Aletho News


Americans are Increasingly Wary of US Efforts to Harm Russia Causing Economic Damage in America

By Adam Dick | Ron Paul Institute | May 26, 2022

On March 8, President Joe Biden declared, in a speech announcing a ban on imports of Russian oil and gas, that these and other actions taken by the United States government “to inflict further pain on [Russia President Vladimir Putin]” would “cost us as well, in the United States.”
Since then, the US government’s economic sanctions on Russia — as well as spending, military training, intelligence sharing, and weapons transfers to attack the Russian military — have increased as the economic conditions in America have declined. Some of that economic decline is a result of the actions against Russia, as Biden suggested would be the case. Other parts of the decline have other causes.
New poling results from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research indicate that Americans are increasingly wary of incurring economic costs in America due to efforts to inflict pain on Putin or, as the poll puts it, “sanctioning Russia.” In fact, despite the nonstop hate Russia propaganda in the big money media, the polling indicates the majority of Americans are now opposed to harming the American economy to advance the anti-Russia crusade that Biden and most US Congress members have been pushing.
Support among polled individuals for “sanctioning Russia as effectively as possible, even if it damages the US economy” dropped from 55 percent on March 22 to 51 percent on April 22 to 45 percent on May 22. Meanwhile, support for the contrary position of “limiting damage to the US economy, even if it means sanctions on Russia are less effective” rose each month from 42 percent to 45 percent to 51 percent.
Americans seem to be increasingly viewing fighting Russia as not worth the cost Biden mentioned in his March 8 speech. Will many politicians in Washington, DC soon come around as well?
More about the poll results may be read here in a Tuesday Associated Press article by Nomaan Merchant and Hannah Fingerhut.

Copyright © 2022 by RonPaul Institute

May 26, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

EU seeks to criminalize sanctions evasion

Samizdat | May 25, 2022

The European Commission has insisted that breaching EU sanctions must be made a crime and that it was especially important to ensure strict adherence to the restrictions against Russia amid the Ukraine conflict.

“The European Commission is proposing to add the violation of EU restrictive measures to the list of EU crimes,” the bloc’s executive body said in a press release on Wednesday.

Such a step taken at the level of the EU should make it easier to investigate, prosecute and punish the violation of sanctions in all 27 members states, it pointed out.

The commission has singled out some of the potential criminal offenses, such as activities that seek to circumvent sanctions, including concealing assets, failing to freeze funds subject to restriction, and engaging in prohibited trade, such as importing or exporting goods covered by trade bans.

Brussels also put forward new, more stringent rules on asset recovery and confiscation, which should also contribute to compliance with the EU’s measures “to ensure that crime does not pay by depriving criminals of their ill-gotten gains and limiting their capacity to commit further crimes.”

According to the initiative, once such behavior is criminalized violating sanctions could also become grounds for the seizure of assets.

“EU sanctions must be respected and those trying to go around them punished… As a Union we stand up for our values and we must make those who keep Putin’s war machine running pay the price,” said Vera Jourova, the commissioner for values and transparency.

The commission added that it will present a legislative proposal after all of the member states agree on its current initiatives.

Russian became the most sanctioned country in the world after the EU, US and other nations imposed several rounds of harsh restrictions in response to its military offensive in Ukraine.

Among other measures, the foreign assets of Russia’s central bank were frozen, and a wide array of foreign businesses stopped dealing with the country.

The EU is currently discussing a sixth package of sanctions, which could include turning away from Russian oil. However, this faces opposition from some members, particularly Hungary, which compared the proposed curbs to “an atomic bomb.”

May 25, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

WEF back, learned nothing

By Alexander Adams | Bournbrook | May 24, 2022

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is back. After two years away, the elites reconvened in Davos, Switzerland, to resume plotting. Not, of course, that they would put it that way.

Open Forum Davos 2022 began on 23 May and runs until 26 May. It is a conference designed to increase international participation, “at a crucial turning point in history”. Every WEF statement reads part messianic prophecy, part threat, part vacant corporate babble. This year’s Open Forum promotion is no different.

Hand-picked stooges will promote WEF talking points and push pre-set agendas. There is no possibility of someone taking to the stage and suggesting more democratic accountability, nation independence and vitality through ideological diversity. “The activists will articulate how to turn words into action to fight the climate crisis. Gender equality will also feature prominently in the conversations.” The WEF knows that its multi-million-dollar programme of supporting environmentalist, gender-activist and pro-migrant groups will be amplified by globalist-friendly mass media outlets and clueless politicians in search of “relevance” and photo ops. The forum stresses youthfulness, promoting speakers such as “26-year-old Vanessa Nakate, author and climate advocate” and “Ievgeniia Bodnya, 27, who mobilized the Global Shaper Hub she leads in Kyiv to build the Support Ukraine Now”. Young, passionate women make perfect spokespersons. After all, should anyone male or older than them criticise their ideas, the opponents can be dismissed as relics of a failed era, ones who refuse to accept the coming wave of eco-awareness and migration justice.

The hypocrisy of the WEF is blatantly apparent in its support for Ukraine. It might seem to you paradoxical that a supra-national body which is dedicated to reducing the independence of nations has suddenly discovered its passionate commitment to the integrity of national borders, but WEF see no contradiction. The WEF writes:

“The Russian invasion into Ukraine was a tipping point for world security, the international economy and our global energy architecture. It is not possible to narrow down a war like this to one region while we live in a globalized world. We cannot keep radiation in one country’s geographical borders, or eliminate one country from the fragility of supply chains. This new type of hybrid war including its grave humanitarian crisis, the cyber attacks and economic hardships as well as disinformation and propaganda campaigns, geopolitical tensions about energy supply plus the threat of a nuclear war will have far-reaching effects.”

Every crisis is an opportunity for globalists to tighten their grip on control. Like the World Health Organisation, the WEF is committed to a totalising world view, so every problem will be solved by more globalisation, more migration, more universal regulation, more destruction of tradition. Like all totalising systems, its adherents use every circumstance as evidence of the system’s correctness; to succeed it simply needs more data, more co-ordination and better implementation of policies.

Open Forum Davos will include a panel on the mental health of young people. This is a savage irony, since it was WEF-trained national premiers (such as Justin Trudeau and Jacinda Ardern) who instituted the most draconian lockdowns and fear-propaganda campaigns that drove young people to despair. The WEF seeds its globalist totalising agenda through a Young Global Leaders programme.

In other words, the WEF has learned nothing from the last two years. The growing consensus that COVID lockdowns caused more suffering, disruption and inflation than targeted approaches to healthcare would have, suggests that unified global action made matters worse. If anything, the COVID-pandemic overreaction and reliance on international systems of food and energy supply have shown that independence, self-sufficiency and self-determination are vital for a resilient response to difficulties. Yet the WEF exists to advance the technocratic and scientism worldviews. Or perhaps we could call those worldviews temperaments, as they seem more rooted in emotion and moral psychology than any form of rationalism.

WEF doubles down, realises it was right all along.

May 25, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia | | 2 Comments

What it means that Hillary Clinton did it

By David Zukerman | American Thinker | May 22, 2022

The Wall Street Journal ran a scathing editorial on May 20, called “Hillary Clinton Did It“.

This editorial began: “The Russia-Trump collusion narrative of 2016 was a dirty trick for the ages — and now we know it came from the top — candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton.” The editorial quickly explained: “That was the testimony Friday by 2016 Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook in federal court [in Washington, D.C.], and while this news is hardly a surprise, it’s still bracing to find her fingertips on the political weapon.” (Also not surprisingly, The May 20 print edition of The New York Times did not include a story on Mook’s testimony.)

Mook’s testimony was heard at the trial of attorney Michael Sussman, charged with lying to the FBI in calling to their attention a story that Donald J. Trump, by means of connections with Russia’s Alfa Bank, was colluding with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The lie at issue was not the false claim about a Trump-Alfa connection, but the charge that Sussman brought this matter to the FBI as a good citizen, and not as a representative of the Clinton campaign.

As the Journal editorial noted: “Prosecutors say [Sussman] was working for the Clinton campaign.” The editorial pointed out, “Mr. Mook said Mrs. Clinton was asked about the plan [to call attention to the Trump-Alfa ties] and approved it. A story on the Trump-Alfa Bank allegations thus appeared in Slate, a left-leaning online publication.”

After that, the Journal explained how the Clinton campaign used the self-generated news of the investigation and the initial Slate article that came of it, both of which they had planted, as the basis for making tweet after tweet to the press about the Slate report to churn up mass coverage about it in the press and convince the public that the investigation was about something serious.

The concluding paragraphs of the editorial are worth quoting in full:

In short, the Clinton campaign created the Trump-Alfa allegation, fed it to a credulous press that failed to confirm the allegations but ran with them anyway, then promoted the story as if it was legitimate news. The campaign also delivered the claims to the FBI, giving journalists another excuse to portray the accusations as serious and perhaps true.

Most of the press will ignore this news, but the Russia-Trump narrative that Mrs. Clinton sanctioned did enormous harm to the country. It disgraced the FBI, humiliated the press, and sent the country on a three-year investigation to nowhere. Vladimir Putin never came close to doing as much disinformation damage.

The harm done to the United States by the perfidy of the Clintonistas cannot be overemphasized. That “three-year investigation to nowhere” represented the Clinton-Obama attempted takeover of the government. (Call it the COAT campaign.) With congressional Republicans unwilling to prevent the COAT campaign, the Trump administration was blocked from putting U.S.-Russia relations on a rational, mutually beneficial footing, to the point that, under the present Senate leadership, the specter of war with Russia is no longer an unthinkable thought. The COAT campaign succeeded in keeping the Ukraine pot boiling, with the water first heated by Obama’s stirring up of anti-Russian feelings in Ukraine, leading to the Maidan revolution that ousted the legitimately elected president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych.

May 24, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , , , | 1 Comment

Italian Orchestra Boycotts Music Contest After Ban on Russian Violinists

Samizdat – 23.05.2022

ROME – The Italian music group FVG Orchestra refused to participate in the international violin competition Rodolfo Lipizer Prize, following the organizers’ decision to exclude three Russian musicians from the contest, orchestra leader Paolo Petiziol told Sputnik.

According to Petiziol, the Italian group traditionally accompanied the best performers at the end of the event.

“It was a solid tradition that I have decided to break, since the logic of the Lipizer association, in my opinion, is inexplicable. You cannot discriminate against someone for their place of birth, this is madness. Tomorrow, we will begin to oppress someone for being a Christian, a Jew, returning to the Middle Ages,” the orchestra leader said, adding that the group is ready to return to the contest if the organizers call off their decision and apologise to the Russian musicians.

The competition’s head, Lorenzo Qualley, informed Russian contestant Lidiya Kocharyan on Saturday that she cannot compete as Rodolfo Lipizer Prize follows EU regulations arising from the Ukrainian conflict, and the example of other international competitions in various fields, the violinist told Sputnik.

The international violin competition was named after the Italian violinist and composer Rodolfo Lipizer. It was established in 1982 and takes place annually in Gorizia, Lipizer’s native town. Competitors perform pieces by Lipizer and other renowned masters such as Paganini, Beethoven and Brahms, and the winner gets an opportunity to play on the Lipizer’s own violin.

May 23, 2022 Posted by | Russophobia, Solidarity and Activism | Leave a comment

Norway responds to Polish demand for shared energy revenues

Samizdat | May 23, 2022

Norway has made it clear that it’s not going to give in to Poland’s demand for it to share its growing profits from the oil and gas trade with either Warsaw or Kiev.

On Sunday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki claimed that Norway would earn an extra €100 billion ($106.9 billion) from energy sales this year due to a spike in oil and gas prices caused by the conflict in Ukraine and international sanctions on Russia.

“They should share these excess profits. It’s not normal, it’s unjust. This is an indirect preying on the war started by [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” the PM insisted, adding that Oslo shouldn’t necessarily send its money to Poland, but to Ukraine.

Morawiecki also urged young Poles to shame their Norwegian “friends” over the massive gas profits online to push the country into sharing the wealth.

However, Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Eivind Vad Petersson questioned Morawiecki’s calculations on Monday.

He explained that excess oil and gas revenues go into the country’s pension fund, also known as the Oil Fund, which was established in 1990 to make sure that this wealth serves the current and future generations of Norwegians.

“Although petroleum revenues have increased as a result of the war in Ukraine, the value of the fund has fallen,” Vad Petersson pointed out.

Since the start of the year, the pension fund has lost 550 billion Norwegian krone (around $56 billion) due to turbulence on the stock market, the diplomat said.

“The Norwegian economy and Norwegian consumers are also being hit by higher prices for electricity and petrol,” he added.

Also on Monday, the Polish government, which is a strong backer of Kiev in its conflict with Moscow, announced the termination of its natural gas supply contract with Russia without waiting for its expiry at the end of 2022.

“After 30 years, it can be stated that relations in the gas industry between Poland and Russia have ceased,” Piotr Naimsky, Polish commissioner for strategic energy infrastructure, said about the move.

Russian gas giant Gazprom had already stopped supplying gas to Poland in April after Warsaw refused to switch to ruble payments for deliveries. The new rules for so-called “unfriendly countries” were introduced by Moscow in response to sanctions and the freezing of Russian foreign assets.

May 23, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , | 5 Comments

Clinton ordered leak of bogus ‘Russiagate’ story to press, ex-aide tells court

Samizdat | May 20, 2022

Former Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook told a federal court in Washington, DC on Friday that, in 2016, Hillary Clinton approved leaking to the media a story claiming that the Trump Organization had been in contact with Russia’s Alfa Bank. The story originated with one of Clinton’s lawyers, and is false.

Mook, who ran Clinton’s unsuccessful campaign in 2016, told the court that campaign lawyer Marc Elias approached him claiming to have proof that servers connected with Russia’s Alfa Bank exchanged data with servers belonging to the Trump Organization. He said that he had been assured that the evidence had come from “people that had expertise in this sort of matter.”

Mook said that nobody on the campaign was “totally confident” in the information, and that he asked Clinton whether he should release it to the media. “She agreed,” he said, and the information was released.

Once the claims were published by Slate, an online news source, the Clinton campaign put out a statement describing the supposed Alfa Bank server exchange as “the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow.” Then-Clinton adviser and current National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan wrote the statement, saying that the Alfa Bank allegations raise “even more troubling questions in light of Russia’s masterminding of hacking efforts … to hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”

However, the allegations were false. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report into “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia made no mention of the server allegations, and found no evidence of “collusion” or Russian “hacking efforts” to influence the 2016 election.

Furthermore, an FBI investigation into the allegations found that there was “nothing there,” the agency’s former general counsel, James Baker, testified in the same courtroom on Thursday. Both Mook and Baker were testifying in the trial of Michael Sussmann, who first brought the Alfa Bank allegations to the FBI.

Sussman is charged with making false statements to the agency when he told Baker in 2016 that he was not working “for any client” when he approached the FBI with his allegations. However, prosecutors allege that he was working for the Clinton campaign at the time, and that he billed the campaign for his work immediately after meeting Baker.

Sussman, who has pleaded not guilty, is being prosecuted by US Department of Justice Special Counsel John Durham, who was appointed by then Attorney General William Barr in 2019 to investigate the FBI’s handling of the ‘Russiagate’ investigation before Mueller took over.

Trump has insisted since 2016 that the allegations of “collusion” against him were a politically-motivated “witch hunt.”

May 21, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , | 2 Comments

Ex-FBI General Counsel Says Bureau Found No Evidence of Link Between Trump, Russian Bank

Samizdat – 19.05.2022

WASHINGTON – The FBI found no evidence of a covert communications channel between former US President Donald Trump and Russia’s Alfa Bank, former FBI General Counsel James Baker said in a testimony at the trial of Hillary Clinton’s lawyer Michael Sussmann, according to a Fox News report.

Sussmann told the FBI in 2016 that there was a backdoor communications channel between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, which is reportedly linked to the Russian government. Sussmann is being charged with making a false statement in connection with the meeting for allegedly lying about not working on behalf of any clients.

A probe conducted by Special Counsel John Durham alleges that Sussmann was actually working for the campaign of Hillary Clinton, as well as for tech executive Rodney Joffe.

Baker emphasized that the FBI concluded there was no substance to Sussmann’s allegations against Trump and could not confirm there was a surreptitious communications channel, the report said.

The testimony echoes that of FBI Special Agent Scott Hellman, who said on Tuesday during the trial said that the allegations against Trump were found to be untrue, the report added.

The FBI investigated allegations of Trump collusion with the Russian government in a probe run by Special Counsel Robert Mueller starting in 2017. Mueller’s investigation found no evidence of a criminal conspiracy or collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russian officials.

Durham in 2019 was chosen to investigate the origins of the FBI’s probe into the Trump campaign. The investigation has resulted in indictments against Sussmann, as well as Igor Danchenko and Kevin Clinesmith.

May 19, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , | 3 Comments

UK using Cold War’s black propaganda tactics against Russia

By Lucas Leiroz | May 19, 2022

Once again, the West appears to be operating with an old Cold War mentality against Russia. Documents recently declassified by the British government reveal a series of sabotage practices used by the UK during the bipolar era whose similarities to the current relations with Russia seem evident. In fact, sabotage, fomenting hatred, spreading lies and other common tactics seem like a commonplace part of British foreign policy and the current Special Operation in Ukraine is just another target.

Recently, it was revealed that the British government ran a series of secret “black propaganda” campaigns against enemy countries during the decades of the Cold War. Not only the Soviet Union and Communist China were targets of British intelligence, but also countries in Africa, the Middle East and specific regions of Asia. The tactics included various methods of sabotage, from information warfare to the promotion of racial and terrorist tensions, always aimed at promoting the destabilization of rival nations.

Commenting on the case, expert in intelligence Rory Cormac told The Guardian during an interview: “These releases are among the most important of the past two decades (…) It’s very clear now that the UK engaged in more black propaganda than historians assume and these efforts were more systemic, ambitious and offensive. Despite official denials, [this] went far beyond merely exposing Soviet disinformation (…) The UK did not simply invent material (…), but they definitely intended to deceive audiences in order to get the message across”.

An example of how British praxis worked was the extensive and complex action operated to promote tensions between the Soviet Union and the Islamic community. In the second half of the 1960s, the Information Research Department (IRD) forged at least eleven Soviet state media documents exposing the government’s alleged “anger” at the “waste” of Soviet weapons by Egypt during the 1967 Six-Day War. Later, the same department forged documents supposedly originating from the Muslim Brotherhood accusing Moscow of sabotaging the Egyptian campaign, criticizing the quality of Soviet military material and calling the Russians “filthy-tongued atheists” who saw the Egyptians as “peasants who lived all their lives nursing reactionary Islamic superstitions”.

Last year, The Observer had already revealed that the IRD was directly responsible for the massacre of hundreds of people in Indonesia through the spread of lies in a black propaganda campaign in 1965. At the time, the department financed the preparation of pamphlets allegedly belonging to the PKI, then the largest communist party in the non-communist world, which were actually just British false flags. This encouraged anti-communist militias to promote an unprecedented massacre in the country, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of communist militants and civilians. Now, with the new declassified documents, it is possible to see that this was not an isolated episode, but a regular practice in British intelligence services.

In fact, it seems impossible to analyze this case and not correlate in some way to the current Western campaign against Russia, in which the UK seems to be very involved. In a way, it appears that despite the end of the Cold War, the bipolar mentality has never stopped working in the West. Simply, what was once aimed at the Soviet Union is now aimed at Russia.

This is precisely what political analyst Joe Quinn thinks: “The timing of this declassification of the documents is interesting insomuch as it may serve, for some, as confirmation that the West’s geopolitical war against the Soviet Union never really ended, it just continued as a war against the Russian Federation, but without the justification of fighting against Communism”.

The British media has been one of the most active in spreading anti-Russian narratives, fake news and pro-Kiev propaganda. Although most of the work is operated by the private sector, it is naive to think that there is no state incentive for pro-NATO propaganda. The British state – as well as the US and allied nations – has a very deep interest in creating a psychological warfare scenario, so there is a type of clandestine public-private cooperation between the state departments and these media agencies for their common objective to be achieved.

The special military operation in Ukraine is the main reason why Russia is attacked by Western propaganda today. From accusations of war crimes, false flags (like the tragedy in Bucha) to the absolutely unrealistic “analyses” alleging that Ukraine is “winning” the conflict, we have in all these cases examples of how the British media acts in collusion with the interests of NATO, operating old tactics of misinformation and black propaganda against London’s geopolitical enemies.

In this regard, Adriel Kasonta, a London-based foreign affairs analyst and former chairman of the International Affairs Committee of the Bow Group think tank, believes that currently the main interest of British intelligence is to have a public opinion approving the sending of weapons to Ukraine and believing it is strategic, forging data to make it appear that that Kiev is close to “winning”.

“It aims to mislead the domestic audience by convincing them that the ‘special operation’ is not going according to plan and to persuade them that sending lethal weapons to the front by NATO allies contributes to the alleged victories and successful resistance of the Ukrainian side. It is a psychological game, and nothing persuades the naturally peaceful population to support a war in a distant land [more] than the opponent’s alleged low morale and military losses”, says the analyst.

With that, it seems to be clear that there is indeed a blatant anti-Russian campaign going on which aim is to harm Moscow using old and well-known black propaganda and information war tactics. It is essential that the recently declassified documents are released so that Western public opinion is aware of the weapons used by their governments and media agencies against nations that are not aligned with NATO’s geopolitical plans.

Lucas Leiroz is a researcher in Social Sciences at the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; geopolitical consultant.

May 19, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

EU unveils rationing plan

Samizdat | May 18, 2022

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Wednesday that the EU would raise its renewable energy targets and invest billions of euros in clean energy in a bid to break away from Russian oil and gas imports. Consumers will pay a price, however, with the EU’s plan including energy rationing and compulsory solar panels on homes.

Von der Leyen’s ‘REPowerEU’ plan would cut the EU’s reliance on Russian gas by 66% this year and eliminate it entirely by 2027, the bloc’s policy chief told reporters in Brussels.

Under the plan, the EU will increase its Energy Efficiency Target from 9% to 13%, and raise from 40% to 45% the amount of its power generated by renewables by 2030. At present, the EU sources 22% of its energy from renewables.

To achieve this, von der Leyen said that the EU would speed up the permitting procedure for renewable projects such as wind farms and would make €300 billion ($315 billion) available in grants and loans. Of this funding, 95% would be set aside for green energy, while 5% would be used to upgrade Europe’s gas and oil infrastructure to receive imports from sources other than Russia.

However, some of the immediate costs will be borne by consumers. According to the European Commission’s website, households and industry will be required to make “behavioral changes” – such as turning down air conditioning and switching off lights – to reduce demand for oil and gas by 5%. Furthermore, commercial and public buildings will be required to install rooftop solar panels by 2025, with these panels to be made mandatory on residential buildings by 2029.

Some individual member states have already asked their citizens to curtail their energy use. Germany, which depends on Russia for more than half of its gas and was already facing the world’s highest energy costs due to its flawed transition to wind power, has asked its population to shower less and swap their cars for bicycles in order to save costs.

With consumers across the EU already grappling with skyrocketing inflation and record fuel prices, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that European countries are committing economic “suicide” by trying to wean themselves off Russian oil and gas, accusing them of caving to pressure “from their American overlord” without “paying any attention to the damage that they have already caused their own economy.”

May 18, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Russophobia | | 2 Comments

We’re fighting a ruinous proxy war – but for which ‘sort’ of Ukrainians?

By Frank Wright | TCW Defending Freedom | May 18, 2022

SINCE the invasion of Ukraine, we have seen how effective our free world is in marketing. The art of attaching emotions to symbols is the basic method of propaganda, be that to sell products or policies, which was created by people such as American political commentator Walter Lippmann and public relations guru Edward Bernays in the 1920s.

A frenzy of outrage has been conjured over a country and on behalf of its people. Yet this is how the Ukrainian government sees its own people …

The poster reads: Ukraine – open your eyes! Yes – they look like Ukrainians. Sort I, II, III. 

In case you were not aware, according to the Ukrainian regime, there are three sorts of Ukrainian. When we speak of ‘the people of Ukraine’ and their rights, bear that in mind.

The red ‘Sort 1’ on the poster are in Galicia, which may be about to be occupied by the Polish army. There is a statue of Ukrainian nationalist and wartime Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera in Lvov, the regional capital and the base for most Western journalists.

Sort 1 Ukrainians are not native Russian speakers. In Sort 2, there is a minority (less than 25 per cent) who speak native Russian. Sort 3 is the worst offender, because every area here is populated by a majority of native Russian speakers.

In 2010, Sorts 1 and 2 voted for Yulia Tymoshenko. Sort 3 voted for Viktor Yanukovich, who was president until the 2014 coup.

Interestingly, the sorts are also careful to indicate in the second order some of the minority ethnic groups on the Western border. Ethnic Hungarians, Romanians and Moldovans are not Sort 1 either.

One emotional basis for the proxy war the US and NATO are fighting is the right of the Ukrainian people to decide their own fate. Which people – which Sort?

This right was not relevant in 2014 when the US, through its then Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, deposed the Yanukovich government and replaced it with one of its choosing.

You can now see why they did this. Yanukovich was not overly friendly with Russia, yet the fact that his base was concentrated in the Russian-speaking population was enough to convince the neoconservative faction that he had to go.

The proxy war is being promoted by this neoconservative faction, which dominates US foreign policy. The founder of their main pressure group, Robert Kagan, is the husband of Victoria Nuland. Kagan admits that US actions provoked Russia. His wife is the architect of many of these provocations, so he would know.

The view of the faction which controls US foreign policy is that Russia and its interests must be broken by any means. This is the reason for the cancellation of the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline, for the overturning of the election in Ukraine in 2014, for the concentration of arms and military training in Ukraine’s disputes Donbass region for the past eight years.

US policy – as directed by a faction that destroys nations with no regard for the costs, nor consequences for the populations concerned – is to break Russia. Yet there is a problem with this plan. The strategy is failing.

Russia is not collapsing at home. Its economy is resilient and looks to be capable of surviving. The wider world is not sanctioning Russia. Ukraine is not winning the war. A global food crisis looms. This makes escalation likely and the situation ever more perilous. It explains the insane Plan B – destroying Europe.

The sanctions – applied by the Anglosphere, the EU and Japan – are not weakening Russia. The EU seems determined to halt all gas and oil supply from Russia. Hungary, Croatia and Slovakia have indicated this would mean a severe economic collapse. The multinational chemical company BASF warned of the same regarding German industry, saying production will cease with no Russian hydrocarbons.

Many German firms are preparing to litigate the German government owing to the ‘dramatic repercussions’ of cutting off Russian gas and oil. This means whole industries will halt and Germany will deindustrialise. Europe will face food shortages and stagflation – a toxic mixture of economic stagnation and inflation.

You may have missed the fact that Ukraine shut down one (of two) gas transit nodes last week, instantly reducing gas supply. This obviously cannot happen without US direction and approval, as it endangers the ability of German industry to continue to operate. One explanation of US policy is to bleed Europe in order to blame Russia, which in turn builds support for war.

The difficulty here is in finding a rational explanation for the removal of the fuel, grain, fertiliser and raw materials without which European industry and food production cannot continue to function. Gas stores are 37 per cent full across Europe. We have no food mountains any more, and Britain is poised to be the worst hit with stagflation.

It looks as though the collapse of the EU economies might be the plan for the US administration, as there is no other rational explanation for the removal of gas, oil, grain, copper and fertiliser from that market.

There are no replacements. There is no agreement with Qatar to replace pipeline gas with liquefied natural gas (LNG). There is no other source of commercial fertiliser.  Added to this, Russian sweet crude oil isn’t the same as every other type of oil, which matters when your refinery is geared to process a specific type of oil.

That is the argument of Hungary, whose intransigence is explained by the simple fact that even if a replacement could be found for Russian oil, and even if it weren’t more expensive (it will be) – it can’t be processed in its country’s plants.

It is noteworthy that the Hungarian government will speak for the national interests of Hungary rather than cheerlead its own economic ruin.

Yet ruin is what we all face, after two years’ money-printing combined with a sanctions policy that will push the European economies off a cliff. This is a strange way to save Sort 1 – and some of Sort 2 – of the Ukrainian people.

This, however, is the price of a failed US initiative to weaken Russia, whose rouble is higher now than it was when the war began, and whose gas and oil is more valuable than ever. Is it a price we are willing to pay? Perhaps it is time to ask who is selling us this future, and for what purpose.

May 17, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Russophobia | , | 2 Comments

The Chinese Dimension of Russia’s Coal Business in a New Environment

By Petr Konovalov – New Eastern Outlook – 16.05.2022

Various projects to do away with coal and switch to other fuels that emit less combustion gases have long been discussed in developed countries. Some experts have even begun to predict the imminent demise of the entire global coal industry. One of the reasons for these forecasts has been statements by China, the world’s main coal consumer, that it also wants to reduce its use of coal as much as possible, along with Western countries.

However, despite all these claims, coal is still the cheapest and most transportable fuel, which no country with a developed industry can do without. The global coal trade continues to grow, generating good revenues for its main suppliers, including Russia.

In 2020, the Russian Federation produced about 401 million tons of coal, 199 million of which was exported to other countries.

In 2021, tensions between the PRC and Australia escalated, causing China to stop importing Australian coal and contributing to an increase in Chinese coal purchases from Russia.

By the end of 2021, Russian coal production was about 440 million tons per year, with 227 million tons exported. Thus, both Russian coal production and exports have shown significant growth. Of the above-mentioned coal exports, 129 million tons were sold to the Asia-Pacific region, which is particularly noteworthy because it is specifically this region that has major coal consumers such as China, South Korea and Japan, making the APR market particularly attractive for all coal exporters. China received 53 million tons of Russian coal, 20 million tons more than in 2020, earning Russia $7.4 billion.

In total, the Russian Federation accounted for more than 16% of the global coal market in 2021, 12% of the APR market and 15% of the Chinese market.

Since the Chinese coal situation came rather unexpectedly, the Russian Federation could not fully replace Australia on the Chinese market: most of Russia’s coal exports had already been allocated to other buyers and there was not enough time to multiply production. As a result, faced with an energy crisis, China started importing Australian coal again in late 2021, partly lifting the restrictions. However, the situation at the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022 still looked encouraging for the Russian coal sector. First, experience has shown that China cannot do without coal; Chinese decarbonization projects, which Beijing has been talking about for years, will not be implemented anytime soon – until then, the Celestial Empire will be importing coal. Second, having experienced power shortages without Australian coal, Beijing was able to see that its reliance on one supplier, Australia, was excessive. The tensions with Canberra in 2020-2021 are just one part of the larger political and economic confrontation between China and the West, and there could be many more conflicts ahead for the PRC and Australia. Therefore, to secure its energy sector, China needs to diversify its coal imports, including by further increasing supplies from Russia.

In February 2022, the media reported that Beijing and Moscow were negotiating an intergovernmental agreement under which coal supplies from Russia to China could be increased to 100 million tons per year.

However, at the end of February, a special operation by Russian troops in Ukraine began and the situation changed dramatically. The West has unleashed a torrent of sanctions on Russia, including Western countries starting to reduce imports of Russian hydrocarbons. In March 2022, for example, Russian coal shipments to the EU dropped by around 50%.

Although China is not an ally of the West, Russian coal exports to the Celestial Empire are also on the decline, as Chinese banks have reduced funding for related operations for fear of Western sanctions. The disconnection of a number of Russian banks from the SWIFT international payment system and the fact that most of the coal purchase contracts were in dollars also played a role: the Chinese side has had difficulty making payments.

Some pro-Western media have concluded that the Russian coal industry has suffered serious damage, that trade with China will not compensate for this damage, and that coal exports may not recover to their previous levels. However, such conclusions are rather premature.

Thus, despite the overall decline in the Russian coal exports to the PRC, exports of coking coal, a type of hard coal particularly valuable for the steel industry, increased in the first quarter of 2022. It can be assumed that the decline in Chinese purchases of other types of coal, which are used for winter heating, for example, may be due to the approaching summer period.

China now has a considerable supply of different types of coal, and in the run-up to the warm season, when there is no need for mass home heating, it can afford to reduce coal imports to explore new conditions. By autumn, however, it can be expected that Chinese-Russian coal cooperation will intensify.

As for sanctions-related difficulties, talks began as early as March between Russia and China on settlements in national currencies and on the use of CIPS, China’s equivalent of SWIFT.

It should further be noted that the Chinese side’s caution over the threat of Western sanctions is also a temporary phenomenon, as the PRC’s relations with the West are not good at all, and China may soon fall under its own sanctions regardless of its relations with Russia. Especially in view of certain features of Chinese foreign policy: on May 6, 2022, for example, some 15 Chinese planes entered the airspace of the partially recognized state of Taiwan, which the PRC considers part of its territory. The Taiwanese have scrambled their warplanes and put their air defense forces on alert. Fortunately, the incident ended peacefully. However, since Taiwan is under the protection of the US military, there is no doubt that the incident will further strain Chinese-US relations, and if it continues, the PRC will soon find itself in the same “sanctions boat” as Russia. In this case, Chinese coal imports from Australia are likely to suffer again.

It can therefore be assumed that China is seeking economic independence from the US and its allies, including from Australian coal supplies, and the Chinese leadership is already working out how to circumvent Western sanctions. One can fully expect that joint efforts in this area will soon allow Russia and China to move towards more intensive trade, including in coal and other energy sources.

May 16, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment