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How the war will end…

By Gilbert Doctorow | June 3, 2022 

It has been my rule not to join the vast majority of my fellow political commentators at the scrimmage line in sterile debates of the one subject of the day, week, month that has attracted their full attention. Their debates are sterile because they ignore all but a few parameters of reality in Russia, in Ukraine. For them, ignorance is bliss. They do not stir from their armchairs nor do they switch channels to get information from the other side of the barricades, meaning from Russia.

I will violate this overriding rule and just this once join the debate over how Russia’s ‘special military operation’ will end. Nearly all of my peers in Western media and academia give you read-outs based on their shared certainty over Russia’s military and political ambition from the start of the ‘operation,’ how Russia failed by underestimating Ukrainian resilience and professionalism, how Putin must now save face by capturing and holding some part of Ukraine. The subject of disagreement is whether at the end of the campaign the borders will revert to the status quo before 24 February in exchange for Ukrainian neutrality or whether the Russians will have to entirely give up claims on Donbas and possibly even on Crimea.

As for commentators in the European Union, there is exaggerated outrage over alleged Russian aggression, over any possible revision of European borders as enshrined in the Helsinki Act of 1975 and subsequent recommitments by all parties to territorial inviolability of the signatory States. There is the stench of hypocrisy from this crowd as they overlook what they wrought in the deconstruction of Yugoslavia and, in particular, the hiving off of Kosovo from the state of Serbia.

I mention all of the foregoing as background to what I see now going on in Russian political life, namely open and lively discussion of whether the country should annex the territories of Ukraine newly ‘liberated’ by forces of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics with decisive assistance of the Russian military. By admission of President Zelensky yesterday, these territories now amount to 20% of the Ukrainian state as it was configured in 2014.

In the past several weeks, when Russia concentrated its men and materiel on the Donbas and began to score decisive victories, most notably following the taking of Mariupol and capitulation of the nationalist fighters in the Azovstal complex, leading public officials in the DPR, the LPR and the Kherson oblast have called for quick accession of their lands to the Russian Federation with or without referendums. In Moscow, politicians, including Duma members, have called for the same, claiming that a fait accompli could be achieved already in July.

However, as I see and hear on political talk shows and even in simple political reportage on mainstream Russian radio like Business FM, a counter argument has raised its head. Those on this side ask whether the populations of the potential new constituent parts of the RF are likely to be loyal to Russia. They ask if there is truly a pro-Russian majority in the population should a referendum be organized.

This is all very interesting. It surely is a continuation of the internal debate in Moscow back in 2014 when the decision was taken to grant Crimea immediate entry into the RF while denying the requests for similar treatment from the political leaders of the Donbas oblasts.

However, there surely are other considerations weighing in on the Kremlin that I have not seen aired so far. They may be likened to the considerations of France following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, when the possible reunification of Germany was the talk of the day. Sharp witted observers said at the time that President Mitterand liked Germany so much that he wanted to continue to see two of them. Today Vladimir Putin may like Ukraine and its brethren Slavs so much that he wants to see three or four of them.

To be specific, from the very beginning the number one issue for Moscow as it entered upon its military adventure in Ukraine was geopolitical: to ensure that Ukraine will never again be used as a platform to threaten Russian state security, that Ukraine will never become a NATO member. We may safely assume that internationally guaranteed and supervised neutrality of Ukraine will be part of any peace settlement. It would be nicely supported by a new reality on the ground: namely by carving out several Russia-friendly and Russia-dependent mini-states on the former territory of East and South Ukraine. At the same time this solution removes from the international political agenda many of the accusations that have been made against Russia which support the vicious sanctions now being applied to the RF at great cost to Europe and to the world at large: there will be no territorial acquisitions.

If Kiev is compelled to acknowledge the independence of these two, three or more former oblasts as demanded by their populations, that is a situation fully compatible with the United Nations Charter. In a word, a decision by the Kremlin not to annex parts of Ukraine beyond the Crimea, which has long been quietly accepted by many in Europe, would prepare the way for a gradual return of civilized relations within Europe and even, eventually, with the United States

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2022

June 3, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | 1 Comment

Kiev accused of mass kidnappings

Samizdat | June 3, 2022

Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) officials have accused Ukrainian special forces of conducting mass kidnappings against relatives of the Donbass and pro-Russian activists and politicians since the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

The accusations were made by DPR Human Rights Commissioner Daria Morozova during a briefing on Friday, in which she stated that the daughter of a DPR people’s militia officer had been abducted by Ukrainian Special Operation Forces in Kharkov.

According to the ombudsman, on April 16, Aleksandr Demchenko, the officer, was contacted by an unknown group of people who offered him “cooperation in exchange for cooperation,” warning him that if he refused then “anything could happen to his daughter.”

Demchenko says that the people, who claimed they were members of the Ukrainian Special Operation Forces, demanded that he become a traitor and provide them with lists of captured soldiers, prisoner exchange plans, and other documents with which the officer says he has nothing to do with.

An investigation into the matter has reportedly revealed there was no official arrest of Demchenko’s daughter Ekaterina, and that she was abducted along with her husband by Ukrainian special forces and is currently being held at a secret prison.

Ekaterina has since sent her father a video saying she is being treated fairly. She asked him to cooperate with the abductors in “a calm fashion.”

The ombudsman said that the only way to save the lives of the woman and her husband was to bring this situation to public attention, since any country in the world defines such actions as kidnapping and the illegal detention of people, and is punishable by law.

Morozova noted that such actions by Kiev have become more widespread since Russia launched its military offensive against Ukraine and are being carried out under guidelines coming from the US and the UK. She claims there are currently dozens of confirmed cases of people, including children, being abducted by Ukrainian special forces and subsequently being held in secret prisons, tortured both physically and mentally, and stripped of their human dignity.

Vasily Prozorov, the head of the UkrLeaks research project and a former member of Ukraine’s Security Service, noted that such practices by Kiev’s special services, intelligence service, and the Ministry of Defense are part of the methodology the US and UK have been implanting in Kiev since the mid 2000s.

He added that Kiev’s secret services, with the tacit consent of the West, have been playing by the methodology used by terrorist organizations. “Kidnapping, torture, murder – for all this they are given carte blanche by their visiting curators. There are dozens of secret prisons all over Ukraine, where the people they kidnapped have been kept for years.”

The DPR Prosecutor General’s office has officially launched several criminal investigations into the kidnappings, promising all the perpetrators will be found, identified, and put before a tribunal after the military operation is completed.

June 3, 2022 Posted by | War Crimes | | Leave a comment

Israel-IAEA collusion: Grossi lands in Tel Aviv ahead of UN nuclear agency meet

Press TV – June 3, 2022

The chief of the UN nuclear agency has traveled to Israel and met the regime’s extremist premier Naftali Bennett, ahead of the body’s Board of Governors meeting on Monday.

The high-profile visit by Rafael Grossi also comes in the wake of the latest report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Iran’s nuclear program amid a stalemate in Vienna talks to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iran has on many previous occasions cautioned the UN nuclear agency against allowing the Israeli regime to influence its independent mandate and decision-making.

On Thursday, during a phone call with his Singaporean counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian described any political interference in the technical affairs of the IAEA as “unconstructive”.

He said during Grossi’s recent visit to Iran, the two sides had reached a mutually satisfactory agreement through a positive process.

However, the IAEA’s latest report last week drew Iran’s criticism, rejecting it as “unfair and unbalanced” that had deviated from the technical path under Israel’s pressure.

Earlier this week, Bennett accused Iran of stealing classified documents from the IAEA and using them to deceive international inspectors nearly two decades ago. Iran rejected the allegations as outright lies.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh on Wednesday called the Israeli regime “the world’s #1 JCPOA hater” which he said also “happens to be NPT-denier and the only nuke-possessor” of the region.

“We know this. The world knows this. Time for E3/US to stop pretending to be asleep. They can pursue diplomacy—or pursue the opposite. We’re ready for both,” the spokesman said.

Israel is the Middle East’s sole, though undeclared, nuclear-armed entity, but it has never allowed the IAEA to inspect its nuclear sites. It has also refused to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

On the other hand, Iran’s nuclear energy program has been subject to the most intensive inspections. The Islamic Republic is a signatory of the NPT, but it continues to reel under harsh sanctions for working to benefit from the peaceful use of nuclear energy, like other countries.

On Friday, Bennett told Grossi that Israel would prefer a diplomatic resolution but could take unilateral action against Iran’s nuclear energy program.

Bennett “stressed (to Grossi) the importance of the IAEA Board of Governors delivering a clear and unequivocal message to Iran in its upcoming decision”, a
statement from the Israeli premier’s office said.

Warning to IAEA

The IAEA board of governors is slated to hold a meeting on Monday for which Britain, France, Germany, and the US have reportedly prepared a draft resolution to mount pressure on Iran.

The United States on Thursday confirmed that it will join Europeans in backing the resolution against Iran.

Iran has pledged a “firm and appropriate” response to any “unconstructive” move. “We will respond firmly and appropriately to any unconstructive action at the board of governors,” Khatibzadeh said on Wednesday.

China also warned that any confrontational moves at the upcoming meeting will only undermine cooperation between Iran and the IAEA, and disrupt the process to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said exerting pressure on Iran and the UN nuclear agency will escalate tensions and complicate the situation.

He called on Washington to make a political decision as soon as possible on the revival of the nuclear agreement and actively respond to what Iran’s legitimate concerns.

Iran has repeatedly stated that it is waiting for a response from the US on its proposals to revive the deal, but Washington has been dragging its feet on it.

June 3, 2022 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Backdoor Vaccine Mandates

No Vaccine, No Interview

The Naked Emperor’s Newsletter | June 3, 2022

Many countries around the world introduced vaccine mandates over the past year. Fortunately, in the UK, there was a big enough backlash to make politicians think twice. Personally, I think it was the global change in narrative, from Covid to Ukraine, that provided the final nail in the coffin but hopefully the mandate resistance got the ball rolling.

Unfortunately, for many in the care home sector, this backlash against vaccine mandates came too late, with many employees either losing their jobs, forced to leave or redeployed to the metaphorical basement.

Frontline health and social care workers (including anybody who would have contact with patients, such as receptionists) were the next target for mandates. This is when things really started to change and the government made a massive last minute U-turn. Since then, the news has barely mentioned Covid, with the focus being on Ukraine instead.

Great, so vaccine mandates in the UK have gone for good? Not so fast. Certain jobs on the government website clearly haven’t got the memo.

The paragraph above comes from a job posting for a ‘Relief Support Worker’ role posted a few days ago.

Don’t worry, they would love to hear from you even if you are part of the filthy, unvaccinated population. But they won’t even consider interviewing you unless you have had your first jab. Come on guys, this is perfectly reasonably, you are unclean, we might catch something from you in the interview.

So, you have decided not to be vaccinated for a year and a half now, managed not to die, even though Joe Biden said you probably would do over the Winter but now you have to get vaccinated even though you may not even get the job.

If you are lucky enough to get the job, then you need the second jab before you start.

Just before the vaccination paragraph is this one.

Sounds like a good company to work for. They are passionate and inclusive but only passionate and inclusive if you aren’t one of those smelly, unvaccinated types. Get your jab, you savage, and then we’ll be really passionate and include you.

Vaccine mandates via the backdoor.

June 3, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | 2 Comments

1,287,595 Injuries Reported After COVID Shots, Vaccine Injury Compensation Programs ‘Overwhelmed’

By Megan Redshaw | The Defender | June 3, 2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today released new data showing a total of 1,287,595 reports of adverse events following COVID-19 vaccines were submitted between Dec. 14, 2020, and May 27, 2022, to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). That’s an increase of 9,615 adverse events over the previous week.

VAERS is the primary government-funded system for reporting adverse vaccine reactions in the U.S.

The data included a total of 28,532 reports of deaths — an increase of 220 over the previous week — and 235,041 serious injuries, including deaths, during the same time period — up 2,347compared with the previous week.

Excluding “foreign reports” to VAERS, 825,454 adverse events, including 13,150 deaths and 83,454 serious injuries, were reported in the U.S. between Dec. 14, 2020, and May 27, 2022.

Foreign reports are reports foreign subsidiaries send to U.S. vaccine manufacturers. Under U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, if a manufacturer is notified of a foreign case report that describes an event that is both serious and does not appear on the product’s labeling, the manufacturer is required to submit the report to VAERS.

Of the 13,150 U.S. deaths reported as of May 27, 16% occurred within 24 hours of vaccination, 20% occurred within 48 hours of vaccination and 59% occurred in people who experienced an onset of symptoms within 48 hours of being vaccinated.

In the U.S., 586 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered as of May 27, including 346 million doses of Pfizer, 221 million doses of Moderna and 19 million doses of Johnson & Johnson (J&J).

Every Friday, VAERS publishes vaccine injury reports received as of a specified date. Reports submitted to VAERS require further investigation before a causal relationship can be confirmed.

Historically, VAERS has been shown to report only 1% of actual vaccine adverse events.

U.S. VAERS data from Dec. 14, 2020, to May 27, 2022, for 5- to 11-year-olds show:

  • 22 reports of myocarditis and pericarditis (heart inflammation).The CDC uses a narrowed case definition of “myocarditis,” which excludes cases of cardiac arrest, ischemic strokes and deaths due to heart problems that occur before one has the chance to go to the emergency department.The Defender has noticed over previous weeks that reports of myocarditis and pericarditis have been removed by the CDC from the VAERS system in this age group. No explanation was provided.
  • 43 reports of blood clotting disorders.

U.S. VAERS data from Dec. 14, 2020, to May 27, 2022, for 12- to 17-year-olds show:

  • 62 reports of anaphylaxis among 12- to 17-year-olds where the reaction was life-threatening, required treatment or resulted in death — with 96% of cases attributed to Pfizer’s vaccine. VAERS reported 63 reports in the 12- to 17-year-old age group last week.
  • 654 reports of myocarditis and pericarditis with 642 cases attributed to Pfizer’s vaccine.
  • 167 reports of blood clotting disorders with all cases attributed to Pfizer. VAERS reported 168 cases of blood clotting disorders in the 12- to 17-year-old age group last week.

U.S. VAERS data from Dec. 14, 2020, to May 27, 2022, for all age groups combined, show:

COVID-19 shots for kids under 5 could begin by June 21, White House says

COVID-19 vaccines could be available for children younger than 5 as early as June 21 if U.S. health regulators clear the shots, White House coronavirus response coordinator Ashish Jha said Thursday.

According to The Washington Post, states can start ordering vaccines today, with 10 million initially available. The FDA vaccine advisors are scheduled to meet June 14 and 15 to discuss pediatric vaccines. The CDC will meet shortly after to sign off on the decision.

Pfizer and BioNTech on Wednesday submitted their request for emergency authorization of a three-shot regimen for children 6 months to 4 years old. Moderna submitted its request in April for a two-shot regimen for children 6 months to under 6 years old.

There are about 19 million children under 5 in the U.S.

Young males have highest risk of heart damage from COVID vaccines

Young males are more likely to report heart damage following vaccination with an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, and the damage is more likely to be reported after the second dose, according to researchers who reviewed the scientific literature and vaccine injury databases in the U.K., EU and U.S.

Research published May 25 in The BMJ showed 18,204 reports of myocarditis and pericarditis were submitted to U.K., U.S. and EU regulators during the study period, beginning when the mRNA vaccines first rolled out until mid-March 2022.

In the U.S., 2,986 events following Pfizer’s vaccine and 1,640 events following Moderna’s vaccine were reported to VAERS.

According to the CDC, 124.12 million people were fully vaccinated with Pfizer and 75.57 million people fully vaccinated with Moderna during the study period.

For Pfizer, the reporting rate was 14.70 cases of myocarditis and 9.36 cases of pericarditis per 1 million fully vaccinated individuals. The combined rate of myocarditis and pericarditis is 12.03 cases reported per 1 million fully vaccinated individuals.

For Moderna, there were 12.35 cases of myocarditis and 9.36 cases of pericarditis reported per 1 million fully vaccinated recipients. The combined reporting rate of both myocarditis and pericarditis is 10.86 per 1 million.

There were 13,573 events of myocarditis and/or pericarditis reported in observational studies included in the systematic review of the literature, but these cannot help to calculate the overall rate of these adverse events.

Vaccine injury compensation programs overwhelmed by thousands of reports

Federal programs compensating people who suffered injuries from vaccines or COVID-19 pandemic treatment are facing so many claims that thousands of people may not receive payment for their injuries for a long time, Politico reported.

The first program, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), has too little staff to handle the number of reported injuries resulting from pediatric vaccines such as polio and MMR, leaving thousands of patients waiting years for their cases to be heard.

The second program, the Countermeasure Injuries Compensation Program (CICP), designed to compensate people for injuries caused by COVID-19 vaccines and countermeasures, has seen unsustainable growth.

Between 2010 and 2020, the CICP received only 500 complaints. Since the start of the pandemic, it has received more than 8,000 complaints — 5,000 of which are related to COVID-19 vaccines.

To date, the CICP has paid zero claims, although it did approve one in December 2021.

Should COVID-19 vaccines become routine, any injuries would be handled by the already overwhelmed VICP. There are fears the public will mistake the situation for “too many injuries flooding the program,” which will lead to vaccine hesitancy.

Children’s Health Defense (CHD) asks anyone who has experienced an adverse reaction, to any vaccine, to file a report following these three steps.

© 2022 Children’s Health Defense, Inc. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Children’s Health Defense, Inc. Want to learn more from Children’s Health Defense? Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. Your donation will help to support us in our efforts.

June 3, 2022 Posted by | War Crimes | | 1 Comment

Fake Meat, Fake Breastmilk and Food Shortages

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | June 2, 2022

Fake food is being poised as a panacea to end world hunger and food shortages, but there’s nothing miraculous about synthetic, lab-made food. It can’t compare to food that comes from nature in terms of nutrition or environmental protection, and as we’re seeing with the mysterious infant formula shortages, when you’re dependent on fake food, your very survival is also dependent on the handful of companies that manufacture them.

With parents getting desperate in the search for infant formula, it’s eye-opening that campaigns haven’t been started to encourage new mothers to breastfeed — the best food for infants and one that also happens to be free and readily available in most cases. If you haven’t read my article on the best workaround for infant formula for those that are unable to breast feed, it is on Substack.

In the video above, you can watch a concerning timeline about why this may be, as Bill Gates appears to be behind the push to stop breastfeeding and encourage uptake of BIOMILQ, a cell-cultured “human milk” made in a lab,1 along with other varieties of fake food.

Bill Gates’ Formula for Disaster

In June 2020, Bill Gates announced startup company BIOMILQ, which is using biotechnology to create lab-made human milk for babies. Using mammary epithelial cells placed in flasks with cell culture media, the cells grow and are placed in a bioreactor that the company says “recreates conditions similar to in the breast.”2

This synthetic lab-made breast milk replacement raised $3.5 million in funding from Gates’ investment firm Breakthrough Energy Ventures.3 Gates has also contributed at least $319 million to the media,4 including The Guardian, allowing him to control and dictate what they print. The day after the Gates Foundation paid The Guardian its annual funding in May 2022, it released a hit piece on breastfeeding titled, “Turns out breastfeeding really does hurt — why does no one tell you?”5

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) offers also seized 588 cases of infant formula from Europe in April 2021 because it lacked appropriate nutritional labeling. In February 2021, CBP officers said they inspected 17 separate shipments of infant formula from Germany and The Netherlands, leading to a warning against buying infant formula online from overseas.

At the time, Keith Fleming, CBP’s acting director of field operations in Baltimore, Maryland, said in a news release:6

“Consumers should be very careful when contemplating the purchase of items over the internet from an international source, because they may not get what they expect. People expect that the products they purchase comply with existing U.S. health and safety laws and regulations and they’ll be safe for them or their family. That’s not always the case.”

While warning Americans against purchasing infant formula from overseas, in February 2022 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced bacterial contamination at the Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, Michigan facility,7 which is behind the current infant formula shortages. While Gates is clearly behind the push to stop breastfeeding and encourage BIOMILQ in lieu of breastmilk or formula, the formula shortages highlight the risks of consolidated food production.

Abbott Enriched Shareholders While Formula Sickened Babies

Corporate consolidation is rampant in the U.S. baby formula market, of which 90% is controlled by four companies. Abbot is among them, responsible for 43% of baby formula production in the U.S.8 Yet, according to a whistleblower filing from October 2021, equipment at the company’s Sturgis facility was “failing and in need of repair.”

Pitting and pinholes reportedly existed in a number of pipes, allowing bacterial contamination. Leadership was aware of the failing equipment for up to seven years before the February 2022 outbreak, according to the whistleblower’s report.9

With equipment in need of repair, and a bacteria outbreak in their formula sickening babies, Abbott used its massive profits from 2019 to 2021 to announce a lucrative stock buyback program.10 According to The Guardian :11

“Abbott detected bacteria eight times as its net profits soared by 94% between 2019 and 2021. And just as its tainted formula allegedly began sickening a number of babies, with two deaths reported, the company increased dividends to shareholders by over 25% while announcing a stock buyback program worth $5bn.”

Speaking with The Guardian, Rakeen Mabud, chief economist for the Groundwork Collaborative, added, “Abbott chose to prioritize shareholders by issuing billions of dollars in stock buybacks instead of making productive investments.”12

Big Meat and Dairy Companies Dominate Fake Meat Industry

The increasing number of plant-based fake foods and lab-grown meat companies give the illusion that consumers are getting more choices and the food industry is becoming less consolidated. However, there are still relatively few firms that are controlling the global grab for “protein” markets.

In a research article published in Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, Philip Howard, a faculty member in the department of community sustainability at Michigan State University, and colleagues explain how this “protein” industry convergence is further jeopardizing the resilience of the food system and reducing genetic diversity of livestock and crops:13

“Recent years have seen the convergence of industries that focus on higher protein foods, such as meat processing firms expanding into plant-based substitutes and/or cellular meat production, and fisheries firms expanding into aquaculture. A driving force behind these changes is dominant firms seeking to increase their power relative to close competitors, including by extending beyond boundaries that pose constraints to growth.

The broad banner of “protein” offers a promising space to achieve this goal, despite its nutritionally reductionist focus on a single macronutrient. Protein firm strategies to increase their dominance are likely to further diminish equity in food systems by exacerbating power asymmetries.”

Tyson and Cargill, two of the largest meat processors in the world, for instance, have invested in fake meat company Memphis Meats, which also has backing from Bill Gates and Richard Branson. Other billionaires invested in fake foods include Sergey Brin (Mosa Meat), Peter Thiel (Modern Meadow) and Marc Benioff (Eat Just).

“These companies wouldn’t be making these investments if they didn’t expect that the intellectual properties held by these start-ups will lead to monopoly profits,” Howard notes.14 In “The Politics of Protein,” a report from the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food), Howard explains:15

“Nearly every large meat and dairy processor/manufacturer has also acquired or developed plant-based meat and dairy substitutes, establishing footholds in a market that is growing approximately 20% per year.

More than a dozen of these firms have also invested in start-ups that are attempting to commercialize lab-grown meat and fish. Meanwhile, Vanguard and BlackRock — two of the world’s biggest asset management firms — have investments in almost all the largest meat, dairy, and animal feed companies.”

It is important to understand why all of these fake meat products are an absolute metabolic disaster relates to the fact that they are using vegetable fats to replace animal fats. Not only are they devoid of important vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin K2, but they are loaded with the dangerous omega-6 fat linoleic acid LA.

In some cases they contain up to 10 to 20 times the amount found in meats, which will radically contribute to diseases like diabetes, obesity, cancer and heart disease.

Lab-Grown Food Is an Environmental Catastrophe

The push for fake food is being made on the platform that it will somehow save the environment from the ravages of factory farming, which has devastated the environment with its concentrated animal feeding operations and monocultures. But this, too, is misleading.

In February 2021, the Good Food Institute (GFI), a nonprofit group behind the alternative protein industry, released a techno-economic analysis of cultivated meat, which was prepared by consulting firm CE Delft.16 In it, they developed a model to reduce the current costs of cultured meat production down to a point that would make it economically feasible in full-scale plants by 2030, a model they said is “feasible.”

In attempting to create cultured meat on the scale that would be necessary to feed the world, logistical problems are numerous and, possibly, insurmountable. There are waste products — catabolites — to deal with, as even cultured cells excrete waste that is toxic.

And, the oxygen and nutrients available must be adequately distributed to all the cells — something that’s difficult in a large reactor. Stirring the cells faster or adding more oxygen may help, but this can cause fatal stress to the cells.17

The environmental “benefits” are also on shaky ground when you factor in soy production as well as the use of conventional energy sources. When this is factored in, GFI’s life-cycle analysis found that cultured meat may be worse for the environment than conventionally produced chicken and pork.18,19

Farmer and historian John Lewis-Stempel also points out that the world’s farmers already produce enough food for the global population: “[A]ny discussion of global food policy needs to begin with one plain fact: there is … no actual food shortage. Already, the planet’s farmers produce enough food to cater for the projected 10 billion humans of 2050. The problem is waste and distribution.”20

Yet, the push for the creation of fake protein sources continues. In the foreword to Navdanya International’s report “False Solutions That Endanger Our Health and Damage the Planet,” Vandana Shiva also details how lab-grown foods are catastrophic for human health and the environment, as they are repeating the mistakes already made with industrial agriculture:21

“In response to the crises in our food system, we are witnessing the rise of technological solutions that aim to replace animal products and other food staples with lab-grown alternatives. Artificial food advocates are reiterating the old and failed rhetoric that industrial agriculture is essential to feed the world.

Real, nutrient-rich food is gradually disappearing, while the dominant industrial agricultural model is causing an increase in chronic diseases and exacerbating climate change. The notion that high-tech, “farm free” lab food is a viable solution to the food crisis is simply a continuation of the same mechanistic mindset which has brought us to where we are today — the idea that we are separate from and outside of nature.

Industrial food systems have reduced food to a commodity, to “stuff” that can then be constituted in the lab. In the process, both the planet’s health and our health have been nearly destroyed.”

Signs the Fake Meat Industry Is Stalling

For all of its fanfare, there are signs that the fake meat industry may be failing before it ever gets off the ground. Shares of Beyond Meat, for one example, lost $6 billion since March 2020 due to weak sales growth and has resorted to partnering with PepsiCo to release a plant-based jerky product.

“My analysis is the launch will do very little to increase the company’s fortunes,” writes business development consultant Victor Martino in Just Food.22 He argues that the “plant-based meat revolution” is just a PR stunt, a narrative that’s set to implode:23

“The fact is, despite increased product availability in terms of brand choices and added retail outlets, plant-based meat sales stalled in 2021, recording zero growth, according to recent research from SPINS, data commissioned and released by The Plant-Based Foods Association and The Good Food Institute.

According to the research, the total annual sales of plant-based meat in the US remained stable at $1.4 billion. That’s a continuation of the 1.4% share of total meat category sales.”

Shares of Beyond Meat and Oatly, a plant-based milk substitute, have lost more than half their value in 2022,24 but this isn’t to say that their executives are suffering. Beyond Meat’s former chief growth officer Chuck Muth sold shares valued at more than $62 million from 2019 to 2021, while Biz Stone, a current board member and Twitter co-founder, has made millions on Beyond Meat stock.25

The fact remains that when private companies control the food supply, they will also ultimately control countries and entire populations. Biotech will eventually push farmers and ranchers out of the equation and will threaten food security and human health. In other words, the work being done in the name of sustainability and saving the planet will give greater control to private corporations while weakening the population.

To save the planet and support your health, skip all the fake meat alternatives and opt for real food that’s being raised the right way instead. When you shop for food, know your farmer and look for regenerative, biodynamic and/or grass fed farming methods, which are bringing you truly sustainable food for a healthy population and planet.

Sources and References

June 3, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 2 Comments

Remember when they said you were just as likely to get Myocarditis from Covid?

It wasn’t true

The Naked Emperor’s Newsletter | June 2, 2022

“In the current large population study of subjects, who were not vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, we observed no increase in the incidence of myocarditis or pericarditis from day 10 after positive SARS-CoV-2.”

Remember when you were told to get vaccinated but you had concerns about myocarditis? Remember when the scientists, doctors and people we are meant to trust said not to worry because you were more likely to get myocarditis from Covid? Well, it wasn’t true.

study published last month in the Journal of Clinical Medicine on MDPI took a look at the incidence of myocarditis and pericarditis in post COVID-19 unvaccinated patients. It was undertaken by the University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University and looked at 213,624 adult patients who had a documented positive COVID-19 test.

16,632 patients with a first vaccination received before COVID-19 infection were excluded, leaving 196,992 patients versus 590,976 in the control group, to study. The control group consisted of patients with one or more negative COVID-19 tests and no vaccination.

When the authors looked at the results of their study, they concluded that there was “no statistical difference in the incidence rate of both myocarditis and pericarditis… between the COVID-19 cohort and the control cohort” I.e. COVID-19 did not increase the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis when compared with those who did not get Covid.

These results tie in with a previous study in Nature, which I wrote about in April. This found a greater than 25% Increase in Cardiovascular events in under 40s during Vaccine rollout but NOT during Covid waves.

Numerous other studies have found that the vaccines increase the chances of myocarditis and pericarditis and this is openly acknowledged on government websites and vaccine reference material.

However, up until now, one of the excuses for continuing to give these vaccines was that you were more likely to get myocarditis or pericarditis with a Covid infection. This study shows this to be false.

Once again, a conspiracy theory has come true again.

June 3, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

The Politics of Natural Infection

BY JEFFREY A. TUCKER | BROWNSTONE INSTITUTE | JUNE 2, 2022

From the very outset of this pandemic, the topic of natural infection has been a taboo. To suggest that anyone might have been better off risking infection and thereby gaining immunity from a respiratorial virus rather than hiding under the sofa for two years was seen as outrageous and irresponsible.

My theory is that the reason has always been political. And that’s tragic.

Generations have gone by that have understood it. A life strategy to flee all pathogens is deeply dangerous. The immune system, in order to be trained to protect against severe disease, needs exposure. Not to all things, of course, but to many pathogens that are not finally debilitating or fatal. We’ve evolved with pathogens in what Sunetra Gupta calls a “dangerous dance.” This dance is unavoidable, especially for fast-mutating viruses like SARS-CoV-2.

And yet from the beginning, this knowledge seemed to be lost. This is gravely embarrassing since it’s been known for 2,500 years. It was worse than just lost. As a person who wrote almost daily during the pandemic, I too was careful not to discuss this topic with too much bluntness. We all felt the political pressure to stay silent or at least cloud our prose with euphemisms.

The single most controversial sentence of the Great Barrington Declaration was this one: “The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk.”

That talk about building up immunity is what drove people bonkers, as if no one was somehow allowed to utter a settled scientific truth. And yet long before Fauci began to speak as if getting infected was the worst possible fate, he was more honest.

Even I knew (from what I learned in 9th grade and what my mother taught) that the pandemic would only end with endemicity naturally earned. That is precisely what is happening. The CDC’s publication MMWR printed a seroprevalence study showing that from December 2021 to February 2022 – that period during which it seemed like everyone in the country got covid – went from 33.5% to 57.7%. In children, it went from 44.2% to 75.2%. It’s higher in both groups now.That the study got no real attention to it shows that we are fast moving toward the end, and how? Not through vaccination, which protects against neither infection nor transmission. It ends with everyone meeting the virus. There is of course some threshold of herd immunity with this virus, though it keeps rising with each mutation, requiring ever more rounds of infection to achieve it. It is surely higher than 70% but probably less than 90% depending on population mobility and other factors.We can look at that data today and wonder. What if we had never locked down? What if we had gone on with life as normally while urging those in risk categories to wait it out a bit while we achieved endemicity? How long would it have taken to get there?

Might it have been over by the summer of 2020? It is possible. It’s hard to know such counterfactuals with precision, but it does seem highly likely that the lockdowns achieved nothing good, caused tremendous damage, and also unnecessarily prolonged the pandemic. In addition, they degraded everyone’s immune system: we didn’t just avoid covid but everything else too.

And the main reason was due to the unwillingness of public health authorities to talk about actual science. When Fauci was asked about natural immunity in September 2021, he said “I don’t have a really firm answer for you on that. That’s something that we’re going to have to discuss regarding the durability of the response…I think that is something that we need to sit down and discuss seriously.”

The WHO even changed its definition of herd immunity to exclude natural infection as a factor! The whole institution gave itself over to vaccine sales based on wild exaggerations of their effectiveness while all-but-denying robust and broad immunity through exposure.

A key political factor to natural immunity is that it does not call on government to assume totalitarian controls to stop a virus. It presumes the operations of a normal society. The government wanted all power and deployed it to stop the virus. Therefore, science was out of the question, replaced by political propaganda from start to finish.

It’s not well understood that the US policy from the very outset accepted and adopted a zero covid approach. That gradually unraveled over time as unworkable. Trump’s own advisors tricked him into believing that he could achieve that just like Xi Jinping did. He fell for it, and pushed the two weeks to flatten the curve under the belief that this would make the virus go away. His rhetoric that day set the stage for more than two years of utter nonsense.

And here we are all this time later and top headlines are finally admitting what should have been obvious from the beginning. For a virus this prevalent, it ends with widespread natural immunity. Here’s the Bloomberg headline:

The rest of the article is designed to walk back that core claim. We are still not ready to face the terrible realities that the lockdowns achieved nothing and that the vaccines did not end the pandemic. The taboo subject of meeting the virus is still today what it was 30 months ago, nearly unsayable.

My theory is that this is entirely for political reasons. They hatched a wild plan to control a virus that would come and go like all such viruses in history, and so therefore they had to pretend their efforts were essential to the great task. They never were. That’s the bitter reality.

Reflecting on this topic of exposure and immunity eventually leads a person to realize that we don’t need centralized control, coercion, and dictatorial power to manage a pandemic. Pandemics are unavoidable but they largely manage themselves while the best-possible outcomes rest with the intelligence of individuals informing choices based on their own risk assessment. (I feel like I’ve been writing some version of that sentence for 33 months.)

And this speaks to the big problem we have today. The people who did this to us have not admitted error and probably won’t. Despite all the failures, these same people are gearing up for another round of lockdowns based once again on the ideology that the worst-possible fate for anyone is to face a virus naturally and bravely.

Think about this: our lords and masters are saying that our only choice in the face of any prevalent pathogen is to hunker down, don’t hold parties, don’t send kids to school, don’t go to church, don’t go work, don’t travel, and instead just wait for them to make a fancy serum to inject in our arms, which we must accept whether we like it or not.

In short, a government that seeks to control all pathogenic spread is one with totalitarian powers that knows not human rights or freedoms.

June 3, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Global food crisis a result of policy mistakes by US and EU: Putin aide

Samizdat | June 3, 2022

The looming global food crisis that could result from skyrocketing food prices was enabled by a series of policy mistakes by Washington and Brussels, Maksim Oreshkin, economic adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, told RT.

The conflict in Ukraine alone could not have caused the crisis on such a massive scale, Oreshkin said.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s international food price index shows that between April 2020 and April 2022, global food prices rose by more than 60%. The increase occurred for the most part before February 2022, when Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine.

In the four years from 2016 to 2020, the index grew by less than 7 points, but it increased by a whopping 27 points, from 98.1 to 125.7, in 2020-21. After the second year of the pandemic, the index stood at 141.1.

Since Russia’s military operation began, the index has risen by a further 17 points.

“Swings like that, with such huge increases in prices, are not happening due to one reason. It’s always a combination of a number of reasons which is leading to such a result,” Oreshkin, Russia’s economic development minister from 2016 to 2020, said.

He points to America’s overreaction to the Covid-19 pandemic as one of the first major factors that triggered the food price hikes. Since February 2020, the US “increased the money supply by almost 40%,” he said, adding that the $6 trillion the US printed to support its economy ended up flooding global markets, and led to the rise in food, commodity and energy prices.

Europe’s over-reliance on renewable energy, which drew resources away from food production, and on short-term gas contracts that led to gas price hikes in late 2021, are also significant factors, according to Oreshkin.

In early May, German Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Svenja Schulze said that the focus of some nations on green energy contributed to the food shortage. According to Schulze, up to 4% of biofuel in Germany is made from food and animal feed. “It needs to be reduced to zero, and not just in Germany but potentially internationally,” she told Bild at the time.

Oreshkin said these factors also led to a decrease in fertilizer production, which in turn hit harvests and drove up food prices. The waves of sanctions unleashed by the US and its allies on Moscow after the start of the military operation in Ukraine significantly exacerbated the crisis.

“It’s about a lot of sanctions imposed on the different fertilizer producers in Belarus, in Russia, it’s sanctions on ships, it’s sanctions on payments which halted trade,” he said, adding that Russia and Belarus both want “to export more food … more fertilizers,” but the “sanctions are blocking access to the global market and, of course, limit supply.”

According to Oreshkin, the 20 million tons of wheat supposedly blocked in Ukraine, which has become a hot topic among Western politicians and media, account for 2.5% of global wheat production. He also stated that Russia is prepared to partially substitute potential losses of Ukrainian wheat by exporting 13 million more tons this year than in 2021.

He also pointed to global food inequality as a root cause. “In reality, there is enough food on this planet,” but developed nations such as the US are simply consuming much more food than the others, he said, adding that people in the US consume on average “more than 50% calories per day more” than people around the world.

“They’re printing the money, they’re taking all the food, and of course they are taking the food from those who cannot afford it.”

He added: “if countries like the United States consume less, there will be enough food for everyone.”

June 3, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | Leave a comment

Political West ‘shocked’ by polls indicating most of world population likes Russia

By Drago Bosnic | June 3, 2022

Russophobia is defined as a racist or supremacist attitude towards Russia, its people, culture, etc. It most certainly isn’t a new phenomenon and it has intermittently been spiking or subsiding at various historical stages. This is especially true for the political West and their client states, particularly those with predominantly (neo)liberal views. In the last several months, especially since the start of Russia’s special military operation, this hatred has reached levels which can only be described as borderline mass psychoneurosis. Oftentimes, it’s so extreme, that it should be treated by highly trained medical specialists such as psychiatrists and studied thoroughly by clinical psychologists.

There were some claims that anti-Russian sanctions and generally anti-Russian actions of various Western institutions, governments and supranational organizations were not aimed against the Russian people, Russian culture, language, etc. And yet, this is precisely what has been happening. Sanctions imposed on Russia were designed specifically to target and bring down the Russian economy. And it’s not even a conspiracy theory, as most Western leaders openly stated this was their primary goal.

This attempt didn’t only fail miserably, but it even backfired, sending Western markets into a frenzy of high inflation and economic stagnation (or even recession), otherwise known as stagflation, a dreadful and volatile mix for anyone’s economy. And yet, the political West didn’t only fail to address the mounting issues resulting from their own actions, but they also decided to capitalize on these exact problems to push for more Russophobia by blaming Russia for literally everything.

That’s precisely how we got the mythical “Putin’s price hike” in the US, which started over a full year before Russia’s special military operation. However, even in the atmosphere of raging, media-incited hatred, people affected by the so-called “Putin’s price hike” are well aware this has nothing to do with Russia’s president. And yet, the hatred not only needs to be kept alive, but also fanned up to new extremes.

The latest trend is to blame Russia for global food shortages, including the shortages of baby food in the US. Some Western officials went as far as to blame Russia for the widespread man-made famine which has been ravaging Yemen for the last 7 years. One problem with this, however, is the involvement of the political West and its regional allies and clients, which have been keeping Yemen in a state of perpetual siege, blocking food imports and bombing the country daily. The sheer amount of hypocrisy and mental gymnastics necessary for one to blame Russia for the war crimes committed by the political West requires a thorough analysis in itself. Some of it medical.

When it comes to global food shortages, they can only be explained as entirely man-made. Russia expects a record harvest this year, as do many other countries. So, how come there is a shortage announced months in advance? Well, we should ask those announcing it. The statements about coming food shortages also drive up the prices, but the actual reason behind it can only be explained by Western sanctions which are preventing normal trade between Russia and other countries which need Russian food. The political West is also using this to capitalize on Russophobia, by blaming the Russian counteroffensive in Ukraine as the reason behind food shortages. A portion of the accusations is heavily focused on the nonexistent Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports. But the crews of ships stranded in Odessa, Nikolayev and Kherson tell a very different story. It was the Kiev regime’s placement of thousands of sea mines that makes sea transit from Ukraine virtually impossible.

But, it’s all Russia’s fault in the minds of clinical Russophobes. And no matter how much evidence is presented to disprove this false narrative (just one of many), they will find ways to spin it to their advantage. Still, the vast majority of the world simply doesn’t believe any of it. And the fact that the world doesn’t fall for Russophobia and anti-Russian propaganda is what truly “shocks” the political West. The ever-belligerent, (neo)colonialist block cannot comprehend why the world doesn’t share their views. Well, maybe because much, if not most of that same world has suffered tremendously under the jackboot of global (neo)liberalism for decades, centuries even. The most recent polls confirm this. The Guardian published the “shocking” statistics on 30 May.

“The sharp polarisation between mainly Western liberal democracies and the rest of the world in perceptions of Russia has been laid bare in an annual global poll of attitudes towards democracy. The annual Democracy Perception Index covers 52 countries in Asia, Latin America, the US and Europe. Majorities in Greece, Kenya, Turkey, China, Israel, Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, South Africa, Vietnam, Algeria, the Philippines, Hungary, Mexico, Thailand, Morocco, Malaysia, Peru, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Colombia thought economic ties with Russia should not be cut. Also, positive views of Russia have been retained in China, India, Indonesia, Egypt, Vietnam, Algeria, Morocco, Malaysia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. By contrast, among the 31 countries that favoured cutting ties, 20 were in Europe. The countries with a widely held most negative view of Russia included Poland (87%), Ukraine (80%), Portugal (79%), Italy (65%), UK (65%), Sweden (77%), US (62%) and Germany (62%). Thus, negative views of Russia are largely confined to Europe and other liberal democracies,” the report says.

Statistics such as this should always be taken with a grain of salt, as they could easily be rigged to further an agenda, if not through data manipulation, then through ambiguous questions which result in (intentionally) confusing or unclear answers. And yet, the results must be highly disappointing, with the massive trillion-dollar propaganda machine exposed as largely impotent outside of the political West. Long gone are the days when entire nations, such as Serbs, Iraqis or Syrians, among many others, could be demonized and then killed en masse with impunity.

Drago Bosnic is an independent geopolitical and military analyst.

June 3, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Russophobia | 1 Comment

Anti-war demonstrations held in Italy on Republic Day

By Max Civili | Press TV | June 3, 2022

Rome – Anti-war demonstrations were held in Italy with protesters calling on the government to stop sending weapons to Ukraine and leave NATO.

It came as the Italian authorities were celebrating the 76th anniversary of the Republic.

June 2 is the day Italy celebrates becoming a Republic. On this day, in a referendum held in 1946, Italians opted to abolish the country’s short-lived monarchy and adopt a Republican form of government.

Every year, the celebrations feature large military and official parades along with the ancient Roman Forum in the presence of the highest offices of the State.

Never before have controversies over the military parade been this contentious with anti-war demonstrations held in a number of Italian cities including Bologna, Padua, and Bari.

One of the anti-war protests was held in central Rome, 500 meters away from the Republic day celebrations. The initiative had been called by the base union USB and political party Power to the People.

Since the start of the Ukraine conflict, opinion polls have steadily shown over half of the Italians oppose sending weapons to Kiev and believe sanctions against Russia are useless.

The protesters are angered not only over Mario Draghi government’s military spending on Ukraine, which they say would be better spent on raising workers’ wages. They are also opposing officials’ decision to raise military expenditure from 1.4 to 2% of the country’s GDP.

According to studies carried out by a number of Italy-based think tanks, Italians have never been eager to increase defense expenditures.

Based on data from the 1950s to date, on average, less than 20% of respondents believe that military spending is too low or should be increased.

June 3, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Solidarity and Activism | , | Leave a comment

US State-Affiliated NewsGuard Targets Consortium News

By Joe Lauria | Consortium News | June 2, 2022

Consortium News is being “reviewed” by NewsGuard, a U.S. government-linked organization that is trying to enforce a narrative on Ukraine while seeking to discredit dissenting views.

The organization has accused Consortium News, begun in 1995 by former Associated Press investigative reporter Robert Parry, of publishing “false content” on Ukraine.

It calls “false” essential facts about Ukraine that have been suppressed in mainstream media: 1) that there was a U.S.-backed coup in 2014 and 2) that neo-Nazism is a significant force in Ukraine. Reporting crucial information left out of corporate media is Consortium News‘ essential mission.

But NewsGuard considers these facts to be “myths” and is demanding Consortium News “correct” these “errors.”

Who is NewsGuard?

NewsGuard set itself up in 2018 as a judge of news organizations’ credibility. The front page of NewsGuard’s website shows that it is “partners” with the State Department and the Pentagon, as well as with several major corporations, such as Microsoft. The nature of these “partnerships” is not entirely clear.

NewsGuard is a private corporation that can shield itself from First Amendment obligations. But it has connections to formerly high-ranking U.S. government officials in addition to its “partnerships” with the State Dept. and the Pentagon.

Among those sitting on NewsGuard’s advisory board are Gen. Michael Hayden, the former Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency director; Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Homeland Security director and Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a former secretary general of NATO. NewGuard says its ”advisors provide advice and subject-matter expertise to NewsGuard. They play no role in the determinations of ratings or the Nutrition Label write ups of websites unless otherwise noted and have no role in the governance or management of the organization.”

The co-CEO, with former Wall Street Journal publisher Louis Gordon Crovitzis Steven Brill, who in the 1990s published Brill’s Content, a magazine that was billed as a watchdog of the press, critiquing the role of the media to hold government to account. NewsGuard is a government-affiliated organization judging media like Consortium News that is totally independent of government or corporations.

NewsGuard has a rating process that results in a news organization receiving either a green or red label. Fox News and other major media, for example, have received green labels.

Getting a red label means that potentially millions of people that have the NewsGuard extension installed and operating on their browsers will see the  green or red mark affixed to websites on social media and Google searches. (For individuals that do not already have it installed and operating on Microsoft’s browser, it costs $4.95 a month in the U.S., £4.95 in the U.K., or €4.95 in the EU to run the extension.)

According to NewsGuard, libraries in the U.S. and Britain have had it installed on their computers, and it is also being put on computers of U.S. active duty personnel.  Slate reported in January 2019 that NewsGuard:

struck a deal with Microsoft to incorporate those ratings into the tech giant’s Edge browser as an optional setting. That’s when the Guardian noticed that the Mail Online had been tagged by NewsGuard with a ‘red’ label, a reliability score of 3 out of 9, and the following warning: ‘Proceed with caution: This website generally fails to maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability.’ For Microsoft Edge users with the ‘News Ratings’ feature turned on, that warning appeared alongside every link to the Mail Online—whether in Google search results, Facebook or Twitter feeds, or the Mail’s own homepage.”

Approach to Consortium News

Consortium News was contacted by NewsGuard analyst Zachary Fishman. In his request to speak to someone at Consortium News he said categorically that CN had published “false content” and that the interview would be on the record. “I’m hoping to talk with someone who could answer a few questions about its structure and editorial processes — including its ownership, its handling of corrections, and its publication of false content,” he wrote in an email.

As editor-in-chief, I informed him that our founder, editors and writers came from high levels of establishment journalism. I told him that in thousands of press interviews I’ve conducted over nearly half a century in journalism I had never known anyone accusing a prospective interviewee of misconduct upfront and then determining that the interview would be on the record, when the ground rules are usually set by the person being interviewed.

Fishman apologized and tried to say his mind wasn’t made up about Consortium News, when he had clearly stated that it was. “I do apologize that the wording of my email insinuated that I had come to a predetermined conclusion on whether your website has published false content, when I have not — be sure that I am interested in your responses to my questions,” he wrote in an email.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Fishman had one previous job in science and financial journalism that lasted 15 months for a company called Fastinform that is now defunct. Last month, all the links of his published pieces on LinkedIn went to a site that no longer exists. The links have now been removed.

Fishman has degrees in health, environment and science journalism and engineering physics. He has no experience in political reporting and especially of the politics of Eastern Europe and U.S.-Russia relations.

NewsGuard’s determination on Consortium News will be made by the analyst and, “At least one senior editor and NewsGuard’s co-CEOs review every Nutrition Label prior to publication to ensure that the rating is as fair and accurate as possible.”

Charge: There Was ‘No US-Backed Coup’

NewsGuard alleges that Consortium News has published “false content” by reporting that there was a U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine in 2014 and that neo-Nazis have significant influence in the country.

Fishman took issue with a:

“February 2022 article ‘Ukraine: Guides to Reflection,’ [which] asserted, ‘Hence, the inflation of Russian behavior in Ukraine (where Washington organized a coup against a democratically elected governmentbecause we disliked its political complexion) … .’

Fishman then wrote:

“The U.S. supported the Maidan revolution that ousted then-Ukraine President Viktor Yanikovych (sic) in 2014 — including a December 2013 visit by John McCain to Kyiv in support of protesters — but there is no evidence that the U.S. ‘organized’ a ‘coup.’ Instead, it has the markings of a popular uprising, precipitated by widely covered protests against Yanukovych’s decision to suspend preparations for the signing of an association and free-trade agreement with the European Union.”

Viktor Yanukovych was democratically elected as president of Ukraine in 2010 in an election certified by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a fact not mentioned in NewsGuard’s writings on the change of government in Ukraine. Even though Yanukovych agreed to an EU political settlement and early elections, violence forced him to flee from the capital on Feb. 21, 2014. Reporting that the neo-Nazi Right Sector was at the forefront of the violent overthrow, The New York Times (green check) wrote earlier that day:

“Dmytro Yarosh, the leader of Right Sector, a coalition of hard-line nationalist groups, reacted defiantly to news of the settlement, drawing more cheers from the crowd.

‘The agreements that were reached do not correspond to our aspirations,’ he said. ‘Right Sector will not lay down arms. Right Sector will not lift the blockade of a single administrative building until our main demand is met — the resignation of Yanukovych.’ He added that he and his supporters were ‘ready to take responsibility for the further development of the revolution.’ The crowd shouted: ‘Good! Good!’

study on the violence used to overthrow the government, by Prof. Serhiy Kudelia, a political scientist at Baylor University, says the overthrow succeeded because of “the embeddedness of violent groups” in a non-violent protest. The violence began on Dec. 1, 2013 when these violent groups attacked police with “iron chains, flares, stones and petrol bombs” and tried to ram a bulldozer through police lines. The police viciously fought back that day.

As the International Business Times (IBT) (green check) wrote about these groups at the time:

According to a member of anti-fascist Union Ukraine, a group that monitors and fights fascism in Ukraine, ‘There are lots of nationalists here [EuroMaidan] including Nazis. They came from all over Ukraine, and they make up about 30% of protesters.

Different groups [of anarchists] came together for a meeting on the Maidan. While they were meeting, a group of Nazis came in a larger group, they had axes and baseball bats and sticks, helmets, they said it was their territory. They called the anarchists things like Jews, blacks, communists. There weren’t even any communists, that was just an insult. The anarchists weren’t expecting this and they left. People with other political views can’t stay in certain places, they aren’t tolerated,’ a member of the group continued.”

The violence by far-right groups was evidently condoned by Sen. John McCain who expressed his support for the uprising by addressing the Maidan crowd later that month. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and then U.S. ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt visited the square after the violence had broken out.

NewsGuard’s account of the events of Feb. 21, 2014 says that even though Yanukovych agreed to the early elections, “angry protestors demanded Yanukovych’s immediate resignation,” and he fled on that day after “hundreds of police guarding government buildings abandoned their posts.” NewsGuard then says “protestors took control of several government buildings the next day.”

Government Buildings Seized

But protestors had already seized government buildings as early as December 2013. On Jan. 24 protestors broke into the Agriculture Ministry building in Kiev and occupied it. On the same day barricades were set up near the presidential headquarters. Government buildings in the west of the country had also been occupied. The Guardian (green check) reported on Jan. 24:

“There were dramatic developments in the west of the country on Thursday as hundreds of people forced their way into the office of the regional governor in the city of Lviv, and forced him to sign a resignation letter. Oleh Salo, a Yanukovych appointee in a city where support for the president is in the low single digits, later said he signed the letter under duress and was rescinding his resignation.

Thousands also stormed regional administration headquarters in Rivne on Thursday, breaking down doors and demanding the release of people detained in the unrest there, Unian news agency reported. In the town of Cherkasy, 125 miles south of Kiev, about 1,000 protesters took over the first two floors of the main administration building and lit fires outside the building.

Similar action took place in Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk and Khmelnytsky in western and central Ukraine, as well as parts of the north-east, the Party of the Regions said.”

Protestors had begun occupying Kiev City Hall in December, with a portrait of Ukraine’s World War II fascist leader Stepan Bandera hanging from the rafters. On the night of Feb. 21, the leader of the Neo-fascist Right Sector, Andriy Parubiy, announced that the Verkhovna Rada (parliament), the Presidential Administration, the Cabinet of Ministers and the Ministry of Internal Affairs had all come under control of the protestors.

Therefore NewsGuard has published “false content” by reporting that government buildings were occupied the day after Yanukovych fled the capital. It should print a correction.

On the day after Yanukovych fled, the Rada voted without the presence of Yanukovych’s party — the largest in the country — to impeach him after the fact of his violent overthrow. NewsGuard omitted the key fact that the impeachment vote was tainted by the absence of Yanukovych’s party and that the impeachment became largely irrelevant after violence forced him to flee the capital.

Democratically-elected leaders are removed by electoral defeat, impeachment or votes of no confidence, not by violence. NewsGuard writes that “hundreds of police guarding government buildings abandoned their posts” on the day Yanukovych was forced out, but doesn’t say why. As Jacobin (NewsGuard green check) magazine reports:

“Whatever one thinks of the Maidan protests, the increasing violence of those involved was key to their ultimate victory. In response to a brutal police crackdown, protesters began fighting with chains, sticks, stones, petrol bombs, even a bulldozer — and, eventually, firearms, all culminating in what was effectively an armed battle in February, which left thirteen police officers and nearly fifty protesters dead. The police ‘could no longer defend themselves’ from protesters’ attacks,’ writes political scientist Sergiy Kudelia, causing them to retreat, and precipitating Yanukovych’s exit.”

NewsGuard calls the events a “revolution,” yet revolutions in history have typically been against monarchs or dictators, not against democratically-elected leaders. For instance, the 1776 American Revolution, the 1789 French Revolution, the 1917 Russian Revolution, the 1952 Egyptian Revolution, the 1979 Iranian Revolution and countless others were against monarchs. Coups have been against both elected and non-elected leaders.

By any measure, Yanukovych’s ouster was an unconstitutional change in government. His “impeachment” without his party present for the vote came after government buildings had been seized and after violence drove him from the capital.

Circumstantial Evidence

In its version of these events, NewsGuard only refers to circumstantial evidence of the coup, interpreting it as U.S. “support” for a “revolution” against a democratically-elected president.

NewsGuard fails to point out that McCain, Sen. Christopher Murphy (D-CT) as well as Nuland appeared on stage in the Maidan with Oleh Tyahnybok, leader of the Neo-fascist Svoboda Party, formerly known as the Social National Party.

NewsGuard does not consider how such events would be seen in the United States if a senior Russian foreign ministry official, two leading Russian lawmakers and Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. appeared on stage with a far-right American leader to address a crowd on the Washington Mall seeking to oust an elected U.S. president. If that president were overthrown violently, would Americans think it Russian-backed the coup?

NewsGuard discusses Nuland’s 2013 speech in which she revealed that since 1991 the U.S. had spent $5 billion to help bring about Ukraine’s “aspirations.” What it fails to point out is that U.S. aspirations were to turn Ukraine towards the West and away from Russia. And the U.S. had work to do.

In a 2008 poll, 17 years after this U.S. effort began, and the year in which the U.S. said Ukraine would one day join NATO, 50 percent of Ukrainians actually opposed NATO membership against just 24.3 percent who favored it. A 2010 Gallup poll showed that 40 percent of Ukrainians viewed NATO as more threat than protector. Just 17 percent had the opposite view. So building up civil society through U.S.-funded NGOs to favor the West was the U.S. challenge.

NewsGuard does not mention that part of the $5 billion the U.S. spent was to help organize protests. There was genuine popular dissatisfaction with Yanukovych that the NED nurtured and trained. Jacobin reported of the 2014 events:

“US officials, unhappy with the scuttled EU deal, saw a similar chance in the Maidan protests. Just two months before they broke out, the NED’s then president, pointing to Yanukovych’s European outreach, wrote that “the opportunities are considerable, and there are important ways Washington could help.”

In practice, this meant funding groups like New Citizen, which the Financial Times reported “played a big role in getting the protest up and running,” led by a pro-EU opposition figure. Journalist Mark Ames discovered the organization had received hundreds of thousands of dollars from US democracy promotion initiatives.”

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which funds NGOs in countries the U.S. targets for regime change, on Feb. 25, the day after the Russian invasion, deleted all projects in Ukraine it funded, which are archived here. The NED meddled in Ukrainian politics in 2004 in the so-called Orange Revolution. The Washington Post (green check) wrote in 1991 that what the C.I.A. once did in secret — destabilizing and overthrowing regimes —  the NED was now doing openly.

C.I.A. or NED-led coups are never made up out of whole cloth. The U.S. works with genuine opposition movements within a country, sometimes popular uprisings, to finance, train and direct them. This U.S. has a long history of overthrowing foreign governments, the most infamous examples being Guatemala in 1952, Iran in 1953 and Chile in 1973.

The long-time NED head, Carl Gerhsman, said in 20——16 that the NED has been involved in Ukraine since the 1980’s and he praised the “overthrow of Yanukovych.”

Nuland-Pyatt Tape Omitted

Most significantly, NewsGuard’s attempt to refute U.S. involvement in the coup omits the 2014 intercepted and leaked telephone call between Nuland and Pyatt, the then U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, in which the two discuss who will make up the new government weeks before Yanukovych was overthrown.

On the leaked tape, Nuland and Pyatt talk about “midwifing” a new government; Vice President Joe Biden’s role, and setting up meetings with Ukrainian politicians to make it happen. Nuland says the prime minister should be Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and indeed he became prime minister after the coup.

At the time, the BBC (green check) wrote of the leak: “The US says that it is working with all sides in the crisis to reach a peaceful solution, noting that ‘ultimately it is up to the Ukrainian people to decide their future’. However this transcript suggests that the US has very clear ideas about what the outcome should be and is striving to achieve these goals.”

The U.S. State Department never denied the authenticity of the video, and even issued an apology to the European Union after Nuland is heard on the tape saying, “Fuck the EU.” Mainstream media at the time focused almost exclusively on that off-color remark as a distraction from the greater significance of U.S. interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs.

Why did Nuland say, “Fuck the EU”? At the time she said it, France, Germany and Poland were working for the EU on a political settlement with Russia to the Maidan crisis that would leave Yanukovych in power.

Indeed the E.U. brokered a deal with Yanukovych, who agreed to early elections by December, a restoration of the 2004 Constitution and an amnesty for all protestors, clearing the way for no one to be held responsible for the violent ouster. Yanukovych announced the agreement, with E.U. officials at his side in Kiev, on Feb. 21, 2014. Later that day he was violently driven from power.

Leaving the historic role of the NED and the essential Nuland-Pyatt conversation out of its reporting is an omission of evidence by NewsGuard, typical of corporate media. Omitting crucial elements of a story changes its meaning and in this case undermines NewsGuard’s account of the events of 2014.

This is an excellent example of why Parry started Consortium News: to report on crucial information that corporate media sometimes purposely and deceptively leave out to change the meaning of a story. NewsGuard should correct its story about the coup, not Consortium News. NewsGuard invites readers to request corrections by emailing them at corrections@newsguardtech.com.

Likely Reasons for the Coup

U.S. enabled Yeltsin’s 1996 reelection

Wall Street and Washington swept in after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 under a pliable Boris Yeltsin (who received direct U.S. help to win re-election in 1996) to asset-strip the formerly state-owned industries, enrich themselves and a new class of oligarchs and impoverish the former Soviet people.

The ascension of Vladimir Putin to power on New Year’s Eve 1999 gradually began to curb U.S. influence in post-Soviet Russia, especially after Putin’s 2007 Munich Security Conference speech, in which he blasted U.S. unilateral aggression, especially in Iraq.

Eventually Putin restored sovereignty over much of the Russian economy, turning Washington and Wall Street against him. (As President Joe Biden has now made clear on more than one occasion, the U.S. aim is to overthrow him.)

In his 1997 book,The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, former U.S. national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote:

“Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire. Russia without Ukraine can still strive for imperial status, but it would then become a predominantly Asian imperial state.”

Thus U.S. “primacy,” or world dominance, which still drives Washington, is not possible without control of Eurasia, as Brzezinski argued, and that’s not possible without control of Ukraine by pushing Russia out (U.S. takeover of Ukraine in the 2014 coup) and dominating Moscow as it did when this was written in the 1990s.

Deep Western involvement in Ukrainian politics and economy never ended from those early post-Soviet days. When Yanukovych acted legally (the Rada authorized it) to reject the European Union association agreement in favor of a Russian economic package on better terms, it threatened to curtail Western economic involvement. Yanukovych became a marked man.

Yanukovych had already made Russian an official language, he had  rejected NATO membership, and reversed his pro-Western predecessor’s move to glorify Nazi collaborators. Yanukovych’s predecessor, President Viktor Yuschenko, had made Ukraine’s World War II-era fascist leader Stepan Bandera a “Hero of Ukraine.”

There was genuine popular dissatisfaction among mostly Western Ukrainians with Yanukovych, which intensified and became violent after he rejected the EU deal. Within months he was overthrown.

After the Coup

The U.S.-installed government in Kiev outlawed political parties, including the Communist Party, and stripped Russia as an official language. Yanukovych’s Party of the Regions was banned in several oblasts and eventually collapsed. An American citizen became finance minister and Vice President Joe Biden became Barack Obama’s virtual viceroy in Ukraine.

Videos have emerged of Biden giving instructions to the nominal president at the time, Petro Poroshenko. By his own admission, Biden forced the resignation of Viktor Shokin, Ukraine’s prosecutor general.

Shokin testified under oath that he was about to investigate Burisma Holdings, the company on which the vice president’s son was given a lucrative board membership just months after the U.S.-backed coup.

Biden, other U.S. officials, and the media at the time lied that Shokin was removed because he was corrupt. State Dept. memos released this year and published by Just the News (green-check) actually praise Shokin for his anti-corruption work. The question of whether the leader of a foreign nation has the right remove another country’s prosecutor was buried.

Eight days after nearly 50 anti-coup protestors in Odessa were burned to death on May 2, 2014 by far-right counter-protestors dominated by Right Sector, the coup-resisting provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk in the Donbass region declared independence from Ukraine. Russia began assisting them and, after a visit to Kiev by then C.I.A. Director John Brennan, Poroshenko launched a war against the separatists that lasted eight years, killing thousands of civilians, until Russia intervened in the civil conflict in February.

After the coup, NATO began arming, training and conducting exercises with the Ukrainian military, turning it into a de facto NATO member. These were not just the interests of part of Ukraine that were being served, but those of powerful foreign actors. It was akin to a 19th century-style colonial takeover of a country.

Charge: Nazi Influence ‘Exaggerated’

Torchlight parade behind portrait of Bandera on his birthday, Jan. 1, 2015. (Wikimedia Commons)

The U.S. relationship with Ukrainian fascists began after the Second World War. During the war, units of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B) took part in the Holocaust, killing at least 100,000 Jews and Poles. Mykola Lebed, a top aide to Stepan Bandera, the leader of the fascist OUN-B, was recruited by the C.I.A. after the war, according to a 2010 study by the U.S. National Archives.

The government study said, “Bandera’s wing (OUN/B) was a militant fascist organization.” Bandera’s closest deputy, Yaroslav Stetsko, said: “I… fully appreciate the undeniably harmful and hostile role of the Jews, who are helping Moscow to enslave Ukraine… I therefore support the destruction of the Jews and the expedience of bringing German methods of exterminating Jewry to Ukraine….”

The study says: “At a July 6, 1941, meeting in Lwów, Bandera loyalists determined that Jews ‘have to be treated harshly… We must finish them off… Regarding the Jews, we will adopt any methods that lead to their destruction.’”

Lebed himself proposed to “’cleanse the entire revolutionary territory of the Polish population,’ so that a resurgent Polish state would not claim the region as in 1918.” Lebed was the “foreign minister” of a Banderite government in exile, but he later broke with Bandera for acting as a dictator. The U.S. Army Counterintelligence Corps termed Bandera “extremely dangerous” yet said he was “looked upon as the spiritual and national hero of all Ukrainians…”

The C.I.A. was not interested in working with Bandera, pages 81-82 of the report say, but the British MI6 was. “MI6 argued, Bandera’s group was ‘the strongest Ukrainian organization abroad, is deemed competent to train party cadres, [and] build a morally and politically healthy organization…’”  An early 1954 MI6 summary noted that, “the operational aspect of this [British] collaboration [with Bandera] was developing satisfactorily. Gradually a more complete control was obtained over infiltration operations … “

C.I.A.’s Allen Dulles asks U.S. Immigration to allow Lebed re-entry to U.S. despite murder conviction. (Click to enlarge.)

Britain ended its collaboration with Bandera in 1954. West German intelligence, under former Nazi intelligence chief Reinhard Gehlen, then worked with Bandera, who was eventually assassinated with cyanide dust by the KGB in Munich in 1959.

Instead of Bandera, the C.I.A. was interested in Lebed, despite his fascist background. They set him up in an office in New York City from which he directed sabotage and propaganda operations on the agency’s behalf inside Ukraine against the Soviet Union.  The U.S. government study says:

“CIA operations with these Ukrainians began in 1948 under the cryptonym CARTEL, soon changed to AERODYNAMIC. … Lebed relocated to New York and acquired permanent resident status, then U.S. citizenship. It kept him safe from assassination, allowed him to speak to Ukrainian émigré groups, and permitted him to return to the United States after operational trips to Europe. Once in the United States, Lebed was the CIA’s chief contact for AERODYNAMIC. CIA handlers pointed to his ‘cunning character,’ his ‘relations with the Gestapo and … Gestapo training,’ and the fact that he was ‘a very ruthless operator.’”

The C.I.A. worked with Lebed on sabotage and pro-Ukrainian nationalist propaganda operations inside Ukraine until Ukraine’s independence in 1991. “Mykola Lebed’s relationship with the CIA lasted the entire length of the Cold War,” the study says. “While most CIA operations involving wartime perpetrators backfired, Lebed’s operations augmented the fundamental instability of the Soviet Union.”

Bandera Revival

The U.S. thus covertly kept Ukrainian fascist ideas alive inside Ukraine until at least Ukrainian independence was achieved. “Mykola Lebed, Bandera’s wartime chief in Ukraine, died in 1998. He is buried in New Jersey, and his papers are located at the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University,” the U.S. National Archives study says.

The successor organization to the OUN-B in the United States did not die with him, however. It had been renamed the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), according to IBT.

“By the mid-1980s, the Reagan administration was honeycombed with UCCA members. Reagan personally welcomed [Yaroslav] Stetsko, the Banderist leader who oversaw the massacre of 7,000 Jews in Lviv, in the White House in 1983,” IBT reported. “Following the demise of Yanukovich’s regime, the UCCA helped organise rallies in cities across the US in support of the EuroMaidan protests,” it reported.

That is a direct link between Maidan and WWII-era Ukrainian fascism.

Despite the U.S. favoring the less extreme Lebed over Bandera, the latter has remained the more inspiring figure in Ukraine.

In 1991, the first year of Ukraine’s independence, the Neo-fascist Social National Party, later Svoboda Party, was formed, tracing its provenance directly to Bandera. It had a street named after Bandera in Liviv, and tried to name the city’s airport after him. (Svoboda won 10 percent of the Rada’s seats in 2012 before the coup and before McCain and Nuland appeared with its leader the following year.)

In 2010, pro-Western Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko declared Bandera a Hero of Ukraine, a status reversed by Yanukovych, who was overthrown.

More than 50 monuments, busts and museums commemorating Bandera have been erected in Ukraine, two-thirds of which have been built since 2005, the year the pro-American Yuschenko was elected. A Swiss academic study says:

“On January 13, 2011, the L’vivs’ka Oblast’ Council, meeting at an extraordinary session next to the Bandera monument in L’viv, reacted to the abrogation [skasuvannya] of Viktor Yushchenko’s order about naming Stepan Bandera a ‘Hero of Ukraine” by affirming that ‘for millions of Ukrainians Bandera was and remains a Ukrainian Hero notwithstanding pitiable and worthless decisions of the courts’ and declaring its intention to rename ‘Stepan Bandera Street’ as ‘Hero of Ukraine Stepan Bandera Street.’”

Torchlit parades behind Bandera’s portrait are common in Ukrainian cities, particularly on Jan. 1, his birthday, including this year.

Mainstream on Neo-Nazis

From the start of the 2013-2014 events in Ukraine, Consortium News founder Robert Parry and other writers began providing the evidence NewsGuard says doesn’t exist, reporting extensively on the coup and the influential role of Ukraine’s neo-Nazis. At the time, corporate media also reported on the essential part neo-Nazis played in the coup.

As The New York Times reported, the neo-nazi group, Right Sector, had the key role in the violent ouster of Yanukovych. The role of Neo-fascist groups in the uprising and its influence on Ukrainian society was well reported by mainstream media outlets at the time.

The BBC, the NYT, the Daily Telegraph and CNN all reported on Right Sector, C14 and other extremists’ role in the overthrow of Yanukovych. The BBC ran this report a week after his ouster:

And this one in July 2015:

After the coup a number of ministers in the new government came from Neo-fascist parties. NBC News (green check) reported in March 2014: “Svoboda, which means ‘Freedom,’ was given almost a quarter of the Cabinet positions in the interim government formed after the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych in February.”

Svoboda’s leader, Tyahnybok, whom McCain and Nuland stood on stage with, once called for the liberation of Ukraine from the “Muscovite-Jewish mafia.” The International Business Times (green check) reported:

“In 2005 Tyahnybok signed an open letter to then Ukrainain president Viktor Yushchenko urging him to ban all Jewish organisations, including the Anti-Defamation League, which he claimed carried out ‘criminal activities [of] organised Jewry’, ultimately aimed at the genocide of the Ukrainian people.”

Before McCain and Nuland embraced Tyahnybok and his social national party, it was condemned by the European Parliament, which said in 2012:

“[Parliament] recalls that racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views go against the EU’s fundamental values and principles and therefore appeals to pro-democratic parties in the Verkhovna Rada [Ukraine’s legislature] not to associate with, endorse, or form coalitions with this party.”

Such mainstream reports on Banderism have stopped as the Neo-fascist role in Ukraine was suppressed in Western media once Putin made “de-nazification” a goal of the invasion.

The Azov Battalion, which arose during the coup, became a significant force in the war against the Russian-speaking people of the Donbass, who resisted the coup. Its commander, Andriy Biletsky, infamously said Ukraine’s mission is to “lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival … against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”

In 2014 the now Azov Regiment was officially incorporated into Ukraine’s National Guard under the control of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. It is further integrated into the state by working closely with the SBU intelligence service. Azov is the only known Neo-fascist component in a nation’s military anywhere in the world.

As part of the Ukraine military, Azov members have still sported yellow arm bands with the Wolfsangel once worn by German SS troops in World War II. Including the atrocities it has continued to commit, Azov shows the world that integration into the state has not denazified them. On the contrary, it may have increased its influence on the state.

The U.S. and NATO have also trained and armed Azov since Barack Obama had denied lethal aid to Ukraine. One reason Obama declined sending arms to Ukraine was because he was afraid they may fall into these right-wing extremists’ hands. According to the green-checked New York Times,

“Mr. Obama continues to pose questions indicating his doubts. ‘O.K., what happens if we send in equipment — do we have to send in trainers?’ said one person paraphrasing the discussion on the condition of anonymity. ‘What if it ends up in the hands of thugs? What if Putin escalates?”

NewsGuard’s Objections

Collage of Neo-fascist leader Oleh Tyahnybok. meeting with McCain, Biden and Nuland. (Facebook image by Red, White and You of clip from film Ukraine on Fire)

NewsGuard’s argument against the major influence of neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine rests on Neo-fascist  political parties faring poorly at the polls. This ignores the stark fact that these groups engage instead in extra-parliamentary extremism.

In its charge against Consortium News for publishing “false content” about Neo-fascism in Ukraine, NewsGuard’s Fishman wrote:

“There isn’t evidence that Nazism has a substantial influence in Ukraine. Radical far-right groups in Ukraine do represent a ‘threat to the democratic development of Ukraine,’ according to 2018 Freedom House report. But it also stated that far-right extremists have poor political representation in Ukraine and no plausible path to power — for example, in the 2019 parliamentary elections, the far-right nationalist party Svoboda won 2.2 percent of the vote, while the Svoboda candidate, Ruslan Koshulynskyy, won just 1.6 percent of the vote in the presidential election.”

But this argument of focusing on elections results has been dismissed by a number of mainstream sources, not least of which is the Atlantic Council, probably the most anti-Russian think tank in the world.  In a 2019 article, a writer for the Atlantic Council said:

“To be clear, far-right parties like Svoboda perform poorly in Ukraine’s polls and elections, and Ukrainians evince no desire to be ruled by them. But this argument is a bit of ‘red herring.’ It’s not extremists’ electoral prospects that should concern Ukraine’s friends, but rather the state’s unwillingness or inability to confront violent groups and end their impunity. Whether this is due to a continuing sense of indebtedness to some of these groups for fighting the Russians or fear they might turn on the state itself, it’s a real problem and we do no service to Ukraine by sweeping it under the rug.” [Emphasis added.]

“Fear that they might turn on the state itself,” acknowledges the powerful leverage these groups have over the government. The Atlantic Council piece then underscores how influential these groups are:

“It sounds like the stuff of Kremlin propaganda, but it’s not. Last week Hromadske Radio revealed that Ukraine’s Ministry of Youth and Sports is funding the neo-Nazi group C14 to promote ‘national patriotic education projects’ in the country. On June 8, the Ministry announced that it will award C14 a little less than $17,000 for a children’s camp. It also awarded funds to Holosiyiv Hideout and Educational Assembly, both of which have links to the far-right. The revelation represents a dangerous example of law enforcement tacitly accepting or even encouraging the increasing lawlessness of far-right groups willing to use violence against those they don’t like.

Since the beginning of 2018, C14 and other far-right groups such as the Azov-affiliated National Militia, Right Sector, Karpatska Sich, and others have attacked Roma groups several times, as well as anti-fascist demonstrations, city council meetings, an event hosted by Amnesty International, art exhibitions, LGBT events, and environmental activists. On March 8, violent groups launched attacks against International Women’s Day marchers in cities across Ukraine. In only a few of these cases did police do anything to prevent the attacks, and in some they even arrested peaceful demonstrators rather than the actual perpetrators.”

The Atlantic Council is not the only anti-Russian outfit that recognizes the dangerous power of the Neo-fascist groups in Ukraine. Bellingcat published an alarming 2018 article headlined, “Ukrainian Far-Right Fighters, White Supremacists Trained by Major European Security Firm.”

NATO has also trained the Azov Regiment, directly linking the U.S. with far-right Ukrainian extremists.

The Hill reported in 2017 in an article headlined, “The reality of neo-Nazis in Ukraine is far from Kremlin propaganda,” that:

“Some Western observers claim that there are no neo-Nazi elements in Ukraine, chalking the assertion up to propaganda from Moscow. Unfortunately, they are sadly mistaken.

There are indeed neo-Nazi formations in Ukraine. This has been overwhelmingly confirmed by nearly every major Western outlet. The fact that analysts are able to dismiss it as propaganda disseminated by Moscow is profoundly disturbing.

Azov’s logo is composed of two emblems — the wolfsangel and the Sonnenrad — identified as neo-Nazi symbols by the Anti-Defamation League. The wolfsangel is used by the U.S. hate group Aryan Nations, while the Sonnenrad was among the neo-Nazi symbols at this summer’s deadly march in Charlottesville.

Azov’s neo-Nazi character has been covered by the New York Times, the Guardian, the BBC, the Telegraph and Reuters, among others. On-the-ground journalists from established Western media outlets have written of witnessing SS runes, swastikas, torchlight marches, and Nazi salutes. They interviewed Azov soldiers who readily acknowledged being neo-Nazis. They filed these reports under unambiguous headlines such as “How many neo-Nazis is the U.S. backing in Ukraine?” and “Volunteer Ukrainian unit includes Nazis.”

How is this Russian propaganda?

The U.N. and Human Rights Watch have accused Azov, as well as other Kiev battalions, of a litany of human rights abuses.”

Neo-facism has infected Ukrainian popular culture as well. A half-dozen neo-Nazi music groups held a concert in 2019 commemorating the day Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union.

Amnesty International in 2019 warned that “Ukraine is sinking into a chaos of uncontrolled violence posed by radical groups and their total impunity. Practically no one in the country can feel safe under these conditions.”

Zelensky & Neo-Nazis

One of Ukraine’s most powerful oligarchs from the early 1990s, Ihor Kolomoisky, was an early financial backer of the Neo-Nazi Azov Battalion. According to a 2015 Reuters (green-checked) report:

“Many of these paramilitary groups are accused of abusing the citizens they are charged with protecting. Amnesty International has reported that the Aidar battalion — also partially funded by Kolomoisky — committed war crimes, including illegal abductions, unlawful detention, robbery, extortion and even possible executions.

Other pro-Kiev private battalions have starved civilians as a form of warfare, preventing aid convoys from reaching separatist-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine, according to the Amnesty report.

Some of Ukraine’s private battalions have blackened the country’s international reputation with their extremist views. The Azov battalion, partially funded by Taruta and Kolomoisky, uses the Nazi Wolfsangel symbol as its logo, and many of its members openly espouse neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic views. The battalion members have spoken about “bringing the war to Kiev,” and said that Ukraine needs “a strong dictator to come to power who could shed plenty of blood but unite the nation in the process.”

In April 2019, the F.B.I. began investigating Kolomoisky for alleged financial crimes in connection with his steel holdings in West Virginia and northern Ohio. In August 2020 the U.S. Department of Justice filed civil forfeiture complaints against him and a partner:

“The complaints allege that Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Boholiubov, who owned PrivatBank, one of the largest banks in Ukraine, embezzled and defrauded the bank of billions of dollars. The two obtained fraudulent loans and lines of credit from approximately 2008 through 2016, when the scheme was uncovered, and the bank was nationalized by the National Bank of Ukraine. The complaints allege that they laundered a portion of the criminal proceeds using an array of shell companies’ bank accounts, primarily at PrivatBank’s Cyprus branch, before they transferred the funds to the United States.  As alleged in the complaint, the loans were rarely repaid except with more fraudulently obtained loan proceeds.”

Meanwhile, the Azov backer’s television channel had by this time aired the hit TV show Servant of the People (2015-2019), which catapulted Volodymyr Zelensky to fame and ultimately into the presidency under the new Servant of the People Party. The former actor and comedian’s presidential campaign was bankrolled by Kolomoisky, according to multiple reports, including this one by Radio Free Europe (not rated).

During the presidential campaign, Politico reported:

“Kolomoisky’s media outlet also provides security and logistical backup for the comedian’s campaign, and it has recently emerged that Zelenskiy’s legal counsel, Andrii Bohdan, was the oligarch’s personal lawyer. Investigative journalists have also reported that Zelenskiy traveled 14 times in the past two years to Geneva and Tel Aviv, where Kolomoisky is based in exile.”

Before their run-off election, Petro Poroshenko called Zelensky “Kolomoisky’s puppet.” According to the Pandora Papers, Zelensky stashed funds he received from Kolomoisky off shore.

During the campaign Zelensky was asked about Bandera. He said it was “cool” that many Ukrainians consider Bandera a hero.

Zelensky was elected president on the promise of ending the Donbass war. About seven months into his term he traveled to the front line in Donbass to tell Ukrainian troops, where Azov is well-represented, to lay down their arms. Instead he was sent packing. The Kyiv Post (green check) reported:

“When one veteran, Denys Yantar, said they had no arms and wanted instead to discuss protests against the planned disengagement that had taken place across Ukraine, Zelensky became furious.

‘Listen, Denys, I’m the president of this country. I’m 41 years old. I’m not a loser. I came to you and told you: remove the weapons. Don’t shift the conversation to some protests,’ Zelensky said, videos of the exchange show. As he said this, Zelensky aggressively approached Yantar, who heads the National Corps, a political offshoot of the far-right Azov volunteer battalion, in Mykolaiv city.

‘But we’ve discussed that,’ Yantar said.

‘I wanted to see understanding in your eyes. But, instead, I saw a guy who’s decided that this is some loser standing in front of him,’ Zelensky said.”

It was a demonstration of the power of the military, including the Azov Regiment, over the civilian president.

After the Russian invasion, Zelensky was asked in April by Fox News about Azov, which were later defeated in Mariupol. “They are what they are,” he responded. “They were defending our country.” He then tries to say because they are part of the military they are somehow no longer Neo-Nazis, though they still wear Nazi insignia (until Tuesday). (Fox’s YouTube post removed that question from the interview, but it is preserved here:)

Outrages Greek Officials

Also in April, Zelensky infuriated two former Greek prime ministers and other officials by inviting a member of the Azov Regiment to address the Greek Parliament. Alexis Tsipras, a former premier and leader of the main opposition party, SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance, blasted the appearance of the Azov fighters before parliament.

 “Solidarity with the Ukrainian people is a given. But nazis cannot be allowed to speak in parliament,” Tsipras said on social media. “The speech was a provocation.” He said Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis “bears full responsibility. … He talked about a historic day but it is a historical shame.”

Former Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras called the Azov video being played in parliament a “big mistake.” Former Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Kotzias said: “The Greek government irresponsibly undermined the struggle of the Ukrainian people, by giving the floor to a Nazi. The responsibilities are heavy. The government should publish a detailed report of preparation and contacts for the event.”

Former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis’ MeRA25 party said  Zelenky’s appearance turned into a “Nazi fiesta.”

Zelensky has also not rebuked his ambassador to Germany, Andrij Melnyk, for visiting Bandera’s grave in Munich, which provoked this reaction from a German MP: “Anyone like Melnik who describes the Nazi collaborator Bandera as ‘our hero’ and makes a pilgrimage to his grave or defends the right-wing Azov Battalion as ‘brave’ is actually still benevolently described as a ‘Nazi sympathizer.’”

Zelensky has closed media outlets and outlawed 11 political parties, including the largest one, Eurosceptic Opposition Platform for Life (OPZZh) and arrested its leader. None of the 11 shut down  are far-right parties.

Donald Trump was rightly castigated for remarks he made about white supremecists in Charlottesville. But Zelensky, whose oligarch backer funded Azov, and who brought a Neo-Nazi to address a European Parliament, is given a pass by a Democratic administration and the U.S. media though he condones the far worse problem of Neo-fascism in Ukraine.

‘Infested’ 

NewsGuard’s Fishman took issue with similar phrases that appear in Consortium News articles by columnist Patrick Lawrence, and by legendary journalist John Pilger. Lawrence refers to the Ukrainian government as a “Nazi-infested regime” and Pilger to the “the coup regime, infested with neo-Nazis.” NewsGuard objects to this characterization because the political wings of violent neo-Nazi groups fare poorly in Ukrainian elections.

Fishman wrote:

“The March 2022 article ‘PATRICK LAWRENCE: Imperial Infantilism’ stated: ‘Now the names we have for Putin roll around among like pinballs. ‘Hitler’ has fallen somewhat out of fashion, the hyperbole having proven too silly, or maybe because NATO is now arming a Nazi-infested regime,’ which was a reference to the Ukrainian government.

The February 2022 article “John Pilger: War in Europe & the Rise of Raw Propaganda” stated: “Vladimir Putin refers to the ‘genocide’ in the eastern Donbass region of Ukraine. Following the coup in Ukraine in 2014 – orchestrated by former U.S. President Barack Obama’s ‘point person’ in Kyiev, Victoria Nuland – the coup regime, infested with neo-Nazis,launched a campaign of terror against Russian-speaking Donbass, which accounts for a third of Ukraine’s population.” This article makes the claims similar to the ones highlighted in the previous … articles, and are seemingly false for the same reasons.”

One can quibble over whether “infested” is the best choice of words, but it is clear that the Ukrainian state has long protected influential Neo-Nazism. Consortium News gives a wide latitude to columnists and commentators like Lawrence and Pilger, both vastly experienced journalists, to express themselves. There is no doubt about the outsized influence of Neo-fascism in Ukrainian society and government, especially since the events of 2014.

NewsGuard’s dismissal of the influence of Neo-fascism by looking only at election results completely misses the point. Fishman has demanded CN correct its reporting on neo-Nazism in Ukraine. But Fishman’s statement that “There isn’t evidence that Nazism has a substantial influence in Ukraine” should instead be corrected by NewsGuard.

The ‘G’ Word

Fishman also took exception to the use of the word “genocide” in two Consortium News articles published about Ukraine.

“I also found some instances where Consortium News appeared to publish false or misleading claims, and I’d like to get your comments on them. I’ve listed some examples and provided brief explanations on why they seem to be false:

The March 2022 article ‘A Proposed Solution to the Ukraine War’ stated: ‘The government of Ukraine has denied human rights and political self-determination to the peoples of the Donbass. Some 13,000 people have died during the eight years since the 2014 coup, according to the United Nations. The Ukrainian government has overtly genocidal policies toward Russian minorities.’

The February 2022 article “John Pilger: War in Europe & the Rise of Raw Propaganda” stated: ‘Vladimir Putin refers to the “genocide” in the eastern Donbass region of Ukraine. Following the coup in Ukraine in 2014 … the coup regime … launched a campaign of terror against Russian-speaking Donbass, which accounts for a third of Ukraine’s population.”

Fishman went on:

“The International Criminal Court, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have all said they have found no evidence of a genocide in Donbas. For example, A 2016 report by the International Criminal Court found that the acts of violence allegedly committed by the Ukrainian authorities in 2013 and 2014 could constitute an ‘attack directed against a civilian population,’ but it also said that’“the information available did not provide a reasonable basis to believe that the attack was systematic or widespread.’

And the U.S. Mission to OSCE stated in a February 2022 Twitter post, ‘The SMM [Special Monitoring Mission] has complete access to the government controlled areas of Ukraine and HAS NEVER reported anything remotely resembling Russia’s claims [of genocide in Ukraine].’”

Genocide is defined in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, ratified by 153 nations. The convention says:

“In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

The Convention adds:

“The following acts shall be punishable:

(a) Genocide;
(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
(d) Attempt to commit genocide;
(e) Complicity in genocide.”

Based on the convention, an argument for and against genocide in Donbass could be made. The Ukraine military and extreme right militias have undoubtedly carried out attacks on civilians who, by reason of their language and religion, constitute a separate ethnic group.  Points (a) and (b) of the definition are certainly true, (c) and (d) are questionable. The question of “intent” is crucial. Have the Ukrainian authorities had the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”?

The charge of “genocide” is thrown about by political opponents with less than due care to its actual definition. For instance, Biden and Zelensky have both accused Russia of “genocide” in its ongoing military operation. There is no defined number of civilian deaths that constitute an intent to destroy a people “in part.” Three months after the Russian invasion, the OSCE reports around 4,000 civilians killed. Both sides are shooting and killing civilians.

It is a judgement call whether genocide has taken place. The ICC report, referred to by Fishman, says Ukraine’s military action against Donbass could “constitute” an “attack directed against a civilian population,” but the ICC’s judgement about genocide was not definitive as it was based on “the information available.”

His second reference does not come from the OSCE itself, but from the U.S. mission to the OSCE, undercutting its objectivity since it is a narrow, national view from a country with a distinct political interest in events in Ukraine.

Consortium News has not taken a position that genocide was committed in Donbass. These are the only references made to genocide in Donbass and both CN articles are clearly labeled as commentaries with the disclaimer: “The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

Pilger only says that Putin “refers to genocide,” while Pilger himself calls it “a campaign of terror against Russian-speaking Donbass.”

Consortium News did not endorse the judgment of these two commentators as it often publishes material with which it does not share editorial positions. Genocide in the context of Donbass is an arguable point, and therefore CN published these commentaries.

Financing and Other Questions 

NewsGuard has also demanded detailed information about Consortium News‘ financing. Consortium News is funded almost entirely by small contributions from its readers raised during three public fund raisers per year.

IRS rules require donors who contribute more than $5,000 in a year be told to the tax agency. But their names do not have to be revealed to the public to protect the donors’ privacy. CN has made public its two major donors from its last tax returns. Roger Waters, the rock musician of Pink Floyd fame, donated $25,000 in both 2020 and 2021. The other major donor is the New York-based Cloud Mountain Foundation, which has donated $25,000 in each of the past three years.

Consortium News has never taken a penny from any government, corporation or advertiser. To prove this, CN is hiring an independent auditor to attest to this fact. It will publish on this website the independent audit statement as soon as it is prepared to once and for all end any smears or suspicions about the sources of CN‘s funding.

Fishman also mistakenly wants to know why authors’ bios don’t appear below CN articles, when they clearly do. NewsGuard wants to know what CN‘s corrections policy is. It is as follows: typos are corrected without a notice, factual errors are corrected with a CORRECTION notice at the bottom of the article.

A History of Dissent

The United States was founded by dissenters. The Declaration of Independence is one of history’s most significant dissenting documents, inspiring people seeking freedom around the world, from the French revolutionists to Ho Chi Minh, who based Vietnam’s declaration of independence from France on the American declaration.

But over the centuries a corrupt centralization of American power seeking to maintain and expand its authority has at times sought to crush the very principle of dissent which was written into the United States Constitution.

Freedom to dissent was first threatened by the second president. Just eight years after the adoption of the Bill of Rights, press freedom had become a threat to John Adams, whose Federalist Party pushed through Congress the Alien and Sedition Laws. They criminalized criticism of the federal government.

The Union then shut down newspapers during the U.S. Civil War.  

Woodrow Wilson came within one vote in the Senate of creating official government censorship in the 1917 Espionage Act. The 1918 Alien and Sedition Act that followed jailed hundreds of people for speech until it was repealed in 1921.

Since the 1950s, McCarthyism has become the byword for one of the worst periods of repression of dissent in U.S. history.

The closest we’ve come to Wilson’s troubling dream is the Biden administration’s Disinformation Governance Board under the Department of Homeland Security, now on hold. 

The roots are in the earliest English settlers in North America, described in The Scarlet Letter and applied to McCarthyism in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Though its industrial and scientific achievements are most lauded, America’s tradition of dissent is probably the greatest thing in U.S. history and it is once again under threat.

The Current Climate

NewsGuard’s accusations against Consortium News that could potentially limit its readership and financial support must be seen in the context of the West’s war mania over Ukraine, about which dissenting voices are being suppressed. Three CN writers have been kicked off Twitter.

PayPal’s cancellation of Consortium News‘ account is an evident attempt to defund it for what is almost certainly the company’s view that CN violated its restrictions on “providing false or misleading information.” It cannot be known with 100 percent certainty because PayPal is hiding behind its reasons, but CN trades in information and nothing else.

CN supports no side in the Ukraine war but seeks to examine the causes of the conflict within its recent historical context, all of which are being whitewashed from mainstream Western media.

Those causes are: NATO’s expansion eastward despite its promise not to; the coup and 8-year war on Donbass against coup resisters; the lack of implementation of the Minsk Accords to end that conflict; and the outright rejection of treaty proposals by Moscow to create a new security architecture in Europe taking Russia’s security concerns into account.

Historians who point out the onerous Versailles conditions imposed on Germany after World War I as a cause of Nazism and World War II are neither excusing Nazi Germany nor are they smeared as its defenders.

Consortium News can be wrong at times, but never as wrong as mainstream media was on WMD in Iraq or Russiagate. CN got both those consequential stories right while they were happening, and contends it is correct in its analysis of the Ukraine crisis. In any case, it is entitled to its analysis. On Iraq, Russiagate and Ukraine, Consortium News has clashed with the conventional wisdom forged by powerful forces and its corporate media allies. In response CN has been repeatedly smeared as agents of Iraq and Russia.

An overly self-confident Western establishment cannot appear to understand how experienced Western journalists could exercise their own agency and editorial judgment to critique U.S. foreign policy in real time, without them being agents of a foreign power. Consortium News sued the Canadian television network Global News for publishing such a smear.

It is evidently not enough for powerful forces to simply disagree and respect CN‘s constitutional right to free speech.

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in Abrams v. United States wrote: “[T]hat the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas—that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market… That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution.” Justice Louis Brandeis added in Whitney v. California that the remedy for ill-conceived speech is more speech, not enforced silence.

NewsGuard’s review of Consortium News and other independent media is a test case: Can the U.S. establishment tolerate dissent or is it joining the tradition of Adams and Wilson to crush it?


Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers, including The Montreal Gazette and The Star of Johannesburg. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London, a financial reporter for Bloomberg News and began his professional work as a 19-year old stringer for The New York Times.  He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe

June 3, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | Leave a comment

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