Yet another huge diplomatic victory for Russia

 

 THE SAKER

Unless you read Russian or monitor the free blogosphere, you might not have noticed this, but something big just happened in Russia: Kerry, Nuland and a large State Department delegation have traveled to Sochi were they met with Foreign Minister Lavrov and then with President Putin.  With the latter they spent over 4 hours.  Not only that, but Kerry made a few rather interesting remarks, saying that the Minsk-2 Agreement (M2A) was the only way forward and that he would strongly caution Poroshenko against the idea of renewing military operations.

Kerry Putin

Welcome back to reality John!

 

To say that this is a stunning development would be an understatement.

For one thing, this means that the so-called “isolation of Russia” is now officially over, even for the “Indispensable Empire”.

Second, this is, as far as I know, the first official US endorsement of M2A.  This is rather humiliating for the US considering that M2A was negotiated without the Americans.

Third, for the very first time the US has actually warned the Ukronazi junta against a military attack.  This, at a time when the Ukronazis are in a state of bellicose frenzy and Poroshenko just promised to re-conqueor not only the Donetsk Airport, but all of the Donbass and even Crimea, show that for the very first time the US and Kiev are not on the same page.

Not on CNN

Fourth, the USA has, for the first time, declared that if M2A was implemented, EU and US sanctions would be lifted.  Interestingly, the Russians were not even interested in discussing the topic of sanctions.

So what does that all mean?

At this point, nothing much.

Americans are terrible negotiators and in every single US-Russian negotiation over the conflict in the Ukraine the Russians completely out-negotiated their American “geostrategic partners” (the quasi-official ironic Russian term describing the West) every time.  What typically happens, is that Kerry caves in, then comes back to Washington and changes his tune by 180 degree.  The Russians know that and the Russian media stressed that in its analyses.

Still, the USA can zig and then zag as many times as they want, reality does not zag.  If anything, the recent presence of Chinese and Indian troops on the Red Square showed that the notion of “isolating Russia” is a non-starter whether Kerry & Co. accept it or not.

Then, there was the rather interesting behavior of Nuland, who was with Kerry’s delegation, she refused to speak to the press and left looking rather unhappy.

Not on the BBC

Finally, a quick check of the Imperial Mouthpieces reveals that the Imperial Propaganda Department does not really know what to make of it all.

So what is going on, really?

Honestly, this one is too early to call and, as I said, the chances for yet another US “zag” are very high.

Still, what *might* be happening is that the Americans have finally (!) figured out a few basic facts:

  1. Russia will not back down
  2. Russia is ready for war
  3. The Nazi-occupied Ukraine is collapsing
  4. Most of the world supports Russia
  5. The entire US policy towards Russia has failed

All of the above is rather obvious to any halfway competent observer, but for an Administration completely intoxicated with imperial hubris, crass ignorance and denial these are very, very painful realities to catch up with.  However, denying them might, at the end of the day, get the USA nuked.  As the expression goes, if you head is in the sand, your ass is in the air.

Thus it is possible that what just happens is the first sign of a US sobering up and that what Kerry came to explore with Lavrov and Putin is some kind of face saving exit option.  If that is so, then this is terminal news for Poroshenko as this means that the US has basically thrown in the towel in utter disgust with the freaks in power in Kiev.

Furthermore, this might be a sign that US military analysts have taken a very negative view of the Ukronazi changes of success in their planned “Reconquista” of the Donbass.  By going to Russia and officially endorsing M2A Kerry might be sending a message to Poroshenko: forget it, it ain’t happening!

Still, I would strongly caution against any premature optimism.  I consider a US “zag” a quasi-certitude.  My hope is that the “zag” will be limited in magnitude and that when it happens, it will be more about face-saving exit for Obama than about a denial of reality.

What is certain though, is that Russia has won yet another battle is this long war and that all the signs are pointing at the inevitable defeat of the Empire.

The Saker

USA raises the question about artistic freedom of expression in UN

Harper590

“The United States would like to discuss the rights of freedom of opinion and expression, ‎particularly focusing on artistic expression and creativity,” said the American Ambassador Keith Harper in a statement at the 28th Session of the UN Human Rights Council. He continued:

“Artistic expression and creativity as a form of freedom of expression is fundamental to the development of vibrant cultures and the functioning of democratic societies. Artistic expression has given us some of the great social commentary on humanity and the human condition.”

We are a richer human race for having the genius of Shakespeare, Shostakovich, Rumi, Octavio Paz, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Frida Kahlo, Chinua Achebe, and Nadine Gordimer – just to name a few. Today, contemporary artists like Ai Weiwei and Salif Keita are inspiring and challenging us.

The right to freedom of expression, including artistic and creative expression, is enshrined under article 19 of the ICCPR. States Parties to the ICESCR recognize the right, under Article 15, to benefit from the protection of interests resulting from one’s artistic production. Artistic expression is critical to the human spirit.

At HRC-23, we welcomed the report by the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, which addressed the right to freedom of expression and creativity.

Artistic expressions and creations have come under particular attack because they convey specific messages and articulate symbolic values in a powerful way. A satirist provoking laughter and derision is as powerful as a writer urging change.

It is little wonder that dictators seek to silence art.

Freedom of opinion and expression is enshrined in the UDHR and the ICCPR, and the United States defends this right vigorously wherever it is threatened. Likewise, the United States takes seriously any threats to the right to freedom of expression, including artistic and creative expression, and we look forward to engaging on this issue further.”

The statement of American ambassador Keith Harper about artistic expression and creativity as a form of freedom of expression, seems to be directed to the nation his country considers an “enemy”: Russia, as well as all the promotion to bring a punk duo  of anti-Putin lousy performers to the spotlight.

Pussy Rioters would be arrested in any civilized place if they do what they habitually do in Putin’s face.

Wikipedia entry for Pussy Riot reads:
“They stage unauthorized provocative guerrilla performances in unusual public locations, which are edited into music videos and posted on the Internet. Their lyrical themes include feminism, LGBT rights, opposition to the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom they regard as a dictator, and links between Putin and the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Unauthorized, provocative guerrilla performances in unusual public locations, huh? That surely is a democratic way to express opposition to “dictator” Putin. I suppose that if Pussy Riot did unauthorized guerrilla performances in unusual public places like an airport, they would meet worse fate States side.

A bunch of mal-eleve’s that managed to get the New YorkTimes to give them a forum for venting their angst for President Vladimir Putin.

The Pussy Riot may be a legitimate protest. Still the amount of publicity it receives in the press is exaggerated [now we understand why]. Is it just gloating about Russia’s and Putin’s problems? One wonders….

Now it is Putin’s fault that the games are safe from the terrorists who made it known to everyone that it is their plan to disrupt the Olympic games by killing the athletes and visitors? Initially there were multiple complains that the games are not secured enough. Now, they are too secured??? I guess for some people who only want to see Russia in the negative light, there is no way to please them. Also, remember what the president of the IOC said during the opening ceremony. Don’t play politics on the backs of the athletes who came here to compete. It is their time to be in the spotlight.

A few voices here aired skepticism regarding the authenticity of the violence apparently directed against these women by a video. But the video attributed to the AP and posted on YouTube doesn’t look staged to this skeptic.

Again,  the Times didn’t do some fact-checking on this incident and reported back to us so we can know whether President Putin is indeed sending out thugs to beat up angry women with an attitude?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uEmwtJWldQ

 

If there is a ban, live with it. There are bans on what people can do in and around the White House or the Capitol building. If you want to make a political speech about LGBT issues, do it where such expressions are welcome and tolerated.

If you need to protest, if your argument is valid and strong, you would not need to piggy back on the Olympics or any other venue. And please, if you want to be taken seriously, do not produce an obvious video lie. Horsewhips? Really? How gullible does the media think we are?

It is amusing that Pussy Riot received so much attention in the past. At present time who remembers them?  Their magazine is totally ignored.

Every society has its malcontents. But they can’t be allowed to disrupt the rights of millions to enjoy the games. Olympics are all about sports. It is fair to athletes who prepare hard to perform their best and enjoy a moment of glory and satisfaction that hard work has paid off. Pussy Riot has no right to disturb the games, nullify all the hard work and rob them of chance to show their skills and athleticism.

The games are for two weeks in 4 years. There will be 206 weeks for politics.

If you have only singled out Sochi, then you protest in vain. Did you watch the Beijing Olympics? The government cleared the city of homeless migrant workers, who worked for their daily rice bowl slaving 24/7. Did you watch the Salt Lake City Games? The local chairman at the time primed his pockets to lead a future presidential campaign, with “binders full of women.”

No Olympics in the last decades, given the cost to bid and then build the arenas, is a fair business deal. Much of it is based on baksheesh and creates graft, like in most nations of the world. And yet, I can’t help but support the athletes. So I watch.

You have a right to an opinion, to criticized and explain your agenda. But you  staged the Cossack Whipping Scene as part of the music video you were making, which came out immediately with whip-clips intercut. It was very, very unconvincing, and all you really demonstrated was the enormous gullibility of the Western media.

Interesting. I just watched it, and the Cossacks paid no attention to the cameras, which seems odd.

Enough with the rambling rants of wannabe revolutionaries and Baby Boomers hungry to show their counterculture credentials, lousy performers who can’t sing  disrespecting an Orthodox Church, and others intent on despoiling the games with in your face servings of their political views on an unwilling Russian public. The Olympic Games are the opportunity for the world’s athletes to strut their stuff in an atmosphere of sportsmanship; it should not be used as a political platform. So you don’t like President Vladimir Putin but he is trying to showcase Russia like any head of state hosting the games. Not many people outside of Germany liked Hitler but athletes showed up at Munich in 1936 and debunked the myth of Teutonic racial superiority by successfully competing at the games. This is how you bring foster pride for your country.

The pair flew into Berlin Monday after visiting New York to promote their “new prison rights foundation”, where they played a gig with Madonna(!). Appearing at a short press conference in Berlin, they said they have received “several offers” for “film projects” that were never confirmed.  The duo couldn’t contain their happiness for the supposedly offers of a Hollywood movie that never materialized.  Tolonnikova  stated that the movie would be something like “Star Wars.”  Brainy huh?

They also announced they had no plans to run for president themselves(!), but said they might seek elected office in Moscow, where they live. The two said they would consider working with Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once Russia’s wealthiest man, released a few days before they were after serving most of his 10-year sentence for theft and fraud. From lousy performers with Hollywood dreams to politicians…

The duo said their collective Pussy Riot is not a band, that they don’t know how to sing, but they can scream which is what is needed to deliver their message to Putin and his supporters. In a red carpet?

These bogus activists need to be taken to the Guantanamo prison and introduced to the many prisoners who are kept in solitude, without a trial date, and forced to wear masks so they can’t see what’s around them.

These pseudo intellectuals took part in an event to read a list of academic quotes to make believe they can save the world from President Putin. They have deceived many people into thinking Pussy Riot is “changing the people,” and want to run for office in Moscow.

Any person, who, at being 8 months pregnant, performs a multiple partner full intercourse orgy in public needs to see a psychiatrist immediately before she rejoins society. Needless to say your “artistic expression”, the Vaginal Liberation of Food.  The only thing Pussy Riot is exposing is themselves advertising a delusional agenda that “sideshow” Western musicians and actors to glom onto the spotlight

Prof Mark Levine at UC Irvine, hit the nail on the head in his essay about Pussy Riot.  “There are hundreds of artists who perform under threat to their freedom and lives, who also deserve our solidarity.” Levine correctly points out “Western artists can and should support their Russian comrades. But the support received by Pussy Riot is sadly an aberration.”


 

» Mission of the United States in Geneva, Switzerland – 13 March 2015:
Freedom of Expression, Including Artistic Expression, is a Right Enshrined in ICCPR
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America at the 28th Session of the UN Human Rights Council as delivered by Ambassador Keith Harper.

 

The War in Ukraine: Editorial in The New York Times Suggests US Is Looking for a Face-Saving Way Out

The New York Times recommends a diplomatic settlement of the Ukrainian conflict based on the Russian proposal of a year ago for Ukraine’s federalisation.

In-depth Report:

putin-nato-russia-ukraine_si-400x224The editorial in the New York Times we attach below is the first belated acknowledgement that the only way of saving Ukraine and ending the war is by conceding federalisation to Ukraine’s eastern regions.

We do not know for sure  whether this editorial reflects official US thinking. However, the probability is that it does.

Firstly, it is not unheard of for the US government to float ideas in this way through editorials in the New York Times. The New York Times is regularly chosen to do this because of its reputation and because it is widely read abroad.  The British government used to use the Times of London in the same way.

We have previously reported the concerns of some officials within the US government at the way in which the Ukrainian crisis is leading US relations with Russia into an impasse.

It is at least possible that with the war going disastrously wrong for Kiev and with the US administration looking increasingly short of options, the US administration is now trying to find a face-saving way out by finally embracing the federalisation solution that the Russians proposed last spring.  If so then this editorial, which will surely be read in Moscow, is intended as as an olive-branch.

The following words give the clear impression that a concrete offer has been made to Moscow through diplomatic back-channels. The carefully chosen words clearly convey the sense that the authority of the US government lies behind them:

“Russian officials have suggested that Moscow has no interest in annexing eastern Ukraine, the way it grabbed Crimea, but rather seeks a Ukrainian federation in which the pro-Russian provinces would have relative autonomy, along with assurances that Ukraine will not move to join NATO.

There is definitely potential for negotiations there……..

Tempting as it is to focus on punishing Mr. Putin, the greater objective must be to end the fighting so that Ukraine can finally undertake the arduous task of reforming and reviving its economy. Toward that end, the West must make clear to Mr. Putin that if a federation is his goal, the United States and its allies will actively use their good offices with Kiev to seek a workable arrangement.”

Poroshenko has just issued another statement ruling out federalisation.  This also suggests we are looking at an actual behind-the-scenes offer.  We have already explained why for Maidan talk of federalisation is anathema.  Poroshenko’s words suggest he knows of the US initiative and is trying to scotch it and to make his opposition to the idea clear before Secretary Kerry flies to Kiev as he is due shortly to do.

Moscow and the rebels are however unlikely to take up the offer.

The Russians pushed strongly for federalisation of Ukraine’s eastern regions following the February coup.  On 17th April 2014 a Statement was agreed by the US and Russian foreign ministers, John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov, in Geneva, and was signed by the EU and the Ukrainian government, that called for constitutional negotiations between the various Ukrainian parties. These were obviously intended to lead to a constitutional settlement that would have led to federalisation. Many people in the Donbass at the time of the independence referendum of 11th May 2014 appeared to support the idea.

What was offered (and declined) in Spring 2014 may however no longer be on the table in Winter 2015.

Since the federalisation idea was floated last Spring there has been a murderous war in the Donbass causing massive devastation and loss of life. Russia has been subjected to two rounds of sectoral sanctions. There has been a relentless propaganda campaign against Russia, the rebels and Putin himself. It is difficult to believe that all of this has not caused views to harden since the spring.

Promises of constitutional negotiations like the ones made in Geneva on 17th April 2014 and in Minsk on 5th September 2014 have come and gone. No negotiations have however taken place. Given that Kiev is dead against them, after all that has happened it is very doubrtful the rebels or the Russians now believe they ever will. Nor are the Russians likely to be in any sort of mood to believe in US assurances that “if federation is the goal, the United States and its allies will actively use their good offices with Kiev to seek a workable arrangement”.

What made sense in the Spring, when it was proposed to prevent a war, may anyway no longer make sense in the Winter, after the war has already happened. After so much violence it is barely conceivable that the rebels or the people of the Donbass who support them would now agree to be part of a federation that left them within Ukraine, especially now when they are on the brink of victory.

If this is correct, then it looks like the US and its allies have missed the bus.


The text of the editorial that appeared in The New York Times on February 2nd, 2015:

The fighting in eastern Ukraine has flared up again, putting an end to any myth about the cease-fire that was supposed to be in force since September.

Though the Russian economy is staggering under the twinned onslaught of low oil prices and sanctions — or, conceivably, as a result of that onslaught — President Vladimir Putin has sharply cranked up his direct support for the rebels in the provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk, while continuing to baldly deny it and to blame all the violence on the United States.

Meanwhile, Ukraine is broke, and without the military means to move against the Russian-backed rebels. Most of the victims are civilians who struggle with hunger and dislocation in the rubble of the combat zones and die in the constant exchanges of shells and rockets.

The eruption of fighting in recent weeks, which was not supposed to happen until spring, has given new force to pleas to the Obama administration to give Ukraine the means to resist Mr. Putin — in money and in arms.

Certainly the United States and Europe should increase their aid to Ukraine and explore ways to expand existing sanctions against Russia. NATO’s commander, Gen. Philip Breedlove, is said to support providing weapons and equipment to Kiev. And Secretary of State John Kerry is said to be open to discussing the idea. But lethal assistance could open a dangerous new chapter in the struggle — a chapter Mr. Putin would quite possibly welcome, as it would “confirm” his propaganda claims of Western aggression.

So far, President Obama has cautiously pledged to help Ukraine in every way “short of military confrontation.” Yet with sanctions and diplomacy making no headway against Russian aggression, it is imperative that the United States and its allies take a new look at what would bring Russia to a serious negotiation.

The first question is, to negotiate what? Along with denying the direct involvement of his troops in eastern Ukraine, Mr. Putin has not made clear what he is trying to achieve. Russian officials have suggested that Moscow has no interest in annexing eastern Ukraine, the way it grabbed Crimea, but rather seeks a Ukrainian federation in which the pro-Russian provinces would have relative autonomy, along with assurances that Ukraine will not move to join NATO.

There is definitely potential for negotiations there. Yet the latest rebel attacks have focused on Mariupol, an important port on the Black Sea, and on expanding the rebels’ control to areas that would give their self-proclaimed “republics” greater military and economic cohesion. And that speaks to long-term rebel occupation.

Tempting as it is to focus on punishing Mr. Putin, the greater objective must be to end the fighting so that Ukraine can finally undertake the arduous task of reforming and reviving its economy. Toward that end, the West must make clear to Mr. Putin that if a federation is his goal, the United States and its allies will actively use their good offices with Kiev to seek a workable arrangement.

But if the evidence continues to accumulate that Mr. Putin and the rebels are carving out a permanent rebel-held enclave in eastern Ukraine, à la Transdniestria, Abkhazia or South Ossetia, he must know that the United States and Europe will be compelled to increase the cost.

Russia, China mock divide and rule

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BLOOD & OIL

By Pepe Escobar

 

ROME and BEIJING — The Roman Empire did it. The British Empire copied it in style. The Empire of Chaos has always done it. They all do it. Divide et impera. Divide and rule — or divide and conquer. It’s nasty, brutish and effective. Not forever though, like diamonds, because empires do crumble.

A room with a view to the Pantheon may be a celebration of Venus — but also a glimpse on the works of Mars. I had been in Rome essentially for a symposium — Global WARning — organized by a very committed, talented group led by a former member of European Parliament, Giulietto Chiesa. Three days later, as the run on the rouble was unleashed, Chiesa was arrested and expelled from Estonia as persona non grata, yet another graphic illustration of the anti-Russia hysteria gripping the Baltic nations and the Orwellian grip NATO has on Europe’s weak links.[1] Dissent is simply not allowed.

At the symposium, held in a divinely frescoed former 15th century Dominican refectory now part of the Italian parliament’s library, Sergey Glazyev, on the phone from Moscow, gave a stark reading of Cold War 2.0. There’s no real “government” in Kiev; the US ambassador is in charge. An anti-Russia doctrine has been hatched in Washington to foment war in Europe — and European politicians are its collaborators. Washington wants a war in Europe because it is losing the competition with China.

Glazyev addressed the sanctions dementia: Russia is trying simultaneously to reorganize the politics of the International Monetary Fund, fight capital flight and minimize the effect of banks closing credit lines for many businessmen. Yet the end result of sanctions, he says, is that Europe will be the ultimate losers economically; bureaucracy in Europe has lost economic focus as American geopoliticians have taken over.

Only three days before the run on the rouble, I asked Rosneft’s Mikhail Leontyev (Press-Secretary — Director of the Information and Advertisement Department) about the growing rumors of the Russian government getting ready to apply currency controls. At the time, no one knew an attack on the rouble would be so swift, and conceived as a checkmate to destroy the Russian economy. After sublime espressos at the Tazza d’Oro, right by the Pantheon, Leontyev told me that currency controls were indeed a possibility. But not yet.

What he did emphasize was this was outright financial war, helped by a fifth column in the Russian establishment. The only equal component in this asymmetrical war was nuclear forces. And yet Russia would not surrender. Leontyev characterized Europe not as an historical subject but as an object: “The European project is an American project.” And “democracy” had become fiction.

The run on the rouble came and went like a devastating economic hurricane. Yet you don’t threat a checkmate against a skilled chess player unless your firepower is stronger than Jupiter’s lightning bolt. Moscow survived. Gazprom heeded the request of President Vladimir Putin and will sell its US dollar reserves on the domestic market. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier went on the record against the EU further “turning the screw” as in more counter-productive sanctions against Moscow. And at his annual press conference, Putin emphasized how Russia would weather the storm. Yet I was especially intrigued by what he did not say.[2]

As Mars took over, in a frenetic acceleration of history, I retreated to my Pantheon room trying to channel Seneca; from euthymia — interior serenity – to that state of imperturbability the Stoics defined as aponia. Still, it’s hard to cultivate euthymia when Cold War 2.0 rages.

Show me your imperturbable missile

Russia could always deploy an economic “nuclear” option, declaring a moratorium on its foreign debt. Then, if Western banks seized Russian assets, Moscow could seize every Western investment in Russia. In any event, the Pentagon and NATO’s aim of a shooting war in the European theater would not happen; unless Washington was foolish enough to start it.

Still, that remains a serious possibility, with the Empire of Chaos accusing Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) even as it prepares to force Europe in 2015 to accept the deployment of US nuclear cruise missiles.

Russia could outmaneuver Western financial markets by cutting them off from its wealth of oil and natural gas. The markets would inevitably collapse — uncontrolled chaos for the Empire of Chaos (or “controlled chaos,” in Putin’s own words). Imagine the crumbling of the quadrillion-plus of derivatives. It would take years for the “West” to replace Russian oil and natural gas, but the EU’s economy would be instantly devastated.

Just this lightning-bolt Western attack on the rouble — and oil prices — using the crushing power of Wall Street firms had already shaken European banks exposed to Russia to the core; their credit default swaps soared. Imagine those banks collapsing in a Lehman Brothers-style house of cards if Russia decided to default — thus unleashing a chain reaction. Think about a non-nuclear MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) — in fact warless. Still, Russia is self-sufficient in all kinds of energy, mineral wealth and agriculture. Europe isn’t. This could become the lethal result of war by sanctions.

Essentially, the Empire of Chaos is bluffing, using Europe as pawns. The Empire of Chaos is as lousy at chess as it is at history. What it excels in is in upping the ante to force Russia to back down. Russia won’t back down.

Darkness dawns at the break of chaos

Paraphrasing Bob Dylan in When I Paint My Masterpiece, I left Rome and landed in Beijing. Today’s Marco Polos travel Air China; in 10 years, they will be zooming up in reverse, taking high-speed rail from Shanghai to Berlin.[3]

From a room in imperial Rome to a room in a peaceful hutong — a lateral reminiscence of imperial China. In Rome, the barbarians swarm inside the gates, softly pillaging the crumbs of such a rich heritage, and that includes the local Mafia. In Beijing, the barbarians are kept under strict surveillance; of course there’s a Panopticon element to it, essential to assure internal social peace. The leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) — ever since the earth-shattering reforms by the Little Helmsman Deng Xiaoping — is perfectly conscious that its Mandate of Heaven is directly conditioned by the perfect fine-tuning of nationalism and what we could term “neoliberalism with Chinese characteristics.”

In a different vein of the “soft beds of the East” seducing Marcus Aurelius, the silky splendors of chic Beijing offer a glimpse of an extremely self-assured emerging power. After all, Europe is nothing but a catalogue of multiple sclerosis and Japan is under its sixth recession in 20 years.

To top it off, in 2014 President Xi Jinping has deployed unprecedented diplomatic/geostrategic frenzy — ultimately tied to the long-term project of slowly but surely keeping on erasing US supremacy in Asia and rearranging the global chessboard. What Xi said in Shanghai in May encapsulates the project; “It’s time for Asians to manage the affairs of Asia.” At the APEC meeting in November, he doubled down, promoting an “Asia-Pacific dream.”

Meanwhile, frenzy is the norm. Apart from the two monster, US$725 billion gas deals — Power of Siberia and Altai pipeline — and a recent New Silk Road-related offensive in Eastern Europe,[4] virtually no one in the West remembers that in September Chinese Prime Minister Li Keiqiang signed no fewer than 38 trade deals with the Russians, including a swap deal and a fiscal deal, which imply total economic interplay.

A case can be made that the geopolitical shift towards Russia-China integration is arguably the greatest strategic maneuver of the last 100 years. Xi’s ultimate master plan is unambiguous: a Russia-China-Germany trade/commerce alliance. German business/industry wants it badly, although German politicians still haven’t got the message. Xi — and Putin — are building a new economic reality on the Eurasian ground, crammed with crucial political, economic and strategic ramifications.

Of course, this will be an extremely rocky road. It has not leaked to Western corporate media yet, but independent-minded academics in Europe (yes, they do exist, almost like a secret society) are increasingly alarmed there is no alternative model to the chaotic, entropic hardcore neoliberalism/casino capitalism racket promoted by the Masters of the Universe.

Even if Eurasian integration prevails in the long run, and Wall Street becomes a sort of local stock exchange, the Chinese and the emerging multipolar world still seem to be locked into the existing neoliberal model.

And yet, as much as Lao Tzu, already an octogenarian, gave the young Confucius an intellectual slap on the face, the “West” could do with a wake-up call. Divide et impera? It’s not working. And it’s bound to fail miserably.

As it stands, what we do know is that 2015 will be a hair-raising year in myriad aspects. Because from Europe to Asia, from the ruins of the Roman empire to the re-emerging Middle Kingdom, we all still remain under the sign of a fearful, dangerous, rampantly irrational Empire of Chaos.

Donbas: The Slow Method of Genocide [edited]

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“The EU will continue to be on the side of Ukraine and will work hard to ensure that the conflict in Donbas ends,” EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini said.

A.A.

Let’s forget about Germany’s politicians. They are focused on Vladimir Putin taking on “a powerless West”.

However, it is known that Svoboda was being financed by groups close to Chancellor Merkel.

“Germany shuns the right-wing extremist party NPD at home. But even though the Ukrainian nationalist party Svoboda maintains tight links to the NPD, it has received indirect support from Berlin.”

ReadTight on the Right: Germany’s NPD Maintains Close Ties to Svoboda” – By Spiegel Online

President Vladimir Putin approached the crisis in Georgia coolly and efficiently, prompting admiration even from some American observers.   He did the same in Crimea. Can he do it again this time in Southeast Ukraine?

President Putin criticized Western media for its one-sided coverage of the Ukraine conflict in an interview with the German ARD channel at the G20 summit:

“The most important thing is that one shouldn’t look at the problem from one side only,” Putin stressed. “Today, there’s military action underway in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian government is using the army. They even used missiles. But do you mention this? You don’t say a single word about it. It means that you want the Ukrainian government to destroy everything there, all the political enemies and opponents. Is that what you want? We do not want that. And we won’t allow that to happen.”

Without Putin, who the West refers to as “the protagonist of a controlled democracy and petro-state”, many things cease to function. Indeed, he has great potential to do damage. Until recently, he tried to reach an agreement with Kiev and Washington through diplomacy. It didn’t work. Vlad Putin is now showing that no one puts the  Russian bear ‘on a chain’.

The West is powerless in the face of what the U.S. and the EU call “Russia’s imperialism.” The West has presumably misjudged Russia under Putin until now. Even former superpowers suffer from phantom pain, but revanchism, imperialism? In truth, the signs were difficult to overlook. Putin has been getting his payback for indignities suffered at the hands of the West for some time now: in America’s conflict with Iran, for which Russia allegedly provided a nuclear power plant, in the conflict over Kosovo, and in the United Nations Security Council whenever the issue of sanctions against countries like Zimbabwe, Iran or Syria is on the table.

“Whether we like it or not, Putin will undoubtedly go down in history as one of his country’s great leaders,” says Clifford Gaddy, the leading Russia expert in Washington, who works for the liberal Brookings Institution and occasionally advised President Bush, who ignored Gaddy’s advise.

The West’s outrage over Putin’s military escapade in Crimea subsided in a few weeks, and even the United States returned to politics as usual. Why? Washington urgently needs Russia, both to keep Iran in check and as a counterbalance to China, a rising major power. America’s new president, whether a Democrat or Republican John McCain, will have to seek allies again to grapple with the world’s conflicts.

Russian President Putin is clearly the victor here, after having taken control of the Caucasus crisis decisively and efficiently, by Russian standards. The world now knows that Russia is asserting stronger claims to be a major power alongside the United States.

The Nazi Plan for the East 

It was first tried out on the Slavic and Soviet prisoners. This was their plan to destroy Slavic peoples which included central and southeast Ukraine. Prisoners suffered in the cold and famine conditions so harsh they wrote petitions for the nazis to be merciful and just kill them.

According to Professor Timothy Snyder- In the German POW camps in occupied Soviet Belarus, Soviet Ukraine and Poland, prisoners were not even registered by name. As the German quartermaster general of the German army indicated, prisoners who could not work “were to be starved”.

In Ukraine and Belarus Bandera’s Ukrainian SS nationalists ran the camps and starved millions of Ukrainians, Russians, and Belorussians to death. The world never even blinked.

It was wrong for the Ukrainian nationalists in the diaspora to develop the myth of the 1932-33 Holomodor famine their own families never suffered to become the centerpiece of Ukraine’s nation-building program under Yushchenko after using it so effectively in 1941 against Ukrainians and starving 3 million prisoners to death.

This makes even the idea that Ukrainian nationalists in Kiev would conceive using this weapon again on the families of the same population criminal. It has been proven clearly that the nationalists were not in the Soviet Union in 1931-32. It has been clearly proven that the Ukrainian nationalists in service to the 3rd Reich used starvation as part of their genocide program in Ukraine and Belarus in 1941.

The population that suffered under both famines were the families in central Ukraine and Donbas today.

The slow method of genocide

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In Pervomaisk today conditions are so bad that people are given ¼ of a loaf of bread per day to live on. Many areas are not even getting this.

Starvation deaths in different cities now number 20 or 30 weekly. Within 20 days deaths from starvation and exposure/ freezing in Donbass is going to jump exponentially. The most vulnerable which includes the children and chronically ill will be hit the hardest.

Within 40 days without decisive humanitarian action the winter weather will take its toll on people in the hardest hit areas by ultra-nationalist shelling and rockets. Many live in the ruins or root cellars at what used to be their homes. Disease will follow. The nationalists are counting on them dying or relocating.

Will the world stand by while the Ukrainian nationalists use the slow method of genocide they perfected in WW2?

Will the world allow Poroshenko and his masters, the US and EU, continue to try to push Donbass to its knees, calling the victim a criminal?

The vulnerable, the dying, and the dead

Pensions and benefits to the elderly and disabled were also cut off in mid summer. State and oligarch owned businesses functioning and reaping profits stopped paying salaries.

By early July retirees across the countryside were surviving on leftovers from the last harvest, unripened fruit, and help from their neighbors.

In August, I started hearing from friends in Donbas about the starvation among the most vulnerable people which were the shut-ins. People that were bed ridden or because of disabilities could no longer leave their apartments died of starvation and thirst. Where were their neighbors?

In early summer the Ukrainian army started targeting apartment buildings and homes. Throughout the summer this never let up. At first Kiev denied it but later it didn’t matter anymore in the news. Kiev suspended the human rights of people in Southeast early in the spring.

The shelling of civilian homes had the effect Kiev was hoping for. It created a flood of terrified refugees that simply ran and almost overwhelmed the capacity to take care of them in Belarus and Russia.

I know of people that have come to this decision. They don’t talk about it out of fear. They quietly slip away. The neighbors of the shut-ins thought someone else was staying and would look after them. In a lot of cases no one could. No one talked to anyone else, they ran.

Ukrainian nationalists popped up everywhere. In the cities groups like Pravy Sektor did random shootings. Paranoia ran wild. It didn’t help that until recently most people never understood what was really happening. How do you comprehend the country where your family has always lived in and you are a part of deciding you are less than human? How do you come to grips with your country wanting to kill you?

The shock that your own neighbor might want you dead for some incomprehensible reason caused this. That fear became justifiable when people turned their neighbors in to the punishers to be tortured and killed. I know one too many stories about a town drunk spinning tales for another bottle. Ukraine is a place where being a 2nd cousin to the militia back in June was enough for a death sentence for your entire family including your children even if you never spoke with them.

Every town has people from across the political spectrum just like yours does. People confused patriots with nationalists and vice versa.

The social net that Poroshenko cynically cut off in November has not existed since late spring. Kiev destroyed it with shells, not democracy.

Medications

Medications for chronic life threatening illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and basic antibiotics became in short supply in late spring. Early on medication was transported by clearly marked vehicles with red cross insignia or ambulances. These became the favored targets of mercenaries and para military forces like Donbass battalion. In every major city hospitals have been prime targets the entire time.

Until then most medications were distributed through warehouses in Kiev. As early as June publications such as the Telegraph reported on the humanitarian efforts which was caused by Kiev’s humanitarian blockade.

The reality since summer is people dying because the medications they needed were kept out of their reach. No matter how how much effort is put into the humanitarian effort the population of over 7 million people are in a war zone that is constantly bombarded with rockets and shells.

Creating Famine Conditions

Beginning in the late spring the Ukrainian army set landmines across the grain fields needed to support the area for human and livestock consumption. The landmines set in grain fields aren’t in contested areas. They are not marked and the locals weren’t told to stay away by the Ukrainian army.

These are the fields where farmers make their living and produce the grain needed for bread. One of my friend’s neighbors hit a mine trying to harvest his wheat. It destroyed his tractor and he was lucky to be thrown clear. He woke to see his tractor burning. In early summer another neighbor on his tractor was used for sniper practice.

The Ukrainian army burnt grain and corn fields that were under their control. This continued throughout most of the summer as noted across many articles.

The scorched earth policy was geared at creating the current situation which will soon be mass starvation and the sicknesses associated with it. Tens of thousands of acres could not be harvested.

To make the point a few short weeks ago Kiev’s appointed Governor in the occupied Lugansk region stated bluntly that Kiev’s humanitarian blockade of Lugansk and Donetsk was geared to reproduce the effects of the Soviet Union’s 1932-33 famine in which millions across central and southeast Ukraine perished from starvation and sickness.

Camps

When the refugee problem started getting international attention in mid-summer president Poroshenko made a big deal about how Donbass refugees would be welcomed by the Ukrainians and how much money was set aside for them. It is Kiev of course and the money was stolen of like the donations for the families of Kiev’s heavenly hundred.

The refugees were set up in summer camps without utilities and for the most part no humanitarian aid. What humanitarian aid isn’t stolen goes to the soldiers. The men that ran from the war found themselves conscripted and sent back. The families sent to the summer camps still sit there in December with no heat. Many will perish from exposure.

Refugees that thought they were fortunate enough to make it to Kiev or other nationalist cities are denied jobs and benefits because they are from Donbass. They ran from the referendum, thought they were good Ukrainians, and yet are still Moskal. Kiev’s new laws take the children from their mothers so they can be raised in orphanages and become good Ukrainian nationalists.

Genocide by Conscription

When Kiev’s ATO started they were sure that the nationalists from Maidan and what became the core punisher groups would quickly pacify Donbass based on just enthusiasm. It took a while for them to realize the skills they learned at Maidan and the Odessa Trade Union Building wasn’t combat.

The nazi’s only succeeded in developing a taste for murder. In both well published cases as well as the rampant murder in smaller cities the victims were not combatants. They could not and did not fight back. At Maidan, the Berkut were unarmed and ordered to stand and take the punishment. The footage after the initial and controversial beginning says it all.

After this Kiev’s deployment policy to the ATO regions changed dramatically. Conscripts were questioned on their nationalist leanings and deployed according to their answers. People from cities like Odessa which suffered under mass murder in the spring and stood against nationalism were threatened, jailed, and sent into the ATO.

People that expressed Ukrainian nationalist leanings were sent in behind them or to areas where the there was no conflict.

This tactic was developed in the 1930′s by Stepan Bandera to make both his enemies and people that may eventually rise against Ukrainian nationalism fight and kill each other. This is happening today to the refugee conscripts from Donbass. It is the case today when the conscript is from the wrong city or gives the wrong answer when they enlist or get drafted.

The tactic is the same one used in WW2. The Ukrainian nationalists stood behind conscripts during WW2 and killed them when they refused to fight. The same then as is the case today, families were threatened so conscripts won’t refuse to fight.

The battle is truly brother to brother, cousin to cousin; with few ways out for the conscripts. The nationalist groups themselves get medals and positions for combat they never participate in.Kiev, Ukraine rewards are for the torture, murder, and sodomy they committed against civilians and conscripts.

What the World won’t Allow

The filtration or concentration camps at this point sit idle and more are under construction. The reason is Kiev forces don’t control enough of Donbass to make using them worthwhile. While the world sits by and cheers and jeers Kiev’s inept and thwarted attempts at mass genocide; having large scale bloody executions of normal people in anything called “a camp” broadcast worldwide would quickly dampen the enthusiasm in Europe and the US.

History has taught the nationalists what the world hasn’t learned. They know the world won’t stand by and allow the bloody or mass execution of millions without eventually demanding a price from someone. While the civilized nations will allow it to happen, the cost will be like the Nuremberg trials when the outrage that could have stopped it is belatedly expressed and acceptable.

Enough of the Double Talk Already

If the government in Kiev had any notion of reintegrating Donbass they would not have bombed, shelled, and murdered entire villages. They would not have allowed mass torture of civilians, or the rape and murder of women and children. These are not things a legitimate government allows for, never mind bestows medals on monsters that do these things to its own people.

If they were not nationalists, they would have stopped the ultras from the murders and calls for destroying every life in Donbass. Instead they rewarded it. Commanders guilty of mass murder and torture sit in the Ukrainian Senate and meet with the US Congress and the executive branch. Mass starvation in Donbass is a tactic to make people run, die slowly, or submit to the government that murders them.

The argument that the separatist rebels are getting what they deserve is intellectually retarded. Donbass wasn’t trying to separate, Kiev forced it through atrocity. The Ukrainian government made it impossible for Donbass and other areas to remain under their control.

The argument that there are no nazis in Kiev is a leap into the bizzarre. The people in Kiev’s government were educated in ultra-nationalist/nazi universities. Many had David Duke as a professor of history.

Ukrainian nazi ideology is so rigid it was easy to predict the brutality of the cleansing battalions before Maidan was over and the Coup leaders actually took government. It is so rigid it was easy to predict the turn it would take in Donbass which entails a regional cleansing of people. It was easy to predict how the conscription would be used to get rid of “others” that even remotely may be Moskal also.

It was easy to predict winter starvation would be used as a tactical weapon in June when I first wrote it would happen. Read Bandera’s ideological material. They follow it zealously and religiously. Ukrainian nazi’s are nothing if not predictable. They are also intractable liars. That’s part of the ideology too.

The nonstop shelling during the peace has done its work. Too many people’s homes are destroyed that were never involved in any fighting. Too many people cannot afford to purchase bread even it were available to them. The cold and snow of winter has set in.

The humanitarian effort needed is now monumental to stop mass death across the region. It will never come in fast enough or be enough. This time, which is the third time in less than 100 years the people of Donbass have suffered through forced starvation through callousness and as weapon of war- please consider helping.

The war criminal Olexandr Turchynov formerly post coup- acting president stated bluntly in an interview on December 17th that even he does not think the world will sit by and watch the total blockade finish its work. He doesn’t say he is against it. He just states there will be objections to it.

Contrary to the lie Ukrainian nationalists tell about fighting for a free and independent Ukraine today or fighting Nazis and Communists after 1941; both then and now they rely on the fact that you won’t believe human beings will do these things to other people. They don’t think you will believe they are doing these things to people.

Don’t count on the EU politicians or the Brussels mafia. They don’t care. They just want regime change in Russia, specifically to get rid of President Vladimir Putin.

US and Germany Confront Russia:  Manufacturing the “Russian Threat”

Russia was enticed to support US and NATO wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya in exchange for the promise of deeper integration into Western markets.  The US and EU accepted Russian co-operation, including military supply routes and bases, for their invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.  The NATO powers secured Russian support of sanctions against Iran.  They exploited Russia’s naïve support of a “no fly zone” over Libya to launch a full scale aerial war.  The US financed  so-called “color revolutions” in Georgia and the Ukraine  overt, a dress rehearsal for the putsch in 2014  Each violent seizure of power allowed NATO to impose anti-Russian rulers eager and willing to serve as vassal states to Germany and the US.

Humanitarian help to the people of Donbass has come from Russia, and from the people that care about what is happening in Donbass. willing to help stop the slow genocide of the people of Donbass.

The Declaration on State Sovereignity of Novorossiya, adopted by the Congress of deputies of all levels 12 December 2014, on the basis of principles of international law and the UN Charter, including the right to self-determination, and the will of the people to the formation of a sovereign state, clearly expressed in the referendum of may 11, 2014, the Congress of deputies of all levels adopts the present Declaration on the State Sovereignty of Novorossiya and proclaims the formation of the Union of Sovereign Republics of the state of Novorossiya.

Just as the Supreme Council of Crimea referred to the United Nations Charter, speaks of the right of nations to self-determination. Exactly what Crimea did, was legitimate and did not require any permission from the country’s central authorities. Pursuant to Article 2, Chapter 1 of the United Nations Charter, the UN International Court agreed with this approach and made the following comment in its ruling of July 22, 2010, and I quote: “No general prohibition may be inferred from the practice of the Security Council with regard to declarations of independence,” and “General international law contains no prohibition on declarations of independence.”

 

 A.A. and children of Donbass

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children of donbas

Children of Donbas

Children of Donbas

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Interview with President Vladimir Putin: The Crisis in East Ukraine, The Sanctions Regime, Russian-German Relations

By President Vladimir Putin
Global Research, November 27, 2014
ARD 17 November 2014

Region: Europe, Russia and FSU
Theme: Global Economy, US NATO War Agenda
In-depth Report: UKRAINE REPORT

Putin-interview-ARDVladimir Putin answered questions from Hubert Seipel of the German TV channel ARD. The interview was recorded on November 13 in Vladivostok. President Vladimir Putin presents his views on the Ukraine crisis and defends Russia’s actions.

HUBERT SEIPEL (retranslated from Russian):

Good afternoon, Mr President.

You are the only Russian President who has ever given a speech at the Bundestag. This happened in 2001. Your speech was a success. You spoke about relations between Russia and Germany, building Europe in cooperation with Russia, but you also gave a warning. You said that the Cold War ideas had to be eradicated. You also noted that we share the same values, yet we do not trust each other. Why were you being a little pessimistic back then?Vladimir Putin answered questions from Hubert Seipel of the German TV channel ARD. The interview was recorded on November 13 in Vladivostok. President Vladimir Putin presents his views on the Ukraine crisis and defends Russia’s actions.

HUBERT SEIPEL (retranslated from Russian): Good afternoon, Mr President.

You are the only Russian President who has ever given a speech at the Bundestag. This happened in 2001. Your speech was a success. You spoke about relations between Russia and Germany, building Europe in cooperation with Russia, but you also gave a warning. You said that the Cold War ideas had to be eradicated. You also noted that we share the same values, yet we do not trust each other. Why were you being a little pessimistic back then?

English: Exclusive ARD interview with Russian President Putin | Günther Jauch | ARD — In an interview with ARD’s Hubert Seipel, Russian President Vladimir Putin presents his views on the Ukraine crisis and defends Russia’s actions.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: First of all, I gave no warnings or admonitions and I was not being pessimistic. I was just trying to analyse the preceding period in the development of the situation in the world and in Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union. I also took the liberty of predicting the situation based on different development scenarios.

Naturally, it reflected the situation as we see it, through the prism, as diplomats would put it, from Russia’s point of view, but still, I think it was a rather objective analysis.

I reiterate: there was no pessimism whatsoever. None. On the contrary, I was trying to make my speech sound optimistic. I assumed that having acknowledged all the problems of the past, we must move towards a much more comfortable and mutually advantageous relationship-building process in the future.

HUBERT SEIPEL: Last week marked the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, which would not have been possible without the Soviet Union’s consent. That was back then. In the meantime, NATO is conducting exercises in the Black Sea, near the Russian borders, while Russian bombers conduct exercises in Europe’s international airspace. The Defence Minister said, if I’m not mistaken, that they fly as far as the Gulf of Mexico. All of this points to a new Cold War.

And, of course, partners exchange harsh statements. Some time ago, President Obama named Russia as a threat on a par with Ebola and the extremists, the Islamic extremists. You once called America a nouveau riche, who thinks of himself as a winner of the Cold war, and now America is trying to shape the world according to its own ideas about life. All of this is very reminiscent of a Cold War.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: See, you mentioned 2001 and I said that my perspective was rather optimistic.

We have witnessed two waves of NATO expansion since 2001. If I remember correctly, seven countries – Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and three Baltic States, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – joined NATO in 2004. Two more countries joined in 2009. Those were significant geopolitical game changers.

Furthermore, the number of military bases is growing. Does Russia have military bases around the world? NATO and the United States have military bases scattered all over the globe, including in areas close to our borders, and their number is growing.

Moreover, just recently it was decided to deploy Special Operations Forces, again in close proximity to our borders.

You have mentioned various exercises, flights, ship movements, and so on. Is all of this going on? Yes, it is indeed.

However, first of all, you said – or perhaps it was an inaccurate translation – that they have been conducted in the international European airspace. Well, it is either international (neutral) or European airspace. So, please note that our exercises have been conducted exclusively in international waters and international airspace.

In 1992, we suspended the flights of our strategic aircraft and they remained at their air bases for many years. During this time, our US partners continued the flights of their nuclear aircraft to the same areas as before, including areas close to our borders. Therefore, several years ago, seeing no positive developments, no one is ready to meet us halfway, we resumed the flights of our strategic aviation to remote areas. That’s all.

HUBERT SEIPEL: So, you believe that your security interests have not been accommodated.

Let me return to the current crisis and to its trigger. The current crisis was triggered by the agreement between the European Union and Ukraine. The title of this agreement is relatively harmless. It is called the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine. The key point of this agreement is to open the Ukrainian market to the EU and vice versa. Why is it a threat for Russia? Why did you oppose this agreement?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: In reality the economy follows almost the same path as security. We preach the opposite of what we practice. We say that a single space should be built and build new dividing lines instead.

Let us look at what the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement stipulates. I have said this many times, but it appears I have to repeat it once again: it eliminates the import duties for the European goods entering Ukrainian territory, brings them down to zero. Yet as Ukraine is a member of a free trade zone within CIS, zero customs tariffs have been introduced between Russia and Ukraine. What does that mean? It means that all European goods will flow through Ukrainian territory directly to the customs territory of the Russian Federation.

There are many other things that may not be clear for people who are not informed regarding these matters, but they do exist. For example, there are technical regulations that are different in Russia and in the EU, we have different standards. Those are standards of technical control, phytosanitary standards and the principle of determining the origin of goods. By way of an example I would cite the component assembly of cars in Ukrainian territory. According to the Association Agreement, the goods manufactured in the territory of Ukraine are intended for our market within the framework of the Russian-Ukrainian free trade zone. Your companies that invested billions of euros in factories in Russia (Volkswagen, BMW, Peugeot, Citroen, the US Ford, and others) entered our market on completely different terms, on condition of deep localisation of production. How could we accept that? So we said from the outset, “We agree, but let us proceed step by step and take into consideration the real problems that can emerge between Russia and Ukraine.” What were we told in response? “It is none of your business, so get your nose out of these affairs.”

HUBERT SEIPEL: I would like to turn to the past. When the EU‑Ukraine Association Agreement was discussed, the negotiations took quite a while. This caused rallies on Maidan in Kiev. I refer to the protests during which people demanded a better life within the European Union. But they were also protesting against the Ukrainian system. In the end all that resulted in a wave of violence.

After the then president failed to sign the Agreement, it provoked an outbreak of violence, and people were killed on Maidan. Then the German Minister of Foreign Affairs arrived and tried to find a compromise between the protesters and the government, and managed to do that. An agreement was made providing for a government of national unity. It remained in force for about 24 hours and then it disappeared.

You followed closely the developments of September 21 and you remember how you talked with Mr Obama and Ms Merkel.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Yes. Indeed, on February 21, not only the German Minister of Foreign Affairs but also his counterparts from Poland and France arrived in Kiev to act as guarantors of the agreement achieved between the then President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and the opposition. The agreement stipulated that the only path the process would take was the peaceful one. As guarantors, they signed that agreement between the official authorities and the opposition. And the former assumed that it would be observed. It is true that I spoke by telephone with the President of the United States that same day, and this was the context for our conversation. However, the following day, despite all the guarantees provided by our partners from the West, a coup happened and both the Presidential Administration and the Government headquarters were occupied.

I would like to say the following in this regard: either the Foreign Ministers of Germany, Poland and France should not have signed the agreement between the authorities and the opposition as its guarantors, or, since they did sign it after all, they should have insisted on its implementation instead of dissociating themselves from this agreement. What is more, they prefer now not to mention it at all, as though the agreement never existed. In my view, this is absolutely wrong and counterproductive.

HUBERT SEIPEL: You acted promptly. You, so to say, annexed Crimea and justified it at the time based on the fact that 60 percent of Crimea’s population were Russians, that Crimea has a long history of being part of Russia and, lastly, that its fleet is stationed there. The West saw that as a violation of international law.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: What is your question exactly?

HUBERT SEIPEL: Did you underestimate the reaction of the West and the possible sanctions, which were later imposed on Russia?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: We believe that this sort of reaction was totally disproportionate to what had happened.

Whenever I hear complaints about Russia violating international law I am simply amazed. What is international law? It is first of all the United Nations Charter, international practice and its interpretation by relevant international institutions.

Moreover, we have a clear recent precedent – Kosovo.

HUBERT SEIPEL: You mean the International Court of Justice ruling on Kosovo? The one in which it stated that Kosovo had the right to self‑determination and that the Kosovars could hold a vote to determine the future of their state?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: (In German.) Exactly. (Continues in Russian.) But not only that. Its main point was that when making a decision concerning their self-determination, the people living in a certain territory need not ask the opinion of the central authorities of the state where they presently live. They do not need the approval by the central authorities, by the government, to take the necessary measures for self-determination. That is the central point.

And what was done in Crimea was not in any way different from what had been done in Kosovo.

I am deeply convinced that Russia did not commit any violations of international law. Yes, I make no secret of it, it is a fact and we never concealed that our Armed Forces, let us be clear, blocked Ukrainian armed forces stationed in Crimea, not to force anybody to vote, which is impossible, but to avoid bloodshed, to give the people an opportunity to express their own opinion about how they want to shape their future and the future of their children.

Kosovo, which you mentioned, declared its independence by parliamentary decision alone. In Crimea, people did not just make a parliamentary decision, they held a referendum, and its results were simply stunning.

What is democracy? Both you and me know the answer well. What is demos? Demos is people, and democracy is people’s right. In this particular case, it is the right to self-determination.

HUBERT SEIPEL: It shows immediately that you are a lawyer.

But you know the arguments of the West as well. The West says that the elections were held under the control of Russian military. This is the reasoning of the West.

Let me touch upon the next issue. Today, Ukraine is more or less divided. Four thousand people have died, hundreds of thousands have become refugees and fled, among other places, to Russia. In the east of the country, Russian-speaking separatists are demanding broad autonomy, some want to join Russia. In accordance with the Minsk agreement, ceasefire was declared, but people are dying every day. The country is bankrupt. Basically everybody lost in the conflict. Ukraine seems to have lost the most, but Europe and Russia did as well. How do you see Ukraine’s future?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Ukraine is a complex country, and not only due to its ethnic composition, but also from the point of view of its formation as it stands today.

Is there a future and what will it be like? I think there certainly is. It is a large country, a large nation with the population of 43–44 million people. It is a large European country with a European culture..

You know, there is only one thing that is missing. I believe, what is missing is the understanding that in order to be successful, stable and prosperous, the people who live on this territory, regardless of the language they speak (Hungarian, Russian, Ukrainian or Polish), must feel that this territory is their homeland. To achieve that they must feel that they can realise their potential here as well as in any other territories and possibly even better to some extent. That is why I do not understand the unwillingness of some political forces in Ukraine to even hear about the possibility of federalisation.

We’ve been hearing lately that the question at issue should be not federalisation but decentralisation. It is all really a play on words. It is important to understand what these notions mean: decentralisation, federalisation, regionalisation. You can coin a dozen other terms. The people living in these territories must realise that they have rights to something, that they can decide something for themselves in their lives.

HUBERT SEIPEL: The central question in the West as follows: will Ukraine remain an independent state? It is the central question now on the agenda. The second question is whether Russia can do more? Maybe Russia has more opportunities to expedite this process in Ukraine, in particular with regard to the Minsk agreements?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: You know, when someone tells us that we have some special opportunities to solve this or that crisis it always troubles and alarms me. We have heard many times that Russia has a key to the solution of the Syrian problem, that we have some special opportunities to solve some other problem or the Ukrainian crisis. I always begin to suspect that there is an intention to pass on the responsibility to us and to make us pay for something. We do not want that. Ukraine is an independent, free and sovereign state. Frankly speaking, we are very concerned about any possible ethnic cleansings and Ukraine ending up as a neo-Nazi state. What are we supposed to think if people are bearing swastikas on their sleeves? Or what about the SS emblems that we see on the helmets of some military units now fighting in eastern Ukraine? If it is a civilised state, where are the authorities looking? At least they could get rid of this uniform, they could make the nationalists remove these emblems. That is why we have fears that it may all end up this way. If it happens it would be a catastrophe for Ukraine and Ukrainian people.

The Minsk agreements arose only because Russia became actively involved in this effort; we worked with the Donbass militias, that is the fighters from southeast Ukraine, and we convinced them that they should settle for certain agreements. If we had not done that, it would simply not have happened. There are some problems with the implementation of these agreements, it is true.

What are those problems? Indeed, self-defence fighters, for example, were supposed to leave some of the towns they had surrounded, are yet they haven’t left. Do you know why not? I will tell you plainly, this is no secret: because the people fighting against the Ukrainian army say, “These are our villages, we come from there. Our families and our loved ones live there. If we leave, nationalist battalions will come and kill everyone. We will not leave, you can kill us yourselves.” You know, it is a difficult problem. Of course, we try to convince them, we talk, but when they say things like that, you know, there is not much that can be said in response.

And the Ukrainian army also has not left some of the towns it was supposed to leave. The militias – they are the people who are fighting for their rights, for their interests. But if the central Ukrainian authorities choose not just to determine the demarcation line, which is very important today in order to stop the shelling and killing, but if they want to preserve the territorial integrity of their country, each particular village or town are not significant; what is important is to immediately stop the bloodshed and shelling and to create conditions for starting a political dialogue. That is what is important. If it this is not done, there will be no political dialogue.

I apologise for such a long monologue, but you make me go back to the essence of the problem.

What is the essence? The coup took place in Kiev. A considerable part of the country supported it, and they were happy partly because they believed that after the signing of, say, the Association Agreement there will be open borders, job opportunities, the right to work in the European Union, including in Germany. They thought that it will be like that. In fact, they have nothing of the sort. The other part of the country, the southeast, did not support it and said, “We do not recognise you.” And instead of starting a dialogue, instead of explaining to people that the central authorities in Kiev are not going to do anything bad, and on the contrary, they will propose various forms of coexistence and development of a common state, they are ready to grant them their rights, instead of that they begin making arrests at night. Once the night arrests began, people in the southeast took up arms. Once they took up arms, instead of stopping (the authorities should have the wisdom to do that) and starting this dialogue they sent the army, the air force, tanks and multiple rocket launchers. Is this a way to solve problems? And ultimately everything came to a deadlock. Is it possible to get out of it? I am sure that it is possible.

HUBERT SEIPEL: The question or, more properly, the claim made by Kiev today is that Russia supplies weapons to the separatists and sends its servicemen there.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Where did they get the armoured vehicles and the artillery systems? Nowadays people who wage a fight and consider it righteous will always get weapons. This is the first point.

But I would like to stress that this is not the issue. The issue itself is entirely different. The issue is that we can’t have a one-sided view of the problem.

Today there is fighting in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian central authorities have sent the armed forces there and they even use ballistic missiles. Does anybody speak about it? Not a single word. And what does it mean? What does it tell us? This points to the fact, that you want the Ukrainian central authorities to annihilate everyone there, all of their political foes and opponents. Is that what you want? We certainly don’t. And we won’t let it happen.

HUBERT SEIPEL: After the Crimea joined Russia, the West expelled Russia from the Group of Eight, this exclusive club of industrial states. At the same time the USA and Great Britain imposed sanctions against Russia. Now you are heading to a G20 summit of the most important industrial states on the planet. The focus there will be on economic growth and employment. They say, there is no more growth and unemployment is set to increase; the sanctions are starting to have an effect; both the ruble and the oil price have set anti‑records. The forecast of attaining 2 percent growth in Russia is unfeasible. Other countries are in the same situation. This crisis has a counter‑productive character, including for the upcoming summit, wouldn’t you say?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: You mean the Ukrainian crisis?

HUBERT SEIPEL: Yes.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Of course, who could benefit from it? You wanted to know how the situation is evolving and what our expectations are. Of course we expect the situation to change for the better. Of course we expect the Ukrainian crisis to end. Of course we want to have normal relations with our partners, including in the United States and Europe. Of course, the situation with the so-called sanctions is damaging for the global economy (it is damaging for us and it is damaging for global economy as well) and it is damaging for the Russian‑EU relations most of all.

However, there are some advantages as well: the restrictions imposed on some Russian companies on purchasing certain goods from Western countries, from Europe and the United States, have induced us to produce these goods ourselves. The comfortable life, when all we had to do was produce more oil and gas, and to buy everything else, is a thing of the past.

With regard to growth, we should note that this year growth was modest but it was present nevertheless at about 0.5–0.6 percent. Next year we are planning to achieve 1.2 percent growth, the year after that 2.3 percent and 3 percent in three years. Generally, these are not the figures we would like to have but nevertheless it is growth and we are confident that we will achieve these figures.

HUBERT SEIPEL: Another theme to be discussed in Brisbane will be financial stability. The situation in Russia may also be complicated because Russian banks can no longer obtain refinancing on world markets. Moreover, there are plans to close for Russia the international payments system. VLADIMIR PUTIN: Russian banks have currently extended a $25 billion loan to the Ukrainian economy. If our European and American partners want to help Ukraine, how can they undermine the financial base limiting our financial institutions’ access to world capital markets? Do they want to bankrupt our banks? In that case they will bankrupt Ukraine. Have they thought about what they are doing at all or not? Or has politics blinded them? As we know eyes constitute a peripheral part of brain. Was something switched off in their brains?

The bank that I mentioned is Gazprombank, which only this year, this calendar year, has extended a loan of $1.4 plus $1.8 billion to the Ukrainian energy sector. How much is that in total? $3.2 billion. This is the sum it has allocated. In one case, it issued a loan to Ukrainian Naftogaz, which is a public company; in the other case, it allocated $1.4 billion to a private company in order to support Ukraine’s chemical industry. In both cases, today this bank has the right to demand early repayment because the Ukrainian partners have violated their loan agreement.

HUBERT SEIPEL: The question is if they are paying or not?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: (In German.) They are paying at the moment. (Continues in Russian.) They are servicing the loan. Naftogaz is servicing one of the loans. However, there are some conditions that are being violated. Therefore, the bank has the formal right to demand early repayment.

But if we do it, the whole Ukrainian financial system will collapse. And if we don’t do it, our bank may collapse. What should we do?

Moreover, when we extended a $3 billion loan a year ago, there was a condition that if Ukraine’s total debt exceeded 60 percent of GDP, we, the Russian Ministry of Finance, would be entitled to demand an early repayment. Again, if we do it, the whole financial system will collapse. We have already decided that we will not do it. We do not want to aggravate the situation. We want Ukraine to get on its feet at last.

HUBERT SEIPEL: Do you intend to propose ways to resolve the crisis in Ukraine?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Madam Chancellor is very much aware of all the nuances of this conflict. As for the energy problem, she has done a great deal for its solution.

As for the security issues, I would say that in this area our viewpoints and approaches do not always coincide. What is clear is that Russia and the Federal Republic of Germany want the situation in this region to be settled. We are interested in this and we will work for the observation of the Minsk agreements. There is just one thing that I always pay attention to. We are told again and again: pro-Russian separatists must do this and this, you must influence them in this way, you must act in that way. I have always asked them: “What have you done to influence your clients in Kiev? What have you done? Or do you only support Russophobic sentiments?” This is very dangerous, by the way. A catastrophe will happen if somebody surreptitiously supports Russophobia in Ukraine. It will be a real catastrophe! Or shall we seek a joint solution? If so, let’s bring the positions of the parties closer together. I am going to say something that some people in this country may not like. Let’s try to achieve a single political space in those territories. We are ready to move in this direction, but only together.

HUBERT SEIPEL: It is very difficult to correct the mistakes made by others. Sometimes it is only possible to correct one’s own mistakes.

I would like to ask you: have you made mistakes?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: People always make mistakes. Every person makes mistakes in business, in private life. Does it really matter? The question is that we should give a rapid, timely and effective response to the consequences of such mistakes. We should analyse them and realise that they are mistakes. We should understand, correct them and move on towards the solution of problems rather than an impasse.

It seemed to me that this is the way we acted in our relations with Europe as a whole and the Federal Republic of Germany in particular over the past decade. Look at the friendship that has been established between Russia and Germany in the past 10–15 years. I don’t know if we had ever enjoyed such relations before. I don’t think so. I see it as a very good base, a good foundation for the development of relations not only between our two states, but also between Russia and Europe as a whole, for the harmonisation of relations in the world. It will be a pity if we let it go to waste.

HUBERT SEIPEL: Mr President, thank you for the interview.

What Is Being Blacked-Out ?

Region:

 

Kiev-Junta-East-Ukraine-MilitaryHere’s a typical example of what’s being blacked-out:

This is a photo of a Ukrainian soldier guiding a truck-full of prisoners toward a ditch, to which the prisoners are then dragged one-by-one, and thrown in, and shot — then covered over with dirt after all the corpses (and perhaps some living bleeding survivors) are piled in it.

(Of course, any survivors then quickly choke to death, from the dirt):

http://rinf.com/alt-news/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Screen-Shot-2014-11-10-at-1.21.09-PM.png

 Ukraine, 2014. In the Internet appeared video with the title – The Punishers battalion of Donbass shoot civilians.
Warning – Item The Punishers battalion of Donbass shoot civilians might contain content that is not suitable for all ages.

Read more at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=3f9_1413978229#51gT03GIRPwuUzMw.99

And here’s an explanation of how this extraordinary video of a genocide being carried out, came to be found by the resistance-fighters against Ukraine’s war to exterminate the residents in Ukraine’s southeast, Ukraine’s region where the vast majority of the people are ethnic Russians, or commonly called “Moskals” by many people in northwestern Ukraine, which term employed by them is equivalent to the terms “nigger,” and “kike” that are used in some other countries: all psychological terms of de-humanization.

Though this video of a genocide-in-action is rare, the event itself is routinely happening in southeastern Ukraine, so that the Ukrainian Government can reduce the population in the area of Ukraine that had voted over 80% for the Ukrainian President whom the Obama Administration overthrew in a violent CIA-paid, U.S.-State-Department planned-and-run, coup, that climaxed on 22 February 2014. The new Government is trying to eliminate enough of the people who had voted for him so that the coup-imposed regime will be able to stay in power ‘democratically,’ with those Russia-friendly voters gone — enough of those voters gone so that America’s coup-regime can continue even as a democracy.

This is the video from which that still-photo is taken — you can see this entire event (except the burial), here: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=3f9_1413978229. The victims who are shoved into, then shot in the ditch, are all dressed in civilian clothes. They’re not soldiers.

Каратели из батальона Донбасс или Нацгвардии [Punitive battalion of Donbass Or Natshvardyy]

As is evident from that video, the troops who are executing these people don’t care whether any one of the bodies down in that ditch are still alive; the next victim just gets thrown promptly on top, and shot. These troops are interested only in speed, without concern for victims.

Their only “concern” for the victims is to rape the ones they want, and to kill as many of the residents who live there as possible. The objective is officially called “punishment.” That’s the Ukrainian Government’s term. The aim is to make them suffer.

Here is how deeply immersed in hatred of “Moscals” these people are. The Ukrainians who fought on Hitler’s side in WWII are heroes to them. An American friend who happens to live in the conflict-zone, the southeast, where the “Moskals” are predominant, wrote me today about the city of “Mariupol. The hospital there is being inundated with rape victims. A lot of girls are just going missing. People are disappearing constantly. The photo enclosed is from Artemosk yesterday. The Ukraine army ran over the car killing two people. It got stuck on top of the car.” Kill them however you can, is their assignment. Soldiers in the Ukrainian Army are taught that everyone who lives in these areas is the enemy. Killing the residents there is considered to be ‘patriotic.’

There is also plenty of bombing, and firing missiles at, the cities and villages there, to destroy people and buildings, so that many of the surviving residents will flee over the border into neighboring Russia, from whence they’ll never again be allowed to vote in a Ukrainian election — thereby further reducing the number of those voters in Ukrainian national elections. Such bombing and shelling seem to be the Government’s main methods of eliminating residents in the southeast. Also, white phosphorous and other illegal weapons of terror are used, in order to especially induce the residents to evacuate into Russia.

This is a “genocide” against ethnic Russians whose families have lived inside Ukraine, in many cases, for centuries. It is also, and in the very same sense, an “ethnic cleansing,” to lock-in the anti-Russian regime that Obama installed earlier this year.

Here are some of the people who have been fleeing into Russia. Every one of those busloads of refugees exiting Ukraine is further success for Obama’s plan, because it means fewer pro-Eastern, anti-Western, voters.

So, as you can see, the new Ukrainian Government is having considerable success in its efforts to murder and terrorize enough of the residents there, for Ukraine’s electoral map to be no longer as favorable as it formerly was toward political candidates who prefer Russia over the United States. This is a way to gain a new ally against Russia, right next door to Russia. It’s conquest of Ukraine’s southeast, by Ukraine’s northwest.

Here is a Gallup poll that had been taken throughout Ukraine in April 2014, just after the coup. As you can see, the northwest liked the U.S., the European Union, and NATO, while the southeast liked Russia and didn’t want to join either the EU or NATO. Furthermore, Crimeans, the residents in what had been the far-southernmost part of Ukraine, loathed Ukraine, and were relieved to be restored again to Russia. Sectional differences in Ukraine are extreme. Obama forced the Russia-haters into power, and wants to keep them in power.

Moreover, Gallup had polled 500 Crimeans during May 16-30 in 2013, and found that only 15% considered themselves “Ukrainian” at all. This was when Crimea was still part of Ukraine. 24% considered themselves simply “Crimean,” which nonetheless was a renunciation of any Ukrainian identity for themselves; so, that’s 24% who didn’t think of themselves as being Ukrainian. And additionally, 40% — a number virtually matching the totality of the other two, and nearly three times larger than the percentage who called themselves “Ukrainian” — considered themselves already to be “Russian,” even before the coup. The people there overwhelmingly wanted to secede from Ukraine, and they preferred to be part of Russia, just as Crimea had been prior to 1954.

Immediately after the coup, Russia sent troops into Crimea to preserve its Black Sea Fleet which has always been stationed there; and this military presence protected Crimeans, too, against the ethnic cleansing that was quickly started by the new Ukrainian regime to eliminate the residents in other areas of Ukraine’s southeast than Crimea. You’ll see those areas in purple on Ukraine’s 2010 electoral map, with the purple areas being the ones where the election’s pro-Russian winner, Viktor Yanukovych, had received over 80% of the vote. Here is the map of that 2010 vote, with the purple areas being the same areas that are now being ethnically cleansed. This map shows the exact voting-percentages: the three districts that voted more than 80% for the man whom Obama overthrew are now the ones that either broke away from Ukraine or are trying to. This is where the genocide is being concentrated. The people who live there aren’t wanted by Kiev’s new Government; only their land is.

Back when the U.S-engineered “Maidan” demonstrations had first placed into power a pro-U.S. Ukrainian President, Yanukovych’s opponent in 2004, here is the election map, which showed just the same areas that were strongly pro-Russian then as now.

Obviously, the U.S. CIA, and State Department, and President Barack Obama, can read electoral maps; and, as long as those voters in Ukraine’s far-east stayed alive where they were, inside Ukraine, no anti-Russian regime in Ukraine would be able to remain securely in power.

However, a pretext needed to be established in order to ‘justify’ this ethnic cleansing; and that pretext was that they were separatists who threatened the presumed (but always fictional) unity of the Ukrainian culture and State.

In order to scare the residents in the pro-Russian areas and get them to become separatists — to become terrified enough for them to want to become part of Russia or else flee into safety inside Russia rather than to be attacked, bombed, and shot, by this new regime in Kiev — the Government, or actually one of its officials who happens to be one of Ukraine’s oligarchs, with a fortune over five billion dollars, held a massacre of peaceful pro-Russian demonstrators they trapped inside the Odessa Trade Unions Building on 2 May 2014, and then the army itself invaded other cities in the southeast on May 9th. By this time, many residents throughout the southeast, basically in the areas where Yanukovych had received over 80% of the vote, formed themselves into militias and moved to secede from Ukraine (to protect themselves and their families from the new regime), which this new Ukrainian Government promptly called ‘terrorism,’ and the Government announced an “Anti-Terrorist Operation,” or “ATO,” in order to exterminate them. Also, many people in Ukraine’s northwest openly mocked the people who had been burnt and clubbed to death at the Trade Unions Building massacre. The victims of that massacre were blamed for the massacre, because they had been ‘terrorists.’

Here is how Ukraine’s Defense Minister described his plan:

“There will be a thorough filtration of people. There will be special filtration measures put in place. We will filter out people, including women, who are linked to separatism, who were committing crimes on Ukrainian territory, crimes related to terrorist activities. We have a lot of information regarding this, and we have a formidable framework to combat this, and respective power structures will carry out this operation. Besides, this is a serious issue, related to the fact that people will be resettled to other regions.”

The new Government is also training Ukraine’s children to view extermination of Russians as being a patriotic necessity for Ukrainians. There are summer camps to which children are sent to be taught Ukrainian nazi ideology, where they march under both the Ukrainian flag and also various nazi flags, sometimes including the swastika. Both at such camps, and inside the parliament, the German nazi salute of the stiff right arm raised upward, with the hand and fingers positioned stiffly forward, is commonly given, as a sign of the individual’s loyalty to the country. Also, Ukraine’s military is increasingly filled with men who are tattooed with the swastika and other German nazi insignia. The common heritage back to Adolf Hitler (whom America’s WWII veterans went to war to defeat, of course) is being honored, not merely more overtly, but also more privately, by right-wing Ukrainians, as having been the leading edge of the new Ukraine, which U.S. President Barack Obama — the United States Government — installed on February 22nd, and which perpetrated the Odessa massacre on May 2nd, as well as the civil war that followed. These are America’s new  allies.

But it’s all being blacked-out, in countries that claim to represent democracy. This black-out adds insult to the injury that the present regime is causing, and not only to Ukraine, but to US. It’s complicity in this Administration’s criminality. And it is dangerous.

This is no mere game. The public needs to know that this is happening, and why it’s happening. Otherwise, there is no democracy, because what’s at stake here is not only the character of today’s America, but is America’s future, and the world’s. If the American people are manipulated about this, then they are no free people, and American democracy is then itself fake, no longer real, in any significant sense. Just a sham. And a shame — not of the public, but of the people who hide the truth from the public.

Due to the Internet, this is the first genocide that is being documented in real time, as it occurs. Historians will note this genocide, and will also note where it was reported, and where it was not reported.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.