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$65 billion in Western ‘aid for Ukraine’ is neither aid nor is it for Ukraine

By Drago Bosnic | May 20, 2022

In recent weeks, much has been said about the political West’s (primarily US) “aid” to the embattled Kiev regime. The US Congress has so far approved or is in the process of approving at least $54 billion to Ukraine. In addition, various reports put the amount of EU “aid” at up to €10 billion thus far, although the actual number is most likely orders of magnitude greater. When put together, this pushes the publicly acknowledged figure to a staggering $65 billion, which is equivalent to Russia’s annual military spending in nominal USD exchange rates.

The number seems rather impressive and may give an outlook that Ukraine will be able to defeat Russian forces. However, the situation on the ground says otherwise. With the political West’s postindustrial economy, their ability to mass-produce affordable and easily replaceable military hardware has increasingly been called into question. Thus, most of the “aid” from the US/EU is essentially a half measure. Throwing money at a problem is highly unlikely to resolve it, as actual situations require genuine, not monetary action.

The amount of hardware Ukraine lost so far is difficult to determine, as both sides provide diametrically opposing data, while independent confirmation from the ground is virtually impossible due to ongoing military operations. However, war footage taken by civilians, alternative media embedded with frontline troops, and soldiers themselves, clearly shows that Ukraine’s losses in manpower and equipment have been massive.

To replace lost hardware, the Kiev regime will require enormous resources. However, this will be quite challenging, as the country’s Military-Industrial Complex has been virtually annihilated by Russia’s long-range strikes. Thus, the regime will need to acquire additional military hardware elsewhere. The political West is the go-to address for this purpose, as Ukraine has been getting NATO weapons for years. Still, this hardware has had a limited impact on the battlefield. To change that, NATO powers decided to ramp up the so-called “lethal aid”.

However, in reality, the prospect of Ukraine getting the promised “aid” is rather grim. An obvious question arises, what will happen to nearly $65 billion? The first go-to address for such a question should be the US Congress. With the lawmaking body trying to fast track the deal, some US congressmen have voiced concerns that corrupt officials would be able to steal the “aid”, as was the case for decades during numerous US invasions across the globe. However, corruption and embezzlement, which geopolitical expert Paul Antonopoulos recently covered in a superb analysis, is the lesser problem in this situation.

Mainstream media have been portraying the political West as if it will be sending actual, physical money to the Kiev regime. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The funds will essentially stay in the “donor” countries. The largest share of those funds will officially be allocated to arming, or rather, rearming the Kiev regime forces. But who exactly, or more precisely, which companies will be producing weapons for the Ukrainian military? It’s safe to assume we all know the answer – the US Military-Industrial Complex, the largest and most powerful arms manufacturing cartel on the planet. Household names such as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, BAE Systems, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, to name a few, will be getting the vast majority of those funds.

For instance, the “Phoenix Ghost” drones, manufactured by the California-based Aevex Aerospace and “Switchblade” drones, manufactured by AeroVironment, both designed to strike tanks and other armored vehicles, as well as infantry units. M113 armored vehicle is also being sent and while old, largely obsolete and not in production since 2007, it’s quite numerous, and getting rid of it will make way for the acquisition of its immediate successor, the AMPV (Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle), a turretless variant of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, produced by the BAE Systems.

Another BAE Systems product is the M777 howitzer, a towed 155 mm artillery piece designed for direct fire support. Ukrainian troops are already using them, while recent videos released by the Russian military show some have already been destroyed in battle. Interestingly, the howitzers delivered to Ukraine lack digital fire-control systems.

The much-touted “Stinger” MANPADS (produced by Raytheon) and “Javelin” ATGMs (co-produced by Lockheed Martin and Raytheon) have been sent in the thousands. However, their effectiveness has been questionable at best, despite Western media trying to portray them as supposed “game-changers”. Russian tanks have been filmed surviving up to 7 “Javelin” hits, even continuing to fight, much to the frustration of Ukrainian forces, which have recently been ordered to stop publicly complaining about the lackluster performance of Western weapons.

Raytheon’s AN/MPQ-64 “Sentinel”, an X-band range-gated, pulse-Doppler radar used to alert and cue short-range air defense systems has also been sent. In addition, 40 million rounds of small arms ammunition, 5,000 assault and battle rifles, 1,000 pistols, 400 machine guns and 400 shotguns have been sent to Ukraine, along with more than 1 million grenades, mortars and 200,000 artillery rounds. These deliveries have been completed by early May. The actual number is most certainly much higher as of this writing.

The weapons in question are not changing the strategic balance between Russia and the Kiev regime, but are prolonging the fight, resulting in even higher military and civilian casualties. Also, logistics-wise, having so many different types of weapons creates a lot of problems for the Ukrainian military, which is barely holding together as it is. There are also issues of training and doctrinal incompatibility.

M777 howitzers are immobile when deployed and are designed with air dominance in mind. US troops are supposed to use them from a safe distance, serving as fire support by striking very specific targets during overseas operations, which is completely opposite to what is going on in Ukraine, where the other side (Russia) enjoys air dominance and uses massed artillery to punch holes in Ukrainian lines, followed by massive and well-coordinated armor assaults. Thus, US weapons not only fail in providing an effective counter to Russian troops, but are even getting Ukrainian forces killed, as they are still not accustomed to using them.

And last, but not least, the “aid” provided (and soon to be provided) by NATO countries are essentially long-term loans which will have to be repaid in the following decades. The WWII-era Lend-Lease program for the USSR, estimated at $160 billion in present-day USD, was repaid in full only in 2006. Thus, we can assume Ukraine will be paying off the current $65 billion “aid” for the rest of this century. That is, provided there will be a viable Ukrainian state to do so after the conflict ends.

Drago Bosnic is an independent geopolitical and military analyst.

May 20, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Militarism | , , , | 1 Comment

EU to pay Ukraine’s budget

Samizdat | May 18, 2022

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday proposed an aid package of 9 billion euros ($9.5 billion) to keep Ukraine’s government running, and said that the EU would lead reconstruction efforts in Ukraine after hostilities cease. Her announcement came a day after the US called on Europe to open its coffers for Kiev.

Money for the aid package would be borrowed by the Commission on global financial markets and would be repayable by Kiev. As per the EU’s rules on macro-financial assistance, the Ukrainian government would be free to use the cash as it sees fit.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has claimed that Ukraine needs around $7 billion per month to pay its soldiers, civilians and pensioners, and to keep essential services running. The proposed EU package will therefore keep Ukraine functioning for just over a month.

Hours before von der Leyen’s announcement, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told the Brussels Economic Forum that “the bilateral and multilateral support announced so far will not be sufficient to address Ukraine’s needs, even in the short term.”

“I sincerely ask all our partners to join us in increasing their financial support to Ukraine,” she continued, adding that aside from keeping the country afloat in the short term, “massive support” would be needed to rebuild Ukraine once the fighting ends.

Von der Leyen said on Wednesday that the EU will lead this reconstruction effort, but would not be the sole contributor.

“That is why we propose a reconstruction platform as part of this plan jointly led by Ukraine and the Commission and bringing together EU Member States, other bilateral or international donors, international financial institutions, and other like-minded partners,” she said.

While von der Leyen’s aid package is in line with what Yellen requested, it must still be approved by both the European Parliament and European Council. However, none of the Commission’s aid packages to Ukraine thus far – which include four consecutive €500 million ($520 million) packages of military aid and €1.2 billion ($1.26 billion) worth of emergency loans – have faced any resistance from either body.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused EU leaders of acting on behalf of their “American overlord” with regard to Ukraine, and committing economic “suicide” by cutting themselves off from Russian energy resources amid inflation and record high fuel costs.

May 18, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , | 3 Comments

Western military strategy for Ukraine changes for conciliatory tone

By Uriel Araujo | May 18, 2022

According to Western authorities and media reports Ukraine has been winning the war, but, notwithstanding all the weapon’s shipments from the West, this narrative can only be described as propaganda, for a number of reasons. Amid this triumphalist rhetoric, the US-led West seems to have chosen the path of full-spectrum conflict with Moscow, as one can see in the recent G7 joint statement.

And yet, strangely, French President Emmanuel Macron’s own remarks during Europe Day contained a conciliatory tone about not “humiliating” Moscow should Kiev win. The US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, in turn has asked May13 for a conversation with his counterpart, Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu, to talk about “an immediate ceasefire”. This was the very first talk the two officials had since the beginning of the Russian military operations in February. Thus, we are seeing contradictory signs.

Moreover, Austin also showed he is interested in keeping lines of communication open with the Kremlin. The one-hour long phone call was requested by Washington. This is the same Lloyd Austin who, in April 26, stated he believed Kiev would win the war, with American help.

Echoing Austin’s change of tone, Macron reportedly has asked Ukraine to make some “concessions”, to which President Volodymir Zelensky replied in a May 13 interview with Italian TV channel RAI that “we won’t help Putin save face by paying with our territory”. This has generated some embarrassment and has prompted a reply from the French presidency, stating that Macron in fact has never “asked President Zelenskyy for any concession.” The same day the G7 announced its intentions to further contain and isolate Moscow, Macron stated, during his address to the European Parliament, on May 9, that “we are not at war with Russia”, adding that Europe’s duty is to “stand with Ukraine to achieve a ceasefire, then build peace.”

Macron and Austin are not alone. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz during a long talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 13 over the telephone, according to a recent Twitter publication of his, stated that there must be a “ceasefire” in Ukraine “as quickly as possible”. Interestingly there was no talk of Russia immediately retreating, which would be a strange thing if it were true that Kiev is “winning” the war.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi in turn has also echoed the same theme about a ceasefire. The fact that the speeches of leaders from the three EU largest countries are thus aligned is a clear sign that something is changing. This reflects popular opinion also: according to a recent survey across 27 Western countries (conducted by polling company Ipsos), support for diplomatic talks with Russia has increased precisely in France, Germany and Italy.

These are certainly not the only problems that should worry the US. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, for example, has threatened to block Sweden and Finland NATO bids. With Turkey being such a relevant NATO member, this is yet another sign of the contradictions within the alliance.

In spite of the aforementioned Austin statements, the American take on this is still somewhat more complicated, though. According to the Politico website, a high-ranking Washington official has admitted the US worries about a “fracture”, considering these recent European developments. Within American society itself, however, concerned voices, even in the conservative camp, are increasingly more skeptical about the current US policy regarding the Russo-Ukrainian war. As inflation rises, the 40 billion-dollar package to help Kiev, which is being discussed in Congress, is under a lot of criticism.

While Western officials are starting to change their tone and are apparently willing to start some dialogue with Moscow, the Ukrainian President in turn is maintaining his triumphalist uncompromising tone. Kiev, however, is largely dependent on the West, and in the long run would have no choice, but to play along.

The problem is that any “appeasement” endeavors will face a harsh internal reaction from the very extremist forces the West has been supporting. One should recall Dmytro Yarosh’s 2019 threatening remarks about Zelensky “losing his life” and ending up “hanging on a tree on Khreshchatyk (in the Kiev’s center)” if he “betrayed” Ukrainian nationalists. Yarosh, a far-right activist, is nowadays an adviser to Valerii Zaluzhny, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

This also explains why countries such as Germany are increasingly reluctant to further arm Kiev – the risk of weapons ending up in the hands of unpredictable extremist groups is too high.

By now, it has become abundantly clear that today’s conflict in Ukraine is a proxy Western war against Russia. The attitude of the United States and EU leaders regarding the crisis has been one of open confrontation without compromise – and of fueling tensions. However, as we can see, there are signs that this approach could be starting to decline.

In early May, referring to the former US President, Noam Chomsky, stated, in an interview, that only one “Western statesman” is advocating “a diplomatic solution to the war in Ukraine, instead of looking for ways to encourage and prolong it”, namely “Donald Trump”. Chomsky’s remark seemed accurate back then, but this might be changing now.

May 18, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

US recruits ISIS terrorists to fight in Ukraine: Russian Intelligence

Samizdat | May 17, 2022

The US has been “actively recruiting” terrorists to fight in Ukraine, Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) claimed on Tuesday, saying that it illustrates Washington’s readiness “to use any means to achieve its geopolitical goals.”

The SVR revealed in a statement that, according to the intelligence it is receiving, “the United States is actively recruiting even members of international terrorist organizations, including the Islamic State (ISIS) group banned in the Russian Federation, as mercenaries to participate in hostilities in Ukraine.”

The Russian intelligence service points to the American military base in Syria called al-Tanf, which is located close to the borders with Jordan and Iraq. According to its sources, this base and the surrounding area have turned into a kind of terrorist “hub,” where up to 500 ISIS and other jihadists can be “retrained” simultaneously. SVR claimed that last month 60 ISIS militants, who had been released from prisons controlled by the Syrian Kurds, were transferred to al-Tanf “with a view to subsequent transfer to Ukrainian territory.”

The SVR specified that during a training course at al-Tanf the militants are instructed on how to use anti-tank missile systems, reconnaissance and strike drones, advanced communications and surveillance equipment.

In the SVR’s opinion, this data confirms that “the United States is ready to use any means to achieve its geopolitical goals, not excluding sponsoring international terrorist groups.”

The intelligence service concluded by saying that the American administration does not consider the consequences of such actions, “even when it comes to threats to the security of European allies and even to the lives of the Americans.”

Washington has insisted that “there are no US soldiers in Ukraine.”

Meanwhile, the presence of American troops on Syrian territory at al-Tanf base, which the SVR mentions in its statement, has long been considered by both Moscow and Damascus as illegal. The previous US administration pledged that American forces would leave northeastern Syria but only after ISIS militants are defeated and the Kurds protected.

Then-National Security Advisor John Bolton made it clear that another task of the US forces at al-Tanf was to counter Iranian influence in the region.

In October 2021, there were reports that, according to Israeli defense sources, about 350 military members and civilians were still using al-Tanf, including some British and French forces that were described as “intelligence experts.”

May 17, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

America the Feckless

How low can we go?

BY PHILIP GIRALDI • UNZ REVIEW • MAY 17, 2022

There have been several particularly disturbing stories in the media over the past week even if one chooses to tune out the US Congress’s pending astonishing overwhelming approval of a grant of $39.8 billion to Ukraine to continue the war to “weaken” Russia. Even so-called progressives in the Democratic Party voted for the war. So now the United States will be at war with Russia through proxy, like it or not, and the consequences could be devastating, particularly if NATO member Poland intervenes directly, as it has been threatening, but few in Washington seem to be awake to that reality. And only Senator Rand Paul, who is asking for an inspector general to supervise the cash flow, is seriously wondering how much of the “aid” will be stolen by President Volodymyr Zelensky and his cronies. Ukraine has long been distinguished as the most corrupt country in Europe.

Another revolting story concerns the murder of a Palestinian Christian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who also happens to be an American citizen. She was shot dead by an Israeli sniper who hit her in the neck in the small gap between a protective helmet and vest. She was covering Israeli Army violence directed against protesting Palestinians in the West Bank town of Jenin for al-Jazeera and the vest was labelled “Press” in large letters. Israel initially sought to blame her death on Palestinian “gunmen” who allegedly were in the area, but that story would not wash when confronted with the eyewitness testimony of others who were on the scene and it was eventually conceded that an Israeli soldier “might have” fired the fatal shot. Last Friday, preceding Shireen’s funeral at the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Virgin in occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli police providing “security” were seen kicking and using batons to beat mourners seeking to carry the coffin from the hospital to the church. The police also hurled stun and smoke grenades into the crowd after several plastic water bottles were allegedly thrown in their direction. Abu Akleh’s home was also searched by police and it will no doubt be claimed that she was a “terrorist,” standard Israeli practice for many of those whom they murder.

Whenever an American citizen is killed under questionable circumstances overseas it is the responsibility of the local US Embassy to demand an investigation and explanation of what occurred. To be sure, the ardently Zionist US Ambassador Thomas Nides in Jerusalem has called for an inquiry, but let’s see what happens in this case as the mainstream media conspires to make the story disappear even though a number of Democratic congressmen (and no Republicans) have called for a response. Former Israeli army spokesman Avi Benayahu has already opined that “Let’s assume Shireen Abu Akleh was shot dead by IDF. No need to apologize for that.” Nevertheless, some form of inquiry acceptable to Israel will no doubt take place, but the Israeli government and the country’s courts have a history of exonerating soldiers and armed settlers when they kill Palestinians. Recently, a Palestinian was sentenced to nine months in prison for slapping an armed settler who was threatening his family while Israeli soldiers and settlers who have killed non-threatening Palestinians, including children, rarely receive any punishment at all.

And being an American citizen makes no difference. History tells us that Israel can kill Americans with impunity judging from the massacre of 34 American sailors on board the USS Liberty in 1967 and the Rachel Corrie murder-by-bulldozer in 2003. A Turkish-American boy Furkan Dogan who was on an aid ship to Gaza in 2010 was also murdered by Israeli soldiers who boarded the vessel, also killing eight others. No Israeli has been punished for any of the deaths.

This has to stop but the problem is in Washington, not in Jerusalem. Israel kills and kills because it knows it can get away with it due to American enabling of the process. It is an embarrassment that a series of US Ambassadors to Israel have been little more than apologists for the Jewish state. And we have House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declaring “I have said to people when they ask me if this Capitol crumbled to the ground, the one thing that would remain is our commitment to our aid…and I don’t even call it aid… our cooperation with Israel. That’s fundamental to who we are.” Meanwhile President Joe Biden has self-declared as a “Zionist” while Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer calls himself in Hebrew the “shomer yisroel” or defender of Israel in the Senate. And then there is House Intelligence Committee head Adam Schiff’s son sporting a Mossad t-shirt. And what about the regular mass “pilgrimages” by groups of Congressmen to Israel during recesses, an exercise in obtaining the approval of whichever unindicted felon is in charge of that rogue country that pretends to pass for a “democracy”?

As much as one would like to see all the traitors in Congress and the White House who give Israel a free pass on its monstrous behavior held accountable, such an outcome is unimaginable because enough of them have been bought or intimidated to such an extent that they remain silent or chant like a chorus in a Greek tragedy that “Israel has a right to defend itself.” And there is also the Jewish dominated mainstream media: the NY Times report on this latest murder had a headline reading that Shireen Abu Akleh had somehow “Died,” not that she was murdered by the Israelis, to whom the American taxpayer gives $10 million every single day! It is shameful and disgusting!

A related tale also concerns Israel and the United States. David Brog is running for Congress from Nevada. Brog is the former executive director of Pastor John Hagee’s Texas-based Christians United For Israel even though he is Jewish. Indeed, he has made Israel the focal point of his campaign based on his contention that “he brings a lifetime of dedication and a depth of knowledge to lead on pro-Israel causes.” He has said “I don’t just want to be a friend of Israel. I want to be a leader on Israel and a champion of Israel… We have to be very quick to reach out and broaden our coalition to all people of goodwill who love Israel and hate antisemitism.”

Brog, who is not from Nevada, has not surprisingly raised considerably more money than other GOP candidates vying for the position and he has also received the backing of former Trump administration Jewish officials, including David Friedman, the ex-US Ambassador to Israel, and Elan Carr, the special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism. Friedman and Carr co-hosted a virtual fundraiser for Brog two weeks ago.

Brog is a one trick pony and his trick is to keep saying Israel over and over again to bring in the Shekels from the likes of Israel born Miriam Adelson, who inherited her husband’s casino fortune and lives in Las Vegas. It is disconcerting to see a politician running for national office in the United States so he can advance the interests of a foreign country, yet that is what Brog is doing openly. One would hope a lot of Nevada voters will see the issue in the same fashion, but Brog will have big bucks and the pro-Israel media supporting him. In any event, I have to wish the “malocchio” or evil eye on Brog and I hope he loses in his run and loses big. The United States does not need yet another ardent Israel booster in Congress or anywhere else in the public space!

Another tale that is developing surrounds the publication of the latest tell-all book by a survivor of the Donald Trump administration. Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who was fired by Trump after the 2020 election, has described a series of catastrophic proposals by the president relating to national security and defense, including using missiles fired from the US to take on Mexican drug cartels. Another idea floated by Trump, if Esper is not lying, was to use soldiers to shoot protesters in Washington in the wake of the George Floyd death in Minneapolis in May 2020. Other former senior Trump officials have also been claiming that Trump often asked whether China had developed a top-secret hurricane gun that could be firing storms at the United States. And John Bolton, in his book, asserts that Trump asked if Finland were part of Russia.

But to my mind the most interesting revelation made by Esper is the back story, also set in the Middle East, relating to the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in January 2020, which illustrates much that is wrong with the national security state that the United States has evolved into. According to Esper, Trump lied after the assassination was criticized by saying that Soleimani was actively preparing attacks on four American Embassies in the Mideast region. Esper confirms that there was no intelligence to back up that claim, but interestingly goes beyond that to make clear that there was no specific intelligence at all suggesting that such an attack was imminent or even being planned. There were only generic regional security threats that many embassies in the world respond to and make preparations to defend against.

One recalls the back story at the time, with the Iraqi government claiming that Soleimani, widely regarded as the second most powerful official in Iran after the Ayatollah, was in Baghdad to discuss peace arrangements and that the US Embassy had been informed of his planned trip and had raised no objection to it. Instead, the US used the opportunity to launch an armed drone to kill him and nine Iraqi militia members that were accompanying him from the airport. In other words, there was no imminent threat, nor even a plausible threat, and the US went ahead anyway and killed a senior Iranian government official. That is unambiguously a war crime. Will anyone be held accountable? Of course not!

But finally there is also a bit of good news. The White House press secretary who is replacing Jen Psaki is Karine Jean-Pierre. She is a woman, black and lesbian, so clearly she passes the Democratic Party template for such a position but she lacks the mandatory Israel connection. It turns out that she once criticized the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and even called for it to be boycotted. She is already being attacked by the usual groups and individuals, so let’s see how long she lasts!

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

May 17, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 5 Comments

Why Did Rand Paul Delay Washington’s $40 Billion Ukraine Giveaway?

By Ron Paul | May 16, 2022

Even by Washington standards, the Biden Administration’s recent request for $33 billion for military aid to Ukraine was shocking. Surely a coalition of antiwar progressives and budget-hawk Republicans would oppose the dangerous and expensive involvement of the US in the Russia/Ukraine conflict? No! Not only did Congress not object: they added nearly seven billion MORE dollars to the package!

In the end, not a single House Democrat voted against further US involvement in the war, and just 57 Republicans said “no” to funding yet another undeclared war.

On the Senate side, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) both demanded immediate passage of the huge giveaway to Ukraine. That’s Washington’s bipartisanship for you.

Then the junior Senator from Kentucky came to the Senate Floor and did the unthinkable in Washington: he delayed the vote.

“My oath of office is to the national security of the United States of America,” Sen. Rand Paul said. “We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the US economy.” He went on to point out that the US has spent nearly as much on Ukraine’s military as the entire military budget of Russia and that the US government has sent more military money to Ukraine than it spent in the entire first year of the US war in Afghanistan.

Sen. Paul put the package into perspective: this massive giveaway to Ukraine equals nearly the entire yearly budget of the US State Department and is larger than the budget of the Department of Homeland Security!

Schumer was furious with Paul, accusing him of “preventing swift passage of Ukraine aid because he wants to add at the last minute his own changes directly into the bill.”

What was he trying to add to the bill? In his own words, “All I requested is an amendment to be included in the final bill that allows for the Inspector General to oversee how funds are spent.”

He wanted at least a bit of oversight on the nearly $50 billion in total that Washington has sent to what Transparency International deems one of the most corrupt countries on earth. Is that really too much to ask?

For Washington, the answer is “yes.” The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) was an endless thorn in Washington’s side, because he actually did his job and reported on the billions of dollars that were stolen in Afghanistan.

In its final report on the 20 year Afghanistan war, SIGAR reviewed approximately $63 billion of the total $134 billion appropriated to Afghanistan and found that nearly $19 billion of the amount was lost to waste, fraud, and abuse. Nearly one third of the funds they reviewed were outright wasted or stolen by corrupt Afghan officials. Does anyone think it would be any different in Ukraine?

Maybe that’s why they were so furious that Sen. Paul proposed that we perhaps keep track of this $40 billion to make sure it’s not wasted: Washington doesn’t want to know. And, more importantly, Washington doesn’t want us to know.

The temporary pause is important. It gives Americans a little time to let their Senators know that they do not support this ridiculous and wasteful giveaway to Ukraine. Inflation is ripping through the country. Gas prices are through the roof. Our infrastructure is crumbling. The dollar is teetering. And we’re giving money away?

The vote appears set for Wednesday. Time to let your Senators know what you think about it!

Copyright © 2022 by RonPaul Institute

May 17, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Militarism | , | 2 Comments

Biden proposes to export 20 million tons of Ukrainian grain to stabilize food prices

By Drago Bosnic | May 17, 2022

As the establishment in the United States continues to blame Russia for all its problems, including the mythical “Putin’s price hike”, which started at least a year before Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, there is a food shortage crisis looming over the world. And once again, the political West is pointing fingers at Russia. The reasons for the food shortage the world will almost certainly experience this year are manifold. The most obvious reason is that countries are limiting or outright banning food exports amid announced shortages, as they are trying to prevent food crises from affecting their populations.

Western mainstream media are also claiming that Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine is supposedly causing a food shortage in the country. Some media are going as far as to claim that Russia is allegedly “stealing” stored grain and agricultural machinery from Ukrainian farmers in areas such as the Kherson oblast (region). Why exactly would Russia be doing this is quite unclear, especially given the country’s massive surge in wheat and grain production in general, which is breaking records year by year and is set to reach a staggering 130 million tons this year.

In a piece published last week, Financial Times accused Russia “of industrial-scale farm plunder in Ukraine” and even claimed that this was “history repeating itself” by evoking memories of historic famine, referring to the 1930s Holodomor, which in recent years has been falsely portrayed as a sort of anti-Ukrainian “genocide” perpetrated by Russia, despite overwhelming evidence that the horrific famine caused as much damage in present-day southern Russia, reaching as far as western areas of modern-day Kazakhstan.

“Ukraine’s government has accused Russia of trying to destroy its agriculture sector by stealing valuable grain stocks and machinery, deliberately bombing farms and warehouses and blockading its Black Sea ports to deprive it of exports earnings and farmers of liquidity. There are multiple examples around the country of grain elevators and warehouses being bombarded,” Financial Times claimed.

The accusations have multiple inconsistencies, including the idea that Ukraine cannot export grain due to Russia’s alleged naval blockade, when, in fact, it was the Kiev regime that indiscriminately placed naval mines in Odessa and other ports, making any form of naval transportation impossible and even endangering other major Black Sea ports as the mines drifted as far as the Bosphorus, over 600 km to the south. Also, if there is a food shortage, why would Ukraine even make such a suicidal move by exporting grain, when it can’t even feed its own population?

“But it is the confiscation of grain in territories controlled by Moscow that is the most emotive issue. It has drawn parallels with the Soviet policy of crop confiscations coupled with the confinement of peasants to their villages in the 1930s. Some 4mn people died in the ensuing famine in Ukraine, known as the Holodomor, or death by starvation. After Russia bombed a farm business in Luhansk in eastern Ukraine last month, destroying machinery, buildings and 17,000 tonnes of wheat — a year’s supply for 300,000 people — Serhiy Haidai, the local governor, said on social media that Moscow was seeking ‘to organise the Holodomor in the Luhansk region, that is without a doubt’,” FT report added.

Again, the accusations are completely unsupported by any actual evidence on the ground. Lugansk oblast (region) is almost entirely under the control of the Lugansk People’s Republic, which only confirms that the Kiev regime has no reliable information from the area. And given the regime’s track record when it comes to the veracity of its claims, the report should be taken with a grain of salt. The report went on to claim that Russia was allegedly trying to “use the 500,000 tons of grain it confiscated from Ukraine to blackmail countries experiencing food shortages”. The idea that a country which produced nearly 130 million tons of grain in 2021 alone needs half a million tons of Ukrainian grain to “blackmail” anyone is simply ridiculous.

So, again, why would Russia want to confiscate grain from Ukraine? Or is this just projection on the part of the political West? Well, it seems the US president Joe Biden inadvertently gave the answer to that. US president Joe Biden says the coming shortages and the ensuing global food crisis could be resolved if over 20 million tons of Ukrainian grain is exported from the country. The suggestion is rather confusing, as the Western mainstream media are claiming that Ukraine is on a verge of another Holodomor as the “evil” Russians are allegedly taking all of Ukraine’s grain. In essence, the political West is saying that to “save” Ukraine from hunger, they need to take its food away. In other words, to deal with a problem, we need to exacerbate it exponentially. A rather interesting train of thought.

Drago Bosnic is an independent geopolitical and military analyst.

May 17, 2022 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 3 Comments

15,000 NATO troops from 14 nations, including the US, Sweden, Finland and Ukraine, start drills near Russia

Samizdat | May 16, 2022

Large-scale NATO military drills started in Estonia on Monday. The exercise dubbed ‘Hedgehog 2022’ is one of the largest in the Baltic nation’s history, according to the military bloc. The drills will involve some 15,000 troops from 14 nations, including both military bloc members and their partners.

Soldiers from Finland, Sweden, Georgia and Ukraine are among those that will take part in the exercise, Finnish public broadcaster Yle reported. The drills will include all branches of the armed forces and will involve air, sea and land exercises, as well as cyber warfare training, according to the broadcaster.

According to a NATO statement, the drills will also see the US Navy Wasp-class landing ship ‘Kearsarge’ take part in the exercises. Both the military bloc and Estonian Defense Forces deputy commander, Major General Veiko-Vello Palm, have denied that the drills just over 60km from the Russian border have anything to do with Moscow’s ongoing military action in Ukraine.

The drills started just a day after Finland and Sweden officially announced their plans to join NATO, and were planned long before the conflict in Ukraine broke out, Western officials have said.

The exercises in Estonia are, however, just one part of NATO’s large-scale military activities near the Russian border. Another Baltic state, Lithuania, is hosting the ‘Iron Wolf’ exercise, which involves 3,000 NATO troops and 1,000 pieces of military equipment, including Germany’s Leopard 2 tanks.

Two of NATO’s biggest exercises – ‘Defender Europe’ and ‘Swift Response’ – are taking place in Poland and eight other countries, involving 18,000 troops from 20 nations, according to NATO’s statement on Friday.

“Exercises like these show that NATO stands strong and ready to protect our nations and defend against any threat,” the military bloc’s spokesperson, Oana Lungescu, said, adding that the drills “help to remove any room for miscalculation or misunderstanding about our resolve to protect and defend every inch of allied territory.”

The NATO Response Force is currently taking part in the 7,500-strong ‘Wettiner Heide’ drills in Germany. The Mediterranean Sea is about to witness ‘Neptune series’ naval drills involving the USS ‘Harry S. Truman’ carrier strike group that will be placed under NATO command. This will only be the second time since the end of the Cold War that a US carrier group has been transferred under the military bloc’s command, NATO has said.

In June, the Baltic States and Poland will host what NATO describes as “Europe’s largest integrated air and missile defense exercise,” which would involve 23 nations.

In late April, Finland hosted NATO naval drills. Now, it is also hosting a joint land exercise, in which troops from the US, the UK, Estonia and Latvia are participating.

The massive military wargames are taking place amid heightened tensions between Russia, NATO and some of the military bloc’s partners. Finland, which shares a long border with Russia, and Sweden decided to reconsider their long-standing policy of non-alignment following a major change in public opinion after the launch of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

The development sparked a wave of criticism from Moscow, which warned that it would have to respond if Finland and Sweden join NATO. Moscow also maintains that it considers NATO’s expansion as a direct threat to its own security.

May 16, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , , | 10 Comments

Did the CIA train Ukrainian torturers?

Journalist reports similarities between Ukrainian and American torture techniques

By Lucas Leiroz | May 16, 2022

Western media accuse Russia of perpetrating war crimes in Ukraine and committing human rights violations against civilians and prisoners. However, these same agencies are absolutely silent in the face of the evident practices of torture by Kiev’s agents against their enemies, which, curiously, present several similarities with the already known torture techniques applied by the CIA, according to a recent report by a journalist. The matter raises suspicions about a possible “instruction” that would be transmitted by American intelligence to Ukrainian neo-Nazis on “how to torture”.

On May 6, a meeting was held at the United Nations Security Council in order to discuss topics concerning the war crimes committed by Kiev against the population of Donbass during the eight years of conflict. Various evidence was presented, showing that such crimes are real and constitute indeed a serious problem in the region. The proofs included photos, videos, oral testimonies from residents of Donetsk and Lugansk, as well as many other materials collected by journalists on the ground.

One of the journalist team’s leaders is the Dutch independent reporter Sonja van den Ende, who categorically claims that there is irrefutable evidence of the collaboration between Ukrainian official forces and neo-Nazi battalions in the execution of such crimes, showing that the practice is institutionalized and not restricted to isolated paramilitary groups. She also states that, despite the material presented, some Western countries – mainly US, UK, and France – showed an “arrogant” attitude, being disrespectful to the delicacy of the subject and ignoring the evidence of suffering of the people of Donbass, as well as despising the work of journalists.

These were some of her words: “I participated in the UN Security Council Arria-Formula meeting on 6 May 2022 (…) The goal of this meeting was to present to the United Nations (UN) members evidence about war crimes committed by the Ukrainian Army in cooperation with the Azov Battalion which was provided by us, journalists on the ground, in Donbass. The evidence was presented in the form of videos and oral testimonies, from residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, especially Mariupol, Volnovakha and Melitiopol (…) [However] They (Western countries) completely ignored us and didn’t ask any questions (…) I personally made some remarks at the end of the meeting. I asked them if they want WWIII and why they don’t listen to us, the journalists, who are working on the ground”.

More than simply ignoring the gravity of the facts, the representatives of the Western powers even tried to deny the irrefutable evidence of such crimes. Rodney Hunter, political coordinator for the US Mission to the United Nations, claimed that Russia was “misusing” the Council’s functions and “spewing falsehoods, disinformation, lies and false narratives”. He ignored the fact that the accusations were not simply “made by Russia” but corroborated by an international team of journalists.

In fact, this Western attitude was already expected by all analysts who study the Ukrainian case. Silence and disdain have already become central hallmarks of the way Kiev’s allies deal with the countless evidence of war crimes, genocide and torture committed by the Ukrainian armed forces and Russophobic neo-Nazi militias. Russia has been trying to resolve the case in international instances for a long time, but without success, as is the case with the lawsuit filed within the European Court and ignored by the judges. The impossibility of peaceful resolution was one of the reasons why the military operation became inevitable.

What seems most shocking, however, is the fact that the reports pointed out by Van den Ende state as a conclusion that there is a similarity in practices between the acts of torture witnessed in the Donbass and those practiced by US agents in other parts of the world. Some of the journalists who participated in the investigations in Donbass, including Sonja herself, had previously participated in similar activities elsewhere, investigating crimes of torture committed by Americans. These professionals see an extreme similarity of practices in both cases and believe that this is not a mere coincidence.

The Dutch journalist stated that the torture techniques she saw practiced in a secret Ukrainian prison in Mariupol are strikingly similar to those practiced by the CIA in clandestine detention sites around the world. These techniques include acts of extreme violence, such as the so-called “enhanced interrogations”, where the interrogated are physically hurt in order to give information – a practice that was already confirmed by the US Senate, in 2014, to have been used by the CIA against prisoners.

Furthermore, Van den Ende claims that she has found evidence that Ukrainian neo-Nazis practice the so-called “waterboarding”, a drowning technique that is also widely used by the CIA, which leads her to believe that the Azov Battalion and other Ukrainian nationalist militias have been specifically trained by the Americans on “how to torture” their detainees.

Considering the high level of proximity between US intelligence and Ukrainian neo-Nazis, it does not seem surprising that the US has in fact operated some sort of clandestine training, teaching torture techniques considered “efficient”. What is surprising is that international organizations remain silent in the face of such an absurd fact. Something so serious cannot in any way be ignored: sanctions must be applied against the US for its connivance with Ukrainian crimes in Donbass.

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

May 16, 2022 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture | , | 2 Comments

Ukraine War

BY ISRAEL SHAMIR • UNZ REVIEW • MAY 14, 2022

The immediate beginning of the trouble was a Geneva summit between two presidents that apparently went wrong. We don’t know what went wrong. The pro-Western Russian officials ran away to Georgia and Israel; they are being replaced by anti-Western officials. This East-West break will not be reversed with ease.

Russians are very similar to Ukrainians. Both are stubborn fighters. Throughout the 20th century they chose different strategies: Russians became internationalists, Ukrainians preferred nationalism. The Ukrainian nationalism was anti-Russian, while Russians harbored no negative feeling towards Ukrainians. It was natural for Ukrainians to flirt with anti-Russian powers. Yet when Ukrainian officials began to declare themselves NATO allies, even the most international Russians became alarmed.

Both Rome’s Pope and Noam Chomsky were capable of understanding the immediate casus belli behind Ukraine: NATO had barked at Putin’s door, and he reacted. In December 2021 Putin diplomatically proposed that NATO withdraw to its mid-1990’s line, and moreover he suggested that peaceful discussion about NATO’s borders might prevent future conflict. Putin proposed an international agreement on NATO’s borders, a political solution that everyone could agree on. This proposal was disregarded with nonchalance; NATO refused to discuss the idea. Putin was rightfully irritated. Further attempts to argue across the West/East divide weren’t successful. The West declined Putin’s politics. And the war began.

NATO began shipping in armaments and ammunition, and deployed their spies. Their intelligence gathering allowed them to sink a big Russian ship named Moscow. They provided the coordinates in real-time for Russian ships and planes. From the very beginning it was clear that Russia fights NATO more than Ukrainians, who they consider to be brothers. This wartime pathos was quite an unexpected development. Putin had always been known as a soft leader; he refused to be drawn into wars. Russia has avoided war for many years under Putin’s rule; and generations of Russians have become used to a peaceful and prosperous life. Suddenly, by circumstances beyond their control, they have been switched to life under war and sanctions.

Fortunately for everyone, the war in Ukraine has practically dried up. The Ukrainian leadership desperately begs for UN help to keep the war going, as if the Azov Battalion and the rest of the violent, cruel, thuggish militants need to be paid to shoot people. US Democrats have drafted a nearly $40 billion Ukraine War aid package, which was recently single-handedly blocked by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. The Ukraine War has become a political football in the USA. Both the Neocons on the right and the Neoliberals on the left hope to ride this war into Congress.In hindsight there were plenty of warnings. Russians were blocked from the Olympic games by an international conspiracy of blatant hypocrisy. Russian athletes were accused of doping. Now, Western athletes also use doping, but they know how to get around the rules. The Norwegians claimed they have asthma, and they need special performance-enhancing drugs to heal it. The Americans had excuses of their own, and so did the athletes of many other nations. Russian RUSADA man Mr. Grigori Rodchenkov was bribed by the US to deliver proof of Russian doping. The Russians claim the evidence was falsified. In any case the Russian official defected westward, in a step unseen since the Cold War. Russia was tagged as a pariah throughout the games; she was not allowed to play her national anthem nor display her flag. Russians have been persecuted by the Olympic establishment for generations. There is an undeclared war against Russian athletes; here is the full story. The pattern is undeniable. Russian athletes are routinely penalized for activities that other nations practice with impunity. This has to stop.

Russians are unhappy with war as a solution for the Ukraine crisis. They speak of “betrayal”, and that means the political steam behind the offensive is getting thin. Instead, Russians think they can derail the NATO war and the international sanctions by judiciously withholding Europe’s gas and oil. The Arab Oil Embargo brought the US to its knees in the 1970’s using just that strategy. NATO exists to fight wars; bringing war to NATO simply feeds it. The only way to defeat NATO is to starve it. Russia has great quantities of oil, gas and wheat. She produces aluminum, iron, coal, steel, titanium and cheap electricity. The Russian economy has been called “bulletproof” because of its ability to withstand geopolitical shocks.

How exactly are sanctions hurting Russia? Banking freezes are simply pushing Russia into the waiting arms of China, which literally has an unlimited need for Russian energy and commodities. The US Petrodollar is on the cusp of being denominated in Roubles. Stories of boycotts by Twitter, Facebook and Pornhub underscore the ludicrous nature of Western sanctions. “EU blacklists Abramovich, targets energy, luxury sectors…” It seems that only Russia’s Jewish Mafia will be hurt by the international sanctions. The efficacy of Western sanctions is being wildly exaggerated by the Western media and the implacable coming of winter has always been a harbinger of Russian victory. As Biden says, “It will be a very Dark Winter.”

Germany needs Russian energy. It always has. It always will. There is simply no other option for Germany. As the home base of NATO, Germany is in a unique position to forge a lasting peace with Russia. Germans might benefit greatly from increased trade to the East along such routes as the China-Europe Railway Express, but they remain choked by their old millstones. The business of war is no longer profitable. The big players are now supplying China with everything it needs to manufacture the world’s wealth, and Russia is in a unique position to be a major producer. The rest of Europe is also conveniently located to benefit from the new Chinese empire, if they could only cease squabbling long enough to draw a profit. The dying Anglo-American empire is the only entity that profits from division along the Eurasian continent.

May 15, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , , | 2 Comments

Italy’s Matteo Salvini Speaks Out Against Finland, Sweden Joining NATO, Arms Deliveries to Ukraine

By Tim Corso | Samizdat | May 15, 2022

The leader of Lega, Italian ruling coalition’s party, Matteo Salvini has stood up against the idea of accepting Sweden and Finland in NATO as the former is considering to make this step in the nearest future and the latter have already decided to file a bid to join.

“Not now. Everything that delays the process of achieving peace should be put on a waiting list,” he argued.

His position was backed by a fellow party member, Economic Development Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti, who argued that the accession to NATO of the two new countries located near Russia’s borders, “will definitely not help to reduce the [duration of the Ukrainian] conflict”.

This stance contradicts the official policy declared by Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio – a member of the Five Stars Movement. He stated at the G7 countries’ meeting that Rome would back Finland and Sweden’s bids to join the alliance.

The two countries, which have long maintained their neutral status, changed their tune following the start of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine on 24 February. Sweden has yet to make the final decision on the matter and announce its bid, but NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg already stated that the alliance will gladly welcome both states in its ranks.

Meanwhile, the president of Turkey, a NATO member-state, expressed concern over Finland and Sweden’s bids to join the alliance. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Ankara can’t consider the prospect of the two countries joining the alliance as positive at the moment.

Lega Leader Against Arms Deliveries to Ukraine

Head of the Lega party Matteo Salvini also has spoken against sending more weapons to Ukraine, arguing that it does not help to stop the conflict.

“It is one thing to send economic and military assistance at the beginning [of the conflict…], it is another thing to do it now. Peace must be achieved, and sending weapons will not help,” Salvini said.

Former Italian Prime Minister and leader of the Five Stars Movement, Giuseppe Conte, holds a similar stance, calling on more efforts to be made in the field of diplomacy instead of arms supplies to Ukraine.

Moscow has repeatedly urged the Western countries to stop supplying weapons to Ukraine, but these calls fell on deaf ears as these states started to ship heavy weaponry to Kiev. The Kremlin argued that such steps only perpetuate the conflict and delay the signings of an agreement that ends the Russian special operation. Moscow accused the West of waging a hybrid war against Russia and using Ukraine for its goals, trying to fight “until the last Ukrainian standing”.

May 15, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment