Exclusive: Ukraine Stands Firm Against Russian Aggression, Says Charge de Affairs

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by Our Diplomatic Affairs Editor 

During an exclusive interview with our diplomatic affairs editor at his New Delhi office, Ivan Konovalov, Charge de Affairs a.i. at the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of India (concurrently in Sri Lanka), expressed his belief that Ukraine would achieve more victories on the battlefield this spring. He emphasized that the Ukrainian people have never desired to engage in war but were compelled to defend themselves against the aggression of Russia. Konovalov asserted that this conflict is imperialist in nature, indicating that Russia’s actions are driven by a desire for territorial expansion and control.

Furthermore, Konovalov stated that the victory of Ukraine would represent a triumph for democracy across the globe, as it would be a victory for the principles of self-determination and the right of nations to decide their own fate. He highlighted the importance of recognizing that the conflict in Ukraine is not merely a regional issue but rather a struggle for values that are fundamental to the democratic world. Ultimately, Konovalov’s comments underscore the ongoing importance of supporting Ukraine in its efforts to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Excerpts from the interview;

Sri Lanka Guardian (SLG):  You are playing a key role in these extraordinary times to protect Ukraine’s national interests; What challenges do you and your teammates face as a diplomat representing a country now at war with neighbouring Russia?

Ivan Konovalov (IK): Our small in comparison but capable team in the Embassy is working hard to change the perception of Ukraine in the countries of our accreditation – India, Bangladesh Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal. It’s a priority for Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, as it is stated by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, to work closer with the countries of Global South on different aspects of cooperation. 

SLG: Exactly one year ago, Russia launched a limited military action against your country calling it “demilitarisation and denazification”. Please give a brief overview of the situation as this conflict has completed a year.

IK: First of all let us please use the right words (terms) and timings. It’s not just a conflict, and it’s not a limited military action. It’s Russian full scale war against Ukraine or Russian aggression against Ukraine. Russia is aggressor, Ukraine is a victim of Russian aggression. 

In 2014 Russia started this war with illegal annexation of Crimea and further Russian aggression in the East of Ukraine.

So we have 9 years of Russian war against Ukraine and 1 year of full scale aggression against Ukraine.

As of now Ukrainian Armed Forces could kick out Russian occupiers from 40% of territories occupied since February 2022. This spring will bring more victories on the battlefield for Ukraine. 

SLG: Some people are arguing that Ukraine is fighting someone else War; in fact, Ukraine is a “scapegoat”, they say.  May I have your take, please?

IK: Ukrainians have never chosen war, it was imposed by Russia. This war is imperialist in its nature, one should understand this. Russia couldn’t accept the collapse of Soviet Union and if they conquered Ukraine – that would be just a first step, they would continue this barbaric practices with other countries which they consider to be the sphere of their interests.

We are fighting for our freedom and independence. we fight against Russia protecting others in Europe from this threat and our partners understand this very well.

Ukraine as any other democracy in the world wants to decide its destiny without external dictatorship which Russia tries to impose through our history. 

We have our own will to join the EU and NATO as we consider ourselves as an integral part of Europe. 

SLG: At the beginning of the conflict, both countries tried to find a solution through negotiation. Do you still believe that Ukraine can find a solution through negotiation? If not, what is the way out?

IK: Moscow has no intention for peace. When they talk about negotiations it means they want time to regroup and replenish supplies and further relaunch their attack on Ukraine. It’s obvious.

Negotiations can happen and should happen one day. But the reason for the negotiations about future peace deal can only begin after unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of Ukraine within the internationally recognised borders including Crimea. This is also stated in the UN General Assembly Resolution as of 23 February 2023, which was supported by 141 countries.

SLG: What is the outcome of the 10 points peace formula introduced by your president but unfortunately, rejected by Russia stating that the formula is the basis for negotiations?

IK: Russia has not yet shown any readiness to bring a lasting peace, and continues to perpetrate international terrorism, commit genocide against Ukrainians, and commit war crimes.

The Peace Formula’s ten elements, which may be followed collectively or individually, have the potential to bring about long-term peace in Ukraine, Europe, and the globe. We welcome countries from all across the world to join us in making it a reality. 

The EU has approved President Zelenskyy’s Peace Formula and committed to actively working with Ukraine to put it into action, which demonstrates that the Formula is completely consistent with core European values and ideals.

Ukrainian Peace Formula is based on respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of any country, with any aggression against a sovereign country being completely unacceptable and those responsible for any

such acts facing justice.

SLG: Do you think NATO and Western countries, who are pouring military equipment, will stand with Ukraine to find a lasting solution soon?

IK: We are deeply grateful to all our allies and all peace-loving states of the world for their support in our fight against evil. Russia has to be defeated so this won’t repeat in future. Our partners are clear – they will stand with Ukraine as long as it takes, till the victory.

Victory of Ukraine is a victory of a democratic world.

SLG: You are representing Ukraine in South Asia; tell us your take on the responses you have from the countries here.

IK: The countries of our accreditation don’t support Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and this is very important. We are grateful for this position. I believe there is much more we can do to deepen our relationship on the mutually beneficial basis.

Sabotage of Nord Stream won’t go unpunished

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Next Monday, an uneasy anniversary arrives. It will be 20 years since the invasion of Iraq by the United States. Britain was a pillar of the US-led ‘coalition of the willing.’ The Guardian columnist John Harris wrote on Sunday that it was “the greatest political and humanitarian disaster the UK had been involved in since the second world war… when the supposed political centre ground suddenly lurched somewhere reckless and catastrophic.” 

The Iraq War caused endless violence and huge levels of death. Ironically, it was Seymour Hersh who exposed that horrific chronicle of torture in the Abu Ghraib by the US troops that shocked the world.

Harris made a debatable point that Iraq War had “profound effects” on the UK. He listed, amongst them, “a sense that politics and power had lurched away from the public, and left a huge and very uneasy gap.” Maybe he is right, but for the wrong reasons. As time passed, Iraq War made Britain’s party politics look farcical.

Britain today has a UniParty — the party of government, which seems to consist of the same people as the party of the opposition. Britain has reached where the US has been for quite some time  — a cabal of political elites hijacking the country, operating its own agenda, regardless of which political party is formally in power — and the people at large having lost control of their government. That is why crimes like Abu Ghraib and Nord Stream go unpunished.

On March 3, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had a top secret one-on-one with Biden in the Oval Office in what appears to have been an attempt, among other things, to reach a consensus on how to handle Hersh’s explosive report on the sabotage of Nord Stream. (Read my blog Ukraine: A war to end all wars in Europe.)

Look at the sequence of events: Four days after Scholz met Biden, New York Times carried a sensational media leak regarding Nord Stream, attributing the sabotage to a “pro-Ukrainian group” consisting of five men and one woman who used a yacht rented in Poland. 

The vessel was later found by German investigators — also a media leak in Berlin — and turned out to be the Andromeda, a Bavaria C50 sailing boat. The group reportedly embarked on their mission from Rostock on September 6, 2022. The equipment for the secret operation was allegedly transported to the port in a truck. 

Germany’s Die Zeit backed the Times narrative in real time. But the narrative itself is riddled with discrepancies. Questions are galore: How could a 15-meter chartered yacht have possibly carried an estimated 1,500-2,000 kilograms of explosives required for the sabotage? How could Andromeda, which doesn’t have a crane, hoist  such massive quantities of explosives safely into the water? 

A Russian analysis points out that “the site of the explosion, the Baltic Sea, is about 80 meters deep, which requires special diving equipment, including air tanks with a helium-oxygen mixture and pure oxygen. All in all, one would need 30 litres of a special gas mixture for one dive alone, which means there must have been dozens of bottles on board. In addition, there should have been a decompression chamber for the divers, something that the yacht is not fit for. Furthermore, it would have taken several dives and a few days to lay the explosives on the pipelines. It’s hard to imagine that these activities would have gone completely unnoticed.” 

The Times news desk evidently didn’t do any fact check. But on March 10, the chair of the Bundestag’s intelligence oversight committee, Konstantin von Notz from the Green Party, told Die Zeit that what happened was likely a “state-backed act of terrorism” and was likely conducted by a “state or quasi-state actor.” 

Scholz is skating on thin ice. He heads a coalition of Atlanticists. But Germany is not yet a UniParty country. Besides, unlike in the US or the UK, in the German political system, the public prosecutor who is investigating the Nord Stream sabotage is an autonomous entity who can’t be ordered around by politicians in power.  

The German defence minister Boris Pistorius’ reaction to the Times report shows it — that Germans don’t yet know whether this was a Ukrainian commando that acted with the knowledge of the Ukrainian government, a pro-Ukrainian group that acted without their knowledge, or whether it might have been a false flag operation. Berlin apparently doesn’t exclude official Ukrainian involvement. 

Scapegoating comes handy for Washington in such situations as an exit strategy. A report in Politico on Sunday distanced the Biden Administration from the Ukrainian regime of Zelensky, and Nord Stream sabotage is mentioned there as one of three reasons for the “growing differences behind the scenes” between Washington and Kiev. 

For the present, though, there seems to be a tacit understanding between Biden and Scholz that they will not tear each other up over this matter. As for Zelensky, he probably has no option but to play the role of a scapegoat when necessary.

By mentioning Nord Stream as a matter of discord between Washington and Kiev, the Politico report seems to hint to Zelensky that this is a high stakes game affecting transatlantic unity and scapegoat may become necessary. 

Meanwhile, instead of pointing finger at Washington, the Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev  was non-committal  on Sunday, saying, “I emphasise that any accusations that are not supported by the results of an impartial investigation cannot be trusted. Therefore, Moscow insists on an objective investigation with the participation of Russia and other interested countries. Without this, voicing one-sided subjective versions of the terrorist attack does not explain anything.” 

Patrushev has virtually challenged the Biden-Scholz tandem. To be sure, an impartial investigation will have political consequences. For one thing, German public opinion is relatively fickle on the issue of weapons deliveries. Second, Scholz cannot afford a perception that he is in collusion with Biden.

Of course, if it is established that a Ukrainian commando unit or an American outfit was responsible for the sabotage, the political consequences will be massive. German public may demand stoppage of arms supplies to Ukraine. On the other hand, if the US is responsible, the current renaissance in German-American ties will simply wither away.

Scholz is yet to understand that Transatlanticism is not the defining characteristic of the Democratic Party. His fate may turn out to be the same as Tony Blair’s. Harris wrote that the effects of Blair’s deceptions rippled on all the way to Brexit.

To quote him, “Iraq hideously sullied Blair and [Gordon] Brown’s domestic record and marked the end of the New Labour vision of Britain as a young, confident country. It reduced the fantasies of “liberal interventionism” to ash, and deepened the disaffection and unease that would lead to our exit from Europe.”

Handelsblatt newspaper in a report last Thursday pointed out that the investigation on Nord Stream may play politically into the hands of the far-left and the far-right in German politics. Can Scholz survive the deception over Nord Stream sabotage? If Ukraine is implicated, there is no going back for Germany.

Russia & U.S. Clash in the Sky: Officially Enter World War III?

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The relationship between Washington and Moscow is already near the breaking point, and early this morning, risked spinning entirely out of control, when a pair of Russian jets first harassed and then attacked an unarmed American MQ-9 Reaper surveillance drone flying over the international waters of the Black Sea. The two Su-27 fighters dumped fuel on the drone, apparently trying to blind its sensors, before colliding with its propeller, bringing the $32 million piece of military hardware crashing down to the water below.

Predictably, Russia’s Ministry of Defense offered a different account of what took place, saying the drone’s own maneuvers caused it to rapidly lose altitude and crash. In any event, it was the first documented physical clash between the armed forces of the United States and Russia resulting from the war in Ukraine, a perilous precedent that should give everyone some pause.

Apparently, these kinds of high-altitude confrontations between the U.S. and Russia are “not an uncommon occurrence,” according to John Kirby, the National Security Council spokesman. Still, Kirby acknowledged this incident as “noteworthy because of how unsafe and unprofessional it was,” to say nothing of how the “reckless” attack further inflames an already tense atmosphere, and adds to the danger of a direct clash between the United States and Russia.

Notably, the U.S. and Russia had no communication during the incident, and thus no way to deescalate, or express intentions. Afterward, the Russian ambassador in Washington was summoned to receive formal American objections to the attack, which Ned Price at the State Department called a “brazen violation of international law.” 

Certainly, incidents like these add to the grave risk of mistakes and miscalculations between the two nuclear powers, and the danger of unintended escalation, with all that entails. Relations between Moscow and Washington are already at an all-time low, amid Vladimir Putin’s catastrophically botched invasion of Ukraine, and Joe Biden’s arming of Kyiv, and it likely wouldn’t take much to send things spiraling further downward.

The danger of accidental escalation is real

The aerial run-in merely reinforced the sense that any errant spark could lead to serious and unintended consequences, a complete rupture in relations, and the possibility of armed conflict. The downed Reaper was unmanned; what if it had been a manned surveillance flight, and the U.S. incurred casualties as a result of Russian aggression? 

Clearly, it would be a different story, and an incredibly dangerous one.

Still, the White House seemed keen not to allow the incident to devolve into a tit-for-tat cycle of mutual escalation, and apparently resisted calls to respond with military force. As New York Times reporter David Sanger said on CNN today, the White House wanted to respond “calmly,” and avoid the prospect of unintended escalation, particularly because the drone was unmanned.

Nonetheless, it’s clear, Sanger said, that the Russians have a mounting appetite to take on the Americans on the sidelines of the war in Ukraine, even as Russia struggles desperately on the battlefield. Russia’s recent offensives in Bakhmut and elsewhere have resulted in meager territorial advances, and at a staggering cost in human life, particularly the life of Russian conscripts and mercenaries, who have been engaged in suicidal assaults to inch forward against Ukraine’s fortified defenses. 

After losing an estimated 200,000 casualties and counting in its disastrous campaign to subdue and absorb Ukraine, the Kremlin has increasingly characterized the war as an existential conflict between Russia and the United States. Incidents like the one today show the danger of that notion coming to fruition, in what would be an apocalyptic nuclear confrontation humanity would be unlikely to survive, should one begin.

A light in the darkness for Putin

Meanwhile, favorable developments amid early presidential posturing have given Vladimir Putin something to smile about, as presidential frontrunner Gov. Ron DeSantis went on Tucker Carlson’s show and argued that defending Ukraine was not in America’s vital national interest. He referred to Putin’s wanton aggression as a “territorial dispute,” and made it clear that if elected, American aid to Ukraine would quickly evaporate.

Clearly, the Florida governor is aligning himself with Donald Trump’s isolationist MAGA bent, even as he prepares to take on the former president for the Republican nomination in 2024, as Trump faces the prospect of criminal indictments.

DeSantis’s view stands in sharp contrast to many of the elected leaders of the Republican Party, and provoked a round of heated criticism from Marco Rubio, Lyndsey Graham, Liz Cheney, Mitch McConnell, and other leading lights in the GOP, who have argued that the United States should be doing even more for Ukraine, and certainly not less.

However, Ron DeSantis has always fashioned himself in Trump’s tainted image, as a combative culture warrior, and jingoistic “America First” nationalist, so his view on Ukraine should come as no surprise. Rather, it shows DeSantis’s strategy is to mimic Donald Trump and his ever evolving political positions, while keeping himself free of the toxic drama and criminal investigations that constantly engulf the former president.

In any case, it’s a major win for the Kremlin, and Vladimir Putin himself, who has been banking on a change in leadership in Washington to bail him out of his dismal war in Ukraine. If DeSantis, or god forbid, Trump were to retake the White House, and military and financial aid to Kyiv dried up, Putin’s path to victory would suddenly become far more clear, and plausible.

For his part, Vladimir Putin can be expected to do everything in his power to assist his allies in the MAGA wing of the Republican Party to achieve electoral victory in 2024, and Ron DeSantis is now on that short list. Presumably, the Kremlin will intervene vigorously in the next American election, by carrying out cyberattacks, hacking, and targeted propaganda to elevate a pro-Putin candidate, much like in 2016.

However, this time, America’s national security establishment has no excuse not to see it coming, and should be prepared to counter the Kremlin’s machinations forcefully, and from the outset. The Biden administration has every incentive to prevent Putin from sabotaging American democracy, and everything to lose should they fail.


Ukraine: A war to end all wars in Europe

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The dash for the White House in Washington on Friday by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz remains a riddle wrapped in a mystery. Scholz landed in DC, drove to the White House and was received by President Biden in Oval Office for a conversation that lasted over an hour. No aides were present. And he flew back to Berlin. 

Associated Press reported cryptically, “If any agreements were reached or plans made, the White House wasn’t saying.” Scholz had insisted while leaving Berlin that he and Biden “want to talk directly with each other.” Scholz mentioned “a global situation where things have become very difficult.” He said, “It is important that such close friends can talk about all of these questions together, continually.”

The official readout of the meeting mentioned that the two leaders discussed the war in Ukraine and “exchanged perspectives on other global issues.”

In remarks before the meeting, Biden effusively welcomed Scholz and paid tribute to the latter’s “strong and steady leadership.” Scholz briefly responded that “this is a very, very important year because of the very dangerous threat to peace that comes from Russia invading Ukraine.” The optics of the White House readout is that the two leaders “reiterated their commitment to impose costs on Russia for its aggression for as long as necessary.”

Scholz’s dash to the Oval Office came at a defining moment in the Ukraine conflict. Russia has seized the initiative in the Donbass campaign and its spring offensive may start in the coming weeks. Ukraine’s military took heavy battering and the country depends almost entirely on western financial handouts and military aid for survival.

Most important, Kiev’s western backers are no longer sure of its ability to reclaim all the territory under Russian control — roughly, one-fifth of erstwhile Ukraine. An inchoate belief is also gaining ground in the western mind, behind all rhetoric, that the burden of the war effort is not going to be sustainable for long if the conflict extends into an indeterminate future.

Support for Ukraine is waning in the western public opinion. A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Centre for Public Affairs Research shows that while 19% of Americans repose confidence in Biden’s ability to handle the situation in Ukraine, 37% say they have only some confidence and 43% have hardly any. 

Vast majority of adults, including most Democrats, do not want Biden to run for president in 2024. Many also express little confidence in his abilities. 

Scholz’s one-on-one with Biden took place only a week after the latter’s triumphant secret trip to Kiev to mark the first anniversary of the war. In reality, the display of Western unity with Ukraine that Biden claims is wearing thin against a backdrop of strains within the trans-Atlantic alliance and a growing sense of despondency that the war has no end in sight. 

The heart of the matter is that the Ukraine conflict has shattered the existing security architecture of Europe. Germany, Europe’s powerhouse, is hit badly. The German electorate is increasingly skeptical about the West’s approach to the war. There has been animated discussion in Germany over the findings of the renowned American journalist Seymour Hersh regarding the sabotage of the Nord Stream. 

After Scholz’s return to Berlin, on Saturday, Sevim Dagdelen, leader of the Left Party — a four-term MP since 2005 — labeled the sabotage of the Nord Stream as a terrorist attack, adding that the German government is obligated to look into the case and find the culprit. 

If Scholz was privy to Biden’s plan to destroy Nord Stream, it signifies an act of collusion. A major German national strategic asset owned in joint venture with Russia was destroyed, seriously damaging the country’s economy and impacting tens of millions of jobs, putting many lives at risk. 

Germany has had to pay 10 times the market price for gas to bolster its reserves. Europe has fallen into the trap of becoming highly dependent on US energy imports. The US is the main beneficiary of Europe’s energy crisis and its ensuing “deindustrialization” and “industrial hollowing-out.” A deep recession appears inevitable in Germany. This climate forebodes dire consequences for the German government, as the election to the Bundestag in 2025 draws closer. 

Two days after Russia’s special operation in Ukraine began, Scholz had vowed in his famous “Zeitenwende” speech in the Bundestag that Germany, long wary of militarisation, would take steps to boost defence spending. But Wolfgang Schmidt, Scholz’s chief of staff and longtime friend, acknowledged this week that a budget crunch was likely to prevent Berlin from fulfilling the promise of increased defence spending. “We must be honest about this,” he told Wall Street Journal. “Ambition and reality are diverging.” 

What complicates matters further is an emerging divide in Europe over how to end the war. While Old Europeans, including Scholz, are urging peace talks now, the Russophobic East European and Baltic leaderships are clamouring for Russia’s defeat and a regime change in Moscow. According to Politico, Biden had to deliver a reminder to the Bucharest Nine with whom he had a meeting in Warsaw after his trip to Kiev that the goal of the war is not to remove the regime under Putin.

Meanwhile, there is frustration building up in Europe that the continent finds itself in a cul-de-sac. So far, the lack of European cohesion provided policy space for the US to divide and rule. However, if Europe finds itself today in a subordinate position, it must also own part of the blame for it. Europe’s inability to define its own core interests so far weakened  its internal cohesion, while the lack of internal cohesion condemned it to subaltern role.

Thus, European strategic autonomy has become meaningless talk. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said last week that the most important realisation of the war is that “Europe has retired from the debate.” 

“In the decisions adopted in Brussels, I recognise American interests more frequently than European ones,” he added, also pointing out that today in a war that is taking place in Europe, “the Americans have the final word.”

Belling the cat 

Enter Rishi Sunak. In the prevailing complex situation, there is no one better than the UK Prime Minister Sunak to bell the cat, as it were. Britain has impeccable credentials as a trusted friend of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and Sunak inherits the legacy left behind by his discredited predecessors Boris Johnson and Lis Truss. 

More importantly, this erudite, youthful PM is raring to go. Sunak was never an ardent believer in Brexit — nor is he a mindless Russophobe. He has set his compass navigating Britain toward calmer waters, which requires making up with the EU that helps the UK’s economic recovery, and he hopes to lead the Conservatives in next year’s general election with a solid record in office. An overreach in Ukraine he cannot risk. Period. 

Thus, it is that Sunak floated the tantalising idea last month to put Ukraine on the NATO summit’s agenda in June in Madrid an offer to Zelensky to discuss a package of incentives that would give Kiev much broader access to advanced military equipment and convince the Ukrainian leader to pursue peace talks with Moscow realistically, given the deepening private doubts among politicians in London, Paris and Berlin about the trajectory of the war and the gut-wrenching belief that the West can only help sustain the war effort for so long. 

The French President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Scholz are on the same page as Sunak. The Biden Administration is in the loop but Zelensky is not a pushover and a NATO security pact may be needed, apart from bringing on board the fiery “New Europeans” of Eastern Europe and the Baltic. 

The good part is that the UK, France and Germany are in this together. Yet, the road ahead is long and winding. For Putin, the bottomline will be that no NATO membership for Ukraine and  the ground realities must be heeded. But, fundamentally, peace talks would vindicate the raison d’être of Russia’s special military operation, which aimed to force the West to negotiate regarding NATO expansion. 

AP reported that when the one-on-one meeting in Oval Office ended, Biden and Scholz walked across the hall to the Roosevelt Room, where the American and German officials had been mingling. Biden apparently joked that the two leaders had solved all the world’s problems by themselves. That gives a positive spin.

Chinese, Russian FMs meet on ties, Ukraine crisis

1 min read

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Thursday over bilateral ties and a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G20) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held here in New Delhi.

Under the strategic guidance of presidents of the two countries, the China-Russia relations have maintained sound and steady development, setting a new paradigm for a new type of major-country relationship, and playing an important role in promoting solidarity and cooperation among emerging markets and developing countries, Qin said.

The two sides should maintain exchanges at all levels and step up communication and coordination between their foreign ministries, he said.

In the face of the complex and grave international situation, China stands ready to work with Russia and other members of the international community to safeguard peace, security, development and prosperity, and join hands to build a community with a shared future for mankind, the Chinese foreign minister said.

For his part, Lavrov said he is willing to work with the Chinese side to implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state, intensify high-level exchanges and plan cooperation in various fields.

Noting that both Russia and China are members of the Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations, Lavrov said Russia is willing to strengthen strategic communication with China to inject more stability into the international system.

Russia supports and will actively participate in the Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative, and will continue to strengthen coordination and cooperation between the two sides within the frameworks of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the BRICS and other multilateral organizations, Lavrov said.

The two sides also exchanged views on the Ukraine crisis.

Qin expounded on China’s basic position, calling for joint efforts to uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, support a political solution to the crisis, oppose fanning the flames and disrupting the peace talks, and object to double standards, sanctions and pressure.

China supports all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis and will continue to play a constructive role in this regard, he said.

Lavrov appreciated China’s objective and impartial position and constructive role, saying that the Russian side is always open to negotiations and dialogue.

The two sides also signed a consultation plan for 2023 between the foreign ministries of the two countries.


The Global South Refuses Pressure to Side With the West on Russia

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At the G20 meeting in Bengaluru, India, the United States arrived with a simple brief. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said at the February 2023 summit that the G20 countries must condemn Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and they must adhere to U.S. sanctions against Russia. However, it became clear that India, the chair of the G20, was not willing to conform to the U.S. agenda. Indian officials said that the G20 is not a political meeting, but a meeting to discuss economic issues. They contested the use of the word “war” to describe the invasion, preferring to describe it as a “crisis” and a “challenge.” France and Germany have rejected this draft if it does not condemn Russia.

Just as in Indonesia during the previous year’s summit, the 2023 G20 leaders are once again ignoring the pressure from the West to isolate Russia, with the large developing countries (Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and South Africa) unwilling to budge from their practical view that isolation of Russia is endangering the world.

The next two G20 summits will be in Brazil (2024) and South Africa (2025), which would indicate to the West that the platform of the G20 will not be easily subordinated to the Western view of world affairs.

Most of the leaders of the G20 countries went to Bengaluru straight from Germany, where they had attended the Munich Security Conference. On the first day of the Munich conference, France’s President Emmanuel Macron said that he was “shocked by how much credibility we are losing in the Global South.” The “we” in Macron’s statement was the Western states, led by the United States.

What is the evidence for this loss of credibility? Few of the states in the Global South have been willing to participate in the isolation of Russia, including voting on Western resolutions in the United Nations General Assembly. Not all of the states that have refused to join the West are “anti-Western” in a political sense. Many of them—including the government in India—are driven by practical considerations, such as Russia’s discounted energy prices and the assets being sold at a lowered price by Western companies that are departing from Russia’s lucrative energy sector. Whether they are fed up with being pushed around by the West or they see economic opportunities in their relationship with Russia, increasingly, countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America have avoided the pressure coming from Washington to break ties with Russia. It is this refusal and avoidance that drove Macron to make his strong statement about being “shocked” by the loss of Western credibility.

At a panel discussion on February 18 at the Munich Security Conference, three leaders from Africa and Asia developed the argument about why they are unhappy with the war in Ukraine and the pressure campaign upon them to break ties with Russia. Brazil’s Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira—who later that day condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine—called upon the various parties to the conflict to “build the possibility of a solution. We cannot keep on talking only of war.”

Billions of dollars of arms have been sent by the Western states to Ukraine to prolong a war that needs to be ended before it escalates out of control. The West has blocked negotiations ever since the possibility of an interim deal between Russia and Ukraine arose in March 2022. The talk of an endless war by Western politicians and the arming of Ukraine have resulted in Russia’s February 21, 2023, withdrawal from the New START treaty, which—with the unilateral withdrawal of the U.S. from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002 and the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty in 2019—ends the nuclear weapons control regime.

Vieira’s comment about the need to “build the possibility of a solution” is one that is shared across the developing countries, who do not see the endless war as beneficial to the planet. As Colombia’s Vice President Francia Márquez said on the same panel, “We don’t want to go on discussing who will be the winner or the loser of a war. We are all losers, and, in the end, it is humankind that loses everything.”

The most powerful statement in Munich was made by Namibia’s Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila. “We are promoting a peaceful resolution of that conflict” in Ukraine, she said, “so that the entire world and all the resources of the world can be focused on improving the conditions of people around the world instead of being spent on acquiring weapons, killing people, and actually creating hostilities.” When asked why Namibia abstained at the United Nations on the vote regarding the war, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said, “Our focus is on resolving the problem… not on shifting blame.” The money used to buy weapons, she said, “could be better utilized to promote development in Ukraine, in Africa, in Asia, in other places, in Europe itself, where many people are experiencing hardships.” A Chinese plan for peace in Ukraine—built on the principles of the 1955 Bandung Conference—absorbs the points raised by these Global South leaders.

European leaders have been tone-deaf to the arguments being made by people such as Kuugongelwa-Amadhila. The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell had earlier shot himself in the foot with his ugly remarks in October 2022 that “Europe is a garden. The rest of the world is a jungle. And the jungle could invade the garden… Europeans have to be much more engaged with the rest of the world. Otherwise, the rest of the world will invade us.” In the February 2023 Munich Security Conference, Borrell—who is originally from Spain—said that he shared “this feeling” of Macron’s that the West had to “preserve or even to rebuild trustful cooperation with many of the so-called Global South.” The countries of the South, Borrell said, are “accusing us of [a] double standard” when it comes to combating imperialism, a position that “we must debunk.”

A series of reports published by leading Western financial houses repeat the anxiety of people such as Borrell. BlackRock notes that we are entering “a fragmented world with competing blocs,” while Credit Suisse points to the “deep and persistent fractures” that have opened up in the world order. Credit Suisse’s assessment of these “fractures” describes them accurately: “The global West (Western developed countries and allies) has drifted away from the global East (China, Russia, and allies) in terms of core strategic interests, while the Global South (Brazil, Russia, India, and China and most developing countries) is reorganizing to pursue its own interests.”

This reorganization is now manifesting itself in the refusal by the Global South to bend the knee to Washington.

Source: Globetrotter

 The Foreign Fighters on the Front Lines of the Russia-Ukraine War

5 mins read

On February 2, 2023, former U.S. Marine Peter Reed was killed in Ukraine while evacuating civilians in the front-line city of Bakhmut. Two days later on February 4, the bodies of two British volunteers, Christopher Perry and Andrew Bagshaw, were returned as part of a prisoner swap deal with Russian forces. Their deaths mark some of the latest Western casualties in Ukraine one year after Russian forces invaded the country in February 2022.

Foreign fighters have flocked to Ukraine since the initial round of Russian military intervention in 2014. But following the Russian invasion in February 2022, the number of fighters making their way to Ukraine has skyrocketed. After Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked foreigners to join the International Defense Legion of Ukraine at the beginning of the war on February 27, around 20,000 volunteers from more than 50 countries arrived in Kyiv over the next two weeks.

Many traveled to the country for ideological reasons. In contrast to the disillusionment many Western veterans felt after combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, the belief that they would be helping to “ease Ukrainian suffering” and would be defending democracy have been powerful motivators in bringing thousands of volunteers to Kyiv.

However, the vast majority of foreign arrivals returned home before the summer of 2022 for several reasons. Some lacked credible experience and were accused of being “war tourists” instead of being dedicated to Ukraine’s liberation. Western soldiers who volunteered also found themselves operating without strong air support and other key technological advantages enjoyed over militant groups in the Middle East.

Language barriers have often inhibited foreign fighters from not being able to communicate clearly with their Ukrainian counterparts. Allegations of criminality, both in their home countries as well as in Ukraine, have also been levied on some foreign volunteers.

Most estimates place between 1,000 and 3,000 foreign fighters currently supporting Ukrainian forces, largely serving in three battalions of the International Legion. Hundreds of more professional foreign volunteers are believed to be serving in smaller units separate from the International Legion.

These include groups dominated by citizens from across the former Soviet Union, such as the Georgian Legion, Chechen battalions, and Kalinoŭski Regiment, a group of Belarusian fighters. Western-dominated military units include groups like Alpha, Phalanx, and the Norman Brigade. However, even these units have faced controversy. The leadership of the Norman Brigade, a Canadian-led unit, for example, has been repeatedly criticized by former members.

Western private military and security companies (PMSCs) are also active in Ukraine. The Mozart Group, a U.S. PMSC, styled to counter the Russian PMSC Wagner Group (similarly named after a German composer), was active in the Ukrainian conflict in the early days. But as funding dried up and remarks by some of its members drew negative attention on social media, the Mozart Group fell apart. Its remaining leadership is currently attempting to reorganize itself and get back to the front line.

The involvement of U.S. volunteers in Ukraine has also raised questions over potential violations of the Neutrality Act, enacted in 1794 to prevent American citizens from getting involved in foreign wars. Yet while the U.S. State Department has recommended against U.S. citizens from traveling to Ukraine, Washington has done little to prevent thousands of its citizens from traveling there.

The U.S. is not alone in its mixed messaging over foreign fighters. The British government has stated it is illegal for British troops and ex-service personnel to travel to Ukraine to fight, but just days into the Russian invasion in February 2022, then-Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced her support for British individuals traveling to Ukraine to do so. Other Western governments have, meanwhile, declared they would discourage individual citizens from traveling to Ukraine but would not prosecute those who did so.

This has not prevented some legal action from being taken against those who are caught. In June 2022, a court in the Russian-controlled separatist region of Donetsk sentenced two British citizens and a Moroccan to death for fighting in the Ukrainian military. “Such treatment of prisoners of war constitutes a war crime, but the Russians claimed that they were mercenaries and, thus, the rules of war did not apply to them,” stated the Harvard International Review.

Wary of instigating a wider war between NATO and Russia, Western officials have refrained from putting official boots on the ground. Nonetheless, U.S. special operations forces have been active in Ukraine since before the war and continue to operate in the country, along with CIA personnel. Additionally, special forces from Britain, France, Canada, Lithuania, and other Western allies are also active in Ukraine.

Alongside the lack of clarity over the intelligence and special forces operations, it is difficult to confirm the exact number of Westerners in Ukraine, what type of roles they are serving, where exactly they are, and how many have died. Seemingly erroneous claims are also often made regarding their casualties. On January 25, 2023, a Turkish website, allegedly citing what is assumed to be data from Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad, stated that thousands of soldiers from NATO countries had been killed, including hundreds from the U.S. and the UK. This claim was quickly denied by NATO.

The Kremlin has, meanwhile, highlighted how Russia is not just fighting Ukraine, but NATO itself, and captured Western fighters are key to portraying this message to both the Russian public and international audiences. Moscow has sought to frame the conflict as a wider struggle against the West, which it believes will resonate with other populations around the world.

In March 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for foreign fighters to help liberate the Donbas, while according to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, 16,000 foreigners had indicated they were willing to fight alongside Russian forces in Ukraine, according to Newsweek.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the financier of Wagner Group, declared on his company’s Telegram channel in February 2023 that more than 10 million U.S. citizens had signed up with the group to fight for Russia. While Wagner has found most of its new recruits from Russian prisons, the Kremlin has had some luck in recruiting foreign fighters to Ukraine. Many Russian PMSCs have typically recruited from former Soviet states, and Central Asian fighters are suspected to be fighting on both sides of the conflict.

Many Serbians also resent the West’s historical role in their country’s affairs and small groups of Serbian nationals have been fighting alongside Russian forces in Ukraine since 2014. Serbian officials noted in January 2023 that they were monitoring reports of additional Serbians serving Russia in Ukraine. Montenegrin officials are also attempting to prevent their citizens, many of whom share pro-Serbian and pro-Russian sentiment, from going to Ukraine, with some having already done so since 2014 as well.

Iranian soldiers and personnel are in Ukraine helping Russians operate Iranian-made drones, and according to a Ukrainian official, 10 Iranians were killed during an attack on Russian positions in October 2022. Hundreds of Syrian fighters are also suspected to be in Ukraine, mirroring the dynamics of the Syrian civil war where Iranian, Syrian, and Russian troops have fought together since 2015.

The possibility of additional volunteers from other countries joining the war on both sides remains high. In August 2022, Russian state media began suggesting that up to 100,000 North Korean volunteers could end up supporting the Kremlin’s campaign in Ukraine. While that number is clearly optimistic, North Korean volunteers may come to exceed the handful of South Korean citizens known to have traveled to Ukraine to fight for Kyiv.

Additionally, small numbers of U.S. citizens have also gone to fight for Russia, alongside U.S.-trained Afghan commandos also now fighting for Russia in Ukraine. Though the Kremlin denies the reports, it is believed Afghan soldiers have been actively recruited by the Kremlin for months.

The Russia-Ukraine war is clearly more than a war between two countries. In addition to the material aid, both Russia and particularly Ukraine have received from their allies, thousands of foreign fighters from around the world have arrived to fight alongside them. As more volunteers continue to arrive, there is a greater risk of other countries becoming entangled in the conflict. Establishing safeguards to deal with foreign volunteer casualties and prisoners of war is crucial to preventing the conflict from escalating further.

This article was produced by Globetrotter.

Russia: What We Are Fighting For

6 mins read


On February 24, 2022 the Special Military Operation in Donbass and Ukraine was launched by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation in accordance with the Order of the Supreme Commander of the Russian Armed Forces President Vladimir Putin. The beginning of the Operation took place on the background of a serious crisis both in the system of international relations in Europe, and inside the Ukraine as a result of illegal coup d’état in 2014, organized directly by USA. That bloodshed was unleashed by Ukrainian nationalists, the main tool of the national traitors, charmed by the prospects to gain unlimited power, proposed by Americans.

The neo-Nazi regime was formed in Kiev, an ancient Russian city, in the waters of the Dnieper River near which the whole Russia was baptized in 10th century.This regime was formed – I’d like to stress that, – directly by Americans in collaboration with their European puppets. Orwell’s Order was established: good is bad, traitors are heroes, etc. The main idea was “we must do everything not like in Russia”. This idea is known also as a concept of “anti-Russia”. And the main problem is that the people that live there are Russians too, but they are made to forget about this totally, by rewriting history, destroying sacred monuments and institutions like canonic Church, burning books, – to cut a long story short, by full brainwashing.

The European countries showed their real faces too: they not only supported the illegal coup d’état and bloodshed. As occurred later, that was their first step in waging a full-scale war against Russia by using the people with the same origins and speaking mostly the same language. Nothing can be worse than a civil war, and they understand it. But, serving the diabolic ideas of uniting the Globe under the reign of the Americans, they often use this tool.

Today the battlefield is situated in Ukraine, but the battle is not for Ukraine only. It is for the principles of the future World order, in which our children will live and create a better existence. We are fighting for the freedom and life of Russia, targeted by the West.

Nevertheless, the Russian Side made numerous efforts to reduce tensions. We are the country that suffered the most from the World War II, and we don’t want war again. Our last and the most comprehensive effort was the proposal to give us security assurance. It means that the US-led NATO alliance should guarantee that Russia will not bethreatened by any means. But they refused to give us those guarantees. Why? – They grew up Nazis not to introduce them to Europe, but to fight with Russia. This situation is repeated by Europeans once-twice a century. They are dreaming to destroy our country, our way of life, to rob our natural resources, and to break the last obstacle to them to enslave everybody by their freaky demands, like blessing the same-sex marriages, kids gender changes and other abominations that are totally unacceptable for our culture and, we suppose, for the majority of the World.

After the Western refusal to guarantee our security there were no doubt that they have blessed the new iteration of war in Ukraine to exterminate the population that had a different view on the future of themselves and their children. Some days ago one senior – and not very young – American politician meant Ukraine told his voters that “democracy stands”. In his opinion, we suggest, democracy means the rule of Americans with suppression of dissent, with political murders, with high level of corruption and with no attention to the demands and temptations of people. Hypocrisy and double standards of the Western elite are so disgusting that never need to be described.

The impunity always causes serious problems, and the West has never been punished neither for their colonialism, nor for the numerous invasions around the world. This time they have aimed at invading Russia using their Ukrainian Nazi stooges, who were dreaming of massacres like their “heroes” Bandera and Shukhevich that served to the West too. They were dreaming of killing innocents, women and children not only in Donbass, but also in Crimea, Kuban, Rostov, Voronezh, Belgorod and Bryansk. The most inadequate of them even wanted to sprinkle Moscow Kremlin with blood. But the Western Media is very experienced in making an image of sheep for werewolves, and is still choking the World in its nets. That’s why there were a small number of humans in the world who really understood, why that was happening.

The United States and the West spent over 150 billion US dollars to keep the hotspot of conflict in Europe. Is this abigsum? You know the figures of your domestic economic problems and can easily compare it. But big business – big money. Do US need a strong Europe? No. They need it weak, dependent and controlled. They did their best to grow the “exalted” elite that does what the US want, that by their own hands destroy the European culture, history, industry and prestige. As during and after the World War II, as well as the whole US history, the wealth of America (and Britain) is being done on fighting and looting.

We are not fighting against the Ukrainian people. How one part of the body can struggle against another? We are fighting against the cancer cells in our common body, that are caused by cruel Western experiments. The cancer must be eliminated or it will kill its body.

These cancer cells in the body of our civilization are supported by the West in all spheres. The idea of the West is that this tumor would like to spread metastases to the whole body, while shouting that it is fully independent in all its actions and life. But it is not true. It is inspired by the experimentations, that are following the example of their Hitler’s predecessors. But unfortunately it sucks the juices from the very common body.

Curing this cancer, we have the following main aims: demilitarization, that means to stop the growth of the tumorto isolate it; and denazification that means to destroy the very opportunity to produce the cancer cells – false propaganda, that affects minds of the people and makes them be aggressive against others.

Saying it in the political language, the vision of demilitarization is legally proclaimed status of Ukraine as neutral state with no NATO forces, for example, missiles, and no accession of Ukraine to NATO. Denazification means to provide Russian language, spoken by 80% of the population, the status of the official language and cancelling all the discriminative laws against the ethnic minorities.

But the struggle in Ukraine is not only about the improvements of the state of the Russians who are living in that country. This crisis became possible because of the serious faults of the system of International Relations. That system was originated as a result of World War II and is based on the Rule of Law. Nevertheless, there was no decade in which this Law and Order had not been violated by the West. You can remember the war of Vietnam, for example. But after the collapse of the Soviet Union the Western powers felt that they will never be punished for ages! That’s why they really were going “off the chain”! In last 30 years they have invaded more than 30 countries and sponsored “regime changes” in several others. They unleashed a number of proxy wars, they created and pitted the gangs of international terrorists against several nations, including Russia. They were killing and injuring people “just for fun” in numerous “hidden” prisons, or even in the countries they occupied. They launched a big market of forced laborers, kidnapped children and young women forced to prostitution, they encouraged production and distribution of narcotics and established nets of illegal organ donations from the killed and injured soldiers and non-combatants in the areas of war. Their crimes can not be calculated.

All these crimes are still not investigated, and the criminals are not imprisoned. They are ruling corporations and even some states, but their future is ugly as well as their past. They are greedy and can not stop themselves. And those who are fascinated by the image of carefree life, created by Hollywood on the basis of that “masters of life” do not really understand what they are doing and how it can be resulted. We are fighting for the just world, for prosperity of all nations. They are fighting for their greed.

Today the battlefield is situated in Ukraine, but the battle is not for Ukraine only. It is for the principles of the future World order, in which our children will live and create a better existence. We are fighting for the freedom and life of Russia, targeted by the West now. West wants to destroy the very name of our state, people and culture. The want Russia not to exist. And our heroes are fighting now on the frontlines to exclude the implementation of the western plans, that became clearnow.

And we would like to address our beloved Ukrainian brothers, who, unfortunately,are now on the opposite side of the frontline. We are not fighting against you. YOU are used as a tool to destroy us. That is not a novel, remember how it was when during “ruina” you were set to fight each other by then Western mentors, Polacks? That was done to continue your exploitation by the Poland colonialists, to prevent your reunification with a rising Russia, to destroy finally your self-vision as Russian Orthodox Christians. Your leaders were intoxicated by Poland, byits bright image of “szlachta” (gentry). What have they given you finally? Western slavery and bloodshed. The hangover of your elite was very hard for the common people.

History always repeats. And this time the hangover, unfortunately, will be hard for you too.

The puppet regime in Kiev and its foreign sponsors will be defeated! Truth is on our side! The victory will be ours!

Views expressed are author’s own

The World Gone Wrong: The USA Proxy War Against Russia will Unleash Hell

5 mins read

The United States will provide Ukraine with a new $500 million infusion of aid to help the government in Kyiv continue paying salaries, pensions and providing services, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Thursday. Yellen detailed the assistance following her meeting Wednesday with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and Finance Minister Sergiy Marchenko, saying it was necessary to help their government continue to function…

‘The needs of Ukraine are urgent, and we plan to deploy this direct aid to Ukraine as soon as possible to be used on most urgent needs,’ Yellen said.

In March, 32 states will begin cutting food stamp benefits for more than 30 million Americans, leading toward what some are referring to as a “hunger cliff.” This will mean that poor households will lose about $82 a month in SNAP [also known as food stamps] benefits, even as food prices continue to soar from inflation. (The other 18 states had already ended their emergency food assistance programs.)…The number of infants in Mississippi being treated for congenital syphilis has jumped by more than 900% over the last five years. In 2021, the state was given a federal grant of $18.4 million to hire public health care workers. It spent only $3.6 million.Jeffrey St. Clair, Roaming Charges, Counterpunch


If you complain about the billions of dollars going to prop up Ukraine’s corrupt and dictatorial government (pay their pensions, for example) you are branded a “Putin Apologist” by both democrats (particularly) and republicans alike. What gives?

Many Americans are critical of Biden’s scheming on Ukraine because they never got to have a vote in this multibillion dollar transfer of wealth and machinery to one of the most corrupt nation’s in the world. If ever there were a case for a national referendum in the USA, it would have been over this issue. Biden came to the podium one day about a year ago and essentially said, “The USA is sanctioning everything Russian and propping up our newest puppet, Zelensky. If you don’t like it, lump it.”

Republicans hate the thought of the hungry (children, too) and homeless in America getting any sort of handout from the US federal government, but they support handouts to a half-baked racist country called Ukraine which is happily ripping off US taxpayers with the blessing of America’s most virulent Russia haters like Anthony Blinken and Victoria Nuland, who are akin to sharks during a feeding frenzy when discussing anything Russian.

Guess what? Roughly 24 percent of US enlisted personnel are “food insecure” and encouraged by the Pentagon to apply for SNAP benefits through the United States Department of Agriculture. “This summer [2022], DoD released a roadmap, Strengthening Food Security in the Force, which reveals that a shocking 24 percent of active duty service members experience some level of food insecurity, and it acknowledges the connections between hunger and mission readiness, troop retention and recruitment. It should be noted that this survey was done before the recent spike in inflation, so it is likely that this estimate is low.” American Enterprise Institute

That 24 percent figure doesn’t account for the million plus US veterans who depend on those SNAP “hand outs” to get by. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities reported that,“SNAP Helps 1.2 Million Low-Income Veterans, Including Thousands in Every State.”

Oh, and hose hungry active duty enlisted personnel are the ones who are going to go and fight the Russians in Europe, if Biden and Zelensky get their way.

And get this: We learn from the Watson Institute at Brown University the costs to care for veterans of post 9-11 wars are in the trillions. “Between 2001 and 2050, the total costs of caring for veterans of the post-9/11 wars are estimated to reach between $2.2 and $2.5 trillion. This includes the amount already paid in disability and related benefits and medical care, as well as the projected future cost of lifetime disability benefits and healthcare for those who have served in the military during these wars.”

How can we afford to give billions to Ukraine in the face of problems like these, not to mention antagonizing China in the Process?

War is coming for us all because of us all, it seems.

Lunatics in Charge of USA: Look Around!

I am wondering if “Corn Pop” Biden would have authorized an F-22 to shoot down Lawn Chair Larry.  One of Biden’s rationales for ordering shoot-downs was that the 2023 balloons were in airspace reserved for commercial aircraft (I wonder too what kind of medal those F-22 pilots were awarded). Anyway, according to Wikipedia, “ On July 2, 1982, Larry Walters made a 45-minute flight in a homemade aerostat made of an ordinary patio chair and 45 helium-filled weather balloons. The aircraft rose to an altitude of about 16,000 feet (4,900 m), drifted from the point of liftoff in San Pedro, California, and entered controlled airspace near Long Beach Airport. During the landing, the aircraft became entangled in power lines, but Walters was able to climb down safely.”

Zelensky is sure to appear at the Oscar Ceremony in March. Everyone will stand and applaud this man who is nothing but a wartime tyrant. How could he not be ruthless in this role? And his ruthlessness is on display in the manner in which he sacrifices his soldiers in battles they can’t possibly win, or in the elimination of all things Russian in Ukraine. He and his wife live the good life, sheltered and protected by his military only because he is the perfect pitchman. I can’t help but think of Jerry Lewis and his telethon each time I see Zelensky, tin cup in hand.

Don’t be surprised to see Zelensky throw out the ceremonial first pitch this coming American Major League Baseball season.


Others say that critics of Zelensky are little more than “Useful Idiots” of Putin. But to those critics Zelensky represents a waste of money, billions spent—or lost in the shadows— that could be used in the United States for SNAP, to improve rail safety, or even build a high speed rail that the US currently does not have, but China does. Better still, those billions could be used on healthcare improvements sorely needed in the USA.

Instead, we are once again aching for war. In fact, we’ve already got it by proxy. General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is fond of saying that the Russians have failed in Ukraine. Maybe so, but he has got losses in Iraq and Afghanistan on his record, nothing to be proud about. And yet Milley and all the other generals who punched tickets during those wars are not held accountable. They and the policymakers they obeyed brought no credit to their service, only a $2.5 trillion dollar VA bill.

This Ukraine war was never about that country’s independence, freedom, or the future of mankind. You can pull up all the maps you like showing NATO expansion and speeches from the West claiming that Russia wants a grand empire like the old Soviet Union. All these speeches are complete nonsense.

Putin was sucker punched by the USA/West. The American people took an uppercut from Biden who pretended to be a liberal and devote Catholic. He is neither.

US leaders don’t care about the people of Palestine, Ohio, who will ultimately be polluted to death by chemicals from a recent train derailment in an accident that may well have been mitigated if Biden had enforced regulations on brake safety, as St. Clair reported in Roaming Charges at Counterpunch.

They just don’t care.

The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience.” Albert Camus

Time to End the Ukraine War

3 mins read

Sun Tzu famously wrote “Victorious warriors win first, and then go to war.” The truth about the war in Ukraine is that the entire thing has been one horrible miscalculation, and I’m going to try to make the argument that what the West did here, particularly the US, UK, Ukraine, is what Sun Tzu says in the second half of this widely cited quote, “while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”

A politico headline from this morning, February 15th, 2023, nearly a year after Russia’s incursion into Ukrainian territory, read: “U.S. focuses on training Ukrainian troops to use less ammo. Western nations are growing concerned over their ability to quickly replenish stocks.” A Washington Post article titled “Ukraine live briefing: NATO meetings focus on weapons production; U.S. general says Russia ‘lost’ also from Feb15 2023 said: “Britain is “delivering for Ukraine the effects they need on the battlefield,” rather than fighter jets, which require months of training…Ukraine’s backers can help faster by providing weapons such as antiaircraft missiles. Kyiv is renewing calls for aircraft…” So there’s what Kiev wants and there’s what Kiev needs, and it’s not up to Kiev to decide what they need, we get to make that determination on Ukraine’s behalf. This while Ukraine is already at a massive firepower disadvantage, with Russian artillery surpassing Ukraine’s at ratios of 10:1 in some parts of the front.

The quote about delivering what Ukraine needs was from Ben Wallace, the British Defense Secretary, and it isn’t the case that he is more aware than the actual AFU of what the AFU’s needs are, this is the British Defense Secretary saying “Ukraine’s going to get whatever we can manage to sling their way.” Late last year the head of Ukraine’s armed forces General Zaluzhniy, was quoted as saying “I need 300 tanks, 600–700 infantry fighting vehicles, 500 howitzers” and then he could be “confident” that he could “defeat the Russian enemy.” So what Ukraine needs is fighter jets, hundreds of tanks, hundreds more artillery pieces, this while we’re training Ukrainian soldiers in Germany, Poland, the UK, even the US. And not just training fresh Ukrainian cannon fodder, we’re also repairing damaged equipment, essentially providing an untouchable rear support network that the Russians won’t hit.

But it isn’t enough, we have put our back into it, and it isn’t enough. We even fought dirty, snatching half of Russia’s foreign currency reserves, blocking access to Russian news and propaganda outlets, uncritically reporting outrageous Ukrainian claims like the Snake Island story, even helping to fabricate outright false flags, like in the case of the now infamous fake Bucha massacre (Associated Press has lost a lot of credibility for their extremely uncritical and journalistically unethical Bucha reporting, then refusing to correct themselves and to apologize for the blatant misreporting once it became clear that the majority of the bodies had flechette and not bullet wounds). It should be okay to say “Yeah Ukraine lied about that one “ but the MSM can’t seem to afford even that. To just waste your journalistic credibility like that, it shows that there can only be one narrative, the one where Putin is a war criminal and the Russians launched an “unprovoked” (ha) invasion into innocent and freedom loving Ukraine.

They say that in war the truth is the first casualty. Both sides lie during war, deception is part of warfare, the war hasn’t gone smoothly for the Kremlin either. Both sides have reason to try to exaggerate how successful their efforts are, and exaggerate the enemy’s losses while misrepresenting their own, it’s war, and everybody’s lying. That being said, the REAL war in Ukraine is going horribly sideways for Ukraine, and by extension, Ukraine’s backers. It’s not that the Russian bear hasn’t had to howl in serious pain a few times, it’s that he’s prepared to do it again and again and again until he wins. There have been some very embarrassing moments for the Russians in this war, but the Russian leadership structure was prepared and willing to actually climb out of the hibernation cave and have a real fight, with real stakes on the line. We had a plan too, it was the sanctions blitzkrieg followed by the overwhelming media offensive, an attempt to cause civil unrest within the Russian Federation, but when the Ruble didn’t “turn to Rubble” as Biden predicted, and Russian populace backed Putin and his SMO, “plan A” definitely failed hard. And from that point on, we’ve been at war first, and engaged in the endeavor to win it after the fact. It was at this point that it should have been clear that the entire thing was going to go belly-up, but instead we’re trying to play this game where we send Ukraine not 300 tanks, but 30, while telling them to waste less ammunition because their entire rear support network literally can’t produce them in sufficient quantity at this time.

What in the hell are we doing? Cut it now, cut the war, it’s going poorly. We can blame the Ukrainian Nazi’s, those graphic war crimes they perpetrated in mass against the Russian and separatist armed forces that energized the Russian citizenry to back Putin instead of peace with their Ukrainian brothers. We can blame Zelensky, we can blame Biden, we can even lay the blame for this debacle at the feet of Nuland, Blinken, Sullivan and the late McCain. Whatever it is, we’ll need to do the scapegoat and pillory thing eventually, let’s do it before we completely wreck what’s left of the world order.

Source: Medium

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