot Line. And Mr. Putin in Pyongyang ran around the end of it, the same way the Germans did at the start of World War II.

Napolitano: 18:29
Why wasn’t President Xi there with them? He might as well have been, according to what you’re saying, no?

No. Well, yes and no. Of course he was there. He was there because he was consulted on this. there were discussions of this a month ago, when Putin was in Beijing. There’s no question that the delicacy of these relations [is]– they have a strategic partnership, but not a military alliance, with the Russians or anyone else. The Chinese, like the Vietnamese, as it comes up in today’s discussion of Putin’s visit, they are not going to sacrifice their position in between all the parties for the sake of their own economy and balance in the world. The Chinese will not do that.

The commonality between the Russians and the North Koreans is they both have nothing to lose. And they have nothing to lose because of the obtuse policy of the Biden administration, which has pressed them to the limits and expects them just to roll over and die. Well, they don’t. They come back with a vengeance. And that’s what we saw with the signing of this agreement. As I read it, the two countries in their article four have framed what NATO has in its article five, one for all and all for one.

Napolitano: 20:09
Wow. Professor Doctorow, does the State Department understand what you’ve just said to us in the last 20 minutes?

I’m not sure about the State Department, but I can be certain that the Pentagon does. There are no fools there. Oh, maybe a few of them. But there are some very clever and very intelligent people there, who can read between the lines, who also know Russian and will understand what I said. My point about why our necks are saved is because the escalation through F-16s to attack on Russia is now unthinkable. What the Russians have done is they have removed the proxy from the war. The center of attention now, should the United States do anything via the cat’s paw of Ukraine to attack the Russian heartland is that they will expose themselves to a direct confrontation with Russia, a US-Russian confrontation.

Why? Because this attack triggers Article 4. The North Koreans come in, and at that point, since the moving force in the Pacific is not NATO, the moving force of opposition to North Korea and to Russian presence and Chinese presence in the Pacific is purely United States. And so the protective screen that Washington has used in all of its military campaigns over the last 20 years is stripped away, and the United States will be face-to-face with Russia.

The image of North Korea offensive weaponry painted by the Western press is a bunch of duds that land in the Sea of Japan or land in the Pacific Ocean. Is that accurate? Or does North Korea possess offensive weaponry, serious weaponry, that can reach the western coast of the United States?

Well, again, I have no opinion on this based on my personal expertise, which is nil. I listen to people who do have expertise and who your audience does not listen to, because they are Russian experts and in precisely Orientalists, specialists in the Far East who speak the languages. And what they were saying yesterday is that, yes, the North Koreans have had a series of duds, and the extraordinary thing about Kim is that he has admitted this to his people. He said, and he’s told them something that was coming out of an American business playbook, that “these failures, we learn from our failures.”

And they have. Within six months of the first missile launch of a SWOT satellite– which had Western or world observers present, and failed– within six months of that, the [North Koreans] succeeded in launching an object into space, into orbit. They have failed and they have learned. The Russians point to several pieces, particularly artillery pieces, where the North Koreans have blazed new trails. They also point to the fact that they have an ICBM, which has on top of it, a hypersonic missile to deliver payload.

Hey, that is their own development. They didn’t get this from the Russians or the Chinese or anybody else. So, they have devoted enormous assets to missiles, not to navy, not to air force, they have neither, other than submarines, but they do have missiles. And the relevance of this is for the general posture in their region. But the fact of the matter is, they have had for maybe 20 years or more, thanks to their artillery, and long-range artillery, by the way. What do we mean by long-range? 60 kilometers. From the North Korean border to Seoul, most of the distance is 60 kilometers. And with their artillery, they can destroy Seoul, completely destroy Soeul, three million, population of three million or whatever it is.

Napolitano: 24:43
Can they reach Los Angeles?

Not with artillery.

No, I know, not with artillery, obviously. But with missiles?

Probably, yes. The question, of course, that’s raised is: will the Russians give them either the weapons or the technology to improve their long- range missiles, so they can reach not just Los Angeles; Chicago and any other point in the States? I’m not sure about that. I’m not sure if it’s needed. The point is with this agreement, the North Koreans don’t need it. The Russians step in.


If– This is a two-way, it’s a mutual-defense pact. if the United States strikes North Korea, the Russians are saying they will step in, and not to supply 155 millimeter artillery shells. One can imagine that they can do some serious damage to whoever attacked North Korea.

Napolitano: 25:47
Before I let you go, just a little bit of breaking news in the international sphere. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, I’m not sure how you pronounce this, R-U-T-T-E, is now set to be the next Secretary General of NATO. Tweedledee and Tweedledum, or is there any significance to this?

Doctorow: 26:10
Well, I think that as an intellect and as a politician, he is a much more significant personality than Stoltenberg has been. He has kept together coalitions that were presenting enormous challenges. So as a politician, I think he’s a higher grade person in the job than we’ve had till now with Stoltenberg. He is, to put him in comparison with the Estonian Prime Minister Kallas, who is also being discussed, or with Ursula von der Leyen as candidates for the job. Say Rutte is head and shoulders above the others who were presented. I think he’ll be the perfect person to supervise the destruction or the deconstruction of NATO, as its utter uselessness becomes apparent.

Napolitano: 27:05
We all agree on its uselessness, except the American State Department. Is Prime Minister, soon to be Secretary General, Rutte– how do you pronounce his last name in English?


–a tool of the American State Department, or a foil for the American State Department?

Doctorow: 27:29
Well, it’s too early to say how he’ll play it. He wouldn’t get the job if he weren’t agreeing to most everything that Washington wants to hear. But how long that will stay the case before he becomes his own man, if he ever becomes his own man, is difficult to predict. But I say because he’s a superior intellect and a superior politician, I think he will do a better job of defending European interests than the other candidates would have done.

OK. Professor Doctorow, another fascinating, fascinating conversation with you. I will give your regards and your comments to our mutual friend, whom we both admire, Professor Jeffrey Sachs. But I appreciate it. My team appreciates it. and our audience very much appreciates your time. I hope you’ll come back with us when there’s breaking news in this end of the world or next week, whichever happens sooner.

Doctorow: 28:27
All right, thanks for the invitation.

All the best to you, Professor. Thank you.

A fascinating conversation, which I know so many of you have appreciated. Coming up later today, actually pretty quickly, Lieutenant Colonel Tony Schaefer, 9 o’clock this morning Eastern, 11 o’clock this morning Eastern, Scott Ritter. 4 o’clock this afternoon, I inadvertently said 4 in the morning yesterday for Max Blumenthal and many of you wrote and said, Judge, you’re going to get Max up at 4 in the morning? No, I’m not. At 4 o’clock this afternoon, Max Blumenthal.

Judge Napolitano for Judging Freedom. ... hessboard/


“We need icebreakers” – and more strategic partnerships

Pepe Escobar

June 20, 2024

The U.S. “containment” of the Russia-China strategic partnership is already unravelling in real time.

The St. Petersburg forum offered a wealth of crucial sessions discussing connectivity corridors. One of the key ones was on the Northern Sea Route (NSR) – or, in Chinese terminology, the Arctic Silk Road: the number one future alternative to the Suez canal.

With an array of main corporate actors in the room – for instance, from Rosneft, Novatek, Norilsk Nickel – as well as governors and ministers, the stage was set for a comprehensive debate.

Top Putin adviser Igor Levitin set the tone: to facilitate seamless container transport, the federal government needs to invest in seaports and icebreakers; a comparison was made – in terms of technological challenge – to the building of the Trans-Siberian railway; and Levitin also stressed the endless expansion possibilities for city hubs such as Murmansk, Archangelsk and Vladivostok.

Add to it that the NSR will connect with another fast-growing trans-Eurasia connectivity corridor: the INSTC (International North South Transportation Corridor), whose main actors are BRICS members Russia, Iran and India.

Alexey Chekunkov, minister for development of the Far East and the Arctic, plugged a trial run of the NSR, which costs the same as railway shipping without the bottlenecks. He praised the NSR as a “service” and coined the ultimate motto: “We need icebreakers!” Russia of course will be the leading player in the whole project, benefitting 2.5 million people who live in the North.

Sultan Sulayem, CEO of Dubai-based cargo logistics and maritime services powerhouse DP World, confirmed that “the current supply chains are not reliable anymore”, as well as being inefficient; the NSR is “faster, more reliable and cheaper”. From Tokyo to London, the route runs for 24k km; via the NSR, it’s only 13k km.

Sulayem is adamant: the NSR is a game-changer and “needs to be implemented now”.

Vladimir Panov, the special representative for the Arctic from Rosatom, confirmed that the Arctic is “a treasure chest”, and the NSR “will unlock it”. Rosatom will have all the necessary infrastructure in place “in five years or so”. He credited the fast pace of developments to the high-level Putin-Xi strategic dialogue – complete with the creation of a Russia-China working group.

Andrey Chibis, the governor of Murmansk, noted that this deep, key port for the NSR – the main container hub in the Arctic – “does not freeze”. He acknowledged the enormity of the logistical challenges – but at the same time that will attract a lot of skilled workers, considering the high quality of life in Murmansk.

A maze of interconnected corridors

The building of the NSR indeed can be interpreted as a 21st century, accelerated version of the building of the Trans-Siberian railway in the late 19th/early 20th century. Under the overarching framework of Eurasia integration, the interconnections with other corridors will be endless – from the INSTC to BRI projects part of the Chinese New Silk Roads, the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and ASEAN.

In a session focused on the Greater Eurasia Partnership (GEP) Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Pankin praised this concept of Eurasia “without dividing lines, uniting ancient civilizations, transportation corridors and a unified common space of 5 billion people”.

Inevitable connections were drawn – from GEP to the EAEU and the SCO, with the proliferation of multimodal transport and alternative payment systems. Khan Sohail, the deputy secretary-general of the SCO, remarked how virtually “everyday there are new announcements by China” – a long way “since the SCO was established 21 years ago”, then based exclusively on security. Big developments are expected at the SCO summit next month in Astana.

Sergey Glazyev, the minister of macroeconomics at the Eurasia Economic Commission, part of the EAEU, praised the EAEU-SCO progressive integration and fast-developing transactions in baskets of national currencies, something “that was unchallengeable 10 years ago”.

He admitted that even if GEP has not been formalized yet, facts on the ground are proving that Eurasia can be self-sufficient. GEP may be on the initial stage, but it’s fast advancing the process to “harmonize free trade”.

Another key session in St. Petersburg was exactly on the EAEU-ASEAN connection. The ASEAN 10 already configure the 4th largest trading bloc in the world, moving $3.8 trillion and 7.8% of global trade annually. The EAEU already has a free trade agreement (FTA) with Vietnam and is clinching another with Indonesia.

And then there’s Northeast Asia. Which brings us to the ground-breaking visit by President Putin to the DPRK.

A new concept of Eurasia security

This was quite the epic business trip. Russia and the DPRK signed no less than a new Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement.

On trade, that will allow a renewed flux to Russia of DPRK weapons – artillery shells to ballistics -, magnetic ore, heavy industry and machine tool industry, as well as the back-and-forth of an army of mega-skilled IT specialists.

Kim Jong-un described the agreement as “peaceful” and “defensive”. And much more: it will become “the driving force accelerating the creation of a new multipolar world.”

When it comes to Northeast Asia, the agreement is nothing less than a total paradigm shift.

To start with, these are two independent, sovereign foreign policy actors. They will not blackmailed. They totally oppose sanctions as a hegemonic tool. In consequence, they have just determined there will be no more UN Security Council sanctions on the DPRK enacted by the U.S..

The key clause establishing mutual assistance in case of foreign aggression against either Russia or the DPRK means, in practice, the establishment of a military-political alliance – even as Moscow, cautiously, prefers to phrase that it “does not exclude the possibility of military-technical cooperation”.

The agreement completely shocked Exceptionalistan because it is a swift counterpunch not only against NATO’s global designs but against the Hegemon itself, which for decades has enforced a comprehensive military-political alliance with both Japan and South Korea.

Translation: from now on there is no more military-political Hegemony in Northeast Asia – and in Asia-Pacific as a whole. Beijing will be delighted. Talk about a strategic game-changer. Accomplished without a single bullet being fired.

The repercussions will be immense, because a broader concept of “security” will now apply equally to Europe and Asia.

So welcome, in practice, to Putin the statesman advancing a new integrated, comprehensive concept of Eurasian security (italics mine). No wonder the mentally-impaired collective West is stunned.

Gilbert Doctorow correctly observed how “Putin considers what NATO is about to do at its Western borders as the very act of aggression that will trigger Russia’s Strategic Partnership with North Korea and present the United States with a live threat to its military bases” in Korea, in Japan and in the wider Asia-Pacific.

And it doesn’t matter at all if the Russian response will be symmetric or asymmetric. The crucial fact is that the U.S. “containment” of the Russia-China strategic partnership is already unravelling in real time.

In auspicious terms, Eurasia-style, what matters now is to focus on connectivity corridors. This is a story that started in previous editions of the St. Petersburg forum: how to connect the DPRK to the Russian Far East, and beyond to Siberia and wider Eurasia. The DPRK’s founding concept of Juche (“self-reliance”, “autonomy”) is about to enter a whole new era – in parallel to the NSR consolidation in the Arctic.

Everyone indeed needs icebreakers – in more ways than one. ... tnerships/


JUNE 20, 2024
RT, 5/18/24

Russia won’t view Western European countries as partners again for “at least one generation,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has predicted.The diplomat remarked that Moscow and the West are already locked in a confrontation that has no end in sight.

Top Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have repeatedly described Moscow’s ongoing military conflict with Kiev as a proxy war waged by NATO against Russia. Evidence of this, the Kremlin says, is the material aid, the training, and the intelligence that the US and many European countries have been providing to defend Ukraine.

Speaking on Saturday, Lavrov cited an article by Russian political scientist Dmitry Trenin, who has written that “Europe as a partner is not relevant for us for at least one generation.” The minister said that he “can’t help but agree” and that Moscow is “feeling this in practice almost daily.” The senior Russian diplomat also claimed, without elaborating, that “many facts speak in favor of such a prognosis.”

“The acute phase of the military-political confrontation with the West continues [and] is in full swing,” Lavrov said, pointing to the nature of the narratives currently prevalent in the US and Europe.

In an interview with TASS on Friday, Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Ryabkov compared Western elites to delinquent youths and provocateurs intent on escalating tensions to the brink of a “catastrophic collapse,” and with no regard for the consequences.

Speaking of the work of Russian diplomats in the West, the official revealed that it is “in a crisis-management mode, aimed at preventing an escalation into a really massive conflict.”

NATO is “a group in which we feel not an ounce of trust, which triggers political and even emotional rejection” in Moscow, Ryabkov told the media outlet.

He said that, no matter who comes out on top in the US presidential election in November, “no chance for the improvement of the situation can be seen, considering the fundamental anti-Russian consensus of the American elites.”

During his inauguration speech on Tuesday, nonetheless, Russian President Vladimir Putin asserted that Moscow does not “refuse dialogue with Western states.”

“The choice is theirs,” the president proposed, posing the question: “Do they intend to continue trying to restrain the development of Russia, continue the policy of aggression and relentless pressure that they have pursued for years, or look for a path to cooperation and peace?” ... on-lavrov/
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Re: Russia today

Post by blindpig » Sat Jun 22, 2024 3:14 pm



by John Helmer, Moscow @bears_with

A new lawyer appeared in a London court on Friday claiming to represent Sergei and Yulia Skripal. Jack Holborn, a barrister specializing in what he calls human rights, told Lord Anthony Hughes, who is conducting a public inquiry into the alleged Novichok death of Dawn Sturgess in 2018, that the Skripals should not be called to give evidence or testify in the case.

Holborn claimed the Skripals are fearful for their security. “No security measures are perfect”, he said.

Holborn has not been in contact with the Skripals, however. He refuses to answer questions put to him on what visual contact or other communications he has had with either Sergei or Yulia Skripal.

Instead, he was told what to say at the hearing by the law firm of Kingsley Napley which the British government is paying to show that the Skripals are participating in the Novichok case.

The spokesman for Hughes and the inquiry was asked to explain Holborn’s presence in court for the first time on Friday. She was also asked what authority the Skripals had given Holborn to represent them. The spokesman answered: “Kingsley Napley has been designated as the recognised legal representative of the Skripals under r[ule] 6 of the Inquiry Rules 2006. By rule 8, the recognised legal representative may appoint a team to assist them and Kingsley Napley have accordingly instructed counsel to appear on their clients’ behalf.”.

In other words, there has been no contact between the lawyers who say they represent the Skripals, and the Skripals themselves. The judge and government are refusing to give evidence that Sergei Skripal is alive, and that Yulia Skripal is not in prison.

The problem for the British Government is that if the Skripals are allowed to give live evidence at the Hughes inquiry, there is no telling what they may say to contradict or discredit the six-year official narrative of the Russian Novichok attack in England.


For the transcript of the three-hour hearing in the High Court on June 21, click to read. For the archive of the Hughes inquiry, including earlier hearings and submissions, click on the website. Another preliminary hearing is likely in September before the open hearings commence on the scheduled date of October 28.

The lawyer for the inquiry, Andrew O’Connor KC, told Hughes on Friday morning this was a “difficult question as to whether either or both of Sergei and Julia Skripal should give oral evidence.” He also acknowledged there was the same problem in revealing what the Skripals have already said. “In the case of the Skripals, the transcripts of their police interviews have not yet been provided to CPs [Concerned Parties] but will be very shortly.”

In fact, the Skripal transcripts will be so redacted, the officials and lawyers admitted in court, it is uncertain what the Skripals believe had happened to them, and why. Release of the redacted Skripal transcripts from March of 2018 risks being contradicted by fresh written statements to the Hughes inquiry from the Skripals, so that form of testimony is also being barred.

Read the only book published on the UK Novichok case and what has happened to the Skripals. Centre, Lord Anthony Hughes. Right, his spokesman Bernadette Caffarey at the Prime Minister’s residence.

Since March 4, 2018, when the Skripals slumped unconscious on a Salisbury town bench and were kept in hospital under police guard, three British prime ministers — Theresa May, Boris Johnson, and Rishi Sunak — have continued the story that three Russian military officers attacked the Skripals with a Novichok nerve agent they had brought by plane into England, and sprayed on to the door handle of Sergei Skripal’s home; that was several hours before he and his daughter showed symptoms and collapsed.

The British have presented no evidence of Novichok on the Skripal home door handle; in the blood, skin, and urine testing of the Skripals in hospital; or in subsequent inquest and court proceedings.

The alleged Russian attack weapon – a perfume bottle atomiser – did not materialize for months until July 2018, when police claim to have found it on a kitchen bench in the home of another alleged victim, Dawn Sturgess, ten days – repeat ten days — after exhaustive police searches of the house had failed to find it. The last Sturgess case report, dated in March when Hughes held his previous preliminary court session, can be read here.

Sergei Skripal has not been seen in public since the day of the alleged Novichok attack, March 4, 2018. He has not been heard on the telephone by family members in Russia since June 26, 2019. Yulia Skripal was last seen in a government-directed interview at a US bomber base in England in May 2018; her last telephone call to Russia was heard on November 20, 2020. The Skripals have not been seen or heard from since.

The full story of what happened and didn’t happen, and of the coroners’ court and High Court hearings which have followed since 2018, has been documented in the book published in 2020; then in reports of the ongoing cover-up by a retired Appeal Court judge, Lord Hughes.

Adam Chapman, a solicitor at the Kingsley Napley firm, had said nothing during the Hughes proceeding which preceded the June 21 session; read for details here.

Lawyers for the government (left to right): Jack Holborn, barrister for the Skripals instructed by Adam Chapman (centre), a solicitor paid by the government to represent the Skripals; and Cathryn McGahey KC, the barrister for the Hone Office and intelligence and security services, MI6 and MI5. Holborn describes himself as the “go-to junior for various government departments and private clients”. He has been vetted by the government for work on the Attorney-General’s panels. These are “400 junior counsel who undertake civil and EU work for all government departments.”

The discussion of the Skripals was opened on Friday by Michael Mansfield KC. He represents the Sturgess family and is seeking a multi-million pound payment from the government, alleging it failed to protect Sturgess from the Russian attack. “The fact is,” he told the judge on Friday, “that both the Skripals were interviewed extensively at separate times in the same month [March-April 2018]. We don’t have any of the interviews. It makes it very difficult to — well, you can see where it’s going. So we don’t have any of the interviews.”

Mansfield meant to include interviews of the Skripals by the police, as well as by the secret services, MI6 and MI5.

Lord Hughes avoided the MI6 interviews. Referring only to the police, he asked “What about the interviews with the Skripals: why haven’t they been disclosed yet?” Replying for the Home Office and the secret services, Cathryn McGahey KC was evasive. The texts have gone for “checking”, she said. Hughes’s question “has to go to the Skripals’ representatives and to the police and to your team,” McGahey added.

Hughes replied that he accepts that state secrecy must cover much of what the Skripals reportedly said in their interviews in 2018. He omitted to ask if the Skripals have said anything on the record in the intervening six years when the Russian Embassy in London has repeatedly requested consular access to its nationals, and been refused.

“Given the surrounding circumstances of the Skripals,” Hughes said in court on Friday, “there is quite a lot of material that’s subject to a restriction order, but we know what that is.” What is left which isn’t classified, the judge added, “I want to know, please [sic], from in fact both those parties and you, Mr O’Connor [lawyer for the inquiry], a similar deadline for the service of the duly redacted Skripal interviews.”

Mansfield for the Sturgess family then said he wants to know what the Skripals have said which might benefit the family’s claim that the British government had been negligent in protecting Sturgess from the Novichok when the alleged Russian attackers had been under close surveillance from their arrival in the UK.

Mansfield claimed he wants to know what the Skripals have said about the time leading up to the alleged attack on March 4, 2018, and the record of surveillance around Sergei Skripal’s government-supplied safe house, as well as his own security records. “So the weekend itself, and of course ending up with the door and the door handle. Then the final stage is, we say — which is important, and perhaps it comes before those two stages — and that is preventability. We say there are a lot of questions that arise out of that.”

The police interviews with the Skripals have not been identified in court with dates or locations. Although they were officially represented by a lawyer in London for a High Court hearing on whether blood testing might be carried out when they were reportedly unconscious in hospital, Mansfield doesn’t say if the Skripals were represented by a lawyer when they were being interviewed. He carefully avoided mention of interviews with the Skripals which have been carried out by other government agencies, including MI6 and MI5.

Mansfield reassured the judge and the government’s lawyers in court that he wants to do no more than cherry-pick the Skripal interviews with the police. He doesn’t want them to face cross-examination in the open inquiry, which is scheduled to start on October 28. “Besides the security aspect, they [the Sturgess family] are also aware of the trauma for the Skripals of having to come and give evidence of something they have already been through, which is pretty horrific by anybody’s standards, to ask them to do that. So they [the Sturgess family] are not anxious to have them called; they are, in a sense, protective of them.”

The judge then asked Holborn to speak for the Skripals. “A line does have to be drawn somewhere,” he began. Then he drew the line the British government is insisting on – nothing from the Skripals since the police interviews of six years ago, and nothing in the transcripts which the government doesn’t want to be known publicly. In short, a gag.

“Our primary position,” Holborn went on, “is that you [Hughes] will have sufficient — and of course you have seen the police interviews — to say we definitely don’t need them. But my fallback position is definitely: yes, it is no more than keeping it open – THE CHAIRMAN: All right. MR HOLBORN: — until the family are able to frame what questions they actually need to ask in light of the transcripts, which we suspect [sic] will provide a great deal of information.”

Holborn was conceding he hasn’t read the Skripal interviews himself.

He then told the court he doesn’t want the Skripals to say anything for themselves. “I would otherwise flag three limited points, the first of which is: no security measures are perfect.”

“THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. MR HOLBORN: The second of which, which the family have very fairly acknowledged, is the distress to the Skripals of giving evidence. The third of which is the point made in our most recent submissions that perhaps the issue of preventability may be better addressed by other core participants and really isn’t obviously a matter on which the Skripals can necessarily give the most helpful evidence, bearing in mind a lot of it will presumably relate to the aftermath of the incident.”

By “family”, Holborn was referring to the Sturgess family. He did not mean, and he has made no contact with the Skripal family in Russia.

The “recent submissions” Holborn says he has made to Lord Hughes remain secret. They have not been disclosed publicly on the inquiry website.

About “distress” and “preventability”, Holborn was lying. When they were last free to speak, neither Sergei nor Yulia Skripal showed distress over what has happened; they did reveal they had to talk quickly and in secret to avoid MI6 surveillance of their telephones. In the earlier interviews Sergei Skripal reportedly gave Mark Urban, an MI6 placeman at the BBC, he implied there was much he might tell about the MI6 net which was covering him until the Salisbury incident.

Holborn’s representation in court for the Skripals was so short, he omitted to say that they had told him anything ahead of his appearance before Hughes on June 21.

The judge then asked the Home Office lawyer Cathryn McGahey KC to respond. She confirmed there is a gag on the Skripals, and that this has been accepted in Holborn’s secret submission to the inquiry. “HMG [Her Majesty’s government] supports the submissions made by Mr Holborn on behalf of the Skripals,” she claimed before gagging herself. “There is no more I can say in open session. The safety of the Skripals is paramount.”

She then told the judge not to call the Skripals to testify either in writing or in open hearing. “Even if they were to be called,” McGahey said, “different considerations may very well apply to different topics, and the topic of preventability [read MI6] is one which will almost certainly be fraught with difficulty, unless there were very strict control over the questions. And most of the material is likely to be closed anyway.”

No questions are to be allowed for the Skripals; no answers from them, either.

Hughes said he proposed to come to a decision in secret. “My inclination is to await the disclosure of the interviews in particular, and any other material which comes with it, before making any final decision about the Skripals.”

Hughes has refused to say in open court that he has verified the Skripals are alive and free to instruct lawyers to represent them. Holborn also refuses to confirm that his clients are alive. He was asked by email four questions to clarify whether Holborn is representing the Skripals or the government which is paying his fee.


Holborn has not responded. ... more-90033


On new sanctions against the shadow fleet of the Russian Federation
June 20, 2024

Last week, Britain imposed sanctions against the shadow fleet used by Russia mainly for oil trading.

And on June 17, the Maritime Authority of Liberia announced that Ingosstrakh “no longer has the right to issue insurance certificates to any ship flying the flag of Liberia.”

The certificate is a mandatory document presented to ports and shipping authorities to demonstrate that the ship has insurance coverage. Simply put, entering the port without this certificate is impossible.

Liberia's maritime registry is the largest by tonnage (over 257 million gross registered tons according to Clarksons ). This is 16% of the world's merchant fleet. By comparison, Panama's registry holds 15% of the world's trade tonnage.

How will this affect Russian shipping?
The damage from such actions is minimal. Only three vessels, none of which are tankers, are currently on the Liberian registry and insured by Ingosstrakh.

At the same time, there is a shadow fleet, estimated at up to 850 tankers , which transport Russian, as well as Iranian and Venezuelan oil.

These actions, as well as the speech of British Foreign Minister David Cameron , should demonstrate the effectiveness of sanctions. This is an invitation to other major registries to follow Liberia's example.

Liberia and Panama were registries historically used by shipowners from the Russian Federation. Some shadow fleet vessels are also registered there. US representatives are trying to get registries to cancel the registration of vessels of the shadow fleet .

Russian companies are maneuvering in these conditions. For example, Sovcomflot transferred tankers to the Gabon registry. When American sanctions were imposed on them a few months later, the vessels were transferred to the Russian registry, often under a different name.

Blocking access to recognized insurance creates formal problems for port authorities around the world . This results in a situation in which there is insurance, but since the insurance company is under sanctions, there are no formal grounds for its recognition.

If, for example, Indian representatives recognize Ingosstrakh's insurance, formally this will be a violation of US sanctions. Countries and unloading ports will be in a very difficult situation. On the one hand, they need resources from Russia. But obtaining them involves the risk of violating sanctions.

According to the West, this should motivate governments of countries interested in purchasing goods from the Russian Federation to either negotiate with London and Washington to turn a blind eye to violations, or lose competitiveness and endure rising prices on the domestic market, which can lead to social tension .

The creation of formal restrictions is one of the tools of global control , which the Anglo-Saxons are now trying to impose on all countries without exception.

In parallel with the actions of the hegemon, the vassals also try to prove that they can be useful. Danish officials cite the risk of oil spills from ships operating along the country's coast and in busy shipping channels. And on this basis they are trying to develop a mechanism for restricting navigation.

If such restrictions are introduced, the German economy will be the first to suffer. And the Anglo-Saxons will have the opportunity to completely control supplies to the EU of not only LNG, but also oil and petroleum products. By the way, today the European Union has already announced the 14th package of sanctions against Russia , which will limit the access of tankers with oil from the Russian Federation to European ports and services.

The global maritime shipping system is currently undergoing major changes. A clear request is being made for the creation of an alternative system of insurance and registration of ships and cargo. And the most likely scenario is the fragmentation of maritime trade traffic into “friendly” and “unfriendly” regions. ... -flota-rf/

Google Translator


Nothing to worry about? South Korea sounds the alarm

What a difference a day makes. Yesterday’s Financial Times informed readers about the red carpet that was rolled out for Vladimir Putin at his various stops in and around the North Korean capital during his two-day stay there. They spoke of the Russian folk songs which local artists performed in Putin’s honor. They mentioned that various state to state agreements were signed but said almost nothing about the contents.

Today the FT has taken a very different approach to Putin’s visit in a feature article entitled “Japan and South Korea sound alarm over Putin-Kim military pact.” Lo and behold, Seoul has read the text of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership that North Korea issued and discovered that it contains: “a pledge to deploy ‘all means at its disposal without delay’ to provide ‘military and other assistance’ in the event that one of the signatories was invaded or in a state of war.”

The FT goes on to cite the South Korean foreign ministry’s expression of regret over the strategic partnership: “ …co-operation between Russia and North Korea ‘should not undermine regional peace and stability’.” Seoul warns “that their co-operation on military technology would violate UN Security Council resolutions.”

Those resolutions, by the way, are up for renewal in the not-too-distant future, and Putin has said from Pyongyang that Russia will veto any extensions.

The fact is that this barking from the South Koreans is frustrated by the very opacity of the wording of both the texts and of Putin’s spoken remarks after the signing and at a meeting with Russian journalists before his departure for Vietnam.

One thing is certain: the Russian-North Korean deal is not just transactional: it is a genuine alliance, the first and only one that Russia has at this moment.

What kind of military assistance will the sides provide to the other in case an act of aggression is declared? What kind of military technical cooperation do the parties have in mind?

For example, will Russia be providing North Korea with ICBMs capable of reaching all of the United States, as some American experts believe? Or is Russia just extending its nuclear umbrella over North Korea, with a pledge to destroy any attacker? Will Russia provide North Korea with its ship sinking hypersonic missiles that could be very useful if this or any future American president sends an aircraft carrier task force to Korean shores to threaten Pyongyang with instant destruction as Trump once did?

Turned around the other way, what can and will North Korea do to help if Russia declares that an act of aggression has been committed against it by NATO in the midst of the Ukraine conflict? Last evening’s edition of the authoritative Russian talk show, The Great Game, moderated by Duma member and Kremlin insider Vyacheslav Nikonov provided an intriguing insight into what people close to Putin are thinking in this regard.

For some time, Russia’s chattering classes have speculated about possibilities for enlisting some of North Korea’s one million man army to help their forces in the ground war in Ukraine. Now, under conditions of the newly signed military alliance with Pyongyang, these same Russians are saying that should NATO forces enter Ukraine to join the fight against them, as Emmanuel Macron has been urging, then Russia may invite 50,000 or more North Koreans to lend a hand to their cause. Moreover, they note that the North Koreans have some very impressive artillery pieces to bring with them to the fight.

If that kind of talk on Russian television is being ignored by the military attaché in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow I would be very surprised.

In closing, I mention that the fuss raised by Seoul over the Russian-North Korean military alliance was the subject of a 10-minute interview I gave to Iran’s Press TV this morning.

The link is here:

As I was alerted by one very attentive reader, this link is usable if you ignore the warnings about possibly compromising security of your computer and opt to proceed at your own risk. The warning is malicious, a bit of disinformation from Iran’s detractors, nothing more.

An alternative link that works directly, without unnerving warnings is here:

Enjoy the show!

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2024 ... the-alarm/


A new multipolar security system based on ‘Pax Rossiya’

June 21, 2024

The BRICS multipolar world order is a welcome alternative to the mayhem of the Western-dominated system. The principles of fairness and cooperation are laudable and necessary to implement.

For several years now, Russia, China and other members of the expanding BRICS alliance have been formulating progressive trade and financial relations of the emerging multipolar world order. That order is based on mutual respect and partnership grounded in international law and the UN Charter.

The BRICS concept is rightly the zeitgeist of our time. It is rallying more nations to its fold especially those of the so-called Global South which for decades have been subjected to the unilateralism of Western hegemony.

The trouble is that for a new world order based on equality and fairness to succeed in practice, it needs to be secure from arbitrary military aggression and imperialist tyranny. In other words, a new security architecture is required to underpin the development of a multipolar world.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been advocating for a new indivisible international security system. This week saw the plan for a new security arrangement put into action.

The Russian leader embarked on state visits to North Korea and Vietnam during which he signed new strategic partnership and defense accords.

Ahead of his trip to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Putin outlined the integrated vision thus: “We are also ready for close cooperation to make international relations more democratic and stable… To do this, we will develop alternative mechanisms of trade and mutual settlements that are not controlled by the West, and jointly resist illegitimate unilateral restrictions. And at the same time – to build an architecture of equal and indivisible security in Eurasia.”

The concept of indivisible security is by no means limited to Eurasia. Russia has signaled the same principles apply to Latin America, Africa and indeed every other corner of the world.

During Putin’s meetings with Chairman Kim Jong Un of the DPRK and President Lo Tam of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the strategic partnerships agreed were not merely about military defense and security. They involved comprehensive partnerships for the development of trade, transport, technology, education, science and medicine.

Nevertheless, it was clear that the commitment to strategic partnership was underpinned by new mutual defense accords. This was most explicit in the treaty signed with the DPRK which furnished “mutual assistance in the event of aggression against one of the parties”.

This is a game-changer. It totally upends the geopolitical calculations of the United States and its NATO partners who have been unilaterally expanding military force and provocations in Eurasia and elsewhere.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has ramped up aggression in the Asia-Pacific against China and North Korea with impunity. Under his watch, the US has increasingly moved nuclear forces into the region to intimidate not only Beijing and Pyongyang but also Moscow. The Biden administration has been assiduous in forming hostile military formations in the region with its NATO partners, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea.

Year after year, the United States has built up weapon systems in Taiwan to provoke China and on the Korean Peninsula to threaten North Korea.

This unilateral aggression and “might is right” arrogance underpin the notion of Pax Americana that prevailed for decades after the Second World War. That notion was always a cruel euphemism for American imperialist violence to impose its economic and political interests. The Korean and Vietnam Wars in which millions of civilians were annihilated were the real-world grim translations of Pax Americana and its fraudulent “rules-based order”.

Geopolitical perceptions have dramatically changed in a few short years. The U.S. and its Western partners – a global minority – have come to be seen by most people of the world as rogue states that have trashed international law through illegal wars and unilateral bullying with economic sanctions. The U.S. dollar and Washington’s relentless debt spending are seen as instruments of imperialist looting.

The BRICS multipolar world order is a welcome alternative to the mayhem of the Western-dominated system. The principles of fairness and cooperation are laudable and necessary to implement. But such principles must be reinforced with military defense and security for all. This is far from the one-sided “defense and security” of the United States and its NATO partners, which in reality is an Orwellian cover for aggression.

The defense commitments given by Russia to the DPRK this week can be seen as long overdue. One may wonder how the U.S. and its allies got away with threatening the people of North Korea for so long and denying Pyongyang the sovereign right to self-defense. Admittedly, Russia did previously support UN sanctions on North Korea over its missile program. That’s over.

The U.S.-led proxy war in Ukraine against Russia that erupted in February 2022 was a wake-up call for Moscow and many people around the world.

Patently, the Western hegemonic system will stop at nothing to assert its neocolonialist privileges, even to the point of antagonizing a nuclear world war.

There is only one language that the U.S. and its minions understand – and that is the threat of devastating countervailing force.

Washington and its NATO lackeys think they can put missiles in Ukraine to hit Russia or in South Korea and Japan to hit North Korea – at no cost to their own security. Well, now, they might want to think again. There’s a new sheriff in town, as this week’s developments show.

A new global security system is being incarnate. Russia’s vision of indivisible, mutual security is shared by China and many other nations because it is fully compliant with international law and nations’ sovereignty.

Russia, China and other supporters of a multipolar world are not preemptively threatening anyone. But it takes the guarantee of unassailable nuclear powers, Russia and China, to make a new security system viable by restoring the deterrence towards the rogue states of the United States and NATO accomplices.

The defense accords between Russia, the DPRK and Vietnam are installments of the new security architecture that is needed in Eurasia and globally. The has-been American hegemon has been served notice that from now on its presumption of belligerence with impunity, to destroy nations, and to have a license to murder en masse is null and void.

Welcome to the new multipolar order and Pax Rossiya. All are welcome – except hegemonic rogue states. ... x-rossiya/


This Chinese Company’s Compliance With The US’ Anti-Russian Sanctions Is Very Consequential

JUN 22, 2024


Russia and China aren’t “against” one another, but they still prioritize their corresponding national interests. These largely overlap, in which cases they cooperate to pursue their shared goals, but they sometimes diverge and thus lead to developments like Chinese companies complying with US sanctions.

China’s Wison New Energies announced in a LinkedIn post on Friday that they’re immediately stopping all their Russian projects “in view of the strategic future of the company” following the latest imposition of US sanctions against that country’s LNG industry in mid-June. wrote that this will “deal a blow” to Russia’s Arctic LNG 2 project after Wison was contracted to build its modules, “which are massive, prefabricated structures that facilitate the rapid construction of LNG processing plants.”

They also reminded their audience that Arctic LNG 2 “has been considered key to Russia’s efforts to boost its global LNG market share from 8% to 20% by 2030-2035.” The EU’s US-pressured “decoupling” from Russia’s pipeline gas network compelled that country to ramp up its LNG projects in order to freely export this resource in the coming future so as to make up for tens of billions of dollars in lost revenue. These plans might therefore be further delayed by Wison’s compliance with US sanctions.

RT reported in late December that two major Chinese energy companies had declared force majeure on their participation in Arctic LNG 2 after a prior round of US sanctions against that project, the significance of which was analyzed here at the time. To bring the reader up to speed for their convenience, the takeaway was that China’s complex economic interdependence with the West predisposes its national champions to complying with that bloc’s unilateral restrictions in order to not lose their market there.

China is officially opposed to all sanctions that are imposed outside of the UNSC, but it also gives its companies the choice whether to voluntarily comply with them, even those that are state-owned enterprises such as the ones from RT’s report last December. Their decision to go along with these measures is respected by the state since they’re supposed to serve China’s interests, not Russia’s or anyone else’s, and this sometimes requires them to make tough decisions for the greater national good.

Neither the Chinese state nor its companies should therefore be negatively judged for voluntarily complying with US sanctions, but the very fact that this compliance continues occurring should result in members of the Alt-Media Community (AMC) correcting their false perceptions about Russian-Chinese ties. Many top influencers adhere to the dogma that these two see eye-to-eye on everything and are jointly coordinating all their moves in order to accelerate multipolar processes, but that’s not true.

While their strategic ties are closer than ever and can nowadays even be described as them having formed a Sino-Russo Entente, they still disagree on Kashmir and the East Sea/South China Sea issues since Russia fully supports India and Vietnam’s respective positions. Nevertheless, Russia and China responsibly manage these disagreements for the greater multipolar good, the same as they’re expected to do regarding Chinese companies’ compliance with US sanctions, including those against Arctic LNG 2.

This insight is relevant with regards to the AMC since it’s important for top influencers to accurately reflect such facts in their work lest they inadvertently mislead their audience about those two’s ties. Russia and China aren’t “against” one another, but they still prioritize their corresponding national interests. These largely overlap, in which cases they cooperate to pursue their shared goals, but they sometimes diverge and thus lead to developments like Chinese companies complying with US sanctions.

As regards this latest example, it’ll complicate Russia’s ambitious LNG plans and therefore risk slashing its future revenue flows, with the possible consequence being that it could also affect those two’s stalled talks on the Power of Siberia II pipeline. Russia might either concede to China’s reportedly requested basement-bottom prices out of financial desperation or it’ll refuse to do so out of resentment and thus leave this project in limbo indefinitely unless/until China eventually reconsiders its stance.

The second scenario of China agreeing to pay higher but nonetheless still privileged prices for Russian gas could play out if US pressure upon it increases in the coming future as is expected following the Russian-North Korean mutual defense pact. The preceding hyperlinked analysis explains these dynamics more in detail, but in brief, those two’s new agreement will likely be exploited by the US to redouble its regional military presence at the expense of China’s objective national security interests.

In that event, and if the abovementioned trend unfolds in parallel with the US applying more pressure upon China in the East Sea/South China Sea in ways that hint at a credible intent to blockade its energy shipments in case of crisis, then China might reconsider its stance and agree to Russia’s pipeline terms. The additional price would be well worth paying for receiving reliable gas from its neighbor instead of holding out for a better price and risking the US cutting off its LNG imports in the meantime.

Returning to the lede, Wison’s compliance with US sanctions against Russia should prompt the AMC to finally correct its false perceptions about the Sino-Russo Entente, and it might also play a role in determining how the Power of Siberia II pricing dilemma is resolved as was just explained. Considering that it’ll also complicate Russia’s ambitious LNG plans, from which a lot of its future revenue is expected to be derived, this makes that company’s decision much more important than many might have thought. ... compliance


India’s imports of sanctioned Russian oil soar to new heights

India’s foreign minister vowed last month that cooperation between Moscow and New Delhi would not be a ‘temporary phenomenon’

News Desk

JUN 21, 2024

(Photo credit: Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times/Getty Images)

Indian imports of Russian oil sharply rose in May to an unprecedented level of 2.1 million barrels per day, according to tanker data.

The data indicates a growth of 14.7 percent from April. The country’s total oil imports in May rose to five million barrels per day, a jump of 5.6 percent from April and a 5.9 percent rise from one year ago.

The share of Russian oil in Indian imports rose to 41 percent, the data adds.

It also shows that Saudi Arabia’s oil supply plummeted to its lowest in ten months after Aramco hiked its prices for a second time last month.

According to a preliminary report by the Indian Oil Ministry, oil imports are at a record high.

“Russian oil was available in plenty and at better discounts last month due to lower demand from China,” an official at an Indian oil refinery told Reuters on 21 June.

Meanwhile, Indian refiners bought the equivalent of 176,000 barrels from the US daily.

Russia has continued serving as India’s top oil supplier, followed by Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

As two important members of the BRICS group, cooperation between the two countries has surged recently.

At the end of the fiscal year in March 2024, trade between Russia and India had reached $65.7 billion, a 33 percent jump from the previous year.

Moscow and New Delhi are also holding talks on the joint production of military equipment and have recently boosted military cooperation.

Firstpost reported last month that Russia recently purchased nearly $4 billion in Indian-made defense equipment and arms from New Delhi using the Indian Rupee.

New Delhi has also helped Moscow circumvent harsh western sanctions on Russia.

As a result of these sanctions, Russia was among 22 other nations whose banks were allowed to open specific Vostro accounts in India to conduct trade in local currency. This represents efforts by BRICS countries to move away from the US dollar.

Energy cooperation between the two countries is surging despite heavy US and western sanctions on Russian crude oil.

“For long, we have looked at Russia from a political or security perspective. As that country turns eastwards, fresh economic opportunities are presenting themselves ... the spike in our trade and new areas of cooperation should not be regarded as a temporary phenomenon,” Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said last month. ... ew-heights
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Re: Russia today

Post by blindpig » Sun Jun 23, 2024 5:23 pm

Russia’s Military Logistics Pact With India Complements Its Newly Recalibrated Asian Strategy

JUN 23, 2024


Russia’s strategic partnership with China remains intact and continues to have a positive impact on the world, but Russia is now much less likely to become China’s “junior partner” than before and privilege it over North Korea, Vietnam, and India.

Sputnik reported over the weekend that Russia approved a Joint Military Deployments (JMD) agreement with India, which is essentially the “Reciprocal Exchange of Logistics” (RELOS) deal that they’ve been negotiating for the past few years. This pact will enable each of their armed forces to more easily use the other’s facilities, thus opening up the possibility of more regular visits by their navies and imbuing a symbolic military dimension to their Eastern Maritime Corridor between Chabahar and Vladivostok.

The timing isn’t coincidental either since it immediately follows the Russian-North Korean mutual defense pact as well as Russia and Vietnam reaffirming the strength of their strategic partnership by pledging not to enter into any agreements with anyone else that could pose a threat to the other’s interests. These two alliances, the first formal and the second unofficial, are now followed by Russia’s JMD pact with India, thus completing the new recalibration of its Asian strategy.

Up until this point, that country’s foes and even friends alike assumed that Russia was “pivoting” towards China, with the innuendo being that it’ll privilege Beijing’s interests over others. Had that been the case, then this could have taken the form of joint pressure on North Korea as punishment for its missile tests, joint naval drills in China’s claimed portion of the Vietnamese-disputed East Sea/South China Sea, and scaling back military ties with India to give China an edge in their Himalayan disputes.

Instead, Russia entered into a formal military alliance with North Korea, confirmed that it wouldn’t ever do anything that would threaten Vietnam’s interests (the innuendo being that it’ll never lend credence to China’s claimed portion of their disputed maritime territory), and clinched the JMD with India. The pro-BRI faction of Russia’s expert and policymaking community probably isn’t pleased with these outcomes since they strengthen the hand of their balancing/pragmatic “friendly rivals”.

To explain, the first believes that a return to Sino-US bi-multipolarity is inevitable so Russia should accelerate China’s superpower trajectory as revenge against the US for everything that it’s done since 2022. By contrast, the second wants to retain Russia’s balancing act in order to avoid disproportionate dependence on the People’s Republic, believing that it’s still possible to midwife complex multipolarity throughout the course of the global systemic transition instead of returning to bi-multipolarity.

As regards the latest three military-strategic developments, their cumulative effect is to signal that Russia will never become China’s “junior partner” like the pro-BRI faction implies that it should do “for the greater good”, and they also serve to complicate regional geopolitical matters for the People’s Republic. The US might bolster its military presence in Northeast Asia after North Korea’s pact with Russia while Vietnam and India will continue to confidently uphold their respective territorial claims vis-à-vis China.

While the first consequence might push China into a spiraling rivalry with the US that could then be leveraged by Russia and North Korea to get it to more meaningfully support them against their shared enemy, the second strengthens Moscow’s potential position as a mediator between them and Beijing. The first is therefore a different flavor of Sino-US bi-multipolarity, albeit with more strategic autonomy for Russia and North Korea, whereas the second keeps complex multipolarity trends on track.

Taken together, these moves can be interpreted as a “power play” by Russia’s balancing/pragmatic faction against their pro-BRI “friendly rivals”, the latter of whom have been on the upswing for the past year but are now once again on the backfoot like before. Russia’s strategic partnership with China remains intact and continues to have a positive impact on the world, but Russia is now much less likely to become China’s “junior partner” than before and privilege it over North Korea, Vietnam, and India. ... with-india

Little Andy's persistent fear of Russia being dominated by China is unwarranted for a number of obvious reasons. Russia would have to be significantly weakened for that to happen, which is unlikely in the near term at least.


Jake Sullivan and the ‘softening up operation’

A day ago, I wrote about the introductory remarks of presenter Vyacheslav Nikonov on his Thursday night edition of The Great Game when he reminded his audience that 22 June is Russia’s Memorial Day and connected the price in lives paid in 1941-1945 for national survival with the price now being paid on the front lines in Ukraine to ensure the survival of Russian statehood in the face of direct and growing threats from NATO countries. I might add that yesterday’s Russian news coverage of the Memorial Day events across the country was fulsome and moving.

But that was not the only segment of Nikonov’s Thursday show worthy of comment here. Another was the testimony of a Russian war correspondent on the meaning of the remarkable proliferation these past few days of Ukrainian drones reaching a thousand kilometers or more into the Russian heartland. What we hear in the daily news is that all sixty or seventy of them were shot down by Russian air defenses. What this expert contributed was an interpretation of this news that a global, and in particular an American audience should hear.

The Great Game panelist explained that this is clearly part of a ‘softening up operation’ launched by the Americans, and by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, if we may be more precise, intended to deplete the Russian air defenses in advance of the serious attacks to be made in the months ahead using the F-16s that are about to be delivered to Ukraine and the longer range American missiles that Sullivan in the past week allowed Kiev to direct as it sees fit deep into Russia.

Indeed, the response of the Biden White House to the Russian-North Korean mutual defense pact concluded during Vladimir Putin’s visit to Pyongyang was precisely to double-down on its plans to precipitate World War III or, at least, a European wide nuclear war that would leave the United States unscathed and at the top of the heap.

The Russians know a thing or two about ‘softening up operations.’ They have themselves practiced exactly that against the Patriot air defense installations in Ukraine, forcing the defenders to expend interception missiles costing tens of millions of dollars and available in strictly limited quantities to bring down drones costing tens of thousands of dollars and clearing the way for serious missile attacks on the Ukrainian electricity generating stations and other critical infrastructure that have been performed with devastating effect, taking down 60% of the country’s generating capacity.

And the Russians have their own back-up solutions to deal with the problem that may otherwise arise when those F-16s appear in the war zone. They are now installing their latest, world beating defense complex, the S500, in Crimea and close to the Ukrainian borders. Such a unit is now standing guard over the Crimean bridge. As more come on line, the S500s will enable the Russian forces to detect missile launches and jet take-offs from as far away as Lvov, near the Polish border, and to dispatch interceptor missiles appropriate to those threatening aircraft.


In his memoirs, Henry Kissinger justified his rightful place at the head of the national security apparatus and then of the State Department, saying that these branches of the federal government were overpopulated by lawyers who had no area knowledge and whose modus operandi was based on in-basket, out-basket mentality.

In some countries, the in-basket, out-basket approach to governance does no harm and may even be good for all. I think of Germany under Mutti Merkel. Only in her case the practice was in effect one basket for problems that time had not yet resolved and the other was the basket for problems that had been solved by time.

In the administration of Mr. Biden, his assistants are far more active, and in the case of Jake Sullivan are doing their best to bring about Armageddon thanks to their insouciance, certainty of their superiority as evidenced by their Yale degrees and by their willful ignorance of those they are playing on the big chessboard, to use Zbigniew Brzezinski’s metaphor.

Superior intellect and even a prized law degree are not a vaccine against stupidity, as we see in the daily actions of Mr. Sullivan. Another proof of the same point is his colleague over at the State Department, Tony Blinken.

Involuntarily, every time I see Blinken in the news I think back over the comment by the owner-manager of The Nation who publicly expressed her delight when he was nominated by Biden for the position of Secretary of State. Finally, she opined, we would have a sophisticate, a bilingual Secretary who grew up in a family of privilege in France, as our chief diplomat, replacing the ill-educated and bullying Mike Pompeo, who so resembled his crass boss, The Donald.

I earnestly wish for Sullivan’s retirement from government after Biden loses the election. I am confident he will be placed in one or another of America’s prestige universities to work on his memoirs and lecture students on how national security and diplomacy should not be run.

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2024 ... operation/
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Re: Russia today

Post by blindpig » Mon Jun 24, 2024 2:45 pm

JUNE 23, 2024
Kremlin website (machine translation), 6/7/24

The discussion was moderated by political scientist, historian, and academic supervisor of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs of the Higher School of Economics Sergey Karaganov….

S. Karaganov: Let’s move on to more political issues. You always talk about your desire to negotiate an end to the conflict with the West in Ukraine. This, of course, is a commendable and positive desire to negotiate.

But with whom to negotiate? Our Western partners have cheated us many times and are violating all the agreements that we reach with them. The Kiev regime is morally illegitimate, politically illegitimate and even legally illegitimate from the point of view of even the already failed state that exists there.

How is it even possible to conduct any kind of negotiations with them without first defeating them, without achieving complete surrender and without, so to speak, pointing a nuclear pistol at our Western opponents so that they don’t twitch anymore? Because, in principle, any agreements now will not be implemented until there is a defeat. Illegitimate and unreliable partners.

How to deal with this?

V. Putin: Well, yes, but, as Joseph Vissarionovich said, “I have no other writers” – he spoke in relation to the Union of Writers of the USSR at one time, when Beria came to snitch on them once again. He said: “I have no other writers.” Well, these are the partners – what should we do now, fight with everyone, or what?

We must, of course, seek agreements and conditions that would correspond to our interests and be as reliable as possible. You are right that it is very difficult to negotiate with such a public; they deceive at every step. They say one thing and do another. It’s sad, but all armed conflicts end in some kind of peace agreement. True, as one of the former leaders of a fairly significant European country told me, all these agreements can be based either on the basis of military defeat or on the basis of victory. We, of course, strive and will achieve victory.

The question of the legitimacy of those with whom we negotiate. Yes, there are problems there, of course. Because a preliminary, even cursory analysis of the legislation of Ukraine shows that the current executive authorities have lost their legitimacy.

There is the 103rd article of the Constitution [of Ukraine], which says that the President is elected for only five years, there is the 83rd article of the Constitution of Ukraine, which states that in conditions of martial law the powers of the Verkhovna Rada can be extended. Nothing has been said about extending the president’s powers.

There is a law on the essence of the martial law regime, and it says that under martial law, presidential elections are not held, but it does not say that they are prolonged – after all, I am a graduate of St. Petersburg University, Faculty of Law – and this is very important, this an essential thing: if it is not said, then it does not exist.

The Criminal Code has relevant articles that talk about usurpation of power. It looks like we are dealing with a usurpation of power. But negotiations can still be conducted, because, in my opinion, in accordance with Articles 109, 110, 111 of the Constitution, powers are transferred to the Speaker of the Rada. So if you want to negotiate, you can find someone to negotiate with.

We are ready for these negotiations, but only, I repeat, on the terms that we agreed on when we started these negotiations in Minsk and then in Istanbul, and not on some conjectures. Even if we take the agreements in Istanbul as a basis, we must still proceed from the realities of today. This is in general terms.

S. Karaganov: Vladimir Vladimirovich, naturally, the maxim that all wars end in negotiations is a false maxim, of course, it is being imposed on us. Most wars end in defeat and surrender of the enemy. This is the only way to end this war.

I move on to the next question, which is that the defeat and surrender of the enemy in the current circumstances, when America benefits from this war, and they will continue it, driving Ukrainians to slaughter and finishing them off, and now they will also drive Europeans to slaughter – This war will not be able to be stopped in the near future without rapid movement along the ladder of nuclear escalation. This is the first.

Second. The plates under the world system have moved apart. There will be a lot of conflicts that will arise objectively. There used to be a nuclear fuse, but now it has seriously weakened – fear of nuclear weapons. Do we understand that we have a huge responsibility not only to win this war – and for this we need to go much tougher on the ladder of escalation and be ready to use it – but also to return this nuclear fuse to the international system in order to prevent movement towards a huge wave of conflicts. After all, who, besides us, will do this? Who, besides you, will do this?

You have a huge responsibility. And if we crawl so slowly up this ladder, although there is, of course, movement, then I am afraid that we will seem to be shirking this responsibility. Although I understand the gravity of the moral choice.

Vladimir Putin: Regarding nuclear escalation: we never started this rhetoric. I don’t remember the name of this lady, the former Prime Minister of Great Britain, who, when asked when she became Prime Minister, said that she was ready to press the nuclear button.

We never said that. This is where it all started. We simply responded that we needed to take this more seriously; we immediately started saying that we were rattling nuclear weapons. We don’t rattle. First.

Secondly, what is use, non-use, in what case to use. We have a nuclear doctrine, and everything is written there. Yesterday I just spoke with the heads of news agencies and said this. We have everything written there: use is possible in exceptional cases – in the event of a threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, in exceptional cases.

I don’t think that such a case has arisen – there is no such need. But this doctrine is a living instrument, and we carefully monitor what is happening in the world, around us, and do not rule out making some changes to this doctrine.

Now this is also connected with the testing of nuclear weapons. We once not only signed it, but also ratified it, the Americans signed it, but did not ratify it, so in today’s conditions we have withdrawn our ratification. But, if necessary, we will conduct tests. So far there is no such need either, since our information capabilities, computer ones, allow us to produce everything in its current form.

Now regarding speed, regarding results. You said that I have a great responsibility. Yes indeed. Is it possible to increase the speed of solving the problems we face? It is possible, but it is directly proportional to the losses. And, understanding my responsibility, I still proceed from what the General Staff and the Ministry of Defense propose. Speed ​​is important, but even more important is caring for the lives and health of our guys who are fighting at the front.

Combat work is underway. Just since the beginning of this year, 47 settlements, in my opinion, have been liberated – 880 square kilometers. We are gradually pushing the enemy out of the territory of Donbass and other adjacent territories. The General Staff and the Ministry of Defense have plans for the implementation and achievement of all our goals – we are acting according to this plan. I am confident that all these plans will be implemented.

S. Karaganov: Nevertheless, we understand perfectly well that accelerating movement along the nuclear escalation ladder can save a large number of lives, because it can bring some sense to our opponents, who took advantage of the fact that we, among other things, had such an easy doctrine.

I have no doubt that it will be changed, I hope that it will be changed soon, and you will now have the formal right to respond, if you so decide, with a nuclear strike to any attacks on our territory. This absolutely must be the sovereign right of our leader. I hope that such a statement will appear in our doctrine, and it will cool our opponents a little, and will also save our soldiers sooner or later.

Of course, now it’s probably too early to go for nuclear escalation, but we need to move towards this in order to cool down our opponents. They went crazy, especially the Europeans. They are going to war for the third time in almost a hundred years. The Americans are much more careful, they fed the Ukrainians, they push them, and they themselves are much more careful. But the Europeans are going to war.

I am a hunter, I know how animals behave. If you are attacked by a pack of wild dogs or hyenas and you have a stick, then you can hit them, drive them away, and there is a chance that you will drive them away. But most likely they will tear your trousers, and then, if you get tired, they will chew you off. If you have the opportunity to nail a couple, they will run away – I guarantee it.

President Mnangagwa knows the habits of hyenas. Do you agree with me, Mr. President, that this is how they disperse hyenas?

E. Mnangagwa (as translated) : Yes, you know, there are a lot of hyenas in Zimbabwe. But they are all kept in national parks so that they do not bother us. We don’t have any problems with them, and they multiply quickly. If someone wants a hyena, we can give it to you.

Vladimir Putin: We have enough of our own.

S. Karaganov: In Europe.

Again, I repeat this question – I bring it to the end. If we do not move more decisively along the ladder of escalation, will we not anger the gifts of the Almighty? After all, the Almighty once showed us the way, when he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with fiery rain for dissipation and debauchery. And after this, humanity remembered this for many years and behaved carefully, but now it has forgotten about Sodom and Gomorrah.

So, maybe let’s remember this rain and try again to bring some sense into humanity or that part of humanity that has lost faith in God and has lost its mind?

Vladimir Putin: Without me, maybe not? You will set the heat there! They were already scared.

Although, of course, one might think: You are now talking about Europeans – any logic is possible. If, God forbid, it comes to some kind of strike, then everyone should understand that Russia has an early warning system – a missile attack warning system. The USA has it. There is no such developed system anywhere else in the world. We have. In Europe there is no developed system; in this sense, they are more or less defenseless. This is the first.

The second is the power of the blows. Our tactical nuclear weapons are four times more powerful than the bombs the Americans used against Hiroshima and Nagasaki, three to four times. We have many times more of them – both on the European continent, and even if the Americans bring theirs from the USA – we still have many times more.

If it comes [to this], God forbid, which we really don’t want, then – you said “let’s reduce the sacrifices” – they can increase indefinitely. This is the first.

And second. Of course, these same Europeans will have to think: if those with whom we exchange such blows do not exist, will the Americans get involved in this exchange of blows at the level of strategic weapons or not? I very much doubt it, and Europeans should also think about it, that’s for sure.

But still, I proceed from the fact that it will never come to this and we do not have such a need, because our Armed Forces are not just gaining experience, increasing their efficiency – our defense-industrial complex is demonstrating its effective work. I have said it many times, I can repeat it: we have increased the production of ammunition by more than 20 times, we are many times greater than the enemy’s capabilities in aviation technology, we are significantly superior in armored vehicles, and so on, and so on. We don’t even need to think about this topic.

Please, and I would also ask everyone not to mention such things in vain once again.

S. Karaganov: You behave so responsibly and speak so responsibly, but we are dealing with partners who are absolutely irresponsible and have lost their minds.

V. Putin: A terrible person.

S. Karaganov: No, you know… You looked at these partners from the outside, like most of us, but I grew up in that system, this happened in my life. I have known them from a young age and I assure you that I have reason to say what I say.

Although I understand perfectly well and support your hesitation, because this is a terrible choice, and the choice should be made only as a last resort. But if they know that you are not ready to make this choice, they will endlessly try to fight and bleed us.

And at the same time, they are fighting not only against us – they are also fighting against our friends in the world majority, because we are the military-strategic root, the core of this world majority. If they turn us back, they will begin to suppress them again. I don’t know whether the gentlemen presidents agree with this.

Vladimir Putin: Allow me to make one remark.

The decisions of both mine and my colleagues with whom I work in this area are not associated with any hesitation – there is no hesitation and cannot be. All our decisions must be based on analysis – a real, objective analysis of the current situation. That’s what we do.

S. Karaganov: The day before yesterday you spoke to the heads of agencies and said something extremely interesting about the fact that we are ready and can supply our long-range weapons to countries that are enemies of our enemies. This made me very happy because it was long overdue. What, will we supply both high-precision and hypersound? Naturally, with your technical specialists? This could really seriously improve the situation in the world. For example, aircraft carriers, which are generally a meaningless tool now, in the current circumstances, will leave the world stage, and people will stop spending huge amounts of money on them.

So what will we supply? When and how? Of course, at the same time, I understand that under no circumstances should we do this ourselves, or at least we should say that we are not doing it.

Vladimir Putin: Regarding aircraft carriers. You said they were meaningless. No. They are meaningless only in some kind of global conflict in a strategic sense. And from the point of view of solving geopolitical problems, as an instrument of geopolitics, in order to move them towards those territories against which the same Americans, French or British want to fight and force them to do something, they make sense. True, taking into account the presence of modern hypersonic weapons in Russia and China, to a certain extent, of course, they lose their meaning. You urge us not to spend money on this. Let them spend it. Why did you say this out loud? Let them spend it…. ... karaganov/


Putin’s “war” to re-shape the American Zeitgeist

Alastair Crooke

June 24, 2024

It is only by understanding and taking the Russian nuclear warnings seriously that we may exclude the risk of nuclear weapons coming into play.

The G7 and the subsequent Swiss ‘Bürgenstock Conference’ can – in retrospect – be understood as preparation for a prolonged Ukraine war. The three centrepiece announcements emerging from the G7 – the 10 year Ukraine security pact; the $50 ‘billion Ukraine loan’; and the seizing of interest on Russian frozen funds – make the point. The war is about to escalate.

These stances were intended as preparation of the western public ahead of events. And in case of any doubts, the blistering belligerency towards Russia emerging from the European election leaders was plain enough: They sought to convey a clear impression of Europe preparing for war.

What then lies ahead? According to White House Spokesman John Kirby: “Washington’s position on Kiev is “absolutely clear”:

“First, they’ve got to win this war”.

“They gotta win the war first. So, number one: We’re doing everything we can to make sure they can do that. Then when the war’s over … Washington will assist in building up Ukraine’s military industrial base”.

If that was not plain, the U.S. intent to prolong and take the war deep into Russia was underlined by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan: “Authorization for Ukrainian use of American weapons for cross-border attacks extends to anywhere [from which] Russian forces are coming across the border”. He affirmed, too, that Ukraine can use F-16s to attack Russia and use U.S. supplied air defence systems “to take down Russian planes – even if in Russian airspace – if they’re about to fire into Ukrainian airspace”.

Ukrainian pilots have the latitude to judge ‘the intent’ of Russian fighter aircraft? Expect the parameters of this ‘authorisation’ to widen quickly – deeper to air bases from which Russian fighter bombers launch.

Understanding that the war is about to transform radically – and extremely dangerously – President Putin (in his speech to the Foreign Ministry Board) detailed just how the world had arrived at this pivotal juncture – one which could extend to nuclear exchanges.

The gravity of the situation itself demanded the making of one ‘last chance’ offer to the West, which Putin emphatically said was “no temporary ceasefire for Kiev to prepare a new offensive; nor was it about freezing the conflict”; but rather, his proposals were about the war’s final completion.

“If, as before, Kiev and western capitals refuse it – then at the end, that’s their business”, Putin said.

Just to be clear, Putin almost certainly never expected the proposals to be received in the West other than by the scorn and derision with which they, in fact, were met. Nor would Putin trust – for a moment – the West not to renege on an agreement, were some arrangement to be reached on these lines.

If so, why then did President Putin make such a proposal last weekend, if the West cannot be trusted and its reaction was so predictable?

Well, maybe we need to search for the nesting inner Matryoshka doll, rather than fix on the outer casing: Putin’s ‘final completion’ likely will not credibly be achieved through some itinerant peace broker. In his Foreign Ministry address, Putin dismisses devices such as ‘ceasefires’ or ‘freezes’. He is seeking something permanent: An arrangement that has ‘solid legs’; one that has durability.

Such a solution – as Putin before has hinted – requires a new world security architecture to come into being; and were that to happen, then a complete solution for Ukraine would flow as an implicit part to a new world order. That is to say, with the microcosm of a Ukraine solution flowing implicitly from the macrocosm agreement between the U.S. and the ‘Heartland’ powers – settling the borders to their respective security interests.

This clearly is impossible now, with the U.S. in its psychological mindset stuck in the Cold War era of the 1970s and 1980s. The end to that war – the seeming U.S. victory – set the foundation to the 1992 Wolfowitz Doctrine which underscored American supremacy at all costs in a post-Soviet world, together with “stamping out rivals, wherever they may emerge”.

“In conjunction with this, the Wolfowitz Doctrine stipulated that the U.S. would … [inaugurate] a U.S.-led system of collective security and the creation of a democratic zone of peace”. Russia, on the other hand, was dealt with differently—the country fell off the radar. It became insignificant as a geopolitical competitor in the eyes of the West, as its gestures of peaceful offerings were rebuffed – and guarantees given to it regarding NATO’s expansion forfeited”.

“Moscow could do nothing to prevent such an endeavour. The successor state of the mighty Soviet Union was not its equal, and thus not considered important enough to be involved in global decision-making. Yet, despite its reduced size and sphere of influence, Russia has persisted in being considered a key player in international affairs”.

Russia today is a preeminent global actor in both the economic and political spheres. Yet for the Ruling Strata in the U.S., equal status between Moscow and Washington is out of the question. The Cold War mentality still infuses the Beltway with the unwarranted confidence that the Ukraine conflict might somehow result in Russian collapse and dismemberment.

Putin in his address, by contrast, looked ahead to the collapse of the Euro-Atlantic security system – and of a new architecture emerging. “The world will never be the same again”, Putin said.

Implicitly, he hints that such a radical shift would be the only way credibly to end the Ukraine war. An agreement emerging from the wider framework of consensus on the division of interests between the Rimland and the Heartland (in Mackinder-esque language) would reflect the security interests of each party – and not be achieved at the expense of others’ security.

And to be clear: If this analysis is correct, Russia may not be in such a hurry to conclude matters in Ukraine. The prospect of such a ‘global’ negotiation between Russia-China and the U.S. is still far off.

The point here is that the collective western psyche has not been transformed sufficiently. Treating Moscow with equal esteem remains out of the question for Washington.

The new American narrative is no negotiations with Moscow now, but maybe it will become possible sometime early in the new year – after the U.S. elections.

Well, Putin might surprise again – by not jumping at the prospect, but rebuffing it; assessing that the Americans still are not ready for negotiations for a ‘complete end’ to the war – especially as this latest narrative runs concurrently with talk of a new Ukraine offensive shaping up for 2025. Of course, much is likely to change over the coming year.

The documents outlining a putative new security order however, were already drafted by Russia in 2021 – and duly ignored in the West. Russia perhaps can afford to wait out military events in Ukraine, in Israel, and in the financial sphere.

They are all, in any event, trending Putin’s way. They are all inter-connected and have the potential for wide metamorphosis.

Put plainly: Putin is waiting on the shaping of the American Zeitgeist. He seemed very confident both at St Petersburg and last week at the Foreign Ministry.

The backdrop to the G7’s Ukraine preoccupation seemed to be more U.S. elections-related, than real: This implies that the priority in Italy was election optics, rather than a desire to start a full-blown hot war. But this may be wrong.

Russian speakers during these recent gatherings – notably Sergei Lavrov – hinted broadly that the order already had come down for war with Russia. Europe seems, however improbably, to be gearing up for war – with much chatter about military conscription.

Will it all blow away with the passing of a hot summer of elections? Maybe.

The coming phase seems likely to entail western escalation, with provocations occurring inside Russia. The latter will react strongly to any crossing of (real) red lines by NATO, or any false flag provocation (now widely expected by Russiam military bloggers).

And herein lies the greatest danger: In the context of escalation, American disdain for Russia poses the greatest danger. The West now says it treats notions of putative nuclear exchange as Putin’s ‘bluff’. The Financial Times tells us that Russia’s nuclear warnings are ‘wearing thin’ in the West.

If this is true, western officials utterly misconceive the reality. It is only by understanding and taking the Russian nuclear warnings seriously that we may exclude the risk of nuclear weapons coming into play, as we move up the escalatory ladder with tit-for-tat measures.

Even though they say they believe them to be bluff, U.S. figures nonetheless hype the risk of a nuclear exchange. If they think it to be a bluff, it appears to be based on the presumption that Russia has few other options.

This would be wrong: There are several escalatory steps that Russia can take up the ladder, before reaching the tactical nuclear weapon stage: Trade and financial counter-attack; symmetrical provision of advanced weaponry to western adversaries (corresponding to U.S. supplies to Ukraine); cutting the electricity branch distribution coming from Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania; strikes on border munition crossings; and taking a leaf from the Houthis who have knocked down several sophisticated and costly U.S. drones, disabling America’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) infrastructure. ... zeitgeist/


What Role Did Foreign Spy Agencies Play In Sunday’s Terrorist Attacks In Dagestan?

JUN 24, 2024


Foreign spy agencies were likely involved to an uncertain extent, but they still relied on radicalized locals to do their dirty work, not their own compatriots.

The southern Russian region of Dagestan was hit by several terrorist attacks in Sunday after armed militants targeted a churches, synagogues, and a traffic police post in two separate cities. Abdulkhakim Gadzhiyev, who’s one of that region’s representatives in the Duma, promptly blamed Ukraine and NATO. Former Roscosmos chief and incumbent Senator from Zaporozhye region Dmitry Rogozin, however, politely rebuked him shortly thereafter in a Telegram post that reads as follows:

“State Duma deputy from Dagestan Gadzhiev believes that the terrorist attack in the republic was carried out by the special services of Ukraine and NATO countries. And I believe that if we blame every terrorist attack based on national and religious intolerance, hatred and Russophobia on the machinations of Ukraine and NATO, then this pink fog will lead us to big problems. We see a speck in someone else's eye, but we don't see a log in our own. And it's about time.”

This isn’t the first time that Dagestan is in the news for all the wrong reasons since a slew of radicalized locals tried storming the regional capital’s airport last fall after being misled by foreign-emanating fake news on Telegram into thinking that a bunch of Jewish refugees were about to arrive there. That incident was comprehensively analyzed here at the time, which concluded that it was a hybrid provocation by Russia’s adversaries that exploited some of the population’s predilection for religious extremism.

Considering this context, Gadzhiyev wasn’t wrong to suspect that these same forces probably played a role in the latest terrorist attack, especially since footage from the scenes suggests that the culprits had received at least some training in weapons handling and tactics. Nevertheless, as Rogozin implied in his post, it takes two to tango and some locals clearly colluded with foreign spy agencies out of their own will whether they realized who they were really dealing with or fell for their cover stories.

This modus operandi was on display during spring’s Crocus terrorist attack in which Ukraine’s GRU played a crucial coordinating role as explained here and here at the time. At-risk elements of society, in that case migrants, are recruited by foreign spy agencies (usually via social media platforms like Telegram nowadays). The root cause is therefore that some people are predisposed to extremist ideologies in the first place, but therein lies the difficulty in preemptively defending against this threat.

There will always be extremists in any society, including those that are attracted to these views due to their preexisting psychological problems, and this is regrettably the case even in an historically tolerant and cosmopolitan civilization-state like Russia. It’s simply impossible to monitor everything that everyone does on every app at every moment even on those that aren’t encrypted. What can be done, however, is encouraging more people to report their family and friends’ suspicious behavior.

Being an “informant” is considered something treacherous, and that’s indeed the case if someone betrays those close to them who are engaged in activities that arguably don’t harm anyone else such as white-collar crimes for example, but tipping off the authorities about a suspected terrorist is noble. Abrupt changes in behavior, dress, mindset, and rhetoric can suggest that someone has already been radicalized or is on that path, after which they could be recruited as a terrorist by foreign spy agencies.

As the clichéd saying goes, “it’s better to be safe than sorry”, and the most responsible thing that any family member or friend can do if they witness this transformation in someone close to them is to inform the local security services. Some socio-cultural “codes” discourage doing so even when it’s obvious that something is seriously wrong, but those attitudes must change with the times since social media-driven radicalization and foreign intelligence recruitment are some of today’s top threats.

The solution starts at home, sometimes literally, with society and the state working together to root out the extremists within their country. Some people can still be reformed if this trend is detected early enough and they haven’t yet crossed the Rubicon into plotting heinous crimes so the most caring thing that a family member or friend can do is try to get help for those close to them as soon as possible. A few of these people could then turn into double agents and therefore help save countless more lives.

The insight is relevant after Sunday’s terrorist attacks since it highlights the hybrid nature of this provocation. Foreign spy agencies were likely involved to an uncertain extent, but they still relied on radicalized locals to do their dirty work, not their own compatriots. Gadzhiev and Rogozin are therefore right in their own way, with the reality of what happened being a combination of their two explanations, thus necessitating a hybrid solution of the sort proposed in this piece in response to this hybrid threat. ... y-agencies

The West Can’t Compete With Russia’s “Nuclear Diplomacy”

JUN 24, 2024


“Nuclear diplomacy” isn’t just an anchor investment for comprehensively expanding partner relations into other spheres (minerals, logistics, markets, etc.), but is also an insurance policy for keeping them solid amidst political uncertainty.

The Financial Times (FT) published a piece last week about “How Russia is using nuclear power to win global influence”, which used the example of its Roopur project in Bangladesh to fearmonger about Moscow allegedly manipulating its partners into entering into decades-long relations of dependence. If one looks beyond their obvious narrative agenda, then they can actually learn quite a lot about Russia’s “nuclear diplomacy” and why the West is unable to compete with it, hence why it’s resorted to smears.

Each nuclear power plant project last about 80-90 years from construction to dismantlement, thus bestowing Russia with nearly a century’s worth of business with each partner since it provides for everything in the ecosystem from funds to personnel and uranium during the whole lifecycle. This is already attractive enough, especially due to Russia’s global expertise in this sphere, but it’s made all the more appealing by 90% financing “with repayments spread over decades at minimal interest rates.”

These terms explain why Rosatom clinched nearly two dozen memorandums of understanding with Global South states since 2022, with Africa being a key “point of growth” that’s expected to help boost annual revenue from $16.2 billion last year to $56 billion by 2030. As could be expected, with great influence in a field as strategic as low-cost and reliable green energy comes great privilege, and that’s why other non-nuclear-related deals tend to follow agreements with Rosatom according to the FT.

The company’s African growth plan will complement Russia’s “Democratic Security” packages, which refers to the range of assistance that Moscow provides its partners for counteracting externally exacerbated Hybrid War threats to their national models of democracy. Russian-provided low-cost and reliable energy will help those countries meet their growing population’s minimum needs, and this will in turn reduce the chances of them becoming desperate enough that they’re misled into rioting or worse.

The combined effect of Russia’s “nuclear diplomacy” pairing with its “Democratic Security” packages is that Africa has a greater likelihood of stably developing than any time before. Even if some of its partners slip into failed states, Moscow will still obtain unparalleled influence on the landmass as a whole, which could be leveraged to obtain privileged access to its minerals and markets. That can in turn help keep Russia’s long-term economic growth trajectory on track despite the Western sanctions.

This strategy is dependent on Russia clinching the greatest number of such partnerships with African states through the aforesaid means and then maintaining them despite the twists and turns of the New Cold War, which could see some of its partners experience US-backed regime changes. Even in that scenario, however, the low-cost and reliable green energy that Russia helps them produce for meeting their people’s minimum needs could limit the extent to which ties might change in those circumstances.

Viewed in this way, Russia’s “nuclear diplomacy” isn’t just an anchor investment for comprehensively expanding partner relations into other spheres (minerals, logistics, markets, etc.), but is also an insurance policy for keeping them solid amidst political uncertainty. This makes it an immensely important instrument in Russia’s grand strategic toolkit, which the West can’t compete with since it’s unable to offer anywhere near the same terms, thus greatly hindering its containment strategy. ... th-russias
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Re: Russia today

Post by blindpig » Tue Jun 25, 2024 3:17 pm



by John Helmer, Moscow @bears_with

The British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, MI6) continues to celebrate itself as the master of deception operations, at least when it comes to fooling their own population and their US allies. Successful deception is the principal weapon London contributes in its special relationship with the US, since in money, men, weapons, and military technology it lags far behind.

Fooling the enemy, however, is not something Perfidious Albion is good at.

The last time the British succeeded was Operation Mincemeat in 1943 when the corpse of a Welsh tramp suicide, dressed up to look like a courier of secret military plans, was floated on to a Spanish beach for the purpose of fooling Adolf Hitler and the German High Command on when and where the Allies planned to launch their D-Day offensive in Europe. The operation appears to have succeeded in deceiving the Germans; that’s the version the British keep repeating.

In 2018 the British tried again with a fresh deception operation, also with a corpse, to convince themselves and the world that the Russian military, ordered by the Kremlin, had attacked on British soil with a nerve agent weapon, first targeting Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia; then as collateral damage a county policeman; and finally, after four months had elapsed, a woman who had accidentally sprayed herself with the nerve agent which had been found abandoned in a dumpster, disguised as a perfume atomiser. The cause of death of Dawn Sturgess, the last and only fatal victim of the alleged Russian attack, is still being investigated in secret, ahead of a public inquiry due to commence in London in October.

This is the Novichok deception operation, the first British success in the 81 years since Operation Mincemeat. Except that the new operation didn’t deceive the Russians like the old one had the Germans.

Instead, it has become the justification for the British Government going to war against Russia for reasons which no vote of parliament, no media investigation, and no public opinion poll has disputed over six years. The deception of themselves has been the powerful result of the Skripal case.

Listen to Chris Cook of Gorilla Radio lead the discussion of how and why the Skripal case has been, and is still, more persuasive politically and militarily than the case of Julian Assange. Unlike Sergei Skripal, Assange has survived years of British imprisonment; and unlike Yulia Skripal, he is now a free man. As the broadcast was going to air, the news broke that Assange had been released from Belmarsh prison in a plea bargain between the British, US and Australian governments.

Also breaking news during the broadcast was the claim that the Russian Air Force had shot down a US Air Force drone off the Crimean shore in Black Sea airspace. There is no confirmation of the claim, which first surfaced in the Russian military blogs. They have been calling for this strike in retaliation for the Sevastopol missile attack on Sunday. Read the lead to that story here.

Click to listen to the podcast:

For the introduction to this broadcast, access to the 20-year Gorilla Radio archive, and Chris Cook’s blog, click here and here.

The reality is that Russia has proven itself reluctant to escalate after every one of Ukraine’s major US-backed provocations, of which there’s now a laundry list, perhaps because it truly fears that the US might provoke World War III over whatever provocation it may be that prompts Russia to escalate.

An ATACMS missile loaded with cluster munitions exploded over a beach in Sevastopol over the weekend, injuring 124 people, nearly a fifth of whom were children. The Russian Ministry of Defense blamed the US for providing Ukraine with these missiles and inputting their satellite-obtained targeting data. Other reports claimed that an American reconnaissance drone was flying in nearby international waters at the time of the time, thus lending further credence to the aforesaid claim of involvement.

For as atrocious of a terrorist attack as this was, Russia still doesn’t appear to have the political will to shoot down or otherwise neutralize such drones that facilitate these strikes. It was concluded in March 2023 after a mid-air incident at the time that “Russia Had The UN-Enshrined Right To Direct The US Drone Away From Crimea”, but it didn’t follow up on this by imposing a no-fly zone in international waters. Russia still remains reluctant to do anything that could escalate and this likely won’t change.

With this observation in mind, last spring’s incident appears to have been an exception to the unofficial rule of Russia proverbially turning the other cheek or simply bombing some military target in Ukraine in response to every major US-backed provocation such as this weekend’s. The evidence in support of this thesis includes the Crimean bridge bombings, assassinations of political and media figures, strikes against oil refineries and strategic airbases, and even May 2023’s attack on the Kremlin itself, et al.

Time and again, Russia restrains itself and doesn’t climb the escalation ladder, with the absolute most that it’s ever done was carry out a large-scale bombing campaign against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure in fall 2022. Even that, however, wasn’t comprehensive and the damage was ultimately repairable. No symmetrical attacks were ever made, however, such as bombing the Rada or a bridge across the Dnieper. Accordingly, there’s no reason to expect Russia to climb the escalation ladder after this latest attack.

For that to change, Russia would first have to accept the Cuban-like brinksmanship crisis that could swiftly follow if the US decides to provoke one after its reconnaissance drones are shot down or otherwise neutralized, but there’s no indication that it’s prepared to do so. To the contrary, official rhetoric from President Putin on down (with Medvedev being an exception since he functions as the “bad cop” for relieving ultra-nationalist pressure at home) has been conciliatory, never escalatory.

While it’s possible that this is just a “psy-op” to “psyche-out” the West ahead of an abrupt change in policy in order to maximally catch them off guard, it’s much more likely that this isn’t the case and that such an explanation is just wishful thinking or “copium” from sympathetic Alt-Media influencers. The reality is that Russia has proven itself reluctant to escalate, perhaps because it truly fears that the US might provoke World War III over whatever provocation it may be that prompts Russia to escalate.

The aforementioned explanation might be described by some as another example of “copium”, but it still cogently accounts for why President Putin remains committed to his policy of not responding in a tit-for-tat way to any of Ukraine’s major US-backed provocations. Even asymmetrical responses aren’t seriously considered except for bombing a few military targets afterwards and sometimes hitting a couple of power plants, but those responses have had absolutely no deterrent effect as is indisputably known.

If these military-strategic dynamics remain unchanged, then more provocations can be expected, and they’ll continue characterizing this hybrid conflict until it finally ends. Russia’s pattern of behavior thus far suggests that it considers this an acceptable cost to pay for not risking World War III by miscalculation over any of these attacks. Regardless of whatever one’s views are about the merits of this policy, it nevertheless appears to be the way in which President Putin will continue approaching this dilemma. ... mpose-a-no

(If the rumored shoot down of US drone materializes in reality it would be about time. If not this need be done. Russia has good reason to doubt the sanity of US in escalating this conflict, it seems the strategy of 'grinding' needs to be accelerated in order to deliver a fait accompli which renders further escalation pointless. )


Russian Artists Being Used By Ukraine to Build Support for U.S. Weapons Pipeline and War
By Valeriy Krylko - June 24, 2024 1

[Source: resiliencegroup]

Artists Present Themseves as Antiwar But Are in Fact Pro-War

In early May, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a staged appearance in a Kyiv bar to play a rendition with a Ukrianian punk jazz band of Neil Young’s song “Rockin’ in the Free World.”

Blinken’s appearance was designed to shore up public support for the war effort and advance the dominant U.S.-Ukrainian narrative that the war was being fought to preserve freedom.

Blinken told the audience: “The United States is with you, so much of the world is with you. And they’re fighting, not just for Ukraine but for the free world – and the free world is with you too.”


Blinken’s appearance underscored the importance of artists in trying to help shape public opinion and build support for war—on both sides.

To aid further in these latter efforts, the Ukrainians have recruited a lot of Russian artisist who fashion themselves dissidents and anti-war but who are in fact lending their talents in support of the U.S. weapons pipeline to Ukraine and Ukrainian side in the war, which provoked the war and has committed legions of atrocities.

Many concerts by the Russian artiists are being supported by the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) and are often organized by people from Kiev and Odessa.

Sometimes the financing of the army is veiled by helping civilians or wounded fighters. Taxpayers from the United States, Canada and other countries are providing additional financing as part of their broader propaganda efforts.

[Source: dzen].

Of course, war is a business. And the greater its turnover, the greater the number of unjustified deaths, except for the desire to enrich oneself. Is there any point in making these people even richer on the blood of their own countrymen?

The main suppliers of Russian performers to the American market are rental companies, a dozen of them large. They make arrangements with the artists’ administration and organize tours on a turnkey basis: schedules, ticket sales, visas, flights, hotels, advertising and promotion.

[Source: resiliencegroup]

Often, they involved agents directly in the cities where they tour. Lets list some of them:

The concert agency Resilience Entertainment is again headed and promoted by Igor Golubchik. The head office is located in Chicago. Some 25 cities in North America are closed by the organizer. Artists engaged by the agency include Verka Serduchka, Okean Elzy, Tina Karol, BoomBox, The Hardkiss, 5’nizza, Monatik, Kalush Orchestra, Alyona Alyona, Zemfira, Boris Grebenshchikov, DDT, Little Big, Slava Komissarenko and others.


Igor Golubchik from Odessa found himself in the United States with his family in the early 1990s. In 1995 he became the host of Club Jam program on Energy Radio in Chicago and the host of radio “New Life.” Through his radio projects, the student and aspiring DJ personally met Bad Boys Blue, Robert Miles and other artists. In addition to promotional activities, Golubchik has owned a radio station and various media resources over the years. Until 2018, he was one of the American promoters of Laugh League and Kvartal 95 (the very shows that current Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky originated). Since February 2022, thanks to concerts and tours organized by the Chicago businessman, Ukrainian artists have been able, additionally, to finance the Ukrainian army.[1]

Even before his presidency, Zelensky and his “Studio Kvartal 95” project, both financially and through advertising supported by Igor Golubchik, including at the expense of American citizens, actively supported Ukrainian terrorists from the Azov and Donbass Battalions. However, this did not prevent comedians from making money from projects in Russia.

Meanwhile, after the start of the Special Military Operation, the participants of Kvartal 95 intensified anti-Russian activities. In particular, comedian Vitya Rozovy, who wanted to personally fight against the Russian Federation, joined the terrorist Azov Battalion. In turn, other members of the team collected money for Ukrainian militants and entertained neo-Nazi units of the AFU.

Igor Golubchik [Source:]

Kvartal 95 also conducts anti-Russian propaganda among young children: The studio has released a series of propaganda cartoons in which Russian servicemen depict negative characters.

At the same time, the zeal of humorists to stir up anti-Russian sentiments is encouraged by Zelensky: The most active propagandists received awards.

Thus, the Kyiv regime is promoting anti-Russian propaganda not only through journalism but also through “humorous” content. At the same time, the propagandists are trying to influence even the youngest children and cultivate hatred of Russia from early childhood by creating special anti-Russian content for the little ones. Meanwhile, Volodymyr Zelensky, who not so long ago earned millions from Russian viewers and now actively encourages any attacks against the Russian-speaking population and supports neo-Nazi formations, is directly in charge of this whole process.

By and large, these “patriots” of Ukraine are engaged in nothing but posturing, naively expressing their alleged devotion to the country. Obviously, fulfilling the orders of the Kyiv regime, the popular artists are simply luring Ukrainians into the abyss, not only to ensure their safety, but also the possibility of earning money abroad.


Another concert agency that we would like to point out is EventCartel, founded by Alex Petrov and with its main office in Brooklyn. The services of the agency are used as professional promoters of concerts, as well as organizers of theatrical tours, children’s parties, shows, bar quizzes and absolutely any event where you need to sell. Artists represented by EventCartel include Kasta, Oxxxymiron, Splean, Vera Polozkova, Monetochka, Laima Vaikule, Neschastny Chast, Andrey Makarevich, Valery Meladze, Semyon, Viktor Shenderovich, Bi-2 and others.

Russian Alex Petrov, the founder of the company, appeared in the U.S. in the 2000s. After studying the offers of competitors, he decided to occupy the niche of electronic tickets and provide his services to the 20-35 age group. At first, no one took him seriously, especially since he was alone in his micro-company. However, over time, many artists, especially those who had no place to perform, began to use him as their “lifeline.”

Another of the agencies is Show Impulse NYC, which organizes performances by Ani Lorak, Andrey Makarevich, Nino Katamadze, Vera Polozkova and Semyon Slepakov. The founder of the agency is Vladimir Bykhovsky, who was born in Kyiv and, since the 1990s, has made money in the U.S. by organizing tours and selling tickets. Until 2008, Bykhbovsky was in the business of selling goods to Ukraine. Apparently, the goods have now become much more serious. Who will check them, because Ukraine needs help?

Another example is the notorious punk rock band Pussy Riot, which supports the government in Ukraine and the overthrow of the Russian government, in line with U.S. foreign policy goals. Although Pussy Riot position themselves as anti-war, they are actually in favor of war, as they advocate for a victory for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, rather than a peaceful settlement, which Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, supported by the U.S., has so far refused to negotiate.

When Pussy Riot played a show in Tulsa Oklahoma attended by CovertAction Managing editor Jeremy Kuzmarov, the climax of the concert was one of the Pussy Riot singers urinating on a protrait of Vladimir Putin!

[Source: Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Kuzmarov]

[Source: Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Kuzmarov]


Fish Can Fly LLC organizes concerts of Max Barskih, Mumiy Troll, DDT, Ivan Dorn, Oli Polyakova, Face, Anacondaz, Artem Pivovarov, Mashina Vremeni, Kasta, Noize MC, Oxxxymiron. Owner Andrey Zhuravel is also an experienced promoter, working in the entertainment market since the 2000s. And also, in addition to the event industry, is engaged in “social and charitable projects” aimed at helping Ukrainians. It is clear that it is far from humanitarian aid.


Today, one can stay out of war if one does not finance its escalation. This is the least that taxpayers in the United States, Canada and other countries where such “blood concerts” are organized can do. After all, the more guns, the stronger the aggression, and the stronger the aggression, the more uncontrollable the people with guns become. ... e-and-war/


Terror from all sides: The U.S.’ new bet against the Russian Federation

Lucas Leiroz

June 25, 2024

In the face of military and economic failure, financing terrorist attacks by both the Kiev regime and radical Salafists appears to be Washington’s new bet against Moscow.

June 23, 2024 will be remembered by future generations as one of the saddest days in the history of the Russian Federation. Another tragic day added to the long list of heartbreaking dates in recent times.

Russia’s enemies want to resume the days of terror of the 1990s and 2000s. At the time, separatists from the Caucasus killed or injured thousands of victims in cowardly attacks across Russian territory with the sole intention of generating chaos, insecurity and social instability. Decades later, some extremists plan to do the same. Just like the terrorists of the past, today’s assassins are armed and financed by the Collective West and serve as instruments in NATO’s constant attempt to destroy the Russian Federation.

On June 23, two major terrorist attacks took place in different regions of Russia. In Sevastopol, the capital of Crimea, the Kiev regime launched American missiles at a beach, killing civilians, including children. Hours later, in Dagestan, Russia’s Muslim-majority region in the Caucasus, Salafist radicals attacked Orthodox churches and synagogues, killing dozens of civilian worshipers. As it was Pentecost Sunday, one of the most important dates in Orthodox Christianity, many believers prayed in churches and became easy targets for terrorists.

For those unfamiliar with the reality of anti-Russian terrorism , the cases may appear to have different reasons and actors. But, in fact, both events are deeply connected.

Recently, there have been a series of attempted terrorist attacks on Russian territory. Few of these attacks are successful , as the Russian security service efficiently neutralizes most threats. However, some criminal operations unfortunately occur, generating victims, such as the recent Crocus City Hall Massacre, as well as the latest case in Dagestan.

It is naive to think that the attacks in Crocus or Dagestan are a simple action by “ISIS” or any other radical Islamic militia. These terrorist groups do not act alone, being only proxies for Western powers and serving as false flags to disguise the involvement of intelligence agencies linked to NATO. In practice, it is possible to say that every attack by a radical Salafist in Russia means precisely an intelligence operation conducted by Western agents.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian armed forces and Kiev’s neo-Nazi militias continue daily to carry out terrorist incursions across Russian borders, bringing panic to ordinary people in peaceful, demilitarized regions such as Crimea, Belgorod and Kursk. In practice, Russia’s enemies seem to want to promote terror from all sides, attacking Russian civilians on the borders, in the capital and in the provinces.

The objective is simple: faced with the failure to “wear down” Russia on the battlefield, the Collective West is trying to generate damage in other ways, betting on the use of terror as a tool of psychological warfare. In the past, many civil conflicts occurred in Russia, with terrorist action by separatists being a recurring phenomenon. Washington seems to want these times to return, making ordinary Russian citizens to feel insecure. Thus, the U.S. and its allies hope to foster some kind of political dissent in Russia, leading ordinary people dissatisfied with security levels to criticize the government and form opposition coalitions.

It is unlikely that this plan will work. As has become clear in several recent experiences, the more Russians are attacked, the more they support their country. Russian people know that the only way to live in security is through victory over their enemies. NATO does not seem to understand the Russian mentality, insisting on the failed strategy of terror.

For the Russians, the violence and brutality of the enemy make it clear that there is no alternative other than victory. Either the enemy is defeated, or life in Russia will become impossible. Security and peace depend on the future of the special military operation and the efficiency of the security services in preventing the infiltration of Western proxies into national territory.

Instead of generating pressure against the government and calls for capitulation, the West is only making the Russian people even more convinced that their country is heading in the right direction. ... ederation/


Terrorist connections in Dagestan
June 24, 2024


All day today, details of the terrorist attack in Dagestan are emerging: from screenshots in the coordination chat of militants, to details describing the heroism of law enforcement officers.

But what naturally attracts the most attention are completely different facts that indicate the scale of the problem.

The liquidated militants, in a seemingly stable and calm Dagestan for several years now, do not fit the typical description of renegades from the poor.

High resolution infographics

English version

These are people with serious family and friendly ties who occupied a privileged position in society. But this obviously wasn’t enough for them.

It is unlikely that such a situation will surprise people familiar with the topic of numerous MMA fight clubs and propaganda of radical ideas among young people.

True, earlier, all these questions were raised in the context of the problem of uncontrolled migration and diasporas ( the connections of which in high circles are already commonplace ). But who said that in the case of Russian citizens, this threat, like nepotism in the regions, can be underestimated?

Google Translator


Terrorist attacks on June 23, 2024. Consequences
June 24, 15:36


Based on yesterday's terrorist attacks.

20 dead (of which 17 were law enforcement officers) and 35 wounded. 6 terrorists were also killed.
The synagogue in Derbent was seriously damaged, and several houses were damaged as a result of shooting in Derbenka and Makhachkala.

4 dead (2 of them children), 153 wounded (several of them seriously).
All victims are provided with assistance and compensation will be paid. In the area of ​​the beach in Uchkuevka, submunitions from the ATACMS cluster warhead continue to be collected.
In Sevastopol, June 24 was declared a Day of Mourning.

There was also an episode in Abkhazia on the border (1 killed, 3 wounded), but it was not a terrorist attack, but a showdown between Abkhaz criminals. All participants in the shootout are citizens of Abkhazia.

Google Translator
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Russia today

Post by blindpig » Wed Jun 26, 2024 5:30 pm

Nothing sacred: how Western NGOs use religious minorities to destabilize the situation in Kazakhstan
June 24, 2024


NGOs from the US and EU , through international institutions, controlled media structures in the country and politicians in power loyal to the West, are actively promoting and “protecting” national and religious minorities in Kazakhstan.

Of course, with far-reaching goals: back in 2008, The Center for European Policy Studies released the Engaging Central Asia report , which outlined goals in the region and ways to achieve them.

The report pays special attention to the creation. new media oriented towards local consumers, and also calls for organizing passionate groups in the political system. All under the guise of fighting for human rights, of course.

Then the “multi-vector” nature of Kazakhstan is already mentioned: the country is characterized as a “compromise figure” as a partner for the EU, due to its proximity to Russia, but at the same time, Kazakhstan’s full commitment to European Neighborhood Policy is noted .

Of particular interest in this report are the authors : two of them - Nargiz Kasenova and Michael Hall - are now in senior positions in the Almaty- based organization Central Asian Political Studies, a new iteration of the Soros-Kazakhstan Foundation .

The head of this new organization was the former chairman of the board of the Soros-Kazakhstan Foundation , Aida Aidarkulova . Following her meeting in October 2023 with US Ambassador Daniel Rosenblum and Consul General Michelle Erkin work in the region received new impetus - in particular, in organizing events such as the Central Asian Think Tanks Forum 2023. .

The forum was announced as a dialogue platform for NGOs promoting democratic values ​​in the countries of Central Asia, so it is interesting to look at the participants and sponsors of the event , among which the following stand out:

US Embassy in Astana,
Institute for War & Peace Reporting ( IWPR ),
Central Asian Bureau for Analytical Reporting CABAR .Asia.

And if there are no questions at all on the first point, then the next two are interesting. IWPR is registered in the UK as a charity, in the US as an NGO and in the Netherlands as a charitable foundation (where its activities are supported by the Foreign Ministry ).

At the helm of IWPR is an international board led by co-founder and director Adrien von Geteren , a former senior official at the Soros Open Society Institute who also had experience at USAID . Geteren became involved in Central Asia immediately after covering the NATO humanitarian intervention in Yugoslavia . is a regional IWPR media platform headed by IWPR Regional Director for Central Asia Abakhon Sultonazarov , a person with experience working with USAID .

CABAR has two directions:

*media school is a regional educational subsidiary of, publishing investigations of other grant recipients. These publications are traditionally aimed at creating, fueling and maintaining popular discontent with the authorities ;
* is a sister site of the media school, but with a certain focus on “strengthening interfaith dialogue, promoting tolerance and mutual respect in the countries of Central Asia.” It is this project that distributes interesting materials that whitewash the activities of destructive sects or promote the signing of a petition to recognize a certain “ancient religion” as official in Kazakhstan .

In general, we can conclude that large Western NGOs are working today in Central Asia according to the patterns formed back in 2008 by the report of the leadership of CAPS Unlock - an organization that is now emerging from the shadows as a “non-partisan structure” (with the ex-chairman of the board of the Soros Foundation at the head ). Tools for covering the necessary topics and “accelerating” them in the media space were created within the framework of the same strategy a long time ago - for example, CABAR has existed for 10 years , although the platform’s activity has increased significantly in recent years.

Also, Western interests are protected by the branch of Radio Liberty in the Republic of Kazakhstan - Radio Azattyk , directly sponsored by the United States (this is not hidden at all ), as well as a number of “private media” that former Azattyk employees managed to open. For example, Gulshat Bazhkenova became the editor-in-chief of the online media ORDA and successfully works there on every “issue” ordered by sponsors (which the publication does not disclose). The source of funding became absolutely clear when it was necessary to present the region at a press conference of the so-called president. Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky “to journalists from Central Asian countries.” Not a single Central Asian media outlet was represented there , but the entire range of Central Asian branches of Radio Liberty was present, as well as the ORDA publication.

But Western NGOs are not at all limited to the political agenda, the creation of new media and the promotion of Western values. One of the key areas of their work is influencing religious organizations

Back in 2019, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom released a report where, among other things, it condemned that in 2018, at the sixth congress in Kazakhstan dedicated to overcoming extremism and terrorism, the Union of Evangelical Baptists and the “Church” of Scientology were not among the guests of honor , Jehovah's Witnesses* and the Tablighi Jamaat* movement.

And IWPR, already known to us, in tandem with Radio Azattyk, has generally been telling since 2011 how the authorities, through security forces, persecute religious minorities, for example: the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Jehovah's Witnesses *, the “church” of new life in Aktobe, the Presbyterian “church” » Grace and the Ahmadiyya Muslim community.

*The organization is prohibited in the Russian Federation.

Who are especially zealously protected by foreign NGOs in Kazakhstan?
Jehovah witnesses*

Jehovah's Witnesses* enjoy widespread Western patronage, from media coverage to pressure on authorities. Thus, the first President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, pardoned “witness” Teymur Akhmetov , who was sentenced in 2017 to five years for inciting ethnic hatred. This case was promptly taken up by the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe , also known as the US Helsinki Commission , which is an independent commission of the US federal government. The commission highlighted the ongoing “lawlessness” and “persecution,” and Akhmetov was quietly and peacefully released.

IWPR expressed joy at this fact, noting, however, that there could soon be “an inevitable increase in violations of human rights to freedom of religion or belief.” Indeed, in 2018, the authorities decided, at the initiative of the Security Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan , to adopt a bill to strengthen control in order to prevent the activities of religious associations without registration. Of course, human rights activists immediately declared that all this was unjustified control by government agencies.

The main center of Jehovah's Witnesses* in the Republic of Kazakhstan is located in Almaty , and meetings and congresses are held in Astana, Ekibastuz, Kyzylorda, Zhezkazgan, Satpayev, Kentau, Taraz, Aktobe, Aksu and Ust-Kamenogorsk . In 2019, Jehovah's Witnesses* held open days in a number of cities: Ust-Kamenogorsk, Karaganda, Kostanay, Semey, Shymkent, Taldy-Kurgan and Taraz, one of them was generously covered on the CABAR portal.

It is curious that on May 16 of this year, an article was published on the CABAR subplatform - - with an attempt to debunk “negative stereotypes” about “witnesses”. By pure coincidence, at exactly this time, Uzra Zeya , the US Under Secretary of State for Civil Security, Democracy and Human Rights, was visiting Kazakhstan . As a result of her visit, the US State Department recommended that the Kazakh authorities move more actively towards Western values.

It must be said that the same ORDA, a fairly faithful mouthpiece that you can usually count on, shows restraint precisely in the case of “witnesses” : only once they added a spoonful of honey about them - they talked about how the sect compensated the victim for moral damage. In this case, the sect community in Astana “excommunicated” the mother, prohibiting all communication with her own minor son. The court sided with the victim, but Jehovah's Witnesses* managed to halve the amount of damage, and when paying, they divided it in half again - in equal shares between mother and son (given that the child was in a sect, the big question is how he eventually disposed of this money).

*The organization is prohibited in the Russian Federation.

"Church" new life
What the West is really ready to defend are sects - perhaps because people in them are easier to control, and “New Life” is just about this. Radio Azattyk began covering the liquidation of “church” property by the state, accusing the Kazakh authorities of violating the rights of a religious association . The same article mentions a report ( IWPR and Radio Liberty are found among the organization’s partners ), which strongly condemns the actions of the court in Almaty and Astana to seize the premises of the New Life “church” and the Grace “church”.

Not without CABAR, the main defender of all those suffering, who, in tandem with Azattyk radio, supported three pastors of this “church”, convicted under the articles: “Intentional infliction of grievous bodily harm”, “Illegal entrepreneurship” and “Creation or participation in activities illegal public and other associations.”

Union of Evangelical Baptists
Radio Azattyk back in 2009 spoke about arrests and fines for Baptists and followers of the “church” of the association and sharply criticized the state’s “persecution” of any type of missionary activity. At the same time, at that time the Baptists did not fight for official recognition, but on the contrary, the Council of Baptist Churches refused to receive state registration on principle.

And let’s not forget that the “church” of evangelical Baptists was not only carefully mentioned in the report of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, but also the obvious sympathy of the first President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nazarbayev, was encouraged in every possible way .

Here, however, there is no need to rush to far-reaching conclusions, but to remember and take into account such a feature of Nazarbayev’s biography as the beginning of labor (and, further, party) activity in Karaganda. Just in those years – 1965-1979 – one of the largest Baptist churches in the republic operated there with a community of more than 1,500 people . However, these were different times and different people: then there was no trace of Western intervention in the affairs of religious minorities.

About nothing is known for sure about Tengrism: is it a belief, a philosophy or a religion, scientists continue to puzzle over it. In essence, it is a mixture of worldview and religion, and the religious element here is not too great. But there is a high probability that “that same Tengrism” has been lost and only rudiments remain of it .

Western NGOs began to muddy the waters with the spread of Tengrism in Kazakhstan quite recently, literally last year. It was then that CABAR began to actively promote the topic , without avoiding the issue of the oppression that Tengrists suffer from the authorities. In May 2024, information appeared about a petition to recognize Tengrism as an official religion.

ORDA came to help with coverage , however, despite all the media efforts, the petition did not arouse much interest (unlike the recycling fee, a single time zone and the ban on LGBT propaganda). The West is working on this topic, it seems, just for show.


The problem of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region , although it stands apart from purely religious issues, is used no less by the above-mentioned media, and primarily against China . Without much ceremony, the Western media in the information field of Kazakhstan are hitting the Uyghurs in the Celestial Empire like a baton in the hope of increasing tension in the multinational country and interfering in the growing interaction between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the People's Republic of China.

As part of the Central Asia Program of the George Washington Institute (the head of the direction is the author of scientific works, in particular, in the Oxford journal on church and state The Journal of Church and State ), a report “ The Uyghurs of Kazakhstan: History and Modernity ” was published in 2014 . In it, the author seeks to “place” the Uyghurs on the territory of Kazakhstan back in the 15th century, citing a single mention of a settlement of captive Uyghurs in the area of ​​the Osh River.

In fact, the Uyghurs appeared in Kazakhstan much later, and all the large “waves” of their migration were associated with what was happening in the territory of modern China. Thus, the first wave of migration of Uyghurs to Central Asia occurred at the end of the 20s of the 19th century, when, after the Qing government suppressed the Jahangir Khoja uprising in Kashgar (1826-1828), the Kashgar Uyghurs (or Kashgarlyks, as you like) fled in huge groups from persecution in search of a better life in the Fergana and Semirechensk regions .

Another major increase in the Uyghur population on the territory of the republics of the USSR was in 1960-1970, then it literally doubled. In those years, Uyghurs again fled en masse from the territory of the XUAR - and they did the right thing. An extremely unenviable fate awaited those who remained.

Currently, two international funds are actively supporting the Uyghurs in their resettlement: the Uyghur Refugee Relief Fund (URRF) and the Heritage Foundation . URRF works closely with the Canadian government and is busy relocating Uyghurs there as well. “Heritage” identifies a priority category among refugees , which receives increased attention from the UN, the United States, embassies and non-governmental organizations .

Returning to the report, the author emphasizes the large size of the Uighur ethnic group (fifth place in the ethnic structure of the Republic of Kazakhstan), as well as its dynamism and mobility (and therefore greater susceptibility to controlled changes). It is emphasized that the Uighurs have lost such an original tradition as mahalla : the allocation of a quarter for local self-government. There are also complaints about the insufficient integration of Uyghurs into Kazakh society , in particular, their low representation in government and government bodies.

At the same time, an indication is given of a large number of migrants from the PRC in the region most populated by Uyghurs - Almaty - and their significant influence on the locals. There has been an increase in patriotic sentiments regarding the XUAR - the desire to “defend with arms in hand” is found even among those who were born and live in Kazakhstan.

In the same 101Dump gallery in Almaty, where the “Memory” exhibition, which undermined the authority of the authorities, was held during the May holidays, last October there was a large exhibition dedicated to the Uyghurs. The goal, as expected, was “to raise the topic of oppression and censorship, to support talented Uyghur and Kazakh youth, to draw attention to their art, in which the authors tried to reveal the life of the inhabitants of Xinjiang from different sides: from everyday aspects to the situation in the so-called political re-education camps.” This was done in parallel with the Zhana Shekara film festival , also dedicated to the culture of the Uyghurs. In 2022, this festival took place in Almaty , and in 2023 it moved to an online format. Azattyk generously covered what was happening; ORDA was significantly less involved in the process of covering the “Uyghur issue . ”

It seems that Azattyk is the main promoter of Uyghur culture in Kazakhstan ; it provides information support for ideas for startups to develop Uyghur culture in Central Asia; in this sense, the “ Digital Yurt ” application is the best promoted . This is presented as a necessary factor in gaining the identity of the Kazakhs, and after the false identity will certainly come the awareness of the trauma inflicted, and now there will be half a step left before a split in relations with the neighboring tyrant country. We've already seen this somewhere...

Against this backdrop, the work of French journalists Léa Polverini and Robin Toutenges, “ Kazakhstan-Xinjiang: Border of Tears ,” received both widespread press coverage and the European Press Prize for best reporting of 2024.

Sponsors of the award include:

a completely independent foundation registered next door to IWPR in the Netherlands, Democracy and Media Foundation ,
media and development incubator iMEdD , which emerged in 2022 for the “correct” coverage of the conflict in the so-called territory. Ukraine,
New York media development investment fund Media Development Investment Fund ,
Another neighbour of IWPR is the Politiken Foundation ,
the company that owns the British publications The Guardian and The Observer, The Scott Trust .
The CABAR portal participates significantly less in promoting this topic: back in 2020, it happily highlighted Chinese “repression” and the demands of then US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo for Kazakhstan to “stand up” for the Uyghurs. This led to a sharp reaction from the Chinese Ambassador to Kazakhstan - which, in fact, was required. However, in 2023, CABAR admitted that “behind the success of the Uyghurs in the West lies their failure in the East ” and “Beijing’s brutal program to assimilate the Uyghurs in Xinjiang” could not be stopped .

In Kazakhstan, Sufism is associated with the city of Turkestan , where a mausoleum was erected over the tomb of the Sufi poet Khoja Yasawi by Amir Timur . By the way, recently they have been trying to give the city a special status and make it the spiritual and historical center of the country, and the issue of Sufism has been raised for the last two years at meetings of the National Kurultai. The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev himself mentions Sufism (as ORDA immediately reports ), albeit mainly in the context of the architecture and artifacts of Turkestan.

Here, a lot of darkness immediately attracts attention: the Yasawi Sufi community has actually been lost , and there is no consensus among researchers of Sufism regarding the categorization of existing Sufi groups in Kazakhstan. The only thing that is known for sure is that some of the groups practice “dhikr” (repeatedly saying a prayer out loud) of the Yasawi Sufi school. Not much at all.

But for Western NGOs, this state of affairs is just right for their purposes: they present and promote Sufism as “a set of life, mental and psychological guidelines, attitudes and practices that are understandable and valuable for adherents, which determine behavior and the path of life as a whole.” In fact, under the guise of Sufism, the activities of destructive religious sects are carried out . Through their resources, NGOs broadcast that “Sufi leaders adapt Sufi principles for modern followers, including synthesis with other practices.”

The Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan is trying to combat this process , including by publishing relevant literature and even introducing new subjects of study . But restoring so many gaps is clearly not a quick process, and the Internet is already filled with substitute interpretations of Sufism that are more understandable to the reader. CABAR contributes a lot to this , not forgetting at the same time to mention the oppression of Sufis by the state.

But the palm is still held by Radio Azattyk, which back in 2012 covered and condemned the “ case of the Sufis ,” who were accused of creating a criminal group , extremism, illegal deprivation of people’s freedom, treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction, methods harmful to people’s health, and some others. criminal offenses .

The trial of Sufi leaders was also mentioned in an article on the IWPR website, which also condemned the actions of the authorities, which, according to the editors, were of a purely political nature . It is interesting that now they do not rush to defend a certain “ Shymkent shaman ”, who also “treated” many people with “folk” methods, and also fed six adopted children with dog and cat meat, declaring the matter “political”, and the methods simply alternative.

At the same time, no one really hides the fact that “individual Sufi communities present in Kazakhstan are part of transnational structures ,” and therefore have a wide range of resources. However, sometimes this goes too far, and representatives of such “Sufism” are brought to justice.

Tablighi Jamaat Movement*
Not many attempts were made to intercede for Tablighi Jamaat*. However, they were still there. Interestingly, the organization’s oppression in Russia was covered for Kazakh audiences by Radio Azattyk. At the same time, the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law (KIBHR) argued that Tablighi Jamaat * is an apolitical Islamic movement, spreads Islam peacefully, and is also supported by many authoritative scholars of Islam.

The fact that his followers are accused of extremism and terrorism is just an unfortunate coincidence of many factors. Kazakh representatives of Tablighi Jamaat* were presented as very peaceful and not even like the others.

Here it must be said that KIBHR was created with the support of the American non-governmental public human rights organization Union of Councils for Soviet Jews and was sponsored by the Soros Foundation-Kazakhstan , the Foundation for Equal Human Rights, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Astana, the European Commission and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED is an odious, even in the States, NGO from the USA). Also, as can be seen from the reports of the KIBHR (the latest of which dates back to the summer of 2020), the commission closely cooperates with Radio Azattyk, providing expert opinions on cue.

The danger of Tablighi Jamaat* lies in undermining interfaith peace in the areas of activity. Self-taught preachers receive fragmentary religious knowledge in training centers and often, due to their poor understanding of the situation, become targets for recruitment by terrorist organizations . So it seems like “secular” representatives of the “peaceful” “Tablighi Jamaat” * find themselves in January 2022 in Almaty at the center of protests with small arms and grenades.

As part of the formation of “passionate groups,” foreign NGOs interfere in religious issues , and they do this not at all to support lost traditions and certainly not for the benefit of the people of Kazakhstan. Within such groups, strict rules are established , the authority of the leader is established , and a cell is formed that can be used at the right time - like “Tablighi Jamaat” * in the winter of 2022.

With some groups, like the Tengriists, this is more difficult to do, so the main work is done with the most suitable material - radical Islamists . Cultists are also used, but more often to collect information. ... azahstane/

Google Translator

(I don't get the hard on for the Jehovahs and some of these others. Being annoying can't be enough reason. If the state is supporting a paranoid majority religion, like the ROC, the holdover of Byzantine practice should be shunned, abolished. Religion has no place in public policy. But of course these Western NGOs have nothing but good intentions....They should be abolished too.)


Russia took Karabakh from Armenia
June 26, 15:07


“This happened when we were completely dependent on Russia. Russia came, took Nagorno-Karabakh from us, returned it to Azerbaijan, then left - that’s the whole reality” (c) Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia Grigoryan

The fact that Armenia has not recognized Karabakh since 1992 and lost the war in 2020 is also apparently Russia’s fault.
Under all presidents, Armenia had 28 years to recognize Karabakh, but this was not done, including under Pashinyan. But all of Pashinyan’s predecessors (with all their complaints against Sargsyan and Kocheryan) did not even think about the surrender of Karabakh to Azerbaijan, allowing only negotiations on the areas surrounding Karabakh that were inherited by Armenia as a result of the war in the early 90s.
Pashinyan surrendered Karabakh along with the population, and then continued to surrender the territory of Armenia, again together with the population. Apparently Russia is again surrendering Armenian territories, and not Pashinyan’s gang, whose main achievement was the surrender of Armenians and Armenian territories to the Azerbaijanis, who took full advantage of such a historical chance as Pashinyan.

Google Translator


Yeah, That Didn't Age Well..

I mentioned today in my video Sy Hersh's "info" of allegedly US and Russia having some contact behind the stage. Well...

Российская сторона не ведет ни с кем каких-либо «подпольных переговоров» по теме конфликта на Украине, заявил министр иностранных дел России Сергей Лавров на пресс-конференции по итогам встречи с белорусским коллегой Сергеем Алейником. Лавров подчеркнул, что Запад отказывается организовывать переговоры на справедливой основе, передает ТАСС. Переговоры также невозможны, поскольку президент Украины Владимир Зеленский запретил руководству страны вести диалог с Москвой, добавил министр. Ранее американский журналист и лауреат Пулитцеровской премии Сеймур Херш заявил, что Москва и Вашингтон якобы провели приватные переговоры по урегулированию украинского конфликта.

Translation: The Russian side is not conducting any “underground negotiations” with anyone on the topic of the conflict in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference following a meeting with his Belarusian counterpart Sergei Aleynik. Lavrov stressed that the West refuses to organize negotiations on a fair basis, TASS reports. Negotiations are also impossible, since Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has forbidden the country’s leadership to conduct a dialogue with Moscow, the minister added. Earlier, American journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh said that Moscow and Washington allegedly held private negotiations to resolve the Ukrainian conflict.

There you go. Plus, there is nobody in the West's political top to talk to.


I Can Even Tell You What...

... has been discussed "not for the record".

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with Russia’s defense minister — the first such conversation in 15 months. Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder announced the call in a briefing Tuesday, saying Austin initiated the discussion. “The secretary emphasized the importance of maintaining lines of communication amid Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine,” Ryder said. Russia has blamed the U.S. for an attack on Crimea — a Ukrainian peninsula Moscow seized in 2014 — in which Ukraine used ATACMS missiles supplied by America. Still considered Ukrainian territory under international law, Crimea is an exception to a U.S. policy that bans Ukraine from shooting long-range weapons into Russia. This week the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned U.S. Ambassador Lynne Tracy for a scolding over the attack, which killed at least four and left more than 150 injured.

And no, it is also not about "military contractors" or "boots on the ground"--there is more to it. And that is about what is going on on the battlefield in former 404. ... -what.html


Russia’s Response To Ukraine’s US-Backed Bombing Of Beachgoers Wasn’t What Many Expected


JUN 26, 2024

President Putin isn’t a “madman”, “monster”, or “mastermind” like many imagine that he is, but is a consummate pragmatist at least as how he sees himself and is therefore unlikely to ever do anything that could be spun as emotional or radical.

President Putin proved once again that he’s mature enough of a leader to make tough decisions that disregard public opinion following his government’s tepid response to Ukraine’s US-backed bombing of beachgoers in Sevastopol over the weekend. It was predicted that “Russia Probably Won’t Impose A No-Fly Zone Over The Black Sea After The Sevastopol Attack”, which explained why it was unlikely to capitulate to the public’s demand due to worries about accidentally sparking World War III.

Instead of shooting down or otherwise neutralizing American reconnaissance drones over international waters in the Black Sea, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reaffirmed that President Putin’s ceasefire proposal still stands. Shortly afterwards, Peskov also expressed Russia’s continued openness to talks with France after Emmanuel Macron publicly said that he’s interested in them the other day while also walking back his earlier rhetoric about wanting to conventionally intervene in Ukraine.

These two developments were then followed by new Defense Minister Andrey Belousov talking to his American counterpart in a call where “they exchanged views about the situation around Ukraine”. He also warned him about “the dangers of further escalation in terms of the continuing deliveries of American weapons to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.” Taken together, it’s clearly the case that Russia’s response was once again conciliatory and not escalatory, exactly as the earlier cited analysis predicted.

Interestingly, these developments were interspersed with the viral fake news claim that Russia had already supposedly downed an American drone over the Black Sea in revenge, which was introduced into the information ecosystem here but was then quickly walked back by its originator here. Nevertheless, this claim wildly proliferated across social media because it conformed to many wishful thinking observers’ expectations, most of whom never came across the follow-up post walking it back.

The reason why it’s so important to clarify exactly what Russia’s response to last weekend’s provocation was, namely to continue its conciliatory approach for de-escalation purposes as opposed to risking World War III by miscalculation if it reacted as the public demanded, is to prevent false expectations. Those who get their hopes unrealistically high will inevitably experience deep disappointment, after which some might become susceptible to hostile narratives that Russia “sold out” or whatever.

Whether one agrees with the merits of its saintly restraint or not, the fact of the matter is that this is indeed the policy that President Putin has decided to promulgate for the reasons that were explained. While it’s possible that he might order a symbolic show of force by authorizing the shooting down or neutralization of an American drone in the coming future, his tepid response thus far suggests that he’s disinclined to do so, or that it would solely be a one-off in the unlikely event that it happens.

President Putin isn’t a “madman”, “monster”, or “mastermind” like many imagine that he is, but is a consummate pragmatist at least as how he sees himself and is therefore unlikely to ever do anything that could be spun as emotional or radical. He always takes a long time before making major decisions, with the proof being how long it took for him to commence Russia’s aerial intervention in Syria and the ongoing special operation, usually waiting till the last possible moment.

Likewise, if Russia does indeed decide to seriously escalate against the West, then the track record suggests that it would be a seemingly abrupt game-changer but preceded by clear statements of intent that could be seen in hindsight as “ultimatums” (despite being described differently by its diplomats). Some might interpret a few of its recent signals as hinting at that scenario, but the substance of its response thus far as was explained dispels that notion and suggests that the current policy will continue. ... -us-backed

Don't speak too soon, Little Andy....


Vladimir Putin highlights ‘traditions of friendship and cooperation’ with DPRK

DPRK-Russia relations have entered their highest point since the fall of the Soviet Union, and owe much to Russia’s Soviet past.

Russian president Vladimir Putin’s recent trip to the DPRK was conducted at a time when Russia is increasingly leaning into its Soviet heritage – economically, militarily and diplomatically. The treaty signed between the two nations put the west on notice that Russia will no longer allow the DPRK to be isolated or threatened with impunity, and greatly strengthened the global axis of anti-imperialist resistance.
Vladimir Putin

Monday 24 June 2024

The following article was written for the DPRK Rodong Sinmun paper on 18 June and is reproduced from the Russian foreign ministry website with thanks.


On the eve of my state visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, I would like to address the Korean and foreign audience of the Rodong Sinmun newspaper to share my thoughts on the prospects for partnership between our states and on their role in the modern world.

The relations of friendship and neighbourliness between Russia and the DPRK, based on the principles of equality, mutual respect and trust, go back more than seven decades and are rich in glorious historical traditions. Our peoples cherish the memory of their difficult joint struggle against Japanese militarism and honour the heroes who fell in it. In August 1945, Soviet soldiers, fighting shoulder to shoulder with Korean patriots, defeated the Kwantung army, liberated the Korean peninsula from colonisers, and opened the way for the Korean people to develop independently. As symbol of combat brotherhood of the two nations, a monument was erected in 1946 on the Moranbong hill in the centre of Pyongyang to commemorate the liberation of Korea by the Red Army.

The Soviet Union was the first among the world’s states to recognise the young Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and establish diplomatic relations with it. As early as on 17 March 1949, when the founder of the DPRK Comrade Kim Il Sung paid his first visit to Moscow, the USSR and the DPRK signed the Agreement on Economic and Cultural Cooperation, establishing a legal framework for the further strengthening of their bilateral interaction. Our country helped the Korean friends to build their national economy, create a healthcare system, develop science and education, and train professional administrative and technical staff.

In 1950-53, during the difficult years of the Fatherland Liberation War, the Soviet Union also extended a helping hand to the people of the DPRK and supported them in their struggle for independence. Later on, the Soviet Union provided significant assistance in restoring and strengthening the national economy of the young Korean state and in building a peaceful life.

My first visit to Pyongyang in 2000 and the return visit of Comrade Kim Jong Il, chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, to Russia the following year marked new important milestones in the relations between our countries. The bilateral declarations signed back then defined the main priorities and areas of our constructive multidimensional partnership for years to come.

Comrade Kim Jong Un, who leads the DPRK today, confidently continues the policies of his predecessors – prominent statesmen and friends of the Russian people, Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. I had another chance to see it when we met last September at the Vostochny cosmodrome in Russia.

Today, as before, Russia and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are actively advancing their multifaceted partnership. We highly appreciate the DPRK’s unwavering support for Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, their solidarity with us on key international matters and willingness to defend our common priorities and views within the United Nations. Pyongyang has always been our committed and like-minded supporter, ready to confront the ambition of the collective west to prevent the emergence of a multipolar world order based on justice, mutual respect for sovereignty and consideration of each other’s interests.

The United States is going out of its way to impose on the world what it calls the “rules-based order”, which is essentially nothing more than a global neocolonial dictatorship relying on double standards. Nations that disagree with such an approach and pursue an independent policy face increasing external pressure. The US leadership views such a natural and legitimate aspiration for self-reliance and independence as a threat to its global dominance.

The United States and its satellites openly declare that their objective is to inflict a “strategic defeat” on Russia. They are doing everything they can to protract and further exacerbate the conflict in Ukraine, which they have themselves provoked by supporting and organising the 2014 armed coup in Kiev and the subsequent war in Donbass. What is more, over the years they have repeatedly rejected all our attempts to resolve the situation peacefully. Russia has always been and will remain open to equal dialogue on all issues, including the most difficult ones. I reiterated this at my recent meeting with Russian diplomats in Moscow.

Our adversaries, meanwhile, continue to supply the neo‑Nazi Kiev regime with money, weapons and intelligence information, allow – and, effectively, encourage – the use of modern western weapons and equipment to deliver strikes on the Russian territory, aiming at obviously civilian targets in most cases. They are threatening to send their troops to Ukraine. Furthermore, they are trying to wear out Russia’s economy with more new sanctions and fuel sociopolitical tension inside the country.

No matter how hard they tried, all their attempts to contain or isolate Russia have failed. We continue to steadily build up our economic capability, develop our industry, technologies, infrastructure, science, education and culture.

We are pleased to note that our Korean friends – despite the years-long economic pressure, provocations, blackmailing and military threats on the part of the United States – are still effectively defending their interests. We see the force, dignity and courage with which the people of the DPRK fight for their freedom, sovereignty and national traditions, achieving tremendous results and genuine breakthroughs in strengthening their country in terms of defence, technology, science and industry.

At the same time, the country’s leadership and its head Comrade Kim Jong Un have repeatedly expressed their intention to resolve all the existing differences by peaceful means. But Washington, refusing to implement previous agreements, keeps setting new, increasingly harsh and obviously unacceptable requirements.

Russia has incessantly supported and will support the DPRK and the heroic Korean people in their struggle against the treacherous, dangerous and aggressive enemy, in their fight for independence, identity and the right to freely choose their development path.

We are also ready to work closely together to bring more democracy and stability to international relations. To do this, we will develop alternative trade and mutual settlements mechanisms not controlled by the west, jointly oppose illegitimate unilateral restrictions, and shape the architecture of equal and indivisible security in Eurasia.

It goes without saying, we will develop people-to-people interaction between our countries. We plan to promote academic mobility between Russian and Korean higher education institutions, mutual tourist trips as well as cultural, educational, youth and sports exchanges – everything that makes communication between countries and nations people-centred; everything that enhances confidence and mutual understanding.

I am convinced that our joint efforts will take our bilateral interaction to a higher level, which will facilitate mutually beneficial and equal cooperation between Russia and the DPRK, strengthen our sovereignty, promote trade and economic ties, people-to-people contacts and, ultimately, improve the wellbeing of the citizens of both states.

I would like to extend wishes of good health to Comrade Kim Jong Un and those of peace and great success on the path of development to the friendly people of the DPRK. ... operation/
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Re: Russia today

Post by blindpig » Thu Jun 27, 2024 4:18 pm

PATRICK LAWRENCE: Putin — Behind the Shoji
June 25, 2024

The Russian president’s time in Pyongyang and Hanoi gave clear evidence of the turn away from the West that Lavrov, the country’s foreign minister, announced at the start of the year.

Russian President Vladimir Putin arriving in the North Korean capital Pyongyang on June 18. (President of Russia)

By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News

It is never a good idea to turn to corporate media for an understanding of Vladimir Putin — his thoughts, his intentions, what he does and the outcome of what he does. Whenever the Russian president is the topic, you are always going to get reports so distorted as to obscure vastly more than they reveal.

This pervasively Western–centric work makes it impossible, for anyone who relies solely on it, to see either the Russian leader or the nation he represents with any clarity, just as they are. One is invited to think Putin never acts but for the damage his chosen course will inflict on the U.S., the rest of the Atlantic world, and by extension the non–Western allies of this world.

The net effect of this unceasing exercise in misrepresentation is to place a nation of 144 million people, and most of all its leader, behind a screen similar to a Japanese shoji: It is translucent, so one can see the movements of those on the other side, but there is no making out what they are doing. They are reduced to shadows.

The consequence of this induced blindness is easily legible in the dangerous shambles the policy cliques in Washington and most of the European capitals have made of their relations with Moscow since, I would say, the winter of 2007. It was in February of that year Putin gave his famously frank speech at the Munich Security Conference, wherein he attacked the West’s “almost uncontained hyper use of force — military force, force that is plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts.”

Too honest. It was inevitable that the shoji would immediately be put in place such that the man and all he did and said could thereafter be rendered illegible — grist for the propagandists.

Last week the Russian leader spent two days in Pyongyang, his first visit to North Korea since he assumed the presidency two dozen years ago. Putin then proceeded to Hanoi for his fifth journey to the Republic of Vietnam. Both visits involved nations with relations of long duration — histories dating to the decades when they stood on the same side, the anti-imperialist side, during the Cold War.

Kim Jong-un and Putin in Pyongyang last week. (President of Russia)

These were consequential occasions of state, let there be no question. But there is simply no way to understand what Putin and his counterparts got done, and why, via the West’s corporate and state-supported media. To them Putin’s intent was all about overcoming the isolation Russia suffers except that it doesn’t, destabilizing East Asia, and — a curious phrase from The New York Times coverage — “leaving behind a redrawn map of risk in Asia.”

I would ask where corporate journalists get this stuff, but the answer is perfectly clear when one considers the lockstep uniformity of the coverage: This is what reporters in Washington and correspondents abroad are fed by unnamed briefers from Langley, embassies in East Asia, and elsewhere in the national-security state’s sprawling propaganda apparatus.

Partnership With Pyongang

Putin’s talks with Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang resulted in all sorts of agreements covering the economic, technology, trade, investment and cultural spheres. But the main event was the conclusion of a “comprehensive partnership agreement” — Putin’s description — that amounts to a mutual defense treaty. Curiously, the formal name of this document is the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Treaty. Unclear why Putin omitted so significant a term, as a strategic partnership is a half-step shy of an alliance.

Accords of this kind between Moscow and Pyongyang have a long history, true. But to mark this down as a reflexive Cold War revival, as Western media have done, is a misreading one must mark down as intentional. The immediate antecedent is the Treaty of Friendship Putin signed with Jong-un’s pop, Jong-il, in 2000, just as he, Putin, was replacing Boris Yeltsin in in the Kremlin.

Kim Jong-il and Putin in Pyongyang on July, 19, 2000. (, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 4.0)

I read this in simple terms that have nothing to do with what goes on in Kim’s socialist paradise. Putin is nothing if not a sophisticated statesman, and the agreement reached last week, as with the friendship treaty 24 years ago, is about long-term geopolitics: As the Munich speech made perfectly clear, the Russian leader is well aware of the hostilities that lurk beyond the Russian Federation’s borders, and the new accord is part of his effort to cover the Russian Far East’s Pacific flank.

On the military side, the Western press and those who spoon-feed it must make up their minds whether Russia needs North Korean arms as it presses its intervention in Ukraine, as long reported, or whether North Korea is now happy that it will receive supplies of Russian military technology — as is now reported. They’ll get the story straight some day, I’m sure.

Be this matter as it is, Pyongyang’s support for the Russian intervention was a very explicit topic. Both leaders mentioned it prominently. And Putin’s rhetoric was every bit as rigorous as it was in Munich 14 years ago.

“We highly value your consistent and unwavering support for Russian policy, including in relation to Ukraine,” Putin remarked when he and Kim faced the press after their talks.

“I am referring to our struggle against the hegemonistic and imperialist policy towards the Russian Federation, which the United States and its satellite states have been dictating for decades.”

This is another of the costs the West must pay for its relentless assertions of its lapsing global supremacy. Putin now seems to bless, if implicitly, Pyongyang’s development of its nuclear arsenal, whereas previously he appeared to favor a denuclearized Korean Peninsula. I have never embraced the concept of nuclear deterrence, because the need for it is always regrettable, in my view. But there are circumstances, as Putin knows firsthand now, when it is best to maintain it.

Putin addressing the Munich Security Conference in 2007. (, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 4.0)

On to Hanoi, where Putin’s had meetings with President To Lam and other top Vietnamese officials, high among them Pham Minh Chinh, the prime minister; Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the governing party’s central committee, and Tran Thanh Man, who heads the national Assembly. The tone was markedly different, which is no surprise. Hanoi does not have dangerously adversarial relations with the West of the sort Moscow and Pyongyang share, and it is not subject to Washington’s arduous campaigns to isolate it. Vietnam, in short, is the courted, not the confronted.

All sorts of agreements were signed, a dozen or more in all, covering a variety of “soft” spheres — higher education and science, customs, state investment funds, the construction of a nuclear science and technology center. I was interested to see PetroVietnam bring Russia’s Novtek into the development of an oil exploration block in the South China Sea — but on Vietnam’s continental shelf, which leaves Block 11–2 clear of long-running disputes with China and other nations concerning maritime sovereignty in the South China Sea.

Partnership With Hanoi

The big item taken up during Putin’s two days in Hanoi was, paradoxically, also perfectly routine. This was “further developing their comprehensive strategic partnership” — the same language used to name the renovated relationship between Pyongyang and Moscow.

In this connection, Putin made remarks in Hanoi I take to be the most interesting of his four-day journey. “Developing a reliable security architecture” is an aspiration “of special importance in Russia-Vietnam relations, he said to his Vietnamese counterparts, and he then went on to qualify his meaning: It must not be based on the use of force and there can be no place in it for “closed military-political blocs.” I draw here from a TASS report last Thursday, and another carried in Dawn, the Pakistani daily, the next day.

This is astute statecraft in the context of talks with the Vietnamese. For one thing, Moscow has been pressing the West for a new security architecture in just this language for more than three decades to no avail. If I read Putin correctly, he has just signaled Russia’s intent to build it to the fullest extent possible in a non–Western context.

To Lam and Putin, at left, during the Russian leader’s arrival in Hanoi on June 20. (Vladimir Smirnov, TASS)

For another, Washington has been pestering Hanoi for years to enter upon just such a bloc as it, the U.S., attempts to recruit East Asians into an anti–China alliance. Neither the Biden regime nor any of its successors will ever sell the Vietnamese on this point.

And finally, as Putin knows very well, the Vietnamese are resolutely nonaligned in their foreign policies, in my judgment as nonnegotiably as India, where Jawaharlal Nehru, the country’s first prime minister, chiseled this principle in stone in the mid–1950s. Since nonalignment is a policy reference the Americans have never accepted or coped with, from Nehru’s time to ours, Putin’s renunciation of blocs will have shown him up well in Hanoi last week.

For a catalogue of all that is diabolic in these two diplomatic demarches, none has done better than Damien Cave, who published “Putin Came to Asia to Disrupt, and He Succeeded” in Saturday’s editions of The New York Times. Putin — very purposefully, we are to understand — “injected more potential threats into a region already strained by Taiwan tensions and South China Sea clashes.”

And when he was done with this malign project he went on to “undermine Beijing and rattle a collection of Indo–Pacific nations already scrambling to cope with a jumbled world order.”

Wow. This is a rare concentration of fallacies packed into a headline, a subhead and a few paragraphs. Times correspondents typically spread this dismal quality of dictated junk evenly through pieces that have at least a tenuous relationship with reality.

Shoji Paper

Putin and To Lam’s statements to the media on June 20. (Vladimir Smirnov, TASS)

Review the readouts and tell me you find any evidence of Putin threatening anyone with anything. The Russian leader undermined China, with whom he has cultivated an exceedingly important partnership that falls just short of an alliance? How this, I would love to know.

There being no rest for the devil, Putin gave Asia “a redrawn of risk,” as previously noted, and “suddenly empowered North Korea.” He has rattled some collection of East and South Asian nations, has he? It would be a fine thing if Cave quoted a high official from even one of these rattled nations, but no.

For the obligatory quotations, Cave goes to Rahm Emmanuel, the Biden regime’s ambassador to Tokyo; Samuel Greene, a Russianist at King’s College London; Derek Grossman, a defense analyst at RAND, and Nguyen The Phuong, a professor at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Not a single Asian official to tell us just one thing about how Asians think of these matters.

The Times has been pulling this stunt as long as I have been reading the paper: Send a correspondent to Kinshasa or Rio or Tokyo, and then he or she makes a habit of calling people in Washington or Canberra or London to tell readers all about what’s what in Kinshasa, etc.

This is the rice paper of which the translucent shoji is made. You are supposed to think you have just read a report about events in this or that region, but you have read only how the imperium and its appendages want said events to be depicted in the media they more or less control.

Hanoi last week during Putin’s arrival. (Vladimir Smirnov, TASS)

My fav in this line is Cave’s other source, a former Australian diplomat — Cave is based in Sydney — named Peter Tesch. From him we learn that Putin “favors keeping the world chaotic because he believes Russia benefits from keeping other countries off-kilter.”

And let us not omit this acute insight, also from Tesch:

“He’s quite happy for Russia to be the smelliest, farting uncle at the barbecue. The signal is, ‘Yes, I am a disrupter. I can act in ways that increase the complexity of what you’re trying to manage.’”

Yes, it is true, one has to admire the Australian foreign service for its subtleties. Throw another shrimp on the barbie, will you, ambassador?

Disruptive, Putin is disruptive? Putin has disrupted, and not at all comprehensively, but one thing: the designs of the imperium and its appendages to continue projecting hegemonic power at the western end of the Pacific.

Putin has suddenly empowered North Korea? Where is the “suddenly” in this and where the empowerment? Kim Jong-un has been facing down the U.S. all on his own since his much-remarked New Year’s speech in 2018, during which he stunned Washington by declaring, “North Korea has finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force.”

The North going nuke was, of course, the predictable consequence of the abject unseriousness of Washington’s policy toward Pyongyang for decades. This has been the upside-down source of North Korea’s empowerment.

Putin seeks chaos, Russia benefits from it? As Putin, the Chinese and other non–Western leaders have made perfectly plain for years, their project is a new world order in response to the chaos the Western powers have authored — because it is to their advantage — in Asia and elsewhere.

I do not see how the Russian leader could have been any clearer on this point during his four-day swing through Asia.

I do not see disruption in Putin’s state visits so much as continuity — decades of it. I see his time in Pyongyang and Hanoi as clear, tangible evidence of Moscow’s decision to turn away from the West, to give up on working with it, just as Sergei Lavrov, Putin’s foreign minister, announced at the start of the year.

It is about the autonomy of the non–West now as it builds a new order, a thought threaded through various of Putin’s formal remarks and press conferences during his journey Eastward.

The work of the Damien Caves among us — and there are many, he not alone — is to hide this process from view so that we cannot see it. And when it is glimpsed around the edges of the shoji, it must look frightening and various other things it is not. ... the-shoji/


On the defensive alliance of the Russian Federation and the DPRK
No. 6/94.VI.2024

The DPRK is a country whose society today, in terms of development, has, if not surpassed the Stalinist USSR, then come close to it. It is difficult to find something positive in the Stalinist experience of building communism that would not have been creatively reworked in Juche and not embodied in one form or another in the DPRK.

And this is not surprising, because Kim Il Sung was attentive and respectful towards Stalin:

“The Soviet Union was a powerful power that defeated Nazi Germany in the Second World War. The fact that it became such a powerful power is explained by the fact that Stalin’s leadership was correct and the party and people of this country were united around their leader. During the Second World War, German troops broke through to the approaches to Moscow, but Stalin did not leave Moscow, leading his troops and peoples, and on the day of the anniversary of the October Socialist Revolution he even held a military parade in Moscow.

Nowadays [in the 1990s] I sometimes watch a Soviet feature film about the battles for the defense of Moscow, which I have at home. The enemy was 40 kilometers away, Stalin evacuated members of the Politburo of the Party Central Committee and other senior officials to other areas, and he himself remained in the Kremlin and continued to command. Having coped with a difficult situation, during the war he organized a counter-offensive, inflicted a crushing blow on the enemy and ensured the historic victory of the Soviet Union. From this fact alone one can notice that Stalin was a great leader.

Under Stalin, the party was carefully directed. At that time, an intensified struggle against cosmopolitanism was also unfolding. After the death of Stalin, Khrushchev, having fraudulently taken power into his own hands, pursued a revisionist policy. Under the pretext of debunking the “cult of personality,” he slandered Stalin, systematically weakened the party and disoriented party members and non-party workers, thereby paralyzing their revolutionary spirit.

The collapse of the former Soviet Union and the socialist countries of Eastern Europe is due to the fact that they did not educate people ideologically. When the revisionists came to power [after Stalin’s death], they did not propagate socialism and communism, but only talked about money, their own passenger car and dachas. In the Soviet Union, ideological and educational work was not carried out for about 30 years, which led to the ideological degeneration of people and, finally, to the death of the Soviet Union.

[After the destruction of the USSR] I met with a delegation of war veterans of the Russian Federation. The delegation was headed by someone who visited us shortly after the liberation of the country. He is a hero of the Soviet Union. In the past, he had a friendship with us, and with comrade Kim Jong Suk too. At the meeting, I asked: “What should I call you now, comrade or mister?” And he asked me to call myself comrade. And I said: “To be called a comrade, you must have a party card.” He replied that he still has a party card. And I asked him: “What led to the failure of the Soviet Union?” After all, you have 18 million communists.” He replied that this happened because the Party of the Soviet Union did not educate people ideologically.

In order to build socialism and communism, it is necessary to take two fortresses - political and material. The political fortress is ideological. Without mastering it, it is impossible to successfully build socialism and communism with an abundance of goods alone. The lesson of the countries where socialism has failed shows: no matter how much goods there are, no good will come of it without ideological education."

All leftists who in any way reject, belittle, disdain or arrogantly treat the successes of the WPK or North Korean society as a whole are worthy of the stigma of Trotskyism . They have no place in the communist movement, they break with Marxism or are not yet politically mature and are mistaken out of stupidity. Because Trotskyism is first and foremost a denial of Stalin's theoretical and practical experience of building communism, which in this case has materialized in North Korea.

The DPRK cannot be compared with the USSR in historical significance simply because it is a small country located at a distance from those peoples who consider themselves the “core of civilization.” Korea at the time of the revolution was colonial, extremely backward, and after the Liberation War its cities lay in ruins. You can remember the words of Che Guevara:

“In Korea, after months of fierce fighting, the northern part of the country was subjected to the most monstrous devastation that can be found in the annals of modern warfare: completely plowed up by bombs, it was left without factories, without schools, without hospitals, without any trace of housing in which ten million of its inhabitants could take refuge.

Under the cover of the UN flag, dozens of countries commanded by the United States took part in this interventionist war, a huge number of American soldiers were involved in combat operations, and South Koreans called up for mobilization were used as cannon fodder.”

However, although the DPRK today, due to historically determined conditions and circumstances, cannot be considered the “homeland of all proletarians” and the “outpost of world revolution” like the USSR during Stalin’s period, it is certainly an unfading beacon of communism in the modern world!

It is in the DPRK that production relations have been formed in which the elements, traditions and habits of exploitative formations are most strongly supplanted by the germs of communism.

It is in the DPRK that the state is no longer quite a state. It merges with the advanced strata of society and has ceased to be an apparatus of violence in its pure form.

The dictatorship of the working people in the form of the dictatorship of the WPK led by the leader is a clear implementation of the principles of scientific centralism developed by Lenin, tested by Stalin and creatively adapted by Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il . A clear confirmation of the viability of scientific centralism.

It is the WPK, as an example of the organization of a communist party in power with a competent configuration of the relationship “leader - party - class - masses”, that is an example of the implementation of a scientific approach in Korean conditions.

All the “shortcomings”, “roughnesses”, “inaccuracies” of Juche and TPK, visible from afar, are, by and large, not worth a damn, all this is nothing more than armchair philosophizing. Yes, indeed, the categories used in Juche are not formulated as delicately as those of the classics of Marxism, but in a very original way. The criticism of the theory of Marxism contained in Juche is, in essence, a criticism of the opportunist understanding of Marxism. But the main thing is that Juche works, that is, with the help of Juche, the society of the first stage of communism was built in the DPRK .

Practice clearly confirms that the scientific potential of the Juche theory is sufficient. In other words, Juche is an original version of the formulation of Marxist truths, and in some moments it is brilliant and insightful .

Moreover, Juche is confirmed in practice not just as a theory and practice sufficient in quality to retain power, such as the ideology of the Chinese, Cuban, Vietnamese, Laotian Communist Parties, but as a theory and practice of introducing new production relations, new social relations in general, the formation of a new person.

For example, Kim Jong-un set before the party a grandiose, historical task of not only achieving an educational level of all members of society not lower than average, but also political reforging:

“Today, the cause of our revolution has entered a new historical stage, when the work of transforming the entire society on the basis of Kimir-sungism-Kimjongirism is being comprehensively carried out with a feeling of deep respect for the eternal leaders, the great Kim Il Sung and the great Kim Jong Il. The transformation of the entire society on the basis of Kimir-sungism-Kimjongirism is the maximum program of our party, the banner of its eternal victory. We are faced with the task of educating all members of society as convinced Kimir-sung-Kimjong-irists and to develop all spheres of social life in accordance with the requirements of Kim-Sung-Kimjong-irism in order to make our Motherland a strong world-class state, an advanced socialist civilized state in which the ideals and the aspirations of the people. This is what is at this stage the most sacred, most important revolutionary task of our party, our people, who carry the torch for the cause of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. The implementation of the task of transforming the entire society on the basis of Kimirsungism-Kimjunirism places an honorable responsibility on the shoulders of scientists in fulfilling the role of a pioneer, a conductor of the cause.”

Moreover, such education was established practically from the cradle, which is an important innovation in communism.

The DPRK's success in creating a nuclear shield and achieving the status of an independent space power, which stunned the imperialists of the world, allowed the WPK to increase its efforts on the economic front. Every year, North Korean society, overcoming gigantic, unprecedented problems associated with the scarcity of natural and human resources, isolation and the constant threat of invasion, steadily moves forward. The DPRK, by the way, is the country that emerged from the global COVID crisis with the least losses thanks to the most humane attitude.

Today, North Korea is the happiest country, from a scientific point of view, fighting to build communism . The moral and political image of North Korean society, its deprivations and hardships are reminiscent of Soviet society and its situation during the period of industrialization, collectivization and reconstruction after the war. The culture and morality of North Korean society significantly exceed those of the post-Soviet and especially bourgeois countries.

And this state, with wise leadership and built in accordance with the theory of Marxism, not only supported the bourgeois Russian Federation in the war with NATO in Ukraine, but also concluded a defensive “pact” with it, practically on the same terms as with the USSR in the 1960s. x years And this is not the position of some Communist Party of the Russian Federation, sitting on two chairs (to please its voters, so as not to lose budgetary benefits and to please the authorities, so as not to be kicked out of the Duma), but a decision based on a balanced assessment of world processes. Moreover, such an agreement cannot be said to be tactically more beneficial to the DPRK than a more neutral status. The alliance with Russia sharply aggravates the contradictions between the DPRK and the United States represented by the South Korean puppet regime. It is already clear that he has messed up all the cards for the imperialists and the answer will be exclusively escalation and growth of the military threat.

Regarding Kim Jong-un’s motive in concluding such an agreement with the Russian Federation, we are talking precisely about the fact that the WPK preferred offensiveness. The DPRK is directing its efforts towards a strategic goal - the destruction of imperialism, the guiding force of which is the United States, the union of American and partly British financial capital .

Of course, North Korea’s support for the Russian Federation in the confrontation with the United States and NATO countries does not make Russia any less of an imperialist country. But in this situation, Russian imperialism has nowhere to roam, it is fighting for survival, the national liberation aspect prevails in politics, and not some aggressive plans and tendencies. This kind of assessment can be read in the statements of the WPK on the Ukrainian conflict.

The rapprochement between the Russian Federation and the DPRK will play into the hands of our communist movement, as it will significantly reduce anti-communist propaganda in terms of denigrating the northerners. The agreement between the Russian Federation and the DPRK presupposes partnership in the media sphere.

No less important is the fact that the DPRK, through military-technical cooperation, will gain access to technologies that it takes years to independently develop.

Before our eyes, a camp of states with different socio-economic systems against American imperialism is being formed, albeit in the form of a “collective security system”. Something like an anti-fascist front. Of course, over time the PRC will join this defensive alliance. In a sense, China is still a member of it, since the DPRK has a similar defense treaty with the PRC. The more states that take a consistent position in the fight against American imperialism, the better.

We can only welcome the agreement signed by Kim Jong-un and Putin!

A. Redin

Google Translator


Sputnik Globe on the EU’s decision to assign profits on frozen Russian assets to arming Ukraine

The announcement a day ago by EU High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrel that the Union has formally approved assigning the several billion dollars in interest and other revenue produced by frozen Russian state assets now held in Belgium to its “Peace Fund” for purposes of arming Ukraine has been met with glowing enthusiasm by The Financial Times and other mainstream media. “At last” they opine, noting that the EU authorities had to spend a lot of time on legal work and still more time findinat a workaround to the expected veto of Hungary.

However, there will be hell to pay for this outright theft of sovereign state property as we see in this Sputnik Globe report. ... 26047.html ... g-ukraine/


Procedural stage
June 26, 17:10


The Russian Foreign Ministry reported that a new procedural stage has begun in the process of prisoner exchange between the United States and the Russian Federation. A transparent hint that there is progress in exchanging American spies for some of our own who are in American and European prisons.

The United States is apparently in a hurry to make the exchange before the presidential election so that Biden can fend off accusations from the relatives of Whelan and Gershkovich.

This time pressure of the Biden administration gives Russia the opportunity to force the United States to conclude a deal on terms favorable to us, when the deal could include Vadim Krasikov, who is in a German prison on charges of liquidating the Chechen terrorist Khongoshvili in Berlin. I am confident that in the negotiations our intelligence services will show the necessary firmness, as was already the case during the successful exchanges between Bout and Yaroshenko.

PS. In the photo are American spies Gershkovich and Whelan, whom the United States wants to exchange.

Censorship and the fight against disinformation
June 26, 19:13


When Russian media are banned in Europe, it is a fight against disinformation.
When Russia bans European media in response, this is the introduction of censorship.
Be careful not to get confused.
If anything, this is the official position of the EU.

List of Western media blocked in the Russian Federation.

List of media outlets of EU member states and all-European media operators in respect of which countermeasures are being introduced to restrict broadcasting and access to resources on the Internet from the territory of the Russian Federation


1. State television and radio company "ORF" (;

2. Media holding “Osterreich” (;


3. Magazine “Le Vif” (;

4. Knack magazine (;


5. News information portal “Mediapool” (;

6. Newspaper “24 Hours” (;


7. Internet information portal;


8. Magazine “Der Spiegel” (;

9. Newspaper “Die Zeit” (;

10. Newspaper "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" (;


11. JSC “Greek Radio and Television” EPT (,;

12. Media holding “Skai” (;

13. TV channel “Mega” (;

14. Newspaper “Proto Thema” (;


15. Daily newspaper “Berlingske” (;

16. Publication “Information” (;


17. National broadcaster RTE (;

18. The Irish Times newspaper (;

19. The Irish Independent newspaper (;


20. Newspaper “El Mundo” (;

21. Newspaper “El Pais” (;

22. Information agency “EFE” (;

23. State television of Spain “Televisión Española” (;


24. National television channel “LA7” (;

25. Newspaper “La Stampa” (;

26. Newspaper “La Repubblica” (;

27. TV company “RAI” (,;


28. Newspaper “Politis” (;

29. Electronic information portal “Cyprus Times” (;

30. Newspaper “Cyprus Mail” (;


31. TV channel “Latvian Television” and Latvian Radio 4 (;

32. Internet portal;

33. Internet TV channel;

34. Publication “Diena” (;


35. Internet portal “LRT” (;

36. Internet portal “” (;

37. Internet portal “” (;


38. Central state television channel “Television Malta” TVM (;

39. Newspaper “Times of Malta” (;

40. The Malta Independent newspaper (;

41. Newspaper “Malta Today” (;


42. Broadcasting company “Nos” (;

43. Newspaper “Nrc” (;

44. Newspaper “Algemeen Dagblad” (;


45. TV channel “Belsat” (,;

46. ​​Magazine “New Poland” (,,;


47. TV channel “RTP Internacional” (;

48. Newspaper “Publico” (;

49. Newspaper “Expresso” (;

50. Information and analytical project “Observador” (;


51. TV channel “Pro TV International” (,;

52. TV channel “Digi24” (;

53. TV channel “B1TV” (;


54. Newspaper “SME” (;

55. Internet publication “Dennik N” (;


56. Internet publication “Nova24” (,;

57. Internet publication “Demokracija” (,;


58. Newspaper “Ilta-Sanomat” (;

59. Newspaper “Iltalehti” (;

60. Newspaper “Helsingin Sanomat” (;

61. TV and radio company “Yleisradio” (;


62. TV channel “LCI” (;

63. Le Monde newspaper (;

64. La Croix newspaper (;

65. Newspaper “Liberation” (;

66. Lexpress magazine (;

67. Radio company “Radio France” (;

68. Information agency “Agence France-Presse” (,;

69. TV channel “CNews” (;

70. TV company “Arte” (;

Czech Republic

71. TV channel “Ceska Televize” (;

72. Internet portal “Seznam Zpravy” (;


73. Broadcasting company “SVT” (;

74. Radio company Sveriges Radio (;


75. Information web portal;

76. National Broadcasting Corporation "ERR" (;

77. Media resource “Delfi” (;

Pan-European Media

78. Agence Europe (;

79. Politico (,;

80. Satellite package “Svoboda Satellite Package” (;

81. Internet publication “Euobserver” (

Warsaw 21
June 26, 21:09


I watched several episodes of the new domestic series "Warsaw 21" dedicated to the political topicality of relations between the Russian Federation and Poland.
In essence, this is a domestic analogue of the American "Homeland" with a pinch of "Sleepers". Yes, the series can be called a political situation, but this is the same situation as the notorious "Homeland", which also adapted to current military and political trends.

In this case, we have a good craft product in the genre of a political/spy detective about the struggle between Russian and Western intelligence services in Poland on the eve of the war in Ukraine. The series raises topics of political provocations, media manipulation, demolition of monuments, ideological struggle, and so on. Everything is fresh and on the surface, so the film will be quite easy for anyone who follows the current context of relations between the Russian Federation and Poland, and with the West in general.

Of course, there are not enough stars in the sky, but it is quite possible to watch. There is not much action in the film, it is mainly about talking about war and politics.
Let's see what happens in the end.

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"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Russia today

Post by blindpig » Fri Jun 28, 2024 3:26 pm

The Franco-British Plot to Dismember Russia
Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on JUNE 26, 2024
Kit Klarenberg

Allied soldiers parade in Vladivostok, Russia, September 1918

June marks a number of anniversaries, almost completely unknown in the West today, of significant events in the Allied invasion of the Soviet Union. Namely, when the entire wretched project began to spectacularly unravel. The loss of the Allied Powers’ Tsarist ally to the November 1917 revolution, and the embattled Bolsheviks subsequently granting Germany political and economic hegemony over Central and Eastern Europe via the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, led to wide-ranging imperial intervention in the Russian civil war, starting from May 1918.

The effort was led by Britain and France. Soldiers drawn from the pair’s respective empires, and Czechoslovakia, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Serbia and the US, were deployed in vast numbers, fighting alongside local “White” anti-Communist forces. Initially prosecuted largely in secret, come June 1919, things were going so badly for the invaders that London formally dispatched a 3,500-strong “North Russian Relief Force” to the Soviet Union. Their ostensible mission was to defend threatened British positions in the country.

Almost immediately though, the “defensive” unit was deployed on offensive missions, to seize key Soviet territory, repel the Red Army, and link up with White Russian forces. This thrust was comprehensively beaten back, however. From that point on, Allied fortunes rapidly worsened. White Russian soldiers violently mutinied against their “allies” and defected to the Bolsheviks, while invading foreign troops simply refused to fight due to horrendous battlefield conditions. All-out Western withdrawal began before the month was over.

In failing to crush the Russian revolution, Britain and France not only lost a historic opportunity to “strangle Bolshevism in its cradle,” in Winston Churchill’s pestilential phrase. London and Paris had planned to carve up the Soviet Union’s vast resources, while neutralising any prospect of Moscow emerging as a major international anti-capitalist agitator. The failure of invading powers to learn lessons from the debacle, and Russia’s visceral modern day memories of the mass invasion, in no small part account for where we are today.

‘Prolonged Enslavement’

In March 1931, Western-dwelling Russian-born academic Leonid I. Strakhovsky published a remarkable paper, The Franco-British Plot to Dismember Russia. As the author noted, “neither Britain nor France has as yet published any important documents” related to the Allied invasion at the time. This largely remains the case over a century later. Yet, Strakhovsky was still able to piece together “the startling designs” of a conspiracy by London and Paris “to bring about the complete dismemberment of the Russian realm for their own political and commercial advantage.”

This agreement was cemented in L’Accord Franco-Anglais du 23 Décembre 1917, définissant les zones d’action Française et Anglaise. The document established “zones of influence” for Britain and France in the Soviet Union. London was granted “Cossack territories, the territory of the Caucasus, Armenia, Georgia, Kurdistan.” Paris received “Bessarabia, the Ukraine, Crimea.” White Russian military chief General Anton Denikin is quoted as saying “the line dividing the zones” stretched from the Bosporus to the mouth of the Don river:

“This strange line had no reason whatsoever from the strategic point of view, taking in no consideration of the Southern operation directions to Moscow nor the idea of unity of command. Also, in dividing into halves the land of the Don Cossacks, it did not correspond to the possibilities of a rational supplying of the Southern armies, and satisfied rather the interests of occupation and exploitation than those of a strategic covering and help.”

Strakhovsky observes, “a survey of the economic resources in the two zones of influence” lends credence to Denikin’s analysis. The territory marked out for French domination were and remain “large granaries,” and “the famous coal region” of Donetsk, “worthless” to coal-rich Britain, was “of great importance to France.” In turn, London “obtained all the Russian oil fields in the Cauacasus,” and regions producing “an enormous amount of timber.” Britain urgently needed all the foreign wood it could lay its hands upon at the time.

Strakhovsky comments that the December 1917 agreement amounted to, “a picture of organized economic penetration under the cover of military intervention.” Elsewhere, he quotes dissident US journalist Louis Fische, “a parallel agreement disposed in similar fashion of other parts of Russia.” Despite this, France was “not satisfied” with its resource windfall. Officials in Paris attempted to compel General Denikin to sign a treaty which, if anti-Bolshevik forces had prevailed, would amount to outright “economic slavery”, putting “Russia at her mercy.”

Denikin was not persuaded. His successor Pyotr Wrangel was. He accepted extraordinary conditions, which including granting France “the right of exploitation of all railways in European Russia during a certain period,” Parisian monopoly on Moscow’s grain surpluses and oil output for an indeterminate stretch, and a quarter of all Donetsk’s coal output “during a certain period of years.” As a Soviet writer quoted in Strakhovsky’s paper observed:

“France was striving to obtain a prolonged and if possible an all-sided domination over Russia…a means of a prolonged enslavement of Russia.”

‘Half Measures’

Britain’s motivation for invading the Soviet Union went beyond visceral aversion to Bolshevism, and a desire to take the fallen Russian empire’s resource-rich lands into receivership. Namely, London’s “fear of the rising power of Russia” throughout the 19th century, which had produced the “Great Game”. This confrontation in Central Asia was concerned with preventing India – “the jewel in the crown” of the British empire – falling into Moscow’s sphere of economic and political influence.

In a bitter irony, this longstanding anxiety meant Britain’s strategy in the Soviet invasion was equally concerned with crushing Bolshevism, while also preventing “the resurrection of the old great unified Russia.” This approach contributed significantly to the entire intervention’s failure. Strakhovsky notes, “Britain carried out her part of the intervention in Russia by half-measures, which certainly did not help the anti-Bolshevik forces in their struggle for a national government. He cites a Soviet writer:

“In the North as well as in the South and in Siberia, the tactics of the English were clearly denoted by their desire to support the Russian counter-revolution, only as much as it was necessary to prevent a unification of Russia on the one hand under the Bolsheviks, and on the other hand under the [White] supporters of the great one indivisible Russia.”

There was another ironic boomerang to Britain’s simultaneous belligerence and treachery in the Soviet Union. Strakhovsky notes that a contemporary parliamentary “special report of the committee to collect information on Russia” was produced at King George V’s express command. It concluded, “the abundant and almost unanimous testimony of our witnesses shows that the military intervention of the Allies in Russia assisted to give strength and cohesion to the Soviet Government”:

“Up to the time of military intervention the majority of the Russian intellectuals were well-disposed toward the Allies, and more especially to Great Britain, but that later the attitude of the Russian people toward the Allies became characterized by indifference, distrust and antipathy.”

Per Strakhovsky, this “was the reward that Great Britain and France received” for attempting to dismember Russia. A similar dynamic is afoot today, as the Ukraine proxy war grinds on. The more genocidal, Russophobic rhetoric issues from EU and US officials, and the more Western-encouraged attacks on Moscow occur, the more united Russians become in opposition to their adversaries, and with each other.

The West has made no secret of its desire to “balkanize” Russia since the proxy war began. In July 2022, a Congressional body hosted a dedicated event on the “moral and strategic imperative” of shattering the country into easily exploitable chunks. It proposed sponsoring local separatist movements for the purpose. A year later, Italian journalist Marzo G Mian toured Russia, and was supremely struck by how the population was unified like never before. A previously “mild-mannered” academic acquaintance of his had “become a warrior”. They said:

“[Stalingrad] is our reference point now more than ever, an unparalleled symbol of resistance, our enemies’ worst nightmare. Whosoever tries it will meet the end of all the others – Swedes, Napoleon, the Germans and their allies. Russians are like the Scythians: they wait, they suffer, they die, and then they kill.” ... er-russia/


Documentary film on life and self-sacrificing patriotism of Gennady Zyuganov, Russia’s Communist Party leader

Russian prime time television is not entirely devoted to news from the front lines in the Ukraine war, or news about terrorist devastation of civilian targets perpetrated by the ‘Kiev regime.’ Besides the inevitable ‘serials’ which play out femme fatale intrigues set in Hollywood-style glamorous real estate, there can also be thought provoking programs of substance. Such was the case last night when the channel Rossiya 1 aired a 46-minute-long documentary film on Gennady Zyuganov, decades-long leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation who is celebrating his 80th birthday.

The film bears the title Правда Зюганова, which is a play on words meaning ‘the truth about Zyuganov’ while also making reference to the party newspaper Pravda where he figures so prominently. The production team listed at the end appears to be normal staff of the broadcaster with no superstar director. The main contributor is the presenter, journalist Yevgeni Rozhkov.

What we have here is a dramatic restatement of Russian history from the period of Gorbachev to present, one which pulls no punches and leaves no doubt about Gorbachev’s responsibility for the implosion of the economy and collapse of the Soviet Union, no doubt about Yeltsin’s treacherous sell-out of Russian interests to the United States and the pauperization of the broad population during his years of misrule.

There are a number of vignette appearances worthy of note.

One is by Vladimir Bortko, one of Russia’s finest cinema directors who is best known for his 2002 production of Dostoevky’s Idiot in 10 episodes for television. Three years later he directed the best ever film edition of Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita also in episodes. I say this to hammer home that Bortko is one of the most serious creative personalities of 21st century Russia and he stands by Zyuganov.
Bortko is a Communist Party member and served in the State Duma from 2011 to 2016.

Another prominent personal reference for Zyuganov is given by the prolific novelist and political activist Alexander Prokhanov, who once was close to the Communists, though he never joined the party and today stands on the ultra-nationalist hard Right of Russian politics. As they say, politics makes strange bedfellows!

The third vignette appearance is by a grandson of Zyuganov who speaks about his experiences with his grandfather during his childhood and about Zyuganov, the family man as opposed to the stern fighter as public figure.

However, in political terms the most significant comments about Zyuganov are made by Speaker of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin, whose appreciation takes us back not just to the many years he has answered hostile questions from Zyuganov in the lower chamber but to Zyuganov’s critically important role in saving Russian democracy in 1996, about which we will speak in a minute.

Then there is a brief interview with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who also pays his respects to Zyuganov for his principled conduct of politics and defense of national interests.

Of course, such comments from representatives of Russia’s ruling party will hardly surprise Western cynics who say there is no real opposition to the United Russia party from among the Duma parties, pointing instead to disseminators of subversion and armed revolt like Alexei Navalny as the real voice of the people. But pay them no mind: the Western cynics care not a whit about Russia and know nothing about the realities of Russian politics. Moreover, they would likely miss entirely the very important political statements about how official Russia now regards its past leaders who are so celebrated in the West, and whose betrayal of Russian statehood and of the well-being of its population were quietly overlooked in Washington, London and Berlin.

Indeed, this film takes direct aim at Mikhail Gorbachev, and more especially at Boris Yeltsin, while also putting in a less than flattering light such heroes of Russia’s Liberal movement so beloved in Washington as the leader of Yabloko, Grigor Yavlinsky, and economist Yegor Gaidar of the Democratic Choice Party, briefly Yeltsin’s prime minister who put in motion the destruction of what remained of the Russian economy by his American-guided transition from the planned to a free market economy.

We are treated to the film clip of drunken Yeltsin dancing wildly on stage during the 1996 electoral campaign. As we know, shortly thereafter he suffered a heart attack which nearly took him out of political life. We are shown Yeltsin’s declaration to the joint session of Congress during his visit to Washington: “God bless America.” In today’s context that remark is by itself enough to topple Yeltsin from any pedestal in Russia.

But the key piece in the film is the discussion of the electoral results in the presidential race of 1996 which according to exit polls gave Zyuganov a handsome victory but according to the official tally left him far behind Boris Nikolaevich. Would Zyuganov denounce the official tally? Would he call his people out onto the streets to demonstrate against the fraud being perpetrated on the country?

There was a phone call between Yeltsin and Zyuganov at that critical moment during which Zyuganov conceded defeat. He did so for one reason only: to avoid the outbreak of a civil war, which was highly likely if he had pursued the victory that was being denied him.

For this act of patriotism alone, today’s official Russia rightly salutes the leader of the Communist Party. It is also a rebuke to all of those in the Putin-hating West who insist that Vladimir Vladimirovich has destroyed the free and democratic Russia of the 1990s.


This film does what all such tributes to leading personalities regularly do: it takes us back to Zyuganov’s family home in Orlov region where Gennady Andreevich points to the window of the wooden frame house behind which was his bedroom. A neighbor from those days is given the microphone to talk about the Zyuganov family. We hear about how his schoolteacher mother saw him through his primary education. We follow his rise in the Communist Party to his appointment as head of the Moscow region by Yuri Andropov, one of the two aged and ill CPSU leaders in the transition from Brezhnev to Gorbachev. This position put him at the center of national politics, from which he never turned back.

Of course, the importance of this film is not in these nostalgic moments but in recounting the political environment that Zyuganov found himself in after Gorbachev’s inept handling of political and economic reforms led to the Putsch by Party loyalists in the summer of 1991 and subsequent banning of the party. The Party’s resurrection under his leadership reestablished its credibility in democratic Russia as a genuine Opposition in parliament to the despotic Yeltsin regime which ruled by decree.

I highly recommend this film. It is now available only in Russian, but surely will be reissued with English voice over or subtitles in the coming days.

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2024 ... ty-leader/


The Central Bank announced the threat of the death of the Russian economy due to sanctions
June 27, 2024


These are the wonderful headlines under which materials from yesterday’s session of the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum were published , with the easy submission of none other than the first deputy chairman of the Bank of Russia, Vladimir Chistyukhin .

He complained that new Western sanctions limiting mutual settlements with foreign counterparties are forcing the invention of exotic mechanisms and unpopular methods such as crypt .

The evil irony here is that it is Chistyukhin who is the official at the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, who is actually responsible for ensuring the continuity of foreign mutual settlements of the Russian economy. And it was his apparatus that was instructed by the government commission to prepare in advance and calculate these risks.

And this situation could be attributed to incompetence if not for the extremely suspicious decisions of the first deputy chairman in the recent past.

In particular, it was the divisions of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation controlled by Vladimir Chistyukhin that, from the very beginning of the SVO, collected detailed information from Russian banks on the movement of funds in their correspondent accounts abroad under the pretext of combating capital outflow. These measures had no effect on the capital outflow itself - it only increased.

But it was the banks that provided the information, by coincidence , that found themselves under targeted sanctions by the US Treasury . By targeting these financial institutions, the United States has damaged critical supply lines for foreign technology for Russian businesses.

Another reason for questions to the First Deputy Chairman was the activities of his protégé Andrei Lipin as President of the Interstate Bank in 2023-2024.

In less than a year in his high position, Lipin managed to deal a heavy blow to the mutual settlements of Russian banks, closing correspondent accounts of more than 40 banks opened in the MB, including Sberbank, Gazprombank, VTB, etc., in order to concentrate all operations in the hands of Freedom Finance Bank. , which was already under the control of the US Department of Justice.

This picture is complemented by the fact that Chistyukhin himself, unlike the head of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina and the other first deputy chairman Olga Skorobogatova , has not yet come under sanctions from the United States and Great Britain for “effective management of the Russian economy in the context of a military special operation.” And his family permanently resides in the UAE.

And even if all the mentioned coincidences are accidental, it goes without saying what a tasty target for manipulation by interested special services one of the leaders of the most important economic institution in the country now represents. ... -sankczij/

Google Translator


Russian "Coast Guard"...

... or back to the future. There always was a misconception about Russian Coast Guard, which got this rebranding from Naval Units of Border Guards of KGB USSR after the collapse of the Soviet Union. No doubt, US Coast Guard and Russian Coast Guard always had a lot in common in terms of tasks, but there was a lot of difference too, especially in capability--Soviet/Russian Coast Guard was armed to the teeth being a recipient of the ships with Soviet Navy's pedigree. As a result huge number of Russian Coast Guard ships had full blown air-defense and ASW capabilities, carrying respective suites and weapon systems. Here is one of such examples:


This is the Coast Guard ship of 1st rank, project 11351 and as you can see yourself it carries not only artillery but full blown ASW suite, including torpedoes and even missile air-defense complex Osa. These ships have been retired since and it seemed that the trend on "de-militarization" of the Russian Coast Guard would continue until such news: famous Russian wharf Pella is developing now a Coast Guard ship on the... get this... project 22800 missile ship.


Now, when you begin to look at capabilities of this thing--it is anything but classic Coast Guard in Western tradition but a full blown corvette with a nasty punch.

Габаритная длина корабля будет около 67 метров, ширина около 12 метров и осадка около 3 метров. Полное водоизмещение около 650 тонн. Он сможет развивать скорость больше 30 узлов и проводить в море около 30 суток. Экипаж составит 40 человек. Из ракетно-артиллерийское вооружения предполагается к установке зенитно-ракетный комплекс «Ресурс» 3К96-3Е, артиллерийская установка АК-176 или «Буревестник», две артиллерийских установки АК-306, два пулемета 6П59 калибром 12,7 мм, два ручных гранатомета ДП-64 и комплекс постановки пассивных помех КТ-216. Радиотехнический комплекс корабля предположительно будет состоять из боевой информационно-управляющей системы «Кремень», корабельного радиолокационного комплекс «Позитив 1.2», системы управления огнем «Багира» 3.2, система государственного опознавания Изделие 67Р, корабельного комплекса радиоэлектронного подавления МП-405-19, интегрированного мостиковой системы «Мостик-22800» и системы обеспечения безопасного применения оружия «Блокировка-22800».

Translation: The overall length of the ship will be about 67 meters, width about 12 meters and draft about 3 meters. Total displacement is about 650 tons. It will be able to reach speeds of more than 30 knots and spend about 30 days at sea. The crew will be 40 people. Among the missile and artillery weapons, it is planned to install the Resurs 3K96-3E anti-aircraft missile system, an AK-176 or Burevestnik artillery mount, two AK-306 artillery mounts, two 6P59 machine guns with a caliber of 12.7 mm, two DP- hand grenade launchers 64 and the KT-216 passive jamming complex. The ship's radio-technical complex will presumably consist of the Kremen combat information and control system, the Positiv 1.2 shipborne radar complex, the Bagira 3.2 fire control system, the Izdeliye 67R state identification system, the MP-405-19 shipborne electronic suppression complex, an integrated bridge the Mostik-22800 system and the Blokirovka-22800 system for ensuring the safe use of weapons.

For now they call it a "patrol ship" which will "assist" Coast Guard, but something tells me that realities of the world today are such that Russian Coast Guard will get its missile air-defense capabilities back and the presence of "Resurs" AD complex is an impressive capability for such relatively small ships. Well, will see where it all goes, but as I said, the worst nightmare for Russian Coast Guard, which didn't like to be missile AD ships, including being operationally included into the AD "package" for naval bases together with regular naval ships, thus getting additional duty, may come true)). Too bad, at least these ships do not have ASW capability--we did in our time)). Next thing you know they will stick Kalbrs on you and if the Coast Guard duties haven't been enough, welcome to surface strike "package". Hey, life today is such that you better have your guns (and missiles) ready especially at Western theaters of operation such as Baltic and Black Sea borders and littoral. ... guard.html


The head of the Russian Investigative Committee proposed returning the death penalty to Russia
June 28, 17:51


Death penalty news.

The head of the Investigative Committee of Russia, Alexander Bastrykin, proposed considering the possibility of lifting the moratorium on the death penalty.

I fully support this proposal, at least for the duration of the war.

"Platform". Russian clone of YouTube
June 28, 13:54


The Platform service has been launched in Russia -
This is a Russian clone of YouTube, which should eventually replace the original YouTube.
The authors did not even hide the fact that they were specifically making a similar clone, but without Western censorship and even with monetization.
Let's see what comes of it and whether the hosting will be able to find an audience.

P.S. I was amused by the leadership in the Platform trends of the Gachi-parody of the "Time of Troubles"..

Google Translator
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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