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   London Falling: Britain's Military Decline Exposes NATO's Collapse in Credibility and Capability
Scott Ritter, posted by Internationalist 360

July 17, 2022


   NATO's plan to vastly increase its forward force is wishful thinking, and the UK's struggle for military relevance is a perfect case in point

The secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Jens Stoltenberg, recently announced the US-led military bloc's goal of expanding its so-called ‘Response Force' from its current strength of 40,000 to a force of more than 300,000 troops. "We will enhance our battlegroups in the eastern part of the Alliance up to brigade-levels," Stoltenberg declared. "We will transform the NATO Response Force and increase the number of our high readiness forces to well over 300,000."

The announcement, made at the end of NATO's annual summit, held in Madrid, Spain, apparently took several defense officials from the NATO membership by surprise, with one such official calling Stoltenberg's figures "number magic." Stoltenberg appeared to be working from a concept that had been developed within NATO headquarters based upon assumptions made by his staffers, as opposed to anything resembling coordinated policy among the defense organizations of the 30 nations that make up the bloc.

Confusion is the name of the game at NATO these days, with the alliance still reeling from last year's Afghan debacle and unable to adequately disguise the impotence shown in the face of Russia's ongoing military operation in Ukraine. The bloc is but a shadow of its former self, a pathetic collection of under-funded military organizations more suited for the parade ground than the battlefield. No military organization more represents this colossal collapse in credibility and capability than the British Army.

Even before the current Ukraine crisis kicked off, the British military served more as an object of derision than a template of professionalism. Take, by way of example, the visit of UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace to Zagreb, Croatia in early February 2022. Croatian President Zoran Milanovic accused the British of trying to incite Ukraine into a war with Russia, as opposed to trying to address Russia's concerns over the existing European security framework. Wallace flew to Zagreb for consultations, only to be rebuked by Milanovic, who refused to meet with him, noting that he only met with the defense ministers of superpowers, adding that "the UK has left the EU, and this gives it less importance."

But London keeps putting a brave face on a sorry reality. Take, for example, the offer of written security assurances to Sweden and Finland made by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. These pledges were designed to bolster the resolve of the two Nordic nations as they considered their applications to join NATO.

But there was no substance to the British offer, if for no other reason than the British had nothing in the way of viable military capability to offer either the Swedes or the Finns. Even as Johnson proffered the proverbial hand of assistance to his newfound Nordic allies, the UK Ministry of Defense was wrestling with planned force reductions that would see the British Army cut from its current "established strength" of 82,000 to 72,500 by 2025 (the actual strength of the British Army is around 76,500, reflecting ongoing difficulties in recruitment and retention.)

Even these numbers are misleading – the British Army is only capable of generating one fully combat-ready maneuver brigade (3,500 to 4,000 men with all the necessary equipment and support). Given the reality that the UK is already on the hook for a reinforced battalion-sized "battlegroup" that is to be deployed to Estonia as part of NATO's so-called enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) posture (joining three other similarly-sized "battlegroups" fielded by the US in Poland, Germany in Lithuania, and Canada in Latvia), it is questionable whether the British could even accomplish this limited task.

Last month's deployment to Estonia of a battlegroup comprised of the 2 Rifles infantry regiment underscores the pathos that defines real British military capability. The 2 Rifles Battlegroup includes the three infantry companies and one fire support company integral to the unit, along with supporting artillery, engineering, logistic, and medical elements. France and Denmark provide a company-sized unit to the British-led battlegroup on an alternating basis. Altogether, the British battlegroup comprises some 1,600 soldiers, and is fully integrated within the Estonian 2nd Infantry Brigade.

Given what we now know about the reality of modern warfare, courtesy of the ongoing Russian operation in Ukraine, the British battlegroup would have a life expectancy on an actual European battlefield of less than a week. So, too, would its allies in the Estonian 2nd Infantry Brigade. First and foremost, the units lack any sustainability, both in terms of personnel and equipment losses that could be anticipated if subjected to combat, or the basic logistical support necessary to shoot, move, or communicate on the modern battlefield. Artillery is the king of battle, and the British and Estonians are lacking when it comes to generating anywhere near enough tubes to counter the overwhelming fire support expected to be generated by any hostile Russian force.

Stoltenberg's hypothetical 300,000-strong Response Force envisions the existing battlegroups to be expanded to brigade-sized formations, ironically tasking the British to generate more combat power at a time when it is actively seeking to reduce its overall manpower levels. While the British may be able to scrape enough substance from the bottom of the barrel, so to speak, to accomplish this projected reinforcement, there would literally be nothing left to back up Boris Johnson's bold offer of substantive military assistance to Sweden and Finland, leaving the British prime minister looking more like the captain of the Titanic after it hit the iceberg, issuing directives and acting as if his words had any impact, all while his ship is sinking.

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Jacques Baud: The Military Situation In The Ukraine
By Guest Author -April 15, 202249781

By Jacques Baud / French Intelligence Research Center
Jacques Baud is a former colonel of the General Staff, ex-member of the Swiss strategic intelligence, specialist on Eastern countries. He was trained in the American and British intelligence services. He has served as Policy Chief for United Nations Peace Operations. As a UN expert on rule of law and security institutions, he designed and led the first multidimensional UN intelligence unit in the Sudan. He has worked for the African Union and was for 5 years responsible for the fight, at NATO, against the proliferation of small arms. He was involved in discussions with the highest Russian military and intelligence officials just after the fall of the USSR. Within NATO, he followed the 2014 Ukrainian crisis and later participated in programs to assist the Ukraine. He is the author of several books on intelligence, war and terrorism, in particular Le Détournement published by SIGEST, Gouverner par les fake news, L’affaire Navalny. His latest book is Poutine, maître du jeu? published by Max Milo.

His long essay first appeared (in French) at the respected Centre Français de Recherche sur le Renseignement. A literal translation appeared in The Postal (April 1, 2022).

We have kept the original analysis and added the updated analysis in part two, making for a very long read.

Part One: The Road To War
For years, from Mali to Afghanistan, I have worked for peace and risked my life for it. It is therefore not a question of justifying war, but of understanding what led us to it. I notice that the “experts” who take turns on television analyze the situation on the basis of dubious information, most often hypotheses erected as facts—and then we no longer manage to understand what is happening. This is how panics are created.

The problem is not so much to know who is right in this conflict, but to question the way our leaders make their decisions.

Let’s try to examine the roots of the conflict. It starts with those who for the last eight years have been talking about “separatists” or “independentists” from Donbass. This is not true. The referendums conducted by the two self-proclaimed Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in May 2014, were not referendums of “independence” (независимость), as some unscrupulous journalists have claimed, but referendums of “self-determination” or “autonomy” (самостоятельность). The qualifier “pro-Russian” suggests that Russia was a party to the conflict, which was not the case, and the term “Russian speakers” would have been more honest. Moreover, these referendums were conducted against the advice of Vladimir Putin.

In fact, these Republics were not seeking to separate from Ukraine, but to have a status of autonomy, guaranteeing them the use of the Russian language as an official language. For the first legislative act of the new government resulting from the overthrow of President Yanukovych, was the abolition, on February 23, 2014, of the Kivalov-Kolesnichenko law of 2012 that made Russian an official language. A bit like if putschists decided that French and Italian would no longer be official languages in Switzerland.

This decision caused a storm in the Russian-speaking population. The result was a fierce repression against the Russian-speaking regions (Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov, Lugansk and Donetsk) which was carried out beginning in February 2014 and led to a militarization of the situation and some massacres (in Odessa and Marioupol, for the most notable). At the end of summer 2014, only the self-proclaimed Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk remained.

At this stage, too rigid and engrossed in a doctrinaire approach to the art of operations, the Ukrainian general staff subdued the enemy without managing to prevail. The examination of the course of the fighting in 2014-2016 in the Donbass shows that the Ukrainian general staff systematically and mechanically applied the same operative schemes. However, the war waged by the autonomists was very similar to what we observed in the Sahel: highly mobile operations conducted with light means. With a more flexible and less doctrinaire approach, the rebels were able to exploit the inertia of Ukrainian forces to repeatedly “trap” them.

In 2014, when I was at NATO, I was responsible for the fight against the proliferation of small arms, and we were trying to detect Russian arms deliveries to the rebels, to see if Moscow was involved. The information we received then came almost entirely from Polish intelligence services and did not “fit” with the information coming from the OSCE—despite rather crude allegations, there were no deliveries of weapons and military equipment from Russia.

The rebels were armed thanks to the defection of Russian-speaking Ukrainian units that went over to the rebel side. As Ukrainian failures continued, tank, artillery and anti-aircraft battalions swelled the ranks of the autonomists. This is what pushed the Ukrainians to commit to the Minsk Agreements.

But just after signing the Minsk 1 Agreements, the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko launched a massive anti-terrorist operation (ATO/Антитерористична операція) against the Donbass. Bis repetita placent: poorly advised by NATO officers, the Ukrainians suffered a crushing defeat in Debaltsevo, which forced them to engage in the Minsk 2 Agreements.

It is essential to recall here that Minsk 1 (September 2014) and Minsk 2 (February 2015) Agreements did not provide for the separation or independence of the Republics, but their autonomy within the framework of Ukraine. Those who have read the Agreements (there are very, very, very few of those who actually have) will note that it is written in all letters that the status of the Republics was to be negotiated between Kiev and the representatives of the Republics, for an internal solution to the Ukraine.

That is why since 2014, Russia has systematically demanded their implementation while refusing to be a party to the negotiations, because it was an internal matter of the Ukraine. On the other side, the West—led by France—systematically tried to replace the Minsk Agreements with the “Normandy format,” which put Russians and Ukrainians face-to-face. However, let us remember that there were never any Russian troops in the Donbass before 23-24 February 2022. Moreover, OSCE observers have never observed the slightest trace of Russian units operating in the Donbass. For example, the U.S. intelligence map published by the Washington Post on December 3, 2021 does not show Russian troops in the Donbass.

In October 2015, Vasyl Hrytsak, director of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), confessed that only 56 Russian fighters had been observed in the Donbass. This was exactly comparable to the Swiss who went to fight in Bosnia on weekends, in the 1990s, or the French who go to fight in the Ukraine today.

The Ukrainian army was then in a deplorable state. In October 2018, after four years of war, the chief Ukrainian military prosecutor, Anatoly Matios, stated that Ukraine had lost 2,700 men in the Donbass: 891 from illnesses, 318 from road accidents, 177 from other accidents, 175 from poisonings (alcohol, drugs), 172 from careless handling of weapons, 101 from breaches of security regulations, 228 from murders and 615 from suicides.

In fact, the army was undermined by the corruption of its cadres and no longer enjoyed the support of the population. According to a British Home Office report, in the March/April 2014 recall of reservists, 70 percent did not show up for the first session, 80 percent for the second, 90 percent for the third, and 95 percent for the fourth. In October/November 2017, 70% of conscripts did not show up for the “Fall 2017” recall campaign. This is not counting suicides and desertions (often over to the autonomists), which reached up to 30 percent of the workforce in the ATO area. Young Ukrainians refused to go and fight in the Donbass and preferred emigration, which also explains, at least partially, the demographic deficit of the country.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense then turned to NATO to help make its armed forces more “attractive.” Having already worked on similar projects within the framework of the United Nations, I was asked by NATO to participate in a program to restore the image of the Ukrainian armed forces. But this is a long-term process and the Ukrainians wanted to move quickly.

So, to compensate for the lack of soldiers, the Ukrainian government resorted to paramilitary militias. They are essentially composed of foreign mercenaries, often extreme right-wing militants. In 2020, they constituted about 40 percent of the Ukrainian forces and numbered about 102,000 men, according to Reuters. They were armed, financed and trained by the United States, Great Britain, Canada and France. There were more than 19 nationalities—including Swiss.

Western countries have thus clearly created and supported Ukrainian far-right militias. In October 2021, the Jerusalem Post sounded the alarm by denouncing the Centuria project. These militias had been operating in the Donbass since 2014, with Western support. Even if one can argue about the term “Nazi,” the fact remains that these militias are violent, convey a nauseating ideology and are virulently anti-Semitic. Their anti-Semitism is more cultural than political, which is why the term “Nazi” is not really appropriate. Their hatred of the Jew stems from the great famines of the 1920s and 1930s in the Ukraine, resulting from Stalin’s confiscation of crops to finance the modernization of the Red Army. This genocide—known in the Ukraine as the Holodomor—was perpetrated by the NKVD (the forerunner of the KGB), whose upper echelons of leadership were mainly composed of Jews. This is why, today, Ukrainian extremists are asking Israel to apologize for the crimes of communism, as the Jerusalem Post notes. This is a far cry from Vladimir Putin’s “rewriting of history.”

These militias, originating from the far-right groups that animated the Euromaidan revolution in 2014, are composed of fanatical and brutal individuals. The best known of these is the Azov Regiment, whose emblem is reminiscent of the 2nd SS Das Reich Panzer Division, which is revered in the Ukraine for liberating Kharkov from the Soviets in 1943, before carrying out the 1944 Oradour-sur-Glane massacre in France.

Among the famous figures of the Azov regiment was the opponent Roman Protassevitch, arrested in 2021 by the Belarusian authorities following the case of RyanAir flight FR4978. On May 23, 2021, the deliberate hijacking of an airliner by a MiG-29—supposedly with Putin’s approval—was mentioned as a reason for arresting Protassevich, although the information available at the time did not confirm this scenario at all.

But then it was necessary to show that President Lukashenko was a thug and Protassevich a “journalist” who loved democracy. However, a rather revealing investigation produced by an American NGO in 2020 highlighted Protassevitch’s far-right militant activities. The Western conspiracy movement then started, and unscrupulous media “air-brushed” his biography. Finally, in January 2022, the ICAO report was published and showed that despite some procedural errors, Belarus acted in accordance with the rules in force and that the MiG-29 took off 15 minutes after the RyanAir pilot decided to land in Minsk. So no Belarusian plot and even less Putin. Ah!… Another detail: Protassevitch, cruelly tortured by the Belarusian police, was now free. Those who would like to correspond with him, can go on his Twitter account.

The characterization of the Ukrainian paramilitaries as “Nazis” or “neo-Nazis” is considered Russian propaganda. Perhaps. But that’s not the view of the Times of Israel, the Simon Wiesenthal Center or the West Point Academy’s Center for Counterterrorism. But that’s still debatable, because in 2014, Newsweek magazine seemed to associate them more with… the Islamic State. Take your pick!

So, the West supported and continued to arm militias that have been guilty of numerous crimes against civilian populations since 2014: rape, torture and massacres. But while the Swiss government has been very quick to take sanctions against Russia, it has not adopted any against the Ukraine, which has been massacring its own population since 2014. In fact, those who defend human rights in the Ukraine have long condemned the actions of these groups, but have not been supported by our governments. Because, in reality, we are not trying to help the Ukraine, but to fight Russia.

The integration of these paramilitary forces into the National Guard was not at all accompanied by a “denazification,” as some claim. Among the many examples, that of the Azov Regiment’s insignia is instructive:

Ukraine Neo Nazis
In 2022, very schematically, the Ukrainian armed forces fighting the Russian offensive were organized as:

The Army, subordinated to the Ministry of Defense. It is organized into 3 army corps and composed of maneuver formations (tanks, heavy artillery, missiles, etc.).
The National Guard, which depends on the Ministry of the Interior and is organized into 5 territorial commands.
The National Guard is therefore a territorial defense force that is not part of the Ukrainian army. It includes paramilitary militias, called “volunteer battalions” (добровольчі батальйоні), also known by the evocative name of “reprisal battalions,” and composed of infantry. Primarily trained for urban combat, they now defend cities such as Kharkov, Mariupol, Odessa, Kiev, etc.

Part Two: The War
As a former head of the Warsaw Pact forces in the Swiss strategic intelligence service, I observe with sadness—but not astonishment—that our services are no longer able to understand the military situation in Ukraine. The self-proclaimed “experts” who parade on our screens tirelessly relay the same information modulated by the claim that Russia—and Vladimir Putin—is irrational. Let’s take a step back.

1. The Outbreak Of War
Since November 2021, the Americans have been constantly threatening a Russian invasion of the Ukraine. However, the Ukrainians did not seem to agree. Why not?

We have to go back to March 24, 2021. On that day, Volodymyr Zelensky issued a decree for the recapture of the Crimea, and began to deploy his forces to the south of the country. At the same time, several NATO exercises were conducted between the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea, accompanied by a significant increase in reconnaissance flights along the Russian border. Russia then conducted several exercises to test the operational readiness of its troops and to show that it was following the evolution of the situation.

Things calmed down until October-November with the end of the ZAPAD 21 exercises, whose troop movements were interpreted as a reinforcement for an offensive against the Ukraine. However, even the Ukrainian authorities refuted the idea of Russian preparations for a war, and Oleksiy Reznikov, Ukrainian Minister of Defense, states that there had been no change on its border since the spring.

In violation of the Minsk Agreements, the Ukraine was conducting air operations in Donbass using drones, including at least one strike against a fuel depot in Donetsk in October 2021. The American press noted this, but not the Europeans; and no one condemned these violations.

In February 2022, events were precipitated. On February 7, during his visit to Moscow, Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed to Vladimir Putin his commitment to the Minsk Agreements, a commitment he would repeat after his meeting with Volodymyr Zelensky the next day. But on February 11, in Berlin, after nine hours of work, the meeting of political advisors of the leaders of the “Normandy format” ended, without any concrete result: the Ukrainians still refused to apply the Minsk Agreements, apparently under pressure from the United States. Vladimir Putin noted that Macron had made empty promises and that the West was not ready to enforce the agreements, as it had been doing for eight years.

Ukrainian preparations in the contact zone continued. The Russian Parliament became alarmed; and on February 15 asked Vladimir Putin to recognize the independence of the Republics, which he refused to do.

On 17 February, President Joe Biden announced that Russia would attack the Ukraine in the next few days. How did he know this? It is a mystery. But since the 16th, the artillery shelling of the population of Donbass increased dramatically, as the daily reports of the OSCE observers show. Naturally, neither the media, nor the European Union, nor NATO, nor any Western government reacts or intervenes. It will be said later that this is Russian disinformation. In fact, it seems that the European Union and some countries have deliberately kept silent about the massacre of the Donbass population, knowing that this would provoke a Russian intervention.

At the same time, there were reports of sabotage in the Donbass. On 18 January, Donbass fighters intercepted saboteurs, who spoke Polish and were equipped with Western equipment and who were seeking to create chemical incidents in Gorlivka. They could have been CIA mercenaries, led or “advised” by Americans and composed of Ukrainian or European fighters, to carry out sabotage actions in the Donbass Republics.

Number of Explosions in Donbass 19 20 February 2022
Ceasefire Violations
In fact, as early as February 16, Joe Biden knew that the Ukrainians had begun shelling the civilian population of Donbass, putting Vladimir Putin in front of a difficult choice: to help Donbass militarily and create an international problem, or to stand by and watch the Russian-speaking people of Donbass being crushed.

If he decided to intervene, Putin could invoke the international obligation of “Responsibility To Protect” (R2P). But he knew that whatever its nature or scale, the intervention would trigger a storm of sanctions. Therefore, whether Russian intervention were limited to the Donbass or went further to put pressure on the West for the status of the Ukraine, the price to pay would be the same. This is what he explained in his speech on February 21.

On that day, he agreed to the request of the Duma and recognized the independence of the two Donbass Republics and, at the same time, he signed friendship and assistance treaties with them.

The Ukrainian artillery bombardment of the Donbass population continued, and, on 23 February, the two Republics asked for military assistance from Russia. On 24 February, Vladimir Putin invoked Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, which provides for mutual military assistance in the framework of a defensive alliance.

In order to make the Russian intervention totally illegal in the eyes of the public we deliberately hid the fact that the war actually started on February 16. The Ukrainian army was preparing to attack the Donbass as early as 2021, as some Russian and European intelligence services were well aware. Jurists will judge.

In his speech of February 24, Vladimir Putin stated the two objectives of his operation: “demilitarize” and “denazify” the Ukraine. So, it is not a question of taking over the Ukraine, nor even, presumably, of occupying it; and certainly not of destroying it.

From then on, our visibility on the course of the operation is limited: the Russians have an excellent security of operations (OPSEC) and the details of their planning are not known. But fairly quickly, the course of the operation allows us to understand how the strategic objectives were translated on the operational level.

Demilitarization:

ground destruction of Ukrainian aviation, air defense systems and reconnaissance assets;
neutralization of command and intelligence structures (C3I), as well as the main logistical routes in the depth of the territory;
encirclement of the bulk of the Ukrainian army massed in the southeast of the country.
Denazification:

destruction or neutralization of volunteer battalions operating in the cities of Odessa, Kharkov, and Mariupol, as well as in various facilities in the territory.
2. Demilitarization
The Russian offensive was carried out in a very “classic” manner. Initially—as the Israelis had done in 1967—with the destruction on the ground of the air force in the very first hours. Then, we witnessed a simultaneous progression along several axes according to the principle of “flowing water”: advance everywhere where resistance was weak and leave the cities (very demanding in terms of troops) for later. In the north, the Chernobyl power plant was occupied immediately to prevent acts of sabotage. The images of Ukrainian and Russian soldiers guarding the plant together are of course not shown.

The idea that Russia is trying to take over Kiev, the capital, to eliminate Zelensky, comes typically from the West—that is what they did in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and what they wanted to do in Syria with the help of the Islamic State. But Vladimir Putin never intended to shoot or topple Zelensky. Instead, Russia seeks to keep him in power by pushing him to negotiate, by surrounding Kiev. Up till now, he had refused to implement the Minsk Agreements. But now the Russians want to obtain the neutrality of the Ukraine.

Many Western commentators were surprised that the Russians continued to seek a negotiated solution while conducting military operations. The explanation lies in the Russian strategic outlook since the Soviet era. For the West, war begins when politics ends. However, the Russian approach follows a Clausewitzian inspiration: war is the continuity of politics and one can move fluidly from one to the other, even during combat. This allows one to create pressure on the adversary and push him to negotiate.

From an operational point of view, the Russian offensive was an example of its kind: in six days, the Russians seized a territory as large as the United Kingdom, with a speed of advance greater than what the Wehrmacht had achieved in 1940.

The bulk of the Ukrainian army was deployed in the south of the country in preparation for a major operation against the Donbass. This is why Russian forces were able to encircle it from the beginning of March in the “cauldron” between Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and Severodonetsk, with a thrust from the East through Kharkov and another from the South from Crimea. Troops from the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) Republics are complementing the Russian forces with a push from the East.

At this stage, Russian forces are slowly tightening the noose, but are no longer under time pressure. Their demilitarization goal is all but achieved and the remaining Ukrainian forces no longer have an operational and strategic command structure.

The “slowdown” that our “experts” attribute to poor logistics is only the consequence of having achieved their objectives. Russia does not seem to want to engage in an occupation of the entire Ukrainian territory. In fact, it seems that Russia is trying to limit its advance to the linguistic border of the country.

Our media speak of indiscriminate bombardments against the civilian population, especially in Kharkov, and Dantean images are broadcast in a loop. However, Gonzalo Lira, a Latin American who lives there, presents us with a calm city on March 10 and March 11. It is true that it is a large city and we do not see everything—but this seems to indicate that we are not in the total war that we are served continuously on our screens.

As for the Donbass Republics, they have “liberated” their own territories and are fighting in the city of Mariupol.

3. Denazification
In cities like Kharkov, Mariupol and Odessa, the defense is provided by paramilitary militias. They know that the objective of “denazification” is aimed primarily at them.

For an attacker in an urbanized area, civilians are a problem. This is why Russia is seeking to create humanitarian corridors to empty cities of civilians and leave only the militias, to fight them more easily.

Conversely, these militias seek to keep civilians in the cities in order to dissuade the Russian army from fighting there. This is why they are reluctant to implement these corridors and do everything to ensure that Russian efforts are unsuccessful—they can use the civilian population as “human shields. Videos showing civilians trying to leave Mariupol and beaten up by fighters of the Azov regiment are of course carefully censored here.

On Facebook, the Azov group was considered in the same category as the Islamic State and subject to the platform’s “policy on dangerous individuals and organizations.” It was therefore forbidden to glorify it, and “posts” that were favourable to it were systematically banned. But on February 24, Facebook changed its policy and allowed posts favourable to the militia. In the same spirit, in March, the platform authorized, in the former Eastern countries, calls for the murder of Russian soldiers and leaders. So much for the values that inspire our leaders, as we shall see.

Our media propagate a romantic image of popular resistance. It is this image that led the European Union to finance the distribution of arms to the civilian population. This is a criminal act. In my capacity as head of peacekeeping doctrine at the UN, I worked on the issue of civilian protection. We found that violence against civilians occurred in very specific contexts. In particular, when weapons are abundant and there are no command structures.

These command structures are the essence of armies: their function is to channel the use of force towards an objective. By arming citizens in a haphazard manner, as is currently the case, the EU is turning them into combatants, with the consequential effect of making them potential targets. Moreover, without command, without operational goals, the distribution of arms leads inevitably to settling of scores, banditry and actions that are more deadly than effective. War becomes a matter of emotions. Force becomes violence. This is what happened in Tawarga (Libya) from 11 to 13 August 2011, where 30,000 black Africans were massacred with weapons parachuted (illegally) by France. By the way, the British Royal Institute for Strategic Studies (RUSI) does not see any added value in these arms deliveries.

Moreover, by delivering arms to a country at war, one exposes oneself to being considered a belligerent. The Russian strikes of March 13, 2022, against the Mykolayev airbase follow Russian warnings that arms shipments would be treated as hostile targets.

The EU is repeating the disastrous experience of the Third Reich in the final hours of the Battle of Berlin. War must be left to the military and when one side has lost, it must be admitted. And if there is to be resistance, it must be led and structured. But we are doing exactly the opposite—we are pushing citizens to go and fight and at the same time, Facebook authorizes calls for the murder of Russian soldiers and leaders. So much for the values that inspire us.

Some intelligence services see this irresponsible decision as a way to use the Ukrainian population as cannon fodder to fight Vladimir Putin’s Russia. This kind of murderous decision should have been left to the colleagues of Ursula von der Leyen’s grandfather. It would have been better to engage in negotiations and thus obtain guarantees for the civilian population than to add fuel to the fire. It is easy to be combative with the blood of others.

4. The Maternity Hospital At Mariupol
It is important to understand beforehand that it is not the Ukrainian army that is defending Marioupol, but the Azov militia, composed of foreign mercenaries.

In its March 7, 2022 summary of the situation, the Russian UN mission in New York stated that “Residents report that Ukrainian armed forces expelled staff from the Mariupol city birth hospital No. 1 and set up a firing post inside the facility.”

On March 8, the independent Russian media Lenta.ru, published the testimony of civilians from Marioupol who told that the maternity hospital was taken over by the militia of the Azov regiment, and who drove out the civilian occupants by threatening them with their weapons. They confirmed the statements of the Russian ambassador a few hours earlier.

The hospital in Mariupol occupies a dominant position, perfectly suited for the installation of anti-tank weapons and for observation. On 9 March, Russian forces struck the building. According to CNN, 17 people were wounded, but the images do not show any casualties in the building and there is no evidence that the victims mentioned are related to this strike. There is talk of children, but in reality, there is nothing. This may be true, but it may not be true. This does not prevent the leaders of the EU from seeing this as a war crime. And this allows Zelensky to call for a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

In reality, we do not know exactly what happened. But the sequence of events tends to confirm that Russian forces struck a position of the Azov regiment and that the maternity ward was then free of civilians.

The problem is that the paramilitary militias that defend the cities are encouraged by the international community not to respect the customs of war. It seems that the Ukrainians have replayed the scenario of the Kuwait City maternity hospital in 1990, which was totally staged by the firm Hill & Knowlton for $10.7 million in order to convince the United Nations Security Council to intervene in Iraq for Operation Desert Shield/Storm.

Western politicians have accepted civilian strikes in the Donbass for eight years, without adopting any sanctions against the Ukrainian government. We have long since entered a dynamic where Western politicians have agreed to sacrifice international law towards their goal of weakening Russia.

Part Three: Conclusions
As an ex-intelligence professional, the first thing that strikes me is the total absence of Western intelligence services in the representation of the situation over the past year. In Switzerland, the services have been criticized for not having provided a correct picture of the situation. In fact, it seems that throughout the Western world, intelligence services have been overwhelmed by the politicians. The problem is that it is the politicians who decide—the best intelligence service in the world is useless if the decision-maker does not listen. This is what happened during this crisis.

That said, while some intelligence services had a very accurate and rational picture of the situation, others clearly had the same picture as that propagated by our media. In this crisis, the services of the countries of the “new Europe” played an important role. The problem is that, from experience, I have found them to be extremely bad at the analytical level—doctrinaire, they lack the intellectual and political independence necessary to assess a situation with military “quality.” It is better to have them as enemies than as friends.

Second, it seems that in some European countries, politicians have deliberately ignored their services in order to respond ideologically to the situation. That is why this crisis has been irrational from the beginning. It should be noted that all the documents that were presented to the public during this crisis were presented by politicians based on commercial sources.

Some Western politicians obviously wanted there to be a conflict. In the United States, the attack scenarios presented by Anthony Blinken to the Security Council were only the product of the imagination of a Tiger Team working for him—he did exactly as Donald Rumsfeld did in 2002, who had thus “bypassed” the CIA and other intelligence services that were much less assertive about Iraqi chemical weapons.

The dramatic developments we are witnessing today have causes that we knew about but refused to see:

on the strategic level, the expansion of NATO (which we have not dealt with here);
on the political level, the Western refusal to implement the Minsk Agreements;
and operationally, the continuous and repeated attacks on the civilian population of the Donbass over the past years and the dramatic increase in late February 2022.
In other words, we can naturally deplore and condemn the Russian attack. But WE (that is: the United States, France and the European Union in the lead) have created the conditions for a conflict to break out. We show compassion for the Ukrainian people and the two million refugees. That is fine. But if we had had a modicum of compassion for the same number of refugees from the Ukrainian populations of Donbass massacred by their own government and who sought refuge in Russia for eight years, none of this would probably have happened.

Civilian casualties caused by active hostilities in 2018-2021, per territory

    In territory control- led by the self-pro- claimed “Republics”   In Government- controlled territory     In “no man’s land”     Total   Decrease compared with previous year, per cent
2018   128   27   7   162   41.9
2019   85   18   2   105   35.2
2020   61   9   0   70   33.3
2021   36   8   0   44   37.1
Total   310   62   9   381   
Per cent   81.4   16.3   2.3   100.0   
As we can see, more than 80% of the victims in Donbass were the result of the Ukrainian army’s shelling. For years, the West remained silent about the massacre of Russian-speaking Ukrainians by the government of Kiev, without ever trying to bring pressure on Kiev. It is this silence that forced the Russian side to act. [Source:“Conflict-related civilian casualties,“ United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.]

Whether the term “genocide” applies to the abuses suffered by the people of Donbass is an open question. The term is generally reserved for cases of greater magnitude (Holocaust, etc.). But the definition given by the Genocide Convention is probably broad enough to apply to this case. Legal scholars will understand this.

Clearly, this conflict has led us into hysteria. Sanctions seem to have become the preferred tool of our foreign policies. If we had insisted that Ukraine abide by the Minsk Agreements, which we had negotiated and endorsed, none of this would have happened. Vladimir Putin’s condemnation is also ours. There is no point in whining afterwards—we should have acted earlier. However, neither Emmanuel Macron (as guarantor and member of the UN Security Council), nor Olaf Scholz, nor Volodymyr Zelensky have respected their commitments. In the end, the real defeat is that of those who have no voice.

The European Union was unable to promote the implementation of the Minsk agreements—on the contrary, it did not react when Ukraine was bombing its own population in the Donbass. Had it done so, Vladimir Putin would not have needed to react. Absent from the diplomatic phase, the EU distinguished itself by fueling the conflict. On February 27, the Ukrainian government agreed to enter into negotiations with Russia. But a few hours later, the European Union voted a budget of 450 million euros to supply arms to the Ukraine, adding fuel to the fire. From then on, the Ukrainians felt that they did not need to reach an agreement. The resistance of the Azov militia in Mariupol even led to a boost of 500 million euros for weapons.

In the Ukraine, with the blessing of the Western countries, those who are in favour of a negotiation have been eliminated. This is the case of Denis Kireyev, one of the Ukrainian negotiators, assassinated on March 5 by the Ukrainian secret service (SBU) because he was too favourable to Russia and was considered a traitor. The same fate befell Dmitry Demyanenko, former deputy head of the SBU’s main directorate for Kiev and its region, who was assassinated on March 10 because he was too favourable to an agreement with Russia—he was shot by the Mirotvorets (“Peacemaker”) militia. This militia is associated with the Mirotvorets website, which lists the “enemies of Ukraine,” with their personal data, addresses and telephone numbers, so that they can be harassed or even eliminated; a practice that is punishable in many countries, but not in the Ukraine. The UN and some European countries have demanded the closure of this site—refused by the Rada.

In the end, the price will be high, but Vladimir Putin will likely achieve the goals he set for himself. His ties with Beijing have solidified. China is emerging as a mediator in the conflict, while Switzerland is joining the list of Russia’s enemies. The Americans have to ask Venezuela and Iran for oil to get out of the energy impasse they have put themselves in—Juan Guaido is leaving the scene for good and the United States has to piteously backtrack on the sanctions imposed on its enemies.

Western ministers who seek to collapse the Russian economy and make the Russian people suffer, or even call for the assassination of Putin, show (even if they have partially reversed the form of their words, but not the substance!) that our leaders are no better than those we hate—for sanctioning Russian athletes in the Para-Olympic Games or Russian artists has nothing to do with fighting Putin.

Thus, we recognize that Russia is a democracy since we consider that the Russian people are responsible for the war. If this is not the case, then why do we seek to punish a whole population for the fault of one? Let us remember that collective punishment is forbidden by the Geneva Conventions.

The lesson to be learned from this conflict is our sense of variable geometric humanity. If we cared so much about peace and the Ukraine, why didn’t we encourage the Ukraine to respect the agreements it had signed and that the members of the Security Council had approved?

The integrity of the media is measured by their willingness to work within the terms of the Munich Charter. They succeeded in propagating hatred of the Chinese during the Covid crisis and their polarized message leads to the same effects against the Russians. Journalism is becoming more and more unprofessional and militant.

As Goethe said: “The greater the light, the darker the shadow.” The more the sanctions against Russia are disproportionate, the more the cases where we have done nothing highlight our racism and servility. Why have no Western politicians reacted to the strikes against the civilian population of Donbass for eight years?

Because finally, what makes the conflict in the Ukraine more blameworthy than the war in Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya? What sanctions have we adopted against those who deliberately lied to the international community in order to wage unjust, unjustified and murderous wars? Have we sought to “make the American people suffer” for lying to us (because they are a democracy!) before the war in Iraq? Have we adopted a single sanction against the countries, companies or politicians who are supplying weapons to the conflict in Yemen, considered to be the “worst humanitarian disaster in the world?” Have we sanctioned the countries of the European Union that practice the most abject torture on their territory for the benefit of the United States?

To ask the question is to answer it… and the answer is not pretty.

The Military Situation in the Ukraine—An Update
Medal in Khankala I S Araslanov 2007
Medal-in-Khankala-I-S-Araslanov-2007
April 11, 2022 Jacques Baud

Part Two: The Operational Situation
As of March 25, 2022, our analysis of the situation confirms the observations and conclusions made in mid-March.

The offensive launched on February 24 is articulated in two lines of effort, in accordance with Russian operational doctrine:

1) A main effort directed toward the south of the country, in the Donbass region, and along the Azov Sea coast. As the doctrine states, the main objectives are—the neutralization of the Ukrainian armed forces (the objective of “demilitarization”), and the neutralization of ultra-nationalist, paramilitary militias in the cities of Kharkov and Mariupol (the objective of “denazification“). This primary push is being led by a coalition of forces: through Kharkov and Crimea are Russian forces from the Southern Military District; in the center are militia forces from the Donetsk and Lugansk republics; the Chechen National Guard is contributing with engagement in the urban area of Mariupol;

2) A secondary effort on Kiev, aimed at “pinning down” Ukrainian (and Western) forces, so as to prevent them from carrying out operations against the main thrust or even taking Russian coalition forces from the rear.

This offensive follows, to the letter, the objectives defined by Vladimir Putin on February 24. But, listening only to their own bias, Western “experts” and politicians have gotten it into their heads that Russia’s objective is to take over the Ukraine and overthrow its government. Applying a very Western logic, they see Kiev as the “center of gravity” (Schwerpunkt) of Ukrainian forces. According to Clausewitz, the “center of gravity” is the element from which a belligerent derives his strength and ability to act, and is therefore the primary objective of an adversary’s strategy. This is why Westerners have systematically tried to take control of capitals in the wars they have fought. Trained and advised by NATO experts, the Ukrainian General Staff has, predictably enough, applied the same logic, focusing on strengthening the defense of Kiev and its surroundings, while leaving its troops helpless in the Donbass, along the axis of the main Russian effort.

If one had listened carefully to Vladimir Putin, one would have realized that the strategic objective of the Russian coalition is not to take over the Ukraine, but to remove any threat to the Russian-speaking population of the Donbass. According to this general objective, the “real” center of gravity that the Russian coalition is trying to target is the bulk of the Ukrainian armed forces massed in the south-southeast of the country (since the end of 2021), and not Kiev.

Russian Success or Failure?
Convinced that the Russian offensive is aimed at Kiev, Western experts have quite logically concluded that (a) the Russians are stalling, and that (b) their offensive is doomed to failure because they will not be able to hold the country in the long term. The generals who have followed each other on French TV seem to have forgotten what even a second lieutenant comprehends well: “Know your enemy!”—not as one would like him to be, but as he is. With generals like that, we don’t need an enemy anymore.

That being said, the Western narrative about a Russian offensive that is bogged down, and whose successes are meager, is also part of the propaganda war waged by both sides. For example, the sequence of maps of operations, published by Libération from the end of February, shows almost no difference from one day to the next, until March 18th (when the media stopped updating it). Thus, on February 23rd, on France 5 [TV station], the journalist Élise Vincent evaluated the territory taken by the Russian coalition as the equivalent of Switzerland or the Netherlands. In reality, we are more in the area of Great Britain.

As an example, let us observe the difference between the map of the situation on March 25, 2022, as published by Ouest-France:

Ouest France 25 mars 2022
… and as published by the French Ministry of the Armed Forces:

20220325 UKR Sit Min Def FRA
In addition, it should be noted that Ukrainian forces do not appear on any map (presented in our media) of the conflict-situation. Thus, if the map of the French Ministry of Armed Forces gives a slightly more honest picture of reality, it also carefully avoids mentioning the Ukrainian forces encircled in the Kramatorsk cauldron.

In fact, the situational map, as of March 25, should look more like this:

25mars2022 assessment
The Situation as of March 25, 2022. [“Poussée principale”= main thrust;
“poussée secondaire”= secondary thrust]. The bone-shaped, blue area marks the location of the mass of the Ukrainian army (in reality, this “massed” Ukrainian army is split into several smaller cauldrons). The red-lined arrows show the overall offensive of the Russian army. The orange-lined arrows show the thrust of the Donbass forces. The red dotted line shows the maximum advance of Russian coalition forces.
Moreover, Ukrainian forces are never indicated on our maps, as this would show that they were not deployed on the Russian border in February 2022, but were regrouped in the south of the country, in preparation for their offensive, the initial phase of which began on February 16th. This confirms that Russia was only reacting to a situation initiated by the West, by way of the Ukraine, as we shall see. At present, it is these forces that are encircled in the Kramatorsk cauldron and are being methodically fragmented and neutralized, little by little, in an incremental way, by the Russian coalition.

The vagueness maintained in the West about the situation of the Ukrainian forces, has other effects. First, it maintains the illusion of a possible Ukrainian victory. Thus, instead of encouraging a negotiation process, the West seeks to prolong the war. This is why the European Union and some of its member countries have sent weapons and are encouraging the civilian population and volunteers of all kinds to go and fight, often without training and without any real command structure—with deadly consequences.

We know that in a conflict, each party tends to inform in order to give a favorable image of its actions. However, the image we have of the situation and of the Ukrainian forces is based exclusively on data provided by Kiev. It masks the profound deficiencies of the Ukrainian leadership, even though it was trained and advised by NATO military.

Thus, military logic would have the forces caught in the Kramatorsk cauldron withdraw to a line at the Dnieper, for example, in order to regroup and conduct a counteroffensive. But they were forbidden to withdraw by President Zelensky. Even back in 2014 and 2015, a close examination of the operations showed that the Ukrainians were applying “Western-style” schemes, totally unsuited to the circumstances, and in the face of a more imaginative, more flexible opponent who possessed lighter leadership structures. It is the same phenomenon today.

In the end, the partial view of the battlefield given to us by our media has made it impossible for the West to help the Ukrainian general staff make the right decisions. And it has led the West to believe that the obvious strategic objective is Kiev; that “demilitarization” is aimed at the Ukraine’s membership in NATO; and that “denazification” is aimed at toppling Zelensky. This legend was fueled by Vladimir Putin’s appeal to the Ukrainian military to disobey, which was interpreted (with great imagination and bias) as a call to overthrow the government. However, this appeal was aimed at the Ukrainian forces deployed in the Donbass to surrender without fighting. The Western interpretation caused the Ukrainian government to misjudge Russian objectives and misuse its potential of winning.

You don’t win a war with bias—you lose it. And that’s what is happening. Thus, the Russian coalition was never “on the run” or “stopped” by heroic resistance—it simply did not attack where it was expected. We did not want to listen to what Vladimir Putin had explained to us very clearly. This is why the West has thus become—volens nolens—the main architect of the Ukrainian defeat that is taking shape. Paradoxically, it is probably because of our self-proclaimed “experts” and recreational strategists on our television sets that the Ukraine is in this situation today.

The Conduct of Battle
As for the course of operations, the analyses presented in our media come most often from politicians or so-called military experts, who relay Ukrainian propaganda.

Let’s be clear. A war, whatever else it is, is drama. The problem here is that our strategists in neckties are clearly trying to overdramatize the situation in order to exclude any negotiated solution. This development, however, is prompting some Western military personnel to speak out and offer a more nuanced judgment. Thus, in Newsweek, an analyst from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the American equivalent of the Direction du Renseignement Militaire (DRM) in France, noted that “in 24 days of conflict, Russia has carried out some 1,400 strikes and launched nearly 1,000 missiles (by way of comparison, the United States carried out more strikes and launched more missiles on the first day of the Iraq war in 2003).”

While the West likes to “soften up” the battlefield with intensive and prolonged strikes, before sending in ground-troops, the Russians prefer a less destructive, but more troop-intensive approach. On France 5, the journalist Mélanie Tarvant presented the death of Russian generals on the battlefield as proof of the destabilization of the Russian army. But this is a profound misunderstanding of the traditions and modes of operation of the Russian army. Whereas in the West, commanders tend to lead from the rear, their Russian counterparts tend to lead from the front—in the West they say, “Forward!” In Russia, they say, “Follow me!” This explains the high losses in the upper echelons of command, already observed in Afghanistan—but it also tells of the much more rigorous selection of staff-personnel than in the West.

Furthermore, the DIA analyst noted that “the vast majority of the airstrikes are over the battlefield, with Russian aircraft providing ‘close air support’ to ground forces. The remainder—less than 20 percent, according to U.S. experts—has been aimed at military airfields, barracks and supporting depots.” Thus, the phrase “indiscriminate bombing [that] is devastating cities and killing everyone” echoed by the Western media seems to contradict the U.S. intelligence expert, who said, “If we merely convince ourselves that Russia is bombing indiscriminately, or [that] it is failing to inflict more harm because its personnel are not up to the task or because it is technically inept, then we are not seeing the real conflict.”

In fact, Russian operations differ fundamentally from the Western concept of the same. The West’s obsession with having no fatalities in their own forces leads them to operations that are primarily in the form of very lethal air strikes. Ground troops only intervene when everything has been destroyed. This is why, in Afghanistan or in the Sahel, Westerners killed more civilians than terrorists did. This is why Western countries engaged in Afghanistan, the Middle East and North Africa no longer publish the number of civilian casualties caused by their strikes. In fact, Europeans engaged in regions that only marginally affect their national security, such as the Estonians in the Sahel, go there just to “get their feet wet.”

In the Ukraine, the situation is very different. One only has to look at a map of linguistic zones to see that the Russian coalition operates almost exclusively in the Russian-speaking zone; thus, among populations that are generally favorable to it. This also explains the statements of a US Air Force officer: “I know that the news keeps repeating that Putin is targeting civilians, but there is no evidence that Russia is intentionally doing so.”

Conversely, it is for the same reason—but in a different way—that the Ukraine has deployed its ultra-nationalist paramilitary fighters in major cities, such as Mariupol or Kharkov—without emotional or cultural ties to the local population, these militias can fight even at the cost of heavy civilian casualties. The atrocities that are currently being uncovered remain hidden by the French-speaking media, for fear of losing support for the Ukraine, as noted by media close to the Republicans in the United States.

After “decapitation” strikes in the first minutes of the offensive, the Russian operational strategy was to bypass the urban centers, and to envelop the Ukrainian army, “pinned down” by the forces of the Donbass republics. It is important to remember that the “decapitation” is not intended to annihilate the general staff or the government (as our “experts” tend to understand it), but to sunder the leadership structures so as to prevent the coordinated maneuver of forces. On the contrary, the aim is to preserve the leadership structures themselves in order to be able to negotiate a way out of the crisis.

On March 25, 2022, after having sealed the cauldron of Kramatorsk which denied any possibility of retreat to the Ukrainians and having taken most of the cities of Kharkov and Marioupol, Russia has practically fulfilled its objectives—all that remains is to concentrate its efforts on reducing the pockets of resistance. Thus, contrary to what the Western press has claimed, this is not a reorientation or a resizing of its offensive, but the methodical implementation of the objectives announced on February 24.

The Role of the Volunteers
A particularly disturbing aspect of this conflict is the attitude of European governments that allow or encourage their citizens to go and fight in the Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelensky’s call to join the International Legion for the Territorial Defense of Ukraine, which he recently created, has been greeted with enthusiasm by European countries.

Encouraged by the media that present a routed Russian army, many of these young people head off, imagining they are going—literally—on a hunting trip. However, once there, disillusionment is high. Testimonies show that these “amateurs” often end up as “cannon fodder,” without having any real impact on the outcome of the conflict. The experience of recent conflicts shows that the arrival of foreign fighters brings nothing to a conflict, except to increase its duration and lethality.

Moreover, the arrival of several hundred Islamist fighters from the Idlib region, an area under the control and protection of the Western coalition in Syria (and also the area in which two Islamic State leaders were killed by the Americans) should arouse our concern. Indeed, the weapons we are very liberally supplying to the Ukraine are already partly in the hands of criminal individuals and organizations and are already beginning to pose a security problem for the authorities in Kiev. Not to mention the fact that the weapons that are being touted as effective against Russian aircraft could eventually threaten our military and civilian aircraft.

The volunteer proudly presented by the RTBF on the 7:30 p.m. news of March 8, 2022 was an admirer of the “Corps Franc Wallonie,” Belgian volunteers who served the Third Reich; and he illustrates the type of people attracted to the Ukraine. In the end, we will have to ask ourselves, who gained the most—[in this case] Belgium or the Ukraine?

Distributing weapons indiscriminately could well make the EU—volens nolens—a supporter of extremism and even international terrorism. The result—we are adding misery to misery, in order to satisfy the European elites more than the Ukraine itself.

Three Points Deserve to be Highlighted by Way of Conclusion
1. Western Intelligence, Ignored by Policymakers
Military documents found in Ukrainian headquarters in the south of the country confirm that the Ukraine was preparing to attack the Donbass; and that the firing observed by OSCE observers as early as February 16 heralded an imminent outbreak in days or weeks.

Here, some introspection is necessary for the West—either its intelligence services did not see what was happening and they are thus very bad, or the political decision-makers chose not to listen to them. We know that Russian intelligence services have far superior analytical capabilities than their Western counterparts. We also know that the American and German intelligence services had very well understood the situation, since the end of 2021, and knew that the Ukraine was preparing to attack the Donbass.

This allows us to deduce that the American and European political leaders deliberately pushed the Ukraine into a conflict that they knew was lost in advance—for the sole purpose of dealing a political blow to Russia.

The reason Zelensky did not deploy his forces to the Russian border, and repeatedly stated that his large neighbor would not attack him, was presumably because he thought he was relying on Western deterrence. This is what he told CNN on March 20th—he was clearly told that the Ukraine would not be part of NATO, but that publicly they would say the opposite. The Ukraine was thus instrumentalized to affect Russia. The objective was the closure of the North Stream 2 gas pipeline, announced on February 8th, by Joe Biden, during the visit of Olaf Scholz; and which was followed by a barrage of sanctions.

2. Broken Diplomacy
Clearly, since the end of 2021, no effort has been made by the West to reactivate the Minsk agreements, as evidenced by the reports of visits and telephone conversations, notably between Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin. However, France, as guarantor of the Minsk Agreements, and as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, has not respected its commitments, which has led to the situation that the Ukraine is experiencing today. There is even a feeling that the West has sought to add fuel to the fire since 2014.

Thus, Vladimir Putin’s placing of nuclear forces on alert on February 27 was presented by our media and politicians as an irrational act or blackmail. What is forgotten is that it followed the thinly veiled threat made by Jean-Yves Le Drian, three days earlier, that NATO could use nuclear weapons. It is very likely that Putin did not take this “threat” seriously, but wanted to push Western countries—and France in particular—to abandon the use of excessive language.

3. The Vulnerability of Europeans to Manipulation is Increasing
Today, the perception propagated by our media is that the Russian offensive has broken down; that Vladimir Putin is crazy, irrational and therefore ready to do anything to break the deadlock in which he supposedly finds himself. In this totally emotional context, the question asked by Republican Senator Marco Rubio during Victoria Nuland’s hearing before Congress was strange, to say the least: “If there is a biological or chemical weapon incident or attack inside the Ukraine, is there any doubt in your mind that 100% it would be the Russians behind it?” Naturally, she answered that there is no doubt. Yet there is absolutely no indication that the Russians are using such weapons. Besides, the Russians finished destroying their stockpiles in 2017, while the Americans have not yet destroyed theirs.

Perhaps this means nothing. But in the current atmosphere, all the conditions are now met for an incident to happen that would push the West to become more involved, in some form, in the Ukrainian conflict (a “false-flag” incident).

About the author
By Jacques Baud French Intelligence Research Center
By Jacques Baud / French Intelligence Research Center
Jacques Baud is a former colonel of the General Staff, ex-member of the Swiss strategic intelligence, specialist on Eastern countries. He was trained in the American and British intelligence services. He has served as Policy Chief for United Nations Peace Operations. As a UN expert on rule of law and security institutions, he designed and led the first multidimensional UN intelligence unit in the Sudan. He has worked for the African Union and was for 5 years responsible for the fight, at NATO, against the proliferation of small arms. He was involved in discussions with the highest Russian military and intelligence officials just after the fall of the USSR. Within NATO, he followed the 2014 Ukrainian crisis and later participated in programs to assist the Ukraine. He is the author of several books on intelligence, war and terrorism, in particular Le Détournement published by SIGEST, Gouverner par les fake news, L’affaire Navalny. His latest book is Poutine, maître du jeu? published by Max Milo.

This article appears through the gracious courtesy of Centre Français de Recherche sur le Renseignement, Paris.

3
Ukraine Beyond Day 100 - Breaking Resistance, Deep Operation, A New Country
Moon of Alabama

June 4, 2022


   Colonel Markus Reisner of the Austrian Army presents the current state (vid) of the war.

Two of the facts he mentions were new to me.

The Ukrainian army has moved seven brigades of its Territorial Defense Forces from the west into the area east of the Dnieper. If these were fully maned each will have had some 3,000 soldiers. That are a lot of troops but they are pure infantry without heavy weapons and with extremely little training. Col. Reisner also showed a collection of 15 videos in which members of such and other units describe hopeless situations, declare a retreat or call out their commanders for neglect.

Morale is so bad because those troops do not fare well.

Yves Smith, with a wonderful Daily Mail style headline:

The War Situation Has Developed Not Necessarily to Ukraine's or the West's Advantage But They Plan to Negotiate When They've Turned Things Around a Bit - Yves Smith / Naked Capitalism

A very long established contact forwarded this message from a former senior US military official:

Just in from an Army Colonel in the building: "Spoke to someone today who said that the Ukie basic training is 10 days and then off to the front. 65% casualty rates. At least double or more the losses of the Russians but you don't hear anything about it."

I very much doubt that Russian units, the way they are currently fighting, have casualty rates of more than 10%. Russia is regularly rotating units in and out to give them some rest and to let them replenish. It is a classic Russian artillery war now and infantry only comes in when the Ukrainians are already defeated.

As this permanent grinding continues the Ukrainians will soon reach a breaking point.

Why Has Germany Been So Slow to Deliver Weapons? - Spiegel

The Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's foreign intelligence agency, fears that Ukrainian resistance could even be broken in the next four to five weeks. In a number of classified briefings in recent days, BND analysts have noted that while the Russians are moving much more slowly than they did at the beginning of the war, they are able to conquer small bits of territory each day. The BND thinks it possible that Putin's troops could bring all of the Donbas under their control by August.

In a German language interview Col. Reisner explains what that 'breaking' of Ukrainian resistance would mean (my translation):

"Four mobile rocket systems, that's pure symbolic." - Jun 4 2022 - N-tv

Q: You spoke of a chain reaction that could develop on the Ukrainian side.

A: The danger is that general panic will break out in the pocket and the soldiers will try to retreat to a favorable line that is easier to hold. If this is done in an orderly manner, that would be a line east of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. But if panic breaks out, that last line could be much deeper, at the Dnieper.

That moment would allow for a Russian 'deep operation' in which a second echelon of fresh Russian troops would break deep into the rear of the Ukrainian army on the west side of the Dnieper, wreak Ukrainian supply lines and chase down remaining resistance.

Some grown-ups recognize what is up.

Calls increase for ending conflict as Russia-Ukraine crisis hits 100th day - China Daily

Jeffrey Sachs, a professor at Columbia University who served as an adviser to three United Nations secretaries-general, said that "it is in Ukraine's interest to return to the negotiating table, which it has refused to do since late March".

"I believe that the US should recognize that it acted irresponsibly in pushing for NATO enlargement into Ukraine and Georgia," he told China Daily.

The unpalatable truth in Ukraine - Andrew Latham / The Hill

[T]hat leaves only one other conceivable outcome: a fragmented and partly dismembered Ukraine, neither fully part of the West nor entirely within the Russian sphere of influence. A Ukraine fragmented in that the whole of the Donbas and perhaps other territories will be left beyond Kyiv's control; partly dismembered in that Crimea will remain part of Russia (at least in Russian eyes); and not fully part of the West in that it will not be free to join NATO or even to have a meaningful partnership with the EU. Simply put, this outcome is not only not impossible, it's not even improbable.

How the war will end - June 3 2022 - Gilbert Doctorow

To be specific, from the very beginning the number one issue for Moscow as it entered upon its military adventure in Ukraine was geopolitical: to ensure that Ukraine will never again be used as a platform to threaten Russian state security, that Ukraine will never become a NATO member. We may safely assume that internationally guaranteed and supervised neutrality of Ukraine will be part of any peace settlement. It would be nicely supported by a new reality on the ground: namely by carving out several Russia-friendly and Russia-dependent mini-states on the former territory of East and South Ukraine. At the same time this solution removes from the international political agenda many of the accusations that have been made against Russia which support the vicious sanctions now being applied to the RF at great cost to Europe and to the world at large:there will be no territorial acquisitions.

If Kiev is compelled to acknowledge the independence of these two, three or more former oblasts as demanded by their populations, that is a situation fully compatible with the United Nations Charter. In a word, a decision by the Kremlin not to annex parts of Ukraine beyond the Crimea, which has long been quietly accepted by many in Europe, would prepare the way for a gradual return of civilized relations within Europe and even, eventually, with the United States

Welcome on board Gilbert:

Disarming Ukraine - Feb 24 2022 - Moon of Alabama

Looking at this map I believe that the most advantageous end state for Russia would be the creation of a new independent country, call it Novorussiya, on the land east of the Dnieper and south along the coast that holds a majority ethnic Russian population and that, in 1922, had been attached to the Ukraine by Lenin. That state would be politically, culturally and militarily aligned with Russia.

For economic reasons I later added a bit to that:

Novorossiya roughly includes the red and yellow areas in the above map. It also includes the valuable Soviet developed iron ore mines and factories of Kryvyi Rih west of the Dnieper river.

Iron ore from Kryvyi Rih, coal from Donbas, oil and gas from the eastern coast and the port of Mariupol together constitute the heavy industry that was the economic heart of Ukraine. Together they would constitute a viable and even well off country with 80+% of the GDP Ukraine previously had.

Russia can now afford go slow with this project. Time is on its side. Oil and gas prices are up. For Russia the war is monetarily neutral to profitable. The 'west' is already disunited. As the result of its sanctions on Russia its economies will slip into stagflation with social unrest just around the corner

Over time the urge for lifting the self-defeating sanctions will only increase the west's acceptance of Russia's solution to its NATO problem.





4
The political system of Ukraine is 50 shades of brown
First Deputy Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Yuri Afonin

May 24, 2022


   The West encourages Nazism in Ukraine, stubbornly pretending that there is no Nazism there, says First Deputy Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Yuri AfoninThe West does not take into account even such an obvious sign of fascism as the ban on communist parties, said Yuri Afonin, speaking on the TV channel "Russia 1". He noted that since May 16, the activities of the Communist Party have been completely banned in Ukraine (in 2015, its activities were suspended, the courts continued for seven years). The activities of almost all opposition parties are banned in the country. Among them are the Opposition Platform for Life, as well as all the parties whose name contains the word "socialist", "left", "socialism", "socialists".

"There are simply no legal political forces opposing fascism left in Ukraine, and today its political system is 50 shades of brown," said the first deputy chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.

Now the West is actively discussing the topic of exporting grain from Ukraine: they say, the EU will help Ukrainians sell surpluses in order to free up storage for a new harvest. We are talking about 25 million tons of export grain, blocked due to hostilities and the closure of the Black Sea ports. With the outlines of a food crisis in the world already emerging, the UN is calling on Russia to allow the export of Ukrainian grain "to save millions of people." Yuriy Vyacheslavovich noted that this story smacks of cynicism – as if Ukrainians in the West have already been written off altogether. 25 million tons is more than a third of the 2021 harvest. What will happen to Ukraine if this grain is exported? After all, there will be no normal sowing this year. Somewhere there are hostilities, somewhere the fields are mined, almost all the fuel is taken by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. At best, it will be possible to grow a third of last year's harvest – and then, together with those "surpluses", there will only be enough for the needs of Ukraine itself to avoid famine. And against this background, Europe wants to completely clear Ukrainian storage facilities of grain. Under the pretext that this grain, allegedly, will go to the aid of those who are threatened by hunger in the third world.

Hunger really threatens hundreds of millions of people, said Yuri Afonin. And the main reason is the total economic war that the West has unleashed against Russia. After all, the largest wheat exporter in the world is Russia, not Ukraine. However, under capitalism, Ukrainian grain will go not to Africans, but to richer Europeans. Because food prices are rising sharply, and it will go to those who can pay more for it – the richest countries. All this clearly proves that the West in its war with Russia prepared Ukraine for the role of a victim, and all its sympathy for the Ukrainians is ostentatious and fake.

But we must understand, Yuri Vyacheslavovich emphasized: we are fighting not with Ukraine and not with Ukrainians, but with Nazism. And we are fighting against those who nurtured Ukrainian Nazism and turned it into a weapon against Russia. He spoke about a photo he saw in social networks: somewhere in Europe, on the edge of the field there is a trailer from a tractor, on it is a large banner in English: "Russia stopped Napoleon. Russia stopped Hitler. Russia, please stop America!"

"This cry of the soul of ordinary Europeans is quite understandable: the European elites are losing all independence before our eyes and dancing to the American tune. Europe under the leadership of the United States is plunging into chaos, crises and turbulence are waiting for it," Yuri Afonin emphasized.





5
For Your Information / Re: Donetsk News Agency reports
« on: June 05, 2022, 10:18:23 AM »

   Ukraine uses extrajudicial detentions playing by the US, British book
Donetsk News Agency

June 3, 2022


   Donetsk, Jun 3 - DAN. Ukrainian authorities use US and British methods when illegally apprehend its citizens, the DPR Ombudswoman Daria Morozova said.

"Today we invited you to shed light on flagrant crimes of Ukrainian special services," she said, addressing a press conference at the DAN news agency.

"Since the beginning of the special operation, we have been receiving information on kidnapping of relatives of the DPR service members and public officials, and their confinement to special jails," Morozova said. According to available information, Ukrainian security forces use unlawful methods of investigation.

"The usage of extrajudicial detentions is within the US and British methodology," she added.

She said that according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner, from April 2014 to April 2022, up to 4,000 people were arbitrarily detained due to the conflict in Donbass. At the same time, 60 pc of these detentions are illegal.


6

   Why Is It So Hard to Finnish Nazism? NATO's Growing Suicide Pact Threatens to Light the World on Fire
Matthew Ehret, Internatinalist 360

June 3, 2022


   The decision recently expressed by the Finnish and Swedish governments to join NATO's collective suicide pact shouldn't come as a huge surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to the growth of Nazism over the past 77 years.

Not only is this growth taking the form of a renewal of swastika-tattooed, black sun of the occult loving, wolfsangel-wearing Azov, C14, Svoboda and Aidar neo-Nazis in Ukraine today, but a whole re-writing of WWII history which has taken an accelerated dive into unreality during the 30 years since the Soviet Union collapsed.

Across the spectrum of post Warsaw Pact members absorbed into NATO such as Lithuania, Estonia, Albania, Slovakia, and Latvia, Nazi collaborators of WWII have been glorified with statues, public plaques, monuments, and even schools, parks and streets named after Nazis. Celebrating Nazi collaborators while tearing down pro-Soviet monuments has nearly become a pre-condition for any nation wishing to join NATO.

In Estonia, which joined NATO in 2004, the defense ministry-funded Erna Society has celebrated the Nazi Erna Saboteur group that worked with the Waffen SS in WWII with the Erna advance Guard being raised to official national heroes. In Albania, Prime Minister Edi Rama rehabilitated Nazi collaborator Midhat Frasheri, who deported thousands of Kosovo Jews to death camps.

In Lithuania, the pro-Nazi Lithuanian Activist Front leader Juozas Luk a who carried out atrocities in Kaunas was honored as a national hero by an act of Parliament which passed a resolution dubbing "the year 2021 as the year of Juozas Luksa-Daumantas". In Slovakia, the ‘Our Slovakia Peoples Party' led by neo-Nazi Marián Kotleba moved from the fringe to mainstream wining 10% of parliamentary seats in 2019.

Nazi Skeletons in Finland and Sweden's Closets

While Finland likes to celebrate the fact that their 1941-1944 war with Russia had nothing to do with WWII, but was simply a defensive alliance with Germany against the evil Soviet Union, and while Sweden likes to celebrate the fact that it remained neutral during WWII, the facts tell a very different story.

Not only did both nations play aggressive roles in the war against the Soviet Union during Operation Barbarossa and beyond, but both nations also provided vast loans and other economic support from 1940 until 1945.

On a purely military level, "neutral" Sweden led by King Gustav V and Social Democrat Prime Minister Per Albin Hannson ensured that their territories were made available to the Nazis during the Battle of Narvik in 1940 that resulted in the fall of Norway. When Operation Barbarossa was launched a year later, Germany was permitted to use Swedish territory, rail and communication networks to invade the Soviet Union via Finland. German soldiers and battle equipment were carried from Oslo to Haparanda in Northern Sweden in preparation for assaults on Russia.

On the economic front, 37% of Swedish exports throughout the war went to Germany which included 10 million tons of iron ore per year, as well as the largest production of ball bearings vital for the Nazi war machine which were exported via harbors in Nazi-occupied Norway. The pro-fascist von Rosen family played one of the most instrumental roles in promoting Nazi ideology in Sweden with Eric von Rosen co-founding the National Socialist Party of Sweden and providing access to the upper crust of Swedish nobility to the German high command during the 1920s-1930s.

Additionally, Count Hugo von Rosen acted as director of the U.S. branch of the Swedish Enskilda Bank and SKF Bearing which managed the flow of funds and ball bearings (made in Philadelphia) to the Wehrmacht throughout the war.

Historian Douglas Macdonald wrote: "SKF's ball bearings were absolutely essential to the Nazis. The Luftwaffe could not fly without ball bearings, and tanks and armored cars could not roll without them. Nazi guns, bombsights, generators and engines, ventilating systems, U-boats, railroads, mining machinery and communications devices could not work without ball bearings. In fact, the Nazis could not have fought the Second World War if Wallenberg's SKF had not supplied them with all the ball bearings that they needed".

Hugo was Goering's second cousin by marriage and his cousin Eric will play an important role in this story shortly.

Finland's Nazi Heritage Reviewed

Unlike Sweden, Finland never tried to feign neutrality, and in that sense can at least be applauded for avoiding the hypocrisy of their Swedish cousins. Sharing a 1340 km border with Russia which includes an area within 40 km of striking distance from today's St Petersburg, Finland was a high value piece of real estate for the Nazis.

During the war, 8000 Finnish soldiers fought directly alongside the Nazis against the Russians, with many serving in Nazi SS Panzer divisions between 1941-1943. A scandalous 248 page report published by the Finnish government in 2019 revealed that no less than 1408 Finnish volunteers served directly in SS Panzer division carrying out mass atrocities including the extermination of Jews and other war crimes.

The cause of Finland's alliance with the Nazis during the war is also much darker than sanitized history books let on.

Soviet leaders had been watching the buildup of the Nazi war machine heading towards Russia like a slow-motion train collision from the moment the 1938 Munich Agreement was reached that saw the destruction of Czechoslovakia and the growth of a Frankenstein Monster in the heart of Europe.

In his brilliant ‘The Shocking Truth About the 1938 Munich Agreement', Alex Krainer demonstrates that British secret diplomacy ensured that from Hitler's takeover of Austria to the invasion of Poland in September 1939, Britain's appeasement policy merely feigned opposition to Nazism while actually facilitating its unrelenting growth as a Frankenstein monster in the heart of Europe.

The Race to Secure the Heartland and Finland's Nazi Turn

Knowing that an assault was inevitable, Russia signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in August 1939 to bide time while attempting to establish a buffer zone between the expansionist Nazi regime and herself.

During this small window, a race was on to consolidate spheres of interest with Russia acting defensively to secure her soft underbelly before the inevitable hot war was launched. Germany meanwhile raced to bring on the heat with military operations that spread the Reich across Europe.

Russia won several important strategic diplomatic victories by signing mutual assistance pacts with Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. However, Finland, under the control of Field Marshal Carl Gustaf Mannerheim and Prime Minister Risto Ryti rejected Russia's offer.

In the aborted Russia-Finnish Mutual Security Treaty, Russia offered to cede South Karelia in the north in exchange for the Soviet border moving westward on the Karelian Isthmus and permission to station Russian bases in Finland. The pro-German government of Ryti and Mannerheim had publicly been cozying up to the Germans during the 1930s and much of Finland's aristocracy had entertained delusional visions of expansionism along with their Swedish pro-Nazi counterparts believing that a major part of northwestern Russia called East Karelia apparently contained a "pure" Nordic people untainted by both Slavic and Scandinavian blood. Caption: A World War 2 era map showcasing the most radical version of ‘Greater Finland' ideology that saw much of North Russian territory rightfully belonging to Finland

Finland's rejection of the cooperation agreement resulted in Russia's November 1939 decision to invade resulting in the loss of 20,000 Finnish soldiers, 11% of her territory representing 1/3 of her economic potential and a burnt ego. This four month "Winter War" ended by March 1940 with a reduced and humiliated Finland aching for revenge.

Field Marshall Mannerheim and PM Ryti were devout believers in the ‘greater Finland' myth with Mannerheim proclaiming loudly to his soldiers on the eve of Finland's agreement to join hands with the Nazis that "in 1918 during the war of liberation [against Russia], I stated to the Finnish and Vienna Karelians that I would not set my sword in my scabbard before Finland and East Karelia would be free". This speech made it difficult to maintain the notion that Finland's alliance with the Nazis was simply ‘defensive'.

Although it is commonly claimed by revisionist historians that Herman Goring sent a personal messenger to Helsinki asking for permission to use Finland's territory in exchange for weapons and support in August 1940, the 1945 deposition of SS Colonel Horst Kitschmann – who was privy to these exchanges, testified that it was Mannerheim himself who was the first to contact Goring suggesting this arrangement be made.

Documented in Henrik Lunde's ‘Finland's War of Choice' Kitschmann testified: "In the course of these conversations von Albedill [German major on the attaché staff who briefed Kitschmann] told me that as early as September, 1940, Major General Roessing, acting on an order of Hitler and of the German General Staff, had arranged the visit of Major General Talwel, the Plenipotentiary of Marshal Mannerheim, to the Führer's headquarters in Berlin. During this visit an agreement was reached between the German and Finnish General Staffs for joint preparations for a war of aggression, and its execution, against the Soviet Union. In this connection General Talwel told me, during a conference at his staff headquarters in Aunosa in November, 1941, that he, acting on Marshal Mannerheim's personal orders, had as far back as September, 1940—been one of the first to contact the German High Command with a view to joint preparation for a German and Finnish attack on the Soviet Union."

In September 1940, a secret Finnish-German transit treaty was approved and the trainwreck that was Barbarossa was put into motion.

On June 16, 1941 Mannerheim called upon 16% of the Finnish population to fight alongside the Wehrmacht in preparation for this onslaught.

When Barbarossa was officially launched on June 22, 1941, there were 400,000 Finnish and German troops in Finland, as Finnish airfields were given over to Nazi bombers. Mannerheim's pact with the devil resulted in early wins as his dream of a "Greater Finland" had finally come alive with vast territories from Murmansk to Lake Onegia falling to Finnish occupation throughout 1941-1944. During this time ethnic Russians and Jews in Finland were sent to forced labor camps where many were exterminated.

The 2019 Finnish report stated: "The subunits and men of SS division Wiking engaged during the march into the Soviet Union and the drive through Ukraine and the Caucasus were involved in numerous atrocities The diaries and recollections by the Finnish volunteers show that practically everyone among them must, from the very beginning have been aware of the atrocities and massacres".

As the Finnish SS Wiking Division advanced via west Ukraine between July-August 1941, over 10,000 civilians were killed in Lviv and Zhytomyr and over 600,000 more were killed in the region from the start of Barbarossa until March 1942.

The Strange Case of Finland's Enduring Swastika

A word must now be said about Finland's peculiar official air force logo created in 1919, and which lasted until 2020 when the logo was retired from planes, flags and uniforms (although still maintained on the walls of the air force academy).

Here, I am referring of course to the strange swastika that a post-1945 Finland did not think wise to remove from its military planes or uniforms despite the downfall of their Nazi allies.

Sanitized history books are quick to dispel this anomalous century-long fetish with the swastika as a total coincidence having nothing to do with the Nazis due to the fact that the Nazi party adopted the symbol a full year after the Finnish government. However, as most of our official historical narratives, this one also crumbles to pieces upon the slightest application of pressure.

As the story goes, Sweden's Count Eric von Rosen of Sweden bequeathed to Finland's White Army the gift of a Thulin Type D aircraft decorated with swastikas in 1918 which established the Finnish air force with the swastika becoming its official logo. Since von Rosen had already been using the swastika as his personal emblem since first seeing it on ancient runes while in high school, it is concluded that the Finnish military swastikas and their Nazi counterparts could have no connection what-so-ever.

This claim completely ignores the fact that both von Rosen brothers Eric and Clarence were leading nobles who proudly championed the Nazi cause, sponsored Swedish eugenics via the Swedish Institute of Racial biology at Uppsala University (c. 1922), lobbied for sterilization laws, and introduced Hitler to the upper crust of Sweden's elite. In 1933, Eric von Rosen became a founding member of the Nationalsocialistiska Blocket (aka: "The National Socialist Party of Sweden").

The vigorous support for the Nazis (which included the von Rosen's influence over Sweden's Enskilda Bank and SKF) also changes how we must interpret the close relationship which both Clarence, Eric and Hugo von Rosen enjoyed with their brother-in-law Hermann Goring who had worked as personal pilot for Eric von Rosen after WWI.

It was during an extended stay at von Rosen's Rockelstad Castle in 1920 that Goring was first introduced to 1) von Rosen's swastikas which decorated the castle and adjacent hunting lodge, 2) von Rosen's passion for nature conservation which Goring shared, later becoming the first Nazi Reich minister of forestry and conservationism in the 1930s and 3) Eric von Rosen's sister-in-law Carin von Kantzow who soon became Goring's wife and dubbed by Hitler "First Lady of the Nazi Party".

Caption; Picture of Birgitta, Mary, Hermann Göring and Eric von Rosen at Rockelstad in Sweden 1933

Eric and Clarence von Rosen had been followers of an occult sect called Ariosophism, led by a mystic rune-obsessed poet named Guido von List who simply took Madame Blavatsky's theosophy and infused an Aryan racial superiority twist with a heightened focus on Wotan myths. In this sect, the swastika and other rune symbols like the Othala rune, Ehlaz/life rune, Sig runs (later used by SS), and wolfsangle were treated as sacred images endowed with magic power.

Guido von List had organized his sect into an inner and outer core with the "elect" learning a secret interpretation of the runes under an elite occult society called the High Armanen Order where von List himself served as Grand Master.

This racist occult Aryanism with its Theosophical aim to infuse Hindu and Buddhist mysticism into a new post-Christian age became an extremely popular phenomenon among the noble families of Europe during this period. The aim was to use a perverse interpretation of eastern spiritualism devoid of substance and create a new order premised on an "Age of Aquarius" which would supersede the obsolete "Age of Pisces" that represented the obsolete of reason exemplified by the likes of Socrates, Plato and Christ.

Out of the High Armanen Order soon grew another secret occult organization called the Thule Society which saw Rudolf Hess, Hans Frank, Hermann Goring, Karl Haushofer and Hitler's coach Dietrich Eckart as leading members.

An Uncomfortable Fact Must Now be Confronted

It is an uncomfortable fact of history that those same powers that gave rise to fascism were never punished at the Nuremburg Trials. Those Wall Street industrialists and financiers that supplied Germany with funding and supplies before and during the war were punished nor were the British financiers at the Bank of England who ensured that Nazi coffers would be replete with confiscated loot from Austria, Czechoslovakia or Poland.

The post-war age not only saw a vast re-organization of fascist killers in the form of the CIA/NATO managed Operation Gladio and we know that Allan Dulles directly oversaw the re-activation of Hitler's intelligence chief Reinhard Gehlen into the command structure of West German Intelligence along with his entire network. Ukrainian Nazis like Stefan Bandera and Mikola Lebed were promptly absorbed into this same apparatus with Bandera working with Gehlen from 1956 to his death in 1958 while Lebed was absorbed into American intelligence running a CIA front organization called Prolog.

As Cynthia Chung recently outlined in her Sleepwalking into Fascism that no less than ten high level former Nazis enjoyed vast power within NATO's command structure during the dark years of Operation Gladio. Cynthia writes: "From 1957 to 1983, NATO had at least one if not several high ranking "former" Nazis in full command of multiple departments within NATO The position of NATO Commander and Chief of Allied Forces Central Europe (CINCENT Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe – AFCENT) was a position that was filled SOLELY by "former" Nazis for 16 YEARS STRAIGHT, from 1967-1983."

During these years, not only did Gladio ‘stay behinds' arrange a stream of terrorism against the general population of Europe using nominally ‘Marxist' front groups or carrying out hits of high value targets like Dag Hammarskjold, Enrico Mattei, Aldo Moro or Alfred Herrhausen when needed. Statesmen who did not play by the rules of the Great Game were sadly not long for this world.

NATO's self-professed image as a harbinger of the ‘liberal rules based international order' is more than a little superficial when considering the Nazi-riddled alliances which many NATO-philes at the Atlantic Council may wish be forgotten. This history also should cause us to re-evaluate the true causes for the 1949 creation of NATO in the first place which served as a nail in the coffin for Franklin Roosevelt's vision of a U.S.-Russia-China alliance which he hoped would shape the post-WW2 age.

NATO's growth around Russia's perimeter since 1998, and the NATO-led mass atrocities of bombings in Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Libya should also be re-evaluated with this Nazi pedigree in mind.

Why did NATO post images of a Ukrainian soldier clearly brandishing a Thule-society black sun of the occult on her uniform in honor of ‘Women's' Day' this year? Why are active Ukrainian Nazis serving in Azov, and Aidar battalions systemically glossed over by NATO propaganda outlets or mainstream media despite the proven cases of mass atrocities in East Donbass since 2014? Why are Nazi movements seeing a vast revival across East European space- especially within countries that have come under the influence of NATO since the Soviet Union's collapse?

Is it possible that the war we thought the allies won in 1945 was merely a battle within a larger war for civilization whose outcome yet remains to be seen? Certainly patriots of Finland and Sweden should think very deeply about the dark traditions which risk being revived as they join into a new Operation Barbarossa in the 21st century.

The author recently delivered a presentation on this topic which can be viewed here.

Matthew Ehret is the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Patriot Review , and Senior Fellow at the American University in Moscow. He is author of the ‘Untold History of Canada' book series and Clash of the Two Americas trilogy. In 2019 he co-founded the Montreal-based Rising Tide Foundation .

7
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's comments on Antony Blinken's China Threat statement


Ministry Foreign Affairs, PRC

AFP: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called yesterday for vigorous competition with China to preserve the existing global order. He said that Beijing posed the most serious long-term challenge to the international order. I wonder if you have any comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: In his verbose speech, Secretary Blinken went to great length to spread disinformation, play up the so-called “China threat”, interfere in China’s internal affairs and smear China’s domestic and foreign policy. The sole purpose is to contain and suppress China’s development and maintain the US hegemony. China deplores and rejects this. I’d like to stress the following:

First, humanity is now living in a new era of connectivity, where all countries share a common future and their interests are closely intertwined. The pursuit of peace, development and win-win results is an unstoppable trend of the times. In the face of changes unseen in a century, we must stick together and promote solidarity and cooperation if we want to uphold world peace and stability, meet the challenge of COVID-19 and revitalize the global economy. The US sensationalization of the so-called “China threat” cannot solve its own problems, and will only lead the world to a dangerous abyss.

Second, the US side is completely confusing right and wrong when calling China “the most serious long-term challenge to the international order”. China was, is and will remain a defender of the international order. We uphold the UN-centered international system, the international order based on international law and the basic norms governing international relations underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. People with discerning eyes can easily see that the so-called “rules-based international order” claimed by the US is nothing but a set of “house rules” established by the US and a handful of other countries to maintain the so-called “order” led by the US. The US always puts its domestic law above international law, and cherry-picks international rules as it sees fit in a pragmatic way. This is the biggest source of instability in the international order. 

Third, peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom are the common values of humanity. Democracy and human rights have historical, specific and practical contexts. Countries can only explore suitable paths in light of national realities and people’s needs. There is no one-size-fits-all model. No country has the right to monopolize the definition of democracy and human rights, to lecture others on those issues, or to meddle in other countries’ internal affairs under the pretext of human rights. The US is running a huge deficit in democracy and human rights with its deplorable track record. Is it in a position to posture as a guardian of democracy and human rights and criticize other countries on these issues? 

Fourth, China advocates the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and holds that the future of the world should be decided by all countries together. Countries should build partnerships featuring equal treatment, consultation and mutual understanding. Major countries should take the lead in charting a new course of international engagement of dialogue and partnership rather than confrontation and alliance. Creating “small cliques” is reversing the course of history. Forging “small groups” is against the trend of history. The US creates the so-called “Indo-Pacific strategy” to rope in regional countries to encircle and contain China, and claims to “shape the strategic environment around Beijing”. This move to gang up on China will get no support and is doomed to fail.

Fifth, China’s diplomacy champions and practices the five principles of peaceful coexistence, stays committed to establishing and developing friendly and cooperative relations with all countries, calls for equality of all countries regardless of size, and opposes imposing one’s own will on others. The label of “coercive diplomacy” can by no means be pinned on China. The US is the inventor of and the synonym to “coercive diplomacy”. Those being coerced by the US could be big or small, close or distant, and friend or foe. The US obsession with bullying has brought deep sufferings to the international community. It is high time that the US worked on this bad habit.

Sixth, issues relating to Taiwan, Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet are purely China’s internal affairs. Resolving the Taiwan question and achieving complete national reunification is the shared aspiration and firm will of all the Chinese people. There is no room for any compromise. The US said that it does not support “Taiwan independence”, but it is not practicing what it says. The US has violated the political commitment it made to China time and again, trying to hollow out the one-China principle and embolden the “Taiwan independence” forces. It is such moves that attempt to change the status quo and constitute severe threats to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. The Xinjiang-related issues are essentially about fighting violent terrorism, extremism and separatism. The accusations of “genocide” and “forced labor” have long been proven lies of the century. The US is risking its own credibility by insisting on spreading those lies. Hong Kong is part of China. When implementing the policy of “people of Hong Kong administering Hong Kong”, the guiding document can only be China’s Constitution and the Basic Law of Hong Kong, not the Sino-British Joint Declaration. We urge the US to abide by basic norms governing international relations, stop using the above-mentioned issues to interfere in China’s internal affairs, and stop spreading lies and disinformation. We solemnly warn the US side not to underestimate the strong resolution, will and capability of the Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

Seventh, while talking about competition with China, the US is actually overstretching the concept of national security to impose illegal unilateral sanctions, exercise long-arm jurisdiction and seek decoupling and industrial chain breakage, which have gravely undermined the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises and deprived other countries of the right to development. This is by no means “responsible competition”, but rather unscrupulous suppression and containment. The key for the China-US relationship to walk out of the predicament is for the US side to abandon its mania for zero-sum games, give up its obsession with encircling and containing China and stop undermining China-US relations.

The China-US relationship is now at an important crossroads. Antagonism and confrontation or dialogue and cooperation? Mutual benefit and win-win cooperation or zero-sum game? The US side should make the right choices bearing in mind the common interests of people in both countries and the world. It needs to act on President Biden’s remarks that the US does not seek a new Cold War with China; it does not aim to change China’s system; the revitalization of its alliances is not targeted at China; the US does not support “Taiwan independence”; and it has no intention to seek a conflict with China. We have noted that Secretary Blinken said in his speech that the US is not looking for conflict or a new Cold War with China; it doesn’t seek to block China from its role as a major power, nor to stop China from growing its economy; and it wants to coexist peacefully with China. We are watching what the US will do. 

China Daily: Recently, some people in certain Western countries have been accusing China of “hoarding grains” in the international market. They demand more actions from China for global food security. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: The Chinese government always attaches great importance to the issue of food security. We follow a vision on food security that is centered on “self-sufficiency in grain supply and absolute security of staple grains”. The year 2021 marks the seventh consecutive year that China secured an annual grain production of over 1.3 trillion jin (650 million tonnes). China stands as the world’s largest grain producer and third largest grain exporter. We have the capability and confidence of being self-reliant in securing our own food supply. It is unnecessary for China to “hoard grains” in the international market. 

China has managed to feed one fifth of the world’s population with a quarter of the world’s total food production on less than 9% of the world’s arable land. This achievement is in itself a significant contribution to world food security. In the meantime, China has shown its responsibility as a major country and made positive contributions to ensuring global food security. Under the Global Development Initiative put forward by China, food security is one of the eight priority areas of cooperation. We will mobilize efforts from all parties across the globe to draw on each other’s advantages, and pool the strength for achieving all sustainable development goals including food security. China has always been an important strategic partner of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in South-South cooperation. In recent years, we have donated a total of $130 million to the FAO’s South-South Cooperation Programme. China has sent a large number of experts and technical personnel to countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and to Pacific Island Countries. China has donated the largest amount of fund, sent the most experts, and undertaken the most projects under the framework of the FAO’s South-South Cooperation Programme among all developing countries. Since the start of COVID-19, China has responded actively to the appeal of the UN and other international organizations by providing emergency food assistance to many countries. China’s contribution to stabilizing world food production and supply has been widely praised by the international community. 

Besides, China actively advocates reducing food loss and food waste. If the world can reduce food loss by one percentage point, we can save up to 28 million tonnes of food that is enough to feed 70 million people. President Xi Jinping has stressed the importance of food conservation on many occasions. In 2021, China held the International Conference on Food Loss and Waste, which received warm response from the international community including G20 member states. 

We are sad to see that in many developing countries with food shortage, people don’t have enough to eat while in some developed countries, food often goes uneaten and gets dumped in the trash can. The amount of food wasted in developed countries each year is nearly as much as the sum of food produced in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the US Department of Agriculture, food waste is estimated at between 30-40% of the food supply in the US. In 2018, food waste in the US totaled 103 million tons, with an approximate value of $161 billion.

We urge relevant countries to reduce food waste, fulfill their due international obligations and shoulder more international responsibilities. Instead of racking their brains to make an issue of other countries, they should do their own homework well, take earnest efforts to save food, maintain the steady operation of international trade in agricultural products and help developing countries improve the capacity of food production in order to uphold global food security. 

The more difficult the situation is, the more important it is for us to enhance solidarity. At a time when the international food supply chain is coming under impact, we call on all countries to shoulder common responsibility. We should increase food supply by stabilizing production, reducing food loss and ensuring smooth supply, and at the same time reduce food loss and food waste and make earnest efforts in food conservation in order to safeguard global food security. 

Kyodo News: According to reports, cargo trains carrying medical supplies entered the DPRK from Dandong, China on Thursday night. Can you confirm this?

Wang Wenbin: I am not aware of the information you mentioned. 

Bloomberg: Just on the speech by Antony Blinken. You mentioned that Blinken was spreading disinformation. I wonder if you could elaborate a little bit about that in terms of specific examples or what exactly you were referring to when you mentioned spreading disinformation. And also secondly, you said that China is watching what the US will do. Could you give some specific examples in terms of Taiwan, for example? What will you be looking at? What sort of areas will you be looking at?

Wang Wenbin: Let me start with your first question. You asked me to give you an example of what Secretary Blinken said was disinformation. Here is a typical example. Secretary Blinken said that China poses “the most serious long-term challenge to the international order”. This is a classic piece of disinformation. 

International rules and order have been clearly defined. China has always maintained that all countries should firmly uphold the international system with the UN at its core, international order underpinned by international law, and basic norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. China has always been a staunch defender of the international order. Secretary Blinken said that China poses “the most serious long-term challenge to the international order”. What will you call it if not disinformation? 

We urge the US side to follow China’s example and make a clear statement that it firmly upholds the international system with the UN at its core, international order underpinned by international law, and basic norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, instead of smearing and attacking others.

As to your second question, I made clear China’s position just now. We urge the US to bear in mind the common interests of people in both countries and the world. It should act on President Biden’s remarks that the US does not seek a new Cold War with China; it does not aim to change China’s system; the revitalization of its alliances is not targeted at China; the US does not support “Taiwan independence”; and it has no intention to seek a conflict with China. The US should work with China to find a way for our two major countries to get along with peaceful coexistence, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.

8

Death by a Thousand Cuts: Where Is the West’s Ukraine Strategy?
May 18, 2022
© Photo: Flickr/manhhai

The pounding, daily western narratives on ‘Ukrainian wins’ and ‘Russian losses’ underpins the lack of an actual, cohesive Grand Strategy against Moscow.

While we are all familiar with Sun Tzu, the Chinese general, military strategist and philosopher who penned the incomparable Art of War, less known is the Strategikon, the Byzantium equivalent on warfare.

Sixth century Byzantium really needed a manual, threatened as it was from the east, successively by Sassanid Persia, Arabs and Turks, and from the north, by waves of steppe invaders, Huns, Avars, Bulgars, semi-nomadic Turkic Pechenegs and Magyars.

Byzantium could not prevail just by following the classic pattern of Roman Empire raw power – they simply didn’t have the means for it.

So military force needed to be subordinate to diplomacy, a less costly means of avoiding or resolving conflict. And here we can make a fascinating connection with today’s Russia, led by President Vladimir Putin and his diplomacy chief Sergei Lavrov.

But when military means became necessary for Byzantium – as in Russia’s Operation Z – it was preferable to use weaponry to contain or punish adversaries, instead of attacking with full force.

Strategic primacy, for Byzantium, more than diplomatic or military, was a psychological affair. The word Strategia itself is derived from the Greek strategos – which does not mean “General” in military terms, as the west believes, but historically corresponds to a managerial politico-military function.

It all starts with si vis pacem para bellum: “If you want peace prepare for war.” Confrontation must develop simultaneously on multiple levels: grand strategy, military strategy, operative, tactical.

But brilliant tactics, excellent operative intel and even massive victories in a larger war theater cannot compensate for a lethal mistake in terms of grand strategy. Just look at the Nazis in WWII.

Those who built up an empire such as the Romans, or maintained one for centuries like the Byzantines, never succeeded without following this logic.

Those clueless Pentagon and CIA ‘experts’

On Operation Z, the Russians revel in total strategic ambiguity, which has the collective west completely discombobulated. The Pentagon does not have the necessary intellectual firepower to out-smart the Russian General Staff. Only a few outliers understand that this is not a war – since the Ukraine Armed Forces have been irretrievably routed – but actually what Russian military and naval expert Andrei Martyanov calls a “combined arms police operation,” a work-in-progress on demilitarization and denazification.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is even more abysmal in terms of getting everything wrong, as recently demonstrated by its chief Avril Haines during her questioning on Capitol Hill. History shows that the CIA strategically blew it all the way from Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq. Ukraine is no different.

Ukraine was never about a military win. What is being accomplished is the slow, painful destruction of the European Union (EU) economy, coupled with extraordinary weapons profits for the western military-industrial complex and creeping security rule by those nations’ political elites.

The latter, in turn, have been totally baffled by Russia’s C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) capabilities, coupled with the stunning inefficiency of their own constellation of Javelins, NLAWs, Stingers and Turkish Bayraktar drones.

This ignorance reaches way beyond tactics and the operational and strategic realm. As Martyanov delightfully points out, they “wouldn’t know what hit them on the modern battlefield with near-peer, forget about peer.”

The caliber of ‘strategic’ advice from the NATO realm was self-evident in the Serpent Island fiasco – a direct order issued by British ‘consultants’ to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valery Zaluzhny, thought the whole thing was suicidal. He was proven right.

All the Russians had to do was launch a few choice anti-ship and surface Onyx missiles from bastions stationed in Crimea on airports south of Odessa. In no time, Serpent Island was back under Russian control – even as high-ranking British and American marine officers ‘disappeared’ during the Ukrainian landing on the island. They were the ‘strategic’ NATO actors on the spot, doling out the lousy advice.

Extra evidence that the Ukraine debacle is predominantly about money laundering – not competent military strategy – is Capitol Hill approving a hefty extra $40 billion in ‘aid’ to Kiev. It’s just another western military-industrial complex bonanza, duly noted by Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia Dmitry Medvedev.

Russian forces, meanwhile, have brought diplomacy to the battlefield, handing over 10 tons of humanitarian assistance to the people of liberated Kherson – with the deputy head of the military-civil administration of the region, Kirill Stremousov, announcing that Kherson wants to become part of the Russian Federation.

In parallel, Georgy Muradov, deputy prime minister of the government of Crimea, has “no doubts that the liberated territories of the south of the former Ukraine will become another region of Russia. This, as we assess from our communication with the inhabitants of the region, is the will of the people themselves, most of whom lived for eight years under conditions of repression and bullying by the Ukronazis.”

Denis Pushilin, the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, is adamant that the DPR is on the verge of liberating “its territories within constitutional borders,” and then a referendum on joining Russia will take place. When it comes to the Luhansk People’s Republic, the integration process may even come earlier: the only area left to be liberated is the urban region of Lysychansk-Severodonetsk.

The ‘Stalingrad of Donbass’

As much as there’s an energetic debate among the best Russian analysts about the pace of Operation Z, Russian military planning proceeds methodically, as if taking all the time it needs to solidify facts on the ground.

Arguably the best example is the fate of Azov neo-Nazis at Azovstal in Mariupol – the best-equipped unit of the Ukrainians, hands down. In the end, they were totally outmatched by a numerically inferior Russian/Chechen Spetsnaz contingent, and in record time for such a big city.

Another example is the advance on Izyum, in the Kharkov region – a key bridgehead in the frontline. The Russian Ministry of Defense follows the pattern of grinding the enemy while slowly advancing; if they face serious resistance, they stop and smash the Ukrainian defensive lines with non-stop missile and artillery strikes.

Popasnaya in Luhansk, dubbed by many Russian analysts as “Mariupol on steroids”, or “the Stalingrad of Donbass,” is now under total control of the Luhansk People’s Republic, after they managed to breach a de facto fortress with linked underground trenches between most civilian houses. Popasnaya is extremely important strategically, as its capture breaks the first, most powerful line of defense of the Ukrainians in Donbass.

That will probably lead to the next stage, with an offensive on Bakhmut along the H-32 highway. The frontline will be aligned, north to south. Bakhmut will be the key to taking control of the M-03 highway, the main route to Slavyansk from the south.

This is just an illustration of the Russian General Staff applying its trademark, methodical, painstaking strategy, where the main imperative could be defined as a personnel-preserving forward drive. With the added benefit of committing just a fraction of overall Russian firepower.

Russian strategy on the battlefield stands in stark contrast with the EU’s obstinacy in being reduced to the status of an American dog’s lunch, with Brussels leading entire national economies to varying degrees of certified collapse and chaos.

Once again it was up to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov – a diplomatic master – to encapsulate it.

Question: “What do you think of Josep Borrell’s (Lavrov’s EU counterpart) initiative to give Ukraine frozen Russian assets as ‘reparations?’ Can we say that the masks have come off and the west is moving on to open robbery?”

Lavrov: “You could say it is theft, which they are not trying to hide … This is becoming a habit for the west … We may soon see the post of the EU chief diplomat abolished because the EU has virtually no foreign policy of its own and acts entirely in solidarity with the approaches imposed by the United States.”

The EU cannot even come up with a strategy to defend its own economic battlefield – just watching as its energy supply is de facto, incrementally turned off by the US. Here we are at the realm where the US tactically excels: economic/financial blackmail. We can’t call these ‘strategic’ moves because they almost always backfire against US hegemonic interests.

Compare it with Russia reaching its biggest surplus in history, with the rise and rise of commodity prices and the upcoming role of the stronger and stronger ruble as a resource-based currency also backed by gold.

Moscow is spending way less than the NATO contingent in the Ukrainian theater. NATO has already wasted $50 billion – and counting – while the Russians spent $4 billion, give or take, and already conquered Mariupol, Berdyansk, Kherson and Melitopol, created a land corridor to Crimea (and secured its water supply), controls the Sea of Azov and its major port city, and liberated strategically vital Volnovakha and Popasnaya in Donbass, as well as Izyum near Kharkov.

That doesn’t even include Russia hurling the entire, collective west into a level of recession not seen since the 1970s.

The Russian strategic victory, as it stands, is military, economic, and may even coalesce geopolitically. Centuries after the Byzantine Strategikon was penned, the Global South would be very much interested in getting acquainted with the 21st century Russian version of the Art of War.

thecradle.co
The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

9
The U.S. and NATO Are Waging War With Russia in Ukraine… But Russia Is Assured of Victory – Russell Bentley

Finian Cunningham

May 18, 2022
© Photo: Public domain
Russell Bentley has been living in the Donetsk People’s Republic for eight years where he now has obtained official citizenship.

Western news media are spinning wild delusions about Russia facing failure and defeat in Ukraine, says Russell Bentley, a former American soldier who has been fighting and living in the Donbass for the past eight years. In the following interview for Strategic Culture Foundation, he says Russia is assured of a stunning victory to defeat not just the Kiev regime but also its handlers in the U.S. and NATO powers.

This week, the New York Times and BBC, for example, belatedly and begrudgingly admitted that Russia had “triumphed” in Mariupol, the southern port city where for weeks the same Western media have been lionizing the “brave defenders” belonging to the NATO-sponsored and openly Nazi-affiliated Azov Battalion.

Russell Bentley has gained an international following for his courage and truth-telling. In this interview, he also bears testimony to the ravages and war crimes committed by what he calls the Nazi Kiev regime against the civilian population. He says it was vital that Russia launched its special military operation (Operation Z) on February 24 because the Kiev regime and the United States in concert with other NATO powers were planning a major deadly offensive against the Donbass. That offensive was pre-empted by Russia’s intervention. He says that while Russia has the military upper hand, the NATO powers are up to their necks in this conflict in a way that threatens a full-on world war. And the Western media are misleading the public about the grave dangers, cynically spouting lies about “defending Ukraine” instead of the reality that the U.S., NATO and the European Union are supporting Nazis and war criminals. He traces a historical political line back to the Second World War and how the Western powers assimilated German Nazi remnants into their power structures with baleful consequences that are manifest today.

Originally from Texas, Russell Bentley has been living in the Donetsk People’s Republic for eight years where he now has obtained official citizenship. He left the United States in late 2014 to join the DPR army to defend the breakaway republic from the NATO-backed Kiev regime. He said the suffering of innocent people at the hands of “NATO Nazis” compelled him to volunteer. Bentley has fought on the frontlines where he has seen many of his comrades-in-arms killed. He recently attended the funeral of one of them, Sergey Lysenko, a fighter and poet who was killed in the battle for Volnavaha on May 9, Victory Day. More recently, he has been broadcasting and working in communications to convey to the world what is really happening in the Donbass and Ukraine. He wryly points out that his broadcasting videos have been censored by Youtube while the U.S.-owned media platform continues to permit Ukrainian Nazi battalions to pump out their propaganda.



Interview

Question: Western news media have been full of reports on how Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine is a failure. From the perspective of people on the ground in Donbass, how is Russia’s campaign going?

Russell Bentley: A lot of people in Donbass and Russia are concerned about the pace and even the conduct of Operation Z, especially in its early stages. In the beginning, some serious mistakes were made, but this is inevitable in every war. Russia has genuinely made every effort to minimize civilian casualties and destruction of infrastructure, what U.S. Nazis call “collateral damage” when their military invades and destroys countries. The U.S. regime has had total control of all political and military policies and decisions in Ukraine since 2014, and that includes the Ukrop [Ukrainian military] Nazis’ decision to use civilian human shields and to maximize death and destruction. Russia has faced an absolutely ruthless, even diabolical enemy while trying to maintain honor and morality by upholding and conforming to the laws of war, and setting a humane example. It is like a boxer using Marquis de Queensbury rules trying to fight an MMA fighter who also has brass knuckles and a knife. But the boxer is winning – militarily, economically, and politically.

Russia is winning, and we will win. Neither the Ukrainian military nor all of NATO can or will stop Russia from the complete accomplishment of all of the goals set for Operation Z. Nazified Ukraine, under the control of U.S., EU and NATO Nazis, is an existential threat to Russia, and Russia will deal with it as such. Ukraine will be de-nazified and de-militarized as far as Russia deems necessary. Of that, you can be certain.

The fact is that Russia has actually achieved a stunning victory. Standard military doctrine dictates an assault force requires a 3-to-1 numerical superiority to have a reasonable chance of victory, and Russia has achieved all its strategic goals thus far with an assault force of less than 1-to-1. The casualty reports from both sides should be taken with a grain of salt, but no serious observer can deny that Russia has dealt strategic losses to Ukrop army men and equipment while maintaining their own numbers at militarily acceptable and operational levels. Russia has used a small fraction (about 15 percent) of its military capabilities so far in Ukraine. The armchair Generals and keyboard commandos who criticize Russia’s military operations in Ukraine are for the most part far too ignorant of military tactics and strategy to even be considered qualified to have an opinion on the subject, so they should be silent. Don’t worry, we got this.

Question: There have been muted admissions in Western media that the United States is supplying intelligence to help the Kiev regime forces to target Russian troops. Have you seen much evidence of the U.S. and NATO providing intelligence to enable Kiev military operations?

Russell Bentley: Yes. The U.S., along with their EU and NATO henchmen, have had complete political, economic and military control over Ukraine since 2014. Every dead civilian and soldier, every person crippled for life, every blown-up or burned-down house, every psychologically traumatized child, every hungry, homeless dog and cat, on both sides, are absolutely and primarily the criminal responsibility of the genuine Nazis who own and control the U.S., EU, and Ukrainian regimes, and their militaries. The entire Ukraine war, ongoing since 2014 is in reality a proxy war of Western fascism against Russia, because Russia is the main obstacle to their objective of world domination.

The U.S. and NATO have had their Special Forces and highly trained mercenaries (including ISIS terrorists) in Ukraine since 2014. I can confirm this personally. The provision of intelligence to Ukraine from satellite, AWACS, drones, ELINT and SIGINT is a major force multiplier, as is the provision of expert advisors and instructors who also have been directly involved in frontline combat operations since 2014, which I can also personally confirm. The provision of multi-billions of dollars worth of weapons and ammo, along with Western orders to “fight Russia to the last Ukrainian”, lays bare the Western Nazis’ intent to leave Ukraine an irrecoverably failed state, just as they have done in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Yemen among other countries. Ukraine is currently under genuine foreign Nazi occupation, absolutely no less than it was from 1941 to 1943. The Ukrainian army today does not “defend” Ukraine, it deliberately destroys it, on behalf of a foreign and genuinely fascist regime that controls Ukraine from Kiev, but is actually based in Washington, London and Brussels. And Tel Aviv.

Without U.S. and NATO’s continuing support, Ukraine’s quisling regime would have already surrendered, the war would have ended, and thousands of lives would have been spared. So the absolute moral, legal and practical responsibility for the start, escalation, and continuation of this war lies with them. Russia doesn’t start wars, we finish them. And we will finish this one as well, victoriously, one way or another. It is up to our enemies in the U.S. and NATO to decide how much destruction and suffering they will cause Ukraine before their inevitable political de-nazification and military defeat.

Question: In areas of the Donbass that were formerly under the control of the Kiev regime forces but are now under the control of Russian forces, what has been the reaction of citizens to the changing circumstances?

Russell Bentley: I have made multiple trips to newly liberated areas, particularly Volnavaha and Mariupol, where some of the heaviest fighting and destruction occurred. Of course, no one is happy to see their home or large parts of their city destroyed, but the vast majority, I’d say more than 90 percent, of the people there, are happy to be liberated from the oppression and occupation of Nazi terrorists. The reports of rape, robbery, murder, torture, and human and organ trafficking are legion, but these crimes have now ceased, and are now being counted and investigated, and the perpetrators will be brought to justice.

Russia is bringing in hundreds of tonnes of humanitarian aid per day, every day, and the electric, gas, and water infrastructure is already being repaired or replaced in many of the liberated cities. Meanwhile, the West sends Ukraine billions of dollars worth of lethal military aid, but not a single dollar has been sent to people in the areas that the Kiev regime still claims there are Ukrainian citizens that they are “defending”. The people of Mariupol in particular saw for themselves how Azov Battalion Nazis used civilians as human shields and even slaughtered them in order to try to blame on Russia’s alleged “aggression”. Russia has liberated them from unaccountable Nazi rapists, torturers and murderers. Russia is the only one bringing in humanitarian aid and assisting with reconstruction and repair. Of course, all sane and decent citizens in the liberated zones are very glad to see them. Only the Nazis and war criminals are not.



Question: During the eight years after the CIA-backed 2014 coup in Kiev, what was life like for the people in the separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR)?

Russell Bentley: Life in a war zone is never easy. Since the people of the Donbass republics stood up and refused to submit to foreign fascist rule in the spring of 2014, they have been under constant military attack, economic blockade and political persecution. And yet we have prevailed, not only survived but thrived, in spite of very difficult conditions. By literally every metric of human life quality, from the cost of living to political freedom, the Donbass republics have fared far better than people in the parts of Ukraine under the Kiev regime.

In Ukraine, the quality of life began a steep decline immediately after the Maidan coup d’état in early 2014. After the new regime was filled with stooges hand-picked by the U.S. State Department and CIA, the Ukrainian military and Nazi terrorist battalions were unleashed against any and all Ukrainian citizens who protested against the coup. This led to massacres in Odessa, Mariupol, Kharkov, Lugansk and Donetsk (among many other places) along with terrorist oppression against any political dissent. Foreign Gauleiters were brought in and installed, such as Ulana Suprin, an American-born physician from a pro-Bandera family who was appointed Minister of Health, and then proceeded to gut the Ukrainian national healthcare system. U.S.-born “investment banker” and State Department employee Natalie Jaresco was appointed Minister of Finance of Ukraine and from 2014 to 2016, looted the Ukrainian treasury with impunity. The fugitive ex-President of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili, (who is now in prison for corruption in Georgia) was appointed Governor of Odessa Oblast (state) from May 2015 to November 2017. Under his reign, Odessa became a major hub for sex slavery and human-organ trafficking, as well as the illegal and unregulated import of toxic waste.

As elsewhere, since the Covid-19 pandemic economic disruptions, prices in the Donbass republics have risen significantly, and even more so in recent months. Wages have to some degree kept pace with prices, and some prices such as rent, utilities and fuel have actually remained static. In spite of an economic blockade by the Kiev regime and the West, the Donbass republics continue to enjoy a very normal and generally satisfactory standard of living. Medical care and education remain free in the republics, and both are of comparable quality to Russia. Wages are higher in Russia, but so are prices, so the standard of living in the republics is generally better than in Ukraine and on par with Russia’s. Russia has a strong military, economic, energy, and food security, so the republics can expect the same in the future. Practically and politically (if not officially) we are part of Russia, and expect and continue to have similar living standards.

Question: Has the security situation improved for the populace of the DPR and LPR since Russia launched its military intervention on February 24?

Russell Bentley: The most important thing to understand about the Russian intervention into Ukraine is that it was a preemptive defensive move that prevented an imminent and massive military attack by the Ukrainian army on the main cities of the republics – Donetsk, Makeevka, Yasynuvata, Gorlovka and Lugansk. All of these cities are literally on the frontlines, with the city centers a scant 10 or 12 kilometers from Ukrop military positions. Had the Russians hesitated, and the attack occurred as planned, and had the Ukrops made it into our city centers, or even into the heavily populated urban areas on the outskirts, their human-shield strategy would have been immediately implemented, and they would have used our civilian population as shields against Russia’s main military advantages, namely, Russian artillery, missile and air power.

It was (and is) also clear that the second wave of the assault forces, made up of the most ruthless Nazi war criminal battalions, were tasked with genocide and ethnic cleansing of the cities, which would have resulted in hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths, through not only the ensuing urban combat but from intentional and targeted mass murder of ethnic Russians by Ukrainian “Einsatzgruppen”, exactly as the German Nazis had done in these same cities 80 years before. And it is an undeniable fact and proven beyond any doubt, that the strategy of human shields, genocide and ethnic cleansing was designed and ordered by U.S. and NATO war criminals. So the Russian intervention saved the populations of our cities that otherwise would have been doomed had Russia hesitated.

Since the beginning of Operation Z in late February, the Ukrainian shelling that has been ongoing since 2014 has significantly increased, especially targeted attacks on civilians, such as open-air markets and residential areas where our military do not operate. There has been an increase in both shelling and civilian deaths, but compared with the mass slaughter that was planned, there can be no doubt that the Russians saved our people in the tens or hundreds of thousands. Which is certainly an increase in our security.

Question: Do you think Russia should have intervened sooner than 2022 to prevent aggression from the NATO-backed Kiev regime?

Russell Bentley: Many people do, and for a while, I did too. I now see things differently and much more clearly. Vladimir Putin is the president of Russia, and as he has clearly stated, his job is to protect Russia and the Russian people. Everything else comes second. In 2014, Russia was not prepared militarily, economically, or politically for an incursion into Ukraine, because it must be understood that any incursion into Ukraine risked, and in fact, continues to risk, a full-on confrontation with NATO, which would have been, and still is, not only military but economic, political and informational. Had he overtly intervened in the earlier years, he would have fallen into the trap set for him (and Russia) by the Western Nazi powers. Putin played his hand brilliantly, avoided the trap, and intervened only when Russia was ready, and in fact, has created a counter-ambush into which the U.S. and EU have inescapably fallen.

The Russian economy may not be bigger than the U.S. or EU’s, but it is much stronger than either, even both. Russia’s economic, energy and food security ensure that it will not only survive the economic war that is already in the process of going global, but will emerge victorious while the U.S. and (even more so) the EU’s economic and political demise (if not destruction) are already inevitable.

Europe and Ukraine will face a food crisis this year that will border on famine, and exactly because the citizens allowed their rulers to design such a situation. It was the completely voluntary sanctions on Russian fuel and fertilizer by the mis-rulers of the EU and Ukraine that allowed a situation to develop wherein a loaf of bread may realistically cost 10 euros by the end of the year, and there may not even be enough bread for those who can afford it. Because the ruling class of the EU obeyed the U.S. orders to refuse to buy Russian gas, European fertilizer production has been brought to a standstill. The amount of fertilizer needed for adequate agricultural production to feed the population is simply not produced. That means that this year, there will just not be enough food for all the people in Europe. People will face drastic food shortages and price inflation and even hunger.

This all could have been avoided, easily, if the EU masters had any consideration for their citizens. They don’t. And they are not stupid, nobody can be that stupid. The only realistic conclusion is that they are creating hardship and famine on purpose. They are.

Russia is now prepared to face off with these monsters and either defeat or destroy them. Russia’s military is prepared, and Russia’s economic, energy, and agricultural sectors are prepared. Russia has cemented its alliance with China, as well as other strategic countries, such as Iran and India, and much of Africa, South America and the Middle East. Russia is ready to fight the Third World War, whether conventional or nuclear. As I have said since 2015, “As goes Donbass, so goes the world.” It is true.

It can honestly be said that Russia, under the brilliant leadership of Vladimir Putin, picked the perfect time to strike, not one day too early or too late. Anyone who thinks they can second-guess Vladimir Putin makes themselves ridiculous by saying so and only proves they are too ignorant to be qualified to have an opinion on the subject, much less state it. Unfortunately, there are quite a lot of people who fall into that category.

Question: Russia has emphasized the “de-nazification” of Ukraine as an objective for its intervention. How is that effort progressing and what will prevent the return of the Nazi influence over the Ukrainian state in the future?

Russell Bentley: The first part of the de-nazification process is obviously the neutralization of their military capabilities, the capture of the Nazis and war criminals, and the investigation of their crimes. This process is proceeding apace, and will continue and accelerate as Russia liberates more and more of Ukraine, especially Donbass and Kiev.

The trial and execution of the major war criminals is an imperative part of the de-nazification process. Examples must also be made of the minor “foot soldier” war criminals. Justice, as well as practical reason, also demands their execution. A Nazi is like a mad dog or poisonous snake, or any other unrepentant mass murderer who has acquired a taste for killing and human blood. There is no way to reason with them, there is no way to appeal to compassion or humanity that they are devoid of. They must be put out of their misery.

One of the Soviet Union’s biggest mistakes, which we are paying for now, was to allow so many German Nazi war criminals to escape to the West and continue to incubate and procreate the malignant virus of Nazism. Unrepentant advocates of Nazism, the philosophy of “herrenvolk” (master race) and “Untermenschen” (subhuman), that some people are superior, and that those they consider to be “inferior” human beings can be used as livestock or slaves, or exterminated like insects, pass this vile philosophy on to their spawn, who continue the traditions.

Whether German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s grandfather was an SS General is quite possible, but not proven. That Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland’s grandfather was a Nazi collaborator in Ukraine, and that Freeland continues the legacy of her Banderist predecessor is beyond dispute. She herself has openly admitted it. That some of the worst Nazi war criminals were not only aided in their escape from justice but given positions of wealth and political power in the West is likewise a proven fact. Prior Nazi connections in business or family are not just no obstacle to the entrance to elite oligarchic and political circles, in many cases, they certainly seem to be an advantage, if not a prerequisite. Just ask the Board of Directors of Monsanto/Bayer, descended from I.G. Farben, or the scions of Prescott Bush or Henry Ford. The philosophy of Nazism must be eradicated. Permanently.

Question: Is a peaceful coexistence between Ukraine and the Donbass republics possible in the future?

Russell Bentley: Yes, not only possible but highly probable. After the liberation and absolute de-nazification of Ukraine, at least as far as (and including) Kiev, the political and military leadership of the Donbass republics will take responsibility along with Russia for the political, economic, and infrastructure rebuilding of Ukraine. Ukraine was once the industrial and agricultural powerhouse of the USSR. It can again be the same in the Russian Federation. There are many fraternal people in Russia and Donbass who would be happy to see it be so, and will gladly help to make it so. Those who do not want to be a part of building the New Ukraine with us can move to whatever part of western Ukraine we might allow the West to occupy, or they can go to the EU to be immigrants and second-class citizens themselves. There may not be any more strawberries to pick in Poland, but in the EU, there will always be jobs for prostitutes and hitmen, jobs that pro-Bandera Ukrainians are naturally qualified for.

Question: Why are there two separate Donbass republics, DPR and LPR? Could they coalesce into one unified state in the future? Do you see them eventually joining the Russian Federation as Crimea did in 2014?

Russell Bentley: That there have been two separate republics for all these years is usually and superficially explained by the story that the FSB [Russian state security service] has responsibility for the DPR, and the GRU [Russian foreign military intelligence] for the LPR, and that there is a bureaucratic rivalry between them. I think there may be some factual basis for this theory, but I am sure it is not the whole story. While the regular folks in both republics have a great deal in common, there are major economic, demographic and even political differences between the two. But we are, above all, fraternal comrades, and we know we could not survive without each other.

I do not think and do not hope, that the Donbass republics will be absorbed by the Russian Federation. We will be needed here, desperately, to help build the New Ukraine, and I can say with certainty that it cannot be done without us. Furthermore, many here in Donbass are proud of our roots, and as much as we love, respect, appreciate and need Russia and its fraternal friendship and support, we would prefer to maintain our own identity, much the same as my native Texas maintains its own identity vis-a-vis the USA. I do not speak for everyone in this matter, maybe not even a majority, but I speak for many, including myself, my family and most of my friends.

Question: Do you think the U.S.-led NATO bloc will confine their proxy war with Russia to Ukraine or will the war expand to include other European countries?

Russell Bentley: Operation Z in Ukraine, while a real war, and the biggest war in Europe since the NATO attack on Yugoslavia more than two decades ago, is still at this point, mostly symbolic. The military outcome is already beyond question, and Russia can crush as much of Ukraine and its military as it wants, anytime it wants. Their gentle kid-glove prosecution of the war so far is the proof. As is the fact that while Ukrop Nazis bomb civilian targets daily, the Russian military has so far never once bombed the administration buildings or targeted specific political or military leaders in the Kiev regime-occupied areas of the Donbass republics. Likewise, political and military figures in Kiev and Lvov, domestic and otherwise, have not been targeted by Russian missiles. It appears to me there is a quid pro quo agreement in place. “War is politics by other means”, and I am convinced there is still a lot of politics going on behind the scenes that not even the most genuinely well-informed public pundits have any clue about.

The real war is economic, has already begun, and is already global, and Russia has already delivered a crushing blow to her enemies. Politically, militarily and above all, economically, Russia is ascendant, and the Nazi West is headed for its well-earned Götterdämmerung. Nuclear weapons are the wild card, and either side can use them at any time. Russia, if it perceives an existential threat; the Western Nazis could use nuclear weapons probably in a false-flag provocation, or in the demented fulfillment of their depopulation program, thinking that the oligarch scum hiding under mountains can survive a full-force nuclear exchange. Doctor Strangelove in real life…

I believe that the chances that this conflict/confrontation will end in an all-out nuclear war are more probable than not. Maybe not this year or next, but as more time passes, I think the chances increase until they become inevitable, without divine intervention or some other natural disaster that precludes the use or need for it. I hope I am wrong. But I am quite sure things will get worse before they get better.

Question: Your personal journey from the United States to take up arms and fight for the defense of the Donbass back in late 2014 is quite a remarkable story of adventure. Yet the only media attention you have received from the U.S. has been to smear you as a “Russian propagandist”. What do you make of the lack of open-minded interest in your life journey from the American media?

Russell Bentley: Ninety-eight percent of Western media are professional liars and propagandists. What they write and say is almost always the exact opposite of the truth, and when it’s not, they are only using a fragment of truth, out of context, in order to deceive. Like former White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki, they will lie, straight-faced, knowing that they are lying, and knowing that you know they are lying, and knowing that you know they know you know they know they are lying. Can there be a more contemptible creature on this Earth? Lord, I hope not.

These scum are well-paid “presstitutes”, but even whores have more honor, humanity, and dignity. Western propagandists are like whores who work knowing they have venereal disease, and willingly and knowingly pass it on to their clients. It has correctly been said that “respect for the truth is the basis for all morality”, and this saying is really, really true. And these Western media whores are the mortal enemies of the truth, and thus, morality. I do not pay any attention to what they say about me. Their words are like the buzzing of flies to me.

Question: Can you explain what made you decide to take up the cause of the Donbass people?

Russell Bentley: I had been following developments in Ukraine since the beginning of the Maidan protests in 2013-2014 and U.S. envoy Victoria Nuland handing out cookies to the protesters. On May 2, 2014, there was the Odessa Massacre, and a month later, on June 2, there was an airstrike by the Ukrainian Air Force (on U.S. orders) against the Administration Building in Lugansk. A woman named Inna Kukurudza was hit in the strike, and both her legs were blown off. A man came up filming the aftermath of the strike with his phone. Inna was still alive, but dying, and asked the man to use his phone to call her family. She did not live long enough to make the call. An iconic photo was made from that film of Inna Kukurudza looking straight into the camera. When I saw that photo, it was as if she was looking directly into my eyes, into my soul, and asking me personally and directly, “What are you going to do about this?” At that exact moment, I knew I was going to Donbass to protect people like Inna and to kill people like the ones who murdered her, an innocent civilian, on a nice summer afternoon. And I have done it. Six months after seeing her photo, I was in Donetsk, in the Vostok Battalion, heading to the frontline. Here is her photo. So my question to people now is, “What are you going to do about it?”



Coming here, I was not only taking up the cause of the Donbass people, who defend Donbass, and defend Russia. Who defends Russia, defends the future of humanity. And humanity includes all good people of all nations. The vast majority of people in the West these days are coprophagous zombies who are too brainwashed to ever redeem themselves. They eat shit, and have learned to like it, and are angry and offended if you suggest they change their diet. But the two percent who are not “woke”, but aware, who know history, can actually perceive reality, who understand what is at stake, and are willing to do more than hit “Like” on a Facebook page to do something about it, these are our audience and the hope for humanity. And there still is hope, because two percent in the U.S. and EU are still tens of millions of people. All good people must stick together and work together. If we do, we can still win and make a better world for everyone. And even if we can’t, let’s give it our best shot. What else better do we have to do?

Question: You have made your life in the Donetsk People’s Republic, having obtained citizenship and started a family there. How have local people taken to the “man from Texas” in their midst?

Russell Bentley: When I came here in December 2014, I honestly did not expect to live through the winter, and had good reason for that expectation. I was 54 years old, out of shape, didn’t speak Russian, coming to the small side of a big war, the People’s Militia versus the entire might of the NATO-backed Ukrainian army, the third most powerful army in Europe. But I came anyway, and it was the best move I ever made in my life. I had a hard life growing up, and spent five years in U.S. federal prison for marijuana smuggling, but I also did a lot of cool things, a lot of travel, adventure, a lot of fun, and a lot of pleasure. But the last eight years here in Donbass have been the best years of my life. I’ll be 62 years old next month, and how many men in the U.S. or EU, or anywhere, can say that at 62 they are living the best years of their life?

It took a lot of courage to come here to join the DPR army, to fight, to willingly face death, not expecting to win. I’m not bragging, it’s just a simple fact. And by doing so, I learned and proved one of the most important lessons in life: courage is the key to happiness. Because it is impossible to be happy when you are afraid. So do not be afraid. By being brave, I brought myself to the best part of my life. You can do the same.

When I came here, I had no idea or imagination or ambitions about being an “internet star” or a correspondent or anything like that. But I am a poet and singer-songwriter, I have a talent for communication and inspiration and my work with a camera and computer has had more impact than my work with a Kalashnikov or RPG. People know my work and my name and respect me in China, Australia, South Africa, South America, every country in Europe, and, of course, all over the USA, Texas, and Mexico. And Donbass and Russia. But I did not come here looking for fame or fortune. The thing that I am proudest about in my whole life is the respect and friendship of the soldiers I fought with, and the citizens I live with. They know who I am, and really appreciate me being here, and that is my greatest honor.

Question: What are your thoughts on how the Western news media has been censoring Russian media and any critical opinion on how the U.S., NATO, and the European Union bear major responsibility for creating conflict with Russia?

Russell Bentley: It proves their cowardice and mendacity. Fools hate the wise, cowards hate the brave, and liars hate the truth. The truth is being drowned in an ocean of lies these days, but the truth is still out there, and it is still the truth. It is our most powerful weapon, and that is why they fear it and try to erase it. They know a dollar worth of our truth can overcome a billion dollars worth of their bullshit and lies, so that is why we must defend it at all costs. Courage, truth, solidarity, these are our weapons. We must be ready and willing to die, and to kill who and what needs killing. We are not just fighting for nationality or a race or political philosophy, we are fighting for the future of humanity. Davai!

10
For Your Information / Are the US and Ukraine Winning?
« on: May 18, 2022, 10:50:25 AM »
Are the US and Ukraine Winning?
By Julian Macfarlane
Global Research, May 17, 2022
Region: Europe, Russia and FSU
Theme: Global Economy, Intelligence, US NATO War Agenda
In-depth Report: UKRAINE REPORT

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***

As you may know, some organizations, including SouthFront are talking about UAF “successes” in the Karkhov region as the RF pulls back and re-positions to strengthen itself in the Izyum area.

SouthFront has generally taken the position that the Russians are fighting with one hand tied behind their collective back, and need to devote more resources to the Ukraine — and just get it over with.

Theirs is a more conventional military view than mine, although I admire their commitment to honest reporting, which they do very well.

Still, they tend to focus on Russian losses, since they think them unnecessary. SF has been accused of being pro-Russian and is banned in lots of places such as Facebook, but they report on military matters globally and they try to be objective as possible — in the end with much less bias than the Western media or Western intelligence services.

SF has a good video about Kharkov that illustrates this.

My interpretation of this video is that SouthFront sees successful UAF “counteroffensives” in the Kharkov region directed towards the Russian border, which the Banderites have also shelled. In other words, the so-called “war” is not over for the Ukraine.

War on? War off? There are lots of different points of view. It’s kinda like discussion about whether a TV series will be cancelled or not.

Gonzalo Lira says the Ukraine is finished and cites Lloyd Austin’s call to Shoigu asking for a ceasefire, a tactic that the West used in Syria to gain time to arm up jihadist forces, when they were losing. The jihadists still lost. And the Russians know better than to trust the Americans.

Scott Ritter seems to partially agree with Lira. But he still sees the West as keeping the conflict going. He is also a Marine. He sees this conflict as the kind of war he was taught to fight, the kind of war Americans fight — and not as Putin does—as a conflict, which is only partly military.

Ritter appears to think that Russia needs to just declare a hot war on the Ukraine, now effectively a rump state, and just steam roll Kiev and take Galicia. That would require another 100,000 men, leaving the RF with 80% reserves.

Given Putin’s very legalistic approach to conflict and his efforts to bolster the established framework of international law that the US continually flouts, not to mention his emphasis on a moral victory, Russia would need a real cassus belli for “war” according to the Ritter’s and the Western definition, which means “total war” — the shock & awe stuff for which the US is famous for.

Putin, by contrast, knows that WWIII started a long time ago, and is in essence economic since “total war” would mean the end of all mankind, defeat for everyone. He’s been planning for a long time.

As far as the conflict in Ukraine, I agree with both Gonzalo and Ritter. I do not think the main elements of their arguments are really opposed.

Despite the Ukraine having the third largest army in Europe at the start of the conflict, it lost air supremacy and mobility in the first week, which finished it as a fighting force as effectively as Japan’s loss of its carrier fleet in 1944.

The Japanese, of course, kept on fighting and the Americans suffered losses, but their goals and the results were never in doubt. Now, it is the Ukrainians fighting a lost war and the Russians taking some but not devastating losses. Again, goals and results are not in doubt.

Despite what SF implies, there are no “successful” UAF counteroffensives — if you understand “offensive” to imply a strategic operation, as opposed to local tactical operations such as taking a village here or there, or a bridge — attacks using a tiny fraction of available forces.

A good example is that recent Russian push across the Seversky Donetsk River, which the Russians tried first with a small force, which was opposed by an unexpectedly and much larger Ukrainian force. Let us keep in mind that river crossings are risky — giving an advantage to defenders and attackers normally need an advantage in numbers. Outnumbered they may still prevail but they will take some losses.

The UK Ministry of defense published “intelligence” claiming the Russians failed to cross the river and suffered heavy losses. The UK seems to be relying on UAF reports including photographic evidence, half of which show destroyed or abandoned vehicles, labelled “Russian” but which are actually Ukrainian. They are Russian-designed but no longer used by the RF — only by the Ukrainians. The giveaway is the small turret.

OK. UK intelligence is a LOT less reliable than SouthFront which tries to report facts, rather than spread propaganda.

What we do know from river crossing incident is that Russian troops were initially outnumbered by at least 2:1, perhaps 3:1. But crossed anyway.

While the RF probably needed to secure the river crossing for future operations, they have otherwise redeployed in the Kharkov Oblast, giving up positions in villages where there is no strategic advantage, the UAF attacks, knowing there is minimal resistance. This strategy allows more effective use of RF forces, while sparing civilian lives.



Still, despite reclaiming villages, the UAF is losing. Although claiming to be winning, as the Japanese did until the Emperor surrendered.

Unfortunately, that means ever more attempts at false flags. For example, the SBU blew up a fertilizer storage facility near the village of Dolgenkoye in the Kharkiv region, hoping to poison the local population and blame the Russian army.

Didn’t work!

There were warnings about the possibility of this kind of atrocity published earlier, which undermines its propaganda value if it happens — so the attack merely confirmed Russian intelligence and Ukrainian duplicity.

Proof of Ukrainian atrocities, which have been available for a long time, is suddenly appearing in the Western press imparts credibility to the Russian version of events.

Russian progress is slow but it establishes realities on the ground that are hard to deny.

The Russians are actually seen as the “Good Guys”, handing out humanitarian aid, treating POWs with respect and overall pretty honest.

The Banderites are monsters. killing and raping, and getting caught in lies and huge exaggerations.

Whatever the facts, the Public is tired of the old story and wants something new, even if that means role reversal where the Good Guys turn out to be the Bad Guys.

The UAF was initially a very capable foe. And it is still armed and dangerous — perhaps more so — if you have lost — you have nothing to lose. The worst atrocities often come from desperation.

SouthFront sees the UAF as heading towards the Russian border in Kharkov, and shelling Russian villages.

But, as the Banderites roll East, their supply lines extend and become increasingly exposed, along with the possibility of encirclement and destruction should the Russians decide to attack with a few BTGS from the East, and simultaneously from Izyum once that area is secure. Are the Russians setting up another “cauldron”?

In addition, the strikes on civilian targets in Russia, is a casus belli. The Russians have already threatened precision missile strikes against “decision-making centers” which presumably means government offices in Kiev.

Of course, Zelensky says he has not attacked Russian villages.

The Russians just need a wee bit more provocation, more ammunition from the Banderite crazies, as it were. They are cautious. For them, it’s strategy — goals, roles, and poles — the poles indicating course and boundaries.

However, the Ukrainians, like the Japanese at the end of WWII, have no viable strategy — they are just tactically reactive.

They do not think ahead — maybe because they have had no “ahead” — no future —not since the few weeks of the “operation” . But since they cannot see the road ahead, there are no boundaries.

The Russians, by contrast, have strategy and they can take their time, aware that their economic counteroffensive against the Empire is paying off. Russia is doing fine??; the West is heading for recession.

Biden started a war to cover up the cumulative effects of failed neoliberal economic policies, while doubling down on those policies. but polls indicate that Americans are slowly but surely tired of banging the drums for a war that sucks money out of the national budget. Oh sure, they all wave the flag, but their arms are getting tired — and they want beer and pizza — -only they can’t afford it.

Even the NYT is coming around, with an op-ed admitting — more or less — that Russia holds all the cards — and it is time to negotiate. They say the fear nuclear war. But what they fear is economic collapse: Putin’s decision to insist on payment in rubles for all exports is an economic atomic bomb. The US faces a huge recession — which will ultimately affect semi-autarkic economies like Russia and China much less.

As Bill Clinton’s former campaign once put it, “It’s the economy, stupid”. He should have said, “It’s always the economy, stupid”.



Since people see Empty now when they open their wallets or turn on the engine of their cars, the Democrats could very well lose Congress in the Fall, especially if the Supreme Court delays sending abortion rights back to the States, or the Republicans are equivocal on the issue.

After that, the aging, witless Lameduck, the US calls President, will be a sitting duck for just about anyone, even the Donald.

***

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Julian Macfarlane is a Canadian media analyst / writer. 40 years in Japan. Worked for every major Japanese company including Toyota as media advisor in the Middle East and also most government ministries including the Foreign Ministry and Prime Minister’s Office.  More than 200 articles on political events and propaganda. Other of “Ageing Young: You’re Never Too Old To Rock ‘n Roll”, a seminal study of evolutionary psychology.  https://julianmacfarlane.substack.com/

Featured image: Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in Kyiv, Ukraine, on May 6, 2021. [State Department photo by Ron Przysucha]

The original source of this article is Global Research
Copyright © Julian Macfarlane, Global Research, 2022

11
UK sets Balkans on fire to displace USA from the top
World » Europe
Many believe that it is the United States that has been instigating international conflicts around the world lately. Some others blame the West in general. In turn, the West blames everything on Russia, and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine is no exception.

UK sets Balkans on fire to displace USA from the top
UK sets Balkans on fire to replace US as supremacist state
However, this may not actually be the case. The Rybar Telegram channel was the first to draw attention to quite a few inconsistencies. The authors of the channel suggested one should take a closer look at who specifically defends Ukraine most, who consistently supplies arms to the Armed Forces of Ukraine and puts pressure on other countries whose satellite countries promote the idea to defend Kyiv.

The answer lies on the surface: This is the UK.

UK 'returns' to big politics
The days of the United States as the world supremacist state (or gendarme — as you like) are numbered — there are almost no doubts about that. USA's President Joe Biden does not cast doubts on this issue, of course, although it is only his most devoted supporters who still believe that the sitting president is still able to function and think clearly.

Political scientists also notice that the center of political power has been slowly moving to London:

the number of UK's satellite countries has been growing;
oligarchs of post-Soviet space keep their assets in British banks;
it is London that attracts the rich most in terms of real estate deals;
the London Bullion Market Association has become the repository of almost all of the world's gold reserves.
At the same time, the European Union has been evolving from an artificially created joint economic and political space (or has already evolved) into a tangle of contradictions — a burden to its own member countries. The EU has been dealing with social, economic and migrant crises lately. It appears that the UK has made a wise and far-sighted decision to leave the EU to be able to play the game its own way.

War makes some rich while others fight to the last ditch
While trying to drag on the Ukrainian conflict, the UK is also trying to rekindle a number of conflicts in other countries, such as Kosovo.

Earlier, without any fuss, the UK decided to supply weapons to the self-proclaimed republic of Kosovo. They know it very well in London that fueling another conflict in this region would be a piece of cake.

There is another hot spot in the Balkans — Bosnia and Herzegovina, where confrontation may also escalate at any moment.

UK in Western Balkans
The UK does not conceal that it is going to play an active role in the Balkans. Liz Truss said at a meeting of foreign ministers in London in December of 2021 that the UK was going to increase its political and diplomatic presence in Western Balkans.

London even appointed a special envoy for the purpose — Stuart Peach.

"Air Marshal Sir Stuart Peach was appointed as the Prime Minister's Special Envoy to the Western Balkans in December 2021. Previously Sir Stuart was the 32nd Chairman of the Military Committee of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)," a message posted on the website of the British government said.

In lay terms, Stuart Peach was one of the commanders of NATO Air Force during the bombings of Yugoslavia.


The budgets of British NGOs have been growing too. British MPs say that the Republika Srpska is a "genocidal entity" that must be eliminated for the security and stability of Europe. They also conducted an active campaign to legitimize the new High Representative in BiH and to increase the NATO contingent in Sarajevo.

The result is obvious: EUFOR vehicles already rumble in the streets of the city, intimidating the locals. Given the firm position of the leader of the Bosnian Serbs, a transition from sanctions blackmail to more aggressive actions could be more than just possible.

Therefore, Bosnia has every chance of becoming a theater of war 30 years later.

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Editor: Dmitry Sudakov

See more at https://english.pravda.ru/world/151877-uk_balkans/

12
Up to 16,000 Ukrainian soldiers entrapped in Luhansk People's Republic
Incidents
Up to 16,000 military men of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been entrapped near the towns of Severodonetsk and Lysichansk, Assistant Minister of the Interior of the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), Vitaly Kiselev, said on Channel One.

Up to 16,000 Ukrainian soldiers entrapped in Luhansk People's Republic
According to him, the Ukrainian command has most likely ordered the encircled troops not to retreat.

"Just like when prisoners were captured in Rubizhnoye: they said that they had repeatedly appealed to the command, but they forbade us to leave and told them to die in the last ditch. High-ranking commanders fled a long time ago, a month ago, ”Kiselev explained.

Earlier, representatives for the People's Militia of the Donetsk People's Republic announced the liberation of the village of Drobyshevo in the Donbass.

Over the past day, DPR forces have destroyed 34 Ukrainian soldiers, three enemy mortar positions, three armored vehicles and four trucks.

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See more at https://english.pravda.ru/news/hotspots/151865-ukrainian_soldiers_entrapped/

13
For Your Information / Re: Donetsk News Agency reports
« on: May 10, 2022, 11:27:33 AM »
Andrei Biletsky, the neo-Nazi father of Azov
Donbass Insider

May 9, 2022


   The supreme heroes of the West are the mostly neo-Nazi soldiers of the Azov regiment. These heroes, who smell of sulphur and swastikas, the Western journalists do not want to hear about them, they are only heroic fighters of the free and democratic Ukraine, a fabulous country where life was good before the Russian special operation. To counter this low propaganda broadcast by all the French public or even private media, it is necessary to understand who are the men behind this Azov regiment and first of all, their founder, whose story alone speaks for itself. The truth will come out, sooner or later, and all attempts to hide the thousands of Ukrainian neo-Nazi volunteers are doomed to failure. It was the same with the famous biological weapons that Iraq was supposed to have, and this lie was even attempted against Syria a few years later. Today, French and European journalists are painting a dream picture of this iconic unit, which, let's remember, was just one of many of its kind, the infamous retaliation battalions, that horribly illustrated themselves in eastern Ukraine and the Donbass, starting in 2014. So who is Andrei Biletsky, the founder of Azov?

From neo-Nazi militias and ratonades to racial cleansing of populations. Born in 1979 into an ordinary family, Biletsky had followed a university career as a history student. He had worked on a thesis on the Ukrainian army of collaboration with Nazi Germany, the UPA, which flew the black and red flag and the ultranationalist trident. It should be remembered that it was noted for the abominable massacres of the summer of 1944 in Volhynia (between 80 and 200,000 Poles massacred). After successfully defending his thesis, he worked as a teacher at the University of Kharkov (early 2000s), having been active in neo-Nazi and ultra-nationalist groups for a long time in his youth. This led him to support the Serbian cause against Kosovo, not out of Slavic solidarity, but to "defend the supremacy of the white race" and against the "Islamisation of Europe". He soon joined the Ukrainian National Socialist Party (2003, now renamed Svoboda), and founded a paramilitary organisation called Patriot Ukraine. This group, transformed into a militia, took part in hit actions, outside of any legality, to "clean up the cities of Ukraine of trafficking, tackle drug trafficking, migrants and undocumented migrants" (2005-2010). During these activities of beatings, undeclared demonstrations, and actions defined as "civic disobedience", Biletsky was arrested for the first time in a direct confrontation with the police (18 September 2008).

The ideas advocated by this sulphurous character are well known, so much so that it is difficult to believe that the West can hide their content. In addition to the supremacy of the white race, Biletsky claimed to defend the West, to want the destruction of democracy in Europe, the destruction of capitalism and of the "Zionist international", which would be replaced by "Nazocracy", which are his own words. As a historian, Biletsky, in addition to the conspiracy theory that was very much a part of his rhetoric, was also committed to revisionism, rewriting the history of the Ukrainian people, whose roots, according to him, lay in the Scythian civilisation, which he linked to the Cossacks, in an attempt to erase the real origin of the Kiev Rus'. Going much further than the Nazis, he went so far as to declare that the latter had not taken into account the need to racially cleanse the population, including the Aryan population, in order to eradicate degenerate subjects, such as alcoholism, drug addiction and others. His idea was to take into account "the biological character of each family". Going much further than American eugenics, he proposed the total and literal cleansing of the race, stating that the Ukrainian national culture was derived from the people, not from their history, religion, heritage, or language. He even declared that "the historical mission of the Ukrainian nation at this critical moment is to lead the white peoples of the world in the last crusade for its existence, and to fight against the sub-humanity led by the Semites".

From the ultranationalist vendetta to the anarchy of Maidan. Its verbal and ideological violence only increased, until the arrest of the main leaders of its militia (August 2011), due to a shoot-out between its members (notably a certain Sergei Kolesnik). The ideological dispute turned into a fierce vendetta, and he was seriously wounded by a henchman of his group, who shot him several times with a revolver (19 November). In response, he organized an attack on the dissident group, and was arrested for assaulting Kolesnik, and sentenced to two months in prison (December 2011). His imprisonment led to a campaign of political agitation and demonstrations, crying political repression in several Ukrainian cities (Kiev, Kharkov, Lvov, Zhitomir, etc.) which led to the arrest and conviction of many activists for attempted murder, assault and robbery. The launching of the Maïdan operation by the American CIA gave him the chance to show his mettle and to finally emerge from the shadows and the sinister neo-Nazi agitations. The success of this colorful revolution had as a direct consequence, a law of the Rada of Ukraine, which pardoned all the members of his group, considered from then on as "political prisoners" having undergone the repressions of the pro-Russian regime in Kiev (February 2014). Highly visible, he became a member of the ultranationalist and neo-Nazi party Pravy Sektor (March) and was appointed head of the regions of Kharkov, Donetsk, Lugansk and Poltava (12 March). At the same time, his good services were recognized and he obtained an important position in the Ukrainian Ministry of the Interior, with extended powers. It is easy to imagine the terrible repressions that took place under his aegis in the regions under his control.

From the Azov regimental command to the seat of deputy. It was then that the Azov Battalion was formed, mainly with members of the Pravy Sektor party, soon reinforced by neo-Nazis from all over Europe (including the French). Under his leadership the battalion took part in the Mariupol massacre (9 May 2014), and the ensuing massacres, rackets, kidnappings and political repressions up to and including assassinations. For this operation, President Poroshenko did not hesitate to decorate him with the "order for courage" (2 August), then with the rank of lieutenant-colonel and head of the Azov battalion (18 September). However, his extremism worried the liberal fringe, but despite political pressure to oust him, he ran as an independent candidate in the Rada elections and was soon elected (26 October). Now a member of parliament, he was integrated into the Commission for National Security and Defense, and was mostly absent from the Rada benches having participated in only 2% of the votes during his mandate! The little he presented as bills, ended up in the dustbin of history, his ideology going too far, and clashing with the capitalist social-democratic oligarchs in power in Ukraine.

He attempted a power grab, declaring that President Poroshenko was preparing a crackdown on Ukrainian ‘patriots' and organized a ‘day of rage' (9 March 2019). He also tried to expose the corruption of the oligarchs, saying he was ready to publish documents implicating the highest state officials (11 March). He was soon trapped by the SBU's political police, notably through phone tapping that implicated him in the illegal purchase of a point weapon, or the denunciation of the beating of opponents and troublemakers within the Azov regiment. Discredited and very cumbersome for Ukraine, anxious to get rid of such a standard-bearer, he nevertheless tried to get re-elected to his seat, in the ranks of the National Socialist Party of Ukraine (Svoboda), but could not succeed and became a simple citizen (August 2019). Subsequently, Biletsky became an opponent of the Zelensky regime, organising demonstrations ‘against the capitulards', including in front of his house, and that the Ukrainian president ‘could not be a spokesman for the national interests of the Ukrainian people» (It should be remembered that antisemitic ideology is an essential backbone of Pravy Sektor). It protested even more virulently during the evacuation by Ukrainian troops of a village in the Lugansk region (October), and then gradually disappeared from the political scene.

Three million dollars for his silence. Since then, his Azov friends have remained what they are and are still serving in the ranks of that regiment. Some have already been killed by the Russians, the rest will soon be taken in the coming surrender. Those who have been taken prisoner are systematically exposed on social networks. It's always the same story, talking tattoos, memorabilia to the glory of Nazi Germany and the "heroes of Ukraine", as well as phones full of pictures that deceive no one. Biletsky, since then, has been washed clean by a discreet and virtual disappearance of the worst information on the Internet. A skilful job by Western and Ukrainian services has eliminated the character's visibility. But enough remains to understand (especially in Russian). The question of his current fate has inflamed Russia, on the issue of the geolocation of the famous Ukrainian neo-Nazi. He is indeed under the law, both for his activities during the Maidan, as a figure of neo-Nazism in Ukraine and for the Mariupol massacre and the abuses during the ATO operation. However, he appeared on social media to make various irrelevant (and hostile to Zelensky) statements, and when asked about this, the head of the Azov regiment said he was not on the battlefront but on the political front. However, Russians believe that he has already fled abroad. This is interesting because Ukraine has no interest in him being caught by Russia. His exfiltration from Ukraine therefore seems very plausible. Yesterday an article appeared which revealed that Biletsky has made a deal with President Zelensky, the terms of which are a payment of three million dollars for the silence of the former MP and the neo-Nazis of the Azov Regiment, as well as a helicopter to evacuate the current head of the regiment, Denis Prokopenko. Criticism of the former Azov leader has effectively fallen silent for about 15 days. Prokopenko gave an interview published today, it is unlikely that he will be able to leave the Azovstal ruins alive except as a prisoner of Russia.

Laurent Brayard for Donbass Insider

14
For Your Information / Re: Donetsk News Agency reports
« on: May 10, 2022, 11:16:42 AM »
Donbass Peoples Republic: Eternal Fire at Saur-Mogila lit with Fire from the Unknown Soldier Tomb in Moscow
Donetsk News Agency

May 9, 2022


   Saur-Mogila, May 9 - DAN. Representatives of the All-Russia People's Front have delivered a particle of the Eternal Flame from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow to the DPR, today it ignited the Eternal Flame on the legendary Saur-Mogila mound in the east of the Republic.

The event is dedicated to the 77th anniversary of the Victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War. According to the the patriotic action "The Fire of Memory" organizing, it is designed to bring a particle of the Eternal Flame from the very centre of Moscow to all remote parts of Russia and other countries, where this fire is a symbol of memory of the heroism of the participants of the WWII.

The fire is expected to be lit later today in the liberated areas of Donbass: in Mariupol, Volnovakha, Mangush and Urzuf.

Saur-Mogila is originally an ancient tumulus (kurgan) dating back to the 2nd millennium BC. In modern times, it is a strategic height in the Donets ridge. During World War II, Saur-Mogila was a place of intense fighting, and Soviet troops managed to retake control of it from occupying German forces in August 1943. A memorial with a 36-meter-high obelisk and a sculpture of a Soviet Warrior was opened here in 1963 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the liberation of Saur-Mogila. During the war of 2014, the memorial was badly damaged.

The Head of the Donetsk People's Republic Denis Pushilin lit the Eternal Flame at the monument to "Victims of Fascism" in Mariupol, liberated from Ukrainian occupation.

The ceremony was attended by representatives of the All-Russia People's Front (ONF), who brought flames from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow to the Republic.

The United Russia party has published the video of the event organized on May 9 to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War. The party took part in organizing the ceremony and spruced the place up together with local activists and members of other organizations.

Last night, as part of the Fire of Memory campaign, representatives of the ONF lit the Eternal Flame on the Saur-Mogila mound in the east of the DPR as they brought a particle of the Eternal Flame from the Unknown Soldier Tomb in Moscow.




15

   Address by the President of Russia at the military parade
President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin

May 9, 2022

   President of Russia – Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Federation Armed Forces Vladimir Putin attended a military parade marking the 77th anniversary of Victory in the 1941–1945 Great Patriotic War. May 9, 2022 11:00 am Red Square, Moscow Military parade to mark the 77th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. Overall, 11,000 personnel and 131 units of military equipment were engaged in the parade.

Fellow Russian citizens, Dear veterans,

Comrade soldiers and seamen, sergeants and sergeant majors, midshipmen and warrant officers,

Comrade officers, generals and admirals,

I congratulate you on the Day of Great Victory!

The defence of our Motherland when its destiny was at stake has always been sacred. It was the feeling of true patriotism that Minin and Pozharsky's militia stood up for the Fatherland, soldiers went on the offensive at the Borodino Field and fought the enemy outside Moscow and Leningrad, Kiev and Minsk, Stalingrad and Kursk, Sevastopol and Kharkov.

Today, as in the past, you are fighting for our people in Donbass, for the security of our Motherland, for Russia.

May 9, 1945 has been enshrined in world history forever as a triumph of the united Soviet people, its cohesion and spiritual power, an unparalleled feat on the front lines and on the home front.

Victory Day is intimately dear to all of us. There is no family in Russia that was not burnt by the Great Patriotic War. Its memory never fades. On this day, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the heroes march in an endless flow of the Immortal Regiment. They carry photos of their family members, the fallen soldiers who remained young forever, and the veterans who are already gone.

We take pride in the unconquered courageous generation of the victors, we are proud of being their successors, and it is our duty to preserve the memory of those who defeated Nazism and entrusted us with being vigilant and doing everything to thwart the horror of another global war.

Therefore, despite all controversies in international relations, Russia has always advocated the establishment of an equal and indivisible security system which is critically needed for the entire international community.

Last December we proposed signing a treaty on security guarantees. Russia urged the West to hold an honest dialogue in search for meaningful and compromising solutions, and to take account of each other's interests. All in vain. NATO countries did not want to heed us, which means they had totally different plans. And we saw it.

Another punitive operation in Donbass, an invasion of our historic lands, including Crimea, was openly in the making. Kiev declared that it could attain nuclear weapons. The NATO bloc launched an active military build-up on the territories adjacent to us.

Thus, an absolutely unacceptable threat to us was steadily being created right on our borders. There was every indication that a clash with neo-Nazis and Banderites backed by the United States and their minions was unavoidable.

Let me repeat, we saw the military infrastructure being built up, hundreds of foreign advisors starting work, and regular supplies of cutting-edge weaponry being delivered from NATO countries. The threat grew every day.

Russia launched a pre-emptive strike at the aggression. It was a forced, timely and the only correct decision. A decision by a sovereign, strong and independent country.

The United States began claiming their exceptionalism, particularly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, thus denigrating not just the entire world but also their satellites, who have to pretend not to see anything, and to obediently put up with it.

But we are a different country. Russia has a different character. We will never give up our love for our Motherland, our faith and traditional values, our ancestors' customs and respect for all peoples and cultures.

Meanwhile, the West seems to be set to cancel these millennia-old values. Such moral degradation underlies the cynical falsifications of World War II history, escalating Russophobia, praising traitors, mocking their victims' memory and crossing out the courage of those who won the Victory through suffering.

We are aware that US veterans who wanted to come to the parade in Moscow were actually forbidden to do so. But I want them to know: We are proud of your deeds and your contribution to our common Victory.

We honour all soldiers of the allied armies – the Americans, the English, the French, Resistance fighters, brave soldiers and partisans in China – all those who defeated Nazism and militarism.

Comrades,

Donbass militia alongside with the Russian Army are fighting on their land today, where princes Svyatoslav and Vladimir Monomakh's retainers, solders under the command of Rumyantsev and Potemkin, Suvorov and Brusilov crushed their enemies, where Great Patriotic War heroes Nikolai Vatutin, Sidor Kovpak and Lyudmila Pavlichenko stood to the end.

I am addressing our Armed Forces and Donbass militia. You are fighting for our Motherland, its future, so that nobody forgets the lessons of World War II, so that there is no place in the world for torturers, death squads and Nazis.

Today, we bow our heads to the sacred memory of all those who lost their lives in the Great Patriotic War, the memories of the sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, grandfathers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends.

We bow our heads to the memory of the Odessa martyrs who were burned alive in the House of Trade Unions in May 2014, to the memory of the old people, women and children of Donbass who were killed in atrocious and barbaric shelling by neo-Nazis. We bow our heads to our fighting comrades who died a brave death in the righteous battle – for Russia.

I declare a minute of silence.

(A minute of silence.)

The loss of each officer and soldier is painful for all of us and an irretrievable loss for the families and friends. The government, regional authorities, enterprises and public organisations will do everything to wrap such families in care and help them. Special support will be given to the children of the killed and wounded comrades-in-arms. The Presidential Executive Order to this effect was signed today.

I wish a speedy recovery to the wounded soldiers and officers, and I thank doctors, paramedics, nurses and staff of military hospitals for their selfless work. Our deepest gratitude goes to you for saving each life, oftentimes sparing no thought for yourselves under shelling on the frontlines.

Comrades,

Soldiers and officers from many regions of our enormous Motherland, including those who arrived straight from Donbass, from the combat area, are standing now shoulder-to-shoulder here, on Red Square.

We remember how Russia's enemies tried to use international terrorist gangs against us, how they tried to seed inter-ethnic and religious strife so as to weaken us from within and divide us. They failed completely.

Today, our warriors of different ethnicities are fighting together, shielding each other from bullets and shrapnel like brothers.

This is where the power of Russia lies, a great invincible power of our united multi-ethnic nation.

You are defending today what your fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers fought for. The wellbeing and security of their Motherland was their top priority in life. Loyalty to our Fatherland is the main value and a reliable foundation of Russia's independence for us, their successors, too.

Those who crushed Nazism during the Great Patriotic War showed us an example of heroism for all ages. This is the generation of victors, and we will always look up to them.

Glory to our heroic Armed Forces! For Russia! For Victory! Hooray!

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