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Croatia’s President Doesn’t Want Be West’s ‘Circus Poodle’ in Ukraine Crisis

By Ilya Tsukanov – Sputnik – 31.01.2023

The Croatian head of state took flak from Zagreb’s NATO and EU allies last year after threatening to block Finland and Sweden’s NATO applications for membership, but was overruled by parliament, which ratified the accession protocols in July.

Croatian President Zoran Milanovic sparked a fresh rift with Brussels and Kiev after assuring that Crimea will inevitably remain part of Russia, and blasting the West’s “manic” desire to try to collapse Russia or institute regime change in the country.

“Between 2014 and 2022, we watched as someone provoked Russia with the intention of starting this conflict,” Milanovic told reporters Monday while discussing last week’s decision to send German tanks to Ukraine, referring to the 2014 US-backed Euromaidan coup in Kiev.

“What we are doing as the collective West is deeply immoral. German tanks will only unite Russia and China even more. My job as president is to get away from this, and not be a circus poodle. Any involvement in this [crisis] is extremely dangerous,” he said.

Warning that the tank deliveries would only prolong a pointless conflict, Milanovic said he is “against sending any lethal arms there” because as a nuclear power Russia cannot not be defeated.

“Russia has 6,000 nuclear warheads. What is the goal [of the Ukraine conflict – ed.note]? The disintegration of Russia? A change of power? They are talking about ripping Russia apart. It’s manic. The Serbs and I hated each other less. It was a much more terrible war in our country than in Ukraine,” the Croatian president said, recalling the Western-instigated Slav-on-Slav bloodshed of the 1990s in Yugoslavia.

Stressing that “leading German generals are saying” that Crimea will “never be Ukraine again,” Milanovic urged the West to get off its high horse in talking about Russia “annexing” the Black Sea peninsula, and pointed out that Kosovo was “annexed” and “stolen” from Serbia by the West.

“Who annexed Kosovo? The international community, including us,” he said. “It was taken from Serbia by force, it was extraction, a part of Serbian territory was taken away.”

‘It’s Armageddon’

Milanovic expressed fears that “deranged emotions and hatred are leading Europe to great danger” amid the prospects of a full-on war with Russia. “The question is not how much we help Ukraine. This is not help, this is torture. They should have been forced to sit down at the negotiating table. 300,000 Ukrainians should die [to end the conflict?, ed.note]. It hurts my heart, as I’m watching this – it’s Armageddon.”

Milanovic’s remarks sparked outrage from Kosovo and Albania, while a Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman called them “unacceptable” for “calling into question the territorial integrity of Ukraine.” The spokesman also expressed appreciation for the “steadfast support” Croatia has provided, notwithstanding the president’s sentiments.

Milanovic rivals his Serbian neighbors when it comes to outspoken criticism of NATO and EU policy amid the Ukraine conflict – with the difference being that Croatia is actually part of both Western-dominated institutions. The politician has spoken out repeatedly against Zagreb getting involved, and expressed doubts about the effectiveness of Western sanctions on Moscow, recently calling them “total nonsense.”

Milanovic’s rhetoric has not been matched by actual Croatian government policy, with the government of Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic towing the NATO and EU line and taking one of the toughest anti-Russian stances in the Western Balkans. The Croatian presidency is largely a ceremonial role, although nominally it is supposed to provide for cooperation on conducting foreign policy.

January 31, 2023 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

Russia names people behind US-backed Ukraine biological projects

RT | January 30, 2023

Russian troops have obtained over 20,000 documents pertaining to American biological research programs in Ukraine since the start of Moscow’s military operation, the country’s Defense Ministry announced on Monday.

The most recent trove brought to light a number of key players in these projects who had previously “remained in the shadows,” according to the commander of Russia’s Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense Forces, Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov.

The ministry had previously published the names of people connected to the biolabs, which included representatives of the US Democratic Party, Defense Department officials, and Pentagon contractors.

The new list features people such as Karen Saylors, the executive director of Labyrinth Global Health, who reportedly worked in Ukraine as a lead consultant for a project that studied the spread of African swine fever.

Also on the list is Colin Johnson, a fellow at the University of Tennessee and director of the Institute for Host-Pathogen Systems, who allegedly studied the Crimean-Congo fever and hantaviruses in Ukraine and was in charge of collecting biological samples from Ukrainian military personnel.

The ministry provided the names of six more people believed to have also been involved in US bioresearch in Ukraine. Kirillov noted that all the evidence pertaining to these individuals will be handed over to Russia’s Investigative Committee, which will decide on the appropriate measures for the alleged perpetrators.

In his statement, Kirillov noted that Russia’s decisive actions in Ukraine have already effectively stopped Washington’s bioweapons research projects in the country. However, he cautioned that the US is now actively working to transfer the unfinished research to countries in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

Last month, Russia submitted data on illegal US-backed laboratories in Ukraine to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons conference. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, that data included documentary evidence that work with components of biological weapons and studies of especially dangerous pathogens had been carried out in Ukraine with financial, scientific, technical and personnel support of the US. Washington has rejected Moscow’s accusations, calling them disinformation.

January 30, 2023 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Is NATO helping Ukraine to fight Russia or is it using Ukraine to fight Russia?

By Glenn Diesen | RT | January 30, 2023

The Western public, like others, are justly appalled by the human suffering and the horrors of the Ukrainian war. Empathy is one of the great virtues of humanity, which in this instance translates into the demand for helping Ukrainians. Yet, propaganda commonly weaponizes the best in human nature, such as compassion, to bring out the worst. As sympathy and the desire to assist the displaced are used to mobilize public support for confrontation and war with Russia, it is necessary to ask if the Western public and Ukrainians are being manipulated to support a proxy war.

Is NATO helping Ukraine to fight Russia or is NATO using Ukraine to fight Russia?

The organization as a passive actor?

The US-led military bloc commonly depicts itself as an innocent third party that merely responds to the overwhelming desire of the Ukrainian people to join its ranks. Yet, for years NATO has attempted to absorb a reluctant Ukraine into its orbit. A NATO publication from 2011 acknowledged that “The greatest challenge for Ukrainian-NATO relations lies in the perception of NATO among the Ukrainian people. NATO membership is not widely supported in the country, with some polls suggesting that popular support for it at is less than 20%”.

In 2014, this problem was resolved by supporting what Statfor’s George Friedman labelled “the most blatant coup in history” as there were no efforts to conceal Western meddling. Regime change was justified as helping Ukrainians with their “democratic revolution”. Yet, it involved the unconstitutional removal of the elected government as a result of an uprising that even the BBC acknowledged did not have majority support amongst the general public. The authorities elected by the Ukrainian people were replaced by individuals handpicked by Washington. An infamous leaked phone call between State Department apparatchik Victoria Nuland and Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt revealed that Washington had chosen exactly who would be in the new government several weeks before they had even removed president Yanukovich from power.

Donbass predictably rejected and resisted the legitimacy of the new regime in Kiev with the support of Russia. Instead of calling for a “unity government”, a plan for which Western European states had signed as guarantors, NATO countries quietly supported an “anti-terrorist operation” against eastern Ukrainians, resulting in at least 14,000 deaths.

The Minsk-2 peace agreement of February 2015 produced a path for peace, yet the US and UK sabotaged it for the next 7 years. Furthermore, Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Francois Hollande recently admitted that both Germany and France considered the deal an opportunity to buy time for Ukraine to arm itself and prepare for war.

In the 2019 election, millions of Ukrainians were disenfranchised, including those living in Russia. Nevertheless, the result was a landslide with 73% of Ukrainians voting for Vladimir Zelensky’s peace platform based on implementing the Minsk-2 agreement, negotiating with Donbass, protecting the Russian language, and restoring peace with Moscow. However, the far-right militias that were armed and trained by the US effectively laid down a veto by threatening Zelensky and defying him on the front line when he demanded to pull back heavy weapons. Pressured also by the US, Zelensky eventually reversed the entire peace platform the Ukrainians had voted for. Instead, opposition media and political parties were purged, and the main opposition leader, Viktor Medvedchuk was arrested. Subverting the wishes of Ukrainians in order to steer the country towards confrontation with Russia was yet again referred to as “helping” Ukraine.

Towards proxy war

In 2019, the Rand Corporation published a 325-page report ordered by the US Army titled “Extending Russia: Competing from Advantageous Ground”. In the language of a proxy war, the report advocated arming Ukraine to bleed Moscow stating, “Providing more U.S. military equipment and advice could lead Russia to increase its direct involvement in the conflict and the price it pays for it”. The US Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, similarly explained in 2020 the strategy of arming Ukraine claiming, “The United States aids Ukraine and her people so that we can fight Russia over there and we don’t have to fight Russia here”.

In December 2021, the former head of Russia analysis at the CIA warned that the Kremlin was under growing pressure to invade to prevent Washington from further building up its military presence on its borders, which included modernising Ukrainian ports to fit US warships. “That relationship [US-Ukraine] will be far stronger and deeper, and the United States military will be more firmly entrenched inside Ukraine two to three years from now. So inaction on [the Kremlin’s] part is risky,” George Beebe explained. Yet, despite being convinced that Russia would invade, Washington refused to give any reasonable security guarantees to Moscow.

Kiev agreed to enter into negotiations merely three days into the Russian invasion, which resulted in a peace agreement outline a few weeks later. Former intelligence official Fiona Hill and Angela Stent later penned an article acknowledging that “Russian and Ukrainian negotiators appeared to have tentatively agreed on the outlines of a negotiated interim settlement: Russia would withdraw to its position on February 23, when it controlled part of the Donbass region and all of Crimea, and in exchange, Ukraine would promise not to seek NATO membership and instead receive security guarantees from a number of countries”.

However, after a visit by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Kiev suddenly withdrew from the peace negotiations. Reports in the Ukrainian and American media have suggested that London and Washington had pressured Kiev to abandon negotiations and instead seek victory on the battlefield with NATO weapons.

Johnson gave multiple speeches warning against a “bad peace,” while German General Harald Kujat, a former chairman of the NATO Military Committee, confirmed that Johnson had sabotaged the peace negotiations in order to fight a proxy war with Russia: “His reasoning was that the West was not ready for an end to the war”.

The American objectives also had seemingly little to do with “helping” Ukraine. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin stated US goals in Ukraine as the weakening of a strategic rival: “We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine”. PresidentBiden argued for regime change in Moscow as Putin “cannot remain in power”, which was repeated by Boris Johnson’s op-ed stating that “The war in Ukraine can end only with Vladimir Putin’s defeat”.

US Congressman Dan Crenshaw advocated for a proxy war by supplying weapons to Ukraine as “investing in the destruction of our adversary’s military, without losing a single American troop, strikes me as a good idea”. Similarly, Senator Lindsey Graham argued the US should fight Russia to the last Ukrainian: “I like the structural path we’re on here. As long as we help Ukraine with the weapons they need and the economic support, they will fight to the last person”. The rhetoric is eerily similar to that of Hungarian billionaire George Soros, who argued that NATO could dominate if it could use Eastern European soldiers as they accept more deaths than their Western peers: “the combination of manpower from Eastern Europe with the technical capabilities of NATO would greatly enhance the military potential of the Partnership because it would reduce the risk of body bags for NATO countries, which is the main constraint on their willingness to act”.

Following NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s recent Orwellian statement that “weapons are the way to peace”, it is worth assessing if NATO is helping Ukraine or using Ukraine. NATO powers have stated that they are supplying Ukraine with weapons to have a stronger position at the negotiating table, yet one year into the war, no major Western leaders have called for peace talks. NATO has a powerful bargaining chip that would actually help Ukraine, which would be an agreement to end NATO expansion toward Russian borders. However, whitewashing the bloc’s direct contribution to the war prevents a negotiated settlement.

Glenn Diesen is a Professor at the University of South-Eastern Norway and an editor at the Russia in Global Affairs journal.

January 30, 2023 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia | , , , | Leave a comment

Kiev would be planning ethnic cleansing against Hungarians in Transcarpathia

By Lucas Leiroz | January 30, 2023

Ethnic persecutions have been commonplace in Ukraine since 2014, when the Maidan coup d’état established a neo-Nazi dictatorship that began an ethnic cleansing campaign in the Donbass region, exterminating the Russian population. Now, however, the Kiev regime’s blacklist of ethnicities appears to be expanding. Several sources report that Ukrainian citizens of Hungarian ethnicity are being systematically sent to the front lines of the current conflict. The objective would supposedly be to exterminate the Hungarian population inhabiting Transcarpathia, which raises concerns in the Hungarian government and increases the possibility of internationalization of the conflict.

A forced mobilization of ethnic Hungarians from Transcarpathia is currently taking place in Ukraine. According to several sources, Kiev’s officials are transferring hundreds of ethnic Hungarians to the contact zones in the conflict with Russia, where they are dying in large quantities. On January 25, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto confirmed the report and expressed concern about the case.

Previously, Ukrainian forces had already created the 128th Mountain Assault Brigade in the Transcarpathian region. This brigade has suffered heavy losses in Soledar and is now suffering casualties at the battle for Bakhmut. However, instead of putting soldiers from different regions on the front, Kiev is apparently planning to send all ethnic Hungarians to fight in the war zone at the same time, privileging the safety of ethnic Ukrainian soldiers.

There are many reasons why Kiev is planning ethnic cleansing against Hungarians. Tensions between Hungarians and Ukrainians have grown since the start of the Russian special military operation, as Hungary has been the country with the most sovereign stance within NATO and EU, avoiding direct involvement in the conflict, maintaining diplomatic ties with Russia, and severely criticizing western sanctions. Obviously, this deeply worries the Ukrainian regime, even more so considering the possibility of secessionist tendencies in the Transcarpathian region.

The situation in Transcarpathia is for Hungarians similar to the situation for Russians in Donbass. Despite being within the Ukrainian territory, the region is marked by very different characteristics from the rest of the country, with a Hungarian ethnic and cultural predominance. For Kiev, this apparently sounds like a threat, as Hungary refuses to support the neo-Nazi regime against Russia and could encourage Transcarpathia’s residents to do the same. Therefore, the Zelensky government is planning a “final solution” for Transcarpathia, in order to avoid Hungarian separatism or annexation. By systematically sending recently mobilized and militarily untrained ethnic Hungarians to the front, Kiev is provoking a true genocide, as virtually only Transcarpathians are dying during the combats.

However, it is important to note that there seems to be a collaboration on the part of the Transcarpathian authorities themselves with this Ukrainian policy. One of the most important local leaders, the oligarch and Rada deputy Viktor Baloga, has been cooperating for years with the racist policy of repressing the ethnic identity of Hungarians. In 2018, Baloga started a campaign for the departure of all citizens with dual Hungarian-Ukrainian citizenship from Ukraine, stating that they should move to Hungary. At the time, the deputy also defended the extinction of the Berehove city, which is an important cultural center for the ethnic Hungarians of Transcarpathia, alleging risks to national security with Budapest’s influence in the region.

The Baloga family maintains an important local commercial oligarchy, having business in the arms trade sector, and has economically benefited from an alliance with the Maidan regime. After the start of the Russian operation, with the Ukrainian dictatorship becoming more explicit due to the martial law, the persecution of Hungarians also intensified, and the Baloga family began to use its power and influence to support the policy of forced mobilization of Transcarpathian citizens.

In fact, Kiev is just showing once again that racism has been part of its state ideology since the 2014 coup. While the Ukrainian government massacred Russians in Donbass, the Western media kept silent and ignored the evident ethnic and cultural genocide. Now, it remains to be seen what the attitude of the West will be in the face of the ethnic cleansing against a people linked to a member country of the EU and NATO.

Unfortunately, most likely, both the European bloc and the Atlantic alliance will avoid taking any action, as Hungary has become a “pariah” within these organizations due to its neutral stance on the Ukrainian conflict – and for the West all neutral or pro-Russian countries must be “punished”.

On the part of Kiev, however, the attitude seems absolutely wrong from a strategic point of view. Budapest’s patience with Kiev may be running out. Ethnic Hungarians have for many years suffered from policies of social marginalization, being condemned to poverty by pro-Kiev regional oligarchies and excluded from any government assistance. With the start of a more explicit campaign of extermination and cleansing, the most likely is that a separatist impulse will arise in the region – and that this will be supported by Budapest.

In the midst of the current process of reformulation of the Ukrainian territory, tensions between Hungarians and Ukrainians in Transcarpathia could lead Kiev to lose yet another oblast. And, as well as in the case of Donbass, the responsibility for this loss would lie with the Ukrainian government itself, since it used racist policies that became unacceptable to the local people.

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

You can follow Lucas on Twitter and Telegram.

January 30, 2023 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | | Leave a comment

Moscow assesses NATO’s ‘war crime’ in Donbass

RT | January 29, 2023

Kiev and its Western backers bear responsibility for the deadly destruction of a civilian hospital in Donbass, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday. The perpetrators of the “war crime” will not escape punishment, it added.

On Saturday morning, Ukrainian troops fired rockets from the US-made HIMARS system at a hospital in the city of Novoaydar, killing 14 people and injuring 24, the Russian Defense Minitry said earlier. According to the military, the facility was treating local residents, as well as Russian soldiers.

The Foreign Ministry claimed that Ukraine used Western intelligence and satellites owned by NATO countries to target the hospital.

“The deliberate shelling of functioning civilian medical facilities and the purposeful killing of civilians are grave war crimes committed by the Kiev regime and its Western handlers,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The lack of reaction from the US and other NATO countries … once again serves as proof of their direct involvement in the conflict and the culpability for the crimes.”

The ministry added that it has been thoroughly documenting attacks on civilians. “The criminal acts … will not be left unpunished,” it said.

According to the 1949 Geneva Convention, warring parties cannot attack civilian hospitals under any circumstances.

Novoaydar is dozens of kilometers away from the frontline in Russia’s Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR). Local officials posted a video of the hospital building shortly after the attack.

Moscow has repeatedly accused Kiev of hitting civilian targets with Western-supplied rockets and artillery. This month alone, officials said that HIMARS launchers were used to strike two hospitals in Zaporozhye Region. The region, along with the LPR and two other former Ukrainian territories, joined Russia following referendums in September of last year.

January 29, 2023 Posted by | War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Germany the Weakest Link in NATO’s War Tracks

By Finian Cunningham | Strategic Culture Foundation | January 27, 2023

Germany is being played like a fiddle and the sound is a pathetic and plaintive one. Only days after Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany would not be supplying its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine to fight against Russia, Berlin has done an embarrassing U-turn. The Leopards are coming.

Germany is to send “a company” of these fearsome battlefield weapons which amounts to about 14 of them, according to reports. What is more, Berlin is giving the proprietary authorization for other NATO members to also re-export the German-made tank to Ukraine.

Last Friday at a NATO-sponsored war summit at the U.S. Air Force Base in Ramstein, Germany, the Scholz government surprised many observers by resisting mounting calls from the United States and other NATO allies to release the Leopards. Scholz has been saying for months that he did not want to provoke Russia into an escalation of hostilities by such a move. How many times has he said that regarding other German weapons only to buckle and cave in?

Immediately after the Ramstein meeting, the pressure on Berlin was ratcheted up. The U.S., Britain, Poland and the Baltic states castigated and shamed Germany for showing cowardice. Warsaw taunted that it would send some of its Leopards regardless of Berlin’s say-so, thereby snubbing the German protocol that as the manufacturer of the tank it must authorize any re-export of the weapon.

The clincher move came from Washington. The Biden administration said it would send its M1 Abrams main battle tanks after previously saying it would not owing to logistical impracticalities. That surprise move pulled the stops from under Berlin’s public position that it would only supply the Leopards on condition that the U.S. would also send its tanks.

Here’s the thing though. U.S. President Joe Biden is ordering the supply of 30 Abrams but it will take months or even up to a year before the American tanks become operational in the war. This is because the Abrams is a bigger beast requiring more training of tank crews. Whereas the German Leopards are good to go.

Washington is no doubt pulling a fast one on Berlin. The Americans are daring the Germans to send their prime tanks to the front knowing that their own lumbering, gas-guzzling behemoths will be leading from the rear.

The whole sordid spectacle of Berlin’s U-turn from brow-beating and hectoring by Poland and the Baltic minions speaks of German humiliation. It does make you wonder what kind of blackmail material the Western intelligence agencies have on Scholz and his government for such a cringe-making capitulation.

History never repeats exactly. In 1941, when Nazi Germany crashed into the Soviet Union with its Panzer Tiger tanks it was the biggest land invasion in history under the steely, brutal leadership of the Third Reich. This time around, the tanks from Berlin are tokenism and under orders from a vacillating chancellor mocked even by his so-called allies as being a “liverwurst” (liver sausage).

It shows, however, that the German establishment is apprehensive about being set up in a dangerous political game by treacherous allies. Polls indicate that the German population is wary about escalating the war in Ukraine against Russia. The bitter, shameful memory of World War Two and the German-led extermination across Europe in which up to 30 million Soviet citizens died is too much to bear. For Berlin to be now indulging the U.S.-led charade about “defending democracy” in an incorrigibly corrupt Ukrainian regime is risking huge political capital at a time of intensifying social and economic hardship for the German people, as in every other Western state.

Factions within the German establishment know that obeying American orders is a reckless, bad idea. Military commanders have warned against sending the Leopards. Business leaders are also against the insane destruction of bilateral relations with Russia. Yet other factions of the establishment are bending their knee to Washington. Is it blackmail or ideological weakness? Probably both. Germany is after all an occupied US military zone with 40,000 American troops and bases, rather than a sovereign nation.

The American imperial overlords want to break Europe into suzerainty under US capital. Germany is the traction point for this American subjugation of Europe. Obliterating geo-economic relations with Russia (and China) is a vital part of the plan. However, there is a catch: the German link is brittle.

The tokenism of sending the Leopards is gravely provocative to Russia, but it won’t make a difference to the outcome of the war in Ukraine. The Kiev regime has been goading NATO for at least 300 tanks in order to purportedly push back Russian forces. A few dozen tanks from Germany and other European allies won’t cut the mustard. Furthermore, tanks in isolation under the lack of air cover won’t have the impact that is unrealistically assumed.

The provocation will nevertheless not go unanswered by Russia. Moscow has warned that it will destroy any tanks arriving from Germany, Poland, or elsewhere before these machines even get off the rail tracks and anywhere near the front line. With Russia’s air power and precision missiles, such a threat is not idle.

When the Leopard hulls are wheeled back with their turrets blown off along with incinerated corpses, the political price for Berlin will become unbearable. The squabbling among NATO minions will then go from simmering to boiling point. And the tracks will come off the NATO war machine.

The Kiev regime is shooting foot soldiers who refuse to obey orders to advance against superior Russian firepower on the battlefield. Washington’s demands on Berlin are tantamount to the same self-defeating coercion.

January 28, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

White House confronted over tanks for Ukraine

RT | January 28, 2023

Several Republican lawmakers have raised red flags about the decision by the administration of US President Joe Biden to send M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. The move comes at a time when the US is struggling with domestic problems, while the delivery itself is bound to face numerous challenges, they claim.

In a letter released on Friday, representatives Troy Nehls, Paul Gosar, Eli Crane, and Lauren Boebert demanded answers from Biden and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin about the unprecedented step of sending Ukraine 31 M1 Abrams tanks to help it in its fight against Russia.

The lawmakers said they were not elected by the American people “to continually spend their hard-earned money into a conflict halfway around the world” without the ability to properly track the use of military assistance to Ukraine.

They further argued that it is “shameful that the American taxpayer is continuing to subsidize the ongoing Ukraine conflict” while the White House is “turning a blind eye” to the issue of domestic security, particularly the record-high number of illegal crossings at the southern border.

The delivery of heavy armor is certain to face logistical challenges, they said, noting that Abrams tanks could be delivered only in several months, while Ukrainian service members will have to undergo lengthy training to learn how to operate the machinery.

The letter also noted that Ukraine has a history of being a hotbed for illegal arms trafficking. “What actions will you take to ensure that our military equipment is not falling into the hands of criminal networks, terrorists, or being sold for profit?” the lawmakers asked Biden and Austin.

They also wondered how the Pentagon intended to track the weapons and how the administration would account for the destruction of hardware provided under US military assistance and reimburse American taxpayers.

In November, congressional Republicans called for an audit of US government funds appropriated for aid to Ukraine. A month later, however, the initiative was narrowly defeated in the House of Representatives, with Democrats arguing that it would send the wrong signal to Kiev.

Russia has repeatedly warned the West against supplying Ukraine with weapons. On Wednesday, commenting on the decision to ship Abrams, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov commented that this armor “would burn” similar to all the other military vehicles provided to Kiev by its Western backers.

January 28, 2023 Posted by | Corruption, Militarism | , | Leave a comment

Poland expands offer of tanks for Ukraine

RT | January 27, 2023

Poland is ready to send 60 more tanks to Ukraine to help fight Russia, besides the 14 German-made Leopard 2 vehicles already pledged, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has said.

“If we don’t want Ukraine to be defeated, we have to be very much open and brave in supporting Ukraine,” Morawiecki told Canada’s CTV News broadcaster on Friday.

According to the prime minister, Poland is trying “to lead by example,” showing its allies what should be done to help Kiev.

“Right now, we are ready to send 60 of our modernized tanks, 30 of them PT-91. And on top of those tanks, 14 tanks, Leopard 2 tanks, from in our possession,” he said.

Morawiecki also noted that last year Warsaw provided about 250 of its modernized Soviet-era T-72 tanks to the Ukrainian military.

Mikhail Podolyak, an adviser to Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky, confirmed on Telegram on Friday that 60 more Polish tanks will be heading Ukraine’s way. According to Podolyak, the shipment consists of PT-91 Twardys, upgraded Soviet T-72M1 main battle tanks. “Thanks to our allies,” he wrote.

Morawiecki did not specify when the additional tanks will be supplied.

On Thursday, Poland’s Deputy Defense Minister Wojciech Skurkiewicz said Warsaw plans to provide 14 Leopard 2s to Kiev after Ukrainian troops finish training with them, which could happen in “several weeks.”

The delivery of Leopard 2s by Poland to Ukraine became possible on Wednesday after Germany officially approved the supply of 14 tanks from its own stocks to Kiev, and allowed other countries to re-export the German-made weaponry to the Zelensky government.

On the same day, the US agreed to supply Kiev with 31 of its M1 Abrams main battle tanks. Earlier this month, the planned delivery of Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine was announced by the UK.

Russia’s deputy envoy to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Maksim Buyakevich, warned on Thursday that arming the Ukrainian military with Western tanks “is a straight path into a full-blown conflict in Europe.”

Earlier this month, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov insisted that German, US and British military hardware will not change the outcome of the conflict, and that the tanks will “burn” if they arrive on the battlefield.

January 27, 2023 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia | , , , | Leave a comment

‘There is another Ukraine’ – exiled opposition leader

RT | January 26, 2023

The exiled former-leader of Ukraine’s largest opposition party still considers himself a Ukrainian citizen and lawmaker, and is building a team of like-minded people to represent those he claims are suppressed by the current government in Kiev. Speaking to RT, Viktor Medvedchuk claimed that President Vladimir Zelensky is a dictator sacrificing the country on behalf of Western powers.

When Zelensky claims Ukraine is united, he omits that this unity was forced at gunpoint, Medvedchuk asserted. He formerly led the, now banned, Opposition Platform – For Life party which won the second largest number of parliamentary seats in Ukraine’s 2019 elections. It advocated closer ties with Russia and rejected Kiev’s pro-NATO stance.

There are many people who disagree with the current government in Kiev, who represent “another Ukraine, not that of [WWII Nazi collaborator Stepan] Bandera, one that has nothing to do with the statements and policies of neo-Nazism pursued by Zelensky,” he added.

Today’s Ukraine violates every provision of its own constitution, Medvedchuk argued, and “ceased to be independent and sovereign” after the February 2014 coup, when it “passed completely under external control of the West.”

Zelensky first placed Medvedchuk under house arrest, then sent him to a “dungeon” run by the Ukrainian SBU security service, where the opposition politician said he was exposed to “constant psychological pressure and humiliation.” In September 2022, he was flown to Poland, and then to Türkiye, where he was handed over to Russian authorities.

Contrary to popular misperception, he said, he was not traded for the leaders of the neo-Nazi “Azov” regiment who surrendered in Mariupol. They were exchanged for captured Russian soldiers, Medvedchuk explained, while he was traded for “ten foreign mercenaries who fought in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”

Kiev has accused Medvedchuk of treason and of secretly obtaining Russian citizenship. He rejects both claims as false, saying the “falsified charges” related to his legitimate mediation on behalf of the Ukrainian government with the breakaway Donbass regions and Moscow in 2014-15. About 1,500 Ukrainian POWs came home as a result of his efforts, he noted.

“I remain a citizen of Ukraine,” Medvedchuk insisted, adding that Zelensky had no right to revoke his passport, a move he dismissed as “completely reckless and I would say insane.” If he wanted to get a Russian passport or move to Russia, the politician said, he would have done so years ago. “But I did not leave. And I did not surrender.”

“Zelensky is the kind of man who thinks mainly about PR when it comes to any affairs of state,” Medvedchuk said. “This government tries to hide reality from the people and disguise its actions, which are not in the interest of Ukraine or the Ukrainian people.”

It is Britain that controls Zelensky and Kiev, much more than the US, Medvedchuk claimed, adding that London spearheads the push by the collective West to make Ukraine a springboard against Russia.

The goal of the West is to “stir up some kind of confrontation within Russia, processes that can weaken the Russian leadership,” which is what Zelensky is trying to do, Medvedchuk told RT. However, “it is clear that Ukraine cannot defeat Russia, due to well-known factual circumstances.”

Watch the full interview here.

January 26, 2023 Posted by | Video | , | 1 Comment

NATO member ‘secretly provided Ukraine with fighter jets’

RT | January 26, 2023

In spring 2022, Warsaw secretly delivered several of its MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, despite the Polish government officially denying any such deals, a local paper has claimed, citing sources.

According to Dziennik Gazeta Prawna (DGP), the planes were sent over using a “combined” method, apparently meaning that they were delivered in a disassembled state and declared as spare parts.

“The fuselage and the wings are also spare parts,” DGP wrote Wednesday, citing sources within the Polish government.

Back in March, in the first months of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, Washington rejected a plan to transfer Polish MiG-29 jets to Ukraine, stating the move was “too escalatory” and risked directly involving the US or a NATO ally in the conflict, potentially triggering a direct confrontation with Russia.

In April, however, the Pentagon stated that unnamed US allies had helped bolster Ukraine’s fleet of fighter jets by donating unspecified “spare parts” which were supposedly used to restore many of Kiev’s damaged planes.

The latest article by DGP now seems to suggest that that ally could have been Poland, which in late April was also revealed to have provided Ukraine with $7 billion worth of military aid, including half of its tanks, dozens of howitzers, Grad MRLS, and missiles for MiG-29 and Su-27 fighter jets, among other munitions.

In recent weeks the US seems to have abandoned some of its prior concerns about supplying heavy weapons to Ukraine, and now plans to deliver a number of its M1 Abrams tanks to Kiev, while Germany, Poland and Finland intend to send dozens of their Leopard 2 tanks.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has responded to these planned deliveries as evidence that the West is becoming more directly involved in the conflict, despite European and American politicians claiming otherwise. That’s as Russia has repeatedly urged the West to stop “pumping” Ukraine with weaponry, arguing it would only prolong the conflict and lead to more bloodshed.

January 26, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

90 Seconds to Midnight?

By Scott Ritter | January 24, 2023

The Russian guided missile frigate, the Admiral Gorshkov, is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, ostensibly heading toward the east coast of the United States, part of a planned journey which began on 4 January 2023 and is expected to transit the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea. The Admiral Gorshkov is outfitted with 16 vertical launch tubes, each of which, in theory, could be armed with nuclear-capable Zircon hypersonic missiles capable of covering 1,000 kilometers in less than 10 minutes.

To put it bluntly, soon Russia will be in a position where a single ship could, in a matter of minutes, fire 16 nuclear armed hypersonic missiles at the United States which not only cannot be intercepted by anything in the US arsenal, but also would impact their respective targets before any meaningful evacuation could be conducted. It is, literally, a decapitation weapon.

Current Russian nuclear doctrine does not allow for a nuclear first strike; indeed, Russian President Vladimir Putin has made it clear that Russia would not be the first nation to use nuclear weapons in any future nuclear conflict. But he also emphasized that Russia would not be the second, either, meaning that Russia would release its nuclear arsenal without waiting for any US first strike to impact Russian soil.

The Admiral Gorshkov is sending a clear signal to the US leadership that there will be no survivors in any nuclear exchange between the US and Russia.

Amid this muscle flexing, the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a disarmament advocacy group founded in 1945 by Albert Einstein and University of Chicago scientists who helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, and which currently maintains what is known as the “Doomsday Clock” that reflects the risk of nuclear conflict, decided to move the hands of the clock ten seconds forward from the current 100 seconds to midnight. In a statement announcing this decision, “A time of unprecedented danger: It is 90 seconds to midnight,” the board declared the following:

“The war in Ukraine may enter a second horrifying year, with both sides convinced they can win. Ukraine’s sovereignty and broader European security arrangements that have largely held since the end of World War II are at stake. Also, Russia’s war on Ukraine has raised profound questions about how states interact, eroding norms of international conduct that underpin successful responses to a variety of global risks.

“And worst of all, Russia’s thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons remind the world that escalation of the conflict—by accident, intention, or miscalculation—is a terrible risk. The possibility that the conflict could spin out of anyone’s control remains high.”

The ignorance of this statement is manifest. What the Board calls “Russia’s war on Ukraine” ignores the fact-based historical truth that the Ukraine conflict was, and is, solely the byproduct of a concerted plan by the United States and NATO to use Ukraine as a foil to generate conflict designed to bring down the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

This plan has been in place since at least 2008, when the former US Ambassador to Russia (and current Director of the CIA), William Burns, warned that any effort by NATO to bring Ukraine into its ranks would precipitate an eventual Russian military intervention. Despite this stark warning, NATO extended an invitation to Ukraine in November 2008, clearly initiating a known cause-effect relationship that defined NATO’s policy toward Russia as being one which sought a proxy conflict using Ukraine as a stand-in for NATO.

This policy as furthered by the US, EU and NATO all acting in concert to precipitate a coup in Ukraine in February 2014 designed to oust the constitutionally elected president, Victor Yanukovych, and replace him with a new, ultra-nationalist government dominated by adherents of the odious ideology of Stepan Bandera. The coup succeeded, and in April the new Ukrainian government declared war on the ethnic Russian population of the Donbas. This action triggered the Russian annexation of Crimea and the provision of military support by Russia to the Donbas, triggering the very military intervention William Burns had warned about six years prior.

Ukraine and its NATO allies then sued for peace, initiating negotiations that led to the adoption of the Minsk Agreement, which put in place a ceasefire in exchange for guarantees regarding Ukrainian sovereignty over the Donbas as well as relative autonomy for the ethnic Russians of the Donbas, protecting their language, religion, culture, and traditions.

The Minsk Accords floundered for eight years, with Ukraine failing to implement the required constitutional changes necessary to secure the rights of the ethnic Russians of the Donbas. The reasons for this delay are today well known, thanks to the public confessions of former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and former French President Francois Hollande, all three signatories to the accords. These three national leaders have acknowledged that the Minsk Accords were simply a sham designed by Ukraine to buy time to build a NATO proxy military capable of reclaiming both the Donbas and Crimea.

Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine on February 24, 2022 was not an unprovoked act of aggression, but rather a legitimate exercise of its right, together with the newly independent republics of Lugansk and Donetsk, of preemptive collective self-defense in the face of the imminent threat of aggression by Ukraine’s newly trained army which was, by design, little more than a NATO proxy.

The fact that the esteemed members of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists – which includes among its ranks ten Nobel laureates – seem ignorant of this history, colors their ability to comprehend the true nature of the threat facing the world today, and from whence that threat comes.

The United States, having deliberately provoked a pre-meditated conflict with Russia, is now trying to implement a two-tracked policy designed to trigger a Maidan-like moment in Moscow (named after Maidan Square, in Kiev, where US-backed neo-Nazi’s staged a violent coup against former Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych) where the Russian population would rise up against the government of President Vadimir Putin, overthrowing him and installing a pro-western leader who would return Russia to the colonial-like existence of the 1990’s, when Boris Yeltsin allowed the collective west to rape Russia economically and dominate Russia politically.

The two-tracks of this policy involve the imposition of economic sanctions linked to Russia’s decision to militarily intervene in Ukraine, and the prosecution of a proxy conflict in Ukraine designed to bleed Russia white. The goal of this policy is to engender massive unrest among a demoralized Russian population which would in turn rise and remove President Putin from power.

The insanity of such a plan is incomprehensible. Imagine for a moment that Russia embarked on a plan of action designed to strip away Mexico from the US sphere of influence and, in doing so, promulgated a conflict the goal of which was to have Mexico re-take by force the territory encompassing the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The idea that the United States would sit idly in the face of such a threat is ludicrous. So, too, is any concept that Russia should do the same.

A quick history lesson for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists:

  • It was the US, not Russia, that withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile and Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaties.
  • It is the US, not Russia, that has frozen talks on the extension of the New Strategic Arms Treaty.
  • It is the US, not Russia, that has recently promulgated a nuclear posture policy which allows for the preemptive use of nuclear weapons in a non-nuclear scenario.
  • It is the US, not Russia, that has deployed a low-yield (i.e., “usable) nuclear warhead (the W-76-2) on Trident submarine launched ballistic missiles, and conducted war games where the Secretary of Defense has practiced the communications procedures necessary to launch this weapon where Russia was the named target of the missile.
  • It is the US, not Russia, that is building a Ukrainian proxy army designed by intent to be able to capture territory Russia claims as its own (the four former Ukrainian provinces annexed by Russia in September 2022, and Crimea), knowing full well that one of the triggers for release of Russian nuclear weapons is any conventional military force that threatens the existential survival of Russia.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists would have to be deaf, dumb, and blind not to know these underlying facts, and not to see them as truth.

Which means they are complicit in the nuclear terror being perpetrated by the United States, and indifferent to the consequences thereof.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists is therefore fundamentally wrong in its assessment of it being 90 seconds until midnight.

The truth is the world is one second to midnight, and the clock can strike at any time, something the presence of the Admiral Gorshkov off the coast of the United States proves only too well.

January 25, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | 1 Comment

Latest resignation scandal reveals massive scope of Kiev regime’s corruption

By Drago Bosnic | January 25, 2023

It’s hardly news that the Kiev regime is one of the most corrupt in the world. This issue was raised by many in the political West after NATO and EU governments decided to prop up the Neo-Nazi junta regardless of the cost or consequences. Experts, politicians, journalists and others repeatedly warned that the funds, weapons and other assets sent to Kiev should be subjected to extensive scrutiny. And yet, these audits weren’t only flatly rejected in most cases, but those requesting them were even accused of being “Russian shills” or “Putin apologists”, supposedly supporting Russia’s “unprovoked aggression” in Ukraine. The deeply corrupt oligarchs running the country couldn’t have possibly hoped for a better chance to essentially steal tens of billions of dollars of Western “aid”.

However, the scale of the theft has become so massive that not even the Kiev regime could turn a blind eye, forcing it to simultaneously fire over a dozen high-ranking officials. The media are already calling it the biggest mass resignation and corruption scandal in recent history, including allegations such as bribery, embezzlement and mismanagement of “aid” funds for purchasing food, etc. The now-former officials were also caught buying sports cars, throwing lavish parties and going on expensive vacations while regular Ukrainian citizens suffer the consequences of the Neo-Nazi junta’s suicidal subservience to Euro-Atlantic “values”. The scandal involves a top adviser to Volodymyr Zelensky and four deputy ministers, including two defense officials. In addition, governors of at least five oblasts (regions) were fired, including those in Zaporozhye and Kherson.

Oleg Nemchinov, head of the Secretariat of Cabinet of Ministers compiled a list of officials who were forced to resign:

– Deputy Prosecutor General Oleskiy Symonenko

– Deputy Minister for Development of Communities and Territories Ivan Lukeryu

– Deputy Minister for Development of Communities and Territories Vyacheslav Negoda

– Deputy Minister for Social Policy Vitaliy Muzychenk

The list also includes the governors of Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, Kiev, Sumy and Kherson oblasts, while the defense ministry confirmed its deputy minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov was fired. He was in charge of logistics for the Kiev regime forces and was accused of signing food contracts at inflated prices. Shapovalov used public funds (most of which are now provided by the political West) to purchase military rations, enabling extra profits for contractors and himself. The Kiev regime is still trying to downplay the scandal, calling it a “technical error”, but even some mainstream media are unconvinced. On January 24, Politico published the details of Shapovalov’s scheme:

“An exposé from the Ukrainian news website ZN.UA revealed last week that the defense ministry purchased overpriced food supplies for its troops. For instance, the ministry bought eggs at 17 hryvnias per piece, while the average price of an egg in Kyiv is around 7 hryvnias. According to ZN.UA, a contract for food procurement for soldiers in 2023 amounted to 13.16 billion hryvnias (€328 million).”

And yet, the now-former deputy minister insists his resignation is purely altruistic and that he’s stepping down so as “not to pose a threat to the stable supply of the Armed Forces of Ukraine as a result of a campaign of accusations related to the purchase of food services.”

As the scandal grows in scope, some mainstream media are resorting to damage control and are trying to downplay the crimes. The deputy head of the presidential administration Kyrylo Tymoshenko, accused of using public funds for his lavish lifestyle, is now being whitewashed by Western state-run media, such as the BBC, which is claiming that “Tymoshenko was implicated in several scandals during his tenure, including in October last year when he was accused of using a car donated to Ukraine for humanitarian purposes.” However, in early December, local media presented evidence that Tymoshenko drove expensive sports cars to and from mansions which cost up to $25,000 per month in maintenance only.

Other Western state-run media are also trying to downplay the scandal and are even blaming Russia. The AFP claims that “Ukraine has long suffered endemic corruption, including among the political elite, but efforts to stamp out graft have been overshadowed by Moscow’s full-scale war that began in February,” adding that “Kyiv’s Western allies, who have allocated billions of dollars in financial and military support, have been pushing for anti-corruption reforms for years, sometimes as a precondition for aid.”

The scandal also includes luxury vacations abroad, with Deputy Prosecutor General Symonenko caught vacationing in Spain this winter while the vast majority of Ukrainians can’t afford basic necessities. Due to public outcry, the Kiev regime has even banned top officials to go abroad for vacations. In addition, mere days before the latest scandal, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Development Vasyl Lozynskiy was accused of receiving bribes to force the purchase of generators at greatly hiked-up prices. And to top it all, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov himself might be directly involved in the scandal.

It should be noted that the aforementioned officials are directly involved in overseeing tens of billions of dollars provided by taxpayers in the US, EU and elsewhere, people who are being impoverished as a result of the political West’s comprehensive aggression against Russia. The scandal could also explain why the Pentagon has been “unable” to track over $20 billion in weapons as the black market became flooded with Western-made arms. And yet, the Kiev regime frontman Volodymyr Zelensky is requesting a trillion dollars for the alleged “reconstruction” of Ukraine.

Drago Bosnic is an independent geopolitical and military analyst.

January 25, 2023 Posted by | Corruption | | 6 Comments