A news compilation on New Cold War.org on March 8, 2017 reported the controversy that has broken out in Canada surrounding the family history of Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland. Her maternal grandfather edited two pro-German newspapers in Poland and Austria during World War Two. He and his family settled in Canada after the war.
The minister told a March 6 press conference in Ottawa that inquiries into her family history constitute a ‘Russia disinformation’ campaign directed at her and the Canadian government. The minister as well as sympathetic journalists state that the ‘disinformation’ has been aided and abetted by unnamed ‘pro-Russia’ websites.
The Globe and Mail has published an article on March 16, 2017 in which Minister Freeland hits back at critics questioning her responses to the family history. The article is titled ‘Freeland condemns Russian aggression in Crimea, prompting Kremlin counterattack’. It provides a long list of alleged human rights violations in Crimea as listed by the minister in a statement, whose date happens to coincide with the three-year anniversary of the referendum vote in Crimea on March 16, 2014 to secede from Ukraine and rejoin the Russian Federation.
The referendum vote passed by a very high margin and subsequent polling has shown very high satisfaction rates with the decision among Crimeans of Russian and Ukrainian descent. Though little direct polling of Crimean Tatars has been conducted, one end-2014 poll found majority satisfaction among them.
A more recent survey among Crimean Tatars conducted by Russia’s Federal Agency for Nationalities during December 2016 and January 2017 showed that 61% of Tatars in Crimea don’t approve the policies of Kyiv and 71 per cent oppose the blockade of Crimea by Ukraine. Only 13 per cent support the government in Kyiv. Seventy five per cent of respondents reported being satisfied with their lives.
Globe reporter Robert Fife presents Minister Freeland’s latest list of rights violations in Crimea, writing:
Russian authorities have raided homes and mosques, exiled community leaders, banned rallies, and closed down Tatar media outlets as well as the informal Tatar legislature.
At least 15 Tatars and pro-Ukraine activists have been kidnapped or gone missing. One of them was found dead from possible torture and another allegedly hanged himself in a desolate barn.
Few of the accusations listed by the minister and the reporter can be verified because they are unsourced. But two accusations can be examined, and they are false.
In the case of “closed down media outlets”, the accusation is likely referring to the closure of the Tatar-language ATR television and radio network in April 2015. That was a political decision by the anti-Russia owner of the network. He chose not to renew his broadcast license and he then turned that into a ‘censorship’ scandal. That story is told in an article by this writer in my article dated April 7, 2015.
The other verifiable accusation concerns this claim by the Globe reporter:
“An estimated 20,000 Tatars have left Crimea since Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula.”
In September 2015, Vice Prime Minister of the Republic of Crimea Ruslan Balbec released statistics about the departure and subsequent return to the Crimean Peninsula of the Crimean Tatar population. According to him, between 600 and 800 Crimean Tatars left Crimea after the 2014 decision to rejoin the Russian Federation. This included Crimean Tatar students at Ukrainian universities who wanted to finish their education programmes. By the spring of 2015, reported Balbec, about half of those who left had returned and more were on the way.
The figure of ‘20,000’ Tatar exiles in Ukraine was recently repeated by Mustafa Dzhemilev (weblink to Russian-language media report here). He is a Crimean Tatar and appointed member of the Verkhovna Rada in Kyiv on the slate of President Petro Poroshenko’s political machine. A much lower figure is cited by Eskender Bilyalov, a member of the Russian presidential council on inter-ethnic relations and head of the Crimean Tatar organization ‘Inkishaf’.
As reported in the Politnavigator.net on March 15, 2017, Bilyalov told the all-Russia, Tatar-language television channel Millet (launched in 2015, broadcasting to all of Russia from Crimea) that the figure of 20,000 Crimean Tatars leaving for Ukraine after the reunification of the peninsula with Russia is a lie.
“When they say that some 20,000 Crimean Tatars left for Ukraine, they are manipulating facts. At most, 3,000 to 4,000 left, and half of those were students who had to finish their studies [in Ukrainian universities which they had entered prior to 2014].”
Balbec’s or Bilyalov’s statistics would not surprise anyone who, unlike the Globe and Mail, has traveled to Crimea and Ukraine since the 2014 decision and listened with an open mind to the views of people living there.
Ukraine-controlled Crimea was officially unilingual, even though the majority of the population of 2.3 million are of Russian language and origin while some 275,000 (12 per cent) are of Tatar language and origin. Today’s Republic of Crimea recognizes three official languages–Russian, Ukrainian and Tatar. The government provides resources for schools and social services in the official languages. In the days of Ukraine-controlled Crimea, the number of Ukrainian language schools could be counted on one hand, while Tatar language schooling was barely on the radar.
Soon after the reunification with Russia, the Russian government in the person of President Vladimir Putin issued a sweeping decree reaffirming and expanding the official apology issued in Soviet times for the World War Two-era deportation of Crimea Tatars. The 2014 decree reaffirmed the right of return of Crimean Tatars to their shared homeland. Putin announced at the time,
“I have signed a decree to rehabilitate the Crimean Tatar population, the Armenian population, Germans, Greeks – all those who suffered (in Crimea) during Stalin’s repressions.”
The announcement was made to a meeting of Russia’s State Council and was shown live on state television. Putin called for measures to encourage the “national, cultural and spiritual renaissance” of the minority groups. The decree aims, “to restore historical justice and remove the consequences of the illegal deportation (of the groups) and the violations of their rights”.
Ukraine’s economy collapsed following the February 2014 coup that overthrew the elected president Victor Yanukovych, so resources and employment prospects for newly settled people are few and far between.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced from their homes in eastern Ukraine by the civil war launched there by the Kyiv regime in 2014. Unlike those who relocated to Russia, most of those who relocated in Ukraine are living in harsh conditions, including facing social stigmas from sections of the Ukrainian population that want them to ‘go home’. In today’s ultra-nationalist Ukraine, people from the ethnically Russian east of the country are often not welcome. Derogatory terms such as ‘sovok’ (derived from the word ‘soviet’) are thrown at them.
All this is not to say that life in Crimea today is idyllic. The peninsula is blockaded by Ukraine (a fact entirely unmentioned by anti-Russia Western media reporting). To counter that, a road, rail and energy bridge from Russia to Crimea is being constructed across the Kerch Straight, but it will not be completed until early 2019. More importantly, harmful, are the Western economic sanctions directed against Crimea and its people. So there are shortages of goods, sometimes there are electricity cuts, and economic activity is hampered.
Tatars have complained that restoration of property rights and promised expansion of cultural and political rights are not happening fast enough. For example, when the scandal over the ATR network erupted in March-April 2015, the Tatar ‘Milli Firqa’ political organization reminded the Crimean government that soon after the referendum, it had urged the creation of a publicly-owned, Tatar-language media network. Milli Firqua said the ATR ‘scandal’ would be moot if the government had acted on its recommendation.
But on the positive side, tourism, for one, is recovering, including from tourists and other visitors from Ukraine. Many Ukrainian visitors are in Crimea to avoid Ukraine’s compulsory military conscription, which was re-introduced in 2014 by the post-coup governing regime. The gains in tourism visits are welcome because the withdrawal of Western credit card companies in 2014 caused several years of hardship for the industry.
Compared to the economic and violent, war-wracked disaster that Ukraine has become, including the prominent role that extreme-right paramilitaries and political movements play in government decisions there (another fact scrubbed out of Western media reporting), life prospects in Crimea look quite good. But don’t look in the Globe and Mail or in Minister Freeland’s press releases for that sort of news.
A resolution of the conflict over Crimea is available. It is called the United Nations Charter, article one of which, titled ‘Purpose and Principles’, reads:
“To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace…”
By any reasonable measure, the March 16, 2014 referendum vote in Crimea was an act of political self-determination, duly conducted by the constitutional government of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (as the peninsula was titled under Ukraine). The overwhelming vote in favour of reunification with Russia was entirely consistent with Crimea’s history and the Western world should respect the outcome.
As to the civil war in eastern Ukraine, here, too, an easy remedy is available, in the form of the Minsk-2 ceasefire agreement (text here). What is galling about the fate of this agreement is that even though the governing regime in Kyiv signed onto it, even though the governments of France and Germany signed on as guarantors, and even though it was endorsed by no less than the UN Security Council (on Feb 17, 2015), Kyiv has flaunted the agreement with impunity. It has pummeled the autonomous republics of Donetsk and Lugansk with artillery and has constantly threatened to re-launch an invasion. At the outset of the conflict, Kyiv cut social security payments–including the pensions that people had worked all their lives to earn–to residents of the areas of Donbass outside of its control and it has made travel difficult and dangerous across the conflict line of demarcation in Donetsk and Lugansk.
Most recently, Kyiv has rendered official a transport blockade initially mounted by right-wing, Ukrainian paramilitaries. This is another sign of the inordinate influence of the right-wing extremists in Ukraine, yet Western media insists such influence is marginal.
Instead of counseling peace and reconciliation in Ukraine and peace with Crimea, successive Canadian governments have poured fuel onto the combustible mix that is Ukraine. Canadians should demand an end to Canada’s and NATO’s military intervention in Ukraine and eastern Europe. We should demand an end to provocative and inflammatory sanctions against Russia.
Wars in the Middle East; rising U.S. militarism directed against Russia, North Korea and China; the renewed U.S. nuclear arms race; global warming; threatened famine in Africa; rising social inequalities—this and more present the world with more than enough problems to solve without adding more.
 Mustafa Dzhemilev has been a spokesman for nearly three decades of the Tatar Crimean Mejlis, a political advocacy project for Crimean Tatars that was launched in the early 1990s at the time of the breakup of the Soviet Union. By the time of the 2014 secession from Ukraine, the Mejlis role had been supplanted by newer and more representative Tatar organizations. The remnants of the Mejlis supported the transport and electricity blockade of Crimea that was mounted by Ukrainian extremists in the autumn of 2015 and then endorsed by the Kyiv regime.
 An article published on March 4, 2017 examines prospects for a tourism project that would showcase Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan (located some 500 km east of Moscow). The article also looks briefly at tourism prospects in Crimea. An article on April 29, 2016 reported on a conference in Crimea discussing tourism potential for the republic.
Source: Off Guardian
According to a report issued on June 6th in German Economic News (Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, or DWN), the German government is preparing to go to war against Russia, and has in draft-form a Bundeswehr report declaring Russia to be an enemy nation. DWN says: “The Russian secret services have apparently thoroughly studied the paper. In advance of the paper’s publication, a harsh note of protest has been sent to Berlin: The head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian State Duma, Alexei Puschkow, has posted the Twitter message: ‘The decision of the German government declaring Russia to be an ...
Both before and after Crimea left Ukraine and joined Russia in a public referendum on 16 March 2014, the Gallup Organization polled Crimeans on behalf of the U.S. Government, and found them to be extremely pro-Russian and anti-American, and also anti-Ukrainian. (Neither poll was subsequently publicized, because the results of each were the opposite of what the sponsor had wished.) Both polls were done on behalf of the U.S. Government, in order to find Crimeans’ attitudes toward the United States and toward Russia, and also toward Ukraine, not only before but also after the planned U.S. coup in Ukraine, which occurred ...
For the first time since WW II, overt fascists hold real power in Europe. Radicalized ultranationalists. Anti-Semites. Hate-mongers.
Cold-blooded killers. Whitewashing high crimes. A puppet regime. America’s newest colony.
Mocking democratic values. Violating fundamental rule of law principles. Unaccountably.
Western leaders won’t explain. Nor will the media. Hard truths are buried.
Ukraine’s government usurped power forcibly. Putschist rule has no legitimacy.
Especially regimes waging war on their own people. Murdering them in cold blood. Committing horrendous human rights abuses.
Tolerating no opposition. Ruling by intimidation. Force-feeding neoliberal harshness on impoverished people. Making life unbearable overall. More on this below.
On December 4, Wall Street Journal editors published ...
GR Editor’s Note
Moscow is accused of doping as part of a US dirty tricks campaign to prevent Russia from participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
What is the record of the US with regard to doping?
The main sports organizations including the NFL, MLB, and NBA have allowed unusually relaxed policies for performance-enhancing drug testing and punishment. The USADA is the US government agency responsible for the implementation in the United States of the World Anti-Doping Code, Yet, the record suggests that the USDA does not actively intervene in “big money sports” and often turns a blind eye ...
The goal of this article is to investigate and describe the text of one very significant, but so far forgotten, document and historical source upon the question on Serbian liberation from the Ottoman sway and national unification. The document was written in 1804 during the first months of the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman oppression [about the uprising see in Petrovich 1976; Vucinich 1982; Temperley 1969; Ђорђевић 1956].
The Serbian nation was divided at the dawn of the 19th century by the borders of Ottoman pashaliks and by the state frontiers that separated the lands under Ottoman from those under ...
The following text was written in the immediate wake of the 1999 NATO bombings of Yugoslavia and the invasion of Kosovo by NATO troops.
It is now well established that the war on Yugoslavia was waged on a fabricated humanitarian pretext and that extensive war crimes were committed by NATO and the US.
In retrospect, the war on Yugoslavia was a “dress rehearsal” for subsequent US-NATO sponsored humanitarian wars including Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Libya (2011), Syria (2011), Ukraine (2014).
Who are the war criminals? In a bitter irony, the so-called International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague ...
In late November 2013, the ‘Euromaidan’ in Kiev began as a popular protest against a generalized state of corruption and cronyism in Ukraine. The spark that ostensibly ignited the protests was the inability of then President Yanukovych to sign an EU Association Agreement that would cut Ukraine’s economic and military ties to Russia in favor of a closer relationship with the EU and NATO.
The EU had made the release of former Ukrainian prime minister and “gas princess” Tymoshenko a precondition for signing the agreement. But the fact that Tymoshenko was/is a convicted embezzler of state funds, combined with the rather ...
The corporate media presents Russia as militaristic but ignores Canada’s invasion of that country.
100 years ago today a popular revolt ousted the Russian monarchy. Enraged at Nicholas II’s brutality and the horror of World War I, protests and strikes swept the capital of Petrograd (Saint Petersburg). Within a week the czar abdicated. Later in the year the Bolsheviks rose to power in large part by committing to withdraw from the war.
The English, French and US responded to the Bolshevik’s rise by supporting the Russian monarchists (the whites) in their fight to maintain power. Six thousand Canadian troops also invaded. According ...
This article first published in March 2014 at the very outset of the Ukraine crisis explains the nature of the Kiev proxy regime. we are dealing with a Neo-Nazi government supported by “Western democracy” and the “international community”.
According to the New York Times, “The United States and the European Union have embraced the revolution here as another flowering of democracy, a blow to authoritarianism and kleptocracy in the former Soviet space.” ( After Initial Triumph, Ukraine’s Leaders Face Battle for Credibility, NYTimes.com, March 1, 2014, emphasis added).
“Flowering Democracy, Revolution”? The grim realities are otherwise. What is a stake is a ...
Leaked emails are filling in the picture of a Bill-and-Hillary-Clinton plan to destroy Russia – a plan which had originated with US President George Herbert Walker Bush in 1990, and which has been followed through both by his son George W Bush, and by both of the Clintons, but which has only recently started to become documented by leaked publications of personal communications amongst the key operatives who were the insiders running this operation behind the scenes, and who include Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, George W Bush, Victoria Nuland, Jeffrey Feltman, Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud, Saudi Crown Prince ...
The former editor of the Tribune de Genève, [Guy Mettan-RI] visited Moscow and presented his new book Russia and the West: A Thousand Year War, which reviews the phenomenon of Russophobia: its roots, historical evolution and modern incarnations. Izvestia had a chance to interview him.
What inspired you to write about this?
There are two reasons why I began this work. The first is a personal, family reason. In 1994, my wife and I adopted a Russian girl, who now is now 25. Her name is Oksana, and she is from the Vladimir region. After we adopted her, I became interested ...
Chances are, if a story about Russia appears on the cover of a major Western magazine, it’s not good news. Most likely, there’s been an international scandal, a breakout of geopolitical tensions, the resumption of Cold War hostilities, or some nefarious Russian plot to bring the entire free world to its knees.
Russophobia — or the unnatural fear of Russia — generally leads magazine editors to choose the most over-the-top images to convey Russia as a backwards, clumsy, non-Western and aggressively malevolent power. Unfortunately, that’s led to a few rules of thumb for anyone trying to create a magazine cover featuring Russia. You can think ...
The edifice of the post-1991 world order is collapsing right before our eyes. President Putin’s decision to give a miss to the Auschwitz pilgrimage, right after his absence in Paris at Charlie festival, gave it the last shove. It was good clean fun to troll Russia, as long as she stayed the course. Not anymore. Russia broke the rules.
Until now, Russia, like a country bumpkin in Eton, tried to belong. It attended the gathering of the grandees where it was shunned, paid its dues to European bodies that condemned it, patiently suffered ceaseless hectoring of the great powers and irritating baiting of the East European small-timers alike. But something broke there. The lad does ...
Seventy-five years ago Adolf Hitler launched the biggest and most destructive military campaign in history when three million German and allied troops invaded the Soviet Union along a 1,000-mile front.
Operation Barbarossa – the codename for the German invasion of Russia - was no ordinary military campaign: it was an ideological and racist war, a war of destruction and extermination that aimed to kill Jews, enslave the Slavic peoples and destroy communism. The result was a war in which 25 million Soviet citizens died, including a million Jews, executed by the SS in 1941-1942 – an action which became the template ...
How did Russia and the West slip back into what seems like the Cold War all over again? How dangerous is the current confrontation? Should the world be ready to face a nuclear war? We ask somebody who’s renowned for his insights. World-famous academic, linguist, philosopher and political commentator Noam Chomsky is on Sophie&Co today.
Sophie Shevardnadze: World-renowned academic Noam Chomsky, Professor Noam Chomsky, welcome to the show, it’s a great pleasure to have you with us today. Now, today U.S.-Russia relations are at a Cold War low. Rhetoric resembles what we heard in the 80-s. What is the worst-case ...
Syrian constitution is questionable
The Russian-proposed constitution for Syria is raising a storm in Media. Not only the opposition but the governmental circles are discussing it. Many forums are endlessly debating its 85-controversial articles. Some Syrians feel insulted by a charter authored by one outside power and approved by two others, Turkey and Iran.
The Islamists are furious, because the draft constitution scraps Article 3, which specifies Islam as the religion of the president of the republic. This is a long-standing article since 1920 which several Syrian leaders, including Hafez Al Assad, tried to change, with little luck. Arab nationalists are also ...
Ukraine is an East European territory which was originally forming a western part of the Russian Empire from the mid-17th century. That is a present-day independent state and separate ethnolinguistic nation as a typical example of Benedict Anderson’s theory-model of the “imagined community” – a self-constructed idea of the artificial ethnic and linguistic-cultural identity. According to Anderson, the nation is abstract and firstly subjective social construction that defy simple, objective definition yet have been for the last two centuries the crucial basis of conflict in world politics and international relations, through assertion of their expressed nationalism.[i] However, nationalism is quite ...
The 13th report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights situation in Ukraine between 16 November 2015 and 15 February 2016, when the Minsk Agreements were in force, has come as a shock to Kiev.
According to the UN, more than three million people live in the areas directly affected by the conflict. The exact number of people who have left Ukraine-controlled territory is still unknown, although rough estimates range from 800,000 to 1,000,000 people. The Ukrainian government has estimated that more than a million people have left southeast Ukraine for Russia, Belarus and Europe. This ...
Even those in Donetsk who originally supported Kiev have come to realize that Ukraine is waging a war against its own people.
The Ukrainian army’s shelling has turned many formerly pro-Ukrainian locals against Kiev
Although this article tries to make the people of Donetsk appear gullible and indoctrinated, it does make one incredible admission: Kiev is waging a vicious war against its own people—something that East Ukrainians will never forget, and probably never forgive. This article originally appeared in Financial Times
As world leaders convened in Minsk this week to decide the fate of east Ukraine, Tatiana Prussova, a teacher at Khartsysk school ...
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The Long History Of Russophobia, Starting With Its Religious Roots
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