A Geopolitical Convergence Between The US And Russia

The end of the Cold War era in 1989 brought during the first coming years a kind of international optimism that the idea of the „end of history“ really can be realized as it was a belief in no reason for the geopolitical struggles between the most powerful states. The New World Order, spoken out firstly by M. Gorbachev in his address to the UN on December 7th, 1988 was originally seen as the order of equal partnership in the world politics reflecting „radically different international circumstances after the Cold War“.[1]

Unfortunately, the Cold War era finished without the „end of history“ as the US continue the same policy from the time of the Cold War against Moscow – now not against the USSR but against its successor Russia. Therefore, for the Pentagon, the Cold War era in fact never ended as the fundamental political task to eliminate Russia from the world politics still is not accomplished. Regardless the fact that in 1989 Communism collapsed in the East Europe, followed by the end of the USSR in 1991, that brought a real possibility for creation of a new international system and global security[2], the eastward enlargement of the NATO from March 1999 (the Fourth enlargement) onward is a clear proof of the continuation of the US Cold War time policy toward Moscow which actually creates uncertainty about the future of the global security. After the end of the USSR and the Cold War, there were many Western public workers and academicians who questioned firstly why the NATO has to exist at all and secondly why this officially defensive military alliance is enlarging its membership when the more comprehensive Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the CSCE, today the OSCE) could provide the necessary framework for security cooperation in Europe including and Russia.[3] However, the NATO was not dissolved, but quite contrary, adopted the same policy of the further (eastward) enlargement likewise the EU. The Kosovo crisis in 1998−1999 became a formal excuse for the enlargement of both these US client organizations for the „better security of Europe“. The EU Commission President, Romano Prodi, in his speech before the EU Parliament on October 13th, 1999 was quite clear in this matter.[4] However, if we know that the Kosovo crisis followed by the NATO military intervention (aggression) against Serbia and Montenegro was fully fueled exactly by the US administration, it is not far from the truth that the Kosovo crisis was provoked and maintained by Washington, among other purposes, for the sake to give a formal excuse for the further eastward enlargement of both the EU and the NATO.

A dismissal of the USSR by M. Gorbachev in 1989−1991 produced a huge power vacuum in the Central and East Europe that was in the coming years filled by the NATO and the EU. The eastward enlargement of both the NATO and the EU emerged in due time as a prime instrument by Washington to gradually acquire control over the ex-Communist territories around Russia. A standard Western academic clishé when writing on the eastward enlargement of the EU is that those ex-Communist East European states:

„… wanted to join a club of secure, prosperous, democratic, and relatively well-governed countries. They saw themselves as naturally belonging to Europe, but deprived of the opportunity to enjoy democracy and the free market by Soviet hegemony and Western European acquiescence to that state of affairs. With the fall of Communism this historical injustice had to be remedied, and accession to the EU was to make their return to Europe complete“.[5]

However, it is not clear why seven West European states currently out of the EU are not able to see all mentioned advantages of the EU membership. Even one of the member states (the UK) decided in 2016 to leave the club (Brexit) and one of the chief reasons for this decision was exactly the eastward enlargement as the critical idea of all East European states to join the EU is to live on the West EU member states’ financial support. Nevertheless, from the geopolitical perspective, the new EU member states coming from the East Europe (from 2004 enlargement onward) are the US Trojan Horse in the club, who are openly supporting the American foreign policy of the imperial design, but with their prime duty as the members of both the EU and the NATO to take an active participation in the coming Western military crusade against Russia in the form of the WWIII. However, these East European nations are going to be the first to experience direct consequences of the war as being a critical part of the Western front line combat zone against Russia.

Surely, one of the most fundamental anti-Russian actions in Europe at the post-Soviet era was the US decision to expend the NATO eastward by offering full membership to three ex-Warsaw Pact members: Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. Therefore, Reagan-Gorbachev agreement from Reykjavik in 1988 was unilaterally and brazenly violated by Washington under the formal excuse of a combination of events−V. Zhirinovsky’s showing in the 1993 elections in Russia, domestic pressure upon B. Clinton from his Republican opponents at the Congress, and what the US administration saw as the abject failure of the EU to provide an answer to a European problem of the Yugoslav civil war (1991−1999). Washington quickly accused the Europeans to be unable to deal with the Yugoslav crisis that was a major test which the EU failed to pass, but honestly speaking, all the EU peace-making efforts dealing with the Yugoslav crisis really failed for the very reason as they were directly sabotaged by the US diplomacy. Nevertheless, the first new action by the enlarged NATO, only two weeks after its Fourth enlargement, was a savaged bombing of Serbia for the sake to put her Kosovo province under the NATO occupation. This action finally forced V. Putin to compel the „Western clown“ B. Yeltsin to resign on December 31st, 1999.

It has to be recognized that the Cold War bipolarity after 1989 was, at least up to 2008, superseded by the US-led unipolarity – a hegemonic configuration of the US accumulated hyper power in global politics that presented quite new challenges to the international relations. However, after the event of 9/11, the US administration started to act on the accelerating achievement after the Cold War of supreme political and military power in the globe for the sake to complete a mission of a global hegemon. The US administration, however, purposely presented the 9/11 attack as the work of (only) a network of Al Qaeda, a Islamic terrorist organization led by Osama bin Laden who was a Saudi millionaire’s son but as well as „who learned his terrorist trade, with U.S. assistance, fighting Soviet forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s“.[6] The US administration of the President George W. Bush responded very quickly and by the end of 2001 a Taliban regime in Afghanistan, that was a radical Islamic regime which was providing a base of operations for Al Qaeda, became demolished and the biggest part of the country occupied or controlled in a coalition with the US satellite states. That was the beginning of the announced „War on Terrorism“ that actually had to serve as a good excuse to further strengthen the US position as the global policeman followed by the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Therefore, a policy of a global unipolarity – a condition of a global politics in which a system of international relations is dictated by a single dominant power-hegemon that is quite capable of dominating all other states, became an order of the day for both the Pentagon and the White House.

With the US military invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 the US stood alone (with the military support by the UK as the fundamental American client state after 1989) at the summit of the hierarchy of the international relations and global politics up to 2008 when Russia finally decided to protect its own geopolitical and historical interests in some part of the world – in this particular case at the Caucasus. The US, in the other words, became in the years 1989−2008 the sole state in the world with the military and political capability to be a decisive factor in the global politics at any corner of the world. In these years, the US military expenditures exceeded all other states combined – a clear sign of a hegemonic global policy of Washington. It seemed to be that the US had an extraordinary historical ability to dictate the future of the world according to its wishes and design as America became a single world hyperpower as the universal empire stronger than Roman or British empires.

By definition, the empire is an universal state having a preponderant power and being in a real ability to act independently without any restraint.[7] Therefore, the empire is working alone rather than in concert with other states, or at least with those whom we can call as the Great Powers[8] – a fundamental mistake and sin which finally provokes an apocalyptic animosity and clash with the rest of the world. This animosity, from historical perspective, after certain time provokes a blowback by the others that exactly, in the case of the US empire, came from Russia in 2008. The Central Caucasus, the East Ukraine and the West Middle East today became the regions of direct clash of geopolitical interests on the global chessboard between declining US empire and the rising economic, political, financial and military power of Russia. The US even from 1990 (the First Gulf War) crossed the moral boundaries in abusing its hyper power through defiant and brutal unilateralism, becoming, as all other universal states (empires), hated and feared rogue civilization („rogue gangster state“ according to Stephen Lendman). The universal state is acting as an international outlaw by its own rules, values, norms and requirements like the US and its NATO satellites in the case of barbaric bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for 78 days in 1999.

According to Noam Chomsky, in fall 2002 the most powerful state ever existed in history declared the basic principle of its imperial grand strategy as a self-intention to keep its global hegemony by the threat to use or by use of its own super-powerfully equipped military arsenal that is the most critical US dimension of power in which Washington reigns supreme in the world.[9] It was clearly confirmed by the White House on September 17th, 2002 as a part of the US national security strategy that was going to be no longer bound by the UN Charter’s rules governing the use of force:

„Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States“.[10]

The hawks of the US hegemonic world order after 1989 openly emphasize the necessity of America’s self-serving pre-eminent role in the world politics, as Hillary Clinton, for instance, put it at her confirmation hearing as the US Secretary of State in 2009:

„So let me say it clearly: the United States can, must, and will lead in this new century… The world looks to us because America has the reach and resolve to mobilize the shared effort needed to solve problems on a global scale – in defense of our own interests, but also as a force for progress. In this we have no rival“.[11]

However, those H. Clinton’s words were ungrounded as the US empire already was in the process of declination. The gradual decline and probably ultimate demise of the US empire, as any other empire in history, can not be understood without previous knowledge on the nature and driving forces of the imperial system. After 1991 the USA remained to function as a „military society“ as there were, for instance, the Roman Empire or the Ottoman Sultanate. That is to say more precisely, the driving force behind the US empire left to be an „external objective“ – the perceived needs to reconstruct the world according to its own values and norms. However, such very ambitious project requires a very systematic policy of overall mobilization of the whole society, economy and politics. As such mobilization all the time implies sacrificing a particular sector of domestic economy for the sake to realize the expansionist aims, the system’s functioning is basically reinforced by the need to replenish resources used up at the previous stage[12] – the need which the US simply could not accomplish successfully.

The US, as a matter of fact, already found itself very costly to maintain its own military dominance in the world. The American soldiers are deployed in almost 80 countries from the Balkans to the Caucasus and from the Gulf of Arden to the Korean Peninsula and Haiti. The US administration is today constantly trapped by the Imperial Overstretch Effect – the gap between the resources and ambitions especially in the foreign (imperialistic) policy which is formally wrapped into the phrase of „domestic security“ needs or international „humanitarian mission“. Undoubtedly, the US costly imperial pursuits and particularly military spending weakened the American economy in relation to its main rivals – China and Russia.

There are a number of scholars (N. Chomsky, M. Chossudovsky, etc.) and public workers (like P. K. Roberts) who predict that after the Pax Americana a multipolar system of international relations will emerge. The fact is that multipolarity, as a global system with more than two dominant power centers, is clearly advocated by V. Putin’s administration in Kremlin instead of both a bipolarity or unipolarity. This concept of multipolarity in international relations has to include alongside the US and the BRICS countries, Japan and the EU. As a multipolar system includes several comparatively equal Great Powers, it is by the nature complex system and hopefully more prosperous for maintaining the global security. The world is in fact from 2008 at the process of power transition that is surely the dangerous period as a hyper power of the USA is directly challenged by the rise of its rivals – Russia and China. Subsequently, the current Ukrainian and Syrian crisis are the consequences (a global „collateral damage“) of such period of power transition which already marked the beginning of a new Cold War that can be soon transformed into the Hot Peace era. Nevertheless, the US administration is not anymore in position to run with the Bush Doctrine[13] that is the unilateral grand strategy of the George W. Bush’s administration in order to preserve a unipolar world under the US hegemony by keeping America’s military capacity beyond any challenge by any other state in the world as, certainly, the US hegemony is already challenged by both Russia and China. Those two countries are currently in the process of making their own alliance bloc advocating multilateralism as cooperative approach to managing shared global problems and keeping a collective security by collective and coordinated actions (a groupthinking) by the Great Powers.

The fundamental task of the US foreign policy after 1989 is to protect its own concept and practice of the unipolar geopolitical order in the world, while Russia with the other BRICS countries is trying to create a multilateral global geopolitical order. The BRICS group of countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are clearly expressing the global phenomena of the „Rise of the Rest“ against the US unipolar hegemony. The rise of the BRICS marks a decisive shift in the global counter-balance of power toward the final end of America’s hegemony. A significance of these four fast-growing economies and their global geopolitical power is already visible and recognized with the predictions that up to 2021 the BRICS countries can exceed the combined strength of the G-7 countries.[14] Therefore, here we are dealing with two diametrically opposite geopolitical concepts of the world order in the 21st century.[15] The current Ukrainian and Syrian crises are just practical expression of it. From the very general point of view, the US administration is not opposing the Russian geopolitical projects because of the fear of the reconstruction of the USSR, but rather for the sake of realization of its own global geopolitical projects according to which Russia has to be a political and economic colony of the West like all the former Yugoslav republics are today but just formally existing as the „independent“ states. The most immediate US task in dealing with Russia after 2000 is to prevent Moscow to create an Eurasian geopolitical and economic block by (mis)using the EU and NATO policy of the eastward enlargement in the East Europe and the Balkans. Ukraine in this matter plays one of the fundamental roles as, according to notorious US Russophobe of the Polish origin Z. Brzezinski, Ukraine is a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard as a geopolitical pivot for the reason that its very existence as an independent country helps to halt Russia to become an Eurasian empire what means a center of world power. Therefore, the US policy in the East Europe has to be concentrated on turning all regional countries against Russia, but primarily Ukraine which has to play the crucial role of stabbing the knife to Russia’s backbone.[16]

The Huntington’s thesis about the unavoidable clash of the antagonistic cultures at the post-Soviet time basically served as academic verification of the continuation of America’s hegemonic global policy after 1989. The author himself „was part leading academic and part policy adviser to several US administrations−and had occupied this influential space since the late 1950s“[17] what means that Huntington directly was participating in directing the US foreign policy during the Cold War. However, as the USSR together with its Communist satellites finally lost the war, but the US policy of the Pax Americana had to be continued and after the Cold War, Huntington actually by his article and later the book on the clash of antagonistic civilizations, as their value systems are profoundly different, paved the academic ground to the Pentagon to invent, a new and useful enemies that would give the US a new role and provide a new justification for America’s continued hegemony in a post-Soviet world. One of these enemies became a post-Yeltsin’s Russia as a country which decided to resist a global hegemony by anyone.

A new Russia’s foreign policy in the 21st century is especially oriented and directed toward refutation of predicting that the new century of the new millennium is going to be more „American“ than the previous one. It means that the US-Russian relations after 2000 are going from the US-led „New World Order“ to the multipolar „Resetting Relations“.[18] The last military success of the Pax Americana’s geopolitical project was the Second Gulf War (the Iraq War) in 2003 launched by the US Neocon President George W. Bush not only to kick out the „Vietnam Syndrome“, but more important to answer to all those experts who previously had been predicting an erosion of the US influence in the global politics. The architects of a post-Yeltsin’s Russia’s geopolitics, followed by all critics of the Pax Americana, are emphasizing a dangerous effect of an American soft power in the shape of popular culture, styles of dress, fast food, music, etc., as the products of a primitive sub-culture and a quasi-civilization. Therefore, the global duty of the civilizations at the time of the clash of civilizations is to fight against a quasi-civilization which degenerates a human face around the world. That is one of the critical tasks of Russia in world policy after 2000 as one of the escalating Great Powers. A rising power of the post-Yeltsin’s Russia as one of the leading countries which are challenging the US unipolar hegemony can be seen from the facts that only up to 2008 Russia succeeded to double its GDP, to triple wages in real terms and to reduce the unemployment and poverty.[19]


Prof. Vladislav B. Sotirovic

www.global-politics.eu/sotirovic

globalpol@global-politics.eu

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ENDNOTES:

[1] Jeffrey Haynes, Peter Hough, Shahin Malik, Lloyd Pettiford, World Politics, New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2013, 97.
[2] John Baylis, Steve Smith (eds.), The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations, Second edition, New York: Oxford University Press, 2001, 111.
[3] Karin M. Fierke, Antje Wiener, “Constructing Institutional Interests: EU and NATO Enlargement” in Frank Schimmelfennig, Ulrich Sedelmeier (eds.), The Politics of European Union Enlargement: Theoretical Approaches, London−New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2005, 99.
[4] European Commission, “Speech by Mr Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission, on Enlargement”, European Parliament Brussels, October 13th, 1999, SPEECH/99/130.
[5] Jan Zielonka, Europe as Empire: The Nature of the Enlarged European Union, New York: Oxford University Press, 2006, 49.
[6] Steven L. Spiegel, Jennifer Morrison Taw, Fred L. Wehling, Kristen P. Williams, World Politics In A New Era, Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2004, 329.
[7] On this issue, see more in [Robert Kaplan, Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Demands a Pagan Ethos, New York: Random House, 2002]. On the political ideology of a universal state, see [Elen Arveler, Politička ideologija Vizantijskog carstva, Beograd: Filip Višnjić, 1988].
[8] A Great Power is such state which is ranked among the most powerful states in the world according to hierarchical state-system. There are four fundamental criteria to identify a Great Power state: 1. It is in the first rank of military competence, having full capacity to protect its own national security and to influence other countries; 2. It is economically powerful state; 3. It has global spheres of interest; and 4. It use a “forward” foreign policy having actual, but not only potential, impact on international relations and world politics [Andrew Heywood, Global Politics, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001, 7].
[9] Noam Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance, London: Penguin Books, 2004, 11.
[10] White House, The National Security Strategy of the United States of America, Washington, September 17th, 2012.
[11] Amitav Acharya, The End of American World Order, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2014, 51.
[12] Andrew C. Janos, East Central Europe in the Modern World: The Politics of the Borderlands from pre- to postCommunism, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000, 330−331.
[13] The Bush Doctrine dealing with the “War on Terrorism” is formulated in two messages delivered to joint sessions of the US Congress on September 20th, 2001 and January 29th, 2002 [Paul R. Viotti (ed.), American Foreign Policy and National Security: A Documentary Record, Upper Saddle River, New Jersay: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2005, 244−248]. The Bush Doctrine is directly supported by the USA Patriot Act of October 24th, 2001. The idea of Bush Doctrine is in fact very similar to the idea of the Reagan Doctrine of 1985 formulated to fight the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua.
[14] Andrew Heywood, Global Politics, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001, 447.
[15] Срђан Перишић, Нова геополитика Русије, Београд: Медија центар „Одбрана“, 2015, 221.
[16] On this issue, see more in [Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, New York: Basic Books, 1997].
[17] John Baylis, Steve Smith (eds.), The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations, Second edition, New York: Oxford University Press, 2001, 115.
[18] Roger E. Kanet, “From the ‘New World Order’ to ‘Resetting Relations’: Two Decades of US−Russian Relations” in Roger E. Kanet (ed.), Russian Foreign Policy in the 21st Century, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, 204−227.
[19] Richard W. Mansbach, Kirsten L. Taylor, Introduction to Global Politics, Second edition, London−New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2012, 165.

Twenty-Five Years Since The USSR Collapse: The Eurasian Economic Union Has A Promising Future

On December 8, 1991 Russia, Belarus and Ukraine stated that the USSR ceased to exist and signed an agreement on the creation of the CIS. Mikhail Gorbachev, the President of the Soviet Union, resigned on December 25, 1991. The Russian Federation assumed the USSR’s rights and obligations to become the recognized primary legal successor of the Soviet Union.

Each post-Soviet state was free to choose its own destiny but the need to cooperate and maintain mutually beneficial close economic ties was evident.

The creation of the Eurasian Customs Union was guaranteed by 3 different treaties signed in 1995, 1999 and 2007. The first treaty in 1995 guaranteeing its creation, the second in 1999 guaranteeing its formation, and the third in 2007 announced the establishment of a common customs territory and the formation of the customs union. Unlike the previous attempts to integrate, this initiative happened to be an evident success resulting in such practical steps as the introduction of common customs tariff, the adoption of the Customs Code in 2010, and the elimination of border controls in 2011.

January 2015 witnessed an important step towards further integration in Eurasia. The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) came into operation comprising Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia. An organization with an integrated single market of 183 million people and a gross domestic product (GDP) of over $4 trillion (PPP) emerged on the world map to introduce the free movement of goods, capital, services and people. The development is a part of global trend. NAFTA, the EU, the Latin American Mercosur and the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), the ASEAN Economic Community in Asia Pacific and the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) are the examples of integration projects bringing countries together and making them benefit from free trade areas (FTA).

The EAEU members adopt common microeconomic policies encompassing industry, agriculture, transport, energy, foreign trade investments, customs, technical regulation, competition and antitrust regulation. The plans include a single currency and greater integration. Structural homogeneity setting common technological targets is one the driving forces of the integration process. Soviet inheritance of the common electric power infrastructure, including nuclear energy sector, transport and communication networks, research and development systems fosters mutually beneficial technological cooperation.

The benefits include free trade and free movement of goods, capital, services and workforce. The interdependence of EAEU stakeholders lowers the probability of conflicts. The Eurasian project also protects its members from the side effects of globalization processes and helps to get profits from world trade. Nobody loses and everyone wins without any detriment to the interests of others.

The image of the EAEU in the West is controversial. Often the reason is low awareness of the project. Many view the EAEU as the revival of the old Soviet Union or an imperialist project. But the Union is based on the principles of equality among all members and lays out other postulates about integration, which are focused on economic interests and have nothing to do with ideology or politics.

The allegations that Moscow dominates the project are unfounded. Not a single EAEU document says anything about the dominance of Russia. After all, it was Kazakhstan that offered the idea of Eurasian integration in the 1990s. The organization boasts the system of subnational bodies set up to counterbalance national ambitions and prevent infringement on interests of individual members. The Russia’s goal is a stable and predictable environment along its borders. Addressing economic problems together is the best way to avoid instability.

True, the EAEU is opposed to Western hegemony and seeks an equal, rather than a dominant, place in the world community. However, the Union lacks any grounding in a political theory to legitimate its superiority and, outside the area of Eurasia; it is not expansionary in vision.

The Union’s members draw lessons looking at the EU going through hard times. They realize that in order to avoid the mistakes committed by the European Union with its bloated bureaucratic structure, the EAEU needs a balanced and flexible mechanism of decision-making.

Today the future of The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is uncertain while the EAEU is making strides to achieve further progress.

The integration within the framework of the EAEU bolsters global multipolarity. As Russian President Vladimir Putin put it, «…integrating with our neighbors is our absolute priority. The future Eurasian Economic Union, which we have declared and which we have discussed extensively as of late, is not just a collection of mutually beneficial agreements. The Eurasian Union is a project for maintaining the identity of nations in the historical Eurasian space in a new century and in a new world. Eurasian integration is a chance for the entire post-Soviet space to become an independent centre for global development, rather than remaining on the outskirts of Europe and Asia».

The EAEU can become a bridge to the Greater Europe – a common cooperative space together with the EU as part of the process leading to a broader continental integration «From Lisbon to Vladivostok» to benefit the West as well.

It is very important that the Eurasian integration targets not Europe only but also Asia. In late July, the EAEU ratified its first-ever free trade agreement with a country outside of the Union – Vietnam. Recently the EAEU has received around 40 proposals for free trade agreements (FTA). Many of them come from Asia-Pacific countries.

This year the Union has signed memoranda of cooperation with Cambodia and Singapore. During the Russian President’s visit to China in June, the EAEU signed a joint declaration on transition to the negotiation stage for development of the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Union (the EAEU) and the People’s Republic of China. Once signed, a cooperation deal with China will be a great leap forward.

Russia is interested in drawing all Asia Pacific countries, not only China, into projects to develop Siberia and the Russia’s Far East. For those unwilling to make a definitive choice between the US and China, Russia and the EAEU would become a truly independent center of power. In 2016, the process of rebalancing Russia’s Asian policy got underway with a sequence of milestone summits: the Russia-Japan Summit on May 6 (and another one slated for December 15) and the ASEAN-Russia Summit on May 19-20.

The idea of ASEAN and EAEU forming a free trade area was broached for the first time at the summit, while the talks about setting up free trade zones between the EAEU and specific ASEAN countries, such as Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia, and are already underway. The ASEAN-Russia Summit declaration mentions the need to explore ways for Russia to join the China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).The idea to bring together the EAEU, ASEAN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Silk Road Economic Belt is very promising.

Russia’s plans to expand the Eurasian integration to encompass China, India, Iran, ASEAN and the RCEP will lead to the creation of a major Euro-Asian political and economic arc to become the backbone of new world order at the time the US-led projects appear to have a slim chance to ever materialize while Brexit and multiple internal crises within the EU prove the European integration pattern has too many flaws.

The EAEU does not follow others. It seeks for its own recipes to become effective, unique and profitable for all members. As such, the project is a promising development to benefit all parties involved.


By Andrei Akulov

2016-12-08

Source: Strategic Culture Foundation

CIA Discovered Who Helped Hitler To Win Elections In Germany And To Become A Chancellor In 1933 – A Document of Evidence

cia-discovers-putin-helped-hitler-to-winn-elections

“Responsibility To Protect” Was Not Valid In Kosovo And Isn’t Valid In Ukraine

Obama and Donetsk

The same arguments used to justify a western ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Kosovo in 1999 could be used to support a Russian intervention in Ukraine.

This article originally appeared at Irrussianality


Yesterday, I gave a talk on ‘The Folly of Military Intervention’ at McGill University. Afterwards, one of the students asked me a question about parallels between the wars in Kosovo in 1999 and Ukraine in 2014/15. As I answered, I found myself thinking about the scale of the humanitarian crises in both cases and what this means for supporters of so-called ‘humanitarian intervention’.

In 1999, NATO aircraft bombed Yugoslavia for three months. The aim, according to NATO leaders, was to coerce the Yugoslav government to stop human rights abuses in Kosovo. We were told that NATO’s campaign was a humanitarian intervention. The case of Kosovo was subsequently used to justify the concept of the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P), under which state sovereignty is limited and states have an obligation to protect the citizens of other countries if their rights are being attacked.

It is believed that prior to NATO’s war against Yugoslavia, about 2,000 people had been killed in Kosovo. Roughly half of these were Serbs, dead at the hands of the Kosovo Liberation Army, and half were Albanian Kosovars, killed by Yugoslav military and paramilitary forces. While eventually several hundred thousand Kosovars fled their homes to avoid the fighting, the vast majority of these did so only after NATO began its bombing.

According to the United Nations, over 5,000 people have been killed in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk provinces in the past year. It is not clear what percentage is military and what percentage civilian casualties, but it is obvious that the number of civilian deaths in the conflict has been very high. And the situation is getting worse. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights assesses that 262 people died in Eastern Ukraine between 13 and 21 January alone. Meanwhile, the High Commission for Refugees reports that there are now about half a million displaced persons from Donetsk and Lugansk within Ukraine, and that another 200,000 have fled to Russia. The towns and cities of Eastern Ukraine are subjected to daily bombardment from artillery and multiple launch rocket systems. Many of the people who remain there are without electricity and running water.

In short, the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ukraine today is far worse than that in Kosovo prior to NATO’s 1999 intervention. Should the Russian Army invade Ukraine in force, drive the Ukrainian Army out of Donetsk and Lugansk, and bring the war to a rapid end? This, in principle, it is entirely capable of doing. R2P suggests that it should. In 1999, NATO killed about 1,500 Yugoslav civilians in the course of its bombing; it is unlikely that the civilian death toll from a Russian invasion would be much higher, and it might even be lower.

If R2P is valid, then its proponents should surely welcome such an intervention. In practice, I am sure that they wouldn’t. The point here is not to say that we should demand Russian humanitarian intervention in Ukraine; there are many reasons why that would be an extremely bad thing. Rather, the point is to show the absurdity of the humanitarian warriors’ position. Perhaps they can come up with a good explanation for why humanitarian intervention by NATO is justifiable but similar intervention by Russia in a far worse humanitarian situation would not be. I would be interested to hear it.

UPDATE: Brad Cabana (a fellow Canadian & former army captain) has just posted an argument on his blog that Russia should invade Ukraine. He makes his case well. As someone who has opposed the principle of humanitarian intervention ever since Kosovo, I cannot support it, if only in order to be consistent, but it seems to me to be entirely in line with R2P and thus to pose some real problems for the R2P crowd, who despite their alleged principles will no doubt be thoroughly against it.


By Paul Robinson

02-02-2015

Source: http://russia-insider.com/en/2015/02/02/3036

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“Operation Unthinkable” (1945) And US-NATO’s Threats To Wage War On Russia

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Five days before the celebration of the 71th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s capitulation to the Soviet and allied troops in the WWII, the new NATO Supreme Commander in Europe Curtis Scaparrotti announced that he came to beat the drums of war again. Ignoring the historic facts and legitimate Russian interests in its around, in his first speech after assuming office he condemned alleged “Russian aggressive behavior that challenges international norms” and called the bloc members to “fight tonight if deterrence fails.”

This commonplace declaration fairly correlates with the military and media strategy the Western ruling class adopted decades ago. Even putting aside the well-grounded argument that the very appearance of Hitler as the Fuhrer of the Third Reich in humiliated post-WWI Germany was a carefully planned and carried out operation of the US military intelligence to set it against Soviet Union, the full collection of the available facts evidences that the nucleus of Nazism was thoroughly fostered deep inside the Western ideological centers all time long since its formal defeat in May 1945.

There is no paradox here: striving for global dominance was (and still is) the idee fixe of many elitist groups in the history of mankind, and in such retrospective the phenomenon of German Nazism should be considered as a mere tool in hands of its instigators to reach this objective. Despite some tactical difficulties (e.g. in March 1939 Hitler suddenly launched his own game, but was brought back into obedience by May 1941), the general development of the global conflict in the middle of XXth century was admissible for the elites. At least the Bretton Woods Conference held in July 1944, next month after the Allies landed in France to counterbalance Soviet offensive in the East (which by that time would inevitably lead to unilateral defeat of Nazis by the USSR), fixed the key rules securing the financial monopoly of the Federal Reserve dollar. (According to the Bretton Woods Final Act, all international currencies’ rates were tied to a basket of 96% of the Federal Reserve dollar and 4% of British pound and acquired a golden value only via this rate – the Federal Reserve Note was therefore equaled to the gold as a universal measure of value).

pax-americanaThe key challenge the authors of Bretton Woods were facing since the beginning of the talks was the sovereign attitude of the Soviet delegation. They had to lure the Soviet Union to enter this draconian system by any mean. As Stalin and his envoys did not show any visible intention to be tempted by the carrot, the Wall Street had to take the stick. The idea was to reach a separate truce with Wehrmacht on the Western and Southern theaters to reinforce German Eastern fronts (quite notably, the documents related to Operation Sunrise in March 1945 are still not declassified by the United States, so this Wiki article has no more than an introductory value).

Due to the timely counter-operation by the Soviet intelligence and following harsh diplomatic exchange, the truce talks in Lucerne, Switzerland, were suspended, but clandestine Nazi-American contacts proceeded. As a matter of fact, since end of March 1945, without any formal truce, the German troops started massively surrendering to Anglo-American forces and the latter rapidly advanced way to Berlin to meet the Soviets on Elbe on April 25, 1945. Unsurprisingly, the notorious Odessa (Organization of former SS members) network was activated at the same time allowing 30 thousand (!) Nazi war criminals to escape Europe via “windows” in Anglo-American occupation zone. Most of them were later legalized in the United States and loyally served to the new masters…

Once the “German factor” disappeared, the “Allies” hurried to secretly elaborate a new war plan to militarily defeat Soviet Union, exhausted by the 4-years-long dramatic campaign. The Operation Unthinkable dossier was declassified in 1998. According to it, on July 1, 1945 the “Allies” planned to commit a strike on the Soviet forces in Europe and key industrial areas within the territory of the USSR. The objective was to “impose upon Russia the will of the United States and British Empire”. So in the summer of 1945 the Wall Street planned the same Barbarossa 2.0 aggression against Russia which their frantic creature Hitler launched 4 years before.

“Operation Unthinkable: ‘Russia: Threat to Western Civilization,’” British War Cabinet, Joint Planning Staff [Draft and Final Reports: 22 May, 8 June, and 11 July 1945], Public Record Office, CAB 120/691/109040 / 002

9/10/2004 [declassified in October 2004]

The reason why the plan was never put in practice is that the Western military experts evaluated “the balance of forces” in Europe insufficient for effective rapid defeat of the Soviets. The United States already exclusively possessed the A-bomb, and hoped that this threat would impress Stalin to ratify Bretton Woods.

The Potsdam episode however proved the opposite so the United States decided to make this threat more vivid. The collateral 200 thousand Japanese casualities did not mean a lot for president Truman in his Big Game for the hegemony of the Federal Reserve.

The full scope of the consecutive Cold Combat (after Stalin definitely rejected ratification of Bretton Woods Agreements in December 1945) is beyond the scale and ambition of this article.

The fact however is that the grandiose and on-going media operation to equal Stalin and Hitler and to review and distort the basic truths of the modern history in minds of the “educated” people worldwide is just a single dimension of the global elitist’ agenda to suppress the leading reluctant power standing on its way to unbounded dominion over the world.

The instruments of establishing the dominion are the same: creating a controlled chimeric project (whether Al-Qaeda or Ukrainian Nazism) and playing the role of “peacekeeper” and “philantrop” in the bloody chaotic conflict.


09-05-2016

Why Russia Resents U.S.

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Friday, a Russian SU-27 did a barrel roll over a U.S. RC-135 over the Baltic, the second time in two weeks.

Also in April, the U.S. destroyer Donald Cook, off Russia’s Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, was twice buzzed by Russian planes.

Vladimir Putin’s message: Keep your spy planes and ships a respectable distance away from us. Apparently, we have not received it.

Friday, Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work announced that 4,000 NATO troops, including two U.S. battalions, will be moved into Poland and the Baltic States, right on Russia’s border.

“The Russians have been doing a lot of snap exercises right up against the border with a lot of troops,” says Work, who calls this “extraordinarily provocative behavior.”

But how are Russian troops deploying inside Russia “provocative,” while U.S. troops on Russia’s front porch are not? And before we ride this escalator up to a clash, we had best check our hole card.

Germany is to provide one of four battalions to be sent to the Baltic.

But a Bertelsmann Foundation poll last week found that only 31 percent of Germans favor sending their troops to resist a Russian move in the Baltic States or Poland, while 57 percent oppose it, though the NATO treaty requires it.

Last year, a Pew poll found majorities in Italy and France also oppose military action against Russia if she moves into Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia or Poland. If it comes to war in the Baltic, our European allies prefer that we Americans fight it.

Asked on his retirement as Army chief of staff what was the greatest strategic threat to the United States, Gen. Ray Odierno echoed Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, “I believe that Russia is.”

He mentioned threats to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine.

Yet, when Gen. Odierno entered the service, all four were part of the Soviet Union, and no Cold War president ever thought any was worth a war.

The independence of the Baltic States was one of the great peace dividends after the Cold War. But when did that become so vital a U.S. interest we would go to war with Russia to guarantee it?

Putin may top the enemies list of the Beltway establishment, but we should try to see the world from his point of view.

When Ronald Reagan met Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik in 1986, Putin was in his mid-30s, and the Soviet Empire stretched from the Elbe to the Bering Strait and from the Arctic to Afghanistan.

Russians were all over Africa and had penetrated the Caribbean and Central America. The Soviet Union was a global superpower that had attained strategic parity with the United States.

Now consider how the world has changed for Putin, and Russia.

By the time he turned 40, the Red Army had begun its Napoleonic retreat from Europe and his country had splintered into 15 nations.

By the time he came to power, the USSR had lost one-third of its territory and half its population. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan were gone.

The Black Sea, once a Soviet lake, now had on its north shore a pro-Western Ukraine, on its eastern shore a hostile Georgia, and on its western shore two former Warsaw Pact allies, Bulgaria and Romania, being taken into NATO.

For Russian warships in Leningrad, the trip out to the Atlantic now meant cruising past the coastline of eight NATO nations: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Great Britain.

Putin has seen NATO, despite solemn U.S. assurances given to Gorbachev, incorporate all of Eastern Europe that Russia had vacated, and three former republics of the USSR itself.

He now hears a clamor from American hawks to bring three more former Soviet republics — Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine — into a NATO alliance directed against Russia.

After persuading Kiev to join a Moscow-led economic union, Putin saw Ukraine’s pro-Russian government overthrown in a U.S.-backed coup.

He has seen U.S.-funded “color-coded” revolutions try to dump over friendly regimes all across his “near abroad.”

“Russia has not accepted the hand of partnership,” says NATO commander, Gen. Philip Breedlove, “but has chosen a path of belligerence.”

But why should Putin see NATO’s inexorable eastward march as an extended “hand of partnership”?

Had we lost the Cold War and Russian spy planes began to patrol off Pensacola, Norfolk and San Diego, how would U.S. F-16 pilots have reacted?

If we awoke to find Mexico, Canada, Cuba, and most of South America in a military alliance against us, welcoming Russian bases and troops, would we regard that as “the hand of partnership”?

We are reaping the understandable rage and resentment of the Russian people over how we exploited Moscow’s retreat from empire.

Did we not ourselves slap aside the hand of Russian friendship, when proffered, when we chose to embrace our “unipolar moment,” to play the “great game” of empire and seek “benevolent global hegemony”?

If there is a second Cold War, did Russia really start it?


By Patrick J. Buchanan

Source: http://buchanan.org/blog/russia-resents-us-125183

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Demonizing Russian Media

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One of the West’s top points in condemning Vladimir Putin’s “regime” since 2007 has been his alleged suppression of democratic institutions, including an assault on media freedom and imposition of government-directed propaganda. This week, the accusation was repeated in a resolution of the European Parliament calling for stronger counter-measures in defense of European values against “information warfare” from Moscow.

The charges — that Russian media are only an instrument of state propaganda directed at the domestic population to keep Russian citizens in line and at foreign audiences to sow dissent among Russia’s neighbors and within the European Union — are taken as a matter of faith with almost no proofs adduced. Anyone who questions this “group think” is immediately labeled a “tool of Putin” or worse.

Russian President Vladimir Putin answering questions from Russian citizens at his annual Q&A event on April 14, 2016. (Russian government photo)

I experienced this firsthand in March 2015 when, as one of three debaters on “The Network,” a Euronews public affairs program, I objected to remarks by a fellow panelist, Chairman of the European Parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee Elmar Brok, who maintained that Putin crushed all liberties and his country has no free press.

Based on my familiarity with the many different political lines of the Russian print media and of the patently unintimidated Kremlin-critics behind the national radio station Ekho Moskvy and television station Dozhd’, I countered that, for example, Russian coverage of events in the Donbass was more multi-sided and free than coverage in the U.S.

Brok lashed out with the slanderous question: “And how much did the Kremlin pay you to say that?” The broadcaster then allowed this video-taped exchange to air freely.

I have ruminated on this exchange ever since and sought incontrovertible proof of the relative freedom of expression on Russian broadcast media. My close examination of the wildly popular political talk shows on Russian television first as a spectator and then as a participant has provided just that.

have written previously about my initial experience going back six months to when I first took part in a program on the Rossiya 1/Vesti 24 state channel, Yevgeni Popov’s “Special Correspondent.” I mentioned at the time the nearly permanent presence on these programs of domestic opposition figures as well as of foreigners from the U.S., Ukraine, Poland and Israel, in particular, who could be counted on to present views on the political topic of the day’s discussion at sharp variance with the Kremlin line.

Assessing the Talk Shows

In early autumn I appeared on the same presenter’s new show “Sixty Minutes,” as well on what is probably the most respected show of this genre, “Sunday Evening with Vladimir Soloviev,” another Rossiya 1 production. Soloviev has done feature-length television interviews with Vladimir Putin and may be considered to be as close to power as people in this medium get. His personal views are probably more nationalist than the ruling United Russia party, but on his shows he, too, gives time on air to very diverse Russian and foreign views.

Some of the estimated 12 million Russians who took part in Immortal Regiment parades across the country over three days in May 2016. (RT photo)

In the past month, I broadened my experience with the Russian talk show format by participating in shows on the other major state channel, Pervy Kanal (“Time Will Tell”) and on the country’s largest commercial television channel, NTV (“The Meeting Place”). This accelerated learning was facilitated by the U.S. presidential elections, which made Russian-speaking talking heads from America like myself a rather hot commodity on Russian television at least briefly.

In speaking to fellow panelists during break time, in interviews with presenters, I gathered some inside information about the production side of the talk shows, including their target audiences, their technical aspects and their substantive positioning.

Anyone looking over Russian television programming in general quickly finds that talk shows as a format take up a very large part of broadcast time. Of course, the focus of talk shows may be highly diverse, and political talk shows were traditionally an evening phenomenon, as is the case with the Rossiya 1 shows cited above, while daytime programming more typically focuses on housewives’ concerns, daydreams of romance or tips for cooking, and the like.

In this sense, it was a bold move when two years ago Pervy Kanal decided to launch a daily two-hour political talk show (“Time Will Tell”) in mid-afternoon. As expected, the target audience proved to be stay-at-home women and viewers aged 50 and above, although it appears there are also a fair number of viewers watching the program in the work place.

Going Daytime

The ratings captured by this show typically are in the 20s, meaning that 20 or so percent of all television viewers in Russia at the given time are tuned to the given program, yielding an audience numbering in the millions. On Nov. 9, when I appeared on the show dedicated to analysis of the U.S. election results, the numbers spiked to 30 percent, as one might well understand given the very great interest among ordinary Russians in the outcome of the race for the U.S. presidency and the outlook for war or peace.

A Russian orchestra performing at Palmyra’s Roman theater on May 5, 2016, after Syrian troops, backed by Russian air power, reclaimed the ancient city from the Islamic State. (Image from RT’s live-streaming of the event.)

As “Time Will Tell” presenter Artyom Sheinin explained to me, the decision to appear on daytime television called for certain production decisions differentiating the programs from the evening talk shows. Firstly, the expectation of a less sophisticated audience meant that the language of panelists should be free of political science jargon and allusion to little known names or philosophies.

Said Artyom, panelists are asked to pitch their arguments as they would “talking to their kids, their mom or their lover.’’ On the other hand, overly calm discussion is not seen as a benefit. The presenter explains that his audience sitting at home at mid-day is in need of “an adrenaline shot,” and the normal penchant of Russian panelists to shout down one another in a free-for-all is not discouraged in the way it is on evening programming. The evening viewer is assumed to have come home from work and is seated in his armchair before the television, wants his nerves soothed more than excited.

All Russian political talk shows on the main channels are produced in the afternoon, Moscow time, and all feature on screen the caption “Live On Air.” However, where and when these shows are broadcast live versus rebroadcast from video tapes is another matter.

For example, the Rossiya 1/Vesti programs are broadcast live to the Russian Far East, where they appear at the end of prime-time evening broadcasts. Then they are re-broadcast at local evening prime time in each of the eight other time zones of the Russian Federation lying to the west, showing last in Moscow.

In this regard, two years ago when it launched “Time Will Tell,” Pervy Kanal took a second unparalleled risk by broadcasting live to Moscow in the afternoon. From a political standpoint, this was like a high-flying trapeze act without the benefit of a safety net.

In fact all of these programs are also video-taped, and all the major channels make the tapes available for internet viewing on their websites in full or shortened versions.

Similar Formats

Just as Russian television has often copied studio design and presentation formats from American television (I think in particular of the way the “Tonight Show” has been replicated on major Russian channels), so they copy from one another. In fact, if you turn on any of the political talk shows I cited above, you will find rather similar studios with live audiences.

A military parade on Red Square. May 9, 2016 Moscow. (Photo from: http://en.kremlin.ru)

Indeed, at Pervy Kanal, the producers remark jokingly that when NTV decided to launch its own afternoon talk show, “The Meeting Place,” that network picked up not only the production format and studio design but also some of the production staff. The format of having male-female pairs of talk show hosts also has spread widely in the industry.

But there appears to be a significant difference between these shows on the degree to which they are “scripted” by management upstairs, the degree to which they are free discussion. Perhaps the most scripted is this season’s new entry at Rossiya 1, “Sixty Minutes,” in which presenters Yevgeni Popov and Olga Skabeyeva are reading off teleprompters and the audience applause is aggressively prompted. On the other hand, the lead presenter on Pervy Kanal’s “Time Will Tell,” Artyom Sheinin proudly says that he has no script handed to him, that what he says on air is what he himself prepared or is thinking at the time.

One ubiquitous fact is that the panelists are not scripted and if anyone is cut off in mid-sentence it is by other panelists vying for the microphone, not by the presenter keeping the political line of discourse in check. Except in the case of senior politicians, who are given the respect their rank demands, no panelist is safe from interruptions and the audience encourages a culture of gladiators in the arena, with applause punctuating the debates.

On NTV there is the additional expression of audience disapproval, but that is rare. The benefits of these ground rules go to the quick-witted as well as to the loudest voices, whatever their political complexion.

The culture of these talk shows is permeated by a newsroom mentality. Some of the presenters, especially on Rossiya 1/Vesti 24, come from television journalism and have gotten their appointments as a reward for successful work in the field, especially in hazardous areas. Such was the background of talk show host Yevgeni Popov, who for years reported from Ukraine, initially during the Orange Revolution days and later during the Maidan protests.

The content of each program on all channels is subject to change at the last minute as are the list of invited panelists in case of breaking news. This favors inviting panelists who are living in the Moscow area. They can be invited and disinvited at short notice. In fact, all the major political shows on the three channels I observed from inside use many of the same Russian and foreign panelists chosen from among political scientists at universities or think tanks, journalists and Duma or Federation Council members.

Western Voices

To be sure, not all panelists come down to the studio. A very few lucky experts are given air time from remote locations, their close-up image projected onto a wall-sized screen.

One such “regular” on the Rossiya 1/Vesti 24 channel is Dimitri Simes, president of The Center for the National Interest in Washington, D.C. These vignette appearances get special treatment, without any interruption from other panelists and only respectful questioning from the host.

Panelists in greatest demand can be seen leaving one show early so as to be able to get over to another studio on a different channel when there is the rotation of panelists between advertising breaks. None is in greater demand than the American Michael Bohm, who in the dark days of worsening relations with the West provided all channels with highly fluent statements in Russian of the latest policy position of the Washington Consensus, often accompanied by Russian folk expressions.

This has been especially appreciated by television producers representing the more hardline supporters of the Kremlin for whom Bohm is the kind of American the audience loves to hate, his every remark justifying demands for greater military expenditures by the Kremlin. Nonetheless, it remains true that through Bohm and a few other Westerners on these shows, the full blast of Western critiques of Kremlin policy gets prime broadcasting time in Russia.

The senior politicians brought in as panelists come from all the Duma parties, not just the ruling United Russia. In the past half year, I noted in particular the frequent presence of the leader of the nationalist LDPR party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, while Gennady Zyuganov of the Communists or Sergey Mironov, leader of Just Russia, have been rare birds.

On the other hand, there have been frequent appearances by the Liberals of the Yabloko party, which never made it past 1 percent of votes cast in the latest parliamentary elections, not to mention the minimum 5 percent threshold for Duma representation.

The talk show programs are prepared with great professionalism. Behind each there is extensive research to find appropriate archival and/or latest visuals. The administrative chores involved in arranging logistics for the panelists chosen are also considerable. The team members I have encountered were uniformly dedicated, working crazy hours to get their job done.

Encouraging Strong Opinions 

I also noted a peculiar complicity between the staff “handlers” and us panelists. Clearly, production staff is rewarded for finding “fresh blood” panelists who play out well, and they make sure that their dogs in the race are well tended with coffee, tea, and, if needed, a shot of brandy during breaks to keep their spirits high.

On the Rossiya 1/Vesti 24 talk shows presenters and the panelists all are wired with headset microphones. However, on both Pervy Kanal and NTV, only the presenters are wired, while panelists are seated next to production assistants holding microphones, which they make available upon request. Indeed, the assistants act as coaches to newcomers like myself, whom they urge to speak louder, speak faster, etc. to get the greatest debate effect out of us.

In conclusion, my firsthand experience with the Russian political talk show phenomenon left me with no doubt that this is bona fide journalism serving the public interest, exposing the broad Russian television audience, from everyone’s parents and grandparents to business leaders and university dons, to a great many different competing and well-presented views on the major issues of the day, both domestic and international.

This reality is sharply at variance with what U.S. and Western European mainstream media would have us believe about Putin’s Russia.


2016-11-23

About the author:

Gilbert Doctorow is the European Coordinator of The American Committee for East West Accord Ltd. His most recent book, Does Russia Have a Future? was published in August 2015.

The original source of this article is Consortiumnews

The Hidden Story Of Crimea’s Economic Success

Crimea Russia

Recently Crimea celebrated the 2nd anniversary of its reunification with Russia, marked on the day of the referendum that ended the Ukrainian occupation. Much has been written about the political and geopolitical aspects of the reunification as well as the social sentiments of the people, but little has been said about the economy. I want to lift the lid on that because the results of the economic transition are in fact quite impressive, especially considering the arduous hurdles that had to be overcome in the process.

The transition from the Ukrainian economy to the Russian one meant a transfer from a much less developed economy with a significantly lower price level to a more mature economic environment. Under the Ukrainian rule the black market and corruption were widespread and tax collection a rare occurrence. The problems were compounded by a dramatic suspension of the whole banking system as the Ukrainian banks left the peninsula, to be slowly replaced by Russian banks. Hereby for fear of sanctions the major Russian banks abstained. Trade and logistics patterns were disrupted and new ones had to be created with the Russian mainland, while the direct land access to Crimea from Russia was cut off due to the civil war in Eastern Ukraine.

The first nasty act of humanitarian war occurred when the Ukrainian regime cut off the main water supply to the North Crimean Canal by blocking it with a dam.

At the same time, the Crimeans were punished for their democratic choice by the Western powers which slapped severe sanctions on Crimea virtually prohibiting all trade and investments, the way the U.S. had punished the Cuban revolution.

A new wave of problems started when the Ukrainian regime became increasingly frustrated with the apparent success of the breakaway republic. They virtually prohibited their citizen to travel to Crimea, then they moved on to declare a trade embargo. When nothing worked, they in a last desperate effort cut off the electricity supplies in November 2015 as so-called “activists” blew up the electricity pylons that supplied Crimea in a Ukrainian state sponsored act of sabotage.

But the Ukrainian saboteurs increasingly remind me of the cartoon villains, who continuously go after the lucky-go-happy hero, only to have the joke on themselves. That was the case with their food embargo, which only blew back on the Ukrainian farmers and traders, and so it was with the electricity. With great foresight, President Putin had launched an underwater electricity transmission line from the mainland across the Kerch Strait. Working against the clock the Russians were able to open ahead of schedule the first line of the four cables in early December and the second leg already Mid-December, thus already neutralizing the Ukrainian threat. The remaining two lines are due for April and May respectively.

Except, for the lucky-go-happy is an understatement, more correctly, I would characterize the Russians in this respect as lucky-go-smart, masterly handling the whole political and economic transition. Let’s look at the economic facts.

Wages running ahead of prices

Crimea suffered in 2014 and 2015 from seemingly runaway inflation totaling 70.1% for the two years. This would be very bad news if not for the fact that at the same time nominal salaries rose by 112%, thus the real salaries rose by some 40%. What is remarkable is that the salaries in Crimea grew faster than anywhere else in Russia. From January to December 2015, average monthly salaries grew from 17,000 rubles to 30,000 rubles. Real wages actually declining in Russia on an average. Crimean wages were in beginning of the year at 57% of the national average but reached 70% in December. What this then tells is that Crimea has successfully undergone a period of adaptation to the higher Russian price levels in leaving behind the Ukrainian economic structures. In the same period, inflation in the Ukraine was 68.2%, but contrary to the case of Crimea, the Maidan coup translated into sinking salaries with 16.5% real decline for the two years. The net result is then that the Crimean workers gained 50% over their Ukrainian peers.

The salary gains have been accompanied by more jobs putting unemployment down to 7.2% in January from 9% March 2015. Corresponding figures for Sevastopol were 5.4%, down from 12.3%.

Retail sales recorded a healthy gain in nominal terms but were slightly down in real terms (-5.3%).

The factories are up and running again

Industrial production grew by 12.5% on the year in 2015, and with a whopping 25% in December year-on-year. The extraordinary positive dynamics continued in 2016 with a record gain of 32.2% for January-February.

The construction industry also reported impressive results with a value growth of 73.9% after considering the effects of inflation, with completion of 249 thousand square meters of new housing.

Agriculture

The agriculture and food industry have not fared as well, with a 13.4% contraction in 2015, including a bigger 19.3% decline in livestock production. In crop farming, there were two contradictory trends: cereal crops were up by a sixth while garden plants and wine grapes were down.

The drop in grapes was the result of an unusually cold January. A combination of other reasons affected the agriculture in general, which all derived from the interruption of economic relations with the Ukraine and problems with water supplies, caused by the Ukrainian diversion of the water duct that used to supply Crimea. These problems will all be overcome in due course with alternative supplies being arranged from mainland Russia and new investments, including with significant state subsidies. For example, an investment in a pork production facility will grow already this year the total Crimean industrial capacity for this meat by 35% (corporate produced, excluding homesteads).. Another project will raise the production of milk one and a half times (excluding homesteads).

Tourism is booming

The tourism industry is coming along very nicely, indeed, with a 21% growth of visitors in 2015 bringing the total to 4.6 million. This is often contrasted with the 6 million tourists, of which 4 million Ukrainians, that used to come before the liberation. The comparison is however quite misleading as the purchasing power and habits of that segment of Ukrainian visitors was quite different. They did not require a high standard of service in accommodation and catering and so did not bring in a profitable business and thus did not stimulate investments. Already in the difficult transition year of 2014, the proceeds from the tourist industry doubled to a value of about $1.5 billion from the level of the Ukrainian years of $700 million.

This year promises to be even better with an expected 20% growth of both amount of visitors and prices (net increase about 10% considering inflation). What is interesting is that Russians have taken to visit Crimea all-year round and not only in the hot summer months.

crimea-2nd-pic

This hardly tallies with the grim picture that Reuters wanted the world to believe in its propaganda piece dedicated to the 2nd anniversary of the liberation, or “annexation”, in their Orwellian parlance. This is the Reuters version:

“Crimea once prospered as a Black Sea tourist hub. Now its businesses are starved of tourists and international investment is barred by Western sanctions.”

Russia has been quick to ensure that all possible ways of bringing visitors and supplies to the peninsula have been explored and used. As a result 5 million passengers where carried by air to and from the regional capital Simferopol, almost doubling from the previous year. There are now direct flights with competitive prices from all major Russian cities, with 70 flights from Moscow alone, even in March.

In addition to that, the ferry across the Kerch Strait shuttled 4.7 million tourists.

The Bridges, and other infrastructure

The big one that everyone is waiting for is the Bridge, the bridge over the Kerch Strait that has been promised for December 2018 with full traffic in 2019. The way things are going, I would expect it to be ready even earlier, that seems to be the Putin-way of making things, as it was with the electricity supplies.

Interestingly, the cost of the Bridge seems to be so competitive that the Western propaganda center has so far not cared to produce a Nemtsov-Navalny style report on the “horrendous cost and corruption” in connection with it, as they did on the Sochi investments.

The Bridge when completed will have an enormous effect on the economy of Crimea and all aspects of life, but there are other very important infrastructure investments as well.

Another bridge, the energy bridge as the Russians call the electricity cables drawn underwater across the Kerch Strait have already been completed to a large extent. I already reported above on the success of this project.

In addition to the transmission line, three electricity power stations will be constructed or reconstructed by 2018, after which Crimea will have surplus power for significant growth of the economy.

Furthermore, Russia is in the process of laying an undersea gas pipeline to Crimea. The investment is estimated at 20 bn rubles (~$300 million) with a completion by 2018.

The Bridge is accompanied with construction of a new highway between Kerch and Simferopol as well as other roads.

Other government investments include reconstruction and modernization of hospitals, public buildings and public places; water supplies; new ambulances, fire tracks, urban transport vehicles, etc.

Stop feeding the West

The Russian liberal faux-opposition has a cant that goes like “Stop feeding Crimea”, an adaptation of Alexey Navalny’s original “Stop feeding the Caucasus”. Based on the results of my little investigation into the reality of the Crimean economy, I would rather turn the question around and tell that what actually happened is that by aiding Crimea Russia “Stopped feeding the West.” – I mean that, the economic results of the investments in the reunification are overwhelmingly positive. The infrastructure projects reported above come with an approximate cost of 700 bn rubles, or approximately $10 bn. On top of that Russia has supported the regional budget of Crimea by a couple of billion dollars in 2014 and about one in 2015, approximately the same level could be expected for this year.

But, the interesting fact is that all these investments have already been paid back in one year in 2015. Proceeding from the economic logic of the opponents of reunification, I compare the savings of Russia on outbound tourism on the investments in Crimea. As three million more Russians tourists travelled to Crimea instead of going abroad, the national economy saved about $10 billion in 2015 and probably 12 to 15 billion in 2016. Thus the savings from 2015 covered the whole infrastructure investment program up to 2020 as well as the budget transfers, the 2016 savings will then cover the next 10 years of budget transfers, if any will be needed. And each coming year after that the whole amount of savings translates into a profit for the national economy.

By the way, this is not fantasy, but economic facts confirmed by the balance of payment statistics of the Central Bank. The statistics show that expenditure on outbound tourism was down in 2015 over the previous year by some $25 billion. Luckily, there are enough savings over to feed Sochi, other Krasnodar resorts, and many other beautiful parts of Russia.

Crimeans will hardly pine for the bad old Ukrainian days when the central government invested annually about $120 million in the economy, as reported by the ousted former prime minister Nikolay Azarov.


23-03-2016

By Jon Hellevig

Source: http://www.awarablogs.com/the-hidden-story-of-crimeas-economic-success/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=vk&utm_source=socialnetwork

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Videos On Ex-Yugoslavia: Reverse Side Of The Truth



Four Serbian monasteries from the Middle Ages in Kosovo and Metohija still not destroyed by local Albanians

Четири српска средњевековна манастира на Косову и Метохији која још увек нису срушена од стране месних Шиптара


U.S.A. documentary movie about the fabricated lies by Bosnian Muslims and Croats about the civil war in Titoist Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia during the time of the destruction of Yugoslavia, 1991-1995. This documentary movie (26 min.) was never publically shown.

Документарни филм у трајању од 26 минута производње Сједињених америчких држава о исфабрикованим лажима од стране босанских муслимана и Хрвата о грађанском рату на просторима титоистичке Босне и Херцеговине и Хрватске за време растурања Југославије 1991.-1995. г. Овај филм није никада нигде јавно приказиван.

Документарни филм о хрватским геноцидним злочинима над Србима током Другог светског рата, а све уз благослов римокатоличке цркве и Ватикана.
Филм садржи потресне сцене и слике, и није препоручљив за малолетне особе и особе са нарушеним здравственим стањем.


In the village of Račak, near Štimlje, Kosovo and Metohia, in the Republic of Serbia, on 16 January 1999, CIA and UCK Albanian separatists staged a “massacre” scene collecting bodies of those killed in UCK battle with Serbian security forces. CIA operative William Walker was immediately sent – with TV cameras and all – to witness “evidence of a massacre” and blame it on Serb forces. Walker’s emotional interviews in front of the cameras were promptly shown on all major TV networks around the world. This “massacre” was soon used by the US government to blackmail Serbia with an ultimatum demanding a complete surrender of its territory to US military forces, which would have a complete freedom of movement across Serbia and would not be accountable for any of their actions, and then in March of 1999 as a justification for NATO to carry out a 78 day-long bombing campaign on Serbia that killed some 3500 people and destroyed the economy of this country. As another consequence a treaty was signed providing for withdrawal of Serbian forces from the province of Kosovo and Metohia in June 1999 and occupation of it by NATO countries, and exodus of about 250,000 of non-Albanians: Serbs, Romany, Turks, Croats and others ensued. Although UN Resolution 1244 guarantees Serbia sovereignty on the territory of Kosovo and Metohia, the Albanians have declared independence in Feb 2008 and actively block the return of the expelled population to their homes, jobs and farms. NATO forces have mostly turned a blind eye to destruction of 172 churches and monasteries, many of them priceless cultural and Christian treasures from 13-17th centuries.

Curiously, at the Hague tribunal the “Račak massacre” was suddenly dropped from charges against Slobodan Milošević, the then president of Serbia.

Another curiosity is that shortly after the Račak operation- and prior to the NATO bombing campaign against Serbia – Gen. Goran Radosavljević, who commanded Serbian forces in the Račak operation, was commended for contribution to peace and awarded a medal for masterful execution of an operation against terrorist forces by NATO Commander Gen. Robertson in Bruxelles.

Рачак (алб. Reçak) је насеље у општини Штимље на Косову и Метохији. Атар насеља се налази на територији катастарске општине Рачак површине 443 ha. Насеље је важило за упориште ОВК. У лето 1998, због непрестаних борби између ОВК и југословенских снага безбедности, већина становништва већ је била напустила село. У време Случаја Рачак (15. јануар 1999), у селу је било само око 400 житеља[тражи се извор од 06. 2010.].

Село Рачак се налази на излазу из клисуре Црнољеве, у близини Штимља. У писаним документима село се помиње 1343. и 1345. године, у повељама српског краља и цара Стефан Душан. По турском дефтеру из 1487. године, у селу је постојао манастир Св. Врачи. Изнад села су остаци темеља цркве из 14. века, за коју тамошњи житељи мисле да је била посвећена Св. Врачима. Црквиште је заштићено законом као значајан споменик српске културе.


Documentary movie about NATO lies upon Kosovo & Metohija case in 1999 for the sake to bomb Serbia and occupy this south Serbia’s province – a cradle of Serbia (parts 1-3).
Документарни филм из три дела о НАТО лажима о Косову и Метохији како би извршили агресију на Србију и окупирали ову јужну србијанску покрајину.


Documentary movie of the truth about Bosnian town of Srebrenica in July 1995 and the destiny of the Serbs in Sarajevo during the civil war in Bosnia & Herzegovina, 1992-1995. Movie is made by Norwegian directors and shown for the first time in Sweden and Norway in summer 2011. Movie is in English and Serbian language.

Документарни филм о Сребреници и догађајима у њој јула 1995. г. који даје истиниту слику о бошњачко-муслиманским војним формацијама у Сребреници и Сарајеву као и о судбини српских цивила у Сарајеву, Сребреници и околини Сребренице. Филм је норвешке производње а први пут је приказан у лето 2011. г. у Шведској и Норвешкој. Језици су енглески и српски.

1. Шиптарски лажови from Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Vimeo.

1. Шиптарски лажови. All copyrights reserved.

2. Шиптарски лажови from Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Vimeo.

Шиптарски лажови. All copyrights reserved.

Western documentary movie in two parts about Kosovo Albanian big lies in 1999 concerning the truth in Kosovo.

Destroyed Serbian villages in Metohija from Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Vimeo.

Video is showing several destroyed Serbian villages in Metohija near the city of Peć. All of them are destroyed by local ethnic Albanians after mid-June 1999. The video is made in April 2005.

Muslim Albanians are setting in flame Serbian church in Kosovo from Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Vimeo.

“March Pogrom” committed by Muslim Albanians against the Serbs in Kosovo & Metohija during three days: March 17-19, 2004. Video is showing how Albanians are setting in flame Serbian Orthodox Church in the town in Podujevo on March 19, 2004. NATO troops around are just watching the scene.


Interview with a French General about the truth why NATO bombed Serbia in 1999


Canadian documentary movie about Kosovo reality under NATO occupation after June 1999


Canadian documentary movie about Yugoslavia: “Weight of Chains”, 2010


Russian documentary movie about Kosovo Serbs and Russian citizenship


Documentary movie about Bosnian Serb Army General Ratko Mladic on Russia Today channel


Documentary movie about Kosovo: “Stolen Kosovo” by the Czech Republic


Western documentary movie about ex-Yugoslavia: “The Roots of War”


Documentary movie about the holocaust against the Jews and Serbs during the WWII


Documentary footage (1-3) about attack on Yugoslav Army unarmed withdrawing forces by Bosnian Muslim fighters in the city of Tuzla, Bosnia, May 15th, 1992. Around 200 young Yugoslav soldiers are killed


City of Vukovar after liberation by Yugoslav Army and volunteers from Croat terrorist forces and Nazi criminals, November 1991. Belgrade TV


British SKY NEWS documentary film about Muslim Mujahedins fighting in Bosnia & Herzegovina on the side of Muslim government in 1992-1995


US documentary movie “RETLINES” with English subtitle from 1991 about Vatican smuggling Croat Nazi Ustashi to South America in 1945

Ratlines were a system of escape routes for Nazis and other fascists fleeing Europe at the end of World War II. These escape routes mainly led toward havens in South America, particularly Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, and Chile. Other destinations included the United States and perhaps Canada and the Middle East. There were two primary routes: the first went from Germany to Spain, then Argentina; the second from Germany to Rome to Genoa, then South America. The origins of the first ratlines are connected to various developments in Vatican-Argentine relations before and during World War II.

The major Roman ratline was operated by a small, but influential network of Croatian priests, members of the Franciscan order, led by Father Krunoslav Draganović. Draganović organized a highly sophisticated chain with headquarters at the San Girolamo degli Illirici Seminary College in Rome, but with links from Austria to the final embarcation point in the port of Genoa. The ratline initially focused on aiding members of the Croatian Ustashe movement, most notably the Croat wartime dictator Ante Pavelić.
Priests active in the chain included: Fr. Vilim Cecelja, former Deputy Military Vicar to the Ustashe, based in Austria where many Ustashe and Nazi refugees remained in hiding; Fr. Dragutin Kamber, based at San Girolamo; Fr. Dominik Mandić, an official Vatican representative at San Girolamo and also “General Economist” or treasurer of the Franciscan order – who used this position to put the Franciscan press at the ratline’s disposal; and Monsignor Karlo Petranović, based in Genoa. Vilim would make contact with those hiding in Austria and help them across the border to Italy; Kamber, Mandić and Draganović would find them lodgings, often in the monastery itself, while they arranged documentation; finally Draganović would phone Petranović in Genoa with the number of required berths on ships leaving for South America.

The operation of the Draganović ratline was an open secret among the intelligence and diplomatic communities in Rome. As early as August 1945, Allied commanders in Rome were asking questions about the use of San Girolamo as a “haven” for Ustashe. A year later, a US State Department report of 12 July 1946 lists nine war criminals, including Albanians and Montenegrins as well as Croats, plus others “not actually sheltered in the COLLEGIUM ILLIRICUM [i.e., San Girolamo degli Illirici] but who otherwise enjoy Church support and protection.” The British envoy to the Holy See, Francis Osborne, asked Domenico Tardini, a high ranking Vatican official, for a permission that would have allowed British military police to raid ex-territorial Vatican Institutions in Rome. Tardini declined and denied that the church sheltered war criminals.

In February 1947 CIC Special Agent Robert Clayton Mudd reported ten members of Pavelić’s Ustasha cabinet living either in San Girolamo or in the Vatican itself. Mudd had infiltrated an agent into the monastery and confirmed that it was “honeycombed with cells of Ustashe operatives” guarded by “armed youths”. Mudd also reported: “It was further established that these Croats travel back and forth from the Vatican several times a week in a car with a chauffeur whose license plate bears the two initials CD, “Corpo Diplomatico”. It issues forth from the Vatican and discharges its passengers inside the Monastery of San Geronimo. Subject to diplomatic immunity it is impossible to stop the car and discover who are its passengers.” Mudd’s conclusion was the following: “DRAGANOVIC’s sponsorship of these Croat Ustashes definitely links him up with the plan of the Vatican to shield these ex-Ustasha nationalists until such time as they are able to procure for them the proper documents to enable them to go to South America. The Vatican, undoubtedly banking on the strong anti-Communist feelings of these men, is endeavoring to infiltrate them into South America in any way possible to counteract the spread of Red doctrine. It has been reliably reported, for example that Dr. VRANCIC has already gone to South America and that Ante PAVELIC and General KREN are scheduled for an early departure to South America through Spain. All these operations are said to have been negotiated by DRAGANOVIC because of his influence in the Vatican.”

The existence of Draganović’s ratline has been confirmed by a Vatican historian, Fr. Robert Graham: “I’ve no doubt that Draganović was extremely active in syphoning off his Croatian Ustashe friends.” On four occasions the Vatican intervened on behalf of interned Ustasha prisoners. The Secretariat of State asked the U.K. and U.S. government to release Croatian POWs from British internment camps in Italy.

Документарни филм ИСТИНА на руском језику, 2005 from Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Vimeo.

26 мая 2011 года спецслужбами Сербии арестован генерал Ратко Младич, который обвиняется МТБЮ (Международный трибунал по бывшей Югославии) за уничтожение мирных жителей во время югославских войн, а в целом по 11 пунктам, ни одно из которых не имеет доказательств гибели людей в результате расстрела, а не боевых действий. 31 мая 2011 года марионеточные власти Сербии экстрадировали генерала Младича в Гаагу ради вступления Сербии в ЕС. Предана культура и память предков в угоду популистским политическим веяниям. Такие политики скоро предадут собственную мать и отца, нагадят на могилы дедов и прадедов. На саммите «большой восьмерки» в Довиле 2 июня 2011 года Баррозу заявил журналистам, освещающим саммит: «Арест Ратко Младича стал очень позитивным сигналом Европейскому союзу и соседям Сербии». Каких же соседей он имел ввиду, не Россию ли ? Россия так не считает. Хорватский прозападноевропейский марионеточный фашизм и исламский фундаментализм на Балканах как инструмент информационной войны является основной причиной разжигания межнациональных столкновений и разрушения государственности Югославии. Виновны в этом только политики ЕС и стран НАТО ныне в подавляющем большинстве представленные в Гаагском трибунале по бывшей Югославии. А генерал Ратко Младич защищал свой народ от экстремистов и бандитов. Свидельств и доказательств тому множество, в том числе в недалёком прошлом на Балканах в 30-40-е годы 20 века.

REVERSE SIDE OF THE TRUTH (VIDEOS ABOUT EX-YUGOSLAVIA)

Jamala ‘Won’ Singing Paean To Tatar SS Nazis

Nazi Tartars Crimea

Nazi soldier & Crimean Tartar: “Drink my brother in knife!”

I don’t want to discuss the musical merits of who should have won the recent Eurovision amateur song contest in Stockholm. It’s brazenly clear that the Ukrainian ethnic Tatar Jamala won in a rigged contest to make a political intervention. As she subsequently openly admitted, it was between the actions of Stalin in World War II against Crimean Tatars and the actions of Moscow in 2014 in Crimea. The song of Jamala was blatantly political and by Eurovision rules ought to be grounds to strip her of the title regardless of her singing talent or lack of same. What is conspicuously absent from Western media coverage in what is seen by many as a blatant politicization of the music festival is who those 1944 Crimean Tatars were fighting in the mourning song of Jamala. The answer may surprise some.

Jamala’s song, 1944, mourns the hardship suffered by Crimean Tatar Muslims who were deported in the thousands by Stalin to Central Asia. The image left by Jamala is of barbarian cruelty by the Soviet dictator against innocent Tatars. Hoever to give an historically accurate picture, the Tatars of Crimea during that war were hardly innocent civilians. Tens of thousands of them had been organized on orders from Hitler into Crimean Tatar SS brigades.

The issue at hand is not whether Stalin reacted to the Tatar situation in 1944 with brutality. Even the Soviet Union acknowledged that was so after Stalin’s death. What the current media scrupulously ignores is what was the historical reality in 1944 that the song of the 32-year-old Crimean Tatar Jamala leaves out.

Nazi-occupied Crimea

After Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June of 1941, Crimea fell under Nazi occupation. Its population then consisted of ethnic Tatars and ethnic Russians.

Crimean Tartar Waffen SSAccording to an archive account by the Russian newspaper Pravda Report, the background to the deportation of tens of thousands of Crimean Tatars in 1944 by Stalin was motivated by the fact that the Nazi Wehrmacht and Nazi occupation forces had organized thousands of Crimean Tatars to armed resistance to liberation of Crimea by the Red Army: “In April-May of 1944, the Crimean Tatar battalions took part in battles against the Red Army in the Crimea. The units that were evacuated from the Crimea in June 1944, were compiled into the Tatar mountain-Jaeger three-battalion SS Regiment. A month later, the group became the first Tatar-mountain-Jaeger SS Brigade (2,500 troops) under the command of SS Standartenführer Fortenbah. On 31 December 1944, the unit was disbanded to become a part of the East Turkic branch of SS as the Crimea battle group: two infantry battalions and one hundred horses.”

In his Nüremburg Tribunal testimony, German Field Marshal Erich von Manstein testified about the usefulness to the Nazis of the ferocious Tatar batallions: “Most of the Crimean Tatar population was very friendly to us. We could even form armed self-defense companies from the Tatars, whose task was to protect their villages from guerrillas that were hiding in the mountains. The powerful guerrilla (pro-Soviet-w.e.) movement appeared in the Crimea from the very start, and it was causing us great trouble. The reason for the movement to appear was the fact that there were many Russians among the population of the Crimea.”

Von Manstein continued, “The Tartars stood on our side at once. In December 1941, Muslim Tatar committees supporting the German occupation administration were established in the Crimea. The Central Crimean Muslim Committee started working in Simferopol. Their organization and activities were carried out under the direct supervision of SS.”

The SS’ Radical Muslim Terrorists

In my newest book, The Lost Hegemon: Whom the gods would destroy, I describe the little-known but highly important background history of the relations of the Third Reich with certain Muslim groups. At the beginning of the war, in 1941, the leading Muslim Brotherhood figure, Amin al-Husseini, then the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, was welcomed in Berlin by Hitler and Himmler. He spent the duration of the war there organizing anti-Jewish propaganda and forming pro-Nazi brigades of fanatical Muslims in the eastern parts of the Soviet Union, in Egypt and Palestine and elsewhere to fight on behalf of the Third Reich.

In Berlin, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Grand Mufti played one of the least-known and most gruesome roles in the Nazi extermination of millions of Jews. He became close friends with Heinrich Himmler, Reichsführer of the dreaded Nazi death cult known as Schutzstaffel (SS). Himmler was the one perhaps most directly responsible for the Third Reich’s implementation of the Holocaust.

At his Nuremburg trial testimony after the War, Dieter Wisliceny, deputy to Adolf Eichmann, testified before being sentenced to hang for crimes against humanity: “The Mufti was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and had been a collaborator and adviser of Eichmann and Himmler in the execution of this plan. . . He was one of Eichmann’s best friends and had constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures.”

The Grand Mufti was commissioned by Himmler to organize the Muslim SS brigades such as those of the Crimean Tatars. He organized them in Bosnia and throughout Nazi occupied parts of Eastern Europe including Crimea. Significantly, as I detail in the book, the fanatical Al Qaeda, ISIS and other radical Muslim terrorist groups of today can be directly traced back to the Nazi Muslim SS networks of the war, including Crimean Tatar terrorism and Turkish and Bosnian.

In war there are no winners. However, in the interest of historical accuracy and honesty, the Swedish Foreign Minister and others in the West who praised Jamala and her song, 1944, would do well to complete the picture. But then the intended political effect of the propaganda division of NATO to further demonize Vladimir Putin and Russia for agreeing in 2014 to incorporate Crimea following an overwhelming 93% yes vote by the Crimean people, would lose its punch. Wouldn’t that be sad? The Hedda Hopper of today, State Department war-maker, Victoria Nuland, or Defense Secretary Ash Carter, or Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman “Fightin Joe” Dunford and the US military industry complex would be very unhappy were that to happen.


28-05-2016

About the author:

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Source: http://journal-neo.org/2016/05/28/jamala-won-singing-paean-to-tatar-ss-nazis/

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Nazi Crimean Tartars

Angela Merkel Ignores Otto Von Bismarck’s Advice Never To Quarrel With Russia

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It has been 200 years since the birth of Otto von Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor who unified Germany.

Otto von Bismarck emphasized the importance of good relations with Russia. “The secret of politics? Make a good treaty with Russia”, he said. Bismarck was convinced that a European security system without Russia would be impossible and war with Russia would be disastrous. Bismarck had been Prussia’s ambassador to the Russian Empire. He was no Russophile, but he had an understanding of the geopolitical situation that almost no politician today possesses.

Let’s imagine that Bismarck left a letter to the following rulers of Germany, Merkel in particular — an experiment proposed by Strategic Culture Foundation’s Dmitry Sedov. Given the current situation in Germany, it’s obvious that she completely misinterpreted everything in his message. For instance:

You should also take into account, Angela, that a Russian harnesses his horse slowly but rides fast. Putin’s patience has its limits. Once he starts to act you’ll be in a deep trouble. Nothing could be more stupid than to collude with the Anglos.

They turn a blind eye to the fact that Yeltsin’s Russia has been replaced by a new Russia headed by Putin. It’s not weak and pliant anymore. Russia is strong again and ready to stand up for itself. You should realize who you are dealing with. Reread what I wrote:

Do not think that taking advantage of Russia’s weakness will produce permanent dividends. Russians always come for their money. And when they come, do not rely on agreements. They are not worth the paper they are written on. With Russians, play fair or don’t play at all.

Otto von Bismarck left his descendants an important recommendation: never wage war on Russia. And also: “Stupidity is a gift from God that should never be used.”


03-06-2016

By Xenia Zinoviev

Source: http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/merkel-ignores-germany-unifier-otto-von-bismarck-counsel-never-quarrel-russia-video/ri14757

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Germany Preparing For War Against Russia?

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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 enemy shows Merkel’s subservience to the Obama administration.’”

Back on February 17th, DWN had reported that German Chancellor Merkel “will develop a new military doctrine” declaring, “The ‘annexation’ of Crimea by Russia is the basis for military action against Moscow.” Apparently, that prior report will soon be fulfilled.

Not mentioned in the DWN articles — nor anywhere in Western ‘news’ media — is a crucial fact, that the head of America’s ‘private CIA’ firm Stratfor acknowledged only when addressing a Russian-speaking audience: that (in English) the overthrow of Ukraine’s President in Russia’s neighboring nation of Ukraine during February 2014 was “the most blatant coup in history.” Extensive video documentation exists demonstrating that it was a coup, and even demonstrating that the Obama Administration had selected Ukraine’s post-coup leader 22 days prior to his being formally appointed by the Ukrainian parliament. Furthermore, the only detailed scholarly study of the evidence that has been performed came to the same conclusion — that it was a U.S. coup. The last month before the coup was incredibly violent, with Obama’s hired fascists attacking the government’s securitly forces brutally:

Here is some of the bloodshed from the prior month, on January 21st, then January 22nd, then January 25th.Moreover, immediately after the overthrow, when the EU sent its own investigator into Kiev to report back on how the overthrow had taken place, he too reported that it had been a coup. Subsequently revealed was that the Obama Administration had started preparing the coup inside the U.S. Embassy in Kiev by no later than 1 March 2013 — almost a year prior to the coup. Also, the even earlier preparation for the coup, extending through decades, on the part of CIA-affiliated ‘nonprofit’ or NGO organizations (funded by Western aristocrats and their corporations), laying the groundwork for this coup, has been brilliantly documented at some onlinesites.

None of this information has been widely published — it’s virtually not at all published in the West. Though the potential audience for it might be vast (especially since Western publics pay much of the tab for this operation and yet receive none of the benefits from the resultant looting of Ukraine, which goes all to aristocrats in the U.S. and allied aristocracies), the market in the West for reporting it, is virtually nil, because the market is the West’s news media, and they’ve all (except for a few small ones like this) been taken over by the aristocracy, and serve the aristocracy — notthe public (their audiences, whom they’re in business to deceive). The aristocracy’s companies advertise in, and thereby fund, most of those ‘news’ media, and the aristocracy’s governments fund the rest — and the public pays for that, too, not just by being manipulated to vote for the aristocracy’s politicians, but by being taxed to pay what the NGOs and their aristocrats don’t (so the public are buying the weapons etc.). It’s a vast money-funnel from the many, to the few.

Though the transfer of Crimea from Ukraine to Russia is treated by Western ‘news’ media as having been a ‘conquest’ by Russia, and as being Russia’s ‘seizure’ of Crimea, and Russia’s ‘stealing’ Crimea, nothing of the sort is true (and Crimeans had good reason to be terrified of the Obama-coup regime that had just been installed, from which Russia saved Crimeans), but the lie needs to be promulgated in order for the aristocracy’s invasion of Russia to be able to organized and carried out.

Unfortunately, the reason why this U.S. coup in Ukraine has still not been reported in the West, is that to make it public to Westerners would jeopardize not only the Western economic sanctions against Russia after Russia accepted the overwhelming decision by Crimeans to separate from the post-coup Ukrainian government, but would also jeopardize the preparations by all of NATO to go to war against Russia: both the sanctions and the invasion would have no basis and no support among Western publics. All of that (the sanctions, and now the pouring of troops and weapons onto and near Russia’s borders for a possible invasion of Russia) would no longer be at all palatable by Western publics, if this history — that it all began by a violent U.S. coup in Ukraine — were to become known before the U.S. and NATO invasion occurs. So it all remains, instead, suppressed in the ‘democratic’ West.

So: please email this article’s URL address (which is immediately above this article), to friends, so as to spread to them the word, that NATO is preparing an invasion of Russia. There’s no way that the ‘news’ media they see are likely to tell them (until it’s already too late).


07-06-2016

About the author:

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Source: personal author’s blog

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Nazi Tartars Crimea

Shocking UN Report Lists Crimes By The Ukrainian Authorities

A man, wearing a black and orange ribbon of St. George, a symbol widely associated with pro-Russian protests in Ukraine, reacts outside a trade union building, where a deadly fire occurred, with Ukrainian Interior Ministry security forces members seen in the background, in Odessa, May 3, 2014. At least 42 people were killed in street battles between supporters and opponents of Russia in southern Ukraine that ended with pro-Russian protesters trapped in a flaming building, bringing the country closer to war. The riot in the Black Sea port of Odessa that ended in a deadly blaze in a trade union building was by far the worst incident in Ukraine since a February uprising that ended with a pro-Russian president fleeing the country. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR3NMUE
A man, wearing a black and orange ribbon of St. George, a symbol widely associated with pro-Russian protests in Ukraine, reacts outside a trade union building, where a deadly fire occurred, with Ukrainian Interior Ministry security forces members seen in the background, in Odessa, May 3, 2014. At least 42 people were killed in street battles between supporters and opponents of Russia in southern Ukraine that ended with pro-Russian protesters trapped in a flaming building, bringing the country closer to war. The riot in the Black Sea port of Odessa that ended in a deadly blaze in a trade union building was by far the worst incident in Ukraine since a February uprising that ended with a pro-Russian president fleeing the country. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich (UKRAINE – Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) – RTR3NMUE

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 figure does not match that of the Russian federal migration service, however: in 2015, around four million Ukrainians crossed the border, with nearly 2.6 million settling in Russia. More than a million people have arrived from southeast Ukraine. Residents of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are permitted to live freely in Russia.

The discrepancy in the figures clearly shows that Ukraine is not interested in keeping track of its citizens, whether within the country or abroad. This means that one of the aims of the military campaign launched in the east of the country is to displace the population from the area of conflict, predominantly to Russia. Given that refugees from the republics to Ukraine are facing discrimination in access to public services, according to the UN report, the authorities in Kiev do not seem to want the residents of Donbass either.

The UN also states that those living close to the contact line (nearly 800,000 people) are particularly suffering, and the lives of these people are constantly at risk. The UN mission believes that the assistance being given to the residents of Donbass is insufficient, even given Russia’s humanitarian convoys, although the fact that it was Ukraine that shut down all the social programmes and introduced the ‘blockade’ unfortunately remained beyond the scope of the report.

The UN believes that the permit regime introduced by Ukraine and the disorder at checkpoints are negatively reinforcing the isolation of those living in the DPR and LPR. Queues of up to 300-400 cars waiting on either side of the checkpoints are observed on a regular basis and this recently ended in tragedy. Due to the fact that the Ukrainian checkpoint is not open at night, civilians who had been queuing in their cars overnight were fired at by the Ukrainian side using illegal-calibre weapons (122 mm), resulting in the deaths of five people, including a pregnant woman.

During the period covered in the report, the Ukrainian armed forces have advanced even further into populated areas and the numerous attacks on the residential areas of Horlivka, Shakhtarsk and Debaltseve are also mentioned in the report.

Since the Minsk ceasefire agreements entered into force (i.e. since 15 February 2015), there have been 843 civilian casualties – 235 killed (216 adults and 19 children) and 608 injured (554 adults and 44 children). At the same time, the UN mission notes that it is unable to attribute some of the victims to either side of the conflict. It also emphasises that the real number of those killed and injured could be higher than that given in the report.

The number of people missing is particularly shocking. The Ukrainian side has reported 741 persons missing, while the DPR has registered 420 missing persons. In addition, the UN mission has ascertained that approximately 1,000 bodies held in morgues in government-controlled territory have still not been identified.

And once again the numbers are crying out that the Ukrainian government does not believe people to be important. The number of persons that Kiev has declared missing is a third less than the number of unidentified bodies! And the numbers also ignore the mortal remains in areas where hostilies took place – search operations are virtually non-existent. As the UN report states, there is not even a dedicated mechanism in place to gather statements from the relatives of missing persons.

The UN mission has also not taken into account the number of unmarked graves in cemeteries. The overwhelming majority of missing persons should not be looked for in the Donetsk and Luhansk republics, but among the thousands of bodies that have already been quietly buried or are still lying in morgues. It is possible that the official number of those who will never return has been hugely underestimated.

The efforts of the Ukrainian side aimed at searching for and identifying those killed and those missing are referred to in the UN report using the word «inaction».

Kiev cannot admit that to avoid responsibility, it is secretly carrying out a policy of ‘unidentified bodies’. It is also being suggested to relatives that missing persons are being held captive by DPR and LPR ‘separatists’.

Kiev hunta war crimes in 2014

Russian-speaking victims in the East Ukraine by Euromaidan junta in Kiev

The report concedes that some people recorded as missing may be alive, but are being held in secret places of detention either in the republics or in Ukrainian-controlled territory.

The UN mission has finally figured out that the secret prisons and torture in Ukraine are an established system that has become part of the state and its policies. Of the 1,925 criminal investigations launched into allegations of torture in 2015, 1,450 were closed.

The report has also provided yet more evidence that it is not a civil war. It is a war between those who seized power by means of a military coup and the people of Ukraine, a war that is hypocritically being referred to as an ‘anti-terrorist operation’.

As noted in the report, «throughout the country, OHCHR continued to receive allegations of enforced disappearances, arbitrary and incommunicado detention, and torture and ill-treatment of people accused by the Ukrainian authorities of ‘trespassing territorial integrity’, ‘terrorism’ or related offenses, or of individuals suspected of being members of, or affiliated with, the armed groups».

People are not just being tortured, but are also being executed without trial. In Sloviansk, for example, the basement of the local college is being used for this purpose. A basement used for torture and summary executions was also discovered by UN inspectors in Izium, Kharkiv district. In addition, «a network of unofficial places of detention, often located in the basement of regional SBU buildings, have been identified». The SBU also has such basements in Odessa and Kharkiv. In February 2016, between 20 to 30 people were detained in the basement of the Kharkiv regional SBU building, and the vast majority of prisoners were not arrested in accordance with legal procedures and were not charged.

The report also notes that the SBU obtains confessions of terrorism using torture, and those who sign the confessions are told that should they complain, then their families, including their children, will also be made to suffer. The Security Service of Ukraine refers to such methods as the use of «proportional» and «justified» force.

The 13th report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights situation in Ukraine appeared on 3 March 2016, but it is only now that the information bomb has exploded following an article in The Times, in which Ivan Simonovic, UN assistant secretary-general for human rights, talks about the report and also about five secret SBU prisons that a delegation of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture was not allowed access to, resulting in the delegation cutting short its visit to Ukraine…

The 13th report also completely destroys the myth that there are thousands of prisoners in the DPR and LPR. There is no trace of the thousands – in February 2016, the SBU gave the UN mission a list of 136 people who are allegedly being detained in custody in the republics, but nothing is known about this for sure. The list provided by the DPR authorities, however, looks completely different. «Some 1,110 persons were detained by the Government of Ukraine, including 363 members of the armed groups. This includes 577 people arrested for ‘their political views’ and 170 civilians ‘who have nothing to do with the conflict’», says the UN report. The SBU has gone overboard by essentially creating a system of concentration camps. The UN report likens the actions of the SBU to the seizure of hostages.

It has been impossible to keep the scandal hushed up, but while this regime exists in Ukraine, investigations into its criminal activities will be carried out along the same lines as the investigations into the people burned alive in Odessa on 2 May 2014. Namely that the executioners will remain free or under house arrest while the victims are imprisoned. For years.


11-06-2016

By Arina Tsukanova

Source: http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/06/11/shocking-un-report-lists-crimes-ukrainian-authorities.html

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Donbass 50 000 killed 200 kids

Killed Russian-speakers of the East Ukraine by Kiev Euromaidan junta

Russia Or The Neocons: Who Endangers American Democracy?

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Political discourse of American mass media is inundated with another wave of Russophobia and fear mongering. Besides the obvious military threat (Russia’s nuclear arsenal), or the challenges to the US foreign policy (the conflicts in Ukraine or Syria), a new fear has been introduced into the news: the US political system is endangered by Russia’s computer hacking, informational warfare, and its support of Donald Trump.

The newspaper titles sound like a commercial for the upcoming Invasion of the Body Snatchers sequel. The Washingon Post announces: “Russia Is Now a Threat. The US Should Treat It Like One.” Time magazine raises the stakes: “Russia Wants to Undermine Faith in the U.S. Election.”

The Atlantic warns of the “The Dangers of the Putin-Trump relationship,” articulating the already familiar litany of complaints: “Russia is directly interfering in the US elections … it is a dangerous escalation that threatens the integrity of the US electoral process.” While US Today allows notorious neocon named Max Boot to discover not just the threat, but an actual war. His “Time to Get Real About Russia Cyber War,” is rather blunt: “Our democracy is under attack by Russia, but almost no one is treating the situation with the gravity it deserves.”

Well, nobody treats the situation with the gravity it deserves because they are treating it with much greater gravity. In fact, some of the commentators are so grave, that they are ready to give in already. Zack Beauchamp concludes his tirades against Russian hacking in the following manner: “Russia’s strategy is even more dangerous that it appears. Not only does it undermine democracy using the press but it actually gets the press to undermine itself. And there’s not much we can reasonably do about it, either.”

Reading all this, one might think that the former Secretary of Defense, James Forrestal, has been resurrected along with his 1949 battle-cry: “The Russians are coming. The Russians are coming. They’re right around. I’ve seen Russian soldiers.”

What is behind this Russophobia? A real Russian threat? A smokescreen intended to cover failed policies of recent administration? The meeting between the Russophobic minds of a particular candidate (Hillary Clinton) and a particular group of voters (neocons)?

I believe that these Joe McCarthy type accusations against both Russia and Trump seem to pursue only one goal: to give the veneer of respectability to the neocons’ and other Republican luminaries’ desertion of their own party. Thus, endless “confessions” of reformed Republicans and hardcore neocons, expressing their born-again zeal for the Democratic Candidate, Hillary Clinton.

The neocons are not switching parties because they’ve seen the light. They are enamored with Hillary Clinton’s record of foreign policy and her willingness to embrace the US globalist claims. As reported by Rania Khalek in Intercept, Robert Kagan, one of the leading neocons, the co-founder of the notorious PNAC (Project for the New American Century, the blueprint of the recent policies of aggression and regime change intended to cement US hegemony in world affairs), has been on the record for quite some time: “I would say all Republican foreign policy professionals are anti-Trump,” Kagan told …at a “foreign policy professionals for Hillary” fundraiser… –I would say that a majority of people in my circle will vote for Hillary.”

The neocons are very public about their desertion, and bear it as a badge of honor. Dubious honor, since in their pursuit of an ideal candidate for their agenda, neocons do not just betray their former party, but the very foundations of American democracy: the two party system.

Their desertion reveals that American political system has finally internalized Francis Fukuyama proud words about the end of history. We’ve reached the consensus; there is no need to argue or challenge, history has ended, the truths are revealed and they are now the property of the elites united into one globalist Imperial party bent on equating American prosperity with the American hegemony over world affairs.

To any objective observer it is clear that is not Russia that endangers US democracy but the political corruption, the rule of 1% oligarchy, and mad pursuit of PNAC policies. Even greater danger to democracy lies in the neocons’ desertion to the Hillary camp.

Unsavory as the corporate rule and globalism might be, one can argue for and pursue these goals, provided they leave the room for the alternative vision. It is this neocons’ dismissal of the alternatives that betrays the very foundations of democracy, at least, in the way, a political philosopher Karl Popper formulated them in his celebrated 1945 treatise, Open Society and Its Enemies.

The list of neocons and other prominent Republicans rushing toward one party system has been compiled by Eleanor Clift in Daily Beast at the end of June, and had obviously grown since then. Some of them, Max Boot in particular, are pretty explicit about the reasons for his desertion: in his May 8, 2016, article in LA Times, Boot announces simply that, “The Republican Party is Dead.”

Why?  Because it is no longer led by the likes of McCain, Rubio and Romney, for whom Boot served as foreign policy advisor, but by Donald Trump, “the ignorant demagogue” intending to break up “the most successful alliance in history — NATO.” Furthermore, Trump has “kind words for tyrants such as Vladimir Putin.” Indeed, how can anyone in the US political establishment have kind words for Putin? We keep our kind words only for “our SOBs.”

The simplicity if not poverty of this argumentation makes it difficult to distinguish it from exaggerations, simplification, or ignorance, for which neocons consistently fault Trump. But neocons were never friends of irony; otherwise, they would not make statements about NATO’s spectacular success with a straight face.

The alliance that followed every whim of its paranoid members, such as Baltic Republics or Poland, and which intended to drag Ukraine into NATO pushing the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation? If this is success, how does one define failure? And talking about exaggerations: “The risk of Trump winning, however remote, represents the biggest national security threat that the United States faces today.”

As if being “dead” is not bad enough, Boot feels the need to drive a stake into the heart of the Republican Party: the party is stupid. Writing for NYT, the publication that never misses a chance to print something nasty about Republicans, Boot bemoans Republican complicity with Donald Trump phenomenon: “How the Stupid Party’ Created Donald Trump.”

Why can’t there be an alternative to the neocons’ doctrines of world domination in the form of a populist, nationalist movement that wants Americans to take care of Americans first, before overextending the country’s economic and military reach? And should this alternative be immediately called stupid?

Yet, for many neocons, it is Hillary or bust. James Kirchik  goes out of his way trying to convince his fellow conservatives that it is Clinton who is a true conservative, and therefore, the last American hope: “It’s come to this: Hillary Clinton is the one person standing between America and the abyss.”

Referring to a profound conservative thinker, Michael Oakeshott, Kirchik observed that Oakeshott “defines the conservative disposition as one that ‘prefers small and limited innovations to large and indefinite’ ones and ‘favors a slow rather than a rapid pace, and pauses to observe current consequences and make appropriate adjustments.’ … Clinton is the candidate of the status quo, something that conservatives, by definition, are supposed to uphold.”

Kirchick fails to mention, however, that it is Clintons’ and Obama’s implementation of neocons’ policies which is nothing short of revolutionary. Military adventures, drastic regime changes, alliance redrawing, the willingness to sacrifice American lives and money in their pursuit, all these misguided policies that meet no political resistance –that’s what revolutionary.

Trump’s realism and pragmatic approach to politics appears as revolutionary only to the ideologues who refuse to pause in their drive to reshape the modern world according to their childish dreams.

This radical reworking of democratic and conservative process of slow incremental improvements into the hegemony of corporate sponsored elites is indeed revolutionary: a modern day version of Lenin’s hegemony of proletariat and its avant-garde, the elite party, all over again.

Hillary Clinton is as conservative as Brezhnev, who, in his failure to modify or change the radical agenda set up by the party of Lenin and Stalin, was indeed, a conservative. Only an intellectual of Kirchick’s magnitude can see something Oakeshottian in this embrace of one party system.

killary-2016

As someone who lived under one party rule in the former Soviet Union, I fully appreciate Popper’s rather minimalistic, but fundamental view of democracy, as the society that boasts a two party system and which guarantees the ease of deposing a ruling party in case of its failures.

Karl Popper insisted on the necessity and practical usefulness of the two-party system, so that the loss of power would lead to self-scrutiny and therefore improvement. While the two parties and their loyal press try to police each other, they keep each other busy, allowing the rest of the citizens to live in peace and pursue their goals without too much interference or control.

Obviously, all this goes down the drain with the one party system of globalists and the elites, the party that mocks and dismisses as ridiculous or deplorable anyone who happens to challenge it.

In his The Open Society and its Enemies Popper proposes a rather paradoxical, yet extremely sensible theory of a democratic society. What is important for Popper, is not the discovery of a perfect government, but a much more mundane and pragmatic question: how to avoid the blatantly bad ones. And democracy does it better than any other system. Insisting on this pragmatism, Popper highlights the following syllogism:

And we do not base our choice on the goodness of democracy, which may be doubtful, but solely on the evilness of a dictatorship, which is certain. Not only because the dictator is bound to make bad use of his power, but because a dictator, even if he were benevolent, would rob all others of their responsibility, and thus of their human rights and duties. This is a sufficient basis for deciding in favor of democracy—that is, a rule of law that enables us to get rid of the government. No majority, however large, ought to be qualified to abandon this rule of law.”

Popper wrote this elucidation for The Economist; where he explains his paradoxical thought in the following manner:

In ‘The Open Society and its Enemies’ I suggested that an entirely new problem should be recognized as the fundamental problem of a rational political theory… how can we best avoid situations in which a bad ruler causes too much harm?

When we say that the best solution known to us is a constitution that allows a majority vote to dismiss the government, then we do not say the majority vote will always be right. We do not even say that it will usually be right.”

For Popper, the two-party system is a requirement not because any of these parties possesses the truth, but because they can lose, be removed from power, and thus given a chance to think things through and improve.  Consequently, it is the very possibility of losing, and therefore improving, that makes democracies dynamic and progressive:

From the point of view of the new theory, Election day ought to be a Day of Judgment. As Pericles of Athens said in about 430 BC, ‘although only a few may originate a policy, we are all able to judge it.’ Of course, we may misjudge it; in fact, we often do. But if we have lived through a party’s period of power and have felt its repercussions, we have at least some qualifications for judgment…In order to make a majority government probable, we need something approaching a two-party system…. for such a system encourages a continual process of self-criticism by the two parties.”

For Popper, the two –party system is preferable since “an inclination to self-criticism after an electoral defeat is far more pronounced in countries with a two-party system than in those where there are several parties.” It is this self-criticism of a losing party; this desire to reform and modernize that provides healthy development for democracies.

The rule of the last two decades did not improve the economic life of the majority of Americans; in fact, it resulted in the drastic redistribution of wealth. It didn’t bring peace to the world stage. In fact, we are standing on the threshold of nuclear confrontation.

Yet, in the manner of the Germany in 1930s, we are rapidly overstepping democratic principles for the sake of one party and its global ambitions, of the consensus formulated by the PNAC, Council of Foreign Affairs, Atlantic Council, and other think tanks, along with the State Department, and the press, all of whom argue for the same policies all over again. Even now, weeks before the elections, we are reading about the same bureaucrats in Pentagon, CIA, or State Department, haggling for the place in the future Hillary cabinet.

It is those rascals that can be sent home, who are worthy of being voted in. And conversely, it is those rascals, who want to stay in power no matter how wrongheaded, dangerous, or unpopular their policies are that should be thrown out.

There is no absolute truth in politics, there is no end of history, and there is no one size fits all. Popper understood it much better than Fukuyama. History never ends: parties should continue to lose, and thus given a chance to come up with better policies for the next election. Only when Democratic Party is forced to take a back seat, it will contemplate on how it can improve, and offer new policies for the country.

Propping up Hillary as the best embodiment of the failed policies, allowing the same bankers, diplomats, and generals to metastasize into next election and hold the same key positions in the Pentagon, the State Department, CIA or Treasury, is ultimately, the embrace of one party system; it provides a profound disservice to the United States and its democratic tradition.

At the last presidential debate this electoral season, Hillary Clinton pretended to be appalled by Trump’s hypothetical refusal to accept the results of the November elections. Mass media echo chambers went into the override mode bemoaning Trump’s disrespect for the venerable political tradition of peaceful transition of power. Trump was never in power, however.

What is truly appalling is the real, not the hypothetical threat of turning US into a one party system, the system which is so entrenched that it can only mock, dismiss, and conspire to denigrate its opponents. Maybe Mr. Forrestal was right after all. Russians, or rather Soviets, are here, but they do not hack the emails, they write them.


2016-10-22

By Vladimir Goldstein

Source: http://theduran.com/russia-or-the-neocons-who-endangers-american-democracy/

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Russophobia And The Dark Art Of Anti-Russian Magazine Covers

clinton-syria-destruction

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 of these rules as the dark art of making an anti-Russian magazine cover:

OPTION 1: Go with the Russian bear

This is a no-brainer, actually, and pretty much the default option for any magazine editor. The symbol of the Russian bear is universally understood to be the symbol of Russia, so it’s an immediate attention-grabber that readers will grasp quickly. After all, for centuries, Western satirists have used the Russian bear as a symbol of imperial aggression.

Given the latest round of U.S.-Russian tensions over the Ukraine crisis, the key is to make the Russian bear look as scary as possible. Take the May/June 2016 cover from Foreign Affairs, for example:

The cover title seems relatively harmless — “Putin’s Russia: Down But Not Out.” But check out the image of the bear — it’s bloodied and still relatively menacing, despite being bruised and battered — check out the red, bloodshot eyes and the sharp claws. Definitely not someone you’d want to mess with, even after a few shots of vodka.

And Foreign Affairs is not the only magazine to go the full bear with the cover. Ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, Bloomberg BusinessWeek went with what has to be the scariest, most menacing Russia bear that’s ever appeared on the cover of a magazine. The magazine shows a malevolent bear on a pair of skis wearing a Russian hockey jersey, armed to the teeth (literally), with the headline: “Is Russia Ready?”

This Olympic cover immediately calls to mind a cover story TIME ran on Russia (then the Soviet Union) ahead of the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics — “Olympic Turmoil: Why the Soviets Said Nyet.” Here you have a menacing (and slightly psychotic-looking) Russian bear chewing on the Olympic rings:

There are other options, of course, if you don’t want to go with the anthropomorphic bear. In late 2014, The Economist pulled off a story about “Russia’s Wounded Economy” after Western sanctions and falling oil prices — it showed a bear stalking through the wintry, Siberian snow with bloody footprints:

But you probably want to emphasize either the claws or teeth of the Russian bear, right? So here’s a terrifying image of a Russian bear “welcoming” U.S. President Barack Obama to Moscow:

OPTION 2: Go with Vladimir Putin

The next best choice after using the Russian bear is the image of Vladimir Putin. After all, in the minds of most Western readers, Putin is Russia and Russia is Putin.

If you’re ready to head down this road, then an image of an evil James Bond villain, hatching a diabolical plot to take over the world, might work. This 2014 Newsweek cover of Putin, showing him and the menacing sunglasses, is a classic:

To play up the Soviet spy background of Putin, you could try using an image of him wearing sunglasses in a grim-looking Red Square (Gray Square!):

A variant of the James Bond villain look is the classic “moody Putin” look that’s been around for almost a decade. This image somehow captures the Western perception of Russia as a vast, unsmiling wasteland full of snow, ice and a vast moral void. Who better to run that country than an unsmiling dictator? What started it all was this TIME magazine cover naming Putin as “Person of the Year”:

From there, the moody, unsmiling Putin image took off. Pull your camera angle back from the close-up of Putin’s face and you get this — “the unsmiling tsar”:

Which, of course, led to the cover of this 2015 book by Steven Lee Myers of the New York Times:

Of course, the moody, unsmiling, sour-looking Putin can be updated to make him look like a gangster:

Or a Mario Puzo-style mafia don:

If you really want to grab the reader’s attention, though, go for the shirtless Putin. The shirtless Vladimir Putin is a classic Internet meme, of course. (Google: Shirtless Putin hummingbird hamster) The meme of a shirtless Putin doing manly things is so popular that “The Simpsons” even used the image of a completely naked Putin on horseback (bareback?) around the time of the Crimea crisis:

Look long enough, and you start to see images of shirtless Vladimir Putins Photoshopped on top of everything. So it’s perhaps no big surprise that the shirtless Vladimir Putin has ended up on the cover of a few major magazines, including this classic Economist cover where he’s shirtless on top of a Russian tank:

And shirtless while playing poker:

But, if you want an image of Putin, and you also want to keep things classy, how about a mashup of Putin and a classic symbol of Russian culture, like ballet or ice skating? In 2014, The New Yorker pulled off a cover of Putin, pirouetting through the air during the Sochi Winter Olympics, while a bunch of Putin yes-man clones give him top marks for his performance:

And, here’s another cover featuring Putin as an ice skater, this time from The Economist:

But here’s the twist — note the fallen Russian figure skater on the ice and the suggestion that the Sochi Olympics were basically a giant personal ego project for Putin. (Also note the subtext of the imagery — whereas Putin usually opts for “macho” sports like hunting, swimming and hockey, this cover shows him as a slightly effeminate ice skater. Look at the hands!!!)

OPTION 3: Go with a classic image of Russia, slightly twisted

If you’re tired of using the Russian bear image and you’re concerned that putting Vladimir Putin on the cover of your magazine might create a few unsavory possibilities for your editorial team (Russian spies! Russian mafia! Russian hooligans!), there’s the old standby — the matryoshka image. This, of course, conveys the enigmatic nature of Russia — the old “riddle inside an enigma wrapped in a mystery” of Winston Churchill:

But why stop there? To convey the threatening nature of all things Russia, maybe it’s just easier just to come out and show the Russian missiles, tanks, weapons and troops directly:

What all these magazine covers have in common, of course, is their Russophobia. These magazine covers are not so much different from the images that appeared a hundred years ago, when Russia really was an enigma unknown to the West. In fact, the image of Russia as a big, clumsy and aggressive state dates all the way back to the 16th century, and not much seems to have changed since then.

There’s always been a sense in Western media circles that a giant power in the middle of the Eurasian landmass posed a threat to someone — and maybe to everyone:

Although, in all fairness, the image of the Russian bear is probably preferable to the image of the Russian octopus:

Which leads to the obvious question — Are these images of Russia from 100 years ago really so much different from the images appearing today in Western mass media?

At a time when the Kremlin has called on the Culture Ministry to investigate anti-Russian propaganda and Russophobia in the West, this question isn’t very hard to answer.


By Dominic Basulto

2016-07-10

Soutce: https://medium.com/@dominicbasulto/russophobia-and-the-dark-art-of-making-an-anti-russian-magazine-cover-94b11e32d53f#.9stppsngs

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The Long History Of Russophobia, Starting With Its Religious Roots

Obama and Poroshenka

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 in learning as much as possible about Russia and becoming familiar with this large country. In the 1990’s, one could obtain Russian citizenship after adopting a Russian child. So we did that: my wife and I are citizens of Russia and Switzerland, and Russia became part of our family’s life and history. I am a citizen of Russia, but I pay taxes in Switzerland.

The second reason why I started this work is professional. My trips to Russia gave me an opportunity to learn what this country was all about. I understood how big the difference was between the Russia presented in the Western media and the one I saw myself. I just couldn’t bear to watch this situation, and decided to investigate the reasons.

What made me actually start this project was the events in Ukraine in 2014. I saw the Western press systematically supporting one side, expressing only one point of view – that of the government that usurped power in Kiev. And I decided to figure out why this happened.

It’s important to understand that I wasn’t trying to answer the question of who was to blame for the events in Ukraine. I was interested in why the Western media presented this story in their own way. What was at the root of such a heightened negative relation to Russia?

Could you tell us a little about the main thrust of your book?

I looked at history and concluded that all this Russophobia started when Charlemagne created the Western Empire 1,200 years ago, laying the foundation for the Great Religious Split in 1054. Charlemagne created his empire in opposition to the existing situation, when the center of the civilized world was Byzantium.

The most shocking thing I realized was that everything they taught us in school was wrong. They claimed that the dissidents belonged to the Eastern Church, who split from Rome. Now I know that what happened was just the opposite: it was the Western Catholic Church that dissented from the universal church, while the Eastern Church remained and still is Orthodox.

In order to shift the blame from themselves, Western theologians of that time launched a campaign to justify putting the onus on the Eastern Church. They used arguments that returned again and again as part of the confrontation between the West and Russia. Back then, in the Middle Ages, they began referring to the Greek world, i.e. Byzantium, as a “territory of tyranny and barbarism” in order to disavow responsibility for the schism.

After the fall of Constantinople, when Byzantium ended, and Russia took the place of Byzantium as the Third Rome, all those superstitions, all those lies about the desacralization of the Hellenic World, were automatically transferred to Russia.

It’s strange to see the notes of Western travelers through Russia starting in the 15th century: they all describe Russia in the same terms they had used to describe Byzantium. These fabrications, this criticism considerably increased after the reforms of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great, when Russia became powerful on the European political scene. And by the end of the 18th century, it had become Russophobia.

Born in France under Louis XV, it was used for a while by Napoleon to justify animosity toward Russia, which stood in the way of France’s expansionist policy. The “Will of Peter the Great” was used by Napoleon as a justification for his Russian campaign.

We can compare this with modern times, when in order to achieve their goals, Americans invented the lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Russophobia existed in France as a political ideology up until the 19th century, when after losing the Franco-Prussian War, France realized that its main enemy was no longer Russia but Germany, becoming Russia’s ally.

As for England, Russophobia appeared there around 1815, when Great Britain, in alliance with Russia, beat Napoleon. Once the common enemy defeated, England reversed course and made Russia its enemy, feeding Russophobia. Since the 1820’s, London has used an anti-Russian ideology to mask its expansionist policies, both in the Mediterranean and in other regions – Egypt, India and China.

In Germany, the situation didn’t change until the end of the 19th century, when the German Empire was created. It had no colonies, and there was no place to get any from, since England, France, Spain and Portugal had got a head start. All the colonies having been allocated without Russia, a political movement appeared in Germany that sought “‘expansion toward the East”, i.e., modern Ukraine and Russia. This attempt failed during the First World War, and later, Hitler used the same ideology.

It’s no accident that German historians were at the origin of what is known as “revisionism”, the tendency to understate the USSR’s contribution to the victory over the Third Reich, overestimating the contribution of the US and Britain.

The third type of Russophobia is American, and it began in 1945. As soon as they defeated Germany through joint efforts with the USSR, at the cost of millions of Soviet lives, the same story born after the victory over Napoleon in 1815 was disseminated. The US reversed course and yesterday’s ally became its major enemy. This is how the Cold War started.

The Americans used the same arguments as the English in 1815, claiming that they “fought against communism, tyranny, expansionism”, their arguments hardly differing, except for the so-called fight against communism. This turned out to be a gimmick, because when the Soviet Union collapsed, the confrontation between the West and Russia didn’t end.

The nineteenth century story is repeating itself: the US keeps talking about a “threat” supposedly emanating from Russia, in order to achieve its own goals, promote its own interests, and pursue its own expansion. Today it demonizes Russia in order to place NATO missiles in Poland, using the same words and arguments that Napoleon used 200 years ago.

Once at an international conference in the mid 1990s, I spoke to a journalist from Denmark. He told me why Europe was so afraid of Russia: “See how big Russia is, and how small Denmark is. We were always afraid of you. We are still afraid of your aggression”

If you look at the map, you will see that the territory of Russia dominates all of Europe. So when Europeans look at the map, they feel anxious and concerned, because “such a huge country cannot be anything other than a threat.” Besides, European maps deliberately depict Russia as even bigger than it really is, increasing Russophobia. Its immense size is great for European cartoonists, who traditionally draw Russia as a huge bear standing over a tiny Europe.

Recently, I read the following statement by a French author: “Europe is a peninsula in Eurasia.” What would you say to that?

Today Europe is frustrated. As a colonial power, it dominated the world for two and a half centuries. Today the situation is totally different, and Europe is uneasy. It’s used to playing a different role. That’s why it’s anxious. On the one hand, the European ego finds itself in this uncomfortable situation; on the other, the European Union has reached the limits of its development and has internal problems. That’s why it’s easy to blame Russia for everything.


Originally appeared at Izvestia – Russian daily news. Translated by Julia Rakhmetova.

Source: Russia Insider

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Russophobia

The Jewish Role In The Bolshevik Revolution And Russia’s Early Soviet Regime

Soviet Union flag photo

In the night of July 16-17, 1918, a squad of Bolshevik secret police murdered Russia’s last emperor, Tsar Nicholas II, along with his wife, Tsaritsa Alexandra, their 14-year-old son, Tsarevich Alexis, and their four daughters. They were cut down in a hail of gunfire in a half-cellar room of the house in Ekaterinburg, a city in the Ural mountain region, where they were being held prisoner. The daughters were finished off with bayonets. To prevent a cult for the dead Tsar, the bodies were carted away to the countryside and hastily buried in a secret grave.

Bolshevik authorities at first reported that the Romanov emperor had been shot after the discovery of a plot to liberate him. For some time the deaths of the Empress and the children were kept secret. Soviet historians claimed for many years that local Bolsheviks had acted on their own in carrying out the killings, and that Lenin, founder of the Soviet state, had nothing to do with the crime.

In 1990, Moscow playwright and historian Edvard Radzinsky announced the result of his detailed investigation into the murders. He unearthed the reminiscences of Lenin’s bodyguard, Alexei Akimov, who recounted how he personally delivered Lenin’s execution order to the telegraph office. The telegram was also signed by Soviet government chief Yakov Sverdlov. Akimov had saved the original telegraph tape as a record of the secret order.1

Radzinsky’s research confirmed what earlier evidence had already indicated. Leon Trotsky — one of Lenin’s closest colleagues — had revealed years earlier that Lenin and Sverdlov had together made the decision to put the Tsar and his family to death. Recalling a conversation in 1918, Trotsky wrote:2

My next visit to Moscow took place after the [temporary] fall of Ekaterinburg [to anti-Communist forces]. Speaking with Sverdlov, I asked in passing: “Oh yes, and where is the Tsar?”

“Finished,” he replied. “He has been shot.”

“And where is the family?”

“The family along with him.”

“All of them?,” I asked, apparently with a trace of surprise.

“All of them,” replied Sverdlov. “What about it?” He was waiting to see my reaction. I made no reply.

“And who made the decision?,” I asked.

“We decided it here. Ilyich [Lenin] believed that we shouldn’t leave the Whites a live banner to rally around, especially under the present difficult circumstances.”

I asked no further questions and considered the matter closed.

Recent research and investigation by Radzinsky and others also corroborates the account provided years earlier by Robert Wilton, correspondent of the London Times in Russia for 17 years. His account, The Last Days of the Romanovs – originally published in 1920, and reissued in 1993 by the Institute for Historical Review — is based in large part on the findings of a detailed investigation carried out in 1919 by Nikolai Sokolov under the authority of “White” (anti-Communist) leader Alexander Kolchak. Wilton’s book remains one of the most accurate and complete accounts of the murder of Russia’s imperial family.3

A solid understanding of history has long been the best guide to comprehending the present and anticipating the future. Accordingly, people are most interested in historical questions during times of crisis, when the future seems most uncertain. With the collapse of Communist rule in the Soviet Union, 1989-1991, and as Russians struggle to build a new order on the ruins of the old, historical issues have become very topical. For example, many ask: How did the Bolsheviks, a small movement guided by the teachings of German-Jewish social philosopher Karl Marx, succeed in taking control of Russia and imposing a cruel and despotic regime on its people?

In recent years, Jews around the world have been voicing anxious concern over the specter of anti-Semitism in the lands of the former Soviet Union. In this new and uncertain era, we are told, suppressed feelings of hatred and rage against Jews are once again being expressed. According to one public opinion survey conducted in 1991, for example, most Russians wanted all Jews to leave the country.4 But precisely why is anti-Jewish sentiment so widespread among the peoples of the former Soviet Union? Why do so many Russians, Ukrainians, Lithuanians and others blame “the Jews” for so much misfortune?

A Taboo Subject

Although officially Jews have never made up more than five percent of the country’s total population,5 they played a highly disproportionate and probably decisive role in the infant Bolshevik regime, effectively dominating the Soviet government during its early years. Soviet historians, along with most of their colleagues in the West, for decades preferred to ignore this subject. The facts, though, cannot be denied.

With the notable exception of Lenin (Vladimir Ulyanov), most of the leading Communists who took control of Russia in 1917-20 were Jews. Leon Trotsky (Lev Bronstein) headed the Red Army and, for a time, was chief of Soviet foreign affairs. Yakov Sverdlov (Solomon) was both the Bolshevik party’s executive secretary and — as chairman of the Central Executive Committee — head of the Soviet government. Grigori Zinoviev (Radomyslsky) headed the Communist International (Comintern), the central agency for spreading revolution in foreign countries. Other prominent Jews included press commissar Karl Radek (Sobelsohn), foreign affairs commissar Maxim Litvinov (Wallach), Lev Kamenev (Rosenfeld) and Moisei Uritsky.6

Lenin himself was of mostly Russian and Kalmuck ancestry, but he was also one-quarter Jewish. His maternal grandfather, Israel (Alexander) Blank, was a Ukrainian Jew who was later baptized into the Russian Orthodox Church.7

A thorough-going internationalist, Lenin viewed ethnic or cultural loyalties with contempt. He had little regard for his own countrymen. “An intelligent Russian,” he once remarked, “is almost always a Jew or someone with Jewish blood in his veins.”8

Critical Meetings

In the Communist seizure of power in Russia, the Jewish role was probably critical.

Two weeks prior to the Bolshevik “October Revolution” of 1917, Lenin convened a top secret meeting in St. Petersburg (Petrograd) at which the key leaders of the Bolshevik party’s Central Committee made the fateful decision to seize power in a violent takeover. Of the twelve persons who took part in this decisive gathering, there were four Russians (including Lenin), one Georgian (Stalin), one Pole (Dzerzhinsky), and six Jews.9

To direct the takeover, a seven-man “Political Bureau” was chosen. It consisted of two Russians (Lenin and Bubnov), one Georgian (Stalin), and four Jews (Trotsky, Sokolnikov, Zinoviev, and Kamenev).10 Meanwhile, the Petersburg (Petrograd) Soviet — whose chairman was Trotsky — established an 18-member “Military Revolutionary Committee” to actually carry out the seizure of power. It included eight (or nine) Russians, one Ukrainian, one Pole, one Caucasian, and six Jews.11 Finally, to supervise the organization of the uprising, the Bolshevik Central Committee established a five-man “Revolutionary Military Center” as the Party’s operations command. It consisted of one Russian (Bubnov), one Georgian (Stalin), one Pole (Dzerzhinsky), and two Jews (Sverdlov and Uritsky).12

Contemporary Voices of Warning

Well-informed observers, both inside and outside of Russia, took note at the time of the crucial Jewish role in Bolshevism. Winston Churchill, for one, warned in an article published in the February 8, 1920, issue of the London Illustrated Sunday Herald that Bolshevism is a “worldwide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilization and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality.” The eminent British political leader and historian went on to write:13

There is no need to exaggerate the part played in the creation of Bolshevism and in the actual bringing about of the Russian Revolution by these international and for the most part atheistical Jews. It is certainly a very great one; it probably outweighs all others. With the notable exception of Lenin, the majority of the leading figures are Jews. Moreover, the principal inspiration and driving power comes from the Jewish leaders. Thus Tchitcherin, a pure Russian, is eclipsed by his nominal subordinate, Litvinoff, and the influence of Russians like Bukharin or Lunacharski cannot be compared with the power of Trotsky, or of Zinovieff, the Dictator of the Red Citadel (Petrograd), or of Krassin or Radek — all Jews. In the Soviet institutions the predominance of Jews is even more astonishing. And the prominent, if not indeed the principal, part in the system of terrorism applied by the Extraordinary Commissions for Combatting Counter-Revolution [the Cheka] has been taken by Jews, and in some notable cases by Jewesses.

Needless to say, the most intense passions of revenge have been excited in the breasts of the Russian people.

David R. Francis, United States ambassador in Russia, warned in a January 1918 dispatch to Washington: “The Bolshevik leaders here, most of whom are Jews and 90 percent of whom are returned exiles, care little for Russia or any other country but are internationalists and they are trying to start a worldwide social revolution.”14

The Netherlands’ ambassador in Russia, Oudendyke, made much the same point a few months later: “Unless Bolshevism is nipped in the bud immediately, it is bound to spread in one form or another over Europe and the whole world as it is organized and worked by Jews who have no nationality, and whose one object is to destroy for their own ends the existing order of things.”15

“The Bolshevik Revolution,” declared a leading American Jewish community paper in 1920, “was largely the product of Jewish thinking, Jewish discontent, Jewish effort to reconstruct.”16

As an expression of its radically anti-nationalist character, the fledgling Soviet government issued a decree a few months after taking power that made anti-Semitism a crime in Russia. The new Communist regime thus became the first in the world to severely punish all expressions of anti-Jewish sentiment.17 Soviet officials apparently regarded such measures as indispensable. Based on careful observation during a lengthy stay in Russia, American-Jewish scholar Frank Golder reported in 1925 that “because so many of the Soviet leaders are Jews anti-Semitism is gaining [in Russia], particularly in the army [and] among the old and new intelligentsia who are being crowded for positions by the sons of Israel.”18

Historians’ Views

Summing up the situation at that time, Israeli historian Louis Rapoport writes:19

Immediately after the [Bolshevik] Revolution, many Jews were euphoric over their high representation in the new government. Lenin’s first Politburo was dominated by men of Jewish origins.

Under Lenin, Jews became involved in all aspects of the Revolution, including its dirtiest work. Despite the Communists’ vows to eradicate anti-Semitism, it spread rapidly after the Revolution — partly because of the prominence of so many Jews in the Soviet administration, as well as in the traumatic, inhuman Sovietization drives that followed. Historian Salo Baron has noted that an immensely disproportionate number of Jews joined the new Bolshevik secret police, the Cheka And many of those who fell afoul of the Cheka would be shot by Jewish investigators.

The collective leadership that emerged in Lenin’s dying days was headed by the Jew Zinoviev, a loquacious, mean-spirited, curly-haired Adonis whose vanity knew no bounds.

“Anyone who had the misfortune to fall into the hands of the Cheka,” wrote Jewish historian Leonard Schapiro, “stood a very good chance of finding himself confronted with, and possibly shot by, a Jewish investigator.”20 In Ukraine, “Jews made up nearly 80 percent of the rank-and-file Cheka agents,” reports W. Bruce Lincoln, an American professor of Russian history.21 (Beginning as the Cheka, or Vecheka) the Soviet secret police was later known as the GPU, OGPU, NKVD, MVD and KGB.)

In light of all this, it should not be surprising that Yakov M. Yurovksy, the leader of the Bolshevik squad that carried out the murder of the Tsar and his family, was Jewish, as was Sverdlov, the Soviet chief who co-signed Lenin’s execution order.22

Igor Shafarevich, a Russian mathematician of world stature, has sharply criticized the Jewish role in bringing down the Romanov monarchy and establishing Communist rule in his country. Shafarevich was a leading dissident during the final decades of Soviet rule. A prominent human rights activist, he was a founding member of the Committee on the Defense of Human Rights in the USSR.

In Russophobia, a book written ten years before the collapse of Communist rule, he noted that Jews were “amazingly” numerous among the personnel of the Bolshevik secret police. The characteristic Jewishness of the Bolshevik executioners, Shafarevich went on, is most conspicuous in the execution of Nicholas II:23

This ritual action symbolized the end of centuries of Russian history, so that it can be compared only to the execution of Charles I in England or Louis XVI in France. It would seem that representatives of an insignificant ethnic minority should keep as far as possible from this painful action, which would reverberate in all history. Yet what names do we meet? The execution was personally overseen by Yakov Yurovsky who shot the Tsar; the president of the local Soviet was Beloborodov (Vaisbart); the person responsible for the general administration in Ekaterinburg was Shaya Goloshchekin. To round out the picture, on the wall of the room where the execution took place was a distich from a poem by Heine (written in German) about King Balthazar, who offended Jehovah and was killed for the offense.

In his 1920 book, British veteran journalist Robert Wilton offered a similarly harsh assessment:24

The whole record of Bolshevism in Russia is indelibly impressed with the stamp of alien invasion. The murder of the Tsar, deliberately planned by the Jew Sverdlov (who came to Russia as a paid agent of Germany) and carried out by the Jews Goloshchekin, Syromolotov, Safarov, Voikov and Yurovsky, is the act not of the Russian people, but of this hostile invader.

In the struggle for power that followed Lenin’s death in 1924, Stalin emerged victorious over his rivals, eventually succeeding in putting to death nearly every one of the most prominent early Bolsheviks leaders – including Trotsky, Zinoviev, Radek, and Kamenev. With the passage of time, and particularly after 1928, the Jewish role in the top leadership of the Soviet state and its Communist party diminished markedly.

Put To Death Without Trial

For a few months after taking power, Bolshevik leaders considered bringing “Nicholas Romanov” before a “Revolutionary Tribunal” that would publicize his “crimes against the people” before sentencing him to death. Historical precedent existed for this. Two European monarchs had lost their lives as a consequence of revolutionary upheaval: England’s Charles I was beheaded in 1649, and France’s Louis XVI was guillotined in 1793.

In these cases, the king was put to death after a lengthy public trial, during which he was allowed to present arguments in his defense. Nicholas II, though, was neither charged nor tried. He was secretly put to death – along with his family and staff — in the dead of night, in an act that resembled more a gangster-style massacre than a formal execution.

Why did Lenin and Sverdlov abandon plans for a show trial of the former Tsar? In Wilton’s view, Nicholas and his family were murdered because the Bolshevik rulers knew quite well that they lacked genuine popular support, and rightly feared that the Russian people would never approve killing the Tsar, regardless of pretexts and legalistic formalities.

For his part, Trotsky defended the massacre as a useful and even necessary measure. He wrote:25

The decision [to kill the imperial family] was not only expedient but necessary. The severity of this punishment showed everyone that we would continue to fight on mercilessly, stopping at nothing. The execution of the Tsar’s family was needed not only in order to frighten, horrify, and instill a sense of hopelessness in the enemy but also to shake up our own ranks, to show that there was no turning back, that ahead lay either total victory or total doom. This Lenin sensed well.

Historical Context

In the years leading up to the 1917 revolution, Jews were disproportionately represented in all of Russia’s subversive leftist parties.26 Jewish hatred of the Tsarist regime had a basis in objective conditions. Of the leading European powers of the day, imperial Russia was the most institutionally conservative and anti-Jewish. For example, Jews were normally not permitted to reside outside a large area in the west of the Empire known as the “Pale of Settlement.”27

However understandable, and perhaps even defensible, Jewish hostility toward the imperial regime may have been, the remarkable Jewish role in the vastly more despotic Soviet regime is less easy to justify. In a recently published book about the Jews in Russia during the 20th century, Russian-born Jewish writer Sonya Margolina goes so far as to call the Jewish role in supporting the Bolshevik regime the “historic sin of the Jews.”28 She points, for example, to the prominent role of Jews as commandants of Soviet Gulag concentration and labor camps, and the role of Jewish Communists in the systematic destruction of Russian churches. Moreover, she goes on, “The Jews of the entire world supported Soviet power, and remained silent in the face of any criticism from the opposition.” In light of this record, Margolina offers a grim prediction:

The exaggeratedly enthusiastic participation of the Jewish Bolsheviks in the subjugation and destruction of Russia is a sin that will be avenged Soviet power will be equated with Jewish power, and the furious hatred against the Bolsheviks will become hatred against Jews.

If the past is any indication, it is unlikely that many Russians will seek the revenge that Margolina prophecies. Anyway, to blame “the Jews” for the horrors of Communism seems no more justifiable than to blame “white people” for Negro slavery, or “the Germans” for the Second World War or “the Holocaust.”

Words of Grim Portent

Nicholas and his family are only the best known of countless victims of a regime that openly proclaimed its ruthless purpose. A few weeks after the Ekaterinburg massacre, the newspaper of the fledgling Red Army declared:29

Without mercy, without sparing, we will kill our enemies by the scores of hundreds, let them be thousands, let them drown themselves in their own blood. For the blood of Lenin and Uritskii let there be floods of blood of the bourgeoisie — more blood, as much as possible.

Grigori Zinoviev, speaking at a meeting of Communists in September 1918, effectively pronounced a death sentence on ten million human beings: “We must carry along with us 90 million out of the 100 million of Soviet Russia’s inhabitants. As for the rest, we have nothing to say to them. They must be annihilated.”30

‘The Twenty Million’

As it turned out, the Soviet toll in human lives and suffering proved to be much higher than Zinoviev’s murderous rhetoric suggested. Rarely, if ever, has a regime taken the lives of so many of its own people.31

Citing newly-available Soviet KGB documents, historian Dmitri Volkogonov, head of a special Russian parliamentary commission, recently concluded that “from 1929 to 1952, 21.5 million [Soviet] people were repressed. Of these a third were shot, the rest sentenced to imprisonment, where many also died.”32

Olga Shatunovskaya, a member of the Soviet Commission of Party Control, and head of a special commission during the 1960s appointed by premier Khrushchev, has similarly concluded: “From January 1, 1935 to June 22, 1941, 19,840,000 enemies of the people were arrested. Of these, seven million were shot in prison, and a majority of the others died in camp.” These figures were also found in the papers of Politburo member Anastas Mikoyan.33

Robert Conquest, the distinguished specialist of Soviet history, recently summed up the grim record of Soviet “repression” of it own people:34

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the post-1934 death toll was well over ten million. To this should be added the victims of the 1930-1933 famine, the kulak deportations, and other anti-peasant campaigns, amounting to another ten million plus. The total is thus in the range of what the Russians now refer to as ‘The Twenty Million’.”

A few other scholars have given significantly higher estimates.35

The Tsarist Era in Retrospect

With the dramatic collapse of Soviet rule, many Russians are taking a new and more respectful look at their country’s pre-Communist history, including the era of the last Romanov emperor. While the Soviets — along with many in the West — have stereotypically portrayed this era as little more than an age of arbitrary despotism, cruel suppression and mass poverty, the reality is rather different. While it is true that the power of the Tsar was absolute, that only a small minority had any significant political voice, and that the mass of the empire’s citizens were peasants, it is worth noting that Russians during the reign of Nicholas II had freedom of press, religion, assembly and association, protection of private property, and free labor unions. Sworn enemies of the regime, such as Lenin, were treated with remarkable leniency.36

During the decades prior to the outbreak of the First World War, the Russian economy was booming. In fact, between 1890 and 1913, it was the fastest growing in the world. New rail lines were opened at an annual rate double that of the Soviet years. Between 1900 and 1913, iron production increased by 58 percent, while coal production more than doubled.37 Exported Russian grain fed all of Europe. Finally, the last decades of Tsarist Russia witnessed a magnificent flowering of cultural life.

Everything changed with the First World War, a catastrophe not only for Russia, but for the entire West.

Monarchist Sentiment

In spite of (or perhaps because of) the relentless official campaign during the entire Soviet era to stamp out every uncritical memory of the Romanovs and imperial Russia, a virtual cult of popular veneration for Nicholas II has been sweeping Russia in recent years.

People have been eagerly paying the equivalent of several hours’ wages to purchase portraits of Nicholas from street vendors in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other Russian cities. His portrait now hangs in countless Russian homes and apartments. In late 1990, all 200,000 copies of a first printing of a 30-page pamphlet on the Romanovs quickly sold out. Said one street vendor: “I personally sold four thousand copies in no time at all. It’s like a nuclear explosion. People really want to know about their Tsar and his family.” Grass roots pro-Tsarist and monarchist organizations have sprung up in many cities.

A public opinion poll conducted in 1990 found that three out of four Soviet citizens surveyed regard the killing of the Tsar and his family as a despicable crime.38 Many Russian Orthodox believers regard Nicholas as a martyr. The independent “Orthodox Church Abroad” canonized the imperial family in 1981, and the Moscow-based Russian Orthodox Church has been under popular pressure to take the same step, in spite of its long-standing reluctance to touch this official taboo. The Russian Orthodox Archbishop of Ekaterinburg announced plans in 1990 to build a grand church at the site of the killings. “The people loved Emperor Nicholas,” he said. “His memory lives with the people, not as a saint but as someone executed without court verdict, unjustly, as a sufferer for his faith and for orthodoxy.”39

On the 75th anniversary of the massacre (in July 1993), Russians recalled the life, death and legacy of their last Emperor. In Ekaterinburg, where a large white cross festooned with flowers now marks the spot where the family was killed, mourners wept as hymns were sung and prayers were said for the victims.40

Reflecting both popular sentiment and new social-political realities, the white, blue and red horizontal tricolor flag of Tsarist Russia was officially adopted in 1991, replacing the red Soviet banner. And in 1993, the imperial two-headed eagle was restored as the nation’s official emblem, replacing the Soviet hammer and sickle. Cities that had been re-named to honor Communist figures — such as Leningrad, Kuibyshev, Frunze, Kalinin, and Gorky — have re-acquired their Tsarist-era names. Ekaterinburg, which had been named Sverdlovsk by the Soviets in 1924 in honor of the Soviet-Jewish chief, in September 1991 restored its pre-Communist name, which honors Empress Catherine I.

Symbolic Meaning

In view of the millions that would be put to death by the Soviet rulers in the years to follow, the murder of the Romanov family might not seem of extraordinary importance. And yet, the event has deep symbolic meaning. In the apt words of Harvard University historian Richard Pipes:41

The manner in which the massacre was prepared and carried out, at first denied and then justified, has something uniquely odious about it, something that radically distinguishes it from previous acts of regicide and brands it as a prelude to twentieth-century mass murder.

Another historian, Ivor Benson, characterized the killing of the Romanov family as symbolic of the tragic fate of Russia and, indeed, of the entire West, in this century of unprecedented agony and conflict.

The murder of the Tsar and his family is all the more deplorable because, whatever his failings as a monarch, Nicholas II was, by all accounts, a personally decent, generous, humane and honorable man.

The Massacre’s Place in History

The mass slaughter and chaos of the First World War, and the revolutionary upheavals that swept Europe in 1917-1918, brought an end not only to the ancient Romanov dynasty in Russia, but to an entire continental social order. Swept away as well was the Hohenzollern dynasty in Germany, with its stable constitutional monarchy, and the ancient Habsburg dynasty of Austria-Hungary with its multinational central European empire. Europe’s leading states shared not only the same Christian and Western cultural foundations, but most of the continent’s reigning monarchs were related by blood. England’s King George was, through his mother, a first cousin of Tsar Nicholas, and, through his father, a first cousin of Empress Alexandra. Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm was a first cousin of the German-born Alexandra, and a distant cousin of Nicholas.

More than was the case with the monarchies of western Europe, Russia’s Tsar personally symbolized his land and nation. Thus, the murder of the last emperor of a dynasty that had ruled Russia for three centuries not only symbolically presaged the Communist mass slaughter that would claim so many Russian lives in the decades that followed, but was symbolic of the Communist effort to kill the soul and spirit of Russia itself.

Notes

  1. Edvard Radzinksy, The Last Tsar (New York: Doubleday, 1992), pp. 327, 344-346.; Bill Keller, “Cult of the Last Czar,” The New York Times, Nov. 21, 1990.
  2. From an April 1935 entry in “Trotsky’s Diary in Exile.” Quoted in: Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution (New York: Knopf, 1990), pp. 770, 787.; Robert K. Massie, Nicholas and Alexandra (New York: 1976), pp. 496-497.; E. Radzinksy, The Last Tsar (New York: Doubleday, 1992), pp. 325-326.; Ronald W. Clark, Lenin (New York: 1988), pp. 349-350.
  3. On Wilton and his career in Russia, see: Phillip Knightley, The First Casualty (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976), pp. 141-142, 144-146, 151-152, 159, 162, 169, and, Anthony Summers and Tom Mangold, The File on the Tsar (New York: Harper and Row, 1976), pp. 102-104, 176.
  4. AP dispatch from Moscow, Toronto Star, Sept. 26, 1991, p. A2.; Similarly, a 1992 survey found that one-fourth of people in the republics of Belarus (White Russia) and Uzbekistan favored deporting all Jews to a special Jewish region in Russian Siberia. “Survey Finds Anti-Semitism on Rise in Ex-Soviet Lands,” Los Angeles Times, June 12, 1992, p. A4.
  5. At the turn of the century, Jews made up 4.2 percent of the population of the Russian Empire. Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution (New York: 1990), p. 55 (fn.).
    By comparison, in the United States today, Jews make up less than three percent of the total population (according to the most authoritative estimates).
  6. See individual entries in: H. Shukman, ed., The Blackwell Encyclopedia of the Russian Revolution (Oxford: 1988), and in: G. Wigoder, ed., Dictionary of Jewish Biography (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991).
    The prominent Jewish role in Russia’s pre-1914 revolutionary underground, and in the early Soviet regime, is likewise confirmed in: Stanley Rothman and S. Robert Lichter, Roots of Radicalism (New York: Oxford, 1982), pp. 92-94.
    In 1918, the Bolshevik Party’s Central Committee had 15 members. German scholar Herman Fehst — citing published Soviet records — reported in his useful 1934 study that of six of these 15 were Jews. Herman Fehst, Bolschewismus und Judentum: Das jüdische Element in der Führerschaft des Bolschewismus (Berlin: 1934), pp. 68-72.; Robert Wilton, though, reported that in 1918 the Central Committee of the Bolshevik party had twelve members, of whom nine were of Jewish origin and three were of Russian ancestry. R. Wilton, The Last Days of the Romanovs (IHR, 1993), p. 185.
  7. After years of official suppression, this fact was acknowledged in 1991 in the Moscow weekly Ogonyok. See: Jewish Chronicle (London), July 16, 1991.; See also: Letter by L. Horwitz in The New York Times, Aug. 5, 1992, which cites information from the Russian journal “Native Land Archives.”; “Lenin’s Lineage?”‘Jewish,’ Claims Moscow News,” Forward (New York City), Feb. 28, 1992, pp. 1, 3.; M. Checinski, Jerusalem Post (weekly international edition), Jan. 26, 1991, p. 9.
  8. Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution (New York: Knopf, 1990), p. 352.
  9. Harrison E. Salisbury, Black Night, White Snow: Russia’s Revolutions, 1905-1917 (Doubleday, 1978), p. 475.; William H. Chamberlin, The Russian Revolution (Princeton Univ. Press, 1987), vol. 1, pp. 291-292.; Herman Fehst, Bolschewismus und Judentum: Das jüdische Element in der Führerschaft des Bolschewismus (Berlin: 1934), pp. 42-43.; P. N. Pospelov, ed., Vladimir Ilyich Lenin: A Biography (Moscow: Progress, 1966), pp. 318-319.
    This meeting was held on October 10 (old style, Julian calendar), and on October 23 (new style). The six Jews who took part were: Uritsky, Trotsky, Kamenev, Zinoviev, Sverdlov and Soklonikov.
    The Bolsheviks seized power in Petersburg on October 25 (old style) — hence the reference to the “Great October Revolution” — which is November 7 (new style).
  10. William H. Chamberlin, The Russian Revolution (1987), vol. 1, p. 292.; H. E. Salisbury, Black Night, White Snow: Russia’s Revolutions, 1905-1917 (1978), p. 475.
  11. W. H. Chamberlin, The Russian Revolution, vol. 1, pp. 274, 299, 302, 306.; Alan Moorehead, The Russian Revolution (New York: 1965), pp. 235, 238, 242, 243, 245.; H. Fehst, Bolschewismus und Judentum (Berlin: 1934), pp. 44, 45.
  12. H. E. Salisbury, Black Night, White Snow: Russia’s Revolutions, 1905-1917 (1978), p. 479-480.; Dmitri Volkogonov, Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1991), pp. 27-28, 32.; P. N. Pospelov, ed., Vladimir Ilyich Lenin: A Biography (Moscow: Progress, 1966), pp. 319-320.
  13. “Zionism versus Bolshevism: A struggle for the soul of the Jewish people,” Illustrated Sunday Herald (London), February 8, 1920. Facsimile reprint in: William Grimstad, The Six Million Reconsidered (1979), p. 124. (At the time this essay was published, Churchill was serving as minister of war and air.)
  14. David R. Francis, Russia from the American Embassy (New York: 1921), p. 214.
  15. Foreign Relations of the United States — 1918 — Russia, Vol. 1 (Washington, DC: 1931), pp. 678-679.
  16. American Hebrew (New York), Sept. 1920. Quoted in: Nathan Glazer and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Beyond the Melting Pot (Cambridge, Mass.: 1963), p. 268.
  17. C. Jacobson, “Jews in the USSR” in: American Review on the Soviet Union, August 1945, p. 52.; Avtandil Rukhadze, Jews in the USSR: Figures, Facts, Comment (Moscow: Novosti, 1978), pp. 10-11.
  18. T. Emmons and B. M. Patenaude, eds., War, Revolution and Peace in Russia: The Passages of Frank Golder, 1913-1927 (Stanford: Hoover Institution, 1992), pp. 320, 139, 317.
  19. Louis Rapoport, Stalin’s War Against the Jews (New York: Free Press, 1990), pp. 30, 31, 37. See also pp. 43, 44, 45, 49, 50.
  20. Quoted in: Salo Baron, The Russian Jews Under Tsars and Soviets (New York: 1976), pp. 170, 392 (n. 4).
  21. The Atlantic, Sept. 1991, p. 14.;
    In 1919, three-quarters of the Cheka staff in Kiev were Jews, who were careful to spare fellow Jews. By order, the Cheka took few Jewish hostages. R. Pipes, The Russian Revolution (1990), p. 824.; Israeli historian Louis Rapoport also confirms the dominant role played by Jews in the Soviet secret police throughout the 1920s and 1930s. L. Rapoport, Stalin’s War Against the Jews (New York: 1990), pp. 30-31, 43-45, 49-50.
  22. E. Radzinsky, The Last Tsar (1992), pp. 244, 303-304.; Bill Keller, “Cult of the Last Czar,” The New York Times, Nov. 21, 1990.; See also: W. H. Chamberlin, The Russian Revolution, vol. 2, p. 90.
  23. Quoted in: The New Republic, Feb. 5, 1990, pp. 30 ff.; Because of the alleged anti-Semitism of Russophobia, in July 1992 Shafarevich was asked by the National Academy of Sciences (Washington, DC) to resign as an associate member of that prestigious body.
  24. R. Wilton, The Last Days of the Romanovs (1993), p. 148.
  25. Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution (1990), p. 787.; Robert K. Massie, Nicholas and Alexandra (New York: 1976), pp. 496-497.
  26. An article in a 1907 issue of the respected American journal National Geographic reported on the revolutionary situation brewing in Russia in the years before the First World War: ” The revolutionary leaders nearly all belong to the Jewish race, and the most effective revolutionary agency is the Jewish Bund ” W. E. Curtis, “The Revolution in Russia,” The National Geographic Magazine, May 1907, pp. 313-314.
    Piotr Stolypin, probably imperial Russia’s greatest statesman, was murdered in 1911 by a Jewish assassin. In 1907, Jews made up about ten percent of Bolshevik party membership. In the Menshevik party, another faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, the Jewish proportion was twice as high. R. Pipes, The Russian Revolution (1990), p. 365.; See also: R. Wilton, The Last Days of the Romanovs (1993), pp. 185-186.
  27. Martin Gilbert, Atlas of Jewish History (1977), pp. 71, 74.; In spite of the restrictive “Pale” policy, in 1897 about 315,000 Jews were living outside the Pale, most of them illegally. In 1900 more than 20,000 were living in the capital of St. Petersburg, and another 9,000 in Moscow.
  28. Sonja Margolina, Das Ende der Lügen: Russland und die Juden im 20. Jahrhundert (Berlin: 1992). Quoted in: “Ein ganz heisses Eisen angefasst,” Deutsche National-Zeitung (Munich), July 21, 1992, p. 12.
  29. Krasnaia Gazetta (“Red Gazette”), September 1, 1918. Quoted in: Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution (1990), pp. 820, 912 (n. 88).
  30. Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution (New York: 1990), p. 820.
  31. Contrary to what a number of western historians have for years suggested, Soviet terror and the Gulag camp system did not begin with Stalin. At the end of 1920, Soviet Russia already had 84 concentration camps with approximately 50,000 prisoners. By October 1923 the number had increased to 315 camps with 70,000 inmates. R. Pipes, The Russian Revolution (1990), p. 836.
  32. Cited by historian Robert Conquest in a review/ article in The New York Review of Books, Sept. 23, 1993, p. 27.
  33. The New York Review of Books, Sept. 23, 1993, p. 27.
  34. Review/article by Robert Conquest in The New York Review of Books, Sept. 23, 1993, p. 27.; In the “Great Terror” years of 1937-1938 alone, Conquest has calculated, approximately one million were shot by the Soviet secret police, and another two million perished in Soviet camps. R. Conquest, The Great Terror (New York: Oxford, 1990), pp. 485-486.;
    Conquest has estimated that 13.5 to 14 million people perished in the collectivization (“dekulakization”) campaign and forced famine of 1929-1933. R. Conquest, The Harvest of Sorrow (New York: Oxford, 1986), pp. 301-307.
  35. Russian professor Igor Bestuzhev-Lada, writing in a 1988 issue of the Moscow weekly Nedelya, suggested that during the Stalin era alone (1935-1953), as many as 50 million people were killed, condemned to camps from which they never emerged, or lost their lives as a direct result of the brutal “dekulakization” campaign against the peasantry. “Soviets admit Stalin killed 50 million,” The Sunday Times, London, April 17, 1988.;
    R. J. Rummel, a professor of political science at the University of Hawaii, has recently calculated that 61.9 million people were systematically killed by the Soviet Communist regime from 1917 to 1987. R. J. Rummel, Lethal Politics: Soviet Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1917 (Transaction, 1990).
  36. Because of his revolutionary activities, Lenin was sentenced in 1897 to three years exile in Siberia. During this period of “punishment,” he got married, wrote some 30 works, made extensive use of a well-stocked local library, subscribed to numerous foreign periodicals, kept up a voluminous correspondence with supporters across Europe, and enjoyed numerous sport hunting and ice skating excursions, while all the time receiving a state stipend. See: Ronald W. Clark, Lenin (New York: 1988), pp. 42-57.; P. N. Pospelov, ed., Vladimir Ilyich Lenin: A Biography (Moscow: Progress, 1966), pp. 55-75.
  37. R. Pipes, The Russian Revolution (1990), pp. 187-188.;
  38. The Nation, June 24, 1991, p. 838.
  39. Bill Keller, “Cult of the Last Czar,” The New York Times, Nov. 21, 1990.
  40. “Nostalgic for Nicholas, Russians Honor Their Last Czar,” Los Angeles Times, July 18, 1993.; “Ceremony marks Russian czar’s death,” Orange County Register, July 17, 1993.
  41. R. Pipes, The Russian Revolution (1990), p. 787.

From The Journal of Historical Review, Jan.-Feb. 1994 (Vol. 14, No. 1), pages 4-22.

About the Author:

Mark Weber was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. He studied history at the University of Illinois (Chicago), the University of Munich, Portland State University and Indiana University (M.A., 1977).

Source: http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v14/v14n1p-4_weber.html

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israel

The Ancient Spiritual Roots Of Russophobia

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Introduction

The term “russophobia” (the hatred and/or fear of things Russian) has become rather popular in the recent years, courtesy of the anti-Russian hysteria of the AngloZionist Empire, but this is hardly a new concept. In his seminal book “Russie-Occident – une guerre de mille ans: La russophobie de Charlemagne à la Crise Ukrainienne” (“The West vs Russia – a thousand year long war: russophobia from Charlemange to the Ukrainian Crisis”) which I recently reviewed here, Guy Mettan places the roots of russophobia as early as the times of Charlemagne. How could that be? That would mean that russophobia predates the birth of Russia by a full two centuries? And yet, Mettan is correct, although even he does not paint the full picture.

What I propose to do today is not to discuss modern russophobia which has numerous causes and forms, but to look far back into history for the ancient spiritual roots of this relatively modern phenomenon.

My thesis will probably trigger even more condescending smirks, expression of outrage and accusations of bigotry and racism than usual. That is fine. In fact, I will welcome them as a visceral reaction to what I propose to uncover below. One glaring weakness of my argument will be that I won’t bother presenting numerous sources as evidence for my assertions. Not only am I not writing an academic paper here, I simply don’t have the time and space needed to substantiate all my claims. Still, all the facts and claims I make below are easily verifiable for anybody with an Internet connection. My goal today is not to convince the naysayers, but to offer a few hopefully useful pointers to those seeking to connect the dots and see the full picture. This being, said, let’s now go far back in time.

A 2000 year old dispute

Those who believe that the Romans crucified Christ better stop reading here and go back to the comfort of ignorance. Those who have actually read the New Testament or, for that matter, the basic Judaic texts on this topic, know that Christ was accused and executed for the crime of blasphemy: He claimed to be the Son of God, the Son of Man (a messianic title), the messiah announced by the prophets and that He was God: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58) (this “I AM” is a direct reference to Exodus 3:14). This claim is what split the Jewish people into those who accepted Christ’s claims and believed Him and those who did not. What is interesting here, is the view which the Jews who did accept Christ had of those Jews who did not. As we all know, Saint John the Theologian wrote the famous words “I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan” (Rev 2:9). And Christ Himself said “If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham” (John 8:39). What we see here is the basis for a claim which was first made in the Apostolic times and which was later fully endorsed and further developed by the Church Fathers: those Jews who rejected Christ thereby lost their “Jewishness” and the “new Jews” are the Christians, regardless of ethnicity, which now have become the new “chosen people”. In our modern times of hyper-political correctness and generalized “ecumenical dialogs of love”, Christians are mostly ignorant of theses facts and, when they are, they dare not mention them in public. At a time when Popes declare that Jews are their “older brothers”, that they need not accept Christ and that Christians and Jews are awaiting the same 2nd coming of Christ, saying that Christianity denies Jews their very Jewish identity is definitely “mauvais ton”. But before the 20th century, this Christian claim that modern “Jews” were not really Jews anymore was common knowledge, both amongst Christians and amongst Jews.

[Sidebar: as I explained it in some details here, modern “Judaism” is not the religion of “Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” but the religion of Maimonides, Karo and Luria and has its roots in the teachings of the sect of the Pharisees, the Talmud and the Kabbalah. The closest modern heir to Christ-rejecting Jews of the times of Christ would be the Karaite sect. Modern “Judaism” really ought to be called “Phariseic Talmudism”. For a traditional Patristic look at Phariseic Talmudism, please see here and here]

Conversely, Judaic teaching about Christ are not sympathetic either. A quick read of the Toldot Yeshu or, for that matter, the passages about Christ in the Talmud, will convince anyone in need of convincing that the Pharisees’ hatred for Christ was not satiated with His crucifixion. And lest anybody think that this is all racist drivel by blue-eyed Nazis, here is a good article on this topic from Ha’artez corroborating it all.

Nowadays an uninformed observer might erroneously conclude that there is a big love-fest between Judaics and Christians, but to the extend that this is true, this is solely due to the factrusija that most modern Christians and Judaics have long ceased to believe, think and act in accordance to their own traditions. The reality is that for traditional Christians, modern Judaics are fallen, lapsed, people who have failed to live up to their election by God and who now are determined to take by force what had been promised to them by God. For traditional Judaics, Christians are idolaters of the worst kind, as they worship a blaspheming magician, born of a promiscuous hairdresser and a Roman legionnaire, who was justly executed for his crimes and who now forever is confined to hell where he boils in excrement. And lest anybody believe that this hostility is only a matter of a long gone past, I would add that while the Judaics are still waiting for as their messiah, the Christian consensus patrum indicates that this Judaic messiah will be the very same person whom Christ and the Apostles called the Antichrist.

Why does all this matter? It matters because at the very core of it all is the claim that Gentiles have replaced Jews as the chosen people of God, that Christians are the “new Jews” and that modern day Jews are simply not Jews at all, not only because most of them are more Khazarian than Jewish, but because their faith, traditions and beliefs are not the ones of the ancient Jewish people as described in the Old Testament. In other words, Christianity says that Jews are not Jews.

A 1000 year old dispute

Western history books usually say that Rome was sacked in 410 and fell in 476. The former is true, but the latter is completely false as it conflates the city of Rome and the Roman Empire. Only the city of Rome and the western Roman Empire came to an end in the 5th century, but that very same Roman Empire continued to exist in the East for a full 1000 years (!), until 1453 when the Ottomans finally captured the city of Constantinople. In fact, the imperial capital of the Roman Empire had been moved from Rome to the city of Constantinople, the “New Rome”, by the Emperor Constantine in 320. Thus, the Rome which, at various times, Visigoths, Vandals and Ostrogoths sacked was no longer the capital of the Roman Empire.

These two crucial dates, 476 and 1453, are often used to mark the beginning and the end of the Middle-Ages (along with other dates between the 5th and the 15th century). And since I am setting up the crucial dates for my argument, I will add another one here: 1054, the “official” date for the so-called “Great Schism” between, on one hand, Rome (the city) and, on the other, the other four Patriarchates founded by the Apostles: the Patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Constantinople.

At this point, things get complicated and a halfway decent explanation of what really took place would require no less than 100 pages, including a discussion of dogmatic theology, culture, sociology and, of course, politics. The best I can provide at this point are a few bullet-point style sentences summarizing what happened:

The Franks, especially Charlemagne, decided that they would re-create the Roman Empire. To be truly Romans, the Franks also wanted to make their own, original, contribution to Christian theology. They did so by making an addition to the so-called “Symbol of Faith”, or “Credo” in Latin, a text which summarizes the key Christian beliefs. Furthermore, since they were now occupying Rome, the former imperial capital of the Empire, the Franks felt that they were in control of the spiritual capital of the Christian world and that, therefore, the rest of the Christian world ought to accept the primacy of the bishop of Rome – called the “Pope” – and his right to impose a new dogma on the entire Christian world. Following roughly 200 years of tensions between the (Frankish-occupied) Rome and the (still free) eastern Roman Empire the final separation took place in 1054 when the Pope excommunicated the Patriarch of Constantinople who then returned him the favor. What is important for our purposes is this: not only did the Frankish invasion of Rome mark the end of the Roman civilization in the West, it also cut-off the western world from the Roman Empire which continued to exist for another ten centuries. The process of severance between the two parts of the Empire began in the 5th century following the fall of the city of Rome and continued throughout the following centuries. During the 10th century, Rome suffered during the so-called dark ages (saeculum obscurum) and the so-called the “Rule of the Harlots” (pornokratia). At a time when the Roman Empire in the east was almost at the apex of its glory, the Franks were indulging in an orgy of destruction and corruption which completely changed the face of the western part of the European continent and completely severed the vital cultural and spiritual ties which had kept the Roman Empire together in the past centuries.

shutterstock_76564732 During the following 1000 years while the Roman Empire continued its existence in the East, the European Middle-Ages slowly and painfully gave birth to a new civilization, the West European civilization, which really took its first mature shape during the Renaissance with it’s re-discovery of the ancient Greek and Roman world. Whatever form this so-called “re-discovery” took, it is a fact that the 1000 years of the Middle-Ages separate modern western civilization from the Roman civilization and that modern Europe was born not of the Romans, but of the Franks. The (Orthodox) East, however, has never known any “Middle-Ages” and has maintained a cultural and religious continuity to the ancient Christian world and the Roman Empire.

In the West, the so-called “Roman Catholic Church” (another misnomer – there is nothing Roman or “catholic” – meaning “universal” – about the Papacy as it is Frankish and local) likes to present itself as the original Church whose roots and traditions go back to the Apostolic times. This is simply false. The reality is that the religion which calls itself “Roman Catholic” is a relatively new religion, younger than Islam by several centuries, which was born in the 11th century of a rejection of the key tenets of the 1000 year long Christian faith. Furthermore, from the moment of its birth, this religion has embarked on an endless cycle of innovations including the 19th century (!) dogmas of the Papal infallibility and the Immaculate Conception. Far from being conservative or traditionalists, the Latins have always been rabid innovators and modernists.

Nowadays there are many Christian denominations out there, but only the Orthodox Churches can testify to the fact that the Frankish local Church is neither Roman, nor Catholic, that it’s roots are not in the Apostolic times, but in the (dark) Middle-Ages and that far from being a heir to the 2000 year old faith “which the Lord gave, was preached by the Apostles, and was preserved by the Fathers” to use the words of Saint Athanasios, the Latin faith is nothing but a collection of deviations from the original Christian faith.

The feared and hated witness

Now we see a pattern here. Both for the Judaics and for the Latins, the Orthodox Christians are the only witnesses out there who can (and do!) openly challenge not only their legitimacy, but their very identity. From an Orthodox perspective (and here I am referring to the traditional, Patristic, point of view) modern Jews are not Jews and the Catholics are not catholic. In both cases, we are dealing with very successful frauds, but frauds nonetheless. Orthodox Christians believe that they, and they alone, are both the real Jews and the real Catholics. Modern Jews are nothing but Pharisees while Latins are simply heretics. Jews were called to be the Chosen People while Rome used to be recognized as the “first amongst equals” by the other Patriarchates. Alas, in both cases a tragic fall from grace occurred in a manner reminiscent of Lucifer’s fall from Heaven (“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” Isa 14:12). And to those who would say that such a claim is preposterous, Orthodox Christians would simply point at the immense corpus of Patristic writings which has always supported that claim. The only option for somebody rejecting this claim is to reject Christianity itself.

My argument here is not a historical or theological one. Regardless of whether one accepts or not the Orthodox view of modern “Judaism” and “Roman Catholicism” – it is certain that both Judaics and Latin were quite aware of this view (there were plenty of polemical texts written over the centuries by all sides to this dispute) and that this challenge to their very legitimacy and identity was perceived as a monumental affront and, when supported by an immense and powerful empire like the Russian one, a mortal enemy which had to be either conquered or eliminated.

[Sidebar: Islam. It is interesting to note here that Orthodox Christianity, which Muslims called “Rum” as in Rome, in no way challenges the legitimacy or identity of Islam. While Islam and Christianity have plenty of irreconcilable theological differences, Muslims do not claim to be Jews or Christians. As for Orthodox Christians, they obviously do not claim to be the true or original, Muslims. Thus the co-existence of these two religions is not logically mutually exclusive even if their theologies are fundamentally incompatible].

The modern dispute

It would be ridiculous to claim that the cause(s) of modern fear and/or hate of things Russian can all be explained by ancient theological arguments. In reality, neither Russia nor the West are all that religious nowadays. And while there is definitely a religious rebirth taking place in Russia, it remains also true that only a minority of Russians are truly religious or well-versed in Orthodox theology. Furthermore, there are plenty of reasons why some hate/fear Russia which have absolutely nothing to do with religion, including the fact that Russia is, and has always been, an unconquered military superpower, that the Soviet regime has oppressed millions of people in Eastern Europe and in the Soviet Union and that any more or less sovereign and independent regime in Russia stands as the main obstacle for the West to take control of Russia’s immense resources and many other reasons. As for (truly religious) Judaics and Latins, they are a small minority compared to the vast majority of largely agnostic people around them. In reality, modern russophobia has numerous independent “vectors” all contributing to a grand “sum vector” expressed in the West’s current policies towards Russia. And yet.

Regardless of the actual level of religiosity in Russia, Russia remains the objective historical and cultural heir to the Roman Empire: the First Rome fell in 476, the Second Rome fell in 1453 while the Third Rome fell in 1917.

[Sidebar: A Fourth Rome cannot happen simply because, unlike what happened with the First and Second Rome, the Third one could not “pass on” its role to a hypothetical Fourth one. Seventy years of Communist rule will forever remain and unsurmountable barrier between Russia the Third Rome and modern Russia and not true succession is now possible]

To ignore the historical importance of a Christian Roman civilization which lasted from the 4th to the 20th century would be a major oversight. Those 16 centuries have had a huge impact on the Russian culture, even upon those Russians who are only superficially religious or outright agnostic, and they still can be felt today. The same is true for what is called the “West” nowadays: what is the AngloZionist Empire if not the cultural continuation of the British Empire with the Zionist (and, thus, Judaic) element recently added to it? And don’t let the fact that Protestants and Anglicans are not “Roman Catholics” distract you from the reality that Protestantism itself is just the offspring from the spiritual intercourse between its Latin and Judaic parents, just as Freemasonry – the dominant ideology and worldview today – is the offspring resulting from the spiritual intercourse between of Protestantism and Phariseic Judaism. Whether we are aware of it or not, we live in “civilizational realms” which have ancient roots and our worldview and outlook on life are often shaped by a past which we often know very little about.

Conclusion

There is a clash of civilizations taking place. It does not primarily oppose a putative “Christian West” to Islam. For one thing, the modern “West” has long ceased to be Christian and should now be categorized as post-Christian. Furthermore, the Muslim world is not united and does not have the resources to meaningfully oppose the AngloZionist Empire. Until China, Latin America or some other civilization truly rises up to be able to challenge the current world order, Russia is the only country which will dare to openly challenge the very legitimacy of the western political system and the ideology it has been built upon. Modern Russia is both capable and willing of challenging the dominant western ideology (from Capitalism to the belief that homosexuality is a normal and healthy variation of human sexuality) precisely because of her position as the heir to, and continuator of, the Christian Roman Empire. True, for the past 300 years or so, Russia has been ruled by a generally westernized ruling elite, but that elite itself has always remained a foreign superstructure imposed upon the Russian nation which never truly identified with it. With Putin Russia has finally found a leader who does not represent the interests of the elites, but rather the interests of the vast majority of the population – hence Putin’s stratospheric popularity ratings. And that too frightens the West, especially the western elites who now feel that their rule is threatened by a nuclear superpower which is determined not to let them take over our entire planet. It is impossible to predict what will happen next. But it does appear likely to me that this ancient conflict between two fundamentally opposed spiritualities and civilizations will come to some kind of a resolution, for better or for worse, in the near future.


2016-11-06

Source: The Saker

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Russia Versus America: The Doping Double Standard In America’s “Big Money Sports”. “In Your Face Washington”

Clinton in Prishtina

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 to American athletes using performance-enhancing drugs.

This 2014 article outlines some important issues.

M. Ch. GR editor, June 21, 2016

* * *

There is a doping double standard in American sports. The “big money” sports – football, baseball, and basketball – turn a blind eye to their athletes using performance-enhancing drugs while track – a “poor” sport – does not. This double standard is particularly harmful to track because strict testing procedures and subsequent doping scandals have led to a general decline of faith in the sport.

Mainstream American sports have long allowed their athletes to get away with something considered immoral for the sake of their popularity. This is an inadequate justification. In the case of track, a sport Americans really only pay attention to during Olympic years, anti-doping is something that now creates almost as many headlines as the sport itself.

If for every great race there is a headline about yet another runner getting busted for doping, the sport will never see the increased public interest or ratings that it would benefit so greatly from. Meanwhile, ratings have never been as pressing an issue for America’s mainstream sports. If the public continues to ignore this disconnect, the popular will only continue to get more popular while the unpopular will continue to get less popular.

This past summer, Tyson Gay, the fastest American sprinter in history, tested positive for a banned substance. The American governing body for track and field (USATF) punished him with a two-year ban from competition and his sponsorship deals will be terminated in the next few months. The fastest American in history. Track’s version of Michael Jordan. Done. At 31, he will probably never compete again. Even if he does, it won’t be at the same level.

For the past few decades, track governing bodies have dealt with doping by punishing athletes who test positive with a two-year ban from competition for a first offense and a lifetime ban from competition for a second offense. Next year, the punishment for a first-time offense will be extended from a two-year ban to a four-year ban from competition. Either way, these punishments are disproportionately harsh when compared to, say, the NFL’s 4-game suspension (basically 30 days) for a first offense, 8-game suspension (basically 60 days) for a second offense and year suspension for a third offense. A third offense in the NFL is less than a first offense in track. To make matters even more unequal, testing procedures in the NFL are, just like their punishments, more relaxed than those in track. The NFL doesn’t even test players for human growth hormone (HGH), one of the most widely used performance-enhancing substances in sports.
Tyson Gay would still be smiling if he was in the NFL as he’d already be back competing

The lack of transparency in the NFL is also worth noting. The players union is so protective that it doesn’t even allow the specific results of a positive test to be public, which means that players can be caught using steroids and publicly claim otherwise, with no repercussions. NFL testing and punishment procedures are so flawed that the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), David Howman, publicly criticized them last year (2013).

Returning to Tyson Gay, his story would have ended much differently if he were a football player. In addition to being a lot richer, he’d already be back to competition. Specifically considering his positive test for steroids on May 16th, if he were competing under guidelines as relaxed as those in the NFL, he would have been amazingly allowed to return to competition in time for the August World Championships after serving a 30-day suspension for his first doping offense.

Here’s my fuss: I think that it is unfair for the NFL, MLB, and NBA to allow such relaxed policies for performance-enhancing drug testing and punishment, especially when compared to the policies in track. If these “big money” sports were to implement drug-testing policies as rigorous and transparent as those in track, the public would see a significant increase of doping scandals in them. The public would collectively realize that doping is more an industry wide problem than a problem specific to a “poor” sport.

Doping is an issue that needs to be tackled – no pun intended – from the top-down. The NFL is a $9.5 billion/year industry. MLB, $7.5 billion. NBA, $4.0 billion. Because the policies in these sports make it easy for players to get away with using performance-enhancing substances, they are responsible for funneling the most money into America’s performance enhancing substance black market! But, instead, the spotlight is constantly shined on track, a sport whose governing body in the US (USATF) has a $24 million yearly budget. That was not a typo. You read right. USATF’s entire yearly budget is less than what some individual football, baseball, and basketball players, including steroid cheats like Alex Rodriguez ($28 million in 2013).

It may seem like a fair doping crackdown would never happen because there’s so much money involved. Still, doping should be regarded as harshly for high-grossing sports as it is for such a low-grossing sport. The American sports doping double standard must go.


About the author:

Sami Aziz is a student at Columbia University where he is on the cross country and track and field teams. In high school, he was an individual qualifier for NXN and ran 9:14 for 3200.

WorksCited

1. Ingle, Sean. “NFL Faces Battle with Wada over Transparency of Drug-Testing.” The Guardian 27 Sept. 2013, Sport: 11. The Guardian. Web. 2 Dec. 2013.
<http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2013/sep/27/nfl-wada-drugs-testing>.
2. Isidore, Chris. “Why Football Is Still a Money Machine.” CNN. Time Warner, 1 Feb. 2013. Web. 2 Dec. 2013. <http:/ money.cnn.com/2013/02/01/news/companies/nfl-moneysuper-bowl/>.
3. “2012 Budget.” USATF. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2013. <http://www.usatf.org/About/Financials/Approved-Budgets/2012.aspx>.
The original source of this article is LetsRun.com
Copyright © Sami Aziz, LetsRun.com , 2016

Source: http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-doping-double-standard-in-american-sports/5531863

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Do We Really Want War With Russia?

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War with Russia appears increasingly likely as the US and its NATO satraps continue their military provocations of Moscow.

As dangers mount, our foolish politicians should all be forced to read, and then re-read, Prof. Christopher Clark’s magisterial book, ‘The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914.’ What is past increasingly appears prologue.

Prof. Clark carefully details how small cabals of anti-German senior officials in France, Britain and Russia engineered World War I, a dire conflict that was unnecessary, idiotic, and illogical. Germany and Austria-Hungary of course share some the blame, but to a much lesser degree than the bellicose French, Serbs, Russians and British.

We are seeing the same process at work today. The war party in Washington, backed by the military-industrial complex, the tame media, and the neocons, are agitating hard for war.

US and NATO combat forces are being sent to Russia’s western borders in Ukraine, the Baltic and Black Sea. NATO is arming, financing ($40 billion so far) and supplying Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. Prominent Americans are calling for the US to attack Russian forces in Syria. US warships are off Russia’s coasts in the Black Sea, Baltic and Pacific. NATO air forces are probing Russia’s western air borders.

Some of this is great power shadow boxing, trying to cow insubordinate Russia into accepting Washington’s orders. But much appears to be the work of the hard right and neocons in the US and Europe in spite of the desire of most Americans and Europeans to avoid armed conflict with Russia.

Hence the daily barrage of anti-Russian, anti-Putin invective in the US media and the European media controlled by the US. Germany’s lapdog media behaves as if the US postwar occupation is still in force – and perhaps it is. Germany has not had a truly independent foreign policy since the war.

In an amazing break with Berlin’s normally obsequious behavior, German’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, just demanded that Washington and NATO stop their ‘sabre-rattling’ against Russia. He speaks for many Germans and other Europeans who are deeply alarmed by the alliance’s provocations of Russia.

In fact, many Europeans want to see the end of NATO-imposed sanctions against Russia that were ordered by the US. No one in Europe cares about Russia’s re-occupation of Crimea. The sanctions have been a big backfire, seriously hurting EU exports to Russia at a time of marked economic weakness. Nor are any Europeans ready to fight a war, or worse, even court nuclear war, for such dark-side-of-the-moon places as eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk or Mariupol.

America’s numb-brained Republican members of Congress, who could not find Crimea on a map if their lives depended on it, may be counted on to beat the war drums to please their big donors and hard right religious donors.

The only Republican to buck this trend is Donald Trump who, for all his other foolish positions, has the clear sense to see no benefit for the US in antagonizing Russia and seeking war in Europe or the Mideast.

What the US and its sidekick NATO has done so far is to antagonize Russia and affirm its deeply held fears that the west is always an implacable enemy. But it seems very unlikely that the tough Vlad Putin and his battle-hardened nation is going to be cowed into submission by a few thousand US and NATO troops, a few frigates and some flyovers. Ever since Frederick the Great, wise European leaders have learned not to fight with Russia.

Not so President Obama’s strategic Walkures, Samantha Power, Susan Rice and, until recently, Hillary Clinton. They proved the most bungling military-strategic leadership since Madame de Pompadour was briefly given command of France’s armies by King Louis XV and proved an epic disaster.
One shudders watching Hillary Clinton aspire to be a commander-in-chief.

It’s also inevitable that land, sea and air provocations against Russia will eventually result in accidental clashes and a stern Russian response. All one needs is a Sarajevo II terror incident to spark a big shooting war between nuclear powers.


25-06-2016

Prof. Vladislav B. Sotirović About The Situation In Ukraine

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Professor Vladislav B. Sotirović, Ph.D. is a Senior Lecturer of: “Middle East Studies” at the Mykolas Romeris University, Vilnius, Lithuania; “Mediterranean Studies;” “Ethnicity, Multiculturalism and Globalisation;” “Balkan Nationalism and Ethnic Conflicts”and “Europeanisation: Process and Results.”

Prof. Dr. Sotirović is a distinguished expert on the History of the Early Byzantine Empire, 330–846”, Comparative History of Central and South Eastern Europe and Ottoman History, History of Lithuania and Ukraine. He is well known abroad for his influential books and popular lectures about Lithuania, Russian Federation, the Balkans and Baltic Nations and the Multiculturalism.

Professor Sotirović has studied at the Central European Summer University, Budapest, Hungary (2002); earned his Ph. D. in Vilnius University, Faculty of Philology, Slavic Philology Department, in Vilnius, Lithuania. Has pursued graduated studes at the School of Human Rights Research, Tilburg University and Institute for Human Rights, of the Catholic University of Leuven (2001), the Netherlands and Leuven, Belgium; the Center for European Integration Studies, Bonn, Germany (2001); European Academy of Bozen/Bolzano, South Tyrol (Alto Adige), Italy, and in many other Summer Universities and post graduate programs.  The following is an extensive interview that Prof. Sotirović has provided to Foreign Policy News Journal, in Washington, DC.

Peter Tase: What is the historical background of the current Ukrainian conflict from the point of view of the Ukrainian statehood?

Vladislav B. Sotirović: The German occupation forces were those who have been the first to create and recognise a short-lived state’s independence of Ukraine in January 1918 during the time of their-own inspired and supported anti-Russian Bolshevik Revolution of 1917−1921. As reoccupied by the Bolshevik Red Army, the eastern and southern parts of the present-day territory of (a Greater) Ukraine joined in 1922 the USSR as a separate Soviet Socialist Republic (without Crimea). Therefore, a Jew V. I. Lenin has to be considered as the real historical father of the Ukrainian statehood but also and as of the contemporary nationhood. Ukraine was the most fertile agricultural Soviet republic but particularly catastrophically affected by (Georgian) Stalin’s economic policy in the 1930s which neglected agricultural production in favour of the speed industrialisation of the country. The result was a great famine (holodomor) with around seven million people dead but majority of them were of the ethnic Russian origin. A territory of the present-day Ukraine was devastated during the WWII by the Nazi German occupation forces from 1941 to 1944 who installed in Ukraine a puppet and criminal regime of S. Bandera (1900−1959) under which a genocide on Poles, Jews and Russians was committed. For instance, the Ukrainian militia (12.000) directly participated in the 1942 holocaust of some 200.000 Volhynian Jews together with 140.000 German policemen. The Ukrainian mass killers learned their job from the Germans and applied their knowledge as well as on the Poles.

After the war, J. V. Stalin, supported by the Ukrainian party-cadre N. Khrushchev, deported about 300.000 Ukrainians from their homeland as they have been accused for the collaboration with the Nazi regime during the war and the participation in genocide done by S. Bandera’s government. However, after the war the Ukrainians have been and directly rewarded by Moscow for the collaboration with the Germans and participation in S. Bandera’s organized genocide as the lands of Transcarpathia, littoral Moldova (Bessarabia), Polish Galicia and part of Romania’s Bukovina in 1945 followed by Crimea in 1954 became annexed by the Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine. These territories, which never have been part of any kind of Ukraine and overwhelmingly not populated by the ethnolinguistic Ukrainians, were included into the Soviet Ukraine primarily due to the political activity by the strongest Ukrainian cadre in the USSR – N. Khrushchev, a person who inherited Stalin’s throne in Moscow in 1953. On this place, a parallel with Croatia is an absolute: for the Croat committed genocide on the Serbs, Jews and Roma by A. Pavelić’s regime (a Croat version of S. Bandera) during the WWII on the territory of the Independent State of Croatia a post-war (Socialist Republic of) Croatia was awarded by a Croat-Slovenian dictator of Yugoslavia J. B. Tito with the lands of Istria, Adriatic islands and Dubrovnik – all of them never have been in any kind of the state of Croatia before the WWII.

M. Gorbachev’s policy of deliberate dissolution of the USSR from the time of Reykjavik bilateral meeting with Ronald Reagan in 1988 caused a revival of the ethnic nationalism of the Ukrainians who proclaimed an independence on August 24th, 1991 (confirmed on a referendum held on December 1st, 1991 only by those who did not boycott it) in the wake of anti-Gorbachev’s military putsch in Moscow (mis)using the political situation of paralyzed central government in the country. The state’s independence of Ukraine was proclaimed and later internationally recognized within the borders of a Greater Stalin-Khrushchev’s Ukraine with at least 20% of the ethic Russian population living in a compact area in the eastern part of the country and as well as making a qualified (2/3) majority of Crimea’s population. The coming years saw the rifts with neighbouring Russia with the main political task by Kiev to commit as possible as the Ukrainization (assimilation) of ethnic Russians (similar to the policy of the Croatization of ethnic Serbs in Croatia orchestrated by the neo-Nazi government in Zagreb led by Dr. Franjo Tuđman). At the same time the Russian majority in Crimea constantly required the peninsula’s reunification with mother Russia but getting only an autonomous status within Ukraine – a country which they never considered as their natural-historical homeland. The Russians of Ukraine were becoming more and more unsatisfied with conditions in which they have been leaving from the time when in 1998−2001 the Ukrainian taxation system collapsed what meant that the central government in Kiev was not able to pay the salaries and pensions to its own citizens. A very weak Ukrainian state became in fact unable to function normally (“failed state”) and as a consequence it did not have a power to prevent a series of politically motivated assassinations followed by popular protests which had been also very much inspired by economic decline of the country.

As a matter of fact, it has to be stressed that the Ukrainian historiography on their own history of the land and the people is extremely nationalistic and in very cases not objective like many other national historiographies. It is basically politically coloured with the main task to present the Ukrainians as a natural ethnolinguistic nation who have been historically fighting to create a united independent national state and unjustifiably claiming certain territories to be ethnohistorically the “Ukrainian”. As a typical example of such tendency to rewrite history of the East Europe according to the nationalistic and politically correct framework is, for instance, the book by Serhy Jekelčyk on the birth of a modern Ukrainian nation in which, among other quasi-historical facts based on the self-interpreted events, is written that the USSR in 1939−1940 annexed from Poland and Romania the “West Ukrainian land” (Serhy Jekelčyk, Ukraina: Modernios nacijos gimimas, Vilnius: Baltos lankos, 2009, 17).

However, this “Western Ukrainian Land” never was part of any kind of Ukraine before the WWII as Ukraine as a state or administrative province never existed before V. I. Lenin created in 1923 a Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine within the USSR but at that time without the “Western Ukrainian Land” as it was not a part of the USSR. Moreover, the Ukrainians were either not leaving or being just minority on this land what means that Ukraine even did not have ethnic rights over the biggest part of the “West Ukraine.”  Even today around half of Ukraine’s state’s territory is not populated by the Ukrainians as a majority of the population. Moreover, in some regions there are no Ukrainians at all. Therefore, the cardinal question is on which principle the Ukrainian borders are shaped?

As another example of the Ukrainian historiographic nationalistic misleading we can find in an academic brochure on Bukovina’s Metropolitan’s residence, published in 2007 by the National University of Chernivtsi. In the brochure is written that this university is “…one of the oldest classical universities of Ukraine” (The Architecturial Complex of Bukovynian Metropolitan’s Residence, Chernivtsi: Yuriy Fedkovych National University of Chernivtsi, 2007, 31) that is true only from the present-day rough political perspective but not and from a moral-historic point of view.  Namely, the university is located in the North Bukovina which in 1775 the Habsburg Monarchy had obtained. The land was from 1786 administrated within the Chernivtsi district of Galicia and one hundred years after the affiliation of Bukovina to the monarchy, the Franz-Josephs-Universität was inaugurated on October 4th, 1875 (the name day of the emperor). In the other words, the university’s origin as whole Bukovina has nothing to do with any kind of both historical Ukraine and ethnic Ukrainians as before 1940 it was outside of administrative territory of Ukraine when the whole North Bukovina on August 13th, became annexed by the USSR according to the Hitler-Stalin Pact (or the Ribbentrop-MolotovPact) signed on August 23rd, 1939 (ibid.). Therefore, two notorious bandits (one Nazi another Bolshevik) decided to transfer the North Bukovina to the USSR and the land became after the WWII part of a Greater (Stalin’s) Ukrainian SSR. Nevertheless, while the Ukrainian nationalists claim that “Russia” (in fact anti-Russian USSR) occupied Ukraine, the annexation of the North Bukovina and other territories from Poland, Czechoslovakia and Romania in 1940 are for them a legitimate act of historical justice. Here we have to notice that according to the same pact, the territories of the independent states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are as well as annexed by the USSR that is considered by their historians and politicians as “occupation”, what means (illegal) act of aggression that is breaking international law and legitimate order. Nevertheless, they never accused Ukraine of doing the same in regard to occupied lands from its three western neighbours in 1940/1944.

Political assimilation of certain separate Slavonic ethnolinguistic groups in Ukraine was and is one of the standardized instruments for the creation and maintaining of the Ukrainian national identity in the 20th century. The most brutal case is of the Ruthenians (Rusyns) who are simply proclaimed as historical Ukrainians known under such name till the WWII. Their land, which was in the interwar period part of Czechoslovakia, that was annexed by the USSR at the end of the WWII and included into a Greater Soviet Ukraine is simply renamed from Ruthenia into the Sub-Carpathian Ukraine. However, the Ruthenians and the Ukrainians are two separate Slavonic ethnolinguistic groups as such officially recognized, for example, in Serbia’s Autonomous Province of Vojvodina where the Ruthenian (Rusyn) language is even standardized and studied together with Ruthenian philology and literature at a separate department at the University of Novi Sad. Unfortunately, the Ruthenian position in Ukraine is even worst in comparison with the Kurdish position in Turkey as the process of Ruthenian assimilation is much speeder than of the Kurdish case.

From the current perspective of the Ukrainian crisis and in general from the point of solving the “Ukrainian Question” it has to be noticed a very historical fact that a part of the present-day East Ukraine became legally incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1654 as a consequence of the decision by the local hetman of Zaporozhian territory Bohdan Khmelnytsky (c. 1595−1657) based on a popular revolt against the Polish-Lithuanian (the Roman Catholic) occupation of Ukraine which broke out in 1648. It means that the core of the present-day Ukraine voluntarily joined Russia, therefore escaping from the Roman Catholic Polish-Lithuanian oppression. Subsequently, B. Khmelnytsky’s ruled territory has to be considered from a historical point of view as the motherland of all present-day Ukraine – the motherland which already in 1654 chose Russia.                   

Peter Tase: How do you see the Euromaidan Revolution in 2014?

Vladislav B. Sotirović: The current Ukrainian crisis and in fact civil war which stared at the very end of 2013 are grounded in for decades lasting internal interethnic antagonisms primarily on the Ukrainian-Russian relations including above all the “Crimean Question” as an apple of discord from 1954 between Ukraine and Russia. The crisis came from Lithuania’s capital Vilnius were in November 2013 an Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine had to be signed. Lithuania at that time (July 1st−December 31st, 2013) presided the European (Union) Council and formally had a full political responsibility for the breaking out of the crisis as being the host of the event on which the EU absolutely blamed only Ukraine’s President V. Yanukovych for the failure of the agreement as he simply rejected to sign it.

However, his decision was primarily based on the logic of a realpolitik as he preferred much more favourable economic-financial offer by Moscow (including and de facto legalization of stealing of the Russia’s gas to Europe that was transported via Ukraine) for the purpose to try to resolve inner economic, social and political crisis which was threatening a stability of the Ukrainian society and state from 1991. The official Kiev recognizes that for Ukraine (up to 2014) Russia was:

“…the largest trade partner and a huge market. In addition, many Ukrainians have family and friendly relations with the Russian people. In this connection, it should be noted that Europeans are actually interested in stable partnership between the two countries. Ukraine remains the major transit country for Russian natural gas transported to Europe, and it is very important for Kyiv to make sure that Europeans regard it as a reliable and predictable partner” (Ukraine. A Country of Opportunities, Kyiv: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, 2010, 6).

It was obvious that such Yanukovych’s turn toward the Russian Federation would mean and closest political ties between Kiev and Moscow in the future – a cardinal reason for the EU and USA to directly fuel a new colour revolution in Ukraine for the purpose to overthrow Yanukovych and to install instead of him their own puppet regime which will drive the country to direction of both the EU and the NATO. The Ukrainian 2013/2014 coloured revolution was committed according to the model of the first CIA’s sponsored East European colour revolution that was organized in Serbia (Belgrade) at the beginning of October 2000 (the “2000 October 5th Revolution”). The protest of the “people” in Kiev in 2014 finally was ended by a classic street-style coup d’étatlike in Belgrade 14 years ago and installation of as well as a classic (pro-USA/EU/NATO’s) marionette regime. As it is known from any introductory course on democracy, any kind of coup d’état (putsch) is illegal and unconstitutional. As in the 2000 Belgrade Coup case, the 2014 Kiev Putsch case was formally justified as a “popular revolt” against the dictator who became ousted in February 2014. In fact, however, unlawfully removed legally and legitimately elected head of state by the USA/EU’s sponsored and supported ultranationalistic and even a neo-Nazi coloured political upheaval of the “Euromaidan” protesters in Kiev and some other bigger western Ukrainian cities (like in Lvov) directly provoked a new popular coloured revolution in the Russian speaking provinces of the East Ukraine and Crimea with a final consequence of a territorial secession of self-proclaimed Luhansk, Kharkov, and Donetsk People’s Republics and Crimea (according to Kosovo pattern from 2008).

In regard to the 2014 Kyiv Coup, according to Paul Craig Roberts, Washington used its funded NGOs ($5 billion according to Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland at the National Press Club in December 2013) to begin street protests when the elected Ukrainian Government turned down the offer to join the European Union.Similarly to the Ukrainian coup in 2014, the Guatemala coup in 1954, when democratically elected Government of Jacobo Arbenz became overthrown, was also carried out by the CIA. Nonetheless, following R. Reagan’s logic used in the US-led military invasion of Grenada in 1983, the Russian President could send a regular army of the Russian Federation to occupy Ukraine for the security reasons of Russia’s citizens who were studying at the universities in Kiev, Odessa or Lvov. Similar R. Reagan’s argument (to protect the US’ students in Grenada) was (mis)used, among others, and by Adolf Hitler in April 1941 to invade and occupy the Kingdom of Yugoslavia as, according to the German intelligence service, the German minority in Yugoslavia (the Volksdeutschers) were oppressed and terrorized by the new (pro-British) Government of General Dušan Simović after the coup in Belgrade committed on March 27th, 1941.Nonetheless, a new anti-Russian government in Kiev launched a brutal linguistic and cultural policy of Ukrainization directly endangering the rights of ethnolinguistic Russians, who represent a clear majority of the population of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of the East Ukraine, Crimean Peninsula respectively but as well as and of other non-Ukrainian population who supported a pro-Russia’s course of the country.

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Peter Tase: Who are the Ukrainians or what you can say on a Ukrainian identity as a very important part of the current Ukrainian conflict issue?

Vladislav B. Sotirović: 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. Before 2014 Ukraine was a home of some 46 million inhabitants of whom, according to the official data, there were around 77 percent of those who declared themselves as the Ukrainians. Nevertheless, many Russians do not consider the Ukrainians or the Belarus as “foreign” but rather as the regional branches of the Russian nationality. It is a matter of fact that, differently to the Russian case, the national identity of the Belarus or the Ukrainians was never firmly fixed as it was always in the constant process of changing and evolving. The process of self-constructing identity of the Ukrainians after 1991 is basically oriented vis-à-vis Ukraine’s two most powerful neighbours: Poland and Russia. In the other words, the self-constructing Ukrainian identity (like the Montenegrin or the Belarus) is able so far just to claim that the Ukrainians are not both the Poles or the Russians but what they really are is of a great debate. Therefore, an existence of an independent state of Ukraine, nominally as a national state of the Ukrainians, is of a very doubt indeed from both perspectives: historical and ethnolinguistic.

The Slavonic term Ukraine, for instance, in the Serbo-Croat case Krajina, means in the English language a Borderland – a provincial territory situated on the border between at least two political entities: in this particular historical case, between the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania as the Republic of Both Nations (1569−1795) and the Russian Empire (a German historical term for Ukraine would be a mark – a term for the state’s borderland which existed from the time of the Frankish Kingdom/Empire of Carl the Great).

The term is mostly used from the time of the treaty (truce) of Andrussovo in 1667 between these two states. In the other words, Ukraine and the Ukrainians as a natural objective-historical-cultural identity never existed as it was considered only as a geographic-political territory between two other natural-historical entities (Poland and Russia). All (quasi)historiographical mentioning of this land and the people as Ukraine/Ukrainians referring to the period before the mid-17th century are quite scientifically incorrect but in majority of cases politically inspired and coloured with the purpose to present them as something crucially different from the historical process of ethnicgenesis of the Russians (see, for instance: Alfredas Bumblauskas, Genutė Kirkienė, Feliksas Šabuldo (sudarytojai), Ukraina: Lietuvos epocha, 1320−1569, Vilnius: Mokslo ir enciklopedijų leidybos centras, 2010).

It was a Roman Catholic Vatican that was behand the process of creation of the “imagined community” of the “Ukrainian” national identity for the very political purpose to separate the people from this borderland territory from the Orthodox Russian Empire. Absolutely the same was done by Vatican’s client Austria-Hungary in regard to the national identity of Bosnian-Herzegovinian population when this province was administered by Vienna-Budapest from 1878 to 1918 as it was the Austria-Hungarian government who created totally artificial and very new ethnolinguistic identity – the “Bosnians”, just not to be the (Orthodox) Serbs (who were at that time a strong majority of the provincial population).

A creation of ethnolinguistically artificial Ukrainian national identity and later on a separate nationality was a part of a wider confessional-political project by Vatican in the Roman Catholic historical struggle against the eastern Orthodox Christianity (the eastern “schism”) and its Churches within the framework of Pope’s traditional proselytizing policy of reconversion of the “infidels”. One of the most successful instruments of a soft-way reconversion used by Vatican was to compel a part of the Orthodox population to sign with the Roman Catholic Church the Union Act recognizing at such a way a supreme power by the Pope and dogmatic filioque (“and from the Son” – the Holy Spirit proceeds and from the Father and from the Son). Therefore, the ex-Orthodox believers who now became the Uniate Brothers or the Greek Orthodox believers became in a great number later on a pure Roman Catholics but as well as changed their original (from the Orthodox time) ethnolinguistic identity. It is, for instance, very clear in the case of the Orthodox Serbs in Zhumberak area of Croatia – from the Orthodox Serbs to the Greek Orthodox, later the Roman Catholics and finally today the Croats. Something similar occurred and in the case of Ukraine. On October 9th, 1596 it was announced by Vatican a Brest Union with a part of the Orthodox population within the borders of the Roman Catholic Lithuanian-Polish Commonwealth (today Ukraine). The crucial issue in this matter is that today Ukraina’s Uniates and the Roman Catholics are most anti-Russian and of the Ukrainian national feelings. Basically, both the Ukrainian and the Belarus present-day ethnolinguistic and national identities are historically founded on the anti-Orthodox policy of Vatican within the territory of ex-Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth that was in essence an anti-Russian one.

The Lithuanian historiography writing on the Church Union of Brest in 1596 clearly confirms that:

“… the Catholic Church more and more strongly penetrated the zone of the Orthodox Church, giving a new impetus to the idea, which had been cherished since the time of Jogaila and Vytautas and formulated in the principles of the Union of Florence in 1439, but never put into effect – the subordination of the GDL Orthodox Church to the Pope’s rule” (Zigmantas Kiaupa et al, The History of Lithuania Before 1795, Vilnius: Lithuanian Institute of History, 2000, 288).

In the other words, the rulers of the Roman Catholic Grand Duchy of Lithuania (the GDL) from the very time of Lithuania’s baptizing in 1387−1413 by Vatican had a plan to Catholicize all Orthodox believers of the GDL among whom overwhelming majority were the Slavs. As a consequence, the relations with Moscow became very hostile as Russia accepted a role of the protector of the Orthodox believers and faith and therefore the Church Union of Brest was seen as a criminal act by Rome and its client the Republic of Two Nations (Poland-Lithuania).

Today, it is absolutely clear that the most pro-western and anti-Russian part of Ukraine is exactly the West Ukraine – the lands that was historically under the rule by the Roman Catholic ex-Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the former Habsburg Monarchy. It is obvious, for instance, from the presidential voting results in 2010 as the pro-western regions voted for J. Tymoshenko while the pro-Russian regions do it for V. Yanukovych. It is a reflection of the post-Soviet Ukrainian identity dilemma between “Europe” and “Eurasia” – a dilemma that is of common nature for all Central and East European nations who historically played a role of a buffer zone between the German Mittel Europa project and the Russian project of a pan-Slavonic unity and reciprocity.

In general, the western territories of the present-day Ukraine are mainly populated by the Roman Catholics, the East Orthodox and the Uniates. This part of Ukraine is mostly nationalistic and pro-western oriented. The East Ukraine is in essence Russophone and subsequently tends to look to closer relations with Russia.

Peter Tase: Russia’s President V. Putin called a Crimean separation from Ukraine in 2014 as a legitimate act founded on the example of Kosovo separation from Serbia in 2008. Can you comment on it? 

Vladislav B. Sotirović: The revolt and colored revolution by the Russian speaking population in the East Ukraine in 2014 finally resulted in separation of Crimea from Ukraine based on the Declaration of Independence of the Crimea as a legal document followed by the people’s referendum on joining Russia based on the formal self-determination rights according to the model and practice of, for instance, the Baltic states in 1990 when they declared independence from the USSR.

It is clear from the official declaration by the Supreme Council of Crimea on peninsula’s independence that this legal and legitimate act is founded on international law and the people’s right to self-determination, but moreover, as well as based on the so-called “Kosovo precedent” – a western created “precedent” in 2008 which came as a boomerang to Ukraine six years later. Basically, “Kosovo precedent” is a clear representative example of a flagrant violation of the international law and order including above all the UN Charter and the UN 1244 Resolution on Kosovo. This “precedent” is firstly created in 1999 by a brutal NATO military aggression on the independent and sovereign state of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) without any mandate of the SC UN that was followed in February 2008 by unilateral proclamation of Kosovo independence by Kosovo parliament and its recognition by a part of the world. At such a way, the West created the “precedence” which by definition has to be a unique case of the time in the international relations and global politics what theoretically means that it cannot serve as a foundation or example for any similar case all over the world. However, this international and legal “precedent” was in 2010 internationally and legally empowered by the opinion by the UN International Court of Justice that a proclamation of Kosovo independence does not violate an international law on self-determination (independence) what is true but at the same time it violates the UN Charter on territorial integrity of the states and their domestic law what is also true.  Nevertheless, the court’s opinion is, formally, just of the advisory nature but in practice it has serious implications and consequences. The first coming one was exactly the Crimean case in 2014 that was clearly stated either by the local Crimean authorities or by Russia’s government.

Undoubtedly, “Kosovo precedent” not only shaken but even destroyed the very foundations of international law based primarily on the UN Charter and resolutions. As a direct consequence, it had direct “boomerang effect” with regard to the case of Crimean secession from Ukraine and following annexation by Russia. We have to remember that Crimea broke away relations with Ukraine calling for the same formal reasons used by the Albanians in the case of the 2008 “Kosovo precedent” and other legal arguments. Nevertheless, the western countries recognized Kosovo independence from Serbia but not Crimean, Donetsk and Luhansk separation from Ukraine regardless the fact that all of these cases are formally and officially based on the same legal and moral arguments. Moreover, differently to “Kosovo precedent”, separation cases in Ukraine are based on the results of the plebiscites.

The western policy of double standards is very visible from the following written statement on Kosovo independence by the US of April 17th, 2009 that was submitted to the UN International Court of Justice: “Declarations of independence may, and often do, violate domestic legislation. However, this does not make them violations of international law.” Nonetheless, similar statement by the same US administration on the independence cases of the Republic of Serbian Krayina, Republic of Srpska, Republic of Transnistria, Republic of Abkhazia, Republic of South Ossetia or three separatist republics in the East Ukraine and Crimea we did not hear. Obviously, the UN International Court of Justice accepted the US statement and issued on July 22nd, 2010 its own two that “No general prohibition may be inferred from the practice of the Security Council with regard to declarations of independence,” and “General international law contains no prohibition on declarations of independence.” According to the above statements, however, it is clear that Moscow was absolutely truthful in the case of Crimea’s secession but with one important distinction: Russia did not bomb Kiev previously!

As a matter of fact, the West did not offer to Belgrade possibility of federalization of Serbia with Kosovo as one federal unit as only the independence of Kosovo was advocated as the optimal solution. However, Moscow is advocating exactly the federalization as the best solution for the Ukrainian crisis with the East Ukrainian Russian-speaking regions as a single federal territory. Crimea, following the logic of both historical and ethnic rights, has to stay in Russia as the peninsula has nothing to do with Ukraine. Even Turkey or Greece have more rights on Crimea than Ukraine. The scenario of federalized Ukraine would surely positively influence the process of stopping already ongoing new Cold War in this case between the West (the NATO and the EU) and the bloc of the countries around Russia, China and Iran. However, if the western mentors of the Euromaidan government in Kiev will reject such Russia’s proposal it is most probably that Ukraine will be left to commit suicide as the western policy of double standards, promoted by the US and the EU in the 2008 Kosovo Case will continue to have the boomerang effect in the rest of the East Ukraine following the Odessa region as well.

Peter Tase: What is the way out, according to your opinion, of the current Ukrainian crisis?

Vladislav B. Sotirović: Current Ukrainian crisis can be solved according to the 1667 Andrussovo Treaty signed on February 9th between Poland-Lithuania and Russia. According to the treaty a present-day territory of Ukraine was simply divided between two states: the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (the Republic of Both Nations) and the Russian Empire with Dnieper river as a demarcation line. In the other words, Russia received from Poland-Lithuania territories eastward from Dnieper but with Kiev and whole Zaporozhie region (from both sides of the river). Therefore, Dnieper became a border between “Europe” and Russia with divided Ukraine into two borderlands. The Slavonic word Ukraine means in English a borderland. It is clear even from the name of the country what is going to be its ultimate destiny. Before or later, no matter. The case of the Republic of Serbian Krayina (Ukraine) proved it clearly in the 1990s – the Borderland can be only a periphery of some more natural state. It does not matter on which side of the border.

We cannot forget and a humanitarian intervention aspect of the final solution of the “Ukrainian Question”. In general, “intervention” is considered as forcible action committed by some state(s) against another one(s) but without the consent by the attacked side. Therefore, “humanitarian intervention” is a military intervention carried out by some state(s) for the sake to protect human rights (usually as a group minority rights). Speaking from the very morality point of view, a humanitarian intervention is grounded, or at least (mis)used as a formal pretext, on the notion of being “humanitarian” what means to be concerned about the interest of and benefits to mankind particularly if the suffering of someone has to be reduced. The concept of humanitarian intervention is (mis)used especially after the Cold War as in the cases of Iraq (in 1991 to create “safe havens” for the Kurds by establishing a no-fly zone policed by three NATO pact countries: the USA, UK and France), Somalia (in 1992 to create a protected environment), Haiti (in 1994 to restore order by the civil authority), Rwanda (in 1994 to create “safe zone” for the Hutu refugees), Kosovo (in 1999 to protect the Albanians from Serbia’s military and police forces), East Timor (in 1999 to prevent possible ethnic cleansing by Indonesia’s security forces) and Sierra Leone (in 2000 to protect the UK citizens at the time of the local civil war).

Peter Tase: How the concept of “humanitarian intervention” can affect the Ukrainian crisis?

Vladislav B. Sotirović: Very controversial wars of humanitarian intervention in above mentioned cases, in which participated only the western powers, were formally justified on humanitarian grounds. However, in majority of these cases the intervention had in essence very political and geopolitical real background as it clearly shows the cases of Kosovo and Sierra Leone. In Kosovo case, the intervention was committed just in a context of fears about the possibility of ethnic cleansing but not on the real ground. Following NATO airstrikes campaign for 78 days was conducted without the SC UN authorization but finally it forced Serbia to withdraw its complete military and police forces from the province. As a consequence, the province was occupied by the NATO troops with creation of huge US military base and finally separated from Serbia by proclamation and recognition of independence which was in fact a real and ultimate geopolitical goal of the formally humanitarian intervention in 1999. In Sierra Leone, after a prolonged civil war, the UK government decided to send the British military forces to the country, formally to protect the UK citizens, but in fact ultimately to support the elected government against the rebel forces that have been accused of carrying out atrocities against the civilians.

Here, we came probably to the crux of the matter of current Ukrainian crisis and most probably “Ukrainian Question” in general. It is well known that Russia’s president V. Putin is extremely counter-fascinated with the NATO 1999 Kosovo humanitarian intervention as it is seen as great humiliation of Russia and Russian national proudness. It is also well known that the Euromaidan regime in Kiev committed terrible war crimes in Donbass region which can be classified as ethnic cleansing and even form of genocide as thousands of Donbass region inhabitants are brutally killed (among them around 200 kids) and approximately one million of them became refuges in Russia. For Moscow, it is very easy formally to “prove” acts of war crimes of Kiev Euromaidan junta in Donbass region as it was, similarly, very easy for Washington formally to “prove” Serbia’s war crimes in Kosovo before NATO intervention in 1999. As a result, Moscow can launch Russia’s military humanitarian intervention in the East Ukraine with a consequence of its final separation from Kiev. A “Kosovo precedent” is still on agenda and it can be legitimized even by a very historical fact that a part of the present-day East Ukraine became legally incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1654 as a consequence of the decision by the local hetman of Zaporozhian territory Bohdan Khmelnytsky (c. 1595−1657) based on a popular revolt against the Polish-Lithuanian (the Roman Catholic) occupation of Ukraine which broke out in 1648.

By Peter Tase

2016-10-31

Source: http://foreignpolicynews.org/2016/10/31/prof-vladislav-b-sotirovic-situation-ukraine/

2. Sotirovic 2013Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic

 Mykolas Romeris University

Faculty of Politics and Management

Institute of Political Sciences

Vilnius, Lithuania

———————————————–

Edior-In-Chief

Global Politics

www.global-politics.eu/sotirovic

globalpol@global-politics.eu

 

15291854010_b0982a4b8a_b_Nuland

Western Media Propaganda Threatens Peace and Prolongs the Deadly Conflict in Eastern Ukraine

Ukraine Imperialism

Western media is becoming unhinged as its anti-Russia propaganda struggles to keep a hold on its consumers. Two recent examples provide evidence.

Pro-peace conspiracy emanating from Moscow

On August 28, the New York Times published an article by its Moscow bureau chief about the troubling news (from the Times‘ viewpoint) that the people of Sweden are not happy with their government’s wish to join up with the NATO military alliance.

The ruling elites in Sweden and Finland have been quietly pushing for NATO membership for years. In May, the Swedish government pushed through the Riksdag a proposal for a ‘cooperation agreement’ with NATO, allowing it freer access to Swedish territory for transit and training. Finland already has such an agreement in place. In July, government leaders of the two countries proudly joined the NATO summit dinner in Warsaw.

But as a Reuters report at the time of the Warsaw summit explained, “An SvD/SIFO opinion poll showed 49 per cent of Swedes opposed joining NATO, with 33 in favor. Most Finns are against entering, and a government report said in April any such move would trigger a crisis with Russia.”

A Swedish news outlet reported on the same poll results:

“In the survey of 1000 Swedes carried out by pollsters SIFO for newspaper Svenska Dagbladet in June, 49 per cent said they did not want Sweden to join NATO, 33 per cent said yes, and 18 said they were undecided.

“The results suggest public opinion has changed since the last SIFO survey on the topic in September of 2015. In that poll, 41 per cent said they were in favour of Sweden seeking NATO membership, 39 per cent said they were against, and 20 per cent were undecided.

“At the time, the 2015 figures appeared to demonstrate a significant shift in public opinion in the traditionally non-aligned Nordic country, but SIFO’s most-recent round of results indicates that shift was short-lived.”

The Times article by Neil MacFarquharaug began, “With a vigorous national debate underway on whether Sweden should enter a military partnership with NATO, officials in Stockholm suddenly encountered an unsettling problem: a flood of distorted and outright false information on social media, confusing public perceptions of the issue.”

The source of the “confusion”? The Times headline reads, ‘A powerful Russian weapon: The spread of false stories’. The article says there is “a flood of distorted and outright false information on social media, confusing public perceptions of the issue.”

The Times writer declares a case of Russian dezinformatsiya in action. So powerful is the dezinformatsiya that it can seemingly bamboozle two of the wealthiest and most-educated populations in the world and make them act against their best interests, or at least the best advice of the New York Times, that being to join NATO.

As to the exact source of the public tripwire that Swedish government leaders have encountered, the dezinformatsiya conspiracy fades into the mists of the northern boreal forest. The Times explains, “As often happens in such cases, Swedish officials were never able to pin down the source of the false reports. But they, numerous analysts, and experts in American and European intelligence point to Russia as the prime suspect…”

Could public attitudes in Finland and Sweden towards NATO have anything to do with the historic ambivalence of Swedes and Finns to imperialist war alliances and their preference for peace over war? Apparently, the New York Times can’t climb out of its Russia conspiracy rut long enough to investigate.

According to the Global Peace Index as well as the Global Peace Index (produced annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace), Finland and Sweden score in the top 15 countries of the world in various measures of being peaceful, non-violent places to live. Could it be that the people in Sweden and Finland would like to keep things that way?

Meanwhile, here is the New York Times article’s own dezinformatsiya, in the form of a long list of alleged Russian propaganda initiatives that prove what a dastardly enemy it is:

* “Disinformation most famously succeeded in early 2014 with the initial obfuscation about deploying Russian forces to seize Crimea.”

* “… the simple truth that poorly trained insurgents had accidentally downed the [Malaysian Airlines Flight 17] plane with a missile supplied by Russia.”

* “… the Kremlin’s English-language news outlets heavily favored the campaign for [Britain] to leave the European Union, despite their claims of objectivity.”

* “Moscow’s targeting of the West with disinformation dates to a Cold War program the Soviets called ‘active measures’.”

* “[The Russian state-owned television channel] RT often seems obsessed with the United States, portraying life there as hellish.”

* “The weaponization of information is not some project devised by a Kremlin policy expert but is an integral part of Russian military doctrine…”

Reuters can’t write a truthful article

Meanwhile, the Reuters news agency published a report, also on August 28, purporting to look at the prospects for peace in Ukraine. The article is headlined, ‘Germany, Poland and France call for more efforts to end Ukraine crisis‘. Only ten brief paragraphs long, hardly a one in the article is untouched by distortions aimed at casting the best possible light on the right-wing, ultranationalist government in Kyiv and its civil war in the east of the country. Let’s read the ten paragraphs from start to finish:

The foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland agreed on Sunday there should be greater international efforts to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told reporters.

He said there had not been sufficient progress in implementing the Minsk ceasefire agreement. Western officials were talking with Russia and Ukraine to encourage them to implement measures already agreed in the Minsk process, including communal elections, he said.

“Fighting in eastern Ukraine” is Western news-speak for “We don’t’ wish to name the protagonist in the conflict in eastern Ukraine because it happens to be our friend and ally. And what’s more, we are hoping that you don’t notice that it is the army of Ukraine that has invaded and occupied parts of Donbass in eastern Ukraine, not the other way around.”

Reuters cites Germany’s foreign minister in saying “Russia and Ukraine” should implement the Minsk-2 ceasefire agreement (signed on February 12, 2015 in the Belarus capital of Minsk). But Minsk-2 is an agreement to end a conflict between two parties in Ukraine–the governing regime in Kyiv, and the people’s republics in Donbass (Donetsk and Lugansk). The agreement spells out the precise measures to be taken on both sides, including a cessation of military hostilities, comprehensive prisoner exchanges, recognition by Kyiv of autonomy for Donetsk and Lugansk, to be followed by the holding of elections there, and so on. What does all this have to do with Russia, apart from the obvious facilitation role which Russia (and other regional powers) could fulfill? Is Russia supposed to take over Ukraine so that Minsk-2 may be implemented? How well would that go over in Berlin and Washington?

Why not “Germany and Ukraine” or “France and Ukraine” to be encouraged to implement Minsk? After all, Germany and France are among the four members of the ‘Normandy Four’ group constituted to facilitate a resolution of the crisis in Ukraine and under whose facilitation Minsk-2 was arrived at in the first place.

“We have to work for a de-escalation of the situation,” [Steinmeier] told reporters after a meeting with his counterparts aimed at reinvigorating the Weimar Triangle [Germany-France-Poland] trilateral group.

Steinmeier said the group also wanted to reassure Europeans about the continued importance and relevance of the European Union after the June 23 vote by Britain to exit the bloc.

“The Weimar Triangle can plan an important role … It is a format where we can discuss progress or the lack of progress on issues such as the Normandy format aimed at ending the Ukraine conflict,” Steinmeier said.

The Normandy group comprises Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany.

So what, exactly, have Germany and France been doing to “de-escalate” the conflict in Ukraine? Have they called on Ukraine to pull its heavy weaponry out of the ceasefire zone and cease its criminal, daily shellings of towns and cities in Donbass, in total violation of Minsk-2? No. Have they called out Ukraine for refusing to recognize the Donetsk and Lugansk republics and thereby blocking the holding of elections as required by Minsk-2? No. How about Ukraine’s failure to conduct prisoner exchanges; have Germany and France scolded Ukraine for that? No. So why is Reuters misleading its readers about Germany and France’s failure to work to “de-escalate” the conflict?

The misleading is even worse, because not only have Germany and France failed to aid in de-escalating the conflict, they are constantly adding fuel to the fire. Recently, they led the European Union in extending EU economic sanctions against Russia, including Crimea. They are silent about the provocative action of the United States, Britain and Canada in providing military training and equipping of the Ukrainian army and paramilitary irregulars, which is then applied to the illegal and criminal war against the citizens of Donbass.

Germany and France are members of the NATO alliance whose lead member, the United States, recently constructed provocative and dangerous missile bases in Romania and Poland. These bases have been built as the U.S. undertakes a massive, trillion dollars-plus upgrade of its nuclear weapons. This includes designing new delivery systems that undo the current status quo of nuclear stand-off and greatly increase the possibility of accidental unleashing of nuclear weapons.

Why can’t Reuters provide its readers with important background information of the conflict in Ukraine instead of printing bland phrases that convey exactly the opposite impression of what is really taking place?

The leaders of Russia, Germany and France have agreed to meet to discuss the situation in Ukraine on Sept. 4-5 in China on the sidelines of the G20 summit, the Kremlin said last week.

A recent surge in fighting in eastern Ukraine, where Kiev is fighting pro-Russian separatists, and fresh tension in Crimea have raised concern that a fragile ceasefire agreed in Minsk in February 2015 could collapse.

“Recent surge in fighting in eastern Ukraine” is Reuters-speak for that which not must be spoken: in recent months, Ukraine has greatly increased its criminal shellings of the people of Donbass. What’s more, Ukraine conducts an ongoing military occupation of Donetsk and Lugansk territory and it calls the self-defense forces of Donbass “terrorists”, thus showing it has absolutely no intention of reaching a political settlement.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said last week he did not rule out introducing martial law and a new wave of military mobilization if the separatist conflict worsened.

“Separatist conflict” is Kyiv-speak/Reuters-speak for obscuring and confusing the source of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which is the refusal of Kyiv to grant the slightest decentralization of power in the highly-centralized Ukrainian constitutional setup whereby regions of Donbass could achieve a desired autonomy.

Of course, as a result of Ukraine’s prolonged and cruel war against the people of Donbass, it is highly likely that if given the chance, they would vote to secede from Ukraine to either join Russia or constitute their own independent republics. But that hardly makes them criminals or “terrorists. As a matter of fact, that would be an entirely lawful act, consistent with international law, such as it is, and consistent with recent political experience in such countries as Canada (Quebec) and the United Kingdom (Scotland).

Propaganda disguised as news or policy is the modus operandi of Western media outlets in reporting on Ukraine. It’s a major contributor to making the conflict there so intractable because it lessens the pressure that would otherwise operate on the ultra-nationalist regime in Kyiv that it cease its civil war course.

Roger Annis is a retired aerospace worker in Vancouver BC. He writes regularly for Counterpunch and compiles his writings on a ‘A Socialist in Canada’. He is an editor of the website The New Cold War: Ukraine and beyond. He can be reached at rogerannis@hotmail.com.

Source: http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/09/02/western-media-propaganda-threatens-peace-and-prolongs-the-deadly-conflict-in-eastern-ukraine/

Brasilians in Donbass

From The History of Anti-Russian Policy: The First Balkan Alliance (1866−1868)

800px-Imperial_Standard_of_the_Emperor_of_Russia_(1858–1917).svg

The creation of the First Balkan Alliance against the Ottoman Empire in 1866–1868 in the light of territorial requirements of the Balkan states and nations at the expense of the decreasing power of the Ottoman authorities and the Ottoman state integration was the first political-military treaty on the mutual cooperation by the Christian Balkan states and nations. The secret paragraphs of bilateral military-political contracts between Greece and Serbia and Serbia and Montenegro in regard to territorial inheritance of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans are the most important points of the treaty.

Serbia became a leader of the Balkan coalition and the main champion of the idea that the “Eastern Question” had to be resolved by the Balkan peoples in the war against the Ottoman Empire without interference of the great European powers. The pivotal impetus for the making of the First Balkan Alliance came from the side of Serbia’s prince Mihailo I Obrenovic (1860−1868) whose predominate political task in the foreign policy was to create a South Slavic state under the Serbian leadership, which would be composed by all South Slavic territories in the Ottoman Empire. For that purpose he needed a cooperation of the other Balkan Christian states and the peoples as Serbia was not strong enough to solely defeat the Ottoman Empire. The most reasonable solution was to create a joint Balkan military-political defensive-offensive coalition which will military defeat the Ottoman Empire and expel the Ottoman authorities from the Balkans as a fundamental precondition for the creation of the united South Slavic state in the Balkans.  

Surely, the main diplomatic efforts of the Balkan Christian states from 1860 to 1868 was put to create a joint Balkan political-military alliance against the Ottoman Empire. The purpose of this defensive-offensive pact was to solve the “Eastern Question” without interference of the great European powers in the Balkan affair implementing the principle “the Balkans to the Balkan peoples!” This principle was founded on the axiom that each European nation, smaller or bigger, has a right to self-determination and ethnic unification into a single national state. Subsequently, the “Eastern Question” had to be resolved by expulsion of the Ottomans from the Balkans and division of their Balkan possessions among the Balkan Christians. The chief initiator for the negotiations, which should lead to the agreement of the common Balkan alliance was the Principality of Serbia. The idea of Balkan federation or confederation emerged during the negotiations as well as the plan to make in the future a united South Slavic state composed by Principality of Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slavonia, Dalmatia, Bulgaria, Kosovo-Metohija, Thrace, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Either the Balkan Federation/Confederation or the South Slavic/Yugoslav Empire had to be a principle guarantee for the real independent life of the Balkan nations freed from the tutorship and control by the European states especially Russia, Italy and the Habsburg Monarchy. However, in fact, such South Slavic state would be under protectorship of France and Great Britain as their Balkan colony and bulwark against especially Russian influence into the region.

The negotiations passed through two phases: I) from 1860 to 1865, and II) from 1866 to 1868. In both of them the crucial bone of contention became how to share the inheritance of the Ottoman territorial possessions in Europe. To fix the exact borders between the Balkan states after the defeat of the Ottoman army has been from that time till the end of the Second Balkan War in 1913 always a principle obstacle for the fruitful cooperation of the Balkan nations. Especially as an apple of discord appeared to be Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The First Balkan Alliance was finally created in 1866, 1867 and 1868 by signing bilateral agreements between Serbia and Montenegro, Serbia and Romania, Serbia and Greece and by reaching the oral agreements between Serbia and the Croatian National Party, Serbia and the Bulgarian revolutionaries, Serbia and the Christian Albanian representatives and finally Romania and the Bulgarian representatives in Bucharest. The prime importance of these either signed or oral agreements is that they represent for the first time in the

17 Balkans after Berlin Congress 1878

Balkan history a regional unity politically directed towards the national liberation. These agreements were reached principally because of the two reasons:

  1. All Balkan Christian states and nations had a common enemy – the Ottoman Empire; and
  2. All of them became afraid that the foreign powers, on the first place Russia and Austria, will resolve the “Eastern Question” in their favor by dividing the spheres of influence in the region not taking into consideration the wishes and interests of the Balkan nations.

The core of the First Balkan Alliance was Serbia and the pivotal advocate of it was her ruler prince Mihailo I Obrenovic. However, the alliance was not effectuated because the general Balkan revolution and war against the Ottoman Empire was to be postponed, in fact till 1912, for three reasons:

  1. Prince Mihailo I was assassinated in Belgrade on June 10th, 1868 and the new Serbian monarch prince Milan Obrenovic, a minor at that time, followed other options to solve the “Eastern Question”;
  2. Neither Balkan state was prepared enough in military and diplomatic points of view to wage the war at that moment against the Ottoman Empire; and
  3. Austria-Hungary (from 1867) became extremely hostile towards the idea of the Balkan revolution which will lead to the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and unification of the Serbs by inclusion of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo-Metohija, Macedonia and Montenegro into a greater/united Serbia.

After the Habsburg military debacle in the Prusso-Austrian and the Italo-Austrian Wars of 1866 the main concern of Austrian foreign policy became to annex Bosnia-Herzegovina that means direct collision with Serbia and the deterioration of diplomatic relations with Russia. In essence, the idea of Austria-Hungary concerning the Balkan affairs was that the Ottoman Empire should not be dismissed in Europe, but just reformed.

Nevertheless, the First Balkan Alliance gave two fundamental attainments to the Balkan peoples, which were realized at the beginning of the 20th century:

  1. An inspiration for a union of their forces for the national liberation against the Ottoman Empire, which was achieved after the First Balkan War of 1912–1913 won by the members of the Second Balkan Alliance; and
  2. A notion of united South Slavic lands, which was mainly realized after the First World War by creation of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes on December 1st, 1918.

However, the First Balkan Alliance from the 1860s was clearly French design and primarily anti-Russian. Namely, the Polish uprising against the Russian authorities in 1863 influenced Napoleon III to create a new plan for redrawing European national borders which would have great consequences for the Balkan affairs in the case of its implementation. More precisely, in March of 1863 the French emperor informed the Austrian ambassador in Paris, count Metternich, regarding his idea of a new political map of Europe:

  1. The historical Kingdom of Poland would be reestablished within the borders which Poland had before its First partition in 1772;
  2. The reestablished united Kingdom of Poland (including and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania) would be governed by one Habsburg archduke;
  3. Italy would gain the province of Venice from Austria;
  4. Austria would be territorially compensated by annexation of Silesia and Serbia;
  5. France would annex the region of the Rhine;
  6. Prussia would, as territorial compensation, annex the Kingdom of Saxony and the Kingdom of Hanover; and finally
  7. The European possessions of the Ottoman Empire would be divided between the Balkan states.

Clearly, such Napoleon’s plan to remap Europe was in essence anti-Russian and creation of some „Yugoslavia“ at the Balkans was a part of his anti-Russian policy. Nevertheless, Franz Joseph I (1830–1916, the emperor of Austria and the king of Hungary from 1848 to 1916) rejected this plan because the British diplomats saw in this plan Napoleon’s intention to reestablish French supremacy in Europe.[1] At the same time, the Serbian government became acquainted with Napoleon’s new plan to cede Serbia to Austria in July 1863 through Italian deputy in parliament, Vegezzi-Ruscal.[2]As a consequence of these events Serbia lost confidence in France’s Balkan policy.

As a kind of political answer Belgrade intensified its own propaganda among the South Slavs and developed a network of agencies for the preparation of an anti-Ottoman revolution, especially in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The fundamental task for intensification of the Serbian national work in the Ottoman province of Bosnia-Herzegovina (the so-called Pashalik of Bosnia that also included the territory of Rashka/Sanjak) at the time of the Polish uprising of 1863–1864 was Serbia’s intention to impede the realization of Napoleon’s idea of ceding this Ottoman province to Austria as a compensation for Austrian evacuation of Venezia Giulia – an idea that was contrary to the Serbian national interest. For this reason, Serbian national propaganda and other activities in the Pashalik of Bosnia were developed to such extent that in February 1864 the governor of this province, Osman-pasha, warned the Sublime Porte in Istanbul that Belgrade had already completed preparing the Bosnian Serbs for the uprising: 1) Serbia had armed them with weapons and ammunition produced in Serbia; 2) Serbia had established a revolutionary network within the whole territory of the province; and 3) Serbia had concentrated its own military forces along its border with Bosnia. By the spring of 1864 the Ottoman authorities were so convinced that the Balkan revolution would soon break that they started concentrating their forces along the Serbian and Romanian borders in Bulgaria, Rumelia and Bosnia. As a part of military preparations against Serbia and Romania the Porte instituted obligatory military service in both Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania. According to the Russian diplomatic reports from Albania, the Ottoman policy towards the Albanian tribal aristocracy became softer and many Albanian feudal lords (beys) returned to state offices.[3] A new number of the Muslim Tatars and the Cherkezs were settled in Bulgaria along the Serbian border as a protective measure against the Serbian aggression on the Ottoman Empire in addition to 150,000 Tatars and Muslim Circassians living in Bulgarian territory after the Crimean War (1853–1856).[4]The Ottoman military plan was to have these Muslim settlers, expelled by the Russian authorities from the Caucasus area, serve as frontiersmen along the Ottoman military frontier in the Balkans. Nevertheless, the Ottoman military intervention against Serbia and Romania was finally thwarted only because of the French diplomatic intervention in Istanbul in 1864.[5]

 

2. Sotirovic 2013Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic

www.global-politics.eu

globalpol@global-politics.eu

© Vladislav B. Sotirovic 2016

Endnotes:

[1] Seton-Watson R. W., “Les relations de l’Autriche-Hongrie et de la Serbie entre 1868. et 1874”, Le Monde Slave, № 2, Paris, 1926, p. 433; Bourgeois E., Manuel Historique de Politique Entrangère, III, Paris, 1924, p. 369.
[2]Diplomatic Archives of Serbia, Archives of Ilija Garašanin, “Ilija Garašanin to Vegezzi-Ruscal”, concept, August 27th, 1863, Belgrade.
[3]Diplomatic Archives of Serbia, Archives of Ilija Garašanin, Belgrade, “A copy of report of Russian consul in Rumelia and central Albania to the director of the Asiatic Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs”, Bitola (Monastir), March 15th/27th, 1864, № 77 (translated from Russian).
[4] Poulton H., The Balkans. Minorities and States in Conflict, London, 1994, p. 117.
[5]Archives du Ministère des Affaires Étrangères, Paris, vol. Turquie, Belgrade, “Botmillian to de Lhuys”, August 23rd, 1864, Belgrade, № 85.

4122823192_fed122294d_b_Russia

Will Russia Surrender?

Чачкање мечке

The Russian government’s sincere and diligent effort to prevent chaos in Syria and additional massive refugee flow into Europe, all the while avoiding conflict with Washington and its vassals, has been brought to an end by Washington’s intentional attack on a known Syrian army position, thus wrecking the cease fire agreement that Russia sacrificed so much to achieve.

The response to this fact by the Obama regime’s ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, reveals that Washington will lie to the hilt in order to achieve its agenda of reducing Syria to the same chaos as Washington has reduced Iraq and Libya. Washington, and Washington alone, is responsible for the war in Syria. When the British Parliament and the Russian government blocked Obama’s intended US invasion of Syria, the Obama regime armed and financed jihadist mercenaries to invade Syria, pretending that the jihadists were Syrian rebels fighting for democracy in Syria. Samantha Power turned history upside down and blames the war on Russia’s intervention at the request of the Syrian government against the ISIL jihadists that Washington sent to destabilize Syria. What Samantha means is that if Russia had not come to the aid of Syria, Washington and ISIL would already have destroyed Syria, and there would be no war.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45501.htm

Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, said that in his 40 years of diplomacy he had never seen such a high-handed and demagogic performance as Samantha’s. Churkin seemed to imply that such an unrealistic and twisted response to known facts as Samantha delivered leaves him without hope of any successful diplomatic outcome.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45502.htm

If the Russian government has finally arrived at the conclusion that Washington is determined to destroy political stability in Syria and to replace it with chaos, it has taken a long time.

The Russian government has studiously avoided this conclusion, because once diplomacy is acknowledged as useless, force confronts force. In today’s context that means thermo-nuclear war and the end of life on Earth.

This is the reason that the Russian government has replied diplomatically to Washington’s coercive provocations, offering Washington cooperation in place of conflict.

However, Washington wants conflict. The Russians have pretended that Washington has a common interest with Russia in combating terrorism, but terrorism is Washington’s tool for destabilizing Syria, then Iran, and then the Muslim provinces of the Russian Federation and China.

Washington wants hegemeny not cooperation. Now that Samantha Power has made this so clear that the Russian government can no longer pretend otherwise, what will Russia (and China) do?

If Russia and China are not ready for the war that Washington is bringing to them, will they retreat in the face of the aggression, sacrificing Syria, the break-away Russian provinces from Ukraine, and the various disputed island issues in the Pacific Ocean while they gather their strength? Or will they decide to break-up the NATO alliance by making the cost of conflict very clear to Washington’s European vassals? Clearly, Europe has nothing to gain from Washington’s aggression against Russia and China.

Or is Russia unable to do anything now that diplomacy is a proven dead-end?

Perhaps this is the over-riding question. As far as someone who is not a member of the Russian government can tell, Russia is not completely in control of its destiny. Elements in the Russian government known as “Atlanticist Integrationists” believe that it is more important for Russia to be part of the West and to be integrated into the Western system than to be a sovereign country. They argue that if formerly great powers, such as Great Britain, Germany, and France, can profit from being American vassals, so can Russia.

Atlanticist Integrationists claim that Russia’s strategic nuclear capability and land mass means that Russia can maintain some sovereignty and only partially submit as a vassal. One problem with this position is that it assumes the neoconservatives are content with less than complete hegemony and would not capitalize on Russia’s weakened position to achieve full hegemony.

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The Russian government probably still has hopes that at least some European governments will recognize their responsibility to avoid war and exit NATO, thus removing political cover for Washington’s aggression. Possibly there is some such hope, but the main European political figures are bought-and-paid-for by Washington. As a high US government official told me as long ago as the 1970s, “we own them; they belong to us.”

Not much hope can be found in the European media. Udo Ulfkotte, a former editor of Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, published a book in which he said that every significant European journalist was on the CIA’s payroll.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-03-28/top-german-journalist-admits-mainstream-media-completely-fake-we-all-lie-cia

With politicians and media bought off, where can European leadership come from?

Europeans have become accustomed to their role as hired vassals. As no European politician or newspaper editor can assume that an act of rebellion would succeed, they are more likely to enjoy their life enriched by American gratuities than to take a risk for humanity.

The wider question is whether the extant socio-politico-economic systems can act in behalf of humanity. It is not clear that capitalist civilizations are capable of being humane, because worth is based on money, which makes greed and power the overpowering factors. It is possible that human evil and incompetence have destroyed not only the planet’s environment but also humane social systems. Globalism is not a scheme for cooperation. It is Washington’s scheme for American domination.

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Sweden Was a Military Giant – Until It Invaded Russia

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When most people think of Sweden, they think of IKEA furniture, depressing murder mysteries and a foreign policy of strict neutrality.

Yet 400 years ago, Sweden was a major military power. Indeed, it was even an empire, a fact that must make today’s Swedish leftists cringe.

Under young King Gustavus Adolphus, a brilliant and innovative military commander, Sweden in the early 1600s became a sort of Nordic Israel (which must also make Swedish leftists cringe). Sweden was a poor, thinly populated nation that couldn’t match the resources of larger rivals such as France and Russia.

So, Gustavus Adolphus had to devise a more flexible, mobile form of warfare. In an age when armies consisted of poorly paid and underfed peasants and mercenaries more likely to loot their own fellow citizens than fight the enemy, Sweden maintained a professional and well-trained standing army. Swedish troops maneuvered tactically in smaller, flexible companies instead of the cumbersome formations of their enemies. While 17th Century armies were transitioning from swords and pikes to muskets and artillery, Gustavus Adolphus increased the number of gunpowder weapons. Most artillery of the era had little battlefield mobility, but the Swedish king equipped his infantry regiments with their own light, mobile field guns that could support the foot soldiers throughout the battle.

During the Thirty Years War of 1618-48, Swedish forces advanced so far south that they almost captured Prague and Vienna deep in Central Europe. Their crowning achievement was the Battle of Breitenfeld in September 1631, when a Protestant army of 23,000 Swedes and 18,000 Saxons nearly wiped out a Catholic Holy Roman Empire force of 35,000 men, and lost just 5,500 men in the process.

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Gustavus Adolphus fell at the Battle of Lutzen in 1632 (though his army still won). But in a succession of conflicts with IKEA-like names such as the Torstenson War, Swedish forces performed well against the Danes, Norwegians, Dutch, Poles and Russians. Sweden seized large parts of today’s eastern Germany and Poland, and became a major Baltic power.

And then Sweden decided to invade Russia in 1708.

Can you guess how this going to end?

The Great Northern War of 1700-1721 pitted a Swedish-led coalition against a Russian-led alliance. The Swedes were commanded by young Charles XII, a clever, energetic ruler dubbed the “Lion of the North” and the “Swedish Meteor.” But Russia was led by the legendary Peter the Great, who eventually turned his large but poor nation into a major European power. At stake was Swedish control of swathes of Eastern and Central Europe, and more important, who would be the dominant power in the Baltic.

Charles XII marched into Russia with just 40,000 men, a small force compared to the 500,000 of Napoleon’s Grande Armee of 1812, or the 3 million men of Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa. Yet the war began well for the Swedes. It knocked Denmark-Norway and the Polish-Lithuanian Empire out of the war. But as in later conflicts, there was still the Russian colossus to contend with.

Yet waging war with small, hard-hitting armies was a strategy that worked for Sweden before. So why shouldn’t it work again? At Narva in today’s Estonia in 1700, 12,000 Swedes outnumbered nearly 3 to 1 almost wiped out a 37,000-strong Russian force during a battle fought in a blizzard. In many ways, the struggle resembled World War II, where smaller but proficient German forces defeated larger but clumsier Soviet armies.

Unfortunately for the Swedish Meteor, the Russians also used a strategy that had always worked for them. Their armies withdrew deep into the vastness of Mother Russia, leaving “scorched earth” in their wake and precious little for the Swedish soldiers and horses to eat. Meanwhile, Russian columns ambushed and destroyed Swedish reinforcements that Charles desperately needed to replenish his battered army.

Then came the Great Frost of 1709, the coldest winter that Europe had experienced in the previous 500 years, which of course turned Russia into a vast freezer that could sustain human life under the right conditions. For a Swedish army deprived of shelter and food in a scorched landscape, the conditions were anything but right. More than 2,000 Swedes died from the cold in a single night.Those who have seen the photos of frozen German soldiers at Moscow and Stalingrad can imagine what the boys from Stockholm must have looked like.

The tombstone of the Swedish Empire was carved at the Battle of Poltava in central Ukraine in June 1709. The summer after the Great Frost saw the Swedish army shrink to 20,000 soldiers and 34 cannon. Ever the aggressive monarch, Charles XII laid siege to Poltava. Peter intervened with a relief force of 80,000 men. The Russian troops first resisted a Swedish charge (wounds had forced Charles to relinquish command of his army). The Russians then counterattacked with their superior numbers, enveloping and routing the Swedish forces.

The Swedes suffered about 19,000 casualties, almost their entire force. The Russians also suffered. But as later invaders were to learn, the Russians could replace their losses while the invaders could not.

Charles left Russia with 543 survivors. Sweden lost its Baltic territories, and never regained its vast possessions or military glory. Soon the Swedish Empire was no more.

To be fair to the Lion of the North, Charles XII had no crystal ball to foresee what would happen to Napoleon and Hitler when they invaded Russia. The more interesting question is why Napoleon and Hitler didn’t learn from the fate of Charles XII. It is curious that over the course of 250 years, three European kings and dictators fought a campaign in Russia in the dead of winter. None succeeded.

Nonetheless, there is a story that soon after Napoleon invaded Russia in June 1812, the Tsar dispatched General Balashov with a letter urging peace. When Napoleon said he would defeat Russia, Balashov is said to have warned him: “The Russians, like the French, say that all roads lead to Rome. The road to Moscow is a matter of choice. Charles XII went via Poltava.”

2016-10-08

By Michael Peck

Source: The National Interest

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The Russian World and European Civilization

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In recent years, both the Western as well as the liberal Russian press have had a lot to say about Russian “barbarianism,” as if to contrast it with European “civilization.” But a closer inspection – through the prism of the heroic pages of Russian history – of the two groups’ moral ideals and actual lives presents us with quite a different picture.

For example, in pagan times, ancient Russians never worshipped a god of war, although their contemporaries in Europe were transfixed by their own martial deity, constructing an entire epic narrative around the concepts of war and conquest.

After defeating the “infidels” (the Golden Horde), Russians never sought to forcibly convert them to Christianity. In the epic poem “Ilya Muromets and the Pagan Idol,” the Russian hero liberates Constantinople from that mythological monstrosity, but refuses to become the voevoda (or ruler) of the city and returns home. Ancient Russian literature does not include tales of personal enrichment through conquest or plunder, although this is a common theme in the Western canon.

The hero of the “Nibelungenlied” is obsessed with his search for a hidden treasure – the Rheingold. The main character of the ancient English poem “Beowulf” dies, having beheld “the gorgeous heirlooms, golden store … Now I’ve bartered here for booty of treasure the last of my life.” It would never occur to any hero from a Russian epic to sacrifice his life in exchange for riches.0_a7d63_94b1899b_XXL Ilya Muromets is not even able to accept the inducement offered by the brigands he meets – the “golden treasure, richly colored robe, and as many fine horses as he needed” (citation from the Russian fairytale “Ilya Muromets and Nightingale the Robber”).  He did not hesitate to reject the path by which he would “be rich,” instead voluntarily taking the road on which he would “be killed.”

And it is not only in this epic, but also in the legends, tales, songs, proverbs, and folk wisdom of the Russian people where it is evident that one’s duty to uphold one’s personal or tribal honor is something quite distinct from any duty to exact personal or tribal revenge.

The notion of retaliation, as such, is absent from Russian folklore, as if it were never part of the original “genetic code” of its people – the Russian champion has always gone to war as a liberator. And in this we can see the difference between Russians and Western Europeans.

The Russian historian and philosopher Ivan Ilyin wrote:

“Europe cannot grasp us … because the Slavic and Russian way of contemplating the world, nature, and man is something alien to it. Humanity in Western Europe is motivated by will and intellect. The Russian people are above all guided by their hearts and imaginations, relegating the mind and will to a supporting role. Therefore, the average European is ashamed of sincerity, scruples, and kindness, viewing them as “foolishness.”

A European, nursed on the ideals of Rome, is secretly contemptuous of other nations and desires to rule over them. Russians, however, on the whole expect kindness, scruples, and sincerity from others.

The Russian people have always enjoyed the natural freedom of the vast space they inhabit … gazing “in wonder” at other nations, getting along with them amiably, with hatred only for oppressive invaders … “

Russians’ congenial relationships with their geographic neighbors are testament to their sense of justice and mercy. The Russian people never committed the same atrocities for which the enlightened Europeans were responsible in their own conquered lands.

The psychology of the nation includes a certain principle of moral restraint. These naturally strong, resilient, dynamic people have been endowed with an amazing ability to survive.

This spiritual strength is also the basis for Russians’ renowned forbearance and tolerance toward others.

Continually invaded from all sides and forced to live in an incredibly harsh climate, the Russian people managed to colonize vast swathes of land, but without slaughtering, enslaving, robbing, or forcibly baptizing any nation.

Western Europeans’ policies of colonialism annihilated the aboriginal populations on three continents and forced natives from across Africa into slavery, while its cities grew rich on the backs of those colonies.

The Russian nation, which also waged wars that were not purely defensive, acquired, like all great nations, large tracts of land, but never treated their conquered subjects as the Europeans did. The European people reaped the benefits of Europe’s conquests and its cities were enriched by the colonial plunder.

Emperor Peter I the Great in Tarqui June 13, 1722

Russians robbed neither Siberia nor Central Asia nor the Caucasus nor the Baltics. Russia has preserved every nation within its borders, acting as their protector, granting them the right to own land and property and to practice their own faith, traditions, and culture.

Russia has never been a nationalist state – it has belonged to all who inhabit her. The Russian people were granted only one “advantage” – to bear the burden of nation-building.

The resulting state was like no other in the history of the world, and the Russian people defended it with their own blood, willingly sacrificing their very lives.

Precisely because they have borne so much suffering and heavy sacrifice, my people deeply empathized with the pain and suffering of other peoples languishing under the Nazi yoke.

And after liberating their own homeland, Russians channeled that same spirit of self-sacrifice and energy into liberating half of Europe.

This was an example of epic heroism! These are the stouthearted people born of the Russian earth! And I believe that such a feat can be accomplished even by a great nation only once a century.

The patriotism displayed by Russian soldiers in the fields of the Great Patriotic War met the highest ideal of patriotism – something unprecedented in the history of any nation anywhere in the world. And I will never agree with the media’s pronouncements about Russian “barbarianism” vs. European “virtue.”

I stand proud that our ancestors – our heroic ancestors – were so lovely, steadfast, courageous, and resilient, and that we are their descendants!

19-06-2016

About the author:

Anna Zhdanova is the 16-year-old student of a higher school in the Belgorod region (Central Russia). She is a laureate of a regional contest for the young journalists.

Source in Russian: Politikus.ru

Translated by ORIENTAL REVIEW

Source: http://orientalreview.org/2016/06/19/the-russian-world-and-european-civilization/

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US Propaganda Campaign to Demonize Russia in Full Gear over One-Sided Dutch/Aussie Report on Flight 17 Downing

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If the danger of the anti-Putin, anti-Russian disinformation propaganda campaign out of the Pentagon and promoted by the US corporate media weren’t so serious, the effort itself might be laughable. I did laugh.

In fact, listening last night to a discussion by an NPR host with a government spokesperson about the latest propaganda effort to blame the downing of a Malaysian jumbo jet over Ukraine on July 17, 2014 on Russia. After hearing the government official, whose name I didn’t catch, say that Dutch prosecutors had found “solid evidence” that it was a “Russian-made” BUK antiaircraft missile launched from “pro-Russian” rebel held territory in Eastern Ukraine by “pro-Russian rebels,” who then “brought the missile launcher back to Russia, the NPR host asked, laughing, how the “Russian government media” were handling this story.

I laughed because the NPR host’s report was as much a blatant piece of one-sided propaganda, replete with laughing reference to Russian media, as any “Pravda” reporting from the days of the old USSR. So thoroughly bought into his role of propagandist was this NPR host that he didn’t even realize how biased he sounded, laughing as he referred to the Russian news media. You could actually “hear” the invisible quotes he was putting around the word “news.”

I’ll leave it to the quite capable hands of veteran investigative journalist Robert Parry to eviscerate the “facts” presented by Dutch and Australian prosecutors, who as he points out in a recent article, were by their own admission relying on information provided by the Ukrainian secret service, though the Ukrainian military is really the most likely source of the missile that brought down Malaysian Flight 17 killing all 298 passengers and crew.

The most obvious reason to doubt claims that Russia and Russian separatists in Ukraine were the ones responsible for the downing of Flight 17 is that neither of those parties had anything to gain (and everything to lose) by such a horrific act of terror. At the time the plane was downed, Pro-Russian separatist forces were trouncing Ukrainian military forces trying to conquer the rebellious Donbass region. The last thing they or their backer, Russia, needed was to do something that would be guaranteed to turn all of Europe against them, and hand the US government a perfect justification for providing more offensive military support to Ukraine. On the other hand, Ukraine and its military had every reason to commit such a heinous act if they thought they could pin the blame on Russia, and win more support from the US.

No reporters with the US corporate media ever raise that crucial and obvious point.

Nor do they ever note that Russia was not only barred by the Dutch from being a party to the Dutch-led investigation into the plane’s downing, but that its repeated offers of evidence — communications intercepts, radar data and information about the the BUK missiles and missile launchers in the possession of Ukrainian military — were flatly rejected.

This was no “independent” investigation, and the prosecutors from Holland and Australia were not looking for truth. They were looking for a predetermined answer: Russia was behind this. And what a surprise! They found just that!

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I’m reminded of the pathetic 9-11 Commission report on the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. That Commission was lied to by the FBI and stonewalled by the Bush/Cheney administration to the point that its own co-chairs said that they were unable to do a credible investigation into the cause of the incident or even into why the entire US intelligence apparatus and the US military were unable to detect it in the planning or to prevent it as it played out. I myself reported, based upon a source in the National Transportation Safety Administration,, the unsurprising truth that the four supposedly indestructible “black boxes” of the two planes that hit the Twin Towers, said by the FBI to have never been found in the meticulously picked through rubble, had in fact all been recovered and brought to the NTSA, but that “the FBI had taken them away.” (This source was backed up by a second source in the NY Police Department who told me he saw one of the boxes found in the rubble he was helping to search through and then be taken away in a government SUV.)

The US media have been willing accomplices in covering up the truth of 9-11, and astonishingly remiss in never seriously investigating that epic disaster, and now they are playing the same propagandistic role in trying to demonize Russia.

What makes this new propaganda campaign so dangerous is that we are headed into an election that, Trump campaign boasts aside, is likely to be won by Hillary Clinton, a woman who as President Obama’s Secretary of State engineered, directed and funded the bloody coup in Ukraine that overthrew the elected government there and replaced it with a fascist-led government that is best described as a kleptocracy. The coup government’s first act was to launch an ethnic cleansing campaign designed to drive the Russian majority population out of the eastern more industrialized part of the country. (It was that campaign that led the generations-old Russian populations of Donetsk and Lugansk to secede from Ukraine, and the 92%-Russian Crimea to ask for Russian military protection and to be re-annexed to Russia, from which it had decades ago been ceded to the Ukrainian state (soviet) by then Soviet Union Premier Khrushchev, himself a native of Ukraine.

Clinton has made no secret of her loathing of Russia, its elected leader Vladimir Putin (whom she has publicly compared to Hitler), and its foreign policy of opposing US aggression in Syria, Ukraine and other regions. It was Clinton who has been urging the aggressive forward march of NATO membership right up to Russia’s western border and the placing of nuclear-tipped anti-missile missiles on Russia’s borders. It is also Clinton who is proposing, if she becomes president, to establish a wholly illegal “no-fly” zone in Syria — a move that would put the US in the position of trying to shoot down Russian aircraft that are legally defending the Syrian government against ISIS and Al Nusra rebels. Talk about war-mongering! Clinton, if she had her way, by pitting US pilots against Russian pilots, would be inviting World War III.

Such a policy can only happen if the American people, who polls show are sick and tired of American war-making in the Middle East and elsewhere, can be convinced that Russia is simply the Soviet Union Version 2.0. A neo-con cabal in the State Department and in the Pentagon, and most of the intelligence apparatus that is so integral to US national security planning, are trying to put the word out to the willing hacks in the corporate media, that Russia should be demonized at every opportunity, so that Clinton can win this election, and then move forward with her plans to increase tensions with and military pressure against Russia.

Being a cynic, I think this is mostly about the military-industrial establishment pushing for more military spending, which of course requires either a bunch of small conflicts or a re-introduction of the Cold War. The danger though, is that cold wars can easily cross lines that turn them into hot wars, and the shooting down of either Russian or US planes by the other side would be one of those lines. This why the US establishing a no-fly zone in a country where Russian planes are already, at the invitation of the Syrian government, flying missions, is such an idiotic idea.

Most sentient Americans probably get that. Many are already wondering why the US isn’t helping Russia, given that Russia is actually fighting against the ISIS and al Nusra (al Qaeda) forces in Syria that are responsible for terror threats in Europe and the US, while the Pentagon and the CIA are providing arms and training to those same groups!. This is why the US government is working so assiduously through the corporate media to promote the propaganda lie that Russia is on the march, aggressively threatening US interests and US allies in the Middle East and Europe.

The faked report from prosecutors from two countries, Netherlands and Australia, currently led by right-wing parties blaming Russia for the downing of Flight 17 is just the latest, but surely not the last example of such brazen propaganda.

2016-09-30

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

Source: CounterPunch

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The Russian War Crimes in Syria in 2016: A Photo Evidence

Exclusive photos of the Russian war crimes in Syria and the Middle East by “Free Media Group” volunteers, 2016 with a proper illustrations of the Russia’s militant imperialism:

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 The My Lai Massacre by Russian soldiers

12eed2bf296b31da481fbbe71580247cThe Russian soldiers at the spot of My Lai Massacre with their victims

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Aleppo citizen with a daughter during the Russian destruction of the city

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Russian Orthodox monk in Moscow in protest against the Russian invasion of Syria

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Syrian children of war and the Russian occupant soldier

 

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Killed Russian student in Moscow by Putin’s SS troops in protest against the Russian invasion of Syria and the Russian war crimes in Aleppo

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Syrian citizens-partisans fighting liberation war against the Russian invasion troops on Syria

24Putin’s special troops arresting innocent Syrian peasants

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The Russian occupation troops in Aleppo

 

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A Russian Helmet graffiti – Syrian War

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The Russian ground forces in South Syria

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Moscow citizens in public protest against the Russian brutal military invasion of Syria

Illus/Hahn 2.12.50 Zehntausende von Toten wurden in den Straßen Dresdens in hohen Stapeln auf Roste geschichtet und, zum Teil ohne Identifizierung, verbrannt.
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Zehntausende von Toten wurden in den Straßen Dresdens in hohen Stapeln auf Roste geschichtet und, zum Teil ohne Identifizierung, verbrannt.

 

Aleppo after the Russian brutal bombing

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Destroyed river bridge near Aleppo by the Russian airborn forces

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Destroyed mosque in Aleppo by the Russian troops with inscription in cyrillic alphabet „Death to the Syrians“

 

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Bombing Aleppo by the Russian jets

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A member of the Russian volunteer guard „Putin the Great“ with arrested local citizens of Aleppo

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A school in Putin’s Russia: A „Putin’s Salute“ – an ideological background of the Russian military invasion of Syria and war crimes in Aleppo

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A Syrian girl (as a prisoner of war) in a human zoo in Moscow. The white Russians are feeding her bananas like a monkey

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Aleppo before and after the Russian destruction of the city and bringing a Putin’s democracy

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Middle East before and after the Russian military interventions

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Vladimir Putin and his Dogs of War

 

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Vladimir Putin as Russia’s President in official talks in Kremlin with the representatives of the Islamic State (DAESH) on a bilateral collaboration in the Middle East

 

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The biggest Russia’s military base (camp) in the Middle East – a „Putinsteel“, Syria

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A Russian colonialist in Syria

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A Russian solder’s message to the UN on the Russian military intervention in Syria

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A citizen of Aleppo with the message to save the city from the Russian army

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The presentation of the first academic book on ethnic cleansing of Syria by the Russian army of Putin

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Moscow “Komsomolskaja Pravda” supports Putin’s warmongering policy in Syria

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The Russian secret prison in Damascus where the Syrian citizens are terrorized

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Moscow Sheremetewo Airport – A Russian conscript is going to Syria

 

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The Democracy World Tour: A Russian bombing list

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Why the President’s house in Kremlin, Moscow, is called as the “White House”

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The UN, New York, October 2016: Israeli PM is showing a map of Russian ethnic cleansing of Syria’ citizens

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A world of shame: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin – A Nobel Price Peace Winner for 2016

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Why Russia’s Presidents are not at the Nuremberg Court?

© “Free Media Group” 2016

Russia’s Balkan Politics: From the Politics of Pan-Slavic Reciprocity of the Tsarist Russia to the “Realpolitic” of the Republic of Gazprom Russia

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Abstract: This article investigates the Russian foreign politics at the region of the Balkan Peninsula after the dissolution of the Soviet Union at the time of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) World Order in relation to the Pan-Slavic ideals of intra-Slavic solidarity, reciprocity and brotherhood. The particular stresses are put on four main research topics: 1. The Pan-Slavism and Russia; 2. Relations between pro-Western and pro-Orthodox approaches of the Russian national interests on Russia’s domestic political scene; 3. Different attitudes towards the Balkans in Russia; and 4. Historical ties and future perspectives between Russia and the Serbs. A research methodology is based on investigation of the adequate historical sources and studying of the relevant scientific literature on the subject of our research. The main research results of the article show that: 1. Historically only (the tsarist) Russia was interested in protection of the Balkan Orthodox Slavs from any foreign power within the framework of the Pan-Slavic ideology of intra-Slavic reciprocity, solidarity and brotherhood; 2. The Balkan Orthodox nations have mostly to thank Russia for their state independence and preservation of national identities; 3. The post-Cold War Russia is only a taycoonized Gazprom Republic having no real intentions, at least until the 2014 Ukrainian crisis, to change the present day NATO’s World Order of Pax Americana; and 4. The Serbs and Serbia became the crucial victims of the post-Cold War perfect partnership in international relations between the West and the Gazprom Republic of Russia.

 Keywords: NATO, World Order, Russia, Serbs, Serbia, foreign policy, Balkans, South-East Europe, South-East Slavs, Pan-Slavism, international relations, global politics, Pax Americana

1. The Pan-Slavism and Russia

The Balkan Peninsula together with the region of the South-East Europe historically have been one of the most important focal points of the Russian foreign policy, cultural influences and attempts to spread ideology of the Orthodox solidarity and the Slavic reciprocity.[1] These ideas are common to almost all trends of the Russian public life in the past and today.

After Russia lost the Great Crimean War of 1853–1856 she intensified its cultural influence in the region of the South-East Europe for the purposes of beating the Habsburg (the Roman-Catholic) rivalry and to spread an idea of the Pan-Slavism in this part of Europe.[2] However, the Great Crimean War was in essence the British war against Russia (Figes, 2010; Lambert, 2011; Small, 2014) in order to stop further Russian victories against the Ottoman Empire (Isaacs, 2001, 156; Anisimov, 298−299). After this war it became obvious for Russia that the West European great powers[3] are her enemies, especially the United Kingdom. It will take even 50 years for Russia to sign a military-political agreement with the United Kingdom (in 1907) only after a final sharing the spheres of influence in Persia (Hans-Erich, 1985, 134).[4]

The political and economic rivalry between Russia, on one hand, and the Habsburg Monarchy (Austria-Hungary from 1867) and the German Empire (from 1871), on other, over the dominance at the Balkans was strongly affected in Russia by the growth of the Pan-Slavic sentiment, based on the common Slavic origin, mutual Paleoslavonic language, and above all it was grounded on emotional sentiment to liberate those South Slavs who were under the Ottoman yoke (Jelavich, 1991).[5] Historically, Russia had three pivotal interests in both regions the Balkans and the South-East Europe: 1) strategic, 2) cultural, and 3) religious (Castellan, 1992). It is important to stress a fact that Russia, together with the West European states, participated in the process of modernization of the eastern Balkan nations and states (Black, 1974).[6]

From a strategic point of view, the Russian diplomacy concerned the Balkans and the South-East Europe as essential for the Russian state security and above all for the stability of the Russian state frontiers.[7] The Russian intention was to obtain a favorable frontier in Bessarabia (today an independent Republic of Moldova) and to have control over the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, which became very important to the Russian commercial and economic development and geopolitical projects; in particular for the shipment of surplus grain from today Ukraine or known also as a Little Russia (Прыжов, 1869; Соловьев, 1947)[8] to the world markets.

 The Bosporus and the Dardanelles became a part of Russia’s “security zone” in both economic and political terms. The Russian main concern was to safeguard free passage through the Bosporus Straits to the Mediterranean Sea (Jelavich, 1973). Simultaneously, Russia intended to block the expansion of the other European great powers, particularly of Austria-Hungary and Germany, into the region.[9]

Taking religious and cultural aspects of the Russian interests in the Balkans and the South-East Europe, largely due to the Russian Pan-Slavic agitation, Russia succeeded to develop from 1870 a strong interest in the fate of the Balkan Slavs and the South-East European Orthodox Christians. The Pan-Slavism, based on the myth of the Slavic solidarity and primarily on the Orthodox Slavic reciprocity, which created strong ethnic, religious and cultural sentiments among the Slavic Orthodox population (but not among the Roman Catholic Slavs), became at the end of the 19th century one of the dominant driving forces behind the Russian policy in the Balkans and the South-East Europe. The myth of the Slavic solidarity and brotherhood exerted a considerable influence on many intellectuals and found support in official circles in Russia, Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria.[10]

The Tsarist Russia was sincerely trying all the time to reconcile the Slavic nations in conflict, especially those of the Christian Orthodox faith for the sake of the Pan-Slavic ideals of intra-Slavic solidarity, reciprocity and brotherhood. Probably the case of the Serbian-Bulgarian conflict in 1912−1915 over the Macedonian Question is the best example of such Russian policy of Panslavism. In the other words, Russia became the creator of the 1912 Serbian−Bulgarian treaty and recognized arbiter in 1912−1913 diplomatic conflict between Serbia and Bulgaria over the destiny of Macedonia after the Balkan Wars (Ћоровић, 1990а, 20−24). The Russian Balkan policy in this case was a real Panslavonic one as St. Petersburg wanted to satisfy territorial claims by both sides by negotiations and diplomatic agreement between Sofia and Belgrade. When Austria-Hungary declared war to Serbia on July 23rd, 1914 all Entente member states, including and Russia, were making pressure on Serbia to give territorial compensation (the Vardar Macedonia) to Bulgaria for the Bulgarian participation in the war against the Central Powers. Serbia was promised, like in the secret 1915 London Treaty, territorial concessions in the Western Balkans populated by the ethnic Serbs living in the Dual Monarchy. For instance, a Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sazonov, on August 5th, 1914 urged the Serbian Government to give to Bulgaria Macedonian territories up to the line Kriva Palanka−Ohrid with Struga for Bulgarian active participation in the war against Austria-Hungary and towns of Shtip, Radovishte and the lands up to Vardar river for Bulgarian “friendly neutrality”. For such Serbia’s sacrifice, Russia promised to Belgrade to support Serbia at the end of the war in realization of her “national ideals”. However, Sazonov was clear in this case that Serbia by giving such territorial sacrifice is going to very contribute to the Russian “life wish” to establish the Panslavonic fraternity and eternal friendship between the Serbs and Bulgarians (Радојевић, Димић, 2014, 138). The same territorial requirements to Serbia were vainly repeated once again by the Entente member states in 1915 before Bulgaria finally joined the war on the side of the Central Powers in October of the same year (Avramovski, 1985, 55−172; Трубецки, 1994, 21−158).

2. The Post-Cold War Russia between the “Westernizers” and the Patriots”

With the official end of the Cold War (1949−1989),[11] the Balkans, especially the question of the destiny of the former Yugoslavia, reemerged as one of the major concerns in Russia.[12] However, in fact, for the NATO and its leader – the USA, the Cold War is still on agenda of the global arena as after 1991 the NATO’s expansion and politics is directed primarily against Russia (Thompson, 1998) but China as well. Nevertheless, a fact that the NATO was not dissolved after the end of the Soviet Union (regardless on all official explanations why) is the crucial argument for our opinion that the Cold War is still reality in the world politics[13] and the international relations.

It has to be noticed that the USSR was simply dissolved by one man-decision – the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, who, concerning this matter, made a crucial deal in October 1986 with the US administration at two-days bilateral meeting with the US President Ronald Reagan in Reykjavik in Iceland (Wilson, 2014; Adelman, 2014). It is a matter of fact that the USSR was the only empire in the world history which became simply dissolved by its own government as the rest of the world empires were destroyed either from the outside after the lost wars or from the inside after the bloody civil wars or revolutions.[14]

In our opinion, there were three main hypothetical reasons for Gorbachev’s decision to simply dissolve the Soviet Union:

  1. Personal bribing of Gorbachev by the western governments (the USA and the EC).

  2. Gorbachev’s wish, as the first and the only ethnic Russian ruler of the USSR to prevent a further economic exploitation of the Russian federal unit by the rest of the Soviet republics that was a common practice since the very beginning of the USSR after the Bolshevik (an anti-Russian) Revolution and the Civil War of 1917−1921.

  3. Gorbachev’s determination to transform Russian Federation, which will firstly get rid of the rest of the Soviet tapeworm republics, into economically prosperous and well-to-do country by selling its own Siberia’s natural resources (gas and oil) to the West according to the global market prices.

In order not to spoil very good business relations with the West the Russian foreign policy during the last 23 years, up to the 2014 Ukrainian crisis, was totally soft and even subservient to the West to whose mercy Moscow left the rest of the world including and the ex-Soviet republics with at least 25 million of the ethnic Russian population outside the motherland. For the matter of comparison, Belgrade in 1991 also left all other Yugoslav republics to leave the federation free of charge, at least for the second Gorbachev’s reason to dissolve the USSR, but with one crucial difference in comparison with the Russian case in the same year: the ethnic Serbs outside Serbia were not left at mercy, at least not as free of charge, to the governments of the newly (an anti-Serb) proclaimed independent states emerged on the wreck of (an anti-Serb and dominated by Croatia and Slovenia) ex-Yugoslavia.[15] That was the main sin by Serbia in the 1990s and for that reason she was and still is sternly fined by the West.[16]

Russia’s policy and attitude towards the South Slavs in the Balkans after the dissolution of the USSR is a part of a larger debate over Russia’s “national interest” and even over the Russian new identity (Laruelle, 2012). Since 1991, when its independence was formalized and internationally recognized, Russia has been searching for both her national identity and foreign policy.

The intellectual circles in Russia have debated very much over the content of the Russian national self-identity for centuries. On the one hand, there were/are those who believe that the Russian culture is a part of the European culture and as such the Russian culture can accept some crucial (West) European values in its development, especially from the time of the emperor Peter the Great (1672−1725).[17] This group, we could call them as  the “Westernizers”, have never negated the existence of Russia’s specific characteristics as an Eurasian country, but have always believed that staying within the framework of the “Russian spectrum” is equivalent to the national suicide (a “fear of isolation” effect). On the other hand, there are those who have tried to preserve all traditional Russian forms of living and organizing, including both political and cultural features of the Russian civilization, not denying at the same time that Russia is a European country too. This, we can name them as the “patriotic” group, or the “Patriots”, of the Slavic orientation, partly nationalistically oriented, have believed and still believe that the (West) European civilizational and cultural values can never be adjusted to the Russian national character and that it is not necessary at all for the Russian national interest (a “fear of self-destruction” effect).

A confrontation of these two groups characterizes both the Russian history and the present-day political and cultural development. Very similar situation is, for instance, in Serbia today as the society is sharply divided into the so-called “First” (“patriotic”) and the “Second” (“western”) Serbia supporters.

At the moment, the basic elements of the Russian national identity and state policy are:

  1. The preservation of Russia’s territorial unity.

  2. The protection of Russia’s interior integrity and its external (state) borders.

  3. The strengthening of Russia’s statehood particularly against the post-Cold War NATO’s Drang nach Osten policy.

It means that the post-Soviet Russia (the Gazprom Republic of the “Power of Siberia”) rejected, at least for some time, the most significant element in her foreign policy that has historically been from the time of the emperor Ivan the Terrible (1530−1584) the (universal) imperial code – constant expansion of its territory or, at least, the position of a power that cannot be overlooked in the settlement of strategic global matters.[18] Therefore, after the Cold War Russia accepted the US’ global role of the new world Third Rome.[19] For the matter of illustration, the US had 900 military bases in 2014 in 153 countries around the world.

From historical point of view, it can be said that the US’ imperialism started in 1812 when the US’ administration proclaimed the war to Great Britain in order to annex the British colony of Canada (Parks, 1986, 182−202). However, the protagonists of a “Hegemonic stability theory” argue that “a dominant military and economic power is necessary to ensure the stability and prosperity in a liberal world economy. The two key examples of such liberal hegemons are the UK during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the USA since 1945” (Heywood, 2011, 229).

At the present stage of Russia’s history, characterized by very harmonious (symphonic) economic and political relations with the West, at least up to the 2014 Ukrainian crisis, especially with Germany, Russia in fact became a political colony of the West which is seen in Moscow eyes only as a good source for making money. The results of such kind of Russia-West relations are Russian tourists all over the world, an impressive Russian state gold reserves (500 billion €), buying real estate properties all over the Mediterranean littoral by the Russians, huge Russian financial investments in Europe and finally, Russian authorization of the NATO’s and the EU’s aggressive foreign policy that is mostly visible exactly at the Balkans.

Russia’s foreign policy is surely a part of her national and cultural identity as for any other state in history. From 1991 up to at least 2014, Moscow accepted the western academic and political propaganda as a sort of the “new facts” that:

  1. Russia is reportedly no longer a global super or even military power, although its considerable military potential is undeniable and very visible.

  2. Russia allegedly has no economic power, although it has by very fact an enormous economic potential.

  3. Russia, as a consequence, cannot have any significant political influence which could affect the new international relations established after 1989/1991, i.e. the NWO (the NATO’s World Order), or better to say – the Pax Americana.[20]

It made Russia a western well paid client state as in essence no strategic questions can be solved without Russian permission, however for certain sum of money or other way of compensation. For instance, the Kosovo status was solved in 2008 between Russia and the NATO/EU on exactly this way as Russia de facto agreed to Kosovo self-proclaimed independence (as the US’s client territory or colony) for in turn the western also de facto agreement to the South Ossetian and Abkhazian self-proclaimed independence as in fact the Russian client territories or colonies.[21]

Russia as a country is unpredictable when it is isolated, and its unpredictability can be dangerous for the surrounding regions as well as for the global international relations. This thesis has had its confirmation in the events concerning the conflicts in both former Yugoslavias (the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – the SFRY and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – the FRY), and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (the FYROM). The cultural, religious and historic ties with the Orthodox Slavs who live in the Balkans (together with the western money) determine the Russian attitude and politics towards the political challenges in the South-East Europe during the last decades especially what concerns the Orthodox Slavs in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo-Metohija and Macedonia (i.e., the Serbs, Montenegrins and Macedonians).[22]

In Russia emerged after Gorbachev’s dissolution of the Soviet Union two ideological-political streams in the general debate in the Russian society about the national interest. The first emphasizes the importance of Russia’s long-standing ethnic, cultural and religious ties with the Balkan peoples, especially with the Serbs, Montenegrins, Bulgarians and Macedonians.[23] The second stresses the importance of the good ties with the West and integration of Russia into a broader Euro-Atlantic framework.

Since Russia formally has lost all the attributes of a super power after the dissolution of the Soviet Union (up to 2014), her political elite has in the early 1990s become oriented towards closer association with the institutional structures of the West – in accordance with her officially general drift towards liberal-democratic reform (in fact towards the tycoonization of the whole society and politics, like in all East European transitional countries). Till 1995 Russia had become a member of almost all structures of the NATO, even of the “Partnership for Peace Programme” what is telling the best about the real aims of the Gazprom Russia’s foreign policy up to 2014 when Russia finally decided to defend her own national interest, at least at the doorstep (i.e., in the East Ukraine) of her own home. In May 1997 Russia signed the “NATO’s−Russia Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security”, what meant de facto that she accepted the NATO as the core of the Euro-Atlantic system of security.

For the matter of comparison with the USA, in October 1962, at the height of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union came to the brink of a real nuclear war over the placement of the USSR’s missiles in the island of Cuba – a courtyard (not even a doorstep) of the USA. It was the closest moment the World ever came to unleashing the WWIII (Kennedy, 1999; Munton, 2006; Dobbs, 2008; Pardoe, 2013). In the other words, during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 Kennedy’s administration was ready to invade the independent state of Cuba (with already the US’ military base on the island) and even to go to the WWIII against the USSR if necessary as Washington understood Cuba as a courtyard of the USA.

Whether or not the ruling structures in Russia had expected a more important role for their country in its relations with the new partners, since 1995 there has been certain stagnation in the relations with the West, accompanied by the insistence on the national interests of Russia. In practice, this was manifested in the attempts to strengthen the connections with the Commonwealth of the Independent States (the CIS) with which Russia had more stable and secure relations. However, the state of relations within the CIS, accompanied with a very difficult economic and politically unstable situation in some of the countries in the region, prevented any organizational or other progress in this direction. Still, the CIS has remained the primary strategic focus for Russia, especially when it comes to the insolent expansion of the NATO towards these countries (the NATO’s Drang nach Osten).

3. Russia, the West and ex-Yugoslavia

An economic and political situation in Russia, the changes, the rate and the content of her fitting into the existing international relations influenced Russia’s attitude towards the wars on the territories of the former SFRY. Since the beginning of the disintegration of the SFRY, Russia has taken very diplomatic position that these conflicts are the Yugoslav domestic (inner) affairs and consequently should be settled peacefully, without the use of force, with the United Nations (the UN) or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (the OSCE) as the mediator organizations.[24] Russia kept this official position throughout all wars in Yugoslavia, till the end of the military conflict in Kosovo-Metohija in June 1999, but even and during the NATO’s military occupation of Kosovo-Metohija followed by the expulsion of majority of the ethnic Serbs and all other non-Albanian ethnicities by the Albanians from the region from 1999 up today (March Pogrom…, 2004; Чупић, 2006).[25]

In a view of Russia’s position in Europe and the world (especially in relation to the USA), characterized by her need and wish to become at least a respectable partner to the most developed countries, Russia was until 2014 blindly following the decisions of her “partners” from the West, especially at the time of the “western clown of Boris Yeltsin”[26] in the global politics. For instance, Russia recognized Croatia and Slovenia in February 1992 as independent states; in May 1992 she did the same with the FYROM and in August of the same year with Bosnia-Herzegovina. Although Russia was formally on the side of Serbia and the Serbs during the time of the dissolution (destruction) of ex-Yugoslavia in the 1990s, mainly because of deep historic, cultural and political linkages with the Serbs, Moscow actually accepted the decisions of its western partners and followed their obviously anti-Serb Balkan policy (Guskova, 1996). Such attitude was the result of her orientation towards the policy of getting closer to the European economic, political and security institutions, but above all to the European market. For Russia, the Balkans is still just a part of her European (economic) strategy, but not the main task of her European (political) policy.

This is quite similar with the case of the NATO’s military aggression on the FRY in 1999 for the real reason to occupy and separate Kosovo-Metohija from Serbia for the final sake of creation of a Greater Albania (Hadjimichalis, 2000).[27] Formally, Russia remained resolute in her demand that the conflict in Kosovo-Metohija had to be resolved in the Security Council of the UN or in the OSCE, but in fact nothing did to really help the Serbs in their legitimate struggle against the Albanian secessionist nationalism and the US’ imperialism – exactly what Washington and Brussels wanted and needed from Moscow at that time. From the very fact, when several western countries decided to intervene against the FRY in March 1999, Russia did nothing concrete to change that decision, although Moscow nominally disagreed because there was no formal decision in the Security Council of the UN and she was against the use of force in regional ethno-political conflicts in general. In fact, the Russian pro-western tycoon authorities did not wish to get directly involved in the conflict in Kosovo-Metohija in order to keep very prosperous economic relations with the West. Formally, during the NATO’s military aggression on the FRY (much more on Serbia than on Montenegro) Russia tried to sustain contacts with Serbia. These attempts met with the approval of a part of the public, which, along with the nationally oriented intellectual and political elite, was pushing Russia into a conflict with the West, with the USA in particular, for the matter to defend the Orthodox Slavs in the Balkans as historically Russia was a natural, and even recognized, protector of them during the time of the existence of the Ottoman Empire.

For the matter of fact, the Russian protection of the Balkan and the South-East European Orthodox population started with the Treaty of Küçük Kajnarca of July 21st, 1774 with the Ottoman Empire when Russia got the right to establish within the Ottoman Empire her own diplomatic consulates in Iaşi and Bucharest, and to make representations on behalf of the Orthodox Moldavia and Walachia (today parts of Romania) in Istanbul (Magocsi, 2002, 72). The Russian Empire by this treaty even became a protector of all Balkan Christian nations especially the Orthodox (Поповић, 1940; Радојевић, 2014, 114).

During the Kosovo Crisis and War of 1998−1999 the relations between Russia and the USA became the worst since the end of the Cold War period, but in essence nothing was changed after the war in relations between Russia and the West.[28]

Nevertheless, the Russian participation with the NATO in international contingent of the “peace-keeping” forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina (the IFORS/SFOR) and Kosovo-Metohija (the KFOR) shows that (Gazprom) Russia became highly opportunistic and even smarmy to the West as she consciously accepted to participate in these NATO’s military missions only for the reason to internationally legalize the new NATO’s World Order (Pax Americana) that is obviously on the first place de facto anti-Russian.[29] It is very unconvincing explanation by the Russian “Westernizers” that this decision to participate in the NATO’s “peace-keeping missions” in the Balkans in the 1990s was for Moscow only possibility to “prove” that Russia is still not out from the arena of international politics of the great (western) powers and to have some influence in the region. However, it is known that this participation (till 2003) was under the full-scale dictate of the NATO what is clearly visible from at least three facts:

  1. Russia did not get its own sectors of protection and command either in Bosnia-Herzegovina or Kosovo-Metohija nevertheless Russia required them. The territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina was divided into three sectors of protection: the Canadian, the US, and the French, while Kosovo-Metohija into five: the British, the Italian, the French, the German and the US. However, it was no single Russian one.

  2. A brigade of the Russian peace-keepers has been based in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the US’ sector, the Multinational Division North, since January 1996, numbering only some 1,200 airborne troops. The Russian zone of responsibility was running between the predominantly “Croat and Muslim Federation” of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the predominantly “Serb Republic”. However, about 30 US’ soldiers were permanently stationed at the Russian brigade’s headquarters in Ugljevik (the North-Eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina) while the Russian peace-keeping troops were in fact under the US’s supervision and command. In this respect, can you imagine the US’ military brigade under the Russian supervision and command in Afghanistan or Iraq? We have also to notice that in 1877 Russia entered the war against the Ottoman Empire because of Bosnia-Herzegovina (the so-called “Great Eastern Crisis”) and even the First World War in 1914 after the “Sarajevo Assassination” and Austria-Hungary’s ultimatum to the Kingdom of Serbia (Радојевић, Димић, 2014, 113−114).[30] However, it was an imperial Romanovs’ Russia (not at all in much better position to the western great powers as today Russia is), but not the Gazprom one. In July−August 1914 Serbia could see and feel who was her a real and only friend (even the “mother”) in Europe what was very proved in the Great War until the very end of the Romanov’s Imperial Russia (i.e., until the 1917 March Revolution). In the other words, Russia risked everything, even not properly prepared for the war at all, in order to give a crucial help to unprotected Serbia – a country facing at that time a real possibility to disappear from the map of Europe as a state and political reality.[31] We have to notice on this place a very fact that when Serbia received a war proclamation by the Dual Monarchy on July 23rd, 1914 she had only two formal (by treaty) allies: Montenegro and Greece from 1912. However, only Montenegro put into effect its treaty obligations, while Greece interpreted the 1913 Military Convention with Serbia on the way that Greece was obliged to give a military assistance to Serbia only in the case of a war proclamation by Bulgaria to Serbia but not and by Austria-Hungary (Радојевић, Димић, 2014, 136).[32] However, at the time of the Austro-Hungarian war declaration to Serbia, Russia did not have any formal (treaty) obligations to Serbia to help her but regardless to this fact Russia proclaimed a military mobilization in order to protect Serbia from the aggressive Germanic Drang nach Osten policy at the Balkans. The Russian military mobilization became just a pretext to Germany to declare the (Great) war against Russia (on August 1st, 1914) and against France (on August 3rd, 1914) (Palmowski, 2004, 693).

  3. The Russian peace-keeping contingent in Kosovo-Metohija of some 3,150 soldiers (out from total 45,000 international NATO’s troops in Kosovo-Metohija) was deployed in three sectors: in the US-led Multinational Brigade East, in the French-led Multinational Brigade North, and in the German-led Multinational Brigade South. In June 1999, when the NATO’s troops occupied Kosovo-Metohija, the NATO’s headquarters in Brussels decisively rejected the Russian demand that Russia should have her own sector of protection in Kosovo-Metohija. We also have not to forget that the Russian troops (came from Bosnia-Herzegovina) occupied the Prishtina airport in June 1999 before the NATO’s troops from the south reached the administrative centre of Kosovo-Metohija. That was at the moment a greatest victory of Russia over the West from the time of dissolution of the Soviet Union. However, very soon the same Russian troops left the Prishtina airport under the western pressure what shows at the best a real self-wanted position of (Gazprom) Russia in the NATO’s World Order after the end of the Cold War (1949−1989). Consequently, Moscow in 2001 left Afghanistan in full mercy of the US’ occupation – the land which was only three decades ago (in 1979) understood by Kremlin as exclusively its own sphere of dominance without any western interference.[33]

Obviously, only limited and formal Russian participation in the so-called “peace-keeping forces” in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo-Metohija, that is in fact just international legalization of the NATO’s occupation of these lands, is accepted by the NATO’s headquarters as it gives the NATO a legitimacy of “human rights protection” in the Balkans. Following its orientation towards the “well-to-do Russian home”, combined with her new national security concept of protecting Russia’s state borders, but without crossing them in international relations (up to 2008 informal war with Georgia and especially the Russian direct military involvement in Syrian conflict in 2015), Russia was trying to achieve the optimum of such kind of politics – to play a role of a formally respectable power on the international scene which will take its part in the most significant strategic changes in the world done by the NATO’s and the US’ administrations followed by their crucial European client – the European Union (the EU) for the sake of keeping perfect economic relations with the West. However, the 2014 Ukrainian crisis clearly shows that for the West any kind of Russia’s defense of her own national interest around the globe, including and on the doorstep of her own home, is simply seen as a form of a new Russian imperialism (Mankoff, 2011; Herpen, 2014; Lucas, 2014).

Russia’s attitude towards the “Serb Republic” in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and the FYROM was up to 2014 regarded in the contexts of her attempts to put into practice her common westernization policy with the ultimate goal to integrate Russia into the western political scope and system.[34] Having in mind this, it was quite predictable before the 2014 Ukrainian crisis that the Russian military forces could participate in the future in the NATO-led international peace keeping forces in the FYROM (MACFOR), Vojvodina (VOJDFOR) or Sanjak (SANDFOR) under the same conditions as it was in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo-Metohija.

For the matter of better clarification, Serbia’s northern region of Vojvodina, populated by the Serb majority and non-Serb minority (predominantly the Hungarian one) and her south-west region of Sanjak (in Serbian language Raška), populated by mixed Orthodox Serbian and Muslim Bosniak population (ethno-linguistic Serbs of Shtokavian language who became voluntary converted into Islam during the Ottoman rule) (Вуковић, 1911; Костић, 1955),[35] are scheduled by the West (the USA, the NATO, the EU) as the next regions of separation at the Balkans where the western peace-keeping troops are going to be located if Russia would surrender to the West in the case of Ukraine. Thus, such Russian role in the Balkan affairs fits to the ideas of the main Russian proponents of the so-called “Atlantic’s School” (for instance, a former Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andrey Kozyrev), which tends to play down the idea of Russia as the protector of the (Orthodox) Slavs in the South-East Europe.

15 balkans_1856The Balkans in 1856

However, on the other hand, the Russian “Westernizers” emphasize the crucial importance of co-operating with the West for the Russian economic and cultural development in the future. Subsequently, they explicitly reject a policy based on the ethnic, religious and cultural ties with the Balkan Orthodox Slavs, particularly with the Serbs. Absolutely the same situation is and with the Serbian “Westernizers” (the “Second Serbia”) who are rejecting any ties with Kosovo-Metohija for the sake of Serbia’s (i.e., remains of Serbia) “prosperity” in the (western) future. It was quite visible either during the process of dissolution (or better to say – destruction) of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s or after that up today.[36]

The myths of a fundamental Slavic brotherhood and the pan-Slavic solidarity, based on common Slavic origin and language, and especially with the Orthodox South Slavs, based on shared culture and the same religion is by now put aside as an ancient history by Moscow. It was visible, at least, twice in relations to the Serbs: 1) when the Parliament of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia proclaimed a state unity with Russia in 1999 during the NATO’s aggression, and 2) when Kosovo-Metohija’s Serbs (around 90,000) required Russia’s citizenship in 2011. However, Moscow in both cases simply was deaf, regardless on the fact that it would be a perfect opportunity and formal excuse for Russia to do really something for the Serbs and to stop a NATO’s military machinery at the Balkans.

Nevertheless, some of influential Russia’s political leaders and representatives are still ardent to the ideology of the Pan-Slavic common ethno-linguistic origin, cultural reciprocity, solidarity and brotherhood – at least formally. For instance, during a visit to Serbia in January 1994 Vladimir Zhirinovsky warned the West that any attack on Serbia or Bosnian-Herzegovinian Serbs would be considered by the Russians as an attack on Russia herself.[37] However, when it happened in reality in 1995 and 1999 Russia did simply nothing to protect Krayina’s and Bosnian-Herzegovinian Serbs (in 1995) and Serbia (in 1999). It is interesting that on the same occasion he called for a union of all Slavic nations from “Knin to Vladivostok”. Zhirinovsky was at that time also the main advocator of a radical revision of the political map of Europe, especially in the South-East Europe. In the other words, in his conception of reshaping the political map of Europe, the new (Russian) order in the South-East Europe has to be based on the (by now utopian) “Slavic pyramid” as:

  1. Bosnia-Herzegovina would be divided between a Greater Serbia and a Greater Croatia.

  2. A Greater Bulgaria would be created with its capital in Sofia.

  3. Greece would be given parts of European Turkey.

  4. Hungary would get back Transylvania from Romania.

It is quite predictable that the idea of the Pan-Slavic solidarity, reciprocity and brotherhood will be put on agenda of the Russian national interest if the Russian “Patriots” and the “Pan-Slavic nationalists” gained political power in Russia (we do not consider Putin’s regime as a real patriotic one). In this case, the concept of reshaping the South-East Europe on the model of some kind of the “Slavic pyramid” will surely play a significant role in the Russian foreign policy.

Nevertheless, there would be a very little chance for the Roman Catholic Slavs to accept such political program as they are firstly the Roman Catholics and only than the Slavs as the Yugoslav experience shows. In the other words, Vatican will never agree that the Roman Catholics are going to be governed by the Orthodox Christians (Екмечић, 2010, 516). On the other hand, during the Great War of 1914−1918 a Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Dmitrievich Sazonov (1910−1916) was explicitly advising Serbia’s ambassador to Russia, dr. Miroslav Spalajković (1913−1919) that any state combination with the Roman Catholic Slovenes and Croats would be political disaster for Serbia as Slovenes and Croats will be all the time just Vatican’s separatist fifth column and trouble makers in any kind of Yugoslavia.[38] In reality, as a matter of historical fact, both the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and Josip Broz’s Titoslavia were destroyed with a great help of Vatican exactly by the Roman Catholic Croats (who were strongly supported by the Roman Catholic Slovenes in the case of destruction of Titoslavia in 1989−1991).[39]

4. Conclusions

At the end we will express several basic conclusions in relations to the topic of contemporary Russian relations with the Balkans, or better to say, to the debate of the main issue of the present-day Russian foreign policy – between the West and herself:

  • The post-Soviet Russia was at least until 2014 Ukrainian crisis politically very deeply involved in the western system of international relations and cultural values that was basically giving to Moscow a status of the western client partner on the international scene of the NATO’s World Order.

  • A full victory of the Russian “Westernizers” up to 2014 allow them to further westernize Russia according to the pattern of the Emperor Peter the Great with the price of Russia’s inferiority and even servility in the international relations. For that reason, the West already succeeded (at least up to 2014) to encircle Russia with three rings of Russia’s enemies: the NATO at the West, the Muslim Central Asian states at the South and China at the South-East.

  • The West was buying Russia’s inferiority at the international scene by keeping perfect economic relations with Moscow that was allowing Russia, especially Russia’s tycoons, to become enormously reach. These harmonious West-Russia political-economic relations are going to be broken in the future only under two circumstances: I. If the Russian “Patriots” with take political power in Kremlin (after the military putsch or new revolution?), or II. If the West will introduce any kind of serious economic sanctions against Russia (i.e. to restrict importing Russian gas and oil or to limit business operations of the Russian oil and gas companies outside Russia).

  • Up to now, the South-East Europe is left to the western hands by Moscow and the region is already incorporated into the NATO’s World Order as a part of the western (the NATO & the EU) post-Cold War concept of the Central and East Europe as a buffer zone against Russia.[40]

  • Russia in this region has only and exclusively economic-financial interest (the “Southern Stream”, investments, buying the real estate properties, selling her own products, etc.). The region was becoming more and more under the Russian direct financial control. As one of the best examples is Montenegro with 40% of the Russian investment out of total foreign one.

  • The only political and national losers at the Balkans, as the outcome of such West-Russia post-Soviet relations, are the Serbs who as a nation have been expelled from Croatia and lost their Republic of Serbian Krayina, lost 20% of their ethno-historical land in Bosnia-Herzegovina, lost Kosovo-Metohija and will lose Vojvodina and Sanjak in the near future if Russia will lose a current battle for Ukraine (or the Little Russia). In this case, the state territory of Serbia, according to the western designers from the very end of the Cold War era, would be reduced to the borders of the so-called Bismarck’s Serbia (or Bismarck’s paşalik) after the Congress of Berlin in 1878 up to the Balkan Wars of 1912−1913.[41]

  • The essential historical disadvantage of Serbia and the Serbs as a nation was and still is that they did not have and do not have a common state borders with (the tsarist) Russia and Russians – the only European great power nation and state who never humiliated Serbia and the Serbs and the only nation and state in the world to whom the Serbs have to really thank for the preservation of their national identity and state independence.

 

Jpeg

Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirović

Mykolas Romeris University

Institute of Political Sciences

Vilnius, Lithuania

www.global-politics.eu/sotirovic

globalpol@global-politics.eu

 

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Владислав Б. Сотировић

БАЛКАНСКА ПОЛИТИКА РУСИЈЕ:

ОД ПОЛИТИКЕ СВЕСЛОВЕНСКЕ УЗАЈАМНОСТИ ЦАРСКЕ РУСИЈЕ ДО „РЕАЛ-ПОЛИТИКЕ“ РЕПУБЛИКЕ ГАЗПРОМ РУСИЈЕ

Резиме

У овом чланку се истражује спољна политика Русије на Балкану након нестанка Совјетског Савеза у времену светског поретка који диктира НАТО пакт а у вези са идеалима панславизма, међусловенске солидарности, узајамности и братства. Посебан нагласак је стављен на следеће четири најбитније истраживачке теме: 1. Панславизам и Русија; 2. Однос између прозападних и проправославних снага на политичкој сцени Русије по питању руског националног интереса; 3. Различити приступи руској балканској политици у Русији; и 4. Руско-српски повесни односи и перспективе у будућности односа Русије и Срба. Методологија истраживања је заснована на коришћењу адекватних повесних источника и релевантне стручне литературе везане за тематику чланка. Главни резултати нашег истраживања показују да: 1. Историјски посматрано, само је (царска) Русија била заинтересована да заштити балканске Словене православне хришћанске оријентације од било које стране силе а у оквиру политике свесловенства и идеологије засноване на међусловенској узајамности и братству; 2. Балканске православне нације могу пре свега да захвале Русији на својим независним државама и очувању свог националног идентитета; 3. Русија након Хладног рата није ништа друго него тајкунизована Газпром Република која нема стварних намера, бар до украјинске кризе 2014. г., да нарушава тренутни светски поредак НАТО пакта – амерички мир; и 4. Срби и Србија су постали главне жртве овако идеалних партнерских односа на међународном плану након Хладног рата између Запада и Републике Газпром Русије.

Кључне речи: НАТО, светски поредак, Русија, Срби, Србија, спољна политика, Балкан, Југоисточна Европа, Јужни Словени, панславизам, међународни односи, глобална политика, амерички мир

ENDNOTES

[1] The Balkans is a peninsula in the South-East Europe that today includes Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Greece, Albania, Macedonia (the FYROM), Bulgaria and the European portion of Turkey. The South-East Europe is enlarged Balkans with Romania and Moldova.

[2] The Balkans was all the time a peninsula of a clash of civilizations. According to Samuel P. Huntington, a civilization is a cultural entity and he identified eight such civilizations. One of them was the Slavic-Orthodox. Civilizations differ in terms of history, language, culture, tradition but above all religion. Huntington argued that every civilization had and has a protector core state as, for instance, Russia historically was and today is a protector of the Slavic-Orthodox civilization (Mansbach, Taylor, 2012, 447).

[3] Great power was originally in the 18th century the term for a European state which could not be conquered by any other state or even by several of them. After the WWII this term is applied to a country that is regarded as among the most powerful in the global system and global politics (Mansbach, Taylor, 2012, 578).

[4] The British-Russian convention over Persia in 1907 divided the country into a northern section under the Russian influence, a neutral part in the middle, and a southern zone under the UK’s influence (Palmowski, 2004, 304).

[5] About the Pan-Slavism, see in (Kohn, 1960).

[6] About the Russian history, see in (Riasanovsky, 2006).

[7] About Russia’s foreign policy interests, see in (Tsygankov, 2013; Gvosdev, 2014).

[8] About Ukraine-Russian identity relations, see in (Plokhy, 2008; Plokhy, 2010).

[9] About the spiritual and geopolitical rivalry in the Balkans by the great European powers, see in (Поповић, 1940; Narochnitskaya, 1998). According to Lord Palmerston, the nations (states) have no permanent enemies and allies; they have only permanent interests (Cooper, Heine, Thakur, 2015, 72).

[10] For instance, about Russia’s influence in Serbia from the end of the 18th century to the mid-19th century, see in (Попов, 1870).

[11] The Cold War was the struggle and conflict between the USA and its allies, including supporters of the capitalism, engaged in ideological and political warfare against the USSR and its allies, advocates of the communism, an alternative and incompatible, economic and political system (Mansbach, Taylor, 2012, 102).

[12] About history of the Cold War, see in (Lewis, 2005; Zubok, 2007).

[13] World or global politics is political interactions between and among sovereign (independent) states as well as nonstate actors (ex., the NGOs).

[14] About the end of the USSR, see in (Plokhy, 2014).

[15] About different opinions on the nature of Yugoslavia, see in (Allcock, 2000; Sabrina, 2006).

[16] About the wars of Yugoslavia’s succession in the 1990s, see in (Trifunovska, 1994; Woodwards, 1995; Ullman, 1996; Oven, 1996; Marković, 1996; Guskova, 2003; Sotirović, 2013a).

[17] About Peter the Great and his reforms in Russia, see in (Hughes, 2000; Cracraft, 2003).

[18] About the idea of the Holy Russia as a Third Rome, see in (Johnson, 2004).

[19] About the US’ post-Cold War imperialism and global hegemony, see in (Kiernan, 2005; Baron, 2014).

[20] The Pax Americana is a key phenomenon of the post-Cold War era as an informal the US’ empire whose tenets lie in the global capitalist trading system which reached across the globe. After 1991 the USA became a single state in the world with a global hegemonic ambitions and capacities, at least up to 2014. “The core feature of the Pax Americana is a multilateral system of global governance” (Atlagić, 2015, 32).  About the Pax Americana, see in (Dorrien, 2004; Clarke, 2008; Parchami, 2009; Roncallo, 2014). On the remaking of the World Order, see (Huntington, 2002; Kissinger, 2014). On the post-Cold War US-Russia’s relations up to the 2014 Ukrainian crisis, see in (Stent, 2014). In essence, the Pax Americana is nothing else then a synonym for a post-Cold War New World Order: “A term coined by George Bush Snr following the successful expulsion of Iraq from Kuwait in the first Gulf War…the idea that New World Order was short-hand for US policy preferences and further American imperialism” (Haynes, et al, 2013, 712).

[21] About the “Kosovo precedent” and the ethnopolitical conflicts in the Caucasus, see in (Weller, 2009; Tsurtsumia, 2010; Hehir, 2010; Francis, 2011; Souleimanov, 2013; Sotirović, 2013b).

[22] About Russia’s foreign policy, see in (Donaldson, 2014). About Russia and her closest neighbours, see in (Szajkowski, 1994; Hungtington, 2011, 151−155). About Russia and the Balkans after 1991, see in (Ekinci, 2013).

[23] About the Montenegrin ethnic origin and identity, see in (Glomazić, 1988; Lazarević, 2014). On the problem who are the Macedonians and the “Macedonian Question”, see in (Martis, 1984; Poulton, 2000; Pettifer, 2001; Damianopoulos, 2012).

[24] Russia strongly opposed an official western stereotyped standpoint on the fundamental causes of the destruction of ex-Yugoslavia. According to this view, a personality of Serbia’s President Slobodan Milošević and his political idea to create a Greater Serbia was the main cause of the destruction of the country followed by the bloody war (Mansbach, Taylor, 2012, 442)

[25] About the “Kosovo Question”, see in (Grujić, 2014).

[26] About Boris Yeltsin and Russia in his time, see in (Colton, 2008; Curtis, 2014).

[27] About the NATO’s military intervention in 1999 against Serbia and Montenegro, see in (Gibbs, 2009; Phillips, 2012).

[28] About this issue, see more in (Headley, 2008).

[29] About the globalization of the NATO pact, see in (Kitchen, 2010; Nazemroaya, 2012).

[30] About discussion on the origins of the WWI, see in (Бјелајац, 2014). It has to be noticed on this place that the assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Fedinand and his wife Sophia in Sarajevo on June 28th, 1914 that triggered the Great War as an excuse for the Dual Monarchy to formally declare war to Serbia (Ћоровић, 1990b, 79) was organized and committed by the conspiratorial revolutionary underground organization from Bosnia-Herzegovina – the Young Bosnia (like Jung Deutschland Bund) with a great help of Serbia’s military officer Dragutin Dimitrijević Apis (later Colonel) who was a leader of another conspiratorial underground revolutionary organization from Serbia – the Black Hand (Казимировић, 2013). Serbia’s Government did everything to prevent the assassination but it in vain. However, the Austro-Hungarian state intelligence service new very well about the preparation of the assassination but purposely did nothing to prevent it. An essence of the issue was that the members of the Young Bosnia have been not from Serbia but from Austria-Hungary, fighting for a pan-Serbian political unification in a form of a united or Greater Serbia (Dieterich, 1925, 226) likewise Apis too who was originally an ethnic Vlach (not a Serb) from the Eastern Serbia. Both organizations new well that a price for the unification was a war against the Dual Monarchy in which Serbia had to pay a terrible price. Unfortunately, after the Great War Serbia was out of 25% of her pre-war population and 50% of the pre-war industrial infrastructure. Nevertheless, at the end of the war it was not created a Greater Serbia but rather a common state with the Roman Catholic Slovenes and Croats and Muslim Bosniaks who became at such a way abolished for their terrible war crime atrocities in the uniforms of the Dual Monarchy against Serbia’s civilians during the Great War and occupation of Serbia. Josip Broz Tito (1892−1980) was also one of those South Slavs fighting in the Western Serbia in 1914−1915 as a soldier of infamous the 42nd Devil Division which committed recorded war crimes against the Serbian civilians (for instance, recorded by a Swiss German Archibald Rudolf Reiss, 1875−1929). Similar war crimes and torture against the Orthodox Serb civilians were done in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the war by the Austro-Hungarian authorities (Ћоровић, 1920). It is interesting that according to the American historian MacMillan, the Young Bosnia’s ideals were of the Pan-Slavonic nature. However, she equated the Young Bosnia with Al-Qaeda and Iran (MacMillan, 2006). Nevertheless, a majority of the Young Bosnia’s members or their ideological fathers were coming from the “vukojebinje” areas (“the land where wolves fuck”) as it was the case, for instance, with Vladimir Gaćinović (1890−1917) born in the village of Kačanj near Bileća in Herzegovina – a son of Serb Orthodox priest (Misha, 1999, 293−297).

[31] The Russian Emperor Nicolas II expressed to Serbia’s Prime Minister Nikola Pašić a final support to Serbia’s independence and real military-political protection in the case of Austro-Hungarian proclamation of the war to Serbia in the spring of 1914 (Драгнић, 1994, 118). An ultimate support to Serbia Russia expressed on July 24th, 1914 (a day after the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia) during the meeting between Sazonov and Spalajković in St. Petersburg (Поповић, 2007, 86−87).

[32] Nevertheless, Greece did not proclaim war to Bulgaria in 1915 when Bulgaria did it to Serbia due to the pro-German policy of the King Constantine I who was the brother-in-law of Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II.

[33] About the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan, 1979−1989, see in (Grau, 2002; Fremont-Barnes, 2012; Riedel, 2014). On the US’ military involvement in Afghanistan from 2001 onwards, see in (Gall, 2014).

[34] About this issue, see more in (Mendeloff, 2008; Kanet, 2010; Leichtova, 2014).

[35] About the Bosniaks, as a matter of comparison, see in (Donia & Fine, 1994; Pinson, 1996).

[36]About the problems and challenges of the Balkan security and Russia in the 1990s, see in (Shoup, 1990; Гуськова, 1992−1993; Larrabee, 1994; Бодсон, 1996; Gow, 1997).

[37] A same kind of just declarative support to Serbia was expressed by a President of the Gazprom Republic of Russia – Vladimir Putin in Belgrade on October 14th, 2014.

[38] About the process of creation of the first Yugoslavia (the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes) during the Great War, see in (Sotirović, 2012).

[39] About debates on the reasons for the dissolution of the Yugoslav federation in the 1990s, see in (Guskova, 2003, I, 51−59).

[40] About the post-Cold War western supremacy in the global politics and international relations, see in (Mayer, 2014; Pijl, 2014). About a typical example of the western (the US’) colony in the region, Kosovo-Metohija as a part of the Pax Americana, see in (Hofbauer, 2009). On the relations between the NATO and the European Union, see in (Simon, 2013). About the history of a greater concept of the East Europe between the Germans and the Russians, see in (Bideleux & Jeffries, 1999; Janos, 2000). It is realistically expected that Montenegro will become a full Member State of the NATO in 2016 or at least in 2017.

[41] At the Congress of Berlin (from June 13th to July 13th, 1878), Bismarck’s main political goal was to maintain a balance of power in Europe which would block creation of any anti-German bloc. His assessment was based on the realpolitik politics of hard practical interests. Serbia’s official representative to the Congress, Jovan Ristić, became “brought down to earth during the second week of the Congress” (Misha, 1999, 149).

nato2-790x451

On Which Principle Ukraine’s Borders Are Formed?

800px-Ethnolingusitic_map_of_ukraine

The German occupation forces were those who have been the first to create and recognise a short-lived state’s independence of Ukraine in January 1918 during the time of their-own inspired and supported anti-Russian Bolshevik Revolution of 1917−1921. As reoccupied by the Bolshevik Red Army, the eastern and southern parts of the present-day territory of (a Greater) Ukraine joined in 1922 the USSR as a separate Soviet Socialist Republic (without Crimea). According to 1926 Soviet census of Crimea, the majority of its population were the Russians (382.645). The second largest ethnic group were the Tartars (179.094). Therefore, a Jew V. I. Lenin has to be considered as the real historical father of the Ukrainian statehood but also and as of the contemporary nationhood. Ukraine was the most fertile agricultural Soviet republic but particularly catastrophically affected by (Georgian) Stalin’s economic policy in the 1930s which neglected agricultural production in favour of the speed industrialisation of the country. The result was a great famine (holodomor) with around seven million people dead but majority of them were of the ethnic Russian origin. A territory of the present-day Ukraine was devastated during the WWII by the Nazi German occupation forces from 1941 to 1944 who installed in Ukraine a puppet and criminal regime of S. Bandera (1900−1959) under which a genocide on Poles, Jews and Russians was committed [on Stepan Bandera, see: Grzegorz Rossoliński-Liebe, Stepan Bandera: The Life and Afterlife of a Ukrainian Nationalist. Fascism, Genocide, and Cult, Stuttgart, ibidem, 2014]. For instance, the Ukrainian militia (12.000) directly participated in the 1942 holocaust of some 200.000 Volhynian Jews together with 140.000 German policemen. The Ukrainian mass killers learned their job from the Germans and applied their knowledge as well as on the Poles [Timothy Snyder, Tautų rekonstrukcija: Lieuva, Lenkija, Ukraina, Baltarusija 1569−1999, Vilnius: Mintis, 2009, 183].

banStepan Bandera declares independence of Ukraine (June 30th, 1941)

After the war J. V. Stalin, supported by the Ukrainian party-cadre N. Khrushchev, deported about 300.000 Ukrainians from their homeland as they have been accused for the collaboration with the Nazi regime during the war and the participation in genocide done by S. Bandera’s government. However, after the war the Ukrainians have been and directly rewarded by Moscow for the collaboration with the Germans and participation in S. Bandera’s organized genocide as the lands of Transcarpathia, littoral Moldova (Bessarabia), Polish Galicia and part of Romania’s Bukovina in 1945 followed by Crimea in 1954 became annexed by the Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine. These territories, which never have been part of any kind of Ukraine and overwhelmingly not populated by the ethnolinguistic Ukrainians were included into the Soviet Ukraine primarily due to the political activity by the strongest Ukrainian cadre in the USSR – N. Khrushchev, a person who inherited Stalin’s throne in Moscow in 1953. On this place, a parallel with Croatia is an absolute: for the Croat committed genocide on the Serbs, Jews and Roma by A. Pavelić’s regime (a Croat version of S. Bandera) during the WWII on the territory of the Independent State of Croatia a post-war (Socialist Republic of) Croatia was awarded by a Croat-Slovenian dictator of Yugoslavia J. B. Tito with the lands of Istria, Adriatic islands and Dubrovnik – all of them never have been in any kind of the state of Croatia before the WWII.

Gorbachev’s policy of deliberate dissolution of the USSR from the time of Reykjavik bilateral meeting with Ronald Reagan in 1988 caused a revival of the ethnic nationalism of the Ukrainians who proclaimed an independence on August 24th, 1991 (confirmed on referendum on December 1st, 1991 only by those who did not boycott it) in the wake of anti-Gorbachev’s military putsch in Moscow (mis)using the political situation of paralyzed central government in the country. The state’s independence of Ukraine was proclaimed and later internationally recognized within the borders of a Greater Stalin-Khrushchev’s Ukraine with at least 20% of the ethic Russian population living in a compact area in the eastern part of the country and as well as making a qualified (2/3) majority of Crimea’s population. The coming years saw the rifts with neighbouring Russia with the main political task by Kiev to commit as possible as the Ukrainization (assimilation) of ethnic Russians (similar to the policy of the Croatization of ethnic Serbs in Croatia orchestrated by the neo-Nazi government in Zagreb led by Dr. Franjo Tuđman). At the same time the Russian majority in Crimea constantly required the peninsula’s reunification with mother Russia but getting only an autonomous status within Ukraine – a country which they never considered as their natural-historical homeland. The Russians of Ukraine were becoming more and more unsatisfied with conditions in which they have been leaving from the time when in 1998−2001 the Ukrainian taxation system collapsed what meant that the central government in Kiev was not able to pay the salaries and pensions to its own citizens. A very weak Ukrainian state became in fact unable to function normally (“failed state”) and as a consequence it did not have a power to prevent a series of politically motivated assassinations followed by popular protests which had been also very much inspired by economic decline of the country [on history of Ukraine and the Ukrainians, see more and compare with: Andrew Wilson, The Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation, New Heaven: Yale University Press, 2009; Serhii Plokhy, The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine, New York: Basic Books, 2015; Anna Reid, Borderland: A Journey Through the History of Ukraine, New York: Basic Books, 2015].

As a matter of fact, it has to be stressed that the Ukrainian historiography on their own history of the land and the people is extremely nationalistic and in very cases not objective like many other national historiographies. It is basically politically coloured with the main task to present the Ukrainians as a natural ethnolinguistic nation who have been historically fighting to create a united independent national state and unjustifiably claiming certain territories to be ethnohistorically the “Ukrainian”. As a typical example of such tendency to rewrite history of the East Europe according to the nationalistic and politically correct framework is, for instance, the book by Serhy Jekelčyk on the birth of a modern Ukrainian nation in which, among other quasi-historical facts based on the self-interpreted events, is written that the USSR in 1939−1940 annexed from Poland and Romania the “West Ukrainian land” [Serhy Jekelčyk, Ukraina: Modernios nacijos gimimas, Vilnius: Baltos lankos, 2009, 17]. However, this “West Ukrainian land” never was part of any kind of Ukraine before the WWII as Ukraine as a state or administrative province never existed before V. I. Lenin created in 1923 a Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine within the USSR but at that time without the “West Ukrainian land” as it was not a part of the USSR. Moreover, the Ukrainians were either not leaving or being just minority on this land what means that Ukraine even did not have ethnic rights over the biggest part of the “West Ukraine”. Even today around half of Ukraine’s state’s territory is not populated by the Ukrainians as a majority of the population. Moreover, in some regions there are no Ukrainians at all. Therefore, the cardinal question became: On which principles the Ukrainian borders are formed?

Ukraine_historical_vs_electoral_19941How historical parts of Ukraine voted in 1994 Presidential elections

As another example of the Ukrainian historiographic nationalistic misleading we can find in an academic brochure on Bukovina’s Metropolitan’s residence, published in 2007 by the National University of Chernivtsi. In the brochure is written that this university is “…one of the oldest classical universities of Ukraine” [The Architecturial Complex of Bukovynian Metropolitan’s Residence, Chernivtsi: Yuriy Fedkovych National University of Chernivtsi, 2007, 31] that is true only from the present-day rough political perspective but not and from a moral-historic point of view.  Namely, the university is located in the North Bukovina which in 1775 the Habsburg Monarchy had obtained. The land was from 1786 administrated within the Chernivtsi district of Galicia and one hundred years after the affiliation of Bukovina to the monarchy, the Franz-Josephs-Universität was inaugurated on October 4th, 1875 (the name day of the emperor). In the other words, the university’s origin as whole Bukovina has nothing to do with any kind of both historical Ukraine and ethnic Ukrainians as before 1940 it was outside of administrative territory of Ukraine when the whole North Bukovina on August 13th, became annexed by the USSR according to the Hitler-Stalin Pact (or the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact) signed on August 23rd, 1939 [Ibid.]. Therefore, two notorious bandits (one Nazi another Bolshevik) decided to transfer the North Bukovina to the USSR and the land became after the WWII part of a Greater (Stalin’s) Ukrainian SSR. Nevertheless, while the Ukrainian nationalists claim that “Russia” (in fact anti-Russian USSR) occupied Ukraine, the annexation of the North Bukovina and other territories from Poland, Czechoslovakia and Romania in 1940 are for them a legitimate act of historical justice. Here we have to notice that according to the same pact, the territories of the independent states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are as well as annexed by the USSR that is considered by their historians and politicians as “occupation”, what means (illegal) act of aggression that is braking international law and legitimate order. Nevertheless, they never accused Ukraine of doing the same in regard to occupied lands from its three western neighbours in 1940/1944 [see, for instance: Priit Raudkivi, Estonian History in Pictures, Tallinn: Eesti Instituut, 2004 (without numeration of the pages); Arūnas Gumuliauskas, Lietuvos istorija (1795−2009), Šiauliai: Lucilijus, 2010, 279−295].

lt

Republic of Both Nations (Poland-Lithuania) before 1657 (source Wikipedia)

Political assimilation of certain separate Slavonic ethnolinguistic groups in Ukraine was and is one of the standardized instruments for the creation and maintaining of the Ukrainian national identity in the 20th century. The most brutal case is of the Ruthenians (Rusyns) who are simply proclaimed as historical Ukrainians known under such name till the WWII. Their land, which was in the interwar period part of Czechoslovakia, that was annexed by the USSR at the end of the WWII and included into a Greater Soviet Ukraine is simply renamed from Ruthenia into the Sub-Carpathian Ukraine. However, the Ruthenians and the Ukrainians are two separate Slavonic ethnolinguistic groups as such officially recognized, for example, in Serbia’s Autonomous Province of Vojvodina where the Ruthenian (Rusyn) language is even standardized and studied together with Ruthenian philology and literature at a separate department at the University of Novi Sad. Unfortunately, the Ruthenian position in Ukraine is even worst in comparison with the Kurdish position in Turkey as the process of Ruthenian assimilation is much speeder than of the Kurdish case.

From the current perspective of the Ukrainian crisis and in general from the point of solving the “Ukrainian Question” it has to be noticed a very historical fact that a part of the present-day East Ukraine became legally incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1654 as a consequence of the decision by the local hetman of Zaporozhian territory Bohdan Khmelnytsky (c. 1595−1657) based on a popular revolt against the Polish-Lithuanian (the Roman Catholic) occupation of Ukraine which broke out in 1648 [Alfredas Bumblauskas, Senosios Lietuvos istorija, 1009−1795, Vilnius: R. Paknio leidykla, 2007, 306; Jevgenij Anisimov, Rusijos istorija nuo Riuriko iki Putino: Žmonės. Įvykiai. Datos, Vilnius: Mokslo ir enciklopedijų leidybos centras, 2014, 185−186]. It means that the core of the present-day Ukraine voluntarily joined Russia, therefore escaping from the Roman Catholic Polish-Lithuanian oppression. Subsequently, B. Khmelnytsky’s ruled territory has to be considered from a historical point of view as the motherland of all present-day Ukraine – the motherland which already in 1654 chose Russia.

IMG_20160218_162405Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic

Mykolas Romeris University

Faculty of Politics and Management

Institute of Political Sciences

Vilnius, Lithuania

www.global-politics.eu

globalpol@global-politics.eu

© Vladislav B. Sotirovic 2016

ukraine_map_region_vote

Clinton Plans to Destroy Russia

Putin to Obama

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 Muhammed bin Salman al-Saud, and the Emir of Qatar.

This operation came out into public view only briefly when the news site Zero Hedge headlined on 6 October 2015 «Saudi Clerics Call For Jihad Against Russia, Iran» and linked to a number of sources, including to a Wall Street Journal report the day before, which simply ignored the Saudi involvement and headlined «US Sees Russian Drive Against CIA-Backed Rebels in Syria», as if this matter were merely a US-vs-Russia issue, not an issue involving the Saud family at all. By contrast, the Zero Hedge article closed with «‘This is a real war on Sunnis, their countries and their identities,’ said the statement [by the International Union of Muslim Scholars, which is based in Qatar, whose ruling family, the Thanis, work closely with the Saud family]. It urged the rebels to join a ‘jihad against the enemy of God and your enemy, and Muslims will back you every way they can.’» As a British news-site for jihadists put the matter«According to experts, by issuing this statement they seek to encourage Saudi, Gulf, and Muslim youths to fight against Russian forces, similar to the recruitment of young fighters during the Afghan-Soviet war». (That joint US-Saudi operation, which was assisted by the Pakistani military and by Pakistan’s heavily-Saudi-influenced Islamic clergy, was the brainchild of Saudi Prince Bandar and of the born Polish aristocrat Zbigniew Brzezinski, and its success at breaking up the Soviet Union is an enduring topic of pride for today’s jihadists.) On 5 October 2015, the British mainstream ‘news’ site Reuters had called these «Saudi opposition clerics», and alleged that they «are not affiliated with the government», but Reuters’s statement (especially that these were «Saudi opposition clerics») was simply false, and even ridiculously false, likely an outright lie, because Saudi laws don’t allow any «opposition clerics», especially not Islamic ones, since those would be executed for publicly questioning the legitimacy of the country’s rule by the royal Saud family, which is what an «opposition cleric» in Saudi Arabia would, by definition, be doing, if any of them existed there and hadn’t been executed yet. The pretense, by Reuters, that Saudi Arabia is a religious-freedom country, is an insult to their readership, but this falsehood helps to keep their readership thinking that somehow the West can be allied with the Sauds and yet still call itself ‘democratic’ and allied only with ‘democratic’ governments, not with some of the world’s worst tyrannies. Realism in foreign affairs (such as to acknowledge that some of the world’s worst regimes are our government’s allies) is fine, but it can’t include lying to one’s own public, because that necessarily entails misinforming the voters on the basis of which any actual democracy receives its very legitimacy as being a democracy, which seems less and less what countries such as the US and UK are, at least after 9/11. A «democracy» and a «deceived public» cannot coexist in the same country – and, at least in the United States, a deceived public is what predominantly exists (as a consequence of a deceiving ‘news’ media).

At http://www.whois.com/whois/clintonemail.com, one learns that «Creation Date: 2009-01-13T05:00:00Z», meaning Hillary Clinton had set up her privatized State Department email operation on January 13th of 2009, six days prior to becoming the US Secretary of State.

Here is the operation that has been led by the Bush-Clinton-Obama-Saud-Thani alliance:

The first two exhibits are:

https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/emailid/28723

SAUD

From: Jeffrey Feltman To: Hillary Clinton Date: 2011-02-20 08:36 Subject: SAUD

UNCLASSIFIED US Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05778064 Date: 09/30/2015  RELEASE IN PART B1,B5,1.4(D)  From: Feltman, Jeffrey D<feltmanjd@state.gov> Sent: Sunday, February 20, 2011 3:36 PM H; Sullivan, JacobJ; HumaAbedin To: Subject: RE:Saud Yes, I agree – Bill should call. That’s a good idea. He can brief on your call with Saud. ■  B5  Original Message From: H [mailto:HDR22@clintonemail.com] Sent: Sunday, February 20, 2011 3:34 PM To: Feltman, Jeffrey 0; Sullivan, Jacob J; Huma Abedin Subject: Saud  1.4(D) B1 Also, Bill knows the CP [Crown Prince, now Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud] very well and wants to call and offer support. Is that ok?  Classified by DAS, A/GIS, DoS on 09/30/2015 – Class: CONFIDENTIAL – Reason: 1.4(D) – Declassify on: 02/19/2036

https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/emailid/28733

SAUD

From: Jeffrey Feltman To: Jake Sullivan Date: 2011-02-20 08:38 Subject: SAUD

UNCLASSIFIED US Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05778115 Date: 09/30/2015 RELEASE IN PART B1,B5,1.4(D) From: Feltman, Jeffrey D <feltmanjd@state.gov> Sent: Sunday, February 20, 2011 3:38 PM To: H; Sullivan, Jacob J; Huma Abedin Subject: RE: Saud I apologize for the last note clearly the Secretary meant President Clinton! When I hear «Bill» in a State Department e-mail, I think P. not a President! B5 Original Message From: H [mailto:HDR22@clintonemail.com] Sent: Sunday, February 20, 2011 3:34 PM To: Feltman, Jeffrey D; Sullivan, Jacob 1; Huma Abedin Subject: Saud 1.4(D) B1 Also, Bill knows the CP [Crown Prince] very well and wants to call and offer support. Is that ok? Classified by DAS, A/GIS, DoS on 09/30/2015 – Class: CONFIDENTIAL – Reason: 1.4(D) – Declassify on: 02/19/2036

These were two of the emails that the State Department marked «Confidential» after Hillary’s blatantly illegal (but not even investigated by the FBI) privatized State Department email operation became public, and both emails were then rated by the State Department as being appropriate to declassify only on 19 February 2036. Both of them demonstrate that while Hillary was Secretary of State, her husband, «Bill», was very actively assisting her «diplomacy». Both notes are from Jeffrey Feltman, who subsequently became prominently mentioned by the US State Department’s Victoria Nuland when Nuland told the US Ambassador in Kiev, on 4 February 2014, just 18 days prior to her coup that overthrew the democratically elected President of Ukraine, and 22 days prior to installation of the Russia-hating Arseniy Yatsenyuk to lead the US interim dictatorship there, the following:

Exhibit #3:

Victoria Nuland: I think Yats is the guy who’s got the economic experience, the governing experience. He’s the – What he needs is Klitsch and Tyahnybok on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week, you know. I just think Klitsch going in, he’s going to be at that level working for Yatseniuk, it’s just not going to work.

Geoffrey Pyatt: Yeah, no, I think that’s right. OK. Good. Do you want us to set up a call with him as the next step?

Victoria Nuland: My understanding from that call – but you tell me – was that the big three were going into their own meeting and that Yats was going to offer in that context a three-plus-one conversation or three-plus-two with you. Is that not how you understood it?

Pyatt: No. I think – I mean that’s what he proposed but I think, just knowing the dynamic that’s been with them where Klitschko has been the top dog, he’s going to take a while to show up for whatever meeting they’ve got and he’s probably talking to his guys at this point, so I think you reaching out directly to him helps with the personality management among the three and it gives you also a chance to move fast on all this stuff and put us behind it before they all sit down and he explains why he doesn’t like it.

Nuland: OK, good. I’m happy. Why don’t you reach out to him and see if he wants to talk before or after.

Pyatt: OK, will do. Thanks.

Nuland: OK, one more wrinkle for you Geoff. I can’t remember if I told you this, or if I only told Washington this, that when I talked to Jeff Feltman [who had, in 2011, been in Hillary’s State Department, but was now the U.N.’s Under Secretary-General – immediately under Ban ki-Moon – for Political Affairs] this morning, he had a new name for the U.N. guy Robert Serry did I write you that this morning?…

In other words, Feltman, who had been central in the operation to overthrow one leader who was friendly toward Russia, Assad (to replace him there by jihadists); was now prominently involved also in the operation to overthrow another leader friendly toward Russia, Yanukovych (to replace him there by Nazis) (and Russia, of course, cannot tolerate either jihadists or Nazis, so it tries to eliminate both). (And, on 21 November 2014, the US was one of only 3 countries at the U.N. voting against a resolution to condemn resurgent Nazism and holocaust-denial. The new, Nazi, Americanized, Ukraine, was another of the three internationally pro-Nazi regimes.)

In exhibits 1 and 2, Feltman’s counsel has been sought by Hillary regarding whether she should receive Bill’s assistance in setting up a discussion with «Saud», who might have been King Saud, or else it was his #2, the Crown Prince, whom Bill personally knew.

It’s important to note that Exhibits 1 and 2 are from 20 February 2011, which was right before the demonstrations started against the Syrian secular regime of Bashar al-Assad.

Wikipedia’s article «Syrian Civil War» says «The protests began on 15 March 2011,» and so those two exhibits, both dated 20 February 2011, predated the «protests» in Syria by exactly 23 days.

Килларз Цлинтон

Exhibit #4:

https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/emailid/21376

QATAR

 From: Jeffrey Feltman To: Jake Sullivan Date: 2010-09-08 13:06 Subject: QATAR  

UNCLASSIFIED US Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05772230 Date: 11/30/2015  RELEASE IN PART B5  From: Feltman, Jeffrey D <feltmanjd@state.gov> Sent: Thursday, September 9, 2010 8:06 PM To: Sullivan, Jacob J; H  Subject: Re: Qatar   Topics covered: Jeffrey Feltman  Original Message  From: Sullivan, Jacob I To: ‘H’ <hdr22@clintonemail.com>; Feltman, Jeffrey D Sent: Thu Sep 09 19:19:41 2010  Subject: RE: Qatar  Scheduled it and made it. I’ll give you the readout in the morning.  Original Message From: H Emailto:HDR22@clintonemail.com]  Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2010 7:19 PM To: Feltman, Jeffrey D Cc: Sullivan, JacobJ  Subject: Qatar

The leaders of Qatar are its owners, the Thani royal family, who are the main funders of the Muslim Brotherhood, and who have long wanted to overthrow the secular Assad and to replace him with a fundamentalist Sunni leader like themselves. Feltman here, on 9 September 2010, was informing Hillary (and her chief counselor, Jake Sullivan), that a meeting had been set up, concerning Qatar, which is a key funder of the tens of thousands of jihadists who have since entered Syria to overthrow and replace Assad. On 3 September 2010, Hillary had sent an email to Jake Sullivan, whose subject-line was «Emir of Qatar» (Qatar’s king) and it said only «Let’s discuss when I get in». Then, on 14 September 2010, Hillary received an email whose subject line was «SHEIKHA MOSA OF QATAR» (that’s the Emir’s wife) and it was a note from Cheri Blair (Tony Blair’s wife, a friend of both Hillary and her) saying, «She is available to see you on 24 September either morning or afternoon? Alternatively, 28th or 29th September Does that work for you?» The main subject of the conversation was to be the drought in the Arabic countries. That drought was especially intense in Syria.

The background behind those public demonstrations against the Assad regime is important. As Grist reported, regarding the record drought in Syria, on 16 January 2010:

«Prices are soaring and supplies are becoming scarce – not merely because of international demand, but because of drought and agricultural water scarcity triggered by global climate change. The same climate-driven pressures are affecting the survival of the Halaby pepper and its traditional farmers near Aleppo, Syria. In the past three years, 160 Syrian farming villages have been abandoned near Aleppo as crop failures have forced over 200,000 rural Syrians to leave for the cities. This news is distressing enough, but when put into a long-term perspective, its implications are staggering: many of these villages have been continuously farmed for 8000 years. As one expert puts it, this may be the worst long-term drought and most severe set of crop failures since agricultural civilizations began in the Fertile Crescent many millennia ago».

A wikileaked US State Department cable, which was dated «11/25/2018» but without the typo was actually originated on 25 November 2008 (near the end of the G.W. Bush Presidency), had been sent from the US Embassy in Syria, to the US Secretary of State and to several US Embassies, and it conveyed the Syrian government’s urgent appeal for drought-assistance:

Exhibit #5:

Representative Abdullah Bin Yehia is seeking USG commitment to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2008 Drought Appeal. Yehia proposes to use money from the appeal to provide seed and technical assistance to 15,000 small-holding farmers in northeast Syria in an effort to preserve the social and economic fabric of this rural, agricultural community.

The US did not respond. This appeal fell to US Secretary of State Clinton to respond to, and she (and her Department) ignored it. They knew that Syria was in perhaps the most likely condition ever, to undergo massive civilian protests, even if the rest of the Arabic lands were not quite so much. What, then, was, to the Syrian government, a global appeal for help, was, to the US government, an opportunity to topple and replace, with imported US and Saudi and Thani backed jihadists, the existing, non-sectarian, ideologically secular, Syrian government, to replace it with jihadists who would be grateful to the Sauds and Thanis and the US aristocrats, for installing them into power there. Then, the US and its fundamentalist-Sunni royal allies, could fulfill on their goal, ever since 1949, to replace Syria’s secular government with a sectarian, specifically fundamentalist-Sunni, one, which would allow the US and its oil companies to pipeline Saudi oil and Thani gas into the world’s largest energy-market, Europe, displacing Europe’s current biggest supplier, Russia.

Furthermore, Hillary Clinton has, on at least two different occasions, lied and said that the initial insertion of jihadists into Afghanistan started after the Soviets had «invaded Afghanistan» – something that actually happened on 24 December 1979, after the US-Saudi-Pakistani operation had already been officially authorized by US President Jimmy Carter on 3 July 1979, following the advice of Brzezinski, who won out over the advice of Secretary of State Cyrus Vance. Here’s Brzezinski speaking about that, in 1998 (long before both of Hillary’s televised lies to the contrary about this, while she was the US Secretary of State):

Exhibit #6:

According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahiddin began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan on December 24, 1979. But the reality, closely guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

And here is Brzezinski himself, in Pakistan, in 1979, recruiting jihadists to start the modern jihadist wave – the wave he’s proud of, notwithstanding the 1993 jihadist bombing of the World Trade Center, which had already resulted from it.

Of course, Brzezinski and President Carter in 1979, were fighting to end the Soviet Union; that’s very different than what has happened at the top level of the US government after the USSR ended in 1991, because all since 1991 is psychopathic aggression against Russia, and has no ideological justification whatsoever. Brzezinski is still part of that operation, but only as a cheerleader for it. The Bushes, Clintons, and Obama, are the operative culprits in this psychopathic aggression, first to surround Russian with hostile forces, and then to strangle Russia’s economy, and then to blame Russia for ‘aggression’ when it takes essential defensive action against the West’s aggression – such as NATO’s expansion right up to Russia’s very borders.

By Eric Zuesse

Source: http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/08/31/clinton-plans-destroy-russia.html

Hilary djubre

Vladimir Putin Is The Only Leader The West Has

23047771902_50daf36d77_b_Vladimir-Putin

A Reuters news report under the names of presstitutes Robin Emmott and Sabine Siebold shows how devoid the West is of honest, intelligent and responsible journalists and government officials. http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-nato-summit-idUKKCN0ZN2NN
First we will examine the dishonesty or incompetence of the reporters and then that of Western government officials.

Emmott and Siebold describe NATO as a “Western defense alliance.” Since the Clinton regime NATO has been an alliance for waging offensive war, a war crime under the Nuremberg rules established by the United States. Under the NATO banner a number of countries have been bombed, invaded, and had their governments overthrown by Washington acting under the cover of NATO.

These destroyed countries posed no threat whatsoever to the countries of the NATO alliance and undertook no aggressive actions against NATO members. How is it possible that Reuters’ reporters and editors are not aware of this? Why do they call an instrument of Washington’s aggression a “defense alliance”?

Emmott and Siebold report that “Russian aggression” is the reason NATO is deploying 3,000 to 4,000 troops in the Baltic states and Poland. In other words, something that does not exist–Russian aggression toward the Baltics and Poland–is assumed to be a fact that must be countered with military deployments.

The reporters do not question whether this insignificant number of NATO troops constitutes a defense or a provocation. The number of troops would have to be 100 times greater before the force even begins to approach a defensive force. What then is the purpose of the 3,000 or 4,000 NATO troops?

Every informed person knows that there is no need of a defense force against Russia in the Baltics and Poland. Aside from this fact, only an absolute idiot could think that three or four thousand troops constitutes a defense against the Russian Army. In June 1941 Operation Barbarossa hit Russia with an invasion of four million troops, the majority German component of which were probably the most highly trained and disciplined troops in military history, excepting only the Spartans. By the time that the Americans and British got around to the Normandy invasion, the Russian Army had chewed up the Wehrmacht. There were only a few divisions at 40% strength to resist the Normandy invasion. By the time the Russian Army got to Berlin, the German resistance consisted of armed children.

The Reuters reporters raise no question about President Obama’s statement that 1,000 of this insignificant force will be Americans in order “to enhance our forward presence in central and eastern Europe.” Why does the United States need a “forward presence” in central and eastern Europe? What does a US “forward presence” in central and eastern Europe represent except an insane recklessness? One thousand US troops are good for nothing except a provocation.

Emmott and Siebold report with a straight face without laughter or question unverifiable accusations of Russian aggression by White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski, President Obama, and head of NATO’s military committee, Czech General Petr Pavel.

Gen. Pavel “said Russia was attempting to restore its status as a world power, an effort that included using its military.”

Obama said it is necessary to “keep sanctions on Moscow in place until it fully complies with the ceasefire agreement in Ukraine.”

Waszczykowski said: “We have to reject any type of wishful thinking with regard to pragmatic cooperation with Russia as long as Russia keeps on invading its neighbors.”

Rhodes threatened Russia with a NATO response to Russia’s “continued aggression.”

These statements are propagandistic. If those who made the statements actually believe them, they are too imbecilic to be trusted with public offices.

Is it possible that the Czech general does not know that Russia has used its military only to repel a Washington-inspired Georgian invasion of South Ossetia and against ISIS in Syria, which the US, UK, and France also claim to be doing? After repelling the Georgian invasion, Russia withdrew its forces. After dealing ISIS a setback in Syria, Russia withdrew and was forced to return by Washington’s resupply of ISIS.

Can the Polish Foreign Minister identify the countries that “Russia keeps on invading”?

Does the President of the United States really not know that Russia is not a party to the ceasefire agreement in Ukraine? This is an agreement between the breakaway republics and the government in Kiev. Washington has done everything possible to discourage Kiev from keeping the agreement Kiev signed.

Can National Security Adviser Rhodes tell us where “continued aggression by Russia” is occurring? What countries are being invaded and overrun?

How can there be so much Russian aggression and no evidence of it?

Recently, President Putin dressed down to their faces the Western media whores who are fanning the flames of World War III by repeating without question Washington’s propagandistic lies. These lies are reckless. They endanger all life on planet Earth.

During my lifetime, American presidents worked to reduce tensions between the two major nuclear powers. JFK worked with Khrushchev to defuse the dangerous situation arising from the placement of US missiles in Turkey and, in response, the placement of Russian missiles in Cuba.

Путин Меркел Обама

President Nixon brought forth SALT I, the strategic arms limitation treaty, and the ABM Treaty.

President Carter crafted SALT II.

President Reagan negotiated with Gorbachev the end of the Cold War, the most promising achievement of the 20th century.

The Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes have done everything possible to raise the tensions between nuclear powers to heights beyond those of the most dangerous days of the Cold War.

The evil Clinton regime broke the word of the government of the United States, thereby destroying the honor of the US government, by taking NATO to Russia’s borders.

The evil George W. Bush regime pulled the US out of the ABM Treaty and rewrote US war doctrine in order to elevate nuclear weapons from a retaliatory weapon to a first strike weapon. This insane act put the Russians on notice.

The evil Obama regime intends to place nuclear missiles on Russia’s borders in Poland and Romania and engineered a coup in Ukraine with the intent of depriving Russia of its Black Sea naval base in Crimea, Russia’s only warm water port.

Faced with a Russophobic Washington-installed government in Ukraine, the Russian population in Crimea, a Russian province since the 1700s, voted practically unanimously to rejoin Russia, where Crimea had resided until Khrushchev reassigned the Russian province to Ukraine in the mid 20th century. The Russian government’s acceptance of the wishes of its own people were propagandistically misrepresented by Washington and the presstitutes as “Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea.” This lie is where the myth of “Russian invasion” came from. Russian military forces were already present in Crimea, because when Russia granted independence to Ukraine, Russia retained a long-term lease on the Russian naval base in Crimea. As all international observers testified, the vote was independent of the Russian military presence.

The White House Fool said that the vote in Crimea was meaningless because all of Ukraine did not get to vote. The Fool was too ignorant to know that by this laughable charge he discredited the American Revolution because the British people didn’t get to vote. For the precise same reason that The Fool wants Crimea returned to Kiev, the US must be returned to Britain. I doubt that the British would have us. Who wants a war criminal nation drowning in its own hubris?

The world is now faced with the prospect that insouciant Americans will elect a crazed and incompetent criminal or semi-criminal as their president, a person who has declared the President of Russia to be “the new Hitler.” The stupid bitch’s statement is a declaration of nuclear war, and this dangerous, reckless, incompetent, careless person has been selected by the Democratic Party as the next POTUS !!!

The ignorance and stupidity of the American people will destroy the world.

Little wonder that Vladimir Putin, the only responsible world leader other than the president of China, is desperate that the Western media understand that their irresponsible negligence to the truth is helping Washington drive the world to nuclear war.

Putin does not want war. He is doing everything in his power to avoid it. But Putin is not going to surrender Russia to Washington. The trip-point of World War III will be the installation of Washington’s missiles in Poland and Romania. As Putin recently made clear to the imbecilic Western journalists, these missiles can easily and secretly be changed from anti-ballistic missiles to nuclear attack missiles that can strike their Russian targets within 5 or fewer minutes of launch, thus depriving Russia of its retaliatory deterrent. Once these missiles are in place, Washington can issue orders to Russia.

Whatever the evil men and women in Washington who are gambling with the life of the planet think, Russia is not going to accept these missiles.

Where does world leadership reside? In Washington, the war criminal capital of the world that is driving the world to nuclear war, or in Russia whose leadership accepts countless affronts and provocations in an effort to avoid war?

11-06-2016

About the author:

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West, How America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

Source: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/07/11/paul-craig-roberts-vladimir-putin-is-the-only-leader-the-west-has-if-we-do-not-support-him-washington-will-destroy-life-on-earth/

Чачкање мечке

Who Are The Ukrainians?

11299551416_82c691f444_b_KievUkraine 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 broad ideology which can be easily transformed into political movement that became the case, for instance, exactly with the Ukrainian self-imagined ethnonational identity. Acting politically, in principle by all means, on behalf of its own nation usually encompass pretty much a large scale of political ideas and practices including and ethnic cleansing or/and genocide on particular other national groups that happened, for example, in the WWII Ukraine when the Poles, Russians, Jews and Gypsies (Roma) experienced the genocide committed by the Ukrainian Nazi-Fascist nationalists (the Banderists). banderistas-ukraine

The 2014 Euromaidan protesters in Kiev with the picture of Stepan Bandera – a leader of the WWII Nazi-Fascist movement in Ukraine

 Before 2014 Ukraine was a home of some 45 million inhabitants of whom, according to the official data, there were around 77 percent of those who declared themselves as the Ukrainians. Nevertheless, many Russians do not consider the Ukrainians or the Belarus as “foreign” but rather as the regional branches of the Russian nationality. It is a matter of fact that, differently to the Russian case, the national identity of the Belarus or the Ukrainians was never firmly fixed as it was always in the constant process of changing and evolving.[ii] The process of self-constructing identity of the Ukrainians after 1991 is basically oriented vis-à-vis Ukraine’s two most powerful neighbours: Poland and Russia. In the other words, the self-constructing Ukrainian identity (like the Montenegrin or the Belarus) is able so far just to claim that the Ukrainians are not both the Poles or the Russians but what they really are is of a great and endless debate. Therefore, an existence of an independent state of Ukraine, nominally as a national state of the Ukrainians, is of a very doubt indeed from the both historical and ethnolinguistic perspectives.

The Slavonic term Ukraine, for instance, in the Serbo-Croat case Krajina, means in the English language a Borderland – a provincial territory situated on the border between at least two political entities: in this particular historical case, between the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania as the Republic of Both Nations (1569−1795) and the Russian Empire.[iii] The term is mostly used from the time of the treaty (truce) of Andrussovo in 1667 between these two states. In the other words, Ukraine and the Ukrainians as a natural objective-historical-cultural identity never existed as it was considered only as a geographic-political territory between two other natural-historical entities (Poland and Russia). All (quasi)historiographic mentioning of this land and the people as Ukraine/Ukrainians referring to the period before the mid-17th century are quite scientifically incorrect but, however, in many (pro)Western academic writing cases it is politically inspired and coloured with the purpose to present them as something crucially different from the historical process of ethnic genesis of the Russians.[iv]

Historically speaking, it was a Roman Catholic Vatican that was in fact beyond the process of creation of the “imagined community” of the Ukrainian national identity for the very confessional-political purpose to separate the people from this borderland territory from the Orthodox Russian Empire. Absolutely the same, as a matter of comparison, was done by Vatican’s client-state Austria-Hungary in regard to the national identity of Bosnian-Herzegovinian population when this province was administered by Vienna-Budapest from 1878 to 1918 as it was the Austria-Hungarian government who created totally artificial and very new ethnolinguistic identity – the Bosnians, just not to be the (Christian Orthodox) Serbs, who were at that time a strong majority of the provincial population.[v] Therefore, to be a Bosnian meant not to be a Serb with a final consequence to become a Roman Catholic what means the Croat. Similarly, in the case of Ukraine, to be a Ukrainian means primarily not to be a Christian Orthodox Russian.

A creation of ethnolinguistically artificial Ukrainian national identity and later on a separate nationality was a part of a wider confessional-political project by Vatican in the Roman Catholic historical struggle against the Eastern Orthodox Christianity (the Eastern “schism”) and its churches within the framework of Pope’s traditional proselytizing policy of reconversion of the “infidels”. One of the most successful instruments of a soft-way reconversion used by Vatican was to compel a part of the Orthodox population to sign a Union Act with the Roman Catholic Church and recognizing at such a way a supreme power by the Pope and dogmatic filioque (“and from the Son” – the Holy Spirit proceeds and from the Father and from the Son). Therefore, the ex-Orthodox believers who now became the Uniate Brothers or the Greek Orthodox believers became in a great number later on a pure Roman Catholics who as well as changed their original (from the Christian Orthodox time) ethnolinguistic identity. It is, for instance, very clear in the case of the Christian Orthodox Serbs in Zhumberak area of Croatia who passed way from the Christian Orthodox Serbs to the Greek Christian Orthodox believers but later became the Roman Catholics and finally today are the Croats. Something similar occurred and in the case of Ukraine. On October 9th, 1596, it was announced by Vatican a Brest Union with a part of the Orthodox population within the borders of the Roman Catholic Lithuanian-Polish Commonwealth (today Ukraine).[vi] The crucial issue in this matter is that today Ukraine’s Uniates and the Roman Catholics are mostly anti-Russian oriented having at the same time strong Ukrainian national feelings. Basically, both the Ukrainian and the Belarus present-day ethnolinguistic and national identities are historically founded on the anti-Christian Orthodox policy of Vatican within the territory of ex-Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth that was in essence an anti-Russian policy.

The Lithuanian historiography writing on the Church Union of Brest in 1596 clearly confirms that:

“… the Catholic Church more and more strongly penetrated the zone of the Orthodox Church, giving a new impetus to the idea, which had been cherished since the time of Jogaila and Vytautas and formulated in the principles of the Union of Florence in 1439, but never put into effect – the subordination of the GDL Orthodox Church to the Pope’s rule”.[vii]

In the other words, the rulers of the Roman Catholic Grand Duchy of Lithuania (the GDL) from the very time of Lithuania’s baptizing in 1387−1413 by Vatican had a plan to Catholicize all Orthodox believers of the GDL among whom overwhelming majority were the Slavs. As a consequence, the relations with Moscow became very hostile as Russia accepted a role of the protector of the Christian Orthodox believers and faith and therefore the Church Union of Brest was seen as a criminal act by Rome and its client-state of the Republic of Two Nations (Poland-Lithuania).

Today, it is absolutely clear that the most pro-Western and anti-Russian part of Ukraine is exactly the West Ukraine – the lands that was historically under the rule by the Roman Catholic ex-Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and later on by the former Habsburg Monarchy (Austria-Hungary). It is obvious, for instance, from the presidential elections voting results in 2010 as the pro-Western regions voted for Y. Tymoshenko while the pro-Russian regions of the East Ukraine did it for V. Yanukovych. It is a reflection of the post-Soviet Ukrainian identity dilemma between Europe and Eurasia – a dilemma that is of common nature for all Central and East European nations who historically played a role of a buffer zone between the German Mittel Europa project and the Russian project of a pan-Slavonic unity and reciprocity.

The fact is that the western territories of the present-day Ukraine are mainly populated by the Roman Catholics, the East Orthodox and the Uniates. This part of Ukraine is mostly nationalistic and politically pro-Western oriented. The East Ukraine is in essence a Russophone territory and subsequently “tends to look to closer relations with Russia”.[viii] By Vatican policy of signing the union with the Christian Orthodox believers in the present-day West Ukraine from 1596 the necessary preconditions for de-Russification and Ukrainization of the local inhabitants were founded. At the course of time, as a consequence of such policy by the Roman Catholic Church, Ukraine became sharply divided by confession, national feelings, economic development, linguistic identity and geopolitical orientation to such extent that Ukraine today is an example of the “failed state”.[ix] By scholarly definition, “a failed state is a state that is unable to perform its key role of ensuring domestic order by monopolizing the use of force within its territory”.[x] ukr

The 1994 Presidential election results in Ukraine according to historical regions 

According to the 2001 census, out of Ukraine’s 45 mill. inhabitants, 17,3 percent were the Russians but 30 percent were speaking the Russian language. Subsequently, a great part of those who identified themselves as the Ukrainians recognized that their native language is, in fact, the Russian. In addition, there were 83 percent of Ukraine’s inhabitants in 2008 for whom the Russian was a chosen language as a lingua franca. There is as well as a mixture of the Russian language and the Ukrainian language with a predominant Russian vocabulary spoken at the countryside – the Surzhik.[xi]

The Ukrainian authorities up today did not properly solve the problem of the official language in the country as it is officially fixed to be the Ukrainian that is spoken in the western regions of the country while the Russian is spoken in the eastern provinces of Ukraine and even used as a lingua franca by majority of the population. Therefore, an official bilingualism would be a matter of a real solution of many current ethnopolitical problems in Ukraine. If Belgium can be officially bilingual state, there is no any obstacle for Ukraine to be the same.

Endnotes:

[i] Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, Revised edition, London: Verso, 2016.

[ii] On the Ukrainian self-identity construction, see [Karina V. Korostelina, Constructing the Narratives of Identity and Power: Self-Imagination in a Young Ukrainian Nation, Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2014].

[iii] A German historical term for Ukraine would be a mark – a term for the state’s borderland which existed from the time of the Frankish Kingdom/Empire of Carl the Great.

[iv] For instance, Alfredas Bumblauskas, Genutė Kirkienė, Feliksas Šabuldo (sudarytojai), Ukraina: Lietuvos epocha, 1320−1569, Vilnius: Mokslo ir enciklopedijų leidybos centras, 2010.

[v] Лазо М. Костић, Наука утврђује народност Б-Х муслимана, Србиње−Нови Сад: Добрица књига, 2000.

[vi] Arūnas Gumuliauskas, Lietuvos istorija: Įvykiai ir datos, Šiauliai: Šiaures Lietuva, 2009, 44; Didysis istorijos atlasas mokyklai: Nuo pasaulio ir Lietuvos priešistorės iki naujausiųjų laikų, Vilnius: Leidykla Briedis, (without year of publishing), 108.

[vii] Zigmantas Kiaupa et al, The History of Lithuania Before 1795, Vilnius: Lithuanian Institute of History, 2000, 288.

[viii] John S. Dryzek, Leslie Templeman Holmes, Post-Communist Democratization: Political Discourses Across Thirteen Countries, Cambridge−New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002, 114.

[ix] Зоран Милошевић, „Друштвени процеси у самосталној Украјини“, Радови, Филозофски факултет, Источно Сарајево, 2005, 289.

[x] Andrew Heywood, Global Politics, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001, 121.

[xi] Срђан Перишић, Нова геополитика Русије, Београд: Медија центар „Одбрана“, 2015, 273−275.

IMG_20160218_162405

Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic

www.global-politics.eu

globalpol@global-politics.eu

All Rights Reserved 2016 by Vladislav B. Sotirovic

Ukraine Army NAZI

Deconstructing Russophobia

800px-Imperial_Standard_of_the_Emperor_of_Russia_(1858–1917).svg

Imagine that Vladimir Putin were not a murderous autocrat and kleptocrat who has spent his fourteen years in power living up to his KGB past and dragging Russia ever back towards Communist autocracy, illiberalism, and expansionism. Imagine that instead he were one of the greatest leaders that Russia has had, whose policies have helped produce a massive rise in living standards and life expectancy, recuperation of national pride, and enforcement of the rule of law, who has tackled kleptocrats and gangsters wisely and well, whose foreign policy has on balance been realistic, diplomatic, and conducive to peace, who has presided over a country of which the human rights record is considerably better than that of the United States and in which civil rights are improving, and who richly deserves the steady support of 65% – currently at a Ukraine-related high of 83% – of the population that he possesses. It is my understanding that the reality is closer to the second scenario than the first – and I may note that I say this as someone with no ethnic, financial, professional or political ties to Russia whatsoever. It follows that I am not a Russian expert – but nor am I, on the other hand, parti pris. I am a friendly, distanced observer of the country.

Let me start by explaining the history of my connection to the country. When I was a teenager my somewhat timid and unimaginative school uncharacteristically decided to organise a trip to a wacky place such as Russia, where, as it seemed, considerable political change happened to be taking place. So it was that I visited the Soviet Union during the last month of its existence, whilst myself having almost as little conception of what the Soviet Union was, as of what might be about to replace it. Some years later, in my year, so-called ‘out’, before university, I found myself living on the Danube’s South bank in Ruse, Bulgaria, learning some Bulgarian but telling myself that if ever I properly learned a Slavic language it would be one that would allow me to converse with hundreds of millions not just seven million users. After a degree in English I made a diagonal move into an MSc in Russian and Post-Soviet Studies at the London School of Economics, where it was abundantly clear that Britain’s finest kremlinogists had had very little idea that or when the Soviet Union was going to end – and who, tsarist nostalgists and Soviet nostalgists alike – were dismayed at what was happening in the country at the time. The worst time was already over when, in 2002, I moved to Moscow to improve my book-learned Russian, and to teach English. I became amongst other things an Anglo-Russian literary comparatist, and have visited the country at least annually since then.

The Moscow I remember of 1991 was febrile, almost but not quite panicked, and throngingly poor. The Moscow I remember of 2002 can best be summarised with the word ‘rough’. Though safe in ways in which London isn’t – I often used private cars as taxis, alone, at night – there were also several obvious ways to die which London lacked. Open manhole covers, slipping drunk in the snow, crossfire. This was ‘diky capitalism’ – wild capitalism, with its gloves decidedly off. Legless – literally – Afghan vets pushing themselves through the snow, their torsos balanced on makeshift skateboards. Families camped out singing for their supper. Concert-quality violinists busking. Professional gymnasts stripping in nightclubs. Makeup stores where Western brands were sold at what I at first thought were ruble prices but were in fact hugely inflated and illegal US dollar prices. My employer at a private English school wasn’t paying tax, on the grounds that he couldn’t both do that and be solvent. Police one crossed the street to avoid – both because one’s own affairs would inevitably involve some illegality, and because they were underpaid and relied on bribes.

A year later, on a visit, the situation was slightly better. The most extravagant misery was no longer apparent. A year later, better still. And that has been the consistent pattern on all my visits since then. Capitalism has been getting its gloves back on. Public facilities are in a much better state. Nothing is sold in dollars and Western brands have Russian rivals. A sensible tax structure means that businesses and salaried employees can and do pay their taxes. One sees no-one drunk in public. Muscovite women no longer exaggerate their femininity in a way which testifies to financial insecurity and a strenuous imitation of a pornographically-imagined West. And most reassuringly of all, to Westerners used to this custom, people have begun to smile. Even the hardest cases – the babushki guarding the museum rooms, and the border guards at passport control – will now return a smile. Last year, for the first time, I felt that Russia was in a new phase – the post-post-Soviet, in which people are no longer waiting for normality to be re-established, or yearning to live in a ‘normal’ country. A new normality, and a new optimism, have emerged.

My locus of pulse-taking of the country has usually been Moscow – to a lesser extent St Petersburg, Nizhnii Novgorod, and Perm – but from what I hear of the rest of the country, the improvement has been, if slower, widespread and also steady.

Now this period of my acquaintance has coincided with Putin’s time in power. 
It is one feature of the Western media treatments of Russia that it makes Putin metonymic of the country, one of its assumptions being his increasingly autocratic control of it. I dispute that assumption; but I have no doubt that Putin has had a decisive impact on Russian politics in this century. For this reason, my target in this post is not only Russophobia but Putinophobia, and I consider these to be related biases: here I am taking a phobia in the sense of a negative prejudice.

The impetus for this post is my sense that the Russia which I have got to know, and the Russia I see described in Western and specifically British mainstream media, have become increasingly discrepant. As Russia, in my experience, has improved with regard to just about every indicator I can think of, its image in the Western press has deteriorated. Now, there are all kinds of ways in which improving living standards could be compatible with increasing autocracy and international belligerence – one thinks of Hitler. But I believe that no such combination pertains in Putin’s case.

I will just finish this introduction with an anecdote. This April I visited the British Council in Moscow and spoke to two of its young Russian employees. One expects such people to be broadly Western-orientated and Anglophile. Part of their job was to analyse British press coverage of Russia, and, for as long as they were under the mistaken impression that I was a BBC journalist, they were guarded to the point of hostility. When I clarified my position as an academic, and a sceptic of British coverage of Russia, they burst into smiles, and shared with me how depressed reading and watching this coverage makes them. I know no Russian who has any knowledge of Russia’s representation in Britain who is not strongly critical of it. I too am depressed by it, specifically because I think that it is intellectually and morally demeaning, and counter-productive to a dangerous degree.

In the rest of this post I’m not going to simply contrast mainstream British and American media assertions with my own. What I will try to do is describe a few of the ways in which what I consider to be a false image is constructed, and the factors favouring the survival of this image – in the hope that if my description of those processes rings true, then it may influence your responses to the media’s representations henceforth. Finally, I will consider the practical effects of the media’s image of Russia.

The means of its creation are the usual suspects in cases of bias: distortion of fact through exaggeration, understatement, and fabrication; false inferences; inconsistent application of standards; and misuse of language.

To start with exaggeration: the argument that Putin has overwhelming control of the Russian media is often highly overstated. Much TV is state-owned, but some of the state-owned channels, such as RIA Novosti, criticise Putin, as do many radio stations and newspapers. Putin gets far more criticism in the Russian press as a whole than does Cameron in the British press. Now this isn’t comparing like for like, since there might in theory be more grounds for criticising Putin – but it is nonetheless a fact, which conflicts with part of the image of Russia as frequently presented. The internet is freer than it is in Britain – one reason why online intellectual piracy is rife – and many Russians get their news from the internet. Government control of the media therefore cannot convincingly be adduced as a significant reason for Putin’s consistently high popularity ratings.

Protests against him, on the other hand, receive coverage far out of proportion to their size – even as overestimated, despite the fact that large, peaceful protests indicate the right to protest. The demonstrations in Moscow after the March 2012 presidential election are a case in point. Coverage of such protests also involved understatement of their most important political component – the Communists. Support for the Communist Party is running at a steady 20%, making it by far the most important opposition party. The British media, however, focuses overwhelmingly on the ‘liberal’ opposition. It is understandable that it does this given that that is the tendency which it supports, but it also gives a false impression that the ‘liberal’ opposition is in fact at present the main one. Footage of the demonstrations in which the Communist flag predominated undermined the British commentary which was voiced over it.

This exaggeration of size and importance both of the protests and of the liberal component in them, is clearly the product of wishful thinking – but if one is really interested in seeing the replacement of Putin by a liberal, it does one no favours to overstate the current importance of the liberal opposition even to oneself. One should instead confront the fact that the liberal parties combined poll around only 5% of the vote, and should then try to work out what is wrong with these parties’ message and or leaders, and/or what is wrong with the voters’ ability to perceive the attractiveness of their message.

But the most important elision in coverage of Russia is of those improvements in demographic indicators, living standards, national affluence, and the rule of law, which I mentioned. During his first twelve years in power GDP increased by some 850%. The country is now largely debtless, with a large reserve of currency reserves. Due to Putin’s policies revenues from oil now serve the national economy. Mortality has sharply declined, and the birth rate increased.

Then there is fabrication, or speculation presented as fact.

A good example of this is Putin’s personal wealth – which has received some fantastically high estimates in Forbes and Bloomberg, including that he is the ninth richest man in the world, or indeed the richest man. These theories took much of their impetus from claims by two men, analyst Stanislav Belkovsky, cousin of Berezovsky, and liberal politician Boris Nemtsov. The allegations are that he secretly owns a large part or all of Gazprom and related energy companies such as Gunvor. Indeed, when The Economist published allegations about Putin’s ownership of Gunvor in 2008 it was sued and forced to print a retraction. There are probably only a very few people in the world who actually know the size and precise form of Putin’s wealth: he himself, and one or two others. I would only observe, first, that specific allegations have not been proved; second, that speculations should not be presented as confirmed fact; and third, that nothing which is known about Putin’s history and proud, workaholic character suggests someone to whom the things that money can buy have a strong appeal; a sybaritic Goering he is not.

Other claims made about corruption in Russia are self-evidently absurd. Certain claims made about corruption at the Sochi Olympics would, if true, mean that more money had been lost to corruption than the entire GDP of the country.

The credulity leant to the claims made by critics of Putin by virtue of being made by Putin’s critics leads me onto one false inductive inference found commonly in coverage of Putin: that my enemy’s enemy is my friend. When combined with the assumption that there is governmental interference in the operation of the law in Russia, this has the outcome that when somebody who is accused of a crime in Russia voices criticism of Putin they effectually enlist on their side in protestation of their innocence a preponderance of the British media.

That is, not only is my enemy’s enemy my friend, and not only is Putin’s critic therefore my friend, but Putin’s critic is innocent – not only negatively innocent of any crime as charged, but positively innocent and good, because by virtue of opposing a tyrant they are dissident, and therefore of the same genre of person as the saintly Solzhenitsyn or Sakharov. In actual fact, a prisoner with political views is not the same as a political prisoner.

It is true that the Russian legal system is less fair than the British, and lacks several of its important features in both criminal and civil law – for example the principle of disclosure of adverse evidence. The system is young, having been created for the new capitalist system at the end of Communism. Many of the lawyers and judges are therefore still relatively young and inexperienced, and adhere rather too closely to the letter of the law. Defence is still not as well established a profession as prosecution, and this shows. These factors affect the justice of all trials in the country.

But two things must immediately be added to this. First, that the situation is getting gradually better. Putin did not destroy the independence of the judiciary; before him it scarcely existed, and is being gradually built up. Second, the allegation that all trials of Putin’s critics are unjust by the standards of the system as it exists has very little evidence to support it.

In the 1990s much of Russia’s wealth corruptly and often violently became the private property of a few so-called oligarchs. When Putin became President he made them an offer that constituted quite possibly the optimum intersection of pragmatism, forward-thinking, and justice. They could either pay back some of their unpaid tax, invest some of their wealth in their home regions, and refrain from leveraging their wealth into political power – or be prosecuted for their past crimes as committed. Some, like Abramovich, accepted the compromise offered, and have flourished. Others, like Khodorkovsky, didn’t. His trial for tax evasion was widely criticised in the West as politically motivated and unfair. What has scarcely been reported is that on 25th July 2013 the European Court of Human Rights (to which Russia as a member of the Council of Europe is subject) found that the trial was not politically motivated, that Khodorkovsky was guilty as charged, and that he was appropriately sentenced (although it found certain procedural irregularities in his treatment, for which it ordered compensation to be paid). In other cases, such as those of Pussy Riot and would-be presidential candidate Aleksei Navalny (whose appeals to the European Court of Human Rights have yet to be heard), the defendants were found guilty of crimes under Russian law on the basis of strong evidence, and were given sentences which not only fitted well within the range of sentences available for the crime concerned, but which resembled sentences which the same crimes would have received were they committed in Britain. In Britain, Pussy Riot would have been charged under the Public Order Act 1986, for offences under which the maximum sentence is two years in prison (which is what Pussy Riot received). Navalny would have been charged under the Theft Act 1968, for offences under which the maximum sentence is six years (Navalny received five). In certain respects the operation of the Russian law is more lenient than the British. Prior to their ‘punk prayer’ in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, members of Pussy Riot had performed public sex in a museum, and thrown live cats at workers in a McDonalds restaurant. In Britain such acts could have resulted in prison sentences of at least two years, whereas in Russia they were not prosecuted at all. One reason why Pussy Riot were prosecuted for their ‘punk prayer’ was that it disrupted and parodied a religious act of worship, which is specifically prohibited under Russian (as also British) law, and which is particularly comprehensible in a country with a history of state persecution of religion.

RussophobiaFinally, criticism of the conviction on well-founded criminal charges of those who have opposed Putin amounts to a demand that anyone who has opposed Putin should be above the law simply by that virtue. It should rather be argued that Putin’s closest allies (such as the former defence minister Serdyukov, whose trial for fraud has been much delayed), if suspected of criminal activities, should not be above the law. To do the inverse is to argue that the rule of law in Russia be undermined. Indeed, it is implicitly to argue that Putin should prevent the law taking its course in the case of anyone who criticises him, which is the same as calling for political interference in the law, which is precisely what is ostensibly being criticised. If the point is made that not all oligarchs have been treated equally, the proper response is to demand that they all be held accountable for their crimes, not none of them.

It is worth adding that supporting anyone, no matter how criminally malodorous, provided that they publically oppose Putin, turns us into their useful idiots, and makes us appear idiotic to many Russians who cannot understand on what basis other than political enmity such a person as Boris Berezovsky was given asylum in Britain rather than being extradited to stand trial for crimes in Russia.

Internationally, something of the same dynamic of support for an enemy’s enemy is apparent. NATO is hostile to Russia, therefore, for some, there is a reason to support NATO. But on what bases do NATO and Russia disagree?
 First, Russia weakly or strongly opposed NATO’s interventions in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Which was right depends on your attitude towards those interventions, but if one desires peace rather than war – civil or otherwise – then Russia rather than NATO should be judged to have acted better.

Second, NATO has behaved with much greater hostility towards Russia than Russia towards it. In 1990 both the EU and NATO promised Russia they would not expand Eastwards. Since then they have done that relentlessly. Russia has done almost nothing in response. It did, however, protest loudly and understandably against the planned deployment of US ballistic missile interceptors in Poland and Romania. The US would certainly not tolerate Russia basing similar systems in Cuba or Venezuela.

This brings us on to inconsistent application of standards. The Russian government is almost invariably interpreted in the worst possible light by being held to higher standards than other countries.

Let’s take the recent controversial ‘gay law’. Such positive aspect as the Russian government uncharacteristically and briefly enjoyed in the eyes of Edward Snowden’s supporters when he was granted asylum in Russia was quickly lost in the US-centred campaign against the gay law which began immediately afterwards. The law making it an ‘administrative offence’ [minor crime] to present homosexuality in a positive light to minors is a bad law, because it makes a minor offence out of something which was scarcely practised and which should not be banned. It explicitly outlaws ‘homosexual paedophile propaganda’ whilst making no mention of ‘heterosexual paedophile propaganda’. However, in Russia private and public homosexuality is as legal as heterosexuality – yet there was negligible support for a boycott on for example Qatar, scheduled to hold the World Cup, which has vastly more repressive anti-gay legislation. Furthermore several US states have anti-gay legislation much stronger than what exists in Russia, but nobody has proposed any kind of boycott of America on this basis. Pro-gay American barmen did not pour Scotch whiskey down the drains between 1988 and 2003 to protest against the very similar law (Section 28 of the Local Government Act) which was then in place in Britain. It seems clear that the anti-Russian gay law campaign flourished because of Russophobia – the phenomenon I am describing. You may remember during the coverage of the Sochi Olympics there was Claire Balding being genially responsive to the impressive facilities and the warm support of the local Russians, standing alongside BBC Russian correspondent Daniel Sandford, who would repeatedly interject – rather in the manner of a Soviet commissar – comments such as: ‘ah, but we must never forget that this is the country where the presentation of homosexuality to minors in a positive light is an administrative offence’.

I am not saying that any amount of impressive facilities and warm locals should whitewash egregious human rights violations – but the Russian gay law simply isn’t that. Russia’s leading gay activist, Nikolai Alexeyev, became increasingly distressed at the way in which the US-based anti-gay-law campaign was being used as a tool of Russophobia. On the 17th August 2013 he tweeted: ‘All Western media want to hear from me that Russia is shit and I don’t want to take part in this hypocrisy. So all interviews are over!’ For this reaction, he, a brave campaigner against the gay law, was unfairly branded a stooge of Putin – and so a divide opened up between Russophobic pro-gay activists and Russian gay activists, whose job it is to actually change opinions on the ground.

And as with gay rights, so with human rights in general. Russia gets held to higher standards not only than countries such as Bahrain and China, but the United States. On the basis of Western media coverage one would think that Russia’s human rights situation was worse than that of the States, and at least as bad as that of China – both of which notions are preposterous.

Let us compare Russia to the United States (China being of course much worse than both). The US has around 730 to Russia’s 598 prisoners per 100,000 of the population. It uses the death penalty, executes minors, and empowers its President to authorise the kidnap, torture, and killing of domestic and foreign citizens without trial. Russia does none of these things. The US government has significantly curtailed Americans’ civil liberties under the Patriot Act, extensively spies on the media activities of its own and other countries’ citizens, and detains hundreds of people without trial in an international network of secret prisons. Russians’ civil liberates are now more strongly guaranteed by law than are Americans’; there is no evidence or suggestion that Russia kidnaps individuals abroad or outsources torture, nor that it runs a torture camp resembling Guantanamo Bay, nor that the FSB spies on Russian citizens to anything near the extent that the NSA spies on Americans, let alone on foreigners. In this respect – the extent of spying on their own citizens – Russia and the US have changed places since the end of the Soviet Union. Whereas the trend of US law over the last decade and a half has been to diminish civil liberties, in Russia the legal culture is becoming gradually more humane and liberal. Russia puts suspected Islamic terrorists whom it has captured on trial within a reasonable period, and does not deny them habeas corpus. America’s popular culture (including films such as Zero Dark Thirty) acknowledges that America has practised torture, and suggests that it may have been justified in doing so. Russia’s popular culture does not endorse the practice of torture. The contrast between Western treatments of Russia and of the US with regard to human rights was apparent when in 2012 Amnesty International ran a Priority Action campaign on behalf of Pussy Riot, whose members it had designated prisoners of conscience, whilst not running such a campaign on behalf of Bradley – now Chelsea – Manning, whom it had not (and has not) designated a prisoner of conscience. The members of Pussy Riot had been sentenced, as I mentioned, to two years in prison, according to the law, for a crime which they had committed. At the time, Bradley Manning was being subjected to cruel, inhuman, and degrading punishment, prior to being tried for any crime. This gave an unfortunate appearance of political partiality to Amnesty’s decisions, implying that they considered the relatively humane and legal treatment of critics of Putin to be a more urgent and flagrant violation of human rights than the torture before trial of a whistleblower on American torture.

On the issue of double standards let us consider too the advice which America gives to Russia. During the protests on Maidan Square in Kiev you may remember John Kerry urging Yanukovich to demonstrate ‘restraint’ with regard to the protesters. He showed so much restraint that he left the city rather than ordering his police to defend his Presidency by force, as they would have been capable of doing. Can you imagine any American President being induced to flee by violent street protests in Washington? In Washington the Maidan protests wouldn’t have lasted a couple of days. If you draw a lethal weapon in the presence of a police officer you may legally be shot dead. In Kiev, around 20 policemen were killed. One can imagine the scornful and outraged response were Putin, for example, to urge that Obama show restraint in the face of violent protests, to the extent of allowing himself to be overthrown.

It goes without saying that the dictators with whom Russia has relatively good relations, in Syria, North Korea, and Cuba, are excoriated in a way in which not only does the West not excoriate the dictators in Saudia Arabia, Bahrain, Quatar, Uzbekistan, Honduras, Thailand, and Egypt – but a way in which Russia doesn’t excoriate them either. Overall not only does the West not practice what it preaches to Russia, it preaches where Russia does not – and although I have no general objection to preaching – I’m a Lawrencian for goodness sake – I do object to the preaching of hypocrites.

One thing that assists in our inconsistent application of standards is our use of language. Protesters on Maidan were protesters; in Slaviansk, Kramatorsk, Mariupol they were rebels. Putin’s government is frequently referred to as a regime, and therefore likened to a dictatorship, whereas not only does Russia, like the US, have an imperfect democracy, but Putin personally has a twenty percent higher approval rating than does Obama, and at least twenty-five percent higher than Cameron. But there is one word in particular which is misused in a Russian context – ‘liberal’. Now, this is a notoriously protean word, but there does seem to be agreement over its denotation in a Russian context, where it generally assumed to mean ‘promoting Western values with regard to individual liberty, equality, democracy and the rule of law’. However, when one considers the policies of those politicians and commentators described as liberal, one finds that what is in fact denoted is ‘promoting foreign and economic policies which are aligned with Western interests, whatever other (possibly illiberal) views are held’. For example, Aleksei Navalny, who was frequently described as a liberal opposition leader, holds views which most Western liberals would categorise as racist. Since most Russians do not want Russia to conform to NATO geopolitical or economic interests at its own expense, and since Western capitalism is damaged by association with the nineteen-nineties (a period which has never sufficiently been accepted in the West as having been a catastrophe), so-called ‘liberals’ account for a relatively small proportion of the popular vote. Yet Russophobic narrative conflates ‘liberal’ with ‘democratic’. The fact that Putin’s policies have vastly more appeal than so-called liberal ones does not make Putin an anti-democrat, and those who oppose the democratically elected Putin are not ‘pro-democratic’ by that virtue.

Russophobia, like Said’s account of Orientalism, therefore relies on and generates contradictions. On the one hand it constructs an enemy which is aggressive and to be feared, threatening its neighbours such as the Ukraine and Georgia. On the other hand it creates a risible enemy of which the economy is flimsily dependent on oil – a point far less often made about far more strongly oil-reliant allies such as Saudi Arabia.

Both Russia’s aggression and its weakness are overstated – that is, the desire (for reasons I’ll come on to) to construct an enemy produces an image (and to a small extent, a reality) which is then actually feared, the power of which needs to be understated. Since 1989, when it withdrew from Afghanistan, it has sent its troops only into Georgia, and that in support of the inhabitants of a semi-autonomous enclave which Georgian troops had entered in violation of international treaties. In fact it threatens no one.

But the understatement of its power is just as striking.
 Speaking to businessmen working in Russia – Russian and foreign alike – it became clear to me that Russia is hugely and diversely economically productive, avoiding many of the pitfalls of indebtedness and a phony banking system which afflict our own economy. L’Oréal, Danône, Peugeot, and Renault are all making huge profits in Russia. Far from being entirely reliant on the export of oil, Russia makes a range of manufactured goods including steel, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, clothing, ship building, machine tools, aircraft, food processing, furniture, computers, tractors, optical devices, commercial vehicles, and mobile phones. It has a big construction industry, and in fields such as nuclear power engineering and space technology it is one of the world’s leaders. These are perhaps little thought of in the West perhaps because they tend to be heavy goods, not consumer goods, and are therefore not found in Western shops. Income tax is flat at 13%, in a way which at present encourages economic growth (though is, I assume, a temporary measure, before a more socialist graduated income tax one day replaces it). There is around 10% interest on current accounts. The sanctions have hurt, but have also led to more inward investment.
And the narrative of Russian weakness is also assisted by ignoring its relations with the rest of the world beyond the West. There are strengthening Russian-Chinese ties, and warm relations between Russia and most countries of Asia, Africa, and South America – including both China and Japan, both India and Pakistan, both Israel and Palestine.

When I attended a meeting of businessmen discussing responses to the sanctions in Moscow in April it was telling that the Ambassadors who decided to come – at least, those that I met – were from South Africa, Mexico, Peru, Benin, Indonesia and Malaysia. Not one from the ‘West’, and that is really a metaphor for the fact that the West does not witness, and does not want to see, the good relations which Russia has with the rest of the world.

But there are many factors which favour the construction and persistence of Russophobia.

One of the first and most obvious is limited contact with the country itself. From the sixteenth century, when West Europeans started travelling to Russia in any numbers, it’s been rightly observed that Russia is difficult to get to, travel in, and onerous in its passport requirements. Tit-for-tat visa policy means that it is not easy to pop to St Petersburg for a quick city break – indeed, there are very few direct flights between London, the world’s air-transport hub, and the second biggest city of the world’s biggest country – which, thinking of some of the other places you can get more frequent direct flights to from London, is extraordinary. Limited contact with Russia, and limited learning of its language, mean limited ability to test the validity of the media’s image of Russia. That image is itself partly the construction of journalists who themselves know very little about the country, and who echo each other. But it also the construction of local foreign correspondents such as The Guardian’s Luke Harding and The Economist’s Ed Lucas, who in my opinion fall into that category of people who can live in a country whilst loathing and misrepresenting it, just as people can live in a country, love it, and misrepresent it in a positive direction.

One feature favouring the re-echoing of opinions between journalists resident and otherwise is the obverse of a phenomenon I have discovered amongst people who disagree with them. In Moscow friends of mine who approve of Putin include 
Russians, Americans, a Finn, and a Frenchman. They work in Russia as journalists, businessmen and lawyers. Their political views range from Conservative to nearly-Communist to green. But they have all, along their different paths and from their own perspectives, come to admire Putin, whose politics can’t easily be described in terms of traditional left-right analysis. The obverse of this is that he can be criticised from all perspectives, so what we have is a rare unity in British Russophobia between left wing and right wing media outlets, and indeed broadsheet and tabloid newspapers.

Another feature favouring Russophobia is that its image of Russia chimes with much older images that Russia has had in the West – chiefly, as autocratic. The main period of contact between West Europe and Russia has been characterised by increasing disparity between levels of democracy in the West and the East; this remained true until relatively recently. Assertions that Putin is autocratic fit into a primordialist narrative about Russia as unfitted to democracy: there are just two problems. One, primordialism is now largely as discredited in political science as is racism, and for similar reasons (pace the success of Martin Sixsmith’s 2011 Russia: A Thousand Years of the Wild East). Second, Putin isn’t autocratic. The narrative of reversion to autocracy after the relatively democratic Yeltsin years is particularly absurd given that in 1993 Yeltsin closed down news outlets and sent tanks to the White House to disperse the Russian Parliament, which was opposing his deeply unpopular economic policies. Over the following few days it’s estimated that between 187 and 2000 people were killed. Putin has never done anything remotely similar, and it is of course possible to misinterpret someone whose policies are widely supported – inside of and beyond parliament – as a dictator who brooks no opposition.

Једи говна УСА

It has to be said, though, that Russia itself has been a major home of primordialist thought, mainly about itself. What is the idea of the russkaia dusha, or Russian soul, but an argument that Russia is a) distinctive and b) unchanging, in its essence? The discourse of the Russian soul is complicated (please find my article about it here), but part of it fits with the idea that the Russian people are subservient and long-suffering. And this idea gets a lot of reinforcement from Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. However, it was not the only primordialist account in town. Eurasianism competed with Slavophilism, and both with Westernism – Westernisers arguing, of course, that Russia could and should catch up with the West. Nonetheless, Russia of all countries has, in its literature and philosophy, given considerable encouragement to primordialist thought about itself.

I mentioned the homology of primordialism to racism – and I would argue that there is a racial dimension to Russophobia or what I might alternatively have called Russism. Here again it operates through contradiction. On the one hand Russians are othered as favouring autocracy and subservience. On the other hand they are expected to behave just like Western Europeans despite their vastly different historical circumstances, and I am sure that one reason for this is that European Russians look almost exactly like West Europeans, which the Chinese or the Turks, for example, don’t. In proportion as there is little difference of melanin pigmentation, eye colour, and facial structure, little difference of political behaviour is tolerated – and where it occurs, is then by reaction essentialised.

Putin himself has been very successfully demonised. His KGB past is frequently invoked in a way which overlooks the fact that the KGB was a standard career option for ambitious young Soviets when he was choosing his career. I might mention the fact that he cites Maxim Isayev as an influence on his desire to join the KGB. Isayev is the hero of the 1972 cult Soviet miniseries Seventeen Moments of Spring – the Soviet answer to James Bond. Isayev is a Russian agent pretending to be an Obergruppenführer in Berlin at the end of the Second World War. He is brave, cultured, intelligent, merciful, and of complete integrity – a Soviet hero, protecting Russia from Germany and Germany from itself, of a kind that young men such as Putin aspired to become. Of course as we know, spying is not as it is in the films. But in our post-Snowden-revelations era, it is most odd to continue to deplore someone for having spied on the citizens of another country, and to repeatedly use this as a lens of negative interpretation of all of their subsequent actions.

In his self-presentation as a macho man Putin does himself no favours in the West. But I think that Russians need pay no more attention to our generalised scorn for this image than the British need pay to Americans, whose generalised impression it is that all British men are gay. The reason is that normal male behaviour here is in various ways softer, and less literally and metaphorically muscular, than is the norm in North America. In Russia Putin’s performance of masculinity is far more acceptable than it is here – and all the more so in contrast to the series of gerontocrats who ruled the Soviet Union after Stalin, and the embarrassingly hard-drinking Yeltsin. It should also be noted that it is not only for his macho personal qualities that he is admired; he is also admired as clean-living, in contrast to Yeltsin and many of the country’s men during Yeltsin’s period in power, and as highly educated – speaking Russian without grammatical errors, again in contrast to Yeltsin.

But his self-projection is emphatically directed at the Russian people, rather than the rest of the world, and this fits with the fact that Putin does not try to woo the West – he plays them (to adopt an English metaphor) with an entirely straight bat. Something of a Communist contempt for advertising is apparent in his lack of interest in spin for either himself or his country, when it comes to the West. This was one reason why Georgia got the best of the coverage of the Georgia-Russia conflict, in a way which even Martin Sixsmith admits was biased on the part of the BBC. Columbia-educated Saakashvili was willing and able to do PR in a way in which Medvedev wasn’t. A different contrast to Russia here is provided by China, which responds very sharply, and indeed aggressively, to public criticism, and which if anything is a beneficiary of the opprobrium heaped on Russia, since it takes attention away from itself, the far more credible threat to Western interests. Russia, on the other hand, does next to nothing to tackle Russophobia head-on. Nobody sent me here tonight.

I will add one more reason for the traction of Russophobia. Distrust of the media goes back a long way in Russia, to the early nineteenth century – and with very good reason. The default attitude of Russians, still today, is scepticism and cynicism. They may vote for Putin because they like him or his policies, but this does not make them trustful of what they read, and there is still a lot of insecurity about the state of the country, about which they openly complain. Despite the voter disaffection in this country, I think that there is a far higher level of trust of what is said by The Guardian, The Economist, The Sun, the BBC, amongst the British than there is of equivalent channels in Russia. That is, one difference between us and the Russians is that we are less sceptical of what we are told.

Cuyu bono? What are the most obvious motivations for fostering Russophobia?

In brief (and the substantive reasons really are brief): Russia’s foreign policy does not follow that of the West. Western armaments manufacturers have an interest in stoking a new Cold War, because the War against Terror has not filled the gap in arms sales – especially of nuclear weapons – left by the end of the Cold War. And NATO desperately needs a raison d’être.

pax_americanaBut the interests of arms companies and NATO are not those of the West as a whole. Russophobia acts in massively counter-productive ways. It restricts its potentially enormous economic cooperation and cultural and touristic interchange with Russia – one reason why businesspeople have been opposed to the sanctions – and it pushes Russia decisively towards economic, political, and military cooperation with China and indeed the rest of the world. The sanctions have had the effect of making Russia look at developing its own version of VISA. It has welcomed the repatriation of Russian wealth held abroad. And in the Ukraine, Western support for a coup against an elected president has had the country on the brink of civil war, and has increased the size of the territory of Russia. As a friend of mine has repeatedly commented to me, ‘wars start when politicians lie to journalists then believe what the read in the press.’ Putin’s popularity is at a high of 83% in the wake of the events in the Ukraine, and feeling against the US and EU on the part of ordinary Russians is beginning to increase. This makes life harder for Russians whose political agenda has support in the West. A good example is gay rights activists, who have found their aims much harder to achieve since a pro-gay attitude has effectually been aligned with an anti-Russian one. Russian gay activists are now arguably a more highly distrusted and isolated group than before they received Western backing.

Also, as is apparent to all Russians who are familiar with Russophobia, Russia is being criticised for the wrong things – and this is its most tragic irony. The country is far from perfect. Social security is miserably low; there is bullying in the army and prisons, and problems with racism, drugs, and domestic violence; health and education are under-funded; income tax is flat. But these are not the things for which Russia gets criticised, either by Westerners or their own so-called liberal parties, which are obsessively concerned with Putin himself.

The people who are suffering in Russia are not liberal opposition leaders with their abundant coverage in the Western press, but the poor.

And who apart from the Communists, and to some extent Putin, is talking about them?

Russophobia is composed of ignorance, a failure of scepticism and reasoning, pride, hypocrisy, condescension and churlishness, turned to the service of the military-industrial complex and NATO. It supports a one-sided Cold War against a country which is only just getting on its feet after collapse, is primarily focused on improving the living conditions of its people, wants war nowhere, and has no desire to be our enemy unless forced to defend itself. I wish it well.


16-06-2016

By Catherine Brown

Source: https://off-guardian.org/2016/06/16/deconstructing-russophobia/

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Putin to Obama

Operation Barbarossa: The 75th Anniversary Of The Nazi Invasion Of The Soviet Union

ww2-maps-operation-barbarossa-june-22-august-25-1941

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 for the Nazi Holocaust of European Jewry. European Russia was devastated by the German invasion as 70,000 towns and villages were destroyed along with 98,000 collective farms, tens of thousands of factories and thousands of miles of roads and railways. During the war the USSR lost 15% of its population and 30% of its national wealth.

The attack on Russia was the climax of Hitler’s bid to establish Germany as the dominant world power. That bid had begun with the invasion of Poland in September 1939, followed by the German conquest of France in June 1940. By 1941 the German war machine had conquered most of Europe as country after country was invaded or forced to join Hitler’s Axis alliance.

In the west, only Britain, protected by the English Channel and the strength of the Royal Navy and Air Force, remained defiant and undefeated. In the east, the Soviet Union was the last remaining obstacle to German domination of Europe.

The Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin had concluded a non-aggression pact with Hitler in August 1939, together with a secret spheres of influence agreement dividing Poland and the Baltic States between Germany and the Soviet Union. This deal began to unravel in summer 1940 following the defeat of France and Soviet occupation of the Baltic States. In November 1940 Stalin sent his foreign minister, Vyacheslav Molotov, to Berlin to re-negotiate the Nazi-Soviet pact. But Hitler’s offer of a junior partnership in a global coalition against Britain and the United States was rejected by Stalin. Shortly after the Berlin conference Hitler issued the directive for Operation Barbarossa.

The aim of Barbarossa was to conquer Russia in the course of a single Blitzkrieg campaign. Hitler and his generals thought that it would take only a few months to destroy the Red Army, capture Leningrad and Moscow and occupy the western half of the Soviet Union along a line from Archangel to Astrakhan. “The world will hold its breath,” said Hitler as he reassured his generals that all they had to do was kick the door in and the whole rotten structure of the Soviet communist system would collapse.

These ideological prejudices against the Soviet system were reinforced by German perceptions that the Red Army had performed badly in the Winter War with Finland in 1939-1940.

The spur for that war was Finland’s refusal to concede territory the Soviets considered vital to safeguard the security of Leningrad. Moscow expected an easy victory, but the initial Soviet attack on Finland in December 1939 went badly wrong and the Red Army lost tens of thousands of troops. After the Red Army regrouped, a second offensive forced the Finns to accept an unfavourable peace treaty in March 1940.

The German military concluded, wrongly, that the Red Army would be a pushover for the Wehrmacht. What the Germans did not appreciate was that after the Finnish war the Red Army undertook a far-reaching examination of its performance. The result was a series of military reforms, including reinstatement into the armed forces of thousands of “suspect” officers who had been purged by Stalin in the 1930s. So when Hitler attacked the Soviet Union he faced a more experienced and formidable military force than he had imagined.

On the day the invasion began – June 22nd 1941 – Hitler claimed that it was a response to Russian actions and provocations. Nazi propagandists depicted Operation Barbarossa as a pre-emptive strike against an imminent Soviet attack on Germany. By invading Russia Germany was said to be protecting Christian Europe from the Asiatic barbaric hordes in the east.

The myth that Germany fought a defensive war against the Soviet Union persists in ultra-right political circles but there is no evidence that Stalin contemplated starting a war with Germany in summer 1941. On the contrary, Stalin was desperate to avoid war in order to secure as much time as possible to complete Soviet defence preparations. While some Soviet generals were inclined take action to pre-empt the coming German attack that was far too adventurous for Stalin, who feared war, not least because he suspected the British were plotting to realign with Germany and take part in an anti-Bolshevik campaign against the USSR. These suspicions were reinforced by the mysterious flight to Britain of Hitler’s deputy, Rudolph Hess in May 1941, which Stalin interpreted as part of negotiations for an Anglo-German alliance.

By doctrine and tradition the Red Army was offensive-oriented and it was planning to fight an offensive war against Germany but only after Hitler attacked the USSR. Soviet preparations for war revolved around plans for a counter-offensive in which the Red Army would absorb the initial German attack and then launch counter-invasions of enemy territory. There is no evidence that these plans had evolved into a more aggressive strategy by summer 1941. Soviet preparations for war before 22 June 1941 were consistent with a defensive posture.

At first all went well for Hitler as the German armies advanced deep into Soviet territory, destroying everything that was thrown at them and surrounding and capturing millions of enemy troops. As early as July 3, General Franz Halder, chief of the German army general staff, noted in his diary: “On my part it would not be too bold to assert that the campaign against Russia has been won in the space of two weeks.” By September, the Germans had captured Kiev, surrounded Leningrad and were ready to advance on Moscow.

Nazi Tartars 2Halder’s triumphalism was a little premature and by early August he was beginning to have doubts: “At the beginning of the war we calculated there would be about 200 enemy divisions against us. But already we have counted 360. If we destroy a dozen, the Russians present us with another dozen.”

But it was not just inexhaustible reserves of manpower that thwarted German plans for a quick and easy victory. Soviet defences did not crumble completely. The Red Army fought back and conducted a tenacious defence once it got over the shock and awe of the initial German attack.

In the Brest fortress on the border with German-occupied Poland, 3,000 Soviet soldiers fought almost to the last man. Odessa, the Soviet Navy’s main port on the Black Sea, held out for weeks against an attack by the Romanian 4th army, while its sister port of Sebastopol fought on for another year. Millions of Soviet soldiers were taken prisoner, but tens of thousands fought their way out of encirclement.

The Red Army did not defend passively; in line with its offensivist ethos it launched numerous counter-attacks, often forcing German forces to retreat and regroup. The Soviet defence of Kiev held up the German advance on eastern Ukraine for nearly a month. So determined was the Soviet defence of Leningrad that Hitler decided to lay siege to the city rather than capture it by frontal assault. In the Smolensk area German and Soviet armies fought for weeks to control the approaches to Moscow.

Hitler’s last chance to defeat the Soviet Union in 1941, and thereby avoid a costly war of attrition, came in the autumn when he attacked Moscow with more than a million men. By the end of November, advance units of the German army could see the spires of Moscow’s Kremlin. But in early December, the Red Army launched a counteroffensive that forced the Germans back 100 miles. For a while Stalin hoped to reverse Operation Barbarossa completely and chase the Germans out of Russia altogether, but that proved beyond the capabilities of the Red Army. Not until the end of 1942, with victory at Stalingrad, did the war turn decisively in the Soviets favour.

Hitler’s inability to capture Moscow signalled the strategic failure of Operation Barbarossa. Instead of a quick victory Germany faced a long war of attrition on the eastern front – a struggle that it was destined to lose now that Soviet Union was allied to Great Britain and the United States.

When Germany invaded Russia, Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister, immediately declared his solidarity with Soviet Union while US President Roosevelt authorised American aid to the USSR.

The Americans did not enter the conflict officially until the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor and Hitler’s declaration of war on the United States in December 1941. This seemingly irrational decision by Hitler was not as crazy as it appears in retrospect. By this time the United States was de facto Britain’s ally and was protecting British convoys across the Atlantic, ships laden with American supplies. Crucially, Hitler was still confident of victory on the Eastern Front; the Germany army had stalled in front of Moscow but the full power of the Soviet counter-offensive had yet to be revealed.

Hitler’s decision to declare war on the Americans was also intimately connected to the radicalisation of Nazi policy on the Jewish question. Massacres of Soviet Jews had begun and before the war Hitler had threatened that if there was another global conflict the Jews would all perish. The outbreak of the Pacific War presented Hitler with an opportunity to fulfil his prophecy. The European War was transformed by Hitler into a World War in which the Nazis could pursue their genocidal goals. Shortly after, at Heydrich’s Wansee conference in January 1942, it was decided to round-up Europe’s Jews. Those who were able-bodied would be worked death in the German was economy while the rest would murdered like their religious compatriots in the Soviet Union.

Churchill and Roosevelt both feared the German invasion would succeed. It is important to remember that the initial German successes in Russia were not surprising given a battle-hardened army that had so easily conquered Poland and France. Also working in the German favour was the factor of surprise.

In his so-called secret speech to the 20th congress of the Soviet communist party in 1956 Nikita Khrushchev, Stalin’s successor as party leader, attacked Stalin for allowing the Red Army to be surprised by the German attack – a miscalculation that cost millions of lives and brought the Soviet Union to the brink of defeat, or so it has been argued.

Actually, Stalin was not surprised by the German invasion. It was self-evident that a German attack was coming. What surprised Stalin – and his generals – was the weight and effectiveness of the initial German attack.

Hitler’s attack had been signalled for months by the build-up of German forces along Soviet borders. It is a myth that Stalin’s intelligence officials told the Soviet dictator what he wanted to hear i.e. that Hitler was intent on invading Britain and would not attack the Soviet Union until 1942. For the most part they provided objective reports based on frontier reconnaissance. These reports told the same story as political, diplomatic and espionage sources – that the Germans were preparing to attack the USSR and would do it very soon.

Stalin was well aware the Red Army would suffer some damage if it was not fully mobilised when the Germans chose to attack. The important point to grasp was that Stalin believed that it did not matter if the Red Army was surprised because he expected Soviet defences to hold and to buy enough time for the preparation of counterattacks.

Stalin’s view was perfectly understandable. Three million troops guarded strongly fortified Soviet frontiers. Soviet preparations for war were as extensive as those of the Germans and these defences gave Stalin the confidence to gamble on delaying war with Hitler, even if that meant flying in the face of mounting intelligence of an imminent German attack. Hence, Stalin held back the Red Army’s full mobilisation until the very last moment.

“Mobilisation means war,” Stalin told his chief of staff, General Georgy Zhukov, reminding him that Tsar Nicholas’s mobilisation of the Russian Army during the July Crisis had precipitated war with Germany in 1914.

Stalin’s illusions about the strength of Soviet defences were shared by his generals, who were as shocked as he was by the success of the initial German attack. Zhukov’s efforts to implement plans for counteroffensive action in the days after 22 June made the situation worse by making the Red Army’s forward units even more vulnerable to German encirclement. Most Soviet losses in the early weeks and months of the war were the result of massive encirclement operations by the Germans, such as those at Minsk in June 1941 and Kiev in September 1941.

Importantly, the Red Army had no doctrine or training to deal with encirclement. Soviet soldiers did not know whether to stand and fight or to attempt a break out. It is the failure of military doctrine and preparation which explains the catastrophe that befell the Red Army on 22 June 1941 not the factor of surprise. To be sure, this was Stalin’s failure but it was not his alone. The Soviet generals shared the responsibility – a fact they tried to cover up by blaming Stalin for the disaster.

Eventually, the Red Army learned how to defend effectively, but not before it had suffered astronomical casualties. By the end of 1941 the Red Army had lost nearly 200 divisions in battle and suffered a stunning 4.3 million casualties. The armed force constructed by the Soviets in a decade of mobilisation had all but been destroyed.

The Germans suffered, too, losing nearly a million soldiers by the end of 1941 – casualties far higher than those they had suffered in Poland and France. Because of these losses Barbarossa was the Wehrmacht’s first and last multi-pronged strategic offensive in Russia. When the Wehrmacht resumed the offensive in summer 1942 it was along a single strategic axis – a southern campaign to capture the oil fields at Baku – which supplied 90% of Soviet oil..

1511946It was Hitler’s war for oil that led to the most important battle of the Second World War – the fight for Stalingrad in the autumn of 1942. Defeat at Stalingrad was the point of no return for the Wehrmacht. With the encirclement and destruction of the 6th army in Stalingrad the Red Army seized the strategic initiative and thereafter inflicted defeat after defeat on the Germans all the way to the capture of Berlin by Zhukov in May 1945.

On this 75th anniversary of the German invasion of the Soviet Union the Russians will once again remind the world that the Red Army saved European civilisation as well as Russia from the Nazis. True, the Soviets did not win the war on their own, but in alliance with Britain, the US and other allies. As the old saying goes, the British gave time, the Americans gave money and the Soviets gave their blood to defeat Hitler. But, as Churchill said, it was the Red Army which tore the guts out of Hitler’s war machine.

During the war the Red Army destroyed 600 enemy divisions – Finnish, Rumanian, Hungarian, Spanish and Italian as well as German. Among the Axis losses were 48,000 tanks, 167,000 artillery pieces and 77,000 aircraft. Germany incurred 10 million military casualties including three million dead on the Eastern Front. This represented 75% of Germany’s total losses during the Second World War.

After the war surviving German generals claimed they had lost to the Red Army because it had more troops and resources and was better adapted to the weather and terrain of Russia. Hitler was also a convenient scapegoat for Nazi Germany’s defeat by a supposedly barbarian and backward nation. His generals declared Hitler to be a poor supreme commander whose strategic errors had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Conveniently, these same generals forgot the bad advice they gave to Hitler. In relation to the Wehrmacht’s role in the Holocaust they were even more forgetful.

In truth, the German-led forces lost to an army that was better as well a bigger: an army with superior arms, strategy and leadership. Stalin was a far better Supreme Commander than Hitler. The Soviet dictator did not seek to dominate his generals. He did not always take their advice but he learned from their military professionalism and strove to create a coherent and effective high command.

Stalin made as many mistakes as Hitler but he learned from them as did the Red Army as a whole. During the war the Red Army developed into a highly effective learning organisation. The experience and lessons of combat and command were assiduously collected, analysed and disseminated. The Soviets kept command structures, force organisation and military doctrine under constant review. Meanwhile, military technology improved steadily and the Soviets made good use of the thousands of tanks, planes and trucks supplied by their western allies.

It is sometimes said that the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany was pyrrhic — a victory won at too great a cost. But much worse would have been the alternative of a triumphant Nazi empire in Europe that would have destroyed western democracy as well as Soviet socialism and completed Hitler’s genocide of the Jews.


About the author:

Geoffrey Roberts is Professor of History at University College Cork, Ireland. He is the author of Stalin’s Wars: From World War to Cold War (2008) and Stalin’s General: The Life of Georgy Zhukov (2012)

19-06-2016

Source: http://russia-insider.com/en/barbarossa/ri15045

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Jimmy Carter: Return of the Crimea to Russia was Inevitable

 

Former US President Jimmy Carter, in an interview with radio station “Voice of America”, ​​said that the reunification of Russia and the Crimea was an inevitable event.

Carter also says he is pleased with Russia’s commitment to implement the Minsk agreement.  He added that the Elders were also pleased with Russia’s allegiance to the Minsk agreement.  “There’s not any doubt in our mind that the Russians genuinely want to see all the aspects of that concluded.  I think that’s the only ballgame in town,” said Carter, “really as far as resolving the problems with Ukraine, is to get the Minsk agreement implemented.”
cartercrimea
Carter and other former global leaders met with Russian President Vladimir Putin for 2.5 hours Wednesday in Moscow.  The group, called the Elders, visited at a time when Russia’s relations with the West are severely strained over Moscow’s seizure of Crimea and the deadly conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Carter, who served as president of the United States in 1977-1981 years, commented on the current situation in Ukraine, noting the predestination of some processes of history:

“I am well aware of the fact that Khrushchev many years ago – though not too many – handed control of the Crimea to Ukraine as a gift. This was done with the expectation that Ukraine, like Crimea, is part of one of the Soviet Union. I do not believe that there is any immediate prospect of the break in relations between Russia and the Crimea. I think it (the reunion of Russia and the Crimea) was almost an inevitable step, whether people agree with this or not.”

Carter originally stated that position a year ago, shortly after the annexation happened, but he also has said Russia should not be allowed any other territorial gains in Ukraine.

In his comments, Carter also opposed any arms supplies to Ukraine from the United States:

“I would like very much to see a cessation of sending arms to Ukraine, either to Kyiv or to the eastern part,” said Carter.  “And, my hope is that President Obama would not do so.”

In addition, the former president of the United States noted that in the perception of Russia and the United States there is a serious difference in the assessment of the manner in which Ukraine had a change of government in 2014:

“There is a problem with the interpretation of what happened then in Kiev, with the removal of the President and then selecting another. And the issue is not fully resolved. From the point of view of the Americans, the arrival of the president of Poroshenko was par for the course in accordance with the law, but I have to say that the interpretation of these events for President Putin is quite different.”

Jimmy Carter’s visit to Moscow on April 27-29 was with several other members of the “Elders”(The Elders). This is combination of world-famous public figures with experience of peaceful settlement of conflicts and the protection of human rights in crisis situations, which was founded by former South African President Nelson Mandela in 2007.

Currently, the group consists of 12 people, headed by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Information about the meeting is published on the website of the President of the Russian Federation (Meeting with participants of the “Elders”) and on the online page of the association (The Elders conclude three-day visit to Moscow).

May 1st, 2015
Adapted from Rusvesna and VOA –  Joaquin Flores

About the Author:

Michael Collins is a Washington DC area writer, researcher, and citizen journalist. Since 2005, Collins has tackled the subjects the corporate media ignores. His articles on the perversion of voting rights and elections culminated with a major study that showed the official story of the 2004 election had to be false. Collins series on The Money Party anticipated the thievery behind the financial collapse of 2008. He wrote extensively about the Susan Lindauer case, the U.S. intelligence operative that was indicted and locked in a psychiatric prison for months when she tried to tell Congress why the Iraq invasion was totally unnecessary. When no one in corporate media would talk to him, Collins did three major interviews with former Charles Manson prosecutor and leading crime author Vincent Bugliosi on his book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder. Recently, Collins wrote about the disastrous Libyan invasion and the massive injustices of the U.S. attack on Syria. Today, Collins is focused on the propaganda and massive deception by the Obama administration and its NATO partners regarding the coup in Ukraine and attack by the U.S. supported government against its own people. Collins is a featured contributor to OpEdNews, one of top 100 political web sites on the internet. His home page is http://opednews.com/michaelcollins