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From Suicide to Dead and Buried… Germany Now Provokes China

By Finian Cunningham | Strategic Culture Foundation | September 23, 2022

Not content with committing its nation to economic suicide from deteriorating Russian relations, the German government now wants to bury the corpse by sabotaging trade relations with China.

Robert Habeck, Germany’s trade minister, has riled Beijing by telling a G7 summit last week that Berlin was aiming to adopt a new China policy to “reduce economic dependency”. Habeck said Germany would strive to take tougher controls over Chinese foreign investment and move away from German reliance on China for key commodities such as semiconductors, batteries and other electronics.

Sounding tough in front of other Western members of the G7 forum (a redundant elite club if ever there was one), Habeck said, “the naivety towards China is over”. He said that trade relations would no longer be viewed in isolation from alleged human rights violations and other international concerns, presumably meaning China’s alleged hostility towards Taiwan.

Beijing slammed Habeck’s remarks and retorted that he was the one who is being “naive” in seeking to damage mutually beneficial bilateral relations.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz doubled down on the provocation at the weekend when he was asked about China’s position on Taiwan. Scholz implied that Beijing was the hostile party in recent tensions over the breakaway island territory. He cautioned China: “It is important that we ban violence from international relations.”

It was another red flag being waved by Berlin in China’s face. Scholz doesn’t seem to realize, or doesn’t want to realize, that Taiwan is a sovereign part of China. That is the legal fact of treaties at the United Nations and the internationally accepted One China Policy. It is the United States, Britain, Australia, France and Germany that are increasingly deploying military forces in China’s territorial waters that are causing dangerous tensions and obliging Beijing to take a tougher position on defending its sovereignty, including its rightful claims over Taiwan.

What are the German leaders playing at? The recklessness of their stance and the damage being inflicted on the nation’s economy make you wonder whose interests are they serving. Certainly, it would seem, not the interests of the German population.

Germany, the economic engine of the European Union, is crashing headfirst from its insane sabotage of energy trade with Russia. It reminds you of those slow-motion car crash tests where dummies are flung into the windscreen. Now it’s heading for a Chinese wall.

The self-imposed cutting off of gas supply from Russia is wrecking German industry and plunging the population into a winter of misery of untold poverty and hardship. Many observers including Russian President Vladimir Putin are baffled by the willful embrace of economic suicide that the German government is rushing into.

For decades, the German export-led economy has been driven by a copious supply of low-priced Russian natural gas and oil. The coalition government in Berlin, which took over from Angela Merkel’s administration at the end of last year, has cut off links with Moscow as part of its support for Washington’s policy to isolate Russia. Germany has gone all in to support the U.S.-backed Kiev regime with heavy weapons supplied to Ukraine in a war with Russia.

So much for Scholz’s admonition to China to “ban the use of violence in international relations”. Berlin is fueling the conflict in Ukraine and along with the U.S. and other NATO powers is preventing any diplomatic process to find a peaceful resolution with Russia.

If the death blow to the German economy was not bad enough from the reckless policy toward Russia, now Berlin wants to kill relations with Beijing.

China is Germany’s top trading partner for the past six years. Bilateral trade has grown steadily. This year’s commerce is heading to surpass the 2021 record high of over $240 billion in Chinese-German trade.

With its 1.4 billion population, China is a vital market for Germany’s exporters, especially the all-important auto industry that drives the German economy. Nearly 40 percent of global sales for Volkswagen, Audi, BMW and Mercedes are in China, spurred by the latter’s phenomenal economic development.

The Berlin government is putting its economic lifeline with China at risk by adopting a policy of wantonly provoking Beijing. In this, the German “leaders” are following Washington’s bidding. They have done this with regard to sabotaging Russian relations. Now they are bent on repeating the folly toward China.

It is notable that Habeck, the German trade minister, is a member of the Greens in the coalition government with Scholz’s Social Democrats. The other senior Green in the coalition is Annalena Baerbock who is the foreign minister. Both of them are pushing an irrational ideological position of damaging Russian and Chinese relations. The Greens want to convert Germany to renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. That’s how they justify doing away with Russian hydrocarbons. But the calculation is woefully misplaced. German industries and the wider population need Russian gas to run their factories and heat their homes. The folly of cutting off Russian energy is backfiring big time. The absurdity is that Germany is now going back to dirty fuel from coal in order to desperately fill the power vacuum that has been self-inflicted by Green ideologues.

More than Green ideology, however, is the real underlying ideology of Russophobia and Sinophobia. Habeck and Baerbock are blinded by their subservience to Washington’s transatlantic agenda of dividing Europe from having normal neighborly relations with Russia and China.

Washington’s agenda is to promote U.S. hegemony and its presumed unipolar dominance in international relations. In short, American imperialism.

An extension of that agenda is to incite antagonism toward China. The encirclement of Russia goes hand in hand with the encirclement of China. It is no coincidence that as Washington escalates tensions with Moscow over Ukraine and NATO encroachment, it is also feverishly inciting tensions with China over Taiwan and dubious allegations of human rights violations by Beijing.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration and Congress are pumping weapons into Ukraine and Taiwan in a deliberate and one could say criminal bid to provoke military confrontation. The U.S. capitalist economy needs tensions and conflict to sustain its military-industrial complex, the beating heart of American capitalism.

If Germany’s Chancellor Scholz had any independence of thought, he would be better to remonstrate with Washington over the use of violence in international relations.

But there is no chance of Scholz and his government ever doing that. They are lackeys for Washington and are hopelessly brainwashed with ideological nonsense, Russophobia and Sinophobia.

This winter is already coming with dread for Germany and the wider European population over the policy choice to trash the cornerstone of Russian energy relations. With the further damage to German-Chinese relations, the Berlin political elite are shooting Germany and Europe in the head – twice.

German industries, businesses and workers are incensed by the stupidity of their so-called government which is more accurately described as a Washington-backed regime in Berlin. Angry protests on the streets witnessed in recent weeks in Germany and elsewhere across Europe against self-inflicted economic misery are but a foretaste of the explosive social unrest brewing.

September 24, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment

The Conflict Between the West and Russia Is a Religious One

By Emmet Sweeney | The Remnant | August 24, 2022

The war currently underway in Ukraine—which pits Ukraine as a proxy for the collective West against Russia—is primarily an ideological or religious one, with Russia representing what is left of Christian Europe, and “the West” representing a totalitarian ideology that abhors religion in general and Christianity in particular. This statement may sound strange, given the fact that some Westerners – though fewer every day – still see “the West,” (basically Europe and North America) as Christian, and Russia as Communist, or crypto-Communist. But this is no longer the case, and has not been for some considerable time. In fact, the thirty years that have passed since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Soviet Union, has seen a complete reversal of roles; the collective West is now a totalitarian and aggressively anti-religious power-block that seeks to export its anti-Christian and anti-human ideology onto the rest of the world. And Russia is loathed by the West’s ruling elite precisely because it has resisted this process and moreover has gone in the opposite direction: having once been an active proponent of “scientific materialism” and atheism, Russia has reverted to its Orthodox Christian roots and has rolled back the more pernicious policies and attitudes of the Soviet era.

In order to demonstrate the truth of this, we need to look at the history of Russia and its interaction with the West since the early 1990s.

By 1991, when the Soviet Union was officially abolished, it was clear that the West had won the Cold War. Russia itself, under its new president Boris Yeltsin, openly proclaimed the end of all hostilities. Russia’s satellites in Eastern Europe were permitted to go their own way, and autonomous republics within the Soviet Union were allowed to declare themselves independent countries. The old Soviet system of state ownership was officially abolished, and almost everything was privatised. The press and media in general were freed of all censorship and could now say whatever they wanted. Russia under Yeltsin reached out the hand of friendship to the West – a gesture that was not reciprocated and ultimately snubbed by the West.

The euphoria of 1991 soon gave way and the 1990s turned out to be a catastrophic decade for Russia and her people. First and foremost, the policy of privatisation turned out to be disastrous. A law was passed which forbade foreigners from buying Russian utilities and industries; only Russians could do so. Unfortunately, nobody in Russia, hitherto a Communist country, had any money. However, certain groups within the country – mainly ethnic Jews – had important and wealthy connections abroad. These arranged to have funds sent into Russia for the purpose of purchasing the country’s state-owned industries. Desperate for any dollars and euros it could lay its hands on, the Yeltsin administration sold these industries for a tiny fraction of their true value. (Russia’s natural resources alone make it potentially one of the wealthiest countries on the planet). The buyers of said industries became the notorious “oligarchs,” who systematically plundered the country for almost ten years, in what has been described as the biggest act of looting in history. Rather than plow some of the profits back into the businesses, the oligarchs exported almost all of them, impoverishing both their employees and the country in general. The result was that large segments of the population began to experience severe hardship. Many came close to starvation and many died of hypothermia during the bitter Russian winters. Some state employees were paid in cabbages, and it is estimated that Russia suffered over five million excess deaths between 1991 and 2000. The majority of these were caused by simple diseases such as influenza, which developed into pneumonia for want of funds to buy an antibiotic. But deaths from all causes, including murder, suicide, alcoholism, and drug addiction, rocketed. Russia was a country falling apart, and the population began to plummet.

During this time, a Chechen independence movement, spurred on by funds from Saudi Arabia and (allegedly) the West, launched a violent campaign against the Russian authorities. A savage war followed, which claimed tens of thousands of lives, and eventually resulted in 1997 in Yeltsin’s recognition of a semi-independent Chechnya. Independence movements began to appear in other autnomous regions and it was clear that Russia itself stood on the verge of disintegration.

During all of this, the attitude of the West, or of those who control the West, was striking. Western media, by that time in the hands of a few mega-corporations, was almost gleeful in its reporting of Russia’s trauma. In their suffering, the Russian people became the butt of the West’s shadenfreude. And it should be borne in mind that it was precisely in the 1990s that American corporations commenced massive “outsourcing” of their industries to other, and less expensive, locations. Entire factories, together with their machinery and technology, were exported en masse, primarily to China. Almost nothing went to Russia. This in spite of the fact that China continued to be a Communist and indeed totalitarian country. Not even the massacre of Tiananmen Square (1989) and the subsequent brutal repression could halt the American plutocracy’s enthusiasm for exporting work and business. So Russia, which had held out the hand of friendship to the West, and had permitted the subjugated peoples to go free, continued to be treated as an enemy, and was effectively plundered by Western interests, whereas China, which did no such thing, was now treated as a favored trading and business partner. How to explain such an astonishing disparity?

There seems to be no logical explanation other than to assume an underlying cultural/religious antipathy towards Russia and her people on the part of a very large segment of the West’s ruling plutocracy. I suggest that this is the case, and it is Russia’s religion that is at the root of it.

During the Communist era, Christianity was suppressed in Russia and throughout the Soviet block. At its worst, under Lenin and Stalin, the Communist regime massacred millions of Christians. Victims were mainly Orthodox, but Christians of every denomination suffered. Even after the death of Stalin and into the 1980s religion continued to be persecuted.  All children were required to attend lessons in atheism, during which Christianity and religious faith in general was mocked. By the end of Communism, the Orthodox Church was a small remnant of its former self under the Tsars, but that soon began to change. Hardship birthed a spiritual revival; by the mid-1990s the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as other branches of Christianity, began to experience noticeable growth. It was not however until the first decade of the twenty-first century, and the presidency of Vladimir Putin, that this movement became really significant.

Putin had occupied a senior position in the Yeltsin administration, and he was no doubt viewed by the oligarchs, at that time the real rulers of Russia, as a safe pair of hands who could be relied upon to continue the policies which had allowed them to plunder the country for almost a decade. He was appointed Prime Minister on 9th August 1999 and, just four months later, in December, acting President of Russia, following the unexpected resignation of Boris Yeltsin. A presidential election on 20th March 2000 was easily won by Putin with 53% of the votes. One reason for Putin’s popularity was that he was seen as a strong leader during the Second Chechen War, which commenced on 7th August 1999, just two days before his appointment as Prime Minister. The war ended in April 2000, with Chechnya again part of the Russian Federation, a victory which enhanced Putin’s reputation as a strongman, willing and able to restore stability and enforce the law.

Over the next five years, Putin showed that the ruling plutocrats were very much deceived had they imagined him to be under their control and part of their team. On the contrary, the new president set about breaking their power. The next decade witenessed a series of legal cases and trials which left some of the oligarchs in prison and others forced to pay substantial compensation. Others, arguably the most criminal, fled the country and their assets were confiscated. The breaking of the oligarchs’ power, together with that of the “Russian mafia” which enforced their corrupt rule, began to restore some form of normality.

In parellel with his economic reforms, Putin oversaw a revival of the Russian Orthodox faith. In an act heavy with symbolic import, he made a visit to the great Orthodox monastic settlement of Mount Athos in Greece in 2001, just one year into his presidency. Although this attempt had to be aborted owing to a storm which grounded his helicopter, and a second attempt in 2004 similarly shelved when he had to return to Russia to deal with the Beslan School siege, he finally made it to the Holy Mountain in 2005. There he established a bond with the monks that transformed their community and impacted the lives of ordinary Russians. A major program of church-construction commenced, and the numbers attending church began to grow. Putin made it clear that he regarded Orthodoxy as Russia’s national religion and the Church was accorded a favored legal position. And such symbolic gestures were backed by new legislation which began to transform Russian society: the country’s abortion laws, hitherto some of the most liberal in the world, were tightened. In October 2011, the Russian Parliament passed a law restricting abortion to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, with an exception up to 22 weeks if the pregnancy was the result of rape. The new law also made mandatory a waiting period of two to seven days before an abortion could be performed, to allow the woman to “reconsider her decision.”

During this period, the portrayal of Russia in the Western media moved from one of condescension to outright hostility. As early as 2005, scholars Ira Straus and Edward Lozansky remarked upon a pronounced negative coverage of Russia in the US media, contrasting negative media sentiment with largely positive sentiment of the American public and US government. As Russia displayed increasing signs of a Christian revival, so the media reporting in the West became increasingly hostile. Only rarely however did journalists openly attack Russia for its “Christianization”; normally, columnists, conscious of the fact that large numbers of people in the West continued to describe themselves as Christian, portrayed their anti-Russian commentary as a result of Russia’s “aggression,” “corruption,” or “lack of democracy.” All that however changed with the new abortion law of 2011. Now the attacks against Russia became explicitly ideological. The Russians, we were told, were oppressing women and turning their backs on “progress.”

It was not until 2013, however, that the anti-Russian rhetoric went hyperbolic. In that year, the Russian parliament passed its so-called “Gay Propaganada” law. The bill, described as “Protecting Children from Information harmful to their Health and Development,” explicitly banned Gay Pride parades, as well as other forms of LGBT material, such as books and pamphlets, which attempted to normalize homosexuality and to influence children in their attitudes to homosexuality. In actual fact, since around 2006, many districts in Russia had been imposing their own local bans on such material, though these rules had no power outside their own jurisdiction. The bill, which was signed into law by Putin on June 30 2013, was extremely popular, and passed through the Russian Parliament unanimously, with just one abstention. But the impact upon the Western nomenklatura who form the gatekeepers of acceptable opinion, was immediate. Almost unanimously, Western media outlets now began to compare Putin with Adolf Hitler; he was a “thug,” a “fascist,” a “murderer.” Between bouts of seething rage, he became the butt of scathing satire. He was cast in the role of a caricature James Bond villain, routinely murdering and torturing those he held a grudge against. There is even evidence, admittedly somewhat circumstantial, that Western Intelligence bodies, such as the CIA and MI5, became actively involved in anti-Russian propaganda.

The effect of this deluge of demonization upon ordinary Westerners soon began to show: Whereas in 2006 only 1% of Americans listed Russia as “America’s worst enemy” by 2019 32% of Americans, including 44% of Democrat voters, shared this view. Only 28% of Republicans however agreed; a remarkable reversal of opinion. During the Cold War, Republican voters, traditionally the more religious and nationalistic element of the American political divide, viewed the Russians as the major threat; now it was the less or non-religious (and more pro-LGBT) Democrats who held this opinion.

But the Western elites did not confine its efforts to irate editorials in the London Times or the Washington Post: Economic sanctions now began to be discussed. There were immediate calls to boycott the Winter Olympics, held in February 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Whilst the call to boycott was generally resisted by athletes, many Western politicians refused to attend, and the Russophobic temperature in the Western media ratcheted up. And things were about to get much worse.

In 2010 Viktor Yanukovych, a native of Russian-speaking Donetsk, was elected President of Ukraine, defeating Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko, in what was judged by international observers to be a free and fair election. In November 2013 Yanukovych delayed signing a pending European Union association agreement, on the grounds that his government wished to maintain economic ties with Russia, as well as with the European Union. Russia had in fact offered a more favorable loan bailout than the European Union was prepared to offer. This led to protests and the occupation of Kiev’s Independence Square, a series of events dubbed the “the Euromaidan” by those in favor of aligning Ukraine with the European Union. Whilst at times it looked as if the protests would fizzle out, there is no question that almost from the beginning there was a concerted effort on the part of Western politicians to keep them going. Beginning early in December, several politicians from Berlin and Brussels paid “morale-boosting” trips to the square, and these were followed, on December 15, by the arrival of American Senators John McCain and Chris Murphy. To the assembled crowds, McCain announced that “we are here to support your just cause.” The Russians, for their part, condemned America’s “crude meddling” in Ukraine’s affairs.

Victoria Nuland, at that time Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs in the Obama administration, arrived in Ukraine shortly afterwards, and immediately set about fanning the flames of an already volatile situation. In speech after speech she promised the protestors and rioters that America was behind them. The result was that by early February 2014 Ukraine appeared to be on the brink of civil war; violent clashes between anti-government protestors and police left many dead and injured. Fearing for his life, on February 21 Yanukovych fled the capital, initially travelling to Crimea and ultimately to Russia. A new interim government, handpicked by Nuland, and virulently anti-Russian, was immediately installed in Kiev.

When considering the actions of America and the collective West at this time we have to remember that Ukraine was and is a deeply divided society. Half the country, roughly the north and west, regards itself as Ukrainian and is historically antagonistic towards Russia. The other half, predominantly the south and east, is pro-Russian and views itself as simultaneously Ukrainian and Russian. A glance at the electoral map of the country demonstrates this division in a most graphic way, for it was the Russian part of the country, the south and east, which overwhelmingly put Yanukovych into power. In supporting a violent overthrow of the latter, the American government quite deliberately threw its weight behind the anti-Russian half of the population. And it is impossible to believe that the political elite in Washington did not understand what they were doing. They had to have known that they were making civil strife – if not outright civil war – an absolute certainty.

The civil strife was not long in coming. As the anti-government mobs in Kiev were in the process of throwing out Yanukovych, major protests against the coup began to occur in the south and east. Crimea, which was overwhelmingly Russian and had only been transferred to the jurisdiction of Kiev in 1954 by Khruschev, held a referendum, resulting in a 97% vote for reunion with Russia. Putin, infuriated by American actions in Kiev, accepted the result of the vote, and formally announced the return of Crimea to the Russian Federation. Simultaneous with this, cities and towns throughout the south and east of the country, saw massive “anti-Maidan” protests, with many people calling for secession from Ukraine and union with Russia. The new Washington-appointed regime in Kiev reacted with force. Forty-seven pro-Russian demonstrators in Odessa were besieged in the city’s Trade Union building and burned to death by a Neo-Nazi mob. Seeing the way things were going, the ethnically-Russian provinces (“Oblasts”) of Lugansk and Donetsk declared independence and prepared to defend themselves. This quickly escalated into full-scale war, and over the next two years or so around 14,000 people, mainly ethnic Russian civilians, died, as the Kiev government fought to return the two provinces to Ukraine.

The fighting in Lugansk and Donetsk (the “Donbas”) de-escalated after the signing of the so-called Minsk 2 Accord in 2015. This deal, brokered by Russia, the US and the UN, provided for a degree of autonomy for the two breakaway provinces, as well as recognition and respect for their Russian language and culture. The deal also called for the immediate halting of all military action.

Had the Minsk agreement been fully implemented, it is quite possible that all hostilities would have ended, but this was never the case. The new government in Kiev, which from May 2014 was headed by Petro Poroshenko, made no attempt whatsoever to abide by the Accord’s provisions. On the contrary, the Russian language, hitherto one of the official languages of Ukraine, was demoted, and Russian culture in general denigrated. Even worse, none of those who had committed murder in Odessa and elsewhere were brought to justice, and the Neo-Nazi militias responsible for these atrocities were actually integrated into the Ukrainian army. Worst of all, sporadic shelling of civilian targets in Lugansk and Donetsk continued – for the next six years.

To repeat; the collective “West” could not have been unaware of the dangers of its interference in the affairs of Ukraine. This was a deeply divided country; to intervene on behalf of one section of the country at the expense of the other could not fail to deepen divisions and ultimately cause the disintegration of the state. That the West took the side of the anti-Russian half of the population was entirely in harmony with the increasingly hysterical tone of anti-Russian rhetoric in the Western media in the years leading up to the Maidan Revolution. And we can take with a pinch of salt the idea that Nuland and the Obama Adminstration was concerned with “corruption” in the Yanukovych regime: America is and always has been on very friendly terms with governments far more corrupt, violent and totalitarian than that of Yanukovych.

I would suggest that the real reason, or certainly an extremely important though unspoken reason, for Nuland’s mission was that Yanukovych’s pivot towards Russia was seen by the “woke” establishment in Washington as a sign that Ukraine would follow Russia into adopting an increasingly Christian-friendly social culture; one that the “liberals” and “progressives” in Washington despised. We should note too that one of Poroshenko’s first actions as President of Ukraine was to provide openings for George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, and to simultaneously support the establishment of LGBT input into the educational system. Gay “Pide” parades became a regular feature of life in Kiev where, though distinctly unpopular with the great majority of the population, they received massive support and protection from the security forces.

© 2022 The Remnant Newspaper, A Traditional Catholic Publication since 1967.

September 24, 2022 Posted by | Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Arrested For Questioning ‘The Current Thing’

Paul Joseph Watson | September 20, 2022

A group of protesters in the UK were arrested and imprisoned for “inciting racial hatred” because they were carrying a Russian flag.

Yes, really.

Please share this video! https://youtu.be/ZJqm176I054

September 22, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular, Video | | 1 Comment

And It Finally Hit The Fan…

By Stephen Karganovic | Strategic Culture Foundation | September 21, 2022

Veteran observers of the way Western democracies function are familiar with the routine. When it is not distorted, information is hermetically sealed and deliberately kept inaccessible in order to mislead the public or simply keep it in the dark. This process may take one of two forms. Facts vital to arriving at an informed opinion may literally be locked away in a safe for several decades or longer, with harsh punishments provided should it occur to anyone to violate the secrecy regime.

The second method only appears to be more liberal, but in practice it tends to the same effect. The media monopoly ignores evidence that contradicts the official narrative and denigrates anyone who questions it. Technically, in most democracies there is no “secrecy act” (which actually does exist in Great Britain and is used as a legal tool to punish violators) but to suggest publicly anything that diverges from the official version is viewed as a grave breach of political correctness, with attendant harsh consequences. The result in both scenarios is therefore nearly the same. Evidence to the contrary is suppressed and discordant voices are effectively silenced. The public are deprived of information lacking which reasonable assessments are impossible and rational political decisions cannot be made. In an environment shaped by a deliberately orchestrated disinformation endeavour, it is safe to let “democracy” flourish. Allowing a deceived and benighted populace to form an “opinion,” and even to vote, obviously presents little danger to the system which is manipulating and keeping it in the dark.

On rare occasions when in spite of the suppression regime accurate information about an event does eventually surface, that usually occurs with such delay that the newly disclosed facts no longer matter. They are nonchalantly dismissed as “water under the bridge,” which is not an entirely inaccurate description of what they are. Facts which had they been honestly disclosed at the appropriate time might have made a political difference no longer have any impact whatsoever.

Copious examples can be cited of this sleight of hand played by the cynical rulers on their unsophisticated and trusting subjects. The Kennedy assassination comes readily to mind. A huge amount of evidence that if properly examined might have answered key questions, challenged the immediately established narrative, or could have generated uncomfortable implications, was immediately secreted away and has been kept under lock and key for over 50 years. Long ago, the Presidential assassination was supplanted by numerous other concerns. The opening of the remaining files, if and when it should occur, will cause few waves, except in the ranks of a handful of academics.

Evidence pertaining to what happened in Srebrenica in July of 1995 similarly has been locked away for decades. The official pretext in this as in other cases – “national security” – is of course shamelessly bogus. With very few exceptions, in a democracy national security is best served by keeping the public thoroughly informed and by vigorously debating all important issues. Armed with facts, instead of disoriented by the elite’s self-serving fabrications, the people would be empowered to make intelligent political decisions, as we are told in theory that it is their sovereign right to do. Perish the thought that such a thing should ever come to pass.

Were their minds not poisoned by ignoble sentiments against their Russian neighbours, Poles should be up in arms right now at how their leaders and their foreign masters ruthlessly deceived and manipulated them following the 2010 plane crash near Smolensk that killed President Lech Kaczynski and 95 other prominent Polish government officials aboard as their aeroplane was attempting to land in dense fog. Polish public opinion was encouraged from the start to believe that the crash was not an accident but an act of sabotage for which the Russian side was to be blamed. The already existing rift between two neighbouring Slavic nations was aggravated by this perception.

It appears nevertheless that facts about the crash that occurred in 2010 may have been misrepresented or swept under the rug but are finally beginning to emerge. As reported by the Indian news platform Republicworld.com an expose by the Polish television broadcaster Fakty TVN24 on September 12, 2022, has called into question the conclusions of the Polish government commission which studied the crash and which dutifully confirmed the official narrative of a Russian assassination plot.

Republicworld.com reports that, contrary to the official Polish version, “a professional commission for investigating aviation accidents found the April 10, 2010 crash of the Tu-154 aircraft near the rudimentary airport was an accident caused by human errors in adverse weather and technical conditions.”

The Indian source alleges that “in its report aired late Monday, private broadcaster TVN24 said the Polish government team intentionally ignored or manipulated facts presented by outside experts that negated its findings that intentional explosions aboard the plane caused the crash.”

The principal motive behind evidence manipulation may well have been political because “the head of the [government investigative] team, former Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz, is an associate of ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski. The assassination theory helps to consolidate the right-wing Law and Justice’s nationalist base and is supported by Kaczynski.”

The Polish government and political establishment have turned out to be quick learners and eager acolytes of their Western democratic paragons. After transitioning to the simulacrum of democracy, they did not miss a beat when an opportunity presented itself to mislead their own citizens by deliberately massaging facts about the tragic plane crash. The aim of these fledgling democrats apparently was to exacerbate enmity toward Russia and consolidate support for their nationalist agenda, by whipping up xenophobic fervour with deliberately falsified evidence.

With a twelve-year delay, the proverbial organic matter has finally hit the fan, as they say in America. It is doubtful that these disclosures will significantly alter the perceptions of the passionately anti-Russian Polish audience. But in view of the position that Poland has taken vis-à-vis the turbulence which currently surrounds it, these disclosures are illuminating and deliciously timely.

September 21, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | | 1 Comment

Energy dwarfs sanctioning a giant

Free West Media | September 21, 2022

The EU is targeting Hungary again. Brussels has now cleared the way for massive financial sanctions against Budapest as a tit-for-tat for Hungarian foreign policy, which includes strict neutrality on the issue of Russia sanctions and continuous gas supply contracts with Gazprom.

The EU Commission agreed on Sunday to block EU payments amounting to around 7,5 billion euros since the money is not safe from “misuse” in Hungary, explained Budget Commissioner Hahn. Just recently, a resolution was passed in the European Parliament with a majority of left-wing and green MPs accusing Hungary of no longer being a “democracy”.

The Hungarian government under Viktor Orbán has not contested this move. Orbán instead again criticized Brussels’ course on energy. It is absurd that “dwarfs want to put sanctions under pressure on an energy giant,” said the Hungarian head of government during a visit to Serbia.

Hungary’s gas storage depots are full, Budapest has also negotiated additional supply guarantees with Gazprom, and the price of petrol for Hungarian citizens has been reduced to 1,18 euros per liter.

Against this background, Orbán declared during his visit to Serbia, during which he was awarded a medal by President Vučić: “The stronger impose sanctions on the weaker. But if you look at the energy realm, you see that we, as dwarfs, are now imposing sanctions on an energy giant,” which is a completely unusual phenomenon in history.

“These new sanctions hurt us a lot, so they are bad and painful for us, they cost us a lot of money, and they also threaten a significant part of the gains we have made over the past decade.”

The head of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), Marcel Fratzscher, came to a similar conclusion. He told the Reuters news agency that “the Ukraine war caused massive damage to the German economy”.

“Roughly speaking, we are talking about four to five percentage points of gross domestic product being lost over a three-year period,” said Fratzscher. “That’s 150 to 200 billion euros less economic output.”

He warned of “a significant decline in private consumption and thus in the standard of living of an unusually large number of people”. A Forsa survey showed recently that the majority of Germans were no longer willing to accept financial disadvantages because of the federal government’s sanctions against Russia.

Hungary ‘bored’ by EU resolutions

Orbán also commented on the EU Parliament’s latest resolution in Belgrade, saying: “The only reason we are not laughing at this report is that we are already bored […] It is the third or fourth time that this is happening, that a resolution is being passed in the European Parliament condemning Hungary.”

The European Christian Democrats were also moving further and further to the left. “The voting shares show exactly that: the right-wing parties voted for Hungary and the left-wing parties against,” Orbán pointed out.

Meanwhile, a Hungarian delegation led by the Mayor of Budapest Istvan Tarlos visited the city of Samarkand.

A Samarkand official welcomed the Hungarian delegation, and told them about the economic potential, tourism opportunities of the region. Prospects of expanding trade, economic, tourism and other cooperation between Samarkand and Budapest were discussed.

Guests from Hungary got acquainted with historical and cultural monuments, as well as the sights of Samarkand.

September 21, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment

Time to drop illusions, the West is waging a war to destroy Russia

By Vladimir Kornilov – RIA Novosti – September 20, 2022

And here comes Bucha 2.0: Another provocation where Ukraine has allegedly discovered “mass graves of victims” shortly after Russian troops have withdrawn.

This time in Izium. What it amounts to is clear evidence that along with the development of the military conflict in Ukraine, the informational “special” operation against Russia is intensifying.

It’s not even about Kiev’s reaction – officials there concoct primitive fakes against our state and the army non-stop, around the clock.

The indicator here is the way in which this provocation was immediately picked up by Western politicians, who are already urgently calling for an “international tribunal” to punish Russia. Meanwhile, the West’s media, in a united push, is putting unfounded statements about “mass executions and torture in Izium” on its front pages.

This fakery is crass and easily refuted. But it is clear from this unanimous reaction of the West that no one there cares at all how and when the people buried in the cemetery died. The culprit has been appointed in advance – and it has to be Russia. Because only this verdict fits into the overall strategy of the current campaign in Ukraine.

Which, as we can see, has nothing to do with Ukraine. The West is completely indifferent to whatever happened to the Ukrainians, whoever killed them (even if it was Kiev’s own army or foreign mercenaries) and no matter how many of them died. Because it is not fighting a war on this territory for the Ukrainians, and especially not for Ukraine.

We must speak frankly and openly: the West is waging a fierce war against the Russian state, using local forces as proxies. And this is covered by the fig leaf of “defending democracy.” However, what they really want is for Russia to be destroyed. Forever! Irrevocably!

Janusz Bugajski, a leading expert, recently published his book “Failed State: A Guide to Russia’s Rupture.” It is worth highlighting that the work is not a reaction to the Ukrainian conflict, instead it is a logical continuation of all that this ‘Kremlinologist’ has been publicly talking and writing about for years.

Back in early 2019, three years before the current crisis started, he published a feature article in the influential Washington newspaper The Hill, entitled ‘Managing Russia’s Dissolution.’

This was not just a forecast or theoretical speculation by some dreamer, it was a direct call to action by an outspoken Russophobe. Suffice it to recall that Bugajski then openly urged the White House to promote regional and ethnic self-determination within the Russian Federation. At the same time, he was speculating which regions of the state destroyed by the West should receive independence and which should be given to Ukraine, Finland, Japan and even China.

It cannot be said that Bugajski’s article was the only theoretical work on the disintegration of our state. But other reports (at least in the public domain) still sought to veil direct calls for the forced break-up of Russia with arguments about the need to weaken our state. This was the case, for example, with a sensational study by the US intelligence corporation RAND commissioned by the US Department of Defense in 2019.

Now the masks are being thrown off and the cadre of Russophobes can openly articulate their long-held dreams. The Daily Telegraph recently featured the former NATO commander in Europe, General Ben Hodges, in a high-profile article about preparing for Russia’s disintegration. Hodges, who is employed by CEPA – a lobby group bankrolled by US arms contractors and NATO – is arguably one of the most active ‘talking heads’ about the Ukrainian crisis on Western television right now.

The general hopes the collapse of our state will be fueled by our ethnic diversity and he hopes that Western economic sanctions will create a situation in which it will be impossible to feed 144 million people. The American has clearly not thought how these arguments could also be applied to his home country, which has been torn apart by racial divisions in recent years.

Below Hodges, the idea has been cheerfully picked up by less well-known figures operating on the ideological field of Russophobia. The Polish magazine New Eastern Europe published an article about deconstructing Russia and reconstructing the “post-Russian space,” calling it a risky but inevitable scenario. The authors called on the West to lead the process of our state’s disintegration right away.

This is echoed by the Canadian-British professor Taras Kuzio on the pages of the Atlantic Council, a NATO-aligned pressure group and the main mouthpiece of Western Russophobes. He, too, cheerfully declares that the process of “the collapse of Putin’s Russian empire” has begun.

Hodges’ theses are repeated almost word for word by Estonia’s top Kremlinologist Vladimir Yushkin on the pages of the website of the International Centre for Defence and Security. However, he adds nonsense about the allegedly developing “colonization of Siberia by the Chinese” – which tells us he doesn’t know how to use statistics.

All these “prophecies” have been brought into the political realm by Estonian President Alar Karis. Opening the NATO Military Committee conference in Tallinn last Friday, he openly admonished the Chiefs of Staff of the US-led bloc to give up their “fear of destabilizing the situation in Russia.”

This is not some retired general, nor a private person with a professorial rank – it’s the official head of a NATO member country. And he is not shying away from calling on the high command of the alliance to pursue a deliberate policy of creating a situation of instability in Russia.

So, what more proof does anyone need of what the collective West is hoping to achieve?

The ideological touchstone of European liberals, The Economist magazine, has devoted its latest issue to how the West should ensure Ukraine’s victory over Russia. Apart from the traditional advice on further arming the Kiev regime, the magazine explicitly demands that the West must try to drive a wedge between the Russian government and the Russian people. To do this, leaders are urged to bet on Russian liberals who have moved abroad, who in these circumstances can be safely called traitors back home.

They are now in a situation where Russia’s enemies are openly talking about using them to carry out an unrealistic plan to dismember our common motherland!

Thus, we can safely say that the collective West has already moved from talk to action and is openly challenging the very existence of the Russian Federation.

It’s ideologues and a number of top politicians make no secret of the fact that by exploiting the conflict in Ukraine, they are deliberately helping to create an existential threat to our state. The sooner we ourselves officially acknowledge this, the more effectively we will be able to move to a different stage in both relations with our neighbors and the military operation in Ukraine itself.

We still adhere to certain gentlemen’s rules of the game, which were adopted after the end of the Cold War. But now the stakes have been raised too high.

To be clear, I am not calling for us to copy the criminal actions of Ukraine. We, unlike them, do not deliberately kill children, torture prisoners of war, or exterminate civilians.

But in the face of increasing threats to Russian citizens, we are left with no choice but to act much more forcefully against military infrastructure, even if it’s also used by civilians, in the direction of decision-making centres, and towards those individuals directly responsible for terror and murders wherever they are located, as well as tackling states that pursue hostile policies.

After all, we should not forget that when an existential threat to Russia arises, we need to present a tough response.

Those who threaten our homeland should be constantly reminded of this.

September 20, 2022 Posted by | Russophobia | , , | 2 Comments

Putin: Sanctions Take Toll on Western States and Poorest Countries

Samizdat – 20.09.2022

Western countries slapped Russia with several new rounds of sanctions this year in response to the start of the special military operation in Ukraine. Since, these countries have faced surging inflation, electricity and fuel prices, partly prompted by their own sanctions.

The world is undergoing a transformation, transitioning toward a multipolar order, which becomes the dominating vector of development, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated as he greeted new foreign ambassadors who had arrived in Russia.

The president noted that the only states which oppose this transition are the ones that want to preserve their hegemony and control the world.

“As for Russia, we will not deviate from our sovereign course. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, we intend to further promote a unifying international agenda, contribute to the resolution of numerous challenges and threats of our time, and help with the settlement of acute regional conflicts. This will be Russia’s key talking point at the opening of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly,” Putin said.

Putin added that the poorest countries were hit the hardest by their hegemonic policies, as well as sanctions that the western countries impose. He noted that the obstacles for energy, grain and fertilizer shipments created by the West’s sanctions negatively affected “innocent” developing and poor countries.

“In this light, it’s highly cynical of the West to ignore our offer […] to transfer free of charge 300,000 [tons] of Russian fertilizers blocked in European ports due to sanctions to countries in need,” Putin said.

The West too was hit hard by its sanctions politics, the president noted.

The western countries experienced a surge in inflation, especially in fuel and energy prices, after they imposed sanctions against Russia over its special military operation in Ukraine. This surge added to the woes of western consumers, who had seen shop prices rise since the end of 2021.

September 20, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

India’s gaffe at Samarkand

BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | INDIAN PUNCHLINE | SEPTEMBER 20, 2022 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at Samarkand on September 16 after the SCO Summit turned into a media scandal. The Western media zeroed in on six words culled out of context in the PM’s opening remarks — “today’s era is not of war”— to triumphantly proclaim that India is finally distancing itself from Russia on Ukraine issue, as the US and European leaders have been incessantly demanding.

Of course, this motivated interpretation lacks empirical evidence and is, therefore, malicious. Besides, Modi also spoke with a rare interplay of emotions by underscoring the quintessence of the Indian-Russian relationship, and his two decade-long association with Putin. 

The steamy part cooked up by the US media shows the desperation on the part of the “Collective West” to isolate Russia at a time when even western leaders have candidly admitted that the bulk of the non-western world does not identify with the western narrative on Ukraine and refuses to roll back their relationship with Russia. 

Many countries are, in fact, stepping up their cooperation with Russia —Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, for example. Curiously, even western companies are loathe to leave the highly attractive Russian market where business returns are high. A report in the Atlantic Council magazine on September 18 highlights that although something like 1,000 multinational corporations had announced that they would be leaving Russia in the wake of the western sanctions, “the unfortunate reality is that… three-quarters of the most profitable foreign multinationals remain in Russia.” Thus, statistically, while 106 western companies exited the Russian market, over 1,149 internationals still remain and simply keep silent about it. 

The giant Sakhalin-2 oil-and-natural-gas project in the Russian Far East is a celebrated case where two big energy Japanese investors Mitsui and Mitsublishi, with government support, simply refused to quit, as the Russian project supplies 9 percent of Japan’s energy needs. The G7 has no option but to exempt Japan from the purview of sanctions when it comes to Sakhalin-2! 

Again, the West continues to import fertiliser from Russia and to that end, lifts the restrictions on shipping, insurance, etc. But the restrictions continue against Russia’s exports of food grain and fertiliser to the non-Western world. Russia has now offered to distribute the fertiliser held up in European ports free of charge to the poorest countries in Africa if only the restrictions for exports are waived, but Europe would rather use it for their own needs. 

It has recently been exposed that the brouhaha about a “global food crisis” (which India too mouthed) was basically a cheap hoax perpetrated by the Biden Administration to get Russia to allow the sale of wheat held up in Ukrainian silos to the European market by American companies, who have apparently bought up Ukraine’s farm lands and control that country’s grain trade! Only a fraction of the grain shipments from Ukraine went to poor countries threatened by famine. Suffice to say, the US and the European Union pressure on India’s purchase of Russian oil was nothing but bullying.

That said, India should know that in a situation where Russia faces an existential threat to its security, it will not be deterred in firmly, decisively responding, no matter what anybody says. Will India be deterred if any foreign country gets agitated over state repression in Kashmir? Violence and bloodshed are abhorrent features of the contemporary world situation and is a painful reality all over the world. 

That is why, PM Modi’s awkward reference to war and peace in his initial remarks to Putin at Samarkand was way out of place in what turned out to be a “wonderful” meeting otherwise. There was simply no need to have characterised, at PM’s level, the Ukraine conflict as a “war”. It betrayed ignorance, since the whole world knows that what is going on is a proxy war between the US and Russia that had been simmering through the past quarter century ever since NATO began its eastward enlargement with an agenda to encircle Russia. Moscow seriously erred by tolerating the US interference in Ukraine so long until NATO finally appeared on its doorstep. It is doubtful if India would have shown such strategic patience. 

Against such a complex backdrop, the litmus test of India’s “neutrality” will, perhaps, lie in EAM Jaishankar at least speaking up on the NATO’s eastward expansion, the US stoking the fire of conflict by pumping tens of billions of dollars worth weaponry into Ukraine, and the Biden Administration’s diabolical role in undermining nascent peace moves between Moscow and Kiev. 

If Turkey’s Recep Erdogan and Hungary’s Viktor Orban can speak up, although NATO leaders, why can’t India’s EAM? But, never mind, there is no question of Jaishankar even remotely embarrassing Biden. 

From the Kremlin readout, Putin actually acknowledged right at the outset of the conversation with Modi that Russia and India are not on the same page on Ukraine. To be sure, Putin must be knowing that India’s behaviour is guided by its narrowly defined self-interests and conditioned by an itch to do cherrypicking. But Moscow has never been and will never be a demanding partner. Mutual interest and mutual respect are the hall marks of Russian diplomacy toward India. Despite own reservations over what India was doing by splitting Pakistan into two halves, when the crunch time came in 1971, Moscow not only stood by India but even despatched its warships and submarines to guard Indian waters from a potential US military intervention against India. It is, therefore, all the more reason for us to be discreet. 

Ironically, India must be one of the few countries that benefits out of the Ukraine conflict. Aside oil, coal and what not at low prices, paradoxically, even the rupee has taken baby steps to commence its indeterminate journey to become a “world currency.” No patriotic Indian will criticise the Modi government for such sophistry. However, confusion arises when morality is injected into all this with a contrived attitude of indignation, when there is really no need for it. 

The meeting in Samarkand took place in the context of the SCO’s annual summit. The summit was not about Ukraine but about the profound issues that have surfaced in its wake that will shape the contours of the world order. This SCO summit was special, as it took place amid large-scale geopolitical changes, triggering a rapid and irrevocable transformation of the entire complex of international ties, relations, policies, economy, when a new model based on the real multi-polarity and dialogue is being built. 

Everyone understands that the SCO, which represents half the world’s population, will help forge the new world order. Unlike the case with NATO, where all decisions are made in Washington and imposed on America’s “allies”, there is no Pied Piper in the SCO tent. Modi could easily have played a meaningful role at the summit instead of meandering his way aimlessly through the pandemic, supply chains, et al, at a juncture when such profound issues were being discussed by his peer group in Samarkand. 

The word “multipolarity,” which was on everyone’s mind in Samarkand, didn’t even figure in Modi’s speech at Samarkand. Whoever drafted the speech must have done it with an eye on Washington. Therefore, don’t blame the US media. They happened to notice all these aberrations and decided to cull out those six sharply-etched words to put India on the mat, mocking it for doublespeak and rank opportunism, and all that hand-wringing by the apologists of our government cannot wash away that stain. 

September 20, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , , , | 1 Comment

US reveals plan for seized Russian funds

Samizdat | September 20, 2022

The US Department of Justice would like Congress to amend laws governing asset forfeiture, so money confiscated from Russian “kleptocrats” can be given to Ukraine, the head of the interagency sanctions task force Andrew Adams told the Senate on Tuesday while testifying at a hearing called “Tightening the Screws on Russia.”

Adams, formerly a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York (SDNY), is the head of the interagency Task Force KleptoCapture, a sanctions enforcement outfit created in February. The “scope, intended impact, and international alignment” of the anti-Russia sanctions are “without precedent,” he told senators.

Among the proposals he listed at the hearing was a pitch for Congress to amend the existing US asset forfeiture laws, in order to allow the government to “remediate harms caused to Ukraine by Russia’s war of aggression,” as Adams put it.

The departments of justice, treasury and state would like the ability to give the funds seized from Russia and Russians to the government in Kiev, but doing so “requires amendments to multiple statutes governing the use of forfeited funds,” he said.

Earlier in his testimony, Adams mentioned that the measures implemented by the US and its allies “have included immobilizing the Russian Central Bank’s assets, held in coffers around the world.” It was not clear, however, whether these funds would fall under the scheme to transfer money to Ukraine – something the government in Kiev has demanded for months, both of the US and of the EU.

Asset forfeiture is a controversial practice in US law, which proponents have defended as a “key tool” for weakening organized crime and funding law enforcement. Critics, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), have called it “policing for profit” and described it as “egregiously at odds with our due process rights.”

September 20, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Russophobia | | 3 Comments

UK Culture Minister Claims More Arms to Ukraine Will Cut Energy Bills

Samizdat – 20.09.2022

The UK’s embargo on energy imports has helped send the price of oil and natural gas soaring, with a knock-on effect on the broader inflation rate, now at 10 percent. Businesses face a harsh winter, with almost three-quarters of British pubs saying they will have to shut their doors.

A British cabinet minister has claimed the government’s pledge of £2.3 billion in military aid to Ukraine next year will cut soaring energy bills at home.

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Secretary Michelle Donelan told Sky News’ Kay Burley on Tuesday morning that arming President Volodymyr Zelensky’s regime was key to reducing “dependence” on Russian energy exports.

“We believe it is fundamentally important that we’re standing up for democracy, that we’re continuing to protect Ukraine in their fight, that we’re standing up for the rest of the world who needs to end their global dependence on Russia, which is one of the factors behind the increasing price in fuel,” Donelan said.

“So this is actually going to help the cost of living of people, not just in the UK, but across the globe as well,” the cabinet minister claimed. “And we hope that other countries will see what we’re doing and follow our example.”

Western sanctions on Russia, including the UK’s embargo on energy imports, have backfired, helping send the price of oil and natural gas soaring to levels five or six times those at the start of 2021. That has had a knock-on effect on the prices of other goods, with general inflation hitting 10 percent.

Household bills have more than doubled as regulator Ofgem has raised its price cap. Businesses, which are not protected by that limit, face a harsh winter, with almost three-quarters of British pubs surveyed saying they expect to have to shut their doors.

Donelan could not clarify how new Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng would fund the latest splurge on arms, saying only: “We will outline exactly where that money is coming from.”

New Prime Minister Liz Truss has promised to reverse tax increases made by former chancellor Rishi Sunak — her rival in this summer’s Conservative Party leadership election — to pay for the COVID-19 lockdown furlough scheme and to clear the resulting backlog of cases in the National Health Service (NHS).

The culture secretary rejected the notion that the inflationary crisis would undermine the government’s backing for Kiev’s war on the Donbass republics.

“We are not re-evaluating our support in Ukraine, we are doubling down on our support in Ukraine,” Donelan insisted.

Authorities in the Donetsk and Lugansk Peoples’ Republics, which Russia launched its special military operation to defend, have repeatedly stressed that the West has knowingly been giving Ukrainian troops and neo-Nazi militias heavy artillery and other weapons used to kill civilians.

Ukrainian forces again shelled the centre of Donetsk city on Monday, killing 13 people at a bus stop and shop — including two children, according to Mayor Alexei Kulemzin.
Images from the scene showed human bodies torn to pieces. The DPR mission to the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination (JCCC) said nine shells, of the 155mm calibre fired specifically by NATO-standard howitzers such as the US M777, hit the site of the massacre.

Five more people were killed and six injured in the front-line city on Tuesday when shells hit a theatre where a memorial service was being held for a female officer in the Donetsk People’s Militia.

September 20, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Militarism, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

EU Threatens To Suspend €7.5BN In Hungary Funding Amid Charges Of ‘Cozying Up’ To Putin

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – September 19, 2022

The EU’s patience with Viktor Orban’s Hungary is running extremely thin after years of wrangling and threats from Brussels of triggering the “rule of law” mechanism, despite recently announced efforts of Budapest to establish an anti-graft agency.

It seems Russia’s war in Ukraine is hastening a confrontational and fractured ending to the standoff, with the EU on Sunday threatening to freeze 7.5 billion euros which had been earmarked for Hungary, citing persisting corruption and fraud.

It’s been no secret that Orban has been a thorn in the side of European efforts to punish and isolate Putin’s Russia. While Hungary has demanded exemptions from EU energy sanctions on Russia, and has meanwhile enjoyed cheap gasoline and other energy at a moment prices in the rest of Europe have gone steadily up over the course of the war – and into what’s sure to be a tough winter – the belief among leading EU states is that joint bloc anti-Russia actions have been largely blunted. The timing of the fresh EU threats is not going unnoticed.

Bloomberg in a fresh report has put the dilemma as follows: “But while most member states have been engaged in a desperate scramble to secure alternative gas supplies ahead of the winter, Orban has deepened his country’s ties to the Kremlin, exploiting the exemptions he demanded from EU sanctions to secure increased imports of gas from Russia.”

Poland has remained a powerful impediment thus far to Brussels triggering any significant rule of law penalties, despite Warsaw remaining at the forefront of denunciations of Russia’s invasion.

“During years of frustration at the Hungarian government, Orban has been shielded from the EU’s main disciplinary machinery, known as the article 7 procedure, by the support of the nationalist government in Warsaw — because that mechanism too requires the endorsement of all the other members,” Bloomberg recounts. “The war in Ukraine has soured Orban’s relationship with the Polish government, which has been among the most ardent supporters of firm action against Putin, but for now the Poles are standing by Orban.”

Orban has cast efforts to “punish” his country in terms of a war on traditional values. For now, Poland seems to agree… the vast divergence in rhetoric on the Russia-Ukraine conflict notwithstanding.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Sunday, “Poland will strongly oppose any action of European institutions that intend to unduly deprive any member states of funds, in this case Hungary.”

Interestingly (given the timing of the EU’s threat to freeze funds), just days ago PM Orban reportedly told a closed-door meeting of officials from his ruling Fidesz party that he would fight efforts to extend EU sanctions on Russia:

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban expects European Union leaders to start talks on extending sanctions on Russia in the autumn but Budapest would try to block the move, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported, citing unidentified sources.

Orban, a harsh critic of EU sanctions on Moscow over its invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, made the remarks at a closed meeting to party members in the western village of Kotcse last week, RFE/RL said on its Hungarian website on Friday.

He also appeared to once again blame the West for the Ukraine conflict spiraling out of control, and continued his theme of anti-Russia sanctions ultimately blowing back on populations at home, or shooting the European economy in the foot.

Russian media too has been featuring recent quotes of Orban’s lambasting collective Western policy: “The Hungarian leader allegedly told his supporters that he believed Ukraine may end up losing between one third and one half of its territory due to the conflict with Russia, RFE/RL reported on Friday, citing participants of the meeting in the village of Kotcse.”

Budapest has meanwhile lashed out at the European Parliament’s (EP) recent move to approve a resolution stating that Hungary is no longer a “full democracy.” That nonbinding EP vote from last week cited Hungary’s failures to uphold “respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities” – as the text reads, in repetition of prior EP statements.

A Fidesz statement said in response: “It is unforgivable that, while people are suffering from the severe economic effects of wartime inflation and misguided sanctions, the European Parliament is attacking Hungary again.”

September 20, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

Bombshell court filing suggests the FBI knew ‘Russiagate’ was a fraud in January of 2017, but it kept up its pressure on Trump

Igor Danchenko’s confession appears to reveal the bureau’s true intentions

By Felix Livshitz | Samizdat | September 20, 2022

Lawyers for Igor Danchenko, the primary source of the notorious and utterly discredited “Trump-Russia|” dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, have filed a motion to dismiss the charges brought against their client by special counsel John Durham.

In the process, they have revealed another startling and potentially criminal dimension to the FBI’s probe of potential collusion between the campaign of former President Donald Trump and the Kremlin.

Danchenko’s case

Durham charged Danchenko in November 2021 with five counts of lying to the bureau. Four of those relate to statements he made in a February 2017 interview, in which he repeatedly claimed to have met and had conversations with Sergey Millian, a Belarusian-born businessman who claimed ties with the Trump campaign.

Danchenko, and thus Steele, claimed Millian was a key source of the dossier’s most explosive allegations – namely, that there was a “well-developed conspiracy of cooperation” between Trump and the Kremlin, that Russia’s GRU had hacked the Democratic National Convention email server and provided the content for WikiLeaks for the purposes of “plausible deniability,” and the then-Presidential candidate had received a “golden shower” from prostitutes while in Moscow years earlier, which was filmed by Russian intelligence and could be used as “kompromat.”

In his FBI interview, conducted between February 9 and 12, 2017, Danchenko claimed to have received this incendiary intelligence through telephone conversations and email exchanges with Millian, who also suggested they discuss matters further in person in New York City. However, Durham charges that Danchenko fabricated these calls, repeatedly emailed Millian without response, and was never invited to any meeting anywhere.

The new court filing shows that to buttress these claims, Danchenko provided the Bureau with a synopsis of a mid-August email he sent to Millian, a month prior to his sit-down interview series. Yet, as the filing notes, the communication makes no mention of the phonecalls they’d purportedly engaged in previously, or the prospect of meeting in person.

Danchenko’s lawyers now argue that this email in fact proves he wasn’t lying about having had direct contact with Millian, and made clear they’d never spoken to his interviewers. Problematically for all involved, though, Danchenko, and as a result Steele, both attributed wild charges against the Trump campaign to Millian before this email.

FBI vs the truth

In turn too, this means the FBI had concrete reasons to believe at least some of the Steele dossier was bogus on January 25, 2017 at the very latest. But the Bureau, undeterred, continued to not only “assess” the dossier’s veracity, but to use it as a justification for further surveillance of Trump 2016 presidential campaign adviser Carter Page, and intensifying its investigation of the campaign.

The FBI’s questionable use of the dossier in court submissions to secure FISA warrants against Page is well-known, and was a key criticism of a December 2019 Justice Department Inspector General review, which determined the Bureau made 17 errors or omissions in its FISA applications.

Even more damningly though, just two days after Danchenko presented the discrediting email to the FBI, Trump privately met with then-FBI director James Comey, and the President specifically raised the Steele dossier.

According to Comey’s account of the dinner, as retold in the Mueller report: “the President… stated that he was thinking about ordering the FBI to investigate the [Steele] allegations to prove they were false. Comey responded that the President should think carefully about issuing such an order because it could create a narrative that the FBI was investigating him personally, which was incorrect.”

In other words, Comey played Trump, appealing to his ego and feigning concern for his reputation, when he knew better than anyone bar Steele and Danchenko themselves that the FBI was already investigating the former MI6 operative’s “allegations” and knew them to be meritless. Had he told the truth, perhaps the entire Russiagate fraud would’ve collapsed before it had even properly erupted publicly.

If he’d known, the President may not have been successfully pressured into demonstrating his anti-Russian credentials with an increasingly hostile and belligerent stance towards Moscow, which saw Trump go to dangerous lengths the previous administration had deliberately avoided, such as arming and legitimizing the Neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, and shredding vital Cold War arms control treaties, brinksmanship that brought us to where we are today.

Hate of Bureau

In any event, while the filing is in many ways useful confirmation of top-level FBI knowledge of the dossier’s inherent worthlessness at an early stage, it could pose problems for Danchenko’s prosecution.

His conviction hangs on the ability of Durham’s team to prove his lies to the FBI materially influenced its investigation, and it can be easily argued that the Bureau’s evident determination to investigate Trump’s non-existent Russia ties meant no disclosure, true or false, would’ve convinced the agency to stop.

That the FBI was utterly determined irrespective of facts to damage Trump, first as a candidate, then as leader, has long-been clear, yet it has largely faded from public memory. One might argue it’s quite incredible that even the former president’s supporters have not invoked this dubious history in the wake of the Bureau’s raid on Mar-a-Lago, which bears clear hallmarks of being likewise politically motivated.

Evidence of the FBI’s anti-Trump agenda is amply available in black and white – so too the agency’s surging Russophobia. Two of the key Bureau figures central to the Trump-Russia probe, one-time lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, spelled this out both in public testimony and private text messages.

On the latter front, Strzok texted Page in July 2016 – right when the Trump-Russia probe was launched – to declare, “f*** the cheating motherf***ing Russians… bastards… I hate them… I think they’re probably the worst. F***ing conniving cheating savages.” He also pledged that the pair would together “stop” Trump from winning. Page was only slightly less foul-mouthed when she testified to Congress in July 2018:

“It is my opinion that with respect to Western ideals and who it is and what it is we stand for as Americans, Russia poses the most dangerous threat to that way of life.”

Quite why Strzok and Page, along with many other Bureau operatives, haven’t been prosecuted for their role in arguably the biggest US national security scam since the Iraq War isn’t clear.

September 20, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment