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The US Strengthens Its Presence in Mongolia

By Vladimir Odintsov – New Eastern Outlook – 14.04.2021

In recent years, Mongolia has received increasing attention in a comprehensive and multifaceted US strategy aimed at dominating the Eurasian continent. To a certain extent, this is due to the colossal amounts of natural resources and economic opportunities the country has, which are of undoubted interest for American industrial and business circles. However, this is even more connected with Washington’s intentions to use the “ancestral home of Genghis Khan” to oppose Russia and the PRC, with an emphasis on the “separation” of the Mongolian people, taking into account the presence in China of Inner Mongolia a very extensive autonomous region bordering with it and with Russia.

Experts have reported that the Americans are clearly striving to establish bilateral ties with Ulaanbaatar and include Mongolia in its closest allies (along with Singapore, Taiwan and New Zealand) in the Indo-Pacific region. Analysts think that the idea of cooperating with Ulaanbaatar has become especially relevant for the United States in light of its tense relations with both Russia and China in recent years.

In terms of the total volume of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Mongolia, the United States ranks 6th (3.3%), behind China and Japan, but ahead of Russia. To a large extent, US investors are showing interest in the Mongolian mining industry, in particular in the development of the largest coal deposit, Tavan Tolgoi. Although American investors consider Mongolia one of the most promising markets in East Asia, their investment activities in this country are hampered by a cumbersome and ineffective bureaucracy, high levels of corruption and recurring financial conflicts caused by the Mongolian “resource nationalism”.

Recently, in the speeches of American politicians, one can hear more and more “about the pride of the United States that it is Mongolia’s third neighbor”. On the subject, the United States refers to a concept that appeared in the vocabulary of Mongolian politicians after the revolution of the early 1990s. Geographically, Mongolia shares borders with only two countries, Russia and China, but Ulaanbaatar has already repeatedly declared that today it does not intend to close all its military-political and economic contacts on these two states alone. That is why Mongolia is considered a third neighbor to those countries with which the republic maintains its closest relations, naming, in particular, the United States, Japan, South Korea, Australia and the EU countries, with which Mongolia expects to balance the Russian and Chinese influence in region.

The vector of Washington’s expansion of it’s spheres of influence in Asia has been visible for a long time. Back in 2011, Democratic Party representative Hillary Clinton, then Secretary of State, announced that the presence of the United States in Asia is a prerequisite for maintaining American global leadership, since it is in Asia that “the bulk of 21st century history will be written.” The key adversary of Washington in the region today remains China, which appears in the doctrinal documents of the United States as one of the key threats.

In the US national security document “Strategic Framework for Engineering and Technology” recently declassified by the White House and adopted in 2018, Mongolia is considered, along with Japan, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan, among the main partners in containing China’s “economic aggression” by engaging in various American projects. One of the expressions of this policy was the allocation of $ 350 million to Ulaanbaatar to modernize the capital’s water supply system, which became the largest one-time US investment in the region. Meanwhile, Washington systematically seeks to emphasize that the gratuitous nature of American aid supposedly compares favorably with China’s infrastructure programs, which, as a rule, imply the development of connected loans.

In order to increase America’s presence in Mongolia in 2019, the USAID resumed its work, which in early 2021 announced the financing of two programs to promote agricultural development in the amount of $ 4.3 million.

With the active participation of the USAID, there has recently been an active expansion of activities in Mongolia by numerous NGOs, many of which were created in various directions to “expand democracy.” So, according to the Ministry of Justice and Internal Affairs of Mongolia, in 2019 more than 20 thousand NGOs were officially registered in this country (and this is for 3 million of the population!), Most of which are financed from abroad. For example, activists of the Mongolian Youth Union NGO are implementing a project according to which Mongolian politicians are included in the black or white list according to the degree of their corruption. But at the same time, it turns out that the MSM coordinates these lists with the leadership of such American structures as the Peace Corps and USAID! Now it is clear why those Mongolian politicians who are considered to be “pro-Russian” are mainly included in the so-called “black” list. Being put on such a “black” list, it is already unlikely that you will be included in the number of deputies of the Mongolian parliament…

Another example is the active work in Mongolia with local politicians (mainly with parliamentarians) and their electorate of another NGO, the International Republican Institute (IRI), which in 2016 was banned in Russia due to gross interference in internal affairs countries. This NGO regularly organizes trips for Mongolian legislators and other prominent Mongolian political leaders to the United States, which can reasonably be regarded as bribery.

In addition, with the active support of the US Embassy in Mongolia, the Soros Foundation, such a religious sect as the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, banned in Russia, and a number of others, are operating today.  Judging by the financial statements, money is not spared for Mongolia, especially American structures disguised as NGOs and acting to promote “American-style democracy.” Taking into account their significant number for a modest 3 million population, Mongolia should have long ago become a “world stronghold of democracy and prosperity,” which, however, is clearly not visible… the goals and objectives set for them, primarily in the confrontation between Russia and China.

In order to avoid becoming completely controlled by foreign influence, for Mongolia it is long overdue to adopt a law “on foreign agents”, as, incidentally, did the United States itself, having adopted the FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act) law back in 1938. By the way, not only in the United States, but also in many other countries, such activities with foreign participation are strictly controlled, in particular, in Great Britain, Israel, India, Germany and other countries that responsibly approach their security and political sovereignty.

In 2018, the military was added to the political and economic aspect of American policy towards Mongolia. Ulaanbaatar has come to be regarded as one of the leading regional partners of the Global Peace Operation Initiative to support peacekeeping operations, and US-Mongolian cooperation is being built up through UN peacekeeping in Africa and NATO in Afghanistan.

Within the framework of the American State Partnership Program, the engineering and technical staff intensified cooperation between the Alaska Guard and the armed forces of Mongolia, in particular, at the international exercises “In Search of Khan” and “Gobi Wolf” held annually in Mongolia.

Washington’s increased attention to Mongolia and its relations with its two natural neighbors, Russia and China, demonstrates what happened in January this year, expansion of the staff of the US Embassy in Ulaanbaatar by 12 diplomats at once, 4 of whom are specialists in Russia and China. Two more USAID employees arrived in Mongolia last summer.

Therefore, the residents of Mongolia should not relax in the coming months, especially on the eve of the upcoming presidential elections in the country in the summer, in which the United States has already begun to actively prepare for intervention, and not only through the already tested option of using controlled NGOs and the media.

April 14, 2021 Posted by | Corruption, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kremlin Reveals Details About Putin-Biden Phone Call

By Ilya Tsukanov – Sputnik – 14.04.2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden held a telephone conversation on Tuesday. According to the White House account of the discussion, issues raised included strategic stability, Russia’s alleged ‘cyber intrusions’ and election meddling, and America’s “unwavering commitment” to Ukraine. A summit meeting was proposed.

Tuesday’s phone call between Presidents Putin and Biden was “businesslike” and of considerable duration, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov indicated.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Peskov said the two men had agreed that the possibility of their meeting would be discussed through diplomatic channels. Moscow, he said, is only now starting to receive information about organisational and other aspects related to a possible summit.

“Before now there was simply a dearth of information about how it would take place, in what order, who would speak, who would chair it, what the outcome is expected to be, whether a final document would be issued, etc. We are just starting to get answers to all these questions; we are still studying them,” the presidential spokesman said. He added that it was “too early” to discuss the proposed meeting’s possible place and time.

Earlier Wednesday, Finnish media reported that Finland had offered to facilitate the meeting of the Russian and US presidents, and that Austria and Iceland had similarly offered their diplomatic services.

Commenting on the escalation of Russia-US tensions surrounding Ukraine, Peskov stressed that a de-escalation of the situation in the civil war-torn Eastern European nation would only be possible if the Ukrainian army indicated that it wouldn’t engage in any provocative behaviour.

“We consider the ‘expression of any concerns’ from any side, including the United States, in connection with the movements of Russia’s armed forces inside Russia, to be groundless. On the territory of Ukraine, de-escalation can only occur if the Ukrainian armed forces reject provocative actions,” he said.

Earlier, the White House readout of Tuesday’s telephone conversation between Putin and Biden said that the US president had “voiced” Washington’s “concerns over the sudden Russian military buildup in occupied Crimea and on Ukraine’s borders, and called on Russia to de-escalate tensions”.

Recent weeks have seen a major deterioration of the security situation in eastern Ukraine, with officials from the breakaway Donbass republics accusing Kiev of preparing for a new military offensive. Moscow has urged both sides to stick to the terms of the Minsk ceasefire. Washington, its NATO allies and Kiev have instead accused Russia of “aggression”.

In his remarks Wednesday, Peskov also indicated that he would not comment on whether the Russian side would ask Biden to apologise over last month’s remarks, in which he agreed with a journalist’s characterisation of the Russian president as a “killer” and threatened to make him “pay a price” over alleged meddling in America’s elections.

“I will leave this issue without comment,” the spokesman said.

Finally, asked to comment on whether Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition vlogger whom the US and its allies accused Moscow of poisoning, was brought up in the Putin-Biden telephone talks, Peskov said his name was not mentioned.

The United States and the European Union slapped Russia with new sanctions last month over the Navalny case. The opposition vlogger and anti-corruption activist collapsed on a domestic flight in Siberia last August, and was rushed for emergency treatment in the Siberian city of Omsk. At the request of his family, he was then transferred out of the country for further treatment at a hospital in Germany. German authorities then claimed that doctors had found traces of a deadly nerve agent in his system, going on to accuse the Kremlin of poisoning him. Moscow denied the allegations, saying no toxic substances had been found in his system at the time of his treatment in Russia. Washington sought to use the Navalny situation to poison Russian-European relations, and called on Western European nations to cancel construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Navalny returned to Russia in January and was jailed over multiple breaches of his probation in a 2014 fraud case.

April 14, 2021 Posted by | Russophobia | , , , | Leave a comment

RUSSIA, THE ARCTIC, AND THE HEALTHY NATURE OF THE INTERNATIONAL ORDER

By Paul Robinson | IRRUSSIANALITY | April 13, 2021

The Arctic tends not to get a lot of headlines. But here in Canada, it’s a big deal. Or at least it is rhetorically speaking. Canadians like to think of themselves as a wintery, northern people – as Gilles Vigneault sang: ‘Mon pays ce n’est pas un pays, c’est l’hiver.’ We get all emotional about the north, and pump ourselves up with stirring speeches about defending our sovereignty. After which, we then do nothing – at least until the next time somebody else does something we don’t like in the Arctic. At that point, we make some more stirring speeches, before slinking off back to our local Timmy’s in Toronto or some other place as far from the Arctic as we can get without actually ending up in the United States.

And so it is that the Canadian press was none too happy this week when the Russian Federation deposited its latest submission to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf to advance its claim to a large portion of the Arctic Ocean seabed. ‘That’s our Arctic Ocean seabed, you wretched Russians! How dare you?”

The Commission in question is a product of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), that gives states the right to exclusive exploitation of the seabed up to 200 nautical miles from their continental shelf. To claim such a right, however, states have to provide the Commission with scientific evidence of where the continental shelf extends under the sea. If they can satisfactorily show where the shelf goes, then the UN will approve the claim. If they can’t, then the UN won’t.

This is a well-recognized procedure under UNCLOS, and Arctic nations have been spending the past few years busily surveying the Arctic seabed in order to promote the case that their own continental shelf extends outwards far from the coastline – the further the better, because the further the shelf goes, the more of the seabed can be claimed.

Particularly important is the status of the Lomonosov Ridge, a massive formation that stretches across the Arctic from Russian waters to Canadian ones. Russia, Canada, and Denmark (Greenland) are all seeking to prove that the Ridge is an extension of their own continental shelf. Whoever wins the argument gets the grand prize – control over a huge chunk of the Arctic Ocean.

Russia submitted its first claim to the UN Commission back in 2001, but was told to go away and do more research. Having done so, it submitted its new evidence in 2015, and has now further updated its submission, all backed up with new scientific evidence. The latest Russian bid has some Canadians fuming, as it expands Russia’s claim over Arctic waters by about 750,000 square kilometers compared to the original submission.

“This is a maximalist submission. You cannot claim any more,” complains Robert Huebert, an Arctic expert at the University of Calgary. “In effect, they’re claiming the entire Arctic Ocean as their continental shelf … they’re claiming the entire Canadian and Danish continental shelf as their continental shelf,” adds Huebert.

This is true in the sense that Russia is clearly pushing its claim as far as it thinks the science will allow. But it’s hardly alone in doing so. In 2014, for instance, Denmark submitted a claim to the UN Commission that has been described as “an unexpectedly massive demand … [that] stretch the demand as much as legally possible all to the way to Russia’s exclusive economic zone.”

Canada in turn presented its submission to the UN in 2019. Adam Lajeunesse of St Francis Xavier University noted in response that, “There was [some conjecture] that we would sort of do a quid pro quo and stop our claim at about the pole as a means of facilitating a political settlement. But like the Danes, we’ve gone well over the North Pole and are claiming an enormous chunk of the Arctic continental shelf.”

Russia, therefore, is only following where others have already gone. Furthermore, it seems pretty confident in the validity of the scientific evidence it has amassed. That, though, will be a matter for the Commission to determine. In the meantime, what’s interesting about all this is the manner in which Russia has operated.

For as Whitney Lackenbauer, a circumpolar expert at Trent University, notes, ‘Russia is playing by the rules. And for those of us who are concerned about Russia’s flouting of the rules-based order, I actually take a great deal of comfort in seeking Russia go through the established process in this particular case. … I’m not worried about Russia’s action as an Arctic coastal state seeking to determine the outermost limits of its extended continental shelf.”

Lackenbauer hits the nail on the head. Western leaders regularly accuse Russia of wanting to destroy the international order. But reality is rather different. On occasion, when vital interests are at stake, the Russian Federation flouts the rules, just as other powers do. But most of the time, it operates within them. The Arctic is a case in point. Google ‘Russia, Arctic, aggression’, and you get all sorts of headlines, such as ‘What is behind Russia’s aggressive Arctic strategy?’, ‘Meeting Russia’s Arctic aggression’, ‘Arctic aggression: Russia is better prepared for a North Pole conflict than America is’, and so on. Yet, in practice, the Russian Federation has entirely respected the ‘rules-based international order’ as far as the Arctic is concerned. It’s an example that should give pundits pause to thought.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has declared that Arctic territorial issues ‘can be tackled solely on the basis of international law, the International Convention on the Law of the Sea, and in the framework of the mechanisms that have in accordance with it been created for determining the borders of states which have a continental shelf.’ This is what is happening. It’s an illustration that, for all the talk of the collapse of the international order, international law continues to operate and most states respect it most of the time. Instead of focusing on the few cases when the opposite happens, international affairs analysts might usefully pay a bit more attention to the instances when things work the way they should. If they did, their analyses might be less alarmist, and also rather more realistic.

April 14, 2021 Posted by | Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Chinese Foreign Ministry Calls for Promptly Starting Talks on Space Arms Control

Sputnik – 13.04.2021

BEIJING – China is calling on the global community to urgently start the negotiations on the space arms control, which should be based on a document proposed by Beijing and Moscow, the foreign ministry’s spokesman, Zhao Lijian, said on Tuesday.

“We are calling on the international community to start negotiations and reach agreement on arms control  in order to ensure space safety as soon as possible,” Zhao said at a briefing, noting that the talks should be based on the draft agreement proposed by the two countries.

“China has always been in favor of preventing an arms race in space, it has been actively promoting negotiations on a legally binding agreement on space arms control jointly with Russia,” the diplomat added.

Just on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for launching negotiations aimed at creating an internationalist instrument that would ban the deployment of any kinds of weapons in space. Lavrov proposed taking the Russian-Chinese draft document, introduced at the 2014 disarmament conference in Geneva, as a basis.

To stabilize the situation during a period when a multilateral document on non-militarization of space is being developed, Lavrov invited countries to join a Russian-promoted multilateral initiative on making a political commitment not to be the first to place weapons in outer space.

April 13, 2021 Posted by | Militarism | , | 1 Comment

Ukraine claims Russia ignoring call for crunch talks to avert all-out war in Donbass, but Moscow says it never received an invite

RT | April 12, 2021

The Kremlin has denied ignoring requests from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to hold a crisis summit after days of bloody escalations in the war-torn Donbass region, insisting it hasn’t actually been invited to take part.

On Monday morning, a government spokeswoman in Kiev claimed that an appeal for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin had gone unacknowledged. Yulia Mendel told journalists from Reuters that “we have not received an answer yet and we very much hope that this is not a refusal of dialogue.”

However, later that day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that he was unaware of the request, and had not seen any such contact from Ukrainian officials in recent days.

Mendel has since aimed to dispel any confusion, claiming that “the request for negotiations came immediately after the death of four servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – on March 26,” in an answer given to Interfax-Ukraine.

A statement posted by Zelensky to Twitter that day said, “we lost four defenders of Ukraine again. Sincere condolences.” He added that he urged all leaders of the Normandy Format, comprised of Germany, Russia, Ukraine, and France, “to do their utmost to preserve a full and comprehensive ceasefire.” It is unclear if a formal request was sent alongside the message.

Last week, Russian diplomats announced they had reached out to their US counterparts for emergency discussions over the situation in Donbass, with Peskov describing the situation on the contact line as frightening. Amid reports of increased shelling, Kiev’s forces have clashed with Moscow-backed separatist militants based in the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

At the same time, US State Department spokesman Ned Price warned that Washington had seen credible reports of Russia amassing troops near the shared border, and issued a “call on Russia to refrain from escalatory actions.”

On Thursday, Putin’s deputy chief of staff, Dmitry Kozak, said Moscow would be forced to protect the residents of the Donbass region if the Ukrainian Army were to launch an all-out offensive. “Everything depends on what the scale of fighting will be.”

Putin has previously warned of a humanitarian crisis akin to the Srebrenica massacre of Bosnian Muslims during the breakup of Yugoslavia, remembered as one of Europe’s bloodiest post-war incidents. If this were to happen, Peskov said, “no country in the world would stand aside. And all countries, including Russia, would take measures to prevent such tragedies from happening again.”

April 12, 2021 Posted by | Militarism | , | 1 Comment

Russia Calls for Talks on Binding Treaty to Prohibit Weapons in Space – Lavrov

Sputnik – 11.04.2021

MOSCOW – Russia has called for talks to create a legally binding international instrument that would ban the deployment of any type of weapons in space, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s historic space flight.

The anniversary of the first Soviet cosmonaut’s flight, marking the beginning of humanity’s space era, is celebrated every year in Russia as Cosmonautics Day on April 12. On the same day, the world marks the International Day of Human Space Flight.

“We consistently believe that only a guaranteed prevention of an arms race in space will make it possible to use it for creative purposes, for the benefit of the entire mankind. We call for negotiations on the development of an international legally binding instrument that would prohibit the deployment of any types of weapons there, as well as the use of force or the threat of force,” Lavrov said in a video message on the anniversary of the first manned space flight.

The minister offered to use as a basis a relevant Russian-Chinese draft treaty submitted in 2014 to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

To stabilize the situation during a period when a multilateral document on non-militarization of space is being developed, Lavrov invited countries to join a Russian-promoted multilateral initiative on making a political commitment to avoid being the first entity to place weapons in orbit around Earth.

The top Russian diplomat noted that some 30 countries are full-fledged participants in the initiative.

Lavrov also emphasized that space cooperation should remain one of the most important aspects of the international agenda.

“Over the past decades, Russia, as a leader in space exploration, has provided assistance to a number of states in launching cosmonauts into orbit. At the UN Outer Space Committee, we are maintaining a consistent stance to ensure equal access of states to outer space and its conservation for future generations,” the Russian foreign minister said.

Lavrov stressed that Russia’s Yuri Gagarin, who became the first person in space, made a huge contribution to the development of humanity and demonstrated Russia’s ability to effectively resolve the most difficult tasks. His memory continues to inspire people across the world in their honorable and ambitious aspirations, Lavrov said.

On April 12, 1961, Gagarin pronounced his famous “Poyekhali!” (“Let’s Go!”) as the Vostok spacecraft lifted off the ground, taking the first human to space.

In 2011, the UN General Assembly declared April 12 the International Day of Human Space Flight.

April 12, 2021 Posted by | Militarism | | 1 Comment

Russian-Ukrainian War: Tragedy For People, Chance For Elites

South Front – April 10, 2021

Against the backdrop of ongoing political provocations and bellicose rhetoric from all parties involved in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, military escalation is constantly growing. Local forces, as well as the OSCE observers, report about more and more ceasefire violations in the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. There are daily statements on casualties on both sides of the conflict among the military and local civilians.

Now, when all the global media are closely following the situation in the eastern regions of Ukraine, the international community is wondering whether Donbass will become the point of the next military conflict, and what its scale will be. The main question is “Cui Prodest”?

The answer is unambiguous: the administration of Ukrainian President is a real stakeholder in the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine. In the current Ukrainian reality, there are plenty of circumstances that determine the pattern of conduct of Volodimir Zelensky.

First, the current economic situation in Ukraine is disastrous. The Ukrainian state is on the way to lose the ability to fulfill its social obligations. According to the data for 2020, its GDP in real terms suffered about 4% drop. According to the IMF, this drop will be at least 7%. If for the United States, China or Russia, a 4% drop in GDP is a big problem, for Ukraine it is almost a disaster, as GDP indicators were low even before the crisis.

Secondly, the economic situation in Ukraine was aggravated by the coronacrisis. The number of those contaminated by COVID-19 per day there is one of the biggest among the European countries, and even in the whole world. The death rate is also disproportionately high. The country’s economy is suffering, as most regions are still under lockdown, and since April 5, restrictions have been tightened again.

The fall in national budget income was caused by a complex of reasons, including pure management of national economy and the extremely high level of corruption that caused the destruction of the industrial complex, drop in already low per capita income, accompanied by a decreasing revenue gained from gas and cargo transit from East to West.

Third, the Zelensky administration is now facing a rapid decrease in people’s support. The national disappointment in his political program is caused by the rejection of his campaign promises to stop the war in Donbass.

Fourthly, it is increasingly difficult for NATO allies to fuel Kiev’s anti-Russian hysteria in the absence of any actual changes of the issue. The military conflict in the Eastern Ukraine is already 7 years old, and the only alarming statements no longer contribute to the increase in financial support from the US and its allies.

The last but not least is a political request from a part of the American elite, who are interested in various forms of pressuring Russia. They support blocking of the Nord Stream 2 project by any means; destruction of bilateral relations between Russia and leading European countries, up to war outbreak along its borders.

On the other hand, such a policy of the United States does not fully coincide with the national interests of leading European countries. However, new war in Eastern Ukraine would define Russian status as enemy for years while the US will strengthen its weight in European security.

The position of the Zelensky administration and the interests of the United States represent sufficient set of reasons to outbreak war in Eastern Ukraine.

Indeed, official Kiev does not need to care about the actual result of the conflict, but its very existence.

There are only 3 scenarios of the military conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

  • The Ukrainian army wholly or partially occupies the territory of the DLPR.
  • The forces of both sides remain in their current positions.
  • The DLPR forces, with Russian support, advance on the Ukrainian territory for several dozens of miles.

There is almost a zero probability that Ukraine will suffer a crushing defeat and the DLPR forces will occupy the territory to the Dnieper River. Russia now has neither the strength nor the ability to gain control over such a vast territory, and the collective West, in its turn, would not let this happen.

If any of the above scenarios are implemented, Zelensky and his supporters among the US elites will benefit.

For many years, the US and European media have shaped Russia as the aggressor, the enemy of democratic values and the authoritarian tyrannical regime that must be contained. The idea of an external military threat, which being sequentially built up by the West, serves as a pretext for its increasing military funding both in defense industry and army itself amid inevitable unification under the US leadership.

In its turn, Ukraine, positioning itself as the Eastern European Shield against “Asian Barbarians”, receives significant and steadily growing support from NATO countries, gaining momentum to development and further nazi-like ideology originally rooted in Western Ukraine.

Unleashing the war, Zelensky has a chance to reclaim his status as the national leader. In case of the conquest of the self-proclaimed republics, or the preservation of the current troops’ positions, he will become a hero who saved Ukraine from “evil Russians”.

Even after having lost the war, he would claim that the entire country was saved with little blood and only a small piece of land that was temporary lost, taking on the role of a good strategist who defended the sovereignty in the furious fighting shoulder to shoulder with his NATO allies.

Zelensky’s policy can only fail if Russia captures half of Ukraine, which de facto is not possible.

Thus, almost whatever may happen during the conflict, Ukraine can be sure that it will receive stable financial flows from its Western allies for years ahead. Having become a “real” Eastern Shield of Europe, Ukraine may finally get the coveted NATO membership.

Finally yet importantly – the hot military conflict will undoubtedly divert public attention from the economic problems inside the country.

Unleashing a war in Donbass will allow Zelensky to solve his main problems, albeit at the cost of lives of thousands of Ukrainians.

Today, many analysts assure that there will not be a full-scale war, since Ukraine is weak, and Zelensky must assess the country’s military strength in front of the Russian power. Let’s hope this is the case, while remembering who the beneficiary of the conflict is.

In its turn, the United States, at the cost of Ukrainian soldiers’ lives, can resolve a good part of its problems in the European region, while Russia seems to lose strategically in any of these war scenarios.

Definitely, the war in Ukraine will lead to the closure of the Nord Stream 2 project, which is already at the final stage of construction. Key contacts between Russia and NATO countries will be frozen, no more significant bilateral cooperation in the economy will be possible.

A new war near the Russian borders that involves national armed forces will have an important impact on the internal situation in the country. It is not clear to what extent the Russian society, which has suffered the break of economic relations with Western countries and numerous sanctions, is ready to support the struggle for Donbass.

April 10, 2021 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 3 Comments

Biden Regime Pushing for War on Russia?

By Stephen Lendman | April 8, 2021

What interventionist Blinken calls “reckless…adversarial actions” by Russia is how the US operates at home and abroad, not Moscow.

What his spokesman Price calls “profound (Biden regime) disagreements with the Russian Federation” were made-in-the-USA, not at the Kremlin.

No “Russian attempts to destabilize the West” exist, no military threat against any country.

Hostile Biden regime actions against Russia risks turning escalated Cold War hot.

More illegal US sanctions on Russia are coming for invented/illegitimate reasons.

According to unnamed Biden regime officials, Russian diplomats in Washington may be expelled, others close to Vladimir Putin sanctioned.

Biden regime hardliners falsely accused Moscow of US election meddling (sic), offering the Taliban bounties to kill Pentagon troops in Afghanistan (sic), cyber-attacking SolarWinds (sic), poisoning Navalny (sic), and likely more illegitimate accusations to come.

Illegal Biden regime sanctions on Russia in March were prelude for likely stiffer unlawful ones in the works.

When Biden — or his impersonator — called Putin a “killer,” warning that he’ll “pay a price,” US Cold War on Russia escalated a step closer to possibly turning hot by accident or design.

On Wednesday, White House spokeswoman Psaki said Biden regime hardliners intend “hold(ing) Russia to account for its reckless and adversarial actions (sic).”

It’s how the US operates, notably when undemocratic Dems control things in Washington like now.

Russia under Vladimir Putin operates by higher standards — notably by waging peace, not war, respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other nations, and observing international law — polar opposite US war on humanity at home and abroad.

US-orchestrated war by Kiev on Donbass along Russia’s border has its forces mobilized to respond defensively if necessary.

Earlier this week, Russia’s Security Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev said Moscow has no intention of intervening cross-border, adding:

“(W)e are closely watching the situation. Concrete measures will be taken depending on how it develops” — to protect Russian Federation security.

Separately, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “Russia’s armed forces are (in its own) territory in places it considers necessary and appropriate.”

“(T)hey will stay there for as long as our military leadership and supreme commander consider it appropriate.”

Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) leader (in Donbass) Denis Pushilin said the following in response to escalated Kiev aggression:

“The situation on the line of contact remains, alas, extremely unpeaceful.”

“The situation is escalating and changing for the worse. The amount of (preemptive) shelling (by Kiev forces) is increasing.”

Military spokesman for the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) in Donbass Yakov Osadchy said the following:

“Throughout the past day, militants of (Kiev’s) 59th brigade have been shelling Logvinovo from the direction of Luganskoye by order of the military criminal Gennady Shapovalov, with the use of a 120mm mortar (rounds) banned by the Minsk agreements.”

At the same time, US-controlled Ukraine abandoned Minsk peace talks — agreements its ruling regimes never observed.

According to Peskov, US-installed puppet Zelensky never advanced peace along the Contact Line between Ukraine and Donbass “one iota” — in deference to his imperial master in Washington.

The 2014 Minsk Protocol peace deal — agreed to by Kiev, Moscow, the OSCE, the DPR and LPR — is “dead,” Peskov explained — because US hardliners want endless war along Russia’s borders.

“(R)eaching new agreements (with US-controlled Kiev) is impossible, because how can one resolve a conflict if one side (won’t) communicate with the other” and rejects peace, Peskov added.

On Tuesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said his government held emergency talks with Biden regime officials in an attempt to prevent full-scale war by Kiev on Donbass, adding:

US-dominated Western rhetoric is “increasingly belligerent.”

Hardliners in “Washington should be concerned about the consequences of this coordinated policy” for escalated war along Russia’s borders.

Defying reality, the Biden regime “call(ed) on Russia to refrain from escalatory actions (sic)” — engaged in by the US and puppet regime in Kiev, not Moscow.

Days earlier, Ukrainian official Aleksey Arestovich said ongoing large-scale (US-controlled) DefenderEurope 2021 military exercises in European Baltic states are all-about preparing for possible war with Russia, adding:

Drills focus on areas “from the waters of the Baltic to the Black Sea, to put it bluntly, armed confrontation with Russia.”

Cognitively and physically impaired figurehead Biden is uninvolved and perhaps unaware of reckless actions by his regime’s hardline/interventionist geopolitical team.

In short order after replacing Trump — illegitimately by brazen election rigging — escalated US Cold War it’s waging on Russia risks turning things hot.

April 8, 2021 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

Russia unlikely to send recalled ambassador back to Washington without clear sign US ready for bilateral relations

RT | April 7, 2021

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has revealed it has no plans to restore full diplomatic representation in Washington until it sees evidence that the US is interested in building constructive relations between the two countries.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov was asked by RIA Novosti on Wednesday whether Ambassador Anatoly Antonov would return to America in the near future, having been recalled in March amid a growing diplomatic row. “This is not a question for the next few days,” he said.

“The timings will be determined based on what steps Washington plans to take on the bilateral track,” he continued. “We expect that they are still able to demonstrate a desire to at least relatively stabilize our relationship and that they will do something visible and noticeable in this regard.”

Antonov flew to Moscow for a series of crunch talks with senior officials in the days following US President Joe Biden’s interview with the ABC news network, in which he was asked whether he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin is a “killer,” and replied, “Mmm hmm, I do.”

The American leader also said he had warned the Russian president that the US would potentially take action if it found evidence of Moscow’s interference in the US election. “He will pay a price,” Biden added.

His comments came as a joint report by Washington’s spy agencies, including the CIA and the Department of Homeland Security, was declassified and made available to the public. It declared that Russia attempted to influence the 2020 US election with the aim of “denigrating President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party, supporting former President Trump, undermining public confidence in the electoral process, and exacerbating sociopolitical divisions in the US.”

Since then, the US has imposed sanctions against a group of Russian officials that it claims are responsible for the jailing of opposition figure Alexey Navalny and alleged “human rights” breaches in the policing of the protests after his arrest.

Washington’s package of measures also targeted companies and a state institute it says are engaged in “the production of biological and chemical weapons,” as well as “activities that are contrary to US national security and foreign policy interests.” The Kremlin strongly denies that such a program exists.

An unnamed official told reporters at the time that “the United States is neither seeking to reset our relations with Russia, nor are we seeking to escalate.”

April 7, 2021 Posted by | Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

For What Should We Fight Russia or China?

By Patrick Buchanon | Unz Review | April 6, 2021

Last Monday, in a single six-hour period, NATO launched 10 air intercepts to shadow six separate groups of Russian bombers and fighters over the Arctic, North Atlantic, North Sea, Black Sea and Baltic Sea.

Last week also brought reports that Moscow is increasing its troop presence in Crimea and along its borders with Ukraine.

Joe Biden responded. In his first conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Biden assured him of our “unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in the Donbass and Crimea.”

Though Ukraine is not a member of NATO, and we have no treaty obligation to fight in its defense, this comes close to a war guarantee. Biden seems to be saying that if it comes to a shooting war between Moscow and Kiev, we will be there on the side of Kiev.

Last week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov answered that if the U.S. sends troops to Ukraine, Russia will respond.

Again, is Biden saying that in the event of a military clash between Ukrainians and Russians in Crimea, Donetsk or Luhansk, the U.S. will intervene militarily on the side of Ukraine?

Such a pledge could put us at war with a nuclear-armed Russia in a region where we have never had vital interests, and without the approval of the only institution authorized to declare war — Congress.

Meanwhile, off Whitsun Reef in the South China Sea, which Beijing occupies but Manila claims, China has amassed 220 maritime militia ships.

This huge Chinese flotilla arrived after Secretary of State Anthony Blinken put Beijing on notice that any attack on Philippine planes or ships challenging Beijing’s claim to rocks and reefs of the South China Sea that are in Manila’s exclusive economic zone will be backed by the U.S.

Our 70-year-old mutual security treaty with Manila covers these islets and reefs, said Blinken, though some are already occupied and fortified by China.

Apparently, if Manila uses force to assert its claims and expel the Chinese, then we will fight beside our Philippine allies. This amounts to a war guarantee of the kind that forced the British to declare war on Germany in 1939 over the invasion of Poland.

Two weeks ago, 20 Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone in the largest incursion yet by Beijing over the waters between Taiwan and Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands. As national security correspondent Bill Gertz writes in today’s Washington Times:

“China is stepping up provocative activities targeting regional American allies in Asia … with an escalating number of military flights around Taiwan and the massing of more than 200 fishing ships near a disputed Philippines reef.

“China also raised tensions with Japan, announcing last week that Tokyo must drop all claims to the disputed Senkaku Islands, an uninhabited island chain that Japan has administered for decades but that Beijing recently claimed as its territory.

“The most serious provocation took place March 29. An exercise by the People’s Liberation Army air force that included 10 warplanes flew into Taiwan’s air defense zone is what analysts say appeared to be a simulated attack on the island. It came just three days after an earlier mass warplane incursion.”

While China appears clear about its aims and claims to virtually all of the islands in the South China Sea and East China Sea as well as Taiwan — it is less clear about its intentions as to when to validate those claims.

As for the U.S., does the present foggy ambiguity as to what we may or may not do as China goes about asserting its claims serve our vital interests in avoiding war with the greatest power on the largest continent on earth?

If red lines are to be laid down, they ought to be laid down by the one constitutional body with the authority to authorize or declare war — Congress. And questions need to be answered to avoid the kinds of miscalculations that led to horrific world wars in the 20th century.

Are the reefs and rocks the Philippines claim in the South China Sea, claims contradicted by China, covered by the U.S. mutual security treaty of 1951? Are we honor-bound to fight China on behalf of the Philippines, if Manila attempts to reclaim islets China occupies?

What is our obligation if China moves to take the Senkakus? Would the United States join Japan in military action to hold or retrieve them?

What, exactly, is our commitment to Taiwan if China attempts to blockade, invade or seize Taiwan’s offshore islands?

John F. Kennedy in the second debate with Richard Nixon in 1960 wrote off Quemoy and Matsu in the Taiwan Strait as indefensible and not worth war with Mao’s China.

With its warnings and threats, China is forcing America to address questions we have been avoiding for about as long as we can.

China is saying that it is not bluffing: These islands are ours!

Time to show our cards.

Copyright 2021 Creators.com

April 6, 2021 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , | 3 Comments

Why is the Biden Regime Pushing Ukraine to Attack Russia?

By Ron Paul | April 5, 2021

On March 24th, Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky signed what was essentially a declaration of war on Russia. In the document, titled Presidential Decree No. 117/2021, the US-backed Ukrainian leader declared that it is the official policy of Ukraine to take back Crimea from Russia.

The declaration that Ukraine would take back Crimea from Russia also followed, and was perhaps instigated by, President Biden’s inflammatory and foolish statement that “Crimea is Ukraine.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was a chief architect of the US-backed coup against Ukraine in 2014, continued egging on the Ukrainians, promising full US support for the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine. Many Americans wonder why they are not even half as concerned about the territorial integrity of the United States!

Not to be outdone, at the beginning of this month US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin – who previously served on the board of missile-maker Raytheon – called his counterpart in Ukraine and promised “unwavering US support for Ukraine’s sovereignty.” As the US considers Crimea to be Ukrainian territory, this is clearly a clear green light for Kiev to take military action.

Washington is also sending in weapons. Some 300 tons of new weapons have arrived in the past weeks and more is on the way.

As could be expected, Moscow has responded to Zelensky’s decree and to the increasingly bellicose rhetoric in Kiev and Washington by re-positioning troops and other military assets closer to its border with Ukraine. Does anyone doubt that if the US were in the same situation – for example, if China installed a hostile and aggressive government in Mexico – the Pentagon might move troops in a similar manner?

But according to the media branch of the US military-industrial-Congressional-media complex, Russian troop movements are not a response to clear threats from a neighbor, but instead are just more “Russian aggression.”

The unhinged US “experts” behind the 2014 coup against the elected Ukrainian president are back in power and they are determined to finish the job – even if it means World War III! The explicit US backing of Ukraine’s military ambitions in the region are a blank check to Kiev.

But it is a check that Kiev would be wise to avoid cashing. Back in 1956 the US government pumped endless propaganda into Hungary promising military backing for an uprising against its Soviet occupiers. When the Hungarians, believing Washington’s lies, did rise up they found themselves all alone and facing Soviet retaliation.

Despite the cruel US propaganda, at least Eisenhower was wise enough to realize that no one would benefit from a nuclear war over Budapest.

Why is it any of our business whether Crimea is part of Ukraine or part of Russia? Why is it any of our business if the Russian-speaking population of eastern Ukraine prefer being aligned with Russia?

Why, for that matter, are unproven allegations of Russian meddling in our elections a violation of the “rules-based international order” but an actual US-backed coup against an elected Ukrainian government is not?

We are seeing foreign policy made by Raytheon and the other US military contractors, through cut-outs in government like Austin and others. Feckless US foreign policy “experts” believe their own propaganda about Russia and are on the verge of taking us to war over it.

It seems as if Americans are sleepwalking through this dangerous minefield. Let us hope they soon wake up before we’re all blown up.

Copyright © 2021 by RonPaul Institute.

April 5, 2021 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

Reports of Russian troops ‘massing’ near Ukraine miss the mark: Russia-Ukraine war is possible, but only if Ukraine strikes first

By Paul Robinson | RT | April 5, 2021

As tensions escalate in eastern Ukraine, the real danger is not a Russian invasion, but that the Ukrainian government will misinterpret American signals of support as a green light for an assault on the rebel republics in Donbass.

Russia is about to invade Ukraine. So you’d think, if you believed recent headlines. “Tensions skyrocket as Russia masses forces near eastern Ukraine,” says the Kyiv Post. “Russian troops and tanks mass on Ukraine border,” declares the Sun. Russia is “flooding Crimea with trains full of tanks,” claims the Daily Mail. And so on.

Since spring 2014, the Ukrainian army has been fighting rebel forces in Donbass in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian government has long accused Russia of supporting, arming, and bankrolling the rebels, but it is now saying that Moscow may go even further. According to the Kiev news agency, UNIAN, “Russia may try to go for an incursion and deploy its troops deeper into the territory of Ukraine … Ukraine’s military intelligence agency, GUR MO, has reported.”

Indeed, UNIAN cites GUR MO as saying:

“The Russian Federation is completing preparations for a set of measures, aimed at pushing our country for a military response to the invaders’ hostile action … expanding Russia’s military presence on the territory of the so-called ‘DPR’ and ‘LPR’ [Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics] by introducing regular units of the Russian armed forces, justifying the move by the need to protect Russian citizens.”

Meanwhile the business journal OilPrice.com reports:

“In Belarus and Ukraine, the West is perceived to be waging a hybrid war against Moscow. From Putin’s point of view, the only option now is to actively counter-attack. Military analysts are still arguing about what Moscow’s options are in the coming days. The majority expect a so-called localized escalation, dramatic and devastating, leading to the deployment of Russian ‘peacekeepers’.”

The identity of this “majority” of experts is not revealed, possibly because it doesn’t exist. But the basic scenario portrayed by the media is clear: Russia is preparing to attack Ukraine, using some sort of provocation to make it seem as if the attack is justified in order to defend the people of Donbass against the Ukrainian army.

The logic here is somewhat similar to that often used when discussing the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia. For it is often claimed that Russia “provoked” the Georgians into attacking South Ossetia, so as to launch a long-planned invasion of its own. The truth was rather different. An independent commission created by the European Union found Georgia to be primarily responsible for starting the 2008 war. Nevertheless, the Georgian example raises the spectre that the Ukrainian army, and its Western amplifiers, may be preparing the informational terrain to justify an attack on the rebel forces in Donbass by making it appear as if it is acting in self-defence to forestall an imminent Russian assault.

It is true that the Russian army has been holding military exercises close to the Ukrainian border in recent weeks. The scale of these, however, is far below that required for an invasion of Ukraine. Rather than a preparation for invasion, it would appear more likely that Russian activity is designed to deter a Ukrainian attack on Donbass.

The war in Donbass has flared off and on since a notional ceasefire was agreed in February 2015. Since the start of this year, the ceasefire has largely broken down. The Special Monitoring Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is reporting scores of violations every day. Meanwhile, uncorroborated pictures of a buildup of Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine have appeared on social media, fuelling speculation of an imminent Ukrainian offensive in Donbass.

The fear is that Ukraine may try to repeat Azerbaijan’s recent success in recovering lost territories by means of war against Armenia. Ukraine has invested heavily in its army since 2015. It is now better equipped and trained than when it suffered defeat at Debaltsevo in 2015. It might think that it can recapture Donbass by military means.

This is not impossible, but a military offensive in Donbass would face many difficulties, not least the urban nature of the terrain. Ukrainian armour would be extremely vulnerable to hand-held anti-tank weapons, and Ukrainian troops would probably have to rely on heavy use of artillery. This would result in enormous destruction. The head of Ukraine’s army, General Khomchak, noted this last week and “warned against huge civilian casualties.”

In the face of such casualties, there is a high probability that Russia would intervene, especially now that large numbers of the inhabitants of Donbass have acquired Russian passports. The result would be an all-out war between Russia and Ukraine.

There can be no doubt that Russia would win such a war, probably very quickly. Therefore, if the West really wishes to help Ukraine, it should be using all its diplomatic power to ensure that the Ukrainian government does not seek to resolve its problems by military means. Unfortunately, the signals coming from Washington are rather to the contrary. In a phone call on April 1 with Ukrainian Minister of Defense Andrii Taran, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III “reaffirmed unwavering US support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.”

Austin’s statement falls short of endorsing a military offensive, but language such as “unwavering support” could easily be misinterpreted as providing a green light. In 2008, the US did not encourage Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to attack South Ossetia, but he seems to have misperceived US support for Georgian membership of NATO as evidence that America would back him if he did. The danger now is that the Ukrainian government might make the same mistake of thinking that the West will support it no matter what. It is important that the West disabuses Ukraine of this notion.

General Khomchak’s words about mass civilian casualties suggest an awareness in Ukraine that military action would be fraught with terrible risk. We must hope that this awareness provides the restraint needed to prevent a war that would do immense harm to all involved.

Paul Robinson is a professor at the University of Ottawa. He writes about Russian and Soviet history, military history, and military ethics, and is author of the Irrussianality blog.

April 5, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | Leave a comment